I'm six days from my due date and finding myself with an insatiable appetite. The same thing happened before I gave birth to my son. My body knows it's about to do the hardest thing it's ever done - again. They say that natural birth expends about the same number of calories as running a marathon, and I believe it. To prepare for this, I've been loading up on even more high protein and nutrient dense foods, like these lentil burgers.
Lentils are one of my favorite foods - ever. If this says anything, one of my brothers has even nicknamed me "lentils and rice". Not kidding. Before my pregnant and breastfeeding days, I'd been known to live off the two. They're just so delicious and packed with protein. A must for any vegetarian, and especially little vegetarians. Listen up mamas--you'd be surprised what your children will eat, if you only give them the chance. Don't be afraid to offer them more flavorful things. My son loves garlic (even raw garlic) and onion in his food, but he never would have, had I not encouraged him to try it.
These burgers are an easy way to get solid nutrition in your little ones. The lentils and rice form a complete protein, which means that they contain all nine essential amino acids. Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids. Mushrooms - b vitamins. Just what you (and your growing child) need.
2 cups long grain brown rice, cooked
1 1/2 cups brown or green lentils, cooked (about a 15 oz. can)
1/4 cup raw walnuts, chopped
1 small carrot, chopped
1/2 cup button mushrooms, chopped
1/2 cup onion, chopped
1/4 cup flat leaf parsley, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
a couple tablespoons of olive oil
In a skillet, heat about a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the walnuts, carrot, mushrooms, parsley, onion and sea salt. Sauté for about 5 minutes. Transfer to a large bowl. In the bowl of a food processor, process the lentils (be sure to rinse and drain them if you're using canned), 1 cup of brown rice and egg. Transfer to the bowl with the veggies and add the remaining 1 cup of brown rice. Mix well and form into patties, 1/4 cup at a time (I used a 1/4 cup measuring cup). Heat a skillet to medium low heat and add a tablespoons of olive oil. Cook the patties, about 5 at a time, for 3-4 minutes on each side. Let them cool a little before serving.
makes 11 lentil walnut burgers.
I serve them to my son on their own, but feel free to top them with your child's favorite condiment, if necessary. For adults, I serve them on a sprouted grain bun with lots of toppings (lettuce, avocado, tomato, etc.)
Babies 6 months and older: Reserve some carrot. Steam, then pureé with cooked brown rice.
9 months and older: Reserve some lentils and carrot. Steam carrots and pureé with cooked brown rice and lentils.
12 months and older: Serve as is.