Recipe: Smoked Cheddar-Stuffed Lentil Burgers

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I just couldn’t pass making this recipe my own when I spied it in an old Cooking Light magazine I had. I pumped up the spices and picked an applewood-smoked cheddar for maximum flavor. I plan on using the fresh, crisp lettuce one of my cooking class students brought me from her garden yesterday. Can’t wait for dinner!

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Adapted from a recipe in Cooking Light, June 2003
Servings: 4
Time: 20 minutes active; 1 hour 15 minutes total

1 cup water
1/2 cup lentils, rinsed
1 bay leaf
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
1/2 medium onion
1 medium carrot
2 ounces smoked cheddar cheese, grated
1/4 cup breadcrumbs
1 teaspoon fresh thyme, chopped
1/2 teaspoon each, salt and pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 egg
Buns and condiments

1. Put water, lentils and bay leaf in a small pot and bring to a boil over medium heat. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer about 20 minutes, until the lentils are tender. Discard bay leaf. Smash lentils with a potato masher and set aside to cool.

2. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a small skillet. Puree onion and carrot together and fry in the skillet for about 5 minutes, until they are soft. Set aside to cool.

3. In a medium bowl, mix cheese, breadcrumbs, spices, herbs and eggs. Add lentils and onion-carrot mixture. Refrigerate for 30 minutes.

4. Shape into four patties and fry in a cooking spray-coated skillet over medium heat. Serve with your favorite burger toppings.

Writer Bio: Adrienne D. Capps loves food and is a vegetarian—she doesn’t believe these things are mutually exclusive. A vegetarian for the past nine years, Capps created Vegetarianized.com as a way to share her passion for eating, drinking and cooking—and to make vegetarianism more accessible. The blog transforms meat dishes into vegetarian or improves vegetarian recipes and puts the results up in a weekly post called the Sunday Serving on the blog and at the Facebook Group Vegetarianized. Capps is also a food writer, teaches cooking classes in Davis and is an amateur caterer. Upcoming cooking classes and recent food articles are found on the blog home page.