Candle Cafe Brown Rice & Lentil Vegan Burgers

Meal two for me trial vegan day came in the form of another Engine 2 Diet book recipe, the Candle Cafe Brown Rice and Lentil Burger. I’ve really enjoyed some good black bean burgers, even when I am in full on omnivore mode, so I was looking forward to trying this recipe out. While made as is it wasn’t bad, I think with some tweaks I could turn this into something I’d go to on a regular basis during my vegan phase.

You can follow the recipe at the hyperlink above, but I’ll go through the preparation and how I’d modify it moving forward.  The bulk of the recipe a mixture of lentils and brown rice.  You basically boil both until soft and then drain off the excess liquid.  While I drained the lentils, the rice was pretty dry by the time it was cooked down.  In hindsight I would say the lentils need to be cooked a bit more than usual, beyond their usual softness you’d cook them to do eat but instead slightly over cooked.  To that you add some sauteed onions, peppers and garlic.  While I cooked down the onions and peppers I think they need to be a very fine dice rather than a coarser dice.  In order to get patties which held together at all I needed to add a bit over half a cup of whole wheat flour.  I think if the lentils, onions and peppers were softer, and the peppers and onions diced smaller, they would have integrated much more easily.

The mixing process has you adding a teaspoon of sea salt and a teaspoon of chili powder for flavor.  While this is barely enough spice without any added flour, once you add the flour it becomes a bit muted.  I think it needs at least twice as much chili powder, or better a teaspoon of more of dry rub seasoning or something along those lines.  I also would suggest that there be a bit of a mashing, rather just a mixing phase, in order to force the ingredients to mix a bit better and more easily form a patty.

The nutrient profile of the patties is pretty solid.  It is pretty low in fat but very high in fiber, pretty decent in protein and has a good mi of micronutrients. I’m surprised the sodium is as high as it is.  I believe that FitDay is assuming there is some salt added to the cooking of the rice, and maybe the lentils as well, which was not added during the actual cooking.  The salt level is therefore at most half of what you see below.

I ate it on a regular bun since that was the only vegan bread I had in the house, with a side of homemade baked garlic fries. I’ll finish off the rest of the patties by freezing them and eating them over time.  The next time I make it I will definitely try these tweaks, which I think could make these pop even more.

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