Post and recipe by: Angela Tucker
The Summer Bounty Veggie Burger is a great way to make use of some of the amazing produce that is always so plentiful over the summer: kale and zucchini. Whether you have a garden at home or frequent your local farmer’s market, you are likely to find these two garden fresh staples in large supply over a good chunk of the summer. However, too much of a good thing can have its draw backs and after a while, we can find ourselves wondering what to do with those lovely veggies in the fridge. I created this recipe for that very reason. Kale being a hearty vegetable that can easily be harvested from early July until early November, and zucchini being as prolific as it is, it never hurts to have some extra recipes on hand to prevent mealtime boredom.
Did you know that Canada is the world’s largest exporter of lentils? Most are grown in Saskatchewan, with some also grown in South-Western Manitoba. Plus, lentils are an environmentally friendly and affordable source of protein. Most of the protein in these burgers comes from lentils, which even supply a good dose of dietary fibre!
The burgers tend to hold up better when cooked in the oven. But let’s be honest, who wants to heat up their house when we are going through one of those Manitoba summer heat waves?! If you don’t want to turn on your oven, stay cool and cook them on the stove. Instructions for both cooking methods are included in the recipe below. You can also batch cook them and freeze to have on hand later on. Enjoy!
Summer Bounty Veggie Burgers
Makes: 10 burgers
Prep time: 35 minutes
Cook time: 15 minutes on the stove or 45 minutes in the oven
Total time: 45 minutes if cooking on the stove or 95 minutes if cooking in the oven
1 large onion, chopped
3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup finely chopped kale
1 cup grated zucchini (around 1/2 a medium zucchini)
1 540ml can lentils, drained and rinsed (or 2 cups cooked lentils)
1 cup rolled oats or quick cook oats (plus an extra 1/2 cup if needed)
1/3 cup ground flax seed
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 teaspoon Cajun spice blend
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper
Canola oil for cooking
- Heat a skillet with about 2 tsp canola oil for around 5 minutes on med/low heat. Add the chopped onion and cook to soften (about 10 minutes). Add the garlic and chopped kale and cook until kale is soft.
- While the onion, kale, and garlic are cooking add the rinsed lentils to a large bowl and mash coarsely with a potato masher or the back of a large spoon. Stir in the oats, zucchini, ground flax, nutritional yeast, spices, salt/pepper, soy sauce, and kale/onion mixture. (If using rolled oats, you may need to let the mixture sit for a little while to absorb the water).
- Use the potato masher again to incorporate the ingredients until it holds together when pressed. If it is too wet, more extra oats (no more than a few tablespoons at a time).
- Form the patties to about 3 inches in diameter and about 1/2 inch thick. Or, you can use a 2oz (1/4 cup) ice cream scoop to measure them consistently.
- To cook:
- If cooking on stove top: Heat a skillet over medium heat with a little canola oil. Place the patties on the skillet, and cook until lightly browned and crispy on each side (around 15 minutes, flipping halfway).
- If cooking in the oven: Preheat oven to 350F. Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper and place the patties on top. Bake for 45 minutes, flipping halfway.
- Serve on a bun with your favourite garnish, or add it to a salad!
*To make this recipe gluten free, simply make sure the oats, soy sauce and spices are certified gluten free*
(per 1 burger, if making 10 burgers with full recipe)
Angela Tucker is a Registered Dietitian from rural Manitoba. Angela first became vegan for compassionate reasons but soon realized other ways a vegan lifestyle and plant-based diet positively impacts the planet and health. To learn more about her philosophy on food, visit her blog PrairieSprout. You can also find her on Facebook and Instagram.