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Animal-free Hearty Burgers [Fierce Foodie]

If society as we know it broke down and we were all forced to hunt for and kill our own meat, I know I would go vegetarian instantaneously. Unlike my mother who can butcher a chicken in sixty seconds, I am a big hypocrite and don’t particularly enjoy the bloody reality of cooking animals. Raw chicken scares me because of salmonella, pink pork provokes trichinosis fears, and dyed red beef reminds me of mad cow and E. coli. Like many supermarket shoppers, I buy the boneless and skinless version of everything and try to forget where it comes from.

This is becoming harder and harder to do, as occasional but inevitable contaminations occur, and more than one documentary reveal the chemical cocktail in most of our meats. And while the smell of red meat cooking makes me salivate, I know it isn’t doing any favors for my heart.

Some meat substitutes can be tasteless or odd in texture or color. This recipe for walnut lentil burgers, however, makes a delicious and hearty replacement for a beef patty. Thanks to my vegan pals L and Sherri for introducing me to this yummy entrée.

Lentil Walnut Burgers
(Adapted from

5 cups walnuts
2 cups cashews
2 cups onion, chopped
½ cup olive oil
2 cups almond butter
1 ½ cups brown lentils, cooked
2 cups bread crumbs
1/3 cup soy sauce
1 tsp. salt
1 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. coriander

Place nuts in a bowl and soak for one hour. Drain and chop in a food processor. Meanwhile, sauté onions in oil until just caramelized. Chop onions, lentils and soy sauce in a food processor until well puréed. Combine all ingredients in a bowl and form into burgers. Makes about a dozen ½ cup burgers.

featured image credit: Alex S. Bayley

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