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Falafel Style Lentil Burgers with Creamy Feta Sauce

Posted May 01 2013 12:00am

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It is no secret that I love lentils . Between their high protein content and their earthy, nutty flavor – I’m always looking for more ways to squeeze lentils into my diet.

I’m also a huge fan of mediterranean flavors and the husband and I absolutely love falafel . And so, when I saw this recipe from Tasting Table, I absolutely had to try it!

These patties are made from tiny, quick cooking beluga lentils. Sweet potato is the sneaky ingredient that beefs up these patties and gives them a slightly sweet flavor. Spices like cumin, sumac, and oregano take you straight to the Mediterranean, and panko breadcrumbs + 1 egg helps bind the mixture together.

What you end up with is a delicious and nutritious falafel-style burger that is topped with a creamy feta and mint sauce that, truth be told, I could just eat straight from the bowl!

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You can use whole wheat pita bread as the “burger bun” for these patties, or you can actually put them in a whole wheat burger bun. Either one would work. The feta sauce acts like a healthy version of “mayo,” and you can top it with any fresh veggies you like! I chose tomatoes, red onions and cucumbers to keep with the falafel theme.

One thing to note is that these patties are slightly soft: they won’t become super firm like traditional veggie burger patties, so it’s important to add texture and crunch from all of the vegetable toppings you add to this dish.

Recipe credit:  Tasting Table

Yield: 4 burgers, Cook Time: 60 minutes

For the Burgers

  • ⅔ cup black beluga lentils (or green lentils), rinsed
  • ½ medium sweet potato, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes
  • 4 cups water
  • ½ small red onion, finely chopped
  • 1 large egg
  • ⅔ cup whole-wheat panko breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon sesame seeds
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon ground sumac (optional)
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • Nonstick pan spray

For the Toppings/Burger Buns

  • Four medium sized whole-wheat pitas
  • 2-3 vine-ripened tomatoes, cored and thinly sliced
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Diced red onions
  • Fresh baby spinach (optional)

For the Feta-Mint-Yogurt Sauce

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Step 1: Make the burgers: In a medium pot, add the lentils, sweet potato and water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce the heat to medium-low and gently simmer until the lentils and potatoes are tender, about 25 minutes. Drain the mixture.
. IMG_6996 IMG_6998 Step 2: Transfer the lentil mixture to a food processor. To the lentil mixture, add the onion, egg, panko breadcrumbs, sesame seeds, cumin, marjoram, oregano, sumac (if using), salt and pepper. Pulse until coarsely chopped, about five 1-second pulses. IMG_6999 IMG_7000 IMG_7002 Step 3: Shape the mixture into four 4- to 4½-inch patties, each about ½ inch thick.

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Step 4: Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Lightly coat the skillet with nonstick pan spray and add two of the lentil burgers. Cook until the burgers are browned, 3 to 4 minutes, then flip and cook on the other side, about 3 minutes more. Transfer to a large plate and repeat with the remaining patties.

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Step 5: Make the sauce: To a medium bowl, add the feta cheese, then use a fork to crumble it. Stir in the yogurt and mint.

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Step 6: Slice open each pita to create 2 round slices. Place a lentil burger on 4 bottom rounds and top each with some of the feta sauce and your veggies. Top with the remaining pita rounds. Serve immediately.

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Each serving includes: 1 burger patty, 1 whole wheat pita, and 1/4 of the sauce and veggies which ends up being pretty filling! For even more protein you can add 2 patties to your pita/burger sandwich and make it a double decker :)

But for the traditional amount (1 patty, 1 pita, 1/4 sauce), this recipe ends up being 340 calories, 6g fat, 54g carbs, 8g fiber, 10g protein. Not bad for a healthier falafel/burger dinner!

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The husband and I both loved this recipe. And while it did take an hour to make, it was totally worth it at the end!

From The Picky Eater: A Healthy Food Blog | Main Dishes | Mediterranean or Greek

Recipe credit: TastingTable.com
Nutritional Info Per Serving
340 Calories
6g Fat
54g Carbs
8g Fiber
10g Protein

01:00
00:00
01:00
4 servings

for 100 grams

Calories Fat Cal.

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