When our daughter decided to become a vegetarian a few years ago, I wasn’t opposed to the idea. I have chosen a vegetarian lifestyle at different points in my life. Although I haven’t done so for years, I do enjoy many vegetarian dishes, such as tofu stir fry or meatless chili.
This past Thanksgiving, our vegetarian decided that she missed meat. Without any discussion, she simply asked for some turkey at dinner. Now, she’s fully returned to world of carnivores: bacon, hamburgers, steak cooked medium rare. She has re-embraced her former diet completely.
For me this has meant I no longer need to make two versions of dinner. While it does save a little bit of cooking time, I miss having legume-based entrées. So, last week when meatloaf was the dinner of choice, I decided to make lentil cakes just for me. I am not opposed to eating meatloaf, but I do so enjoy a lentil cake.
These lentil cakes are simple to make and taste quite lovely with a side of ketchup for dipping. If you’re thinking about giving a meatless main dish a try, this is one to consider.
3/4 cup red lentils
1-1/2 cups water
1/2 onion, finely diced
1 egg white
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1 tsp. chili powder
salt & pepper
Combine lentils and water in a small saucepot. Bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Transfer to a colander and remove any excess water.
Heat a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Sauté onion for 5 minutes, or until golden.
In a large bowl combine lentils, onion, egg white, and flour. The mixture will be moist and have the consistency similar to a brownie batter. If too moist, add an additional tablespoon or two of flour. Add chili powder, salt, and pepper.
Return same nonstick skillet to medium heat. Coat bottom of pan with olive oil. Place 2 tablespoons of lentil mixture in pan and spread to the thickness of a pancake. Add 3 or 4 more cakes. Cook for 2 to 3 minutes, flip, and cook for an additional 2 to 3 minutes, or until golden brown on both sides. Repeat with remaining batter.
Makes 8-10 lentil cakes.