Lentils are packed with fiber, protein, and minerals, and versatile enough to eat in everything from the best veggie chili to veggie burgers so hearty and nutritious they easily replace a beef patty. This recipe makes use of red lentils, which are a bit sweet, malleable, and packed with protein, as well as quinoa, a flavorful Andean staple the Incas called "mother of all grains."

Lentil Burger
(Makes 8 servings)

Ingredients

  • 1/3 cup red quinoa
  • 1/3 cup red lentils
  • 2 cups button mushrooms, finely chopped
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, plus more for searing
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 cup parmesan
  • 1/3 cup chopped chives
  • 1/4 tsp sriracha
  • 1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup panko or regular bread crumbs
  • 8 slices Gruyère
  • 8 whole-grain buns
  • 16 pickle slices
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 8 leaves romaine lettuce

Preparation

Step One
In a medium saucepan, cook the quinoa in 2/3 cup boiling water until just tender, about 13 minutes. Remove and let cool.

Step Two
In same saucepan, cook lentils in 1 1/3 cups boiling water until just tender, about 15 minutes. Add to quinoa and let cool.

Step Three
Meanwhile, sauté the mushrooms with garlic and onion powders in 2 tbsp oil until soft, about 7 minutes. Let cool.

Step Four
In a bowl, whisk the egg. Add the mushrooms, then stir in the parmesan, chives, sriracha, quinoa, lentils, and black pepper.

Step Five
Fold in the panko and let stand for 5 to 10 minutes.

Step Six
Form 1/2-inch-thick patties, each 4 inches in diameter.

Step Seven
In a large nonstick skillet, heat 1 tbsp of oil. Add patties and cook until golden on the bottom, 2 minutes.

Step Eight
Add 1 tbsp of oil to the skillet, flip patties, add one slice Gruyère to each, and cook for 2 minutes, until golden. Repeat with remaining patties.

Step Nine
Place each patty on a whole-grain bun. Add pickles, avocado, and romaine. Serve immediately.