COCONUT LENTIL ANIMAL-FREE BURGER
Lentils, green split peas, brown rice, TVP (textured vegetable protein), rolled oats and sweetened coconut take the Original Animal-Free Burger on a different, but equally delicious journey into the world of homemade veggie burgers! Something a little out of the ordinary always delights!
Makes approx. 12 cups batter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees when ready to bake burgers
2 c. dried lentils
1/2 c. dried split green peas
1 c. brown rice
1 c. rolled (old-fashioned oats) – don’t substitute quick-cooking oats; we need the texture here
1 c. TVP (textured vegetable protein – available in stores that sell bulk foods; it’s cheap)
1 c. flaked sweetened coconut – not shredded
9 c. water
4 t. salt
1 t. black pepper
2/3 c. unbleached all-purpose flour
1 t. baking soda
Rinse lentils and peas in colander till all foam is removed.
Place lentils, peas, rice, oats, TVP, coconut and water in large soup pot. Stir well. Bring to boil, stir again. Cover tightly, reduce heat to low and cook for a total of 1-1/2 hours, removing cover to stir well every 30 minutes. This is important, so set your timer in 30 minute intervals.
When time is up, remove from stove. Add salt and pepper. Stir well to evenly distribute.
Now, combine flour and baking soda in bowl. Mix well to evenly disperse. Place 1/3 in wire mesh strainer and sift evenly over mixture in pot. Stir well, very well, till all is incorporated.
Sift 2nd and 3rd portions of the flour as before, stirring and stirring to make sure it is thoroughly incorporated. This will take a few minutes, so don’t rush this step.
Transfer to covered container and refrigerate overnight.
Forming and baking burgers:
Pour a few tablespoons vegetable oil in cup.
Decide how big you want the burgers – either 1/3 cup or 1/2 cup is good. I prefer 1/3 cup. These burgers are filling due to the density of ingredients.
Fill a 3rd cup measuring cup full with batter. Scoop out and place on counter. Do 6 or 12 of them.
Pick each one up and roll it into a smooth ball, like a meatball. Replace on counter.
Now, take a little oil and smear it on the counter in a circle. Place the burger ball on the oil. Using palm and fingers press down middle of ball lightly and repeatedly, working from the center to the edge, into a round shape, that’s about 1/2 inch (no more) high. Make it even all over. Push in edges/sides with hands and thumbs to form a smooth round shape with no jagged edges. Smooth the top, so there’s no lip on the edge – it will burn in the oven, and we want an even bake.
Liberally oil a large baking sheet. Carefully lift burgers ( I do 6 at a time) from counter with pancake turner and place on baking sheet.
Place on middle rack of preheated 350 degree oven. Set timer for 15 minutes.
When timer goes off, remove burgers from oven and carefully flip over.
Return to oven and bake 15 minutes longer.
Total baking time 30 minutes.
Transfer to cooling rack and repeat with remaining batter.
When burgers are cooled, place in covered plastic containers and refrigerate.
To serve: Since the burgers are already cooked, you only need to reheat. We do this in one of two ways.
Microwave: Place on plate, uncovered, till heated through. Serve.
LID-TO-SKILLET DRY-FRY METHOD
Restaurants do it all the time. They place a food item on the flat-top and cover it completely with a lid that sits on the flat-top. Most often they use it to melt cheese on something quickly. It works.
I use it to reheat my homemade animal-free burgers, rather than frying in oil or a couple drops of water, which would make them break apart. This method keeps the burger together, while the moisture from inside of the burger heats it throughout.
Lid-To-Skillet Dry-Fry: Place burger in dry skillet, over medium to high heat, depending on how much char you want. Place a saucepan lid that’s smaller than the skillet over the burger for 1-2 minutes – so that the rim of the lid actually sits on the skillet. Flip the burger and do the same for 1 minute longer. Serve.
You can also put the burger in a toaster, for a crisper burger. Don’t toast too long though.
Notes: The texture and flavor are different from the Original Animal-Free Burger – a little more delicate, a little more finessed, a little more upscale.
* If baking two trays at once, then swap the upper and lower trays – top goes to bottom and bottom goes to top, when you flip the burgers after fifteen minutes.
COCONUT LENTIL ANIMAL-FREE BURGER WITH PINEAPPLE
Fry 2 slices canned pineapple in skillet with a little margarine – both sides. Sprinkle a teeny bit of salt over pineapple, followed by a light sprinkling of brown sugar.
Cook burger using dry-fry lid-to-skillet method.
Spread both halves of a multi grain burger bun with softened margarine or veggie mayonnaise, or try a couple teaspoonfuls of chilled Cream Of Coconut by Goya.
Squirt prepared yellow mustard on top of margarine or mayo.
Top one bun half with shredded head (iceberg) lettuce. Top other bun half with very thinly shaved sweet onion.
Place 2 fried pineapple slices on top of onion, then place cooked burger on top of the pineapple. Close and serve.
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