Mediterranean Veggie Burgers with Sweet Potato, Red Lentils, and Quinoa

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers with Sweet Potato, Red Lentils, and Quinoa, served on Whole Grain bun with Avocado and Spinach

This recipe is a close adaptation of Martha Rose Shulman’s recipe for the New York Times. I actually had the pleasure of meeting her last week (#starstruck), because she’s moderating a panel at an upcoming conference that my company is hosting. Our lunch meeting was catered by SweetGreen, so basically it was an all-around perfect day.

In my version of the recipe, I decided to lighten things up a little bit and bake the patties, rather than coating in breadcrumbs and pan frying them. Shulman recommends serving the patties with raita, chutney, or a garlic mint yogurt sauce, but I went classic veggie burger style, and served them up on toasted whole wheat buns with avocado slices and fresh spinach.

My only previous attempt at veggie burgers was an awesome black bean burger recipe (with avocado mango salsa, might I add), so this was a totally different experience. But a delicious one, at that. The feta and chives really give these veggie patties a flavorful kick, and the lentils and quinoa provide that ever-important protein.

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers

My boyfriend was actually licking the bowl at this point. I’m telling you, these veggie burgers are GOOD!

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers with Sweet Potatoes, Red Lentils, and Quinoa

Serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup quinoa
  • 2/3 cup red lentils
  • 2 1/3 cups water
  • 2 medium sweet potatoes, baked (I just poked holes and microwaved them, about 4 minutes on each side)
  • 3 cups tightly packed, chopped fresh spinach, plus more for garnish
  • 3 oz crumbled feta (about ¾ cup)
  • ¼ cup finely chopped chives
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 8 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted (I like this brand)
  • 2 avocados, sliced

Method

  1. Combine water, quinoa, and lentils in a small pot and bring to a boil. Then cover and reduce to a simmer, until the outside germ of the quinoa separates into a curly tail, the lentils are tender, and the water has been absorbed (about 15-20 minutes).
  2. While the lentils and quinoa are cooking, skin the potatoes and place them in a large mixing bowl. Then add the spinach, feta, chives, mint, and lemon juice to the sweet potatoes.
  3. Once the lentil and quinoa mixture is cooked, let cool, then add it to the sweet potato mixture. Mash all ingredients together with a fork until mixed well.
  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Scoop ½ cup of the vegetable mixture, then roll and flatten into a patty. Continue with the rest of the mixture. Recipe makes 8 patties.
  5. Let patties refrigerate for at least an hour- the longer the better. (They can also be made up to two days ahead of time. In fact, they actually turn out better this way, as they have more time to set.)
  6. Bake at 350 degrees F for 25 minutes (no need to flip).
  7. Serve on a toasted whole grain bun with fresh spinach and sliced avocado.

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers

Nutrition per serving (1 patty on a 100% whole wheat bun with 1/6 avocado): 300 calories, 6.5 g fat (3g saturated fat), 46g carbohydrates (8.5g fiber, 8.5g sugar), 12g protein, 460mg sodium, 500mg potassium, 228% Vitamin A, 33% Vitamin C, 20% Calcium, 28% iron

 

Mediterranean Veggie Burgers

– Kelly

Oat Feast

Oat Feast

On a recent trip to New York City, Ashley and I got breakfast at one of my favorite Greenwich Village gems: OatMeals, an oatmeal cafe. Over a delicious bowl of Indian Spiced Oatmeal, filled with raisins, sliced almonds, crystallized ginger, cardamom, vanilla, brown sugar, and coconut milk, Ashley and I had a revelation. We could make these recipes at home. Additionally, our curiosity surrounding savory oats was growing stronger by the minute. And so, Oat Feast was born. A 3 course meal of oatmeal, topped off with an oatmeal stout. Rather than using the OatMeals menu to guide us, we ended up getting all of our recipes from the Oatmeal Artist, my favorite recipe blog.

Appetizer: Sweet Potato and Soyrizo Oatmeal

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Entree: Pizza Porridge

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Dessert: German Chocolate Baked Oatmeal

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While all of the recipes were easy and delicious, the Sweet Potato and Soyrizo Oatmeal was a standout! I highly recommend it as an introduction to savory oats, whether you like oatmeal or not. Rich sweet potato, spicy soyrizo, and creamy avocado were the perfect way to jazz up an unassuming porridge. Have you tried any creative oatmeal recipes lately? Do tell!

