This month’s Recipe ReDux theme is all about freezer meals, which is fitting because I was just talking to my friend the other day about freezing foods and how many foods are freezable. Personally, I use my freezer whenever I can get away with it…which usually results in an over stuffed freezer full of random things. Oops.
You see, I love to make extras of most things and freeze the leftovers to have on hand. This works wonderfully for soups, stews, smoothies (they keep better in the freezer than in the fridge), cookies, and cakes. I love pre-portioning things out into single servings so that if I need dinner or if I need to pack a lunch for the next day, I already have food ready to go, all it needs is a little defrosting time (if it’s going with me for lunch) or a quick zap in the microwave to have a hot meal in minutes. This works especially well for me when I know a busy period of time is coming up soon and I can stock up in preparation.
Now I’m experimenting with slightly more intentional freezing. I’ve also been experimenting with veggie burger recipes. What I’ve discovered is that making a double batch of veggie burgers is just as time intensive as a single batch, so why not make extra, then freeze the leftovers for quick sandwich meals in my future?
This burger recipe treats mushrooms a little like ground meat. Throw it together with some lentils (for protein) and oats (for binding power) and a some delicious flavorings, then shape and bake. These burgers feel hearty when you bite into them, but are full of vegetable goodness, and even hold their shape pretty when when eating them.
What do you use your freezer for?
Mushroom Lentil Burgers
Makes 4-6 burgers, depending on the size you prefer
1 teaspoon olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
8 oz baby bella or white mushrooms
1 cup cooked lentils
1/4 cup dijon mustard
1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
4 sprigs fresh thyme leaves
1 cup old fashioned oats
Salt and pepper to taste
Your favorite burger toppings (pictured here with avocado, caramelized onions, and spinach)
1. Heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the oil, then the onions and saute until soft, 3-5 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, roughly chop the mushrooms, then pulse them in a food processor until they’re finely chopped.
3. Add the minced garlic to the pan with the onions, saute about 30 seconds, until fragrant, then add in the mushroom mixture and thyme. Cook for 5-10 minutes, then stir in the lentils, mustard, paprika, and salt and pepper to taste. Take mixture off the heat and allow to cool.
4. Pulse the oats in the food processor until they form a flour. Add the flour to the mushroom and lentil mixture (once cooled) and mix until well incorporated.
5. Form patties and place on a baking sheet. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until the burgers have a good crust. Flip over the burgers and bake for another 15 minutes.
6. Build your favorite burger with all your favorite toppings and enjoy! If you want to freeze the burgers, allow them to cool, then place a small amount of parchment paper between each one, place in a plastic bag, then store in the freezer for up to 3 months.