I had a craving for a burger, but not a supermarket burger, something a bit more deluxe. Deluxe veggie burgers aren't easy to find, so I had to make them myself.
I had a look in my fridge. My options were courgettes, red peppers, carrots, spring onions and potatoes. I stood gazing at them for a while (I am determined to have less waste from my salad drawer) then decided on courgette, red pepper and spring onions for my burgers.
I then had a look in my store cupboard for some sort of legume to bulk the burgers out. I wanted to make these burgers quickly, so it had to be tinned legumes. My choice - chickpeas, green lentils or kidney beans. I settled on the green lentils, but then I was brought up short. Graham is vegan now so I couldn't use an egg to bind them. Time for a bit of experimentation.
I don't know if you make vegan burgers and what you use as a binder instead of egg, but I thought, mashed potato, peanut butter or tahini might do the trick. I didn't want to wait while potatoes cooked and thought peanut butter might overwhelm the flavour, so I plumped for tahini and it worked very well.
Talking of overwhelming the flavour, as you can see from the photo, I put way to much mustard on my roll. It looks great in the photo, but it did drown the flavour of the burger a bit. So my advice is to go easy with your toppings. Graham did and said it was really tasty and Cooper enjoyed his too.
Everyone happy ✓
Craving satisfied ✓
Lentil Courgette & Thyme Burgers
A healthy veggie burger, packed with flavour for the whole family to enjoy. Made in 25 minutes, then chilled or frozen until you need them.
- 1 tbsp rapeseed oil
- 6 spring onions, finely sliced
- 1 medium courgette, grated
- 1 red pepper, finely diced
- 2 slices wholemeal bread, whizzed into breadcrumbs in a food processor
- 235g cooked green lentils
- 2 tbsp tahini
- a few sprigs fresh thyme or 1 tsp dried thyme
- 100g/1 cup frozen vegetarian (soya) mince
- 3 tbsp sweet chilli sauce (you could use tomato puree)
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- a good grinding of salt and pepper
1. Heat oil in a wok or large frying pan and add the spring onions. Toss in the oil for a few seconds.2. Add the pepper and cook for a few seconds more than add the courgette. Cook until the courgette starts to soften.3. Add the veggie mince and breadcrumbs and stir well. The mince and breadcrumbs will absorb the moisture from the courgette, which will prevent your ingredients from being too wet.4. Now add the lentils, chilli sauce, and soy sauce and mix well. Cook for a few minutes, so the veggie mince has a chance to cook through. 5. Add the tahini and season well. You will fell the mixture starting to come together.6. Put the mixture in a large bowl and leave to cool. Once it is cool enough to handle, shape into 7 balls, with floured hands, then gently squeeze into patties.7. Chill the burgers until you are ready to cook them. They will hold shape better if they are chilled for a while.8. Bake, griddle or fry the burgers. I fried mine a little rapeseed oil for a few minutes on each side until browned.9. Serve on toasted burger buns with your choice of toppings. Go easy on the mustard!10. Enjoy!
Yield: Makes 7 burgers