I am far from being a vegetarian but over the years I have drastically reduced my meat consumption, and this is another example of how delicious a meatless meal can be. In the title of this post I referred to these as burgers but I made them into smaller patties for dinner and ate them with a salad. They are really easy to make and so delicious my mouth is watering looking at the photo. Keep in mind that these are on the delicate side, meaning if you make them as full sized burgers they are a bit crumbly...that's how homemade vegetable burgers often are, it would be difficult to emulate the highly processed store-bought burgers with tons of salt and paragraph-long ingredient list. I added curry to these but any of your favorite seasonings would work (chili, cumin, and cheddar cheese, for example for a southwest flare, or basil, feta, and sun dried tomatoes for Mediterranean flavors). Anyhow, while the recipe may sound a bit complicated after reading through you'll see it's not. If you are attempting to go meatless permanently or for just a meal this is a simple and delicious option (did I mention they were delicious).
Carrot, Lentil, and Brown Rice Burgers
Makes about 8 small patties or 4 large burgers
3 tablespoons canola oil, plus more for cooking the patties
1 small onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 tablespoons curry
1 teaspoon kosher salt
½ cup brown rice
½ cup brown lentils
4 cups water
1 large egg
1 slice whole wheat bread, diced with crust removed
1 medium carrot, grated
Heat 3 tablespoons of oil in a small pot. Add the onion and garlic; cook for a minute or two, then add the curry; cook for another minute. Add the salt, rice, and lentils; stir to coat with the oil and spices, then add the water. Bring the water to a boil then lower it to a simmer. Simmer for about 45 minute, or until the rice and lentils are very soft and most of the water has been absorbed (add more if too much evaporates before the rice is cooked). Drain the lentils and rice, squeezing out excess liquid. Allow to cool for a few minutes; preheat an oven to 350F. Puree have of the lentil-rice mixture in a food processor then transfer it to a bowl with the remaining un-processed mix. Add the egg, diced bread, and shredded carrot. Stir until thoroughly combined and allow to rest for 5 minutes, then shape into burgers or patties. Heat a skillet with canola oil over medium high heat and brown the patties on both sides, then transfer to a baking sheet. Bake the patties for about 10 minutes, or until cooked throughout.