Meatout Mondays: Leftover bean burgers

Leftover bean burgers on their way to becoming dinner. Photo by Bethany Fehlinger

Eating a bean burger seems like the easiest solution to my hunger during lunch or dinner, or both on some days, especially Meatout Mondays! While I do enjoy the frozen variety by Boca or Amy’s Kitchen from time to time (MorningStar Farms has good burgers for vegetarians), the aftertaste seems a little like dog food sometimes.

Making my own bean burgers has intimidated me in the past. However, once I made these sweet potato veggie burgers by Kathy at Health.Happy.Life. and my friends really enjoyed them, I have been more confident in the kitchen. Last month I made lentil portobello burgers from YumUniverse. They were super easy to transport and freezing the extras was a breeze, as I wrapped each in aluminum foil. I brought the leftovers with me for lunch each day until they were gone.

This Sunday, I unearthed the leftover frozen lentils, as I made too many for when I made the burgers in March, and found two sweet potatoes hiding in the pantry. Inspiration hit me, and I decided to combine these two recipes. My experiment was a success and made for a very yummy bean burger.

Two things I found key for this recipe: Add what you like. Maybe you like rosemary, dill or liquid smoke — go for it. This is a basic template. Experiment in your kitchen!

The second thing is, the burgers will be more stable after they have cooled in the refrigerator. You can eat them right away, but be advised that the burgers might be a little more squishy. (Read more with Stacia Fleegal’s Smart post.)

Leftover bean burgers
Makes about 11 medium burgers 

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups brown lentils, cooked
  • 2 large sweet potatoes, peeled
  • 1 1/2 cups white mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon oil (vegetable or olive)
  • 2 teaspoons Bragg’s liquid aminos 
  • 2 teaspoons garlic powder
  • 1/2 cup of panko crumbs

Recipe:

  1. Take out prepared lentils* (thawed if they were frozen) and put them in a large bowl.
  2. Peel and cook 2 sweet potatoes. I placed mine individually in the microwave for about 7 minutes each. You can boil or roast, depending on how much time you have. Then place in the large bowl with the lentils to cool.
  3. While the lentils and/or sweet potatoes cool, chop the mushrooms. Place in a pot and stir over low heat. Mushrooms give off a lot of water so no oil is necessary. Just keep an eye on them so they won’t burn; cook for about 7 to 9 minutes.
  4. Place mushrooms in the large bowl. Add garlic and liquid aminos. Mash with a potato masher until all the ingredients are incorporated, about 5 minutes. Then add the panko crumbs and stir until mixed.
  5. If the mixture is cool enough to handle, start forming patties with the mixture. The size is up to you, but the bigger they get, the less stable the burger will be.
  6. Place the tablespoon of oil in a pan on medium heat, and then place your burgers in the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes on each side. The bottom will get a little char but not the whole burger. That is OK.
  7. Remove and eat. If you are planning to store the burgers, let them cool on a plate; do not stack them yet. Once they are cool, you can freeze them or leave them in the refrigerator. For best freezing results, package burgers individually in foil.
* If you don’t have prepared lentils, here is how you can make your own: Place 1 cup of dried lentils in a bowl and cover with water. Place in the refrigerator overnight. Drain the next day, place in a pot and cover with fresh water. Cook for 20 minutes or until lentils are soft, and drain again. Cool in a bowl.

Have a recipe to share? Email bfehlinger@ydr.com. 

About Bethany Fehlinger

Bethany Fehlinger is a multiplatform journalist in the features department at the York Daily Record. She is a graduate of Penn State University, is a York City dweller and has been vegan and geek for more than three years. Twitter: @Wonder_vegan
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