We tend to always go for bean burgers in this house and I find this mixture of beans and tortilla chips works particularly well. But sometimes, it’s good for a mix up and with the onset of Autumn, lentils seemed a far more appropriate choice.
I’ve not made lentil burgers before and was worried that the texture would be too crumbly and the taste lacking, but with a good wallop of mustard and the magic binding properties of aquafaba the resulting burgers are wonderfully flavoursome with no hint of cumbliness. The combination of lentils, mushrooms, shallots, garlic, herbs and mustard two ways gives a rich earthiness to the burgers, making them perfect for the Autumn table.
We served them in homemade chive bagel buns ( recipe to follow) and the hint of chive oniony flavour really enhanced the rich, deep flavour of the burgers. I think we’ll be having these often this Autumn!
Mustardy lentil burgers
(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, vegetarian and vegan)
1 cup cooked green lentils
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
3-4 medium mushroom, roughly chopped
1 slice of bread, processed or grated into breadcrumbs
1 tsp English mustard powder
1 tsp herbed de Provence
3 tsps Dijon mustard
3 tbsp aquafaba
- Fry the shallot in 1 tbsp olive oil until starting to turn golden, add the garlic and mushrooms and herbs and continue to cook until the mushrooms start to colour. Stir in the mustard powder
- Combine with the breadcrumbs and cooked lentils and process until well combined and fairly smooth
- Add the aquafaba and Dijon mustard and mix well. The mixture will be fairly sloppy. Form into four even sized patties and place in the fridge to firm up ( at least half an hour)
- Gently fry in oil until brown and crispy on the outside, then transfer to a medium hot oven (180 degrees) for 15 minutes to heat through.
- These freeze well after the initial frying, then simply defrost and heat in the oven.
I’ve always had a peculiar fondness for shepherds pie. It’s food that’s big on comfort and hard to beat as a hearty warming meal. Since last night was Guy Fawkes night (or bonfire night, always a big celebration in the UK) and we lit sparklers in the garden after school, this lentil and vegetable shepherd’s pie was just the ticket to warm up afterwards.
I have a real aversion to ‘fake meat’ products… you know the type of thing that is vegetarian but trying to look and taste exactly like its meaty counterpart. It’s just not for me. With that in mind I tend to use lentils rather than a mince substitute for the bulk of the pie filling – turning this dish into a healthy, satisfying and unmistakably vegetarian meal. You can blitz the filling a little or not at all depending on your preference.
Shepherdess Pie (dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, soya-free, sesame-free, gluten-free, vegetarian and vegan)
serves at least 4
- 1 onion, finely chopped
- 1 carrot, peeled and chopped
- 1 stick celery, peeled and chopped
- 1 red onion, deseeded and chopped
- 1-2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
- 1 cup sliced mushrooms
- 1 tsp dried oregano
- 1 glass of red wine
- 1 tbsp tomato purée
- 2 tins green or brown lentils
- 1 tin chopped tomatoes
- 1/2 tomato tin filled with water
- (optional) 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 1 tbsp balsamic
- 1-2 tbsps tomato ketchup
- Salt and pepper
- 4 baking potatoes
- 2 tbsps dairy-free spread
– In some olive oil sauté the onion, carrot and celery until softened but not browned.
– Add the pepper, oregano and garlic and continue sautéing. Once all the vegetables are nicely softened add the mushrooms and cook briefly.
– Pour in the wine, making sure to scrape up any residue. Reduce by 2/3rds.
– Stir in the tomato purée and cook out for a minute or two.
– Add the lentils and stir so all the veg are nicely combined
– Add the chopped tomatoes and water.
– Stir well and add the soy sauce (if using), balsamic and tomato ketchup.
– Simmer over a low heat for up to an hour.
– Taste and season as desired.
– (optional) Using a hand blender, blend half the mix to give a more combined texture.
– Meanwhile, make the mash. I like to bake my potatoes, then squeeze through a ricer, then stir in the dairy free spread
– Spread the lentil mix in the bottom of an earthenware baking dish.
– Top with the mashed potatoes
– Bake for 45 minutes until the top is thoroughly browned and the pie is steaming hot.
– Serve with fresh vegetables, preferably peas!