I did it. I created the perfect vegan (and gluten free) burger. This was preceded by one year of consistently trying to develop a recipe for a vegan gluten free burger that: a) would not fall apart when flipping, b) appeal even to the most ardent meat eater (my husband). I don’t want to spoil the ending for you guys, but: Everything sorted itself out in the end. I feel such a sense of achievement. Here they are…drumroll…my perfect buckwheat & lentil burgers.
If you are after a recipe for a vegan and gluten free burger, this buckwheat & lentil burger is the only one you’ll ever need! Both buckwheat groats and lentils are not only very cheap, but they are bursting with fiber and protein to make a meat burger pale in comparison. Far from just being another hipster food, buckwheat has traditionally been consumed for thousands of years, and for good reason! It is shock-full of antioxidants for a healthy heart and glowing skin and it boasts a unique amino acid combination compared to other grains. Buckwheat has been linked to lower cholesterol and blood pressure, and even the grain-phobic paleo community is in favour of buckwheat (which is actually not a grain, but a seed). Other benefits include an array of vitamins and minerals such as magnesium, manganese, phosphorus, and folate. And as buckwheat cooks a lot quicker than rice or quinoa, it is a great hassle-free addition to your pantry.
Lentils are a favourite among vegans and vegetarians. With a whopping 18 grams of protein per cup they keep you full and happy and are the perfect argument when you get asked: “Where do you get your protein?”. Lentils’ high level of soluble fiber has cholesterol-lowering benefits, improves digestion and keeps your arteries clean. Besides, its slow-burning carbs provide sustained energy and keep cravings at bay. All the more reason to include lentils in your diet more often – whether you are vegan or not!
Back to these burgers. So they are a nutrition bomb, easy to make, and – yes – they are indeed delicious. They are “meaty”, hearty, comforting, filling, satisfying, they don’t crumble, they are perfect. Bursting with high-value plant protein while boasting a moderate amount of healthy carbs and being low in fat, they make for a perfect main meal or snack. They are ready in 20-25 minutes – no chilling of the “batter” required – and freeze beautifully. So please add this recipe to your repertoire. You will know why!
Buckwheat & Lentil Burgers
Makes 12 burgers
1/2 onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
One cup dried green lentils
One cup raw buckwheat groats
2 cups vegetable stock
2 cups water
3 tbsp spice blend of choice (I used turmeric, cumin,coriander, cardamon, black pepper, nutmeg, cayenne pepper and paprika)
1 tsp salt
1/3 cup LSA
2 tbsp chia seeds
Sauté the onion and garlic in a large stockpot until soft and the onion is translucent. Add the lentils, buckwheat, stock and water and simmer together until the lentils are soft and the liquid is absorbed (this will take around 15-20 minutes). Let the mixture cool down a bit, then transfer to a high-powered blender with the spices, salt, LSA and chia. Blend in increments until you achieve a malleable mass. Be careful as the mixture will still be hot. Once no longer hot to the touch form 12 patties. Heat a non-stick pan (you might need to slightly oil it). Once it is hot, fry the patties about three to four at a time, depending on the size of your pan. Fry for approx. 3-4 minutes, then check with a spatula if they are dry underneath. If they seem dry and move easily around the pan, flip. They should be browned on the fried side. Fry for 3-4 minutes on the other side. (Depending on your stove and pan, it may take up to 5 minutes.)