Lentil Walnut Burgers or Loaf

Lentil Walnut Burgers or Loaf

Whether you turn this into burgers or a loaf, either are delicious to eat alone, with a bun with condiments, broken up and added to spaghetti sauce or added to other dishes in creative ways. They are nice on a plate, with a side of something simple and green, like kale salad, cooked warm greens, salad, and, if that’s not quite enough, baked yams.

This is one of my favorite hearty dishes. It is especially nice for a main meal and especially during cool weather. It is dense, heavy and warming so nice to pair with lighter fare on the side.

This is naturally gluten free if you use gluten-free oats and gluten-free tamari.


1.5 cups organic short grain brown rice

1.5 cups organic brown lentils

6 cups water

One large onion, minced

Few small cloves of garlic, finely minced (optional. omit if high pitta)

1 cup finely chopped shitake mushrooms (optional)

1 TB olive oil (or water-sauté the onions, garlic and mushrooms if you are avoiding oil)

1 TB mix of dried sage, rosemary & thyme

1 cup walnuts

½ cup old fashioned oats

½ cup large flake nutritional yeast

1 TB low-sodium tamari (omit if you are avoiding salt)

1 TB organic catsup

1 TB organic mustard (the condiment)

Put lentils, rice & water in a 2 quart, heavy-bottomed pot. Bring to a boil and then turn down and simmer until the water is fully absorbed and the rice and lentils are cooked—45-60 minutes. Have a nice meal for a couple people of this with a bit of butter, tamari and gomasio (roasted, ground sesame seeds–I like to make that without salt. If you get or make it with salt, you will not need the tamari),  with some steamed greens on the side. Put the rest of the lentil rice mix aside for the burgers.

In a cast iron pot or other large, heavy-bottomed pot, on medium heat, sauté (or water-sauté, if you are avoiding oil) the onions for a minute, add the garlic and sauté another minute and then add the mushrooms and herbs, turn the heat to low and sauté, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are cooked through. Turn off and set aside.

Put the oats and walnuts into a Vitamix or other blender, and blend them until they are like a dry paste. Add this to the lentil mix.

Add the rest of the ingredients. Stir well, until everything is thoroughly mixed.

For burgers: If you’re going to turn these into burgers, form the mix into burger-sized patties and either bake them at 400 for 20-30 minutes (you can brush them with a little olive oil on both sides if you are not avoiding oil)—or until they develop a little crust on the outside. Alternatively, you can fry them in a little olive oil in a cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed pan until they are browned on both sides. The mix can be safely kept in the fridge for a few days and formed into patties and fried when you are ready to eat them.

For a loaf: If you’re going to turn the mix into a lentil loaf instead of burgers, oil your loaf pan/s, press the mix into the pan/s, brush some olive oil onto the top of the mix in the pan and bake in an oven at 400 for 30 minutes, or until there is a little crust on the top of the loaf. The # of pans you use will depend on the size pan and how much of the mix you wish to turn into a loaf. You can eat it fresh and hot and keep the leftovers in the fridge, slicing off a chunk and frying it in a lightly-oiled pan gently on both sides when you’re ready for another piece.

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