Kid (and Parent) Approved Lentil Burgers
Today is #NationalBurgerDay and what better way to celebrate than with a healthy and delicious lentil burger! Lentil burgers are a great protein alternative and an easy recipe for small hands.
Let’s talk lentils. Lentils are a type of pulse, which simply means they are the edible seeds of a legume. Lentils are a versatile and low-cost substitute for meat. They cook easily and can be used in a wide variety recipes. One serving of cooked lentils (¾ cup or 175 ml) has 13 grams of protein, 12 grams of fibre and 5 mg of iron! In other words, a nutritious staple to keep in your pantry! Lentils come in plenty of colours and can be purchased dry or canned. Dry lentils tend to be less expensive but canned lentils can save you cooking time. Pro tip for canned lentils: after opening the can, rinse the lentils under cold water to remove excess salt. Click here for more great lentil recipes to try in your kitchen.
Back to the burger. This recipe is family friendly and is packed full of nutritious ingredients. Feel free to add other vegetables like spinach, mushrooms and celery. Dry or canned lentils can be used in this recipe - the cooking method will vary based on whichever you choose. The burger mixture can also be pureed using a food processor or blender to make a smooth texture - ideal for infants or children with food texture issues. Instead of burgers, you can also make lentil nuggets with this mixture. Did I mention these were versatile?
Kid Approved Lentil Burgers
A great protein alternative and the perfect burger for #NationalBurgerDay!
Prep Time: 15 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes Total Time: 60 minutes
1 tbsp vegetable oil
½ white onion, minced
1 clove garlic, pressed or minced
1 medium carrot, shredded
1 cup sweet potato, shredded
1 tbsp curry powder
½ tsp cumin
1 tsp paprika
½ cup dry green lentils (can be subbed for 1 400g can of canned lentils)
¼ cup breadcrumbs
Vegetable oil for frying
Whole grain buns and toppings such as lettuce, tomatoes and cheddar cheese.
Age appropriate knives
Large frying pan
Optional: food-chopper, garlic press, blender or food processor
Have your child rinse the carrot and sweet potato. Older children can help chop the onion and garlic. With adult supervision, children can also shred the carrot and sweet potato.
Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic and carrots. Reduce the heat and cook until softened (about 5 minutes). *Remember: adults should supervise at all times when using a hot stove.
Add the sweet potato, curry powder, paprika and cumin. Continue cooking for a couple more minutes.
Add the dry lentils and 1 ½ cups of water. Bring the mixture to a boil and reduce to low. Continue to simmer until the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft (about 25 minutes). *If using canned lentils, you will not need to cook the lentils. Cook the mixture only until the sweet potato is soft. Add the drained and rinsed lentils to the mixture.
OPTIONAL: at this stage you can blend the lentil mixture together in your food processor or blender to create a smooth textured burger. I blended half of the mixture to create a mixture between smooth and textured.
Transfer the mixture to a mixing bowl and allow to cool until just warm to the touch. Have your children add the egg and breadcrumb and stir until combined.
Let your children get their hands dirty and make some patties!
The burgers can be pan fried or baked. If pan frying, heat a small amount of oil in a large frying pan. Cook the burgers for 4-5 on each side until golden. If baking, preheat the oven to 375 degrees and place burgers on a parchment lined tray and bake for 25 minutes, flipping halfway through.
Serve on a whole grain bun with your favourite toppings like lettuce, tomato and cheddar cheese!
This recipe was adapted from Healthy Little Foodies: Lentil Burgers.