As my littlest one has firmly entered the finger foods stage and almost always insists on feeding herself, I've been trying new recipes with her in mind—like these Lentil and Carrot Burgers. They are easier for her to eat than plain lentils (though she has tried to pick up lentils one at a time which makes for a rather endless meal!) and have a nicely balanced mix of ingredients. Plus, with flavors similar to falafel, they are super yummy for the rest of us too!
I played around with this idea for the past few weeks and seriously streamlined the method. I also adjusted my original plan so that these are nut, egg, and dairy free. And while you do need to use the food processor to grind up the batter, the recipe comes together entirely in the food processor and then the cooking method is entirely hands off so you can go play with the kids while dinner cooks. We like these vegetarian burgers on rolls, alongside a grain (like rice or quinoa) or even as a snack on their own. And I like to send one, diced, in the baby's lunch to her sitter's when there are leftovers—or add a few to a spinach salad for myself
I often make these in the morning and let them sit in the fridge all day. They are totally fine after a quick reheat in the oven or microwave. (They can get pretty soft when reheating, so err on the side of less time reheating, especially if using the microwave.)
Nutrition: These burgers have fiber, protein, iron, and B vitamins from the lentils and Vitamins A and C from the carrots.
Lentil and Carrot Burgers
You can top these with melted cheese to serve if you'd like. Simply add a little shredded cheese on top for the last few minutes of baking. We like them topped with ketchup or a simple Lemon Tahini Dressing and hot sauce for the adults.
2 cups lentils, prepared according to package directions
2 medium carrots, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
1 small onion, halved, peeled and roughly chopped (about 1 cup)
2 cloves garlic, peeled
2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon coriander
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup bread crumbs or flour (regular or gluten-free)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a Silpat.
2. Place all ingredients except the breadcrumbs or flour into a food processor. Process until very smooth, stopping to scrape down the sides of the container as needed, for about 1 minute. Pulse in the breadcrumbs or flour. Use a 1/4-cup measuring cup to portion into burgers and/or a 1 tablespoon measuring spoon to measure into mini burgers. Place onto the prepared baking sheet and flatten slightly into rounds.
3. Bake for 20-22 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve warm with rolls, with a side of rice or another grain, or over a salad for mom and dad.