January 03, 2013

Lentil Burgers & Sweet Potatoes Fries

A new year means a renewed interest in eating healthy and menu planning, right? :)  First up on my menu plan this week was Jamaican jerk lentil burgers, which are the ones I concocted in an attempt to replicate my favorite dish at Cafe Manna.

At Cafe Manna, the lentil burger is served with vegetables.  I should have done the same if I were serious about new year's resolutions and all that jazz.  Instead, we tried out the sweet potato fries we bought at Trader Joe's recently. 

Previously we always purchased Alexia's sweet potato waffles fries, but we both preferred Trader Joe's sweet potato frites.  In fact, as we were checking out even the cashier raved about how good they are.

It took me exactly an hour from start to finish to make dinner, which is longer than I'd like for a weeknight meal, especially after my first day of work after a long holiday break. I was wishing I had enough ingredients to double the recipe because I'm guessing these would freeze very well, just like black bean burgers do.

Don't get me wrong, these are well worth the effort.  However, it sure would be nice to have some in the freezer for a quick weeknight dinner...although I think it could be dangerous to have Trader Joe's fries stocked in my freezer :)

Jamaican Jerk Lentil Burger

Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 35 minutes

Ingredients (4 burgers)
    Jamaican Jerk Seasoning
    • 1 tablespoon onion powder
    • 1 1/4 teaspoons dried thyme
    • 1 teaspoon ground allspice
    • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
    • 1/4 teaspoon salt
    • 2/3 cup lentils
    • 2 cups water
    • 1 cup quick brown rice
    • 1 cup water
    • 1 tablespoon olive oil
    • 1/2 large shallot, minced
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons grated fresh ginger
    • 1 1/2 teaspoons minced garlic
    • 1 tablespoon Jamaican Jerk seasoning
    • 1/4 cup carrot, shredded (1 large carrot)
    • 1/2 cup panko
    • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
    • 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
    Spicy Aioli
    • 1/2 cup light mayonnaise
    • remaining Jamaican Jerk seasoning (about 1 tablespoon)
    • 1/4 teaspoon Sriracha sauce
    • 4 whole-wheat hamburger buns, toasted
    • In a small bowl, combine spices to make Jamaican Jerk seasoning. Set aside.
    • In a large saucepan bring 2 cups of water to a boil. Meanwhile, spread lentils out on a light colored plate to check for, and remove, small stones or debris. Then place lentils in a strainer, and rinse thoroughly under cool running water.
    • After the water comes to a boil, add the rinsed lentils. When water returns to a boil, cover with the lid tilted, and turn down the heat to gently simmer. Green lentils usually take about 25 minutes, while red ones require 15 minutes. When the lentils become slightly mushy, remove from heat, drain any excess water and set aside.
    • When the lentils have approximately 15 minutes cook time remaining, place rice and 1 cup of water in a microwave-safe bowl. Cover, and cook for 7 minutes on high. Let stand 5 minutes. Set aside.
    • In a large skillet, heat olive oil over medium heat. Add shallot, ginger, and garlic, and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Mix in 1 tablespoon Jamaican Jerk seasoning salt and continue cooking for 2 minutes. Remove from heat and mix in the cooked rice and cooked lentils.
    • Pour mixture into a large bowl and add carrot, panko, parsley, and lime juice. Then mash together with a potato masher until mixture can be shaped into patties. This recipe makes four to six burgers, depending on the size of the patties.
    • Heat a large skillet (same one as before) coated with cooking spray over medium heat. Saute patties for 3-4 minutes on each side. While patties are cooking, make the spicy aioli by adding the the mayonnaise and Sriracha sauce to the small bowl with the remaining Jamaican Jerk seasoning. Mix well.
    • Spread the spicy aioli on the top and bottom of each toasted bun, then add a burger, and lettuce, onion and tomato, if desired.
    Recipes adapted from: Spark People -Jamaican Lentil Burger, All Recipes - Jerk Seasoning, Food Network - Spicy Aioli
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    1. I love experimenting with vegetarian burgers, but I've yet to try lentils. I definitely need to taste this before I attempt it at home :) HINT HINT!

      1. Ha, I'd love to make lentil burgers for you! If I remember correctly, an apple tart with caramel sauce was also on your list of items you'd like to try, so I can make that for dessert. I love cooking and it's even more enjoyable when I get to enjoy a meal with others...ideally carnivores who don't complain about the lack of meat in the meal :)

    2. Mmm, I'll have to try this one..