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Monday, July 1, 2013

Lentil-Quinoa Burgers with Fiery Fruit Salsa

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 My mom and I were recently talking about how we both cook meatless meals quite frequently, multiple times a week in my case, and yet when we are suddenly forced to come up with a meatless meal we suddenly struggle. A few weeks ago my mom's friend Shawn came to visit along with my mom. Shawn's a vegetarian and I wanted to make her something she'd truly like, versus just serving her some side dishes while the rest of us ate meat.

I considered making my favorite black bean burgers or my favorite white bean burgers, knowing either of those would be a hit, but instead decided to branch out and try a brand new veggie burger. I was drawn to the fiery fruit salsa that accompanies these burgers, which should really be called patties since they aren't eaten on buns and they're smaller than a standard burger. As expected, the sweet and spicy fruit salsa was a fantastic topping, but the patties themselves held their own. 
Cooking Light's original recipe used barley and lentils in the burgers, but I opted to use quinoa instead. Although the list of ingredients looks a little daunting, the patty ingredients were simple to throw together and the end result was more than worth it. This is definitely a meal I'd make again, for vegetarians and carnivores alike!

One Year Ago: Chocolate Biscoff Muffins
Two Years Ago: Mocha Coconut Granola Bars
Three Years Ago: Oatmeal Butterscotch Cookies

Lentil-Quinoa Burgers with Fiery Fruit Salsa
adapted from Cooking Light 

for the salsa-
-1/4 cup finely chopped pineapple
-1/4 cup finely chopped mango
-1/4 cup finely chopped tomatillo
-1/4 cup halved grape tomatoes
-1 tbsp fresh lime juice
-1 serrano chile, minced

for the burgers-
-1 1/2 cups water
-1/2 cup dried lentils
-1 tbsp olive oil
-1 cup chopped onion
-1/4 cup grated carrot
-2 tsp minced garlic
-2 tbsp tomato paste
-1 1/2 tsp ground cumin
-3/4 tsp dried oregano
-1/2 tsp chili powder
-3/4 tsp salt, divided
-1 cup cooked quinoa
-1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
-1/4 cup finely chopped cilantro
-1/2 tsp coarsely ground black pepper
-1 large egg
-3 tbsp canola oil, divided

1. Combine the salsa ingredients in a small bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
2. To prepare the burgers, combine 1 1/2 cups of water with the lentils and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 25 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Drain and place half of the lentils in a large bowl. Place remaining lentils in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth.Add processed lentils to whole lentils in the bowl.
3. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat pan with a tablespoon of olive oil and add carrots and onion. Saute until tender, about 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add garlic, stirring constantly for 1 minute. Add tomato paste, cumin, oregano, chili powder, and 1/4 tsp salt. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly.
4. Add the onion mixture to the lentils. Stir in remaining 1/2 tsp salt, quinoa, breadcrumbs, cilantro, pepper, and egg. Stir well to combine. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour.
5. Divide the mixture into 8 portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch thick patty. Heat 1 1/2 tbsp oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add 4 patties and cook for 3 minutes on each side, or until browned. Repeat procedure with remaining oil and patties. Serve with salsa.