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Lentil & Sunflower Burger w/ Avocado Herb Sauce + Pickled Zucchini

My little blog turned one last week, and it made me realize how time flies. Years, seasons, months, even days. I can’t believe we’re already saying July goodbye. I say this every year and still, I’m surprised again. It has snuck up on me one more time. I guess it does for all of us, doesn’t it?

With fleeting moments and our lives in a whirlwind, it’s easy to forget how far we’ve come. It seems in our nature to never be satisfied, but instead always look for the next project, the next new thing. We often wish we were five steps ahead, while in fact we should just pause and appreciate how far we’ve come. My blog anniversary allowed me to do just that and it felt good. For once not to thing about what’s next, but instead be content with what was already achieved. Although things never seem to be progressing fast enough, it’s when you pause and look back that you notice your evolution. You can clearly see the continuous flow of life. These little moments attached together that are shaping who we are becoming. And it makes me want to make the most of each of them, because they too are volatile.

Lentil & Sunflower Veggie Burger w/ Avocado Herb Sauce + Pickled Zucchini (Vegan) by The Green Life

Lentil & Sunflower Veggie Burger w/ Avocado Herb Sauce + Pickled Zucchini (Vegan) by The Green Life

Lentil & Sunflower Veggie Burger w/ Avocado Herb Sauce + Pickled Zucchini (Vegan) by The Green Life

Lentil & Sunflower Veggie Burger w/ Avocado Herb Sauce + Pickled Zucchini (Vegan) by The Green Life

Since this blog has now seen all four seasons, I thought it was time to post a good veggie burger recipe on here. It’s burger season after all. This is a super tasty, soft on the inside but crispy on the outside kind of burger. It’s made with lentils for fibre and protein (I used Grain’s French lentils, a brand I love and talked about in this post), brown rice for a nice chewy texture, and sunflower seeds for a bit of bite. The flax seeds do a wonderful job at binding everything together.

There’s a bit of tamari, cumin, chili powder and nutritional yeast in the mix for a nice depth of flavour. The pattie itself is super tasty and could very well be enjoyed on its own (on top of a salad or wrapped into pieces of lettuce, with a good sauce or a spicy mayo). I went here for a creamy avocado sauce with lots of fresh herbs, lemon and garlic. With the abundance of herbs in the garden right now, it seemed appropriate. I added quick pickled zucchinis, that we harvested earlier this week at the farm. Pickled onions would be delicious too.

I hope your summer is filled with fun, relaxing and memorable moments. xo

Lentil & Sunflower Veggie Burger w/ Avocado Herb Sauce + Pickled Zucchini (Vegan) by The Green Life

Lentil & Sunflower Veggie Burger w/ Avocado Herb Sauce + Pickled Zucchini (Vegan) by The Green Life

Lentil & Sunflower Veggie Burger w/ Avocado Herb Sauce + Pickled Zucchini (Vegan) by The Green Life

Lentil & Sunflower Veggie Burger w/ Avocado Herb Sauce + Pickled Zucchini (Vegan) by The Green Life

Lentil & Sunflower Veggie Burger w/ Avocado Herb Sauce + Pickled Zucchini (Vegan) by The Green Life

Lentil & Sunflower Veggie Burger w/ Avocado Herb Sauce + Pickled Zucchini (Vegan) by The Green Life

Lentil & Sunflower Veggie Burger w/ Avocado Herb Sauce + Pickled Zucchini (Vegan) by The Green Life

If you like this recipe, feel free to pin it to Pinterest. And if you make it, make sure to tag your photos with #thegreenlifeblog on Instagram so I can see! For more inspiration throughout the week, follow me on Nom.


Notes on the recipe: There’s a lot of room for interpretation here, so feel free to top the burgers with anything you like (pickled onions or shallots, caramelized onions, spicy mayo, mustard, lettuce, tomato, etc., etc.!) I used sourdough buns for these pictures but Jessie’s homemade spelt buns are usually my go-to. Easy and so good!

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Lentil & Sunflower Veggie Burger + Avocado Herb Sauce

Servings 4 burgers

Ingredients

For the patties

  • A bit of coconut oil or ghee for cooking
  • 1 large shallot or 1/2 white onion chopped
  • 1 large garlic clove minced
  • 1 cup grated carrot
  • 1 1/2 tbsp tamari
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • A few pinches of sea salt
  • 3/4 cup sunflower seeds
  • 1 cup cooked French lentils*
  • 1 1/4 cups cooked brown rice
  • 2 tbsp freshly ground flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1-2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley optional
  • Freshly ground black pepper

For the pickled zucchini

  • 1 small zucchini
  • 1 tsp maple syrup
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water

For the avocado sauce

  • 2 avocados
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh herbs I used basil, parsley and chives
  • Juice of 1/2 lemon about 1 1/2 tbsp
  • 1 tsp raw honey optional
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Pinch of sea salt

For the burgers

  • 4 burger buns toasted
  • Any toppings of your choice lettuce, arugula, onion, avocado, mustard, etc.

Instructions

  1. In a skillet, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the chopped shallot (or onion) and saute for 2-3 minutes, until soft. Add the garlic and grated carrot and stir. Then add the tamari, cumin, chili powder, and sea salt. Cook for 2-3 more minutes, then set aside to cool.
  2. Place the sunflower seeds in a food processor and pulse a few times until lightly crushed (keep some bigger chunks for texture). Add the carrot mixture, cooked lentils, cooked rice, flax seeds, nutritional yeast, parsley and black pepper. Blend again to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning to your taste.
  3. Place mixture in the fridge to set for at least 45 minutes. (You could form the patties and cook them right away but they will be quite sticky and might be a bit too soft). Divide the mixture into 4 equals parts and form the patties. Tap around the edges to prevent the patties from cracking.
  4. Heat a bit of ghee or coconut oil in a large skillet and cook the patties until golden and slightly crispy, about 4-5 minutes on each side.

For the pickled zucchini

  1. Slice zucchini into thin ribbons, using a mandoline or sharp knife. Place in a jar. Add coriander seeds and top with maple syrup, vinegar and water. Stir gently. Seal and place in the fridge to pickle for at least 10-15 minutes.

For the avocado sauce

  1. Place all the ingredients in a food processor and blend until smooth and creamy. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.

To serve

  1. Spread each bun with the avocado sauce. Place a cooked burger on top, then top with greens, pickled zucchini and/or any topping of your choice. Enjoy!

Recipe Notes

*To cook the lentils: Place 1/2 cup of lentils in a strainer and rinse well under running water. Place lentils in a saucepan and cover with fresh water (water should reach about 2 inches above the lentils). Cover and bring to boil over high heat.
Reduce the heat and simmer until the lentils and tender, about 15-20 minutes (try not to overcook them, you don't want them to be mushy). Strain and add a good pinch of sea salt.

“Only look back to see how far you have come.”

Lentil & Sunflower Veggie Burger w/ Avocado Herb Sauce + Pickled Zucchini (Vegan) by The Green Life

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