Thursday, December 31, 2009

Lentil burgers

It sounds like something vegan hippies would eat, I know. But I recently had a bout of food poisoning from ground beef of indeterminate origin, so I've vowed to no longer eat ground beef unless it's organic, grass-fed, and all comes from the same cow. Seeing that grass-fed ground beef is WAY more expensive than I can afford on a regular basis, I've been trying out inexpensive burger alternatives.
This is one of my favorites. The burgers are actually really good, and you can add cheese and bacon to the end result if you like. I also made a sort-of aioli out of Sriracha chili sauce and mayo that complemented these perfectly.
Plus, since they're so cheap and healthy, you can add extra bacon and not feel guilty about it.
3-4 handfuls dried lentils
1/2 chopped onion
chopped sundried tomatoes
1/4 cup or so breadcrumbs
parmesan cheese
1 egg
seasonings (paprika, etc. as you see fit)
Dried lentils can be prepared in the same way as dried beans. To wit: soak in water overnight. The next morning, throw them in the crockpot and cook on low while you're at work. The next day, use them to make these lentil burgers. This method has the advantage of cooking out all the gastro-intestinal difficulties, and dried lentils are incredibly cheap.
Take the lentils and combine with the other ingredients. You may need to add more breadcrumbs/another egg to get them to hold completely together. Form into patties, and cook with a little olive oil, 3-4 minutes on each side.
Depending on how many sundried tomatoes you use (I used about 3/4 of a cup, chopped) and how much parmesan, you could conceivably make a batch for less than $1. Cost of hamburger buns and condiments are extra, of course; with a bag of 8 hamburger buns ($1.99), you're still looking at 8 big burgers for less than $3. I'll assume you already have ketchup and mustard in your fridge.That's about 38 cents each--a third of the cost of a Dollar Menu burger from McDonald's, and way healthier (and best of all, no chance of food poisoning).

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