These homemade bean burgers are small enough that two or three can ﬁt into your lunch box. Tuck them into Mini Burger Buns (page 196) with lettuce, tomato and all the ﬁxins. This recipe features my very favorite grain: amaranth. Amaranth is a tiny, gluten-free grain that is rich in protein and has twice as much iron as wheat. I love its ﬂavor and sticky texture.
Author of Vegan Lunch Box Around the World
12-13 mini burgers
2 cups cooked drained lentils (see cooking instructions below or use canned)
½ cup dry amaranth
1 tablespoon olive oil
½ cup onion, ﬁnely diced (about half a medium onion)
1 large carrot, peeled and grated
¼ teaspoon celery seeds
½ cup quick or instant oats (or old-fashioned oats pulsed in a food processor)
2 tablespoons ketchup
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast ﬂakes
½ teaspoon salt, or to taste
½ cup toasted sunﬂower seeds
1. To cook the lentils, add 1 cup dry lentils to 3 cups boiling water and cook until the lentils are soft, about 30 minutes.
2. Drain, measure out 2 cups of lentils and place them in a large mixing bowl (save any extra lentils for another use).
3. To cook the amaranth, add the amaranth to 1 cup boiling water.
4. Lower the heat and cook, covered, until the amaranth is cooked and all the water is absorbed, about 25 minutes.
5. Add the cooked amaranth to the mixing bowl.
1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Line a baking pan with parchment paper and spray with nonstick spray. Set aside.
2. Heat the olive oil in a nonstick or cast-iron skillet over medium heat and sauté the onion, carrot and celery seeds until the carrot is soft, about 8 minutes. Add to the mixing bowl along with the oats, ketchup, nutritional yeast flakes and salt.
3. Grind the sunflower seeds into a coarse meal using a food processor. Add them to the mixing bowl and mix and mash everything together. Form mixture into 12 to 13 small patties, about 2 3/4 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick, and place them on the prepared baking sheet. Moisten your fingers with a bit of water to keep the mixture from sticking as you work.
4. Bake for 20 minutes, until dry on the top, then flip the patties over and bake for another 10 minutes, until firm and brown.
5. Serve immediately or let cool completely before packing. (Mini Veggie Burgers also freeze well.)
Gluten-free (if using certified gluten-free oats), wheat-free, soy-free, nut-free.
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