Lentil-Mushroom Burgers

These hearty veggie burgers, courtesy of world record-holding ultramarathoner Scott Jurek (one of my running inspirations) in his book Eat and Run, have become a new favorite of mine. Packed with protein and fiber, they are a perfect post-run meal or long run snack. Best of all, they are 100% plant-based and incredibly flavorful!

Though the ingredient list and lengthy process may seem a bit daunting, these delicious burgers are well worth the effort. They freeze well, so you can make many of them at one time and have them on hand for times when you need a quick, easy meal.

* This recipe comes directly from Scott Jurek’s website but includes my own minor adaptations.

What you’ll need:

1 cup dried green or brown lentils (I find that brown lentils hold together better)
2 1⁄4 cups water
1 teaspoon dried parsley
1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 1⁄4 cups finely chopped onion
3⁄4 cup finely chopped walnuts
2 cups fine bread crumbs
1⁄2 cup ground flax seed (flax seed meal)
3 cups finely chopped mushrooms
1 1⁄2 cups destemmed, finely chopped kale, spinach, or winter greens
2 tablespoons coconut oil or olive oil
3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄2 teaspoon black pepper
1⁄2 teaspoon paprika

Step 1. In a small pot, bring the lentils, water, parsley, 1 garlic clove, and 1⁄4 cup of the onion to a boil. Reduce the heat and simmer, partially covered, for 35 to 40 minutes, until the water is absorbed and the lentils are soft.

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I’ve decided that lentils may very well be the plant-based runner’s perfect food. In addition to their high protein content, they are rich in potassium and iron. Just be sure to sort them carefully before cooking to remove any rocks or stems.

Step 2. While the lentils are cooking, combine the walnuts, bread crumbs, and flax seed in a bowl. Add the nutritional yeast, salt, pepper, and paprika and mix well.

yeast

Nutritional yeast is a deactivated yeast and contains 8g of protein in 1/4 cup. Typically sold as dry flakes, nutritional yeast provides a nutty, cheesy flavor and is a great staple to have on hand.

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You’ll need a very large bowl to mix all of the ingredients together.

Step 3. Ensure that the remaining onion, remaining garlic, mushrooms, and greens are chopped very finely; otherwise, they won’t stick together very well as you form the burgers.

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A lot of beautiful, fresh vegetables go into this recipe, making it a true veggie burger.

Step 4. In a large pan, sauté the remaining onion, remaining garlic, the mushrooms, and greens in the oil for 8 to 10 minutes, then set aside.

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These veggies will reduce quick quickly as they cook.

Step 5. Remove the lentils from the heat, add the vinegar and mustard, and mash with a potato masher or wooden spoon to a thick paste.

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The mustard and balsamic vinegar provide the necessary moisture to keep the burgers from crumbling.

Step 6. In a large mixing bowl, combine the lentils, sautéed veggies, and bread crumb mixtures, and mix well. Cool in the refrigerator for 15 to 30 minutes or more.

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Once the ingredients are fully combined, the burger mixture is easy to form into patties.

Step 7. Using your hands, form burger patties to your desired size and place on waxed paper.

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There’s no crumbling with these veggie burgers!

Step 8. Bake on a lightly greased cookie sheet for about 10 minutes, or grill until lightly browned and crisp, 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Extra uncooked patties can be frozen on wax paper in an airtight container.

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Because the burgers are already fully cooked when you form them, the baking/grilling process is fast and serves to make them crisp on the outside.

Step 9. Serve and enjoy!

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Homemade sweet potato fries make a fantastic side dish to a lettuce, tomato, and avocado-topped veggie burger.

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These burgers are also a perfect filling for a homemade pita pocket!

Visit Scott Jurek’s website for more fabulous plant-based recipes.