Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Lentil Barley Burgers

I had decided we would have leftovers last night, but then, it just didn't happen. I got excited about this Lentil Barley Burger recipe from Cooking Light, and my idea of a leftover dinner just kind of faded away. I made some substitutions with this recipe - I used quinoa instead of barley, egg whites instead of eggs, and Pam instead of Canola oil. The process of creating these burgers was ridiculous. I had to cook quinoa and dry lentils, saute vegetables, let it sit in the fridge for an hour to set, etc. It took all afternoon. When I formed the patties, it was not looking good. They were super soft, and I just knew they would fall apart, as most homemade veggie burgers do. Surprise! They stayed together amazingly well, and they tasted very good. They definitely have an earthy, nutty flavor, and the texture is a perfect blend of chewy and soft, with an outer, crunchy layer. On the downside, I feel fairly sure that my substitutions downgraded the dish. If I had used barley, I think the flavor would have been a little nuttier, and if I had used a whole egg, as opposed to only the white, the patties may have been less gloppy once formed. Lastly, I think that omitting the canola oil took away from the crispy outer shell of the burger. Kevin mentioned that they tasted very... healthy. Even though I love the taste of "healthy," I definitely agreed with that assessment. By the way, the recipe is meant to be served with a fresh fruit salsa, which I didn't make. I did serve it with Newman's Own Pineapple salsa, though, and that was a perfect accompaniment to the dish.

Shredded carrots, chopped onions, and garlic.

Here are the formed patties, just before flattening.

Lentil Burgers on the stove top.

The finished product. I forgot to take a photo of them with the salsa, which would have been much more beautiful. I'm still getting used to taking pics of my cooking!
Oh no. We have so many leftovers. I even sent Kevin with leftovers for lunch today, because this is getting out of hand.

The Critique
I was very impressed with the consistency and texture of these burgers. Past veggie burgers have fallen apart and these were quite solid. The salsa really made them taste wonderful, too. I wasn't that much of a fan of the burgers on a bun, but they were still good. They definitely had a "this is healthy" taste to them, which isn't always so easy to describe. It was a tad bland and earthy tasting and I would like to try them again with either barley, bulgar, or brown rice instead of the quinoa. 4 bowls.

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