– Kelly

Lentil Love

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This post has been a long time coming. I seem to find myself talking about lentils more and more these days. In fact, I even did an in-depth commodity report on lentils for one of my gastronomy courses. Lentils are my favorite plant based protein source, not just because they are cheap and shelf stable, but because they are so gosh darn versatile! What else makes lentils so special?

  • Unlike other dried legumes, dried lentils DO NOT require an overnight soak. Simply bring lentils and water to a boil, then simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Lentils have tons of protein! According to the USDA food and nutrient database, 1/2 cup of cooked lentils has 9g of protein and 115 calories. Compare that to 7.5g of protein and 114 calories for black beans, 7.5g of protein and 112 calories for red kidney beans, and 8.5g of protein and 95 calories for edamame (all for 1/2 cup cooked).

When I catch myself talking about lentils, I am often surprised at how few people I meet actually have experience cooking with them. People often ask me for lentil recipes, so below, I compiled of a list of my 3 favorites (all healthy, of course!). If you have visited me for an extended period of time, chances are, I have made at least one of these recipes for you. Note that I always buy green lentils, but I hope to experiment with red and black one day soon!

Simple Stuffed Sweet Potato with Lentils

1. Lentil Stuffed Sweet Potato: I created this recipe on a day that my cupboards were particularly bare, and it has since become one of my favorite meals. See here for the recipe.

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2. Lentil Chili: This recipe from Whole Foods Market is incredibly easy and versatile! I always add a can (or 2 ears) of corn for a little bit of sweetness. My finishing touch is a dollop of nonfat, plain Greek yogurt.

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3. Lentil Sloppy Joes: Image and Recipe from Edible Perspective. This vegan recipe from the Edible Perspective is so perfect, that I follow it exactly as it’s written every time. No additions or substitutions necessary. And did I mention that it’s made completely in the slow cooker? Too easy!

Have you caught lentil fever yet? What are some of your favorite lentil recipes?

– Kelly

P.S. I’m not the only one that’s gaga for lentils. Check out this NPR article to learn more about my favorite plant based protein.

Desperation Dinners: Simple Stuffed Sweet Potato

Simple Stuffed Sweet Potato with Lentils

Confession: I have not been to the grocery store since before Thanksgiving. Before Thanksgiving!!! As a result, my fridge is looking pretty bare, and all I have left are a few pantry staples. Think you can’t make a delicious meal with a sweet potato, dried lentils, and Greek yogurt? Think again! This vegetarian meal is packed full of protein and fiber to keep you full for hours.

Simple Stuffed Sweet Potato

Simple Stuffed Sweet Potato with Lentils

Ingredients

  • 1
    medium to large sweet potato
  • 1/2 cup
    green lentils, cooked (I cooked up a few servings of lentils ahead of time)
  • 1/4 cup
    nonfat, plain Greek yogurt
  • Chili Powder
  • Paprika

Cooking Directions

  1. Rinse your dried lentils off before cooking. Cook the lentils by simmering them on the stovetop for about 30 minutes. Use a 2:1 ratio of water to lentils. There is no need to soak them overnight.
  2. Wash your sweet potato well, and then poke holes all over it with a fork. Microwave the potato for 5 minutes on high.
  3. Flip your potato over, assess its level of doneness, and microwave for an additional 2-4 minutes. If your lentils are coming from the fridge, this would be a good time to warm them up on the plate with the potato.
  4. Once your potato and lentils are warm and cooked, slice along the topside of your potato and pop it open. Be careful, it’s HOT!
  5. Give the potato a few good shakes of chili powder and paprika and mash it in with your fork.
  6. Next add ½ cup of cooked lentils into the potato, and sprinkle on more chili powder and paprika. This is where the flavor comes from!
  7. Finally, dollop on ¼ cup of nonfat, plain Greek yogurt, and sprinkle on a tiny bit more paprika and chili powder, for garnish. Serves 1. Enjoy!

Nutrition: 325 calories, 0g fat, 4mg cholesterol, 94mg sodium, 1050mg potassium, 63g carbohydrates (15g fiber, 17g sugar), 18g protein, 769% Vitamin A, 68% Vitamin C, 16% Calcium, 26% Iron

Nutrition Facts estimated using MyFitnessPal.

-Kelly