CHEF TIMOTHY: It's almost time to fire up the barbecue grill. But don't brag to your family and friends that you're the master chef until you've tried making the spicy lentil cauliflower burger – totally different in taste than the hamburgers and golden fries we are accustomed to eating.
With this burger, we hope to recapture those flavors – or more succulent flavors – that tantalize the taste buds. However, we're going to prepare the spicy lentil cauliflower burger in a non-fattening way.
The burger world is changing with the introduction of more fatty and greasy burgers that are often promoted as healthy. As consumers, we must consider our overall health and the high rate of obesity linked to our consumption of fast food.
Some of the burgers at several fast food chains may contain as many as 770 calories per burger. They also contain up to two grams of fat, which is the entire daily intake recommended by the American Heart Association.
Still, we all love to eat those hot juicy burgers fresh off the grill, even though the trans fat in them can adversely affect the cardiovascular system. Although we look for good taste, the impact that food has on our bodies and our lifestyles can either cause detriment or build good health.
It's amazing how small dietary changes can have a great impact on our lives and reverse our health problems. This year, let's start by making the best food selection whenever possible. Let's serve meals that taste good and are also good for the body.
In that context I suggest the spicy lentil California burger served with cauliflower potatoes and a spring salad with fresh herbs. This meal tastes as good as it looks. It's easy to prepare and fun to eat. It's sure to become a favorite with everyone all year round.
Spicy Lentil Cauliflower Burger Ingredients:
Makes 6-8 medium-sized burgers
1/2 cup dried whole red or brown lentils (If dried beans and soaking are not available: purchase two 15 oz. cans of lentils using 1.5 cups only.)
2 cups water
1/2-teaspoon garlic powder or 2-3 cloves minced garlic
1/2-teaspoon spices/spice mix of choice or Mrs. Dash
1/2 head of cauliflower grated
2 tablespoons whole-wheat flour or Almond flour
2-tablespoon onion flakes
1/2-teaspoon cumin powder
1/4-teaspoon chili powder to taste
1/2-teaspoon garlic powder
Read recipe twice before making.
Soak the dry lentils for about an hour. Wash and rinse, drain. (Or use 1.5 cups of cooked lentils.) Place in pot. Cook on low/medium, partially covered for half an hour, stirring occasionally until easily squished. Drain, cover and set aside.
Grate the cauliflower with a food processor. Spread on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 12-15 minutes until the cauliflower begins to get crisp and golden. Place in large bowl.
Add cooked red lentils and all spices and mix well. Mash slightly. Taste and adjust the spices.
Add flour; mix until mixture easily comes together. (Add 1 TBS flour as needed) Make burger patties. Place on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake for 20 to 25 minutes at 400 degrees F.
The patties can be made ahead and kept refrigerated. Serve on whole grain buns or on a bed of lettuce or fresh kale.
Top with all your favorites.
Enjoy and Share!
1 large head of cauliflower washed.
Break the cauliflower into small bite-size pieces. Spread on a baking sheet on parchment paper. Bake at 400 degrees F for 25 minutes. Remove from oven. Sprinkle with your favorite spices.
Spring Salad with Fresh Herbs
Will make 6-8 servings
1 head of Romain lettuce
1 red leaf lettuce,
1 red onion sliced
1/2 cup chopped carrots
1 cup of cherries tomatoes
1/2 red bell pepper sliced
1/2 cup sliced or shredded zucchini
1/2 cup of fresh rosemary, dill, basil leaf chopped up
Mix all the ingredients and toss in a large bowl. Add your favorite no-fat dressing. (I squeeze fresh lemon juice as my dressing.