Here’s a delicious recipe to help in celebrating National Hamburger Day! It’s a good idea to go meatless if only for one day a week, and after all the Memorial Day grilling that Americans enjoyed this past weekend, a meatless burger is a fantastic filling and nutrient dense option.
Green Lentil Burger (GF, V, DF)
Ingredients (see below for beneficial properties of these ingredients):
1 3/4 cups cooked green lentils (or canned – choose BPA-free brand)*
3/4 cup cooked sweet potato flesh (about 1 small)
½ cup quick oats
1 large egg (or a flax egg if vegan)
1 cup chopped kale (or 1/2 Cup from frozen)
1/2 cup chopped leeks (can sub onion)
1/2 cup corn (I used organic frozen sweet corn)**
3/4tsp smoked paprika
3/4 tsp garlic powder
3/4 tsp chili powder
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp cumin
Ground black pepper to taste
Optional: if mixture seems too wet, add 1-2 Tbsp of garbanzo flour (or more oats)
*Purchasing tip: If I am purchasing canned, I buy beans at Trader Joe’s because they do not contain BPA. A risk of using canned foods is that the cans are lined with the chemical BPA. If you don’t live near a Trader Joe’s, click here for brands that are BPA free.
**If not purchasing organic for these items, at least choose Non-GMO Project Verified brands to ensure your food is free of genetic engineering.
– Cook dried green lentils according to directions on package.
-Bake sweet potato (I bake multiple at a time and use the rest later in the week or freeze) at 350 degrees F for about 30 min in covered casserole or baking dish (or foil).
-Keep oven at 350 F to bake the burgers.
-Mash lentils with a fork (they don’t have to be completely mashed) in a large bowl.
-Remove skin from sweet potato (eat as a snack instead of creating food waste 🙂 )and mix with lentils.
-Add egg, oats, veggies and spices. Stir well.
-Form mixture into 6 patties on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
We had ours open-faced on some garbanzo bean flat bread and in addition to lettuce, tomato and onion, topped the burgers with an avocado garlic spread (simply an avocado & a couple garlic cloves in the magic bullet). You can also break it up on top of a salad or put in a tortilla or lettuce wrap with more veggies and your favorite hummus.
Real Ingredients with Real Health Benefits:
Lentils don’t get as much attention as they should. Per 1/4 C dry serving, at only 170 Calories, lentils provide more protein and iron than beans with 13 g and 3.6 mg respectively. You’ll get lots of B-vitamins from this legume, especially thiamin and folate. They’re also a great source of choline, potassium and many minerals. Lentils are high in both insoluble and soluble fiber; soluble being the type that helps reduce blood cholesterol levels.
Sweet Potatoes have many beneficial nutrients! Other than a good mix of soluble & insoluble fiber, they provide lots of Vitamin A and are also rich in Vitamin C, B6, potassium and manganese. You’ll also get some copper, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, B vitamins and even calcium. Sweet Potatoes give you carotenoids and quercitin as well, which are phytochemicals
Oats provide protein, fiber and various B vitamins such as folate, thiamin, riboflavin and pantothenic acid. Oats are packed with the following minerals – include iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, zinc and copper. For more on the health benefits of oats and some oatmeal recipes, click here.
Even though “superfood” has no definition, I refer to kale as one. One serving gives you more than your daily need of Vitamins A, C and K. It is also a known vegetarian source of calcium and iron as well as magnesium and copper. In terms of phytochemicals, kale provides about 40 flavonoids which are great antioxidants.
Leeks and Garlic are part of the same family, providing the phytochemicals allicin and sulfides which are linked to improved immunity and respiratory health. Leeks also provide Vitamins C, B6 and folate.
I am sure you know that eggs provide you with protein. Believe it or not, its the yolk that packs all the micronutrients though! Eggs are one of few dietary sources of Vitamin D and also provide nutrients like selenium, B12, folate, choline and carotenoids. Most research shows eggs do not have a negative impact on heart health! Click here for some facts from the Egg Nutrition Center.
Yes, corn, actually does have some health benefts – when you eat real the whole kernel anyway. Yellow corn contains fiber, folate, potassium, and antioxidant carotenoids which are great for your eyes and immune system.
Cayenne & chili powder both contain capsaicin. Capsaicin has long been used for decreasing joint pain and inflammation topically but in the body may aid in appetite control, metabolism and intestinal inflammation. Oh and you aren’t the only one who gets a runny nose from spicy food – these peppers can all help clear your sinuses!
Paprika is one of my favorite tasting spices and it actually contains a decent amount of Vitamins A, E, K, B6 ans riboflavin as well as some potassium. While there are many varieties of Paprika, they all have similar nutrition benefits and the generic one you see at the store is just fine! It’s phytochemical benefits are similar to cayenne and chili powder due to the capsicum.
While cumin does contain manganese, magnesium, calcium and especially iron, you generally do not get high amounts of those minerals since it is used in such small amounts in recipes. We do know however that cumin is a potent antioxidant containing phenolic acids and carotenoids.
Nutrition Information (burger only):
Servings: 6 (*Athletes may want to split into just 4 servings)
Total Fat: 1.5 g
Saturated Fat: < 0.5 g
Polyunsaturated Fat: < 1 g
Monounsaturated Fat: 0.5 g
Cholesterol: 40 mg (0 if making w/ flax egg)
Fiber: 7.5 g
Sugar: 3 g
Protein: 9.5 g
Sodium: 250 mg 16 %
Potassium: 175 mg 9%
Vitamin A: 47% Thiamin: 17% Riboflavin: 12%
Niacin: 10% Pant Acid: 16% Vitamin B6: 18%
Folate: 15% Vitamin C: 15% Vitamin E: 4%
Vitamin B12: 4% Calcium: 4% Iron: 15%
Zinc: 15% Magnesium: 17% Copper: 25%
Selenium: 12 % Manganese: 45% Phosphorus: 25%
**vitamins & minerals are listed as % daily value; you may need more than 100% each day if you’re an athlete, have a deficiency disease, or other medical concerns