This month’s Recipe Redux challenge theme is the perfect theme for me: Tacos!
We love Mexican food in our household and it’s probably the type of food we eat most often. This includes not only tacos but also enchiladas, fajitas, nachos, guacamole, and margaritas. I always have some jalapenos and fresh cilantro in my kitchen. My husband loves this type of food the most and he always says how he could eat only that for the rest of his life. So you can bet that I know something about how to make delicious and healthy tacos! It’s one of the few things I feel like I can really boast about.
But this month’s challenge calls specifically for creative tacos so I can’t just post my recipe for lentil tacos and be done with it. That’s why I decided to go for lentil taco burger patties! Turning tacos into burgers makes it much easier to grab one on the go. There are many different ways of eating them, too. You can put them in a bun like a regular burger, wrap them in a slice of lettuce or cabbage (purple looks great!), or eat them in a whole grain tortilla. Take your pick!
They are easy to make and easy to store. You just need to put the ingredients in a food processor, form the patties, and then wait for them to bake in the oven. And if you make a lot at once then simply freeze them for later. They thaw very well so I often make about 20 at a time.
Nutrients in this recipe
Lentils are a great way of getting a variety of nutrients without spending much money. They are often utilized in vegetarian and vegan diets because they contain a lot of protein and iron (much more than regular beans). They also provide plenty of soluble and insoluble fiber that is needed to have a properly functioning digestive system. Lentils are also an important source of manganese (1 cup contains about half of the recommended daily intake) and vitamin B, especially folate.
Tomatoes are the most well-known for containing lycopene. Lycopene is an antioxidant with red pigment that has many beneficial properties, including reduced risk of prostate cancer in particular. Tomatoes are also a good source of potassium, vitamin A, and vitamin C. They also contain substantial amounts of beta carotene and naringenin.
Spicy peppers, like poblano, jalapeno, cayenne, contain a nutrient called capsaicin. Capsaicin is responsible for the spicy taste and has anti-inflammatory properties. It has been traditionally used to alleviate pain and joints inflammation but when ingested, can also improve your metabolism and help with digestion. Research has also shown that it might lower the risk of cancer, particularly stomach and colorectal cancer.
Carrots are most often associated with beta carotene content and eye health. Beta carotene is converted into vitamin A by our bodies and vitamin A is largely responsible for supporting our eyes, skin, and hair. Carrots also provide a lot of vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and perhaps most importantly, antioxidants, such as lutein and lycopene that can decrease the risk of cancer and cardiovascular diseases.
Onions are high in vitamin C, vitamin B6, and folate. Both onions and garlic contain sulfides that have been linked to improved immune system response and respiratory health. They also have antibacterial properties.
Cilantro has plenty of different antioxidants that reduce inflammation and may even slow down cancer cell growth. Quercetin especially has been shown to promote cardiovascular heart and boost the respiratory and immune systems.
Oregano has vitamin A and vitamin K, as well as iron and manganese. Its phytochemicals have antibacterial properties.
Cumin helps with digestion by promoting activity of digestive enzymes. It also contains phytochemicals that have anti-inflammatory properties.
Lentil Taco Burger Patties
- a small pot
- a strainer
- a food processor
- a large mixing bowl
- a rubber spatula
- a jelly roll pan
- baking sheet
- 2 1/2 cups of water
- 1 cup of dry lentils
- 1/2 cup of garbanzo flour
- 1 can of diced tomatoes
- 1 large carrot
- half of a large onion
- 2 ounce can of diced green chiles
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 2 T. of chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 t. of chili powder
- 1/2 t. of paprika powder
- 1/2 t. of cumin
- 1/2 t. of garlic powder
- 1/2 t. of oregano
- 1/2 t. of ginger
- 1/4 t. of cayenne powder
- 1/4 t. of turmeric
- 1/4 t. of black pepper
- 1/4 t. of sea salt
- Boil the lentils in 2 1/2 cups of water. Leave them to simmer for about 30 minutes, the water should become fully absorbed by then. If needed, add more water.
- Drain the canned tomatoes to remove some of the liquid
- Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
- Cover the jelly roll pan with a baking sheet and spray with cooking spray.
- Put the carrot, halved onion, and jalapeno in a food processor. Pulse to finely shred.
- Add in the lentils, tomatoes, green chiles, and all the seasonings. Pulse to thoroughly combine but it’s okay if you can still see the individual lentils.
- Transfer the mixture to a large bowl and stir in the garbanzo bean flour. The texture should resemble slightly wet sand that can be formed into patties. If it seems too wet, add more flour (one tablespoon at a time).
- Form the patties on the baking sheets prepared beforehand. I use about half a measuring cup for one patty and flatten it down with a rubber spatula. You will probably need to bake them a few patties at a time if you have only one jelly roll pan.
- Bake for about 20 minutes on one side. Then flip with a spatula and bake for another 15 minutes.
- The taco patties are now ready to be served. Enjoy!