Vegetarian burgers are a great introduction into meatless meals. Enjoy these with goats cheese and your favourite sauces!
Heat 1 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan over medium heat and bring a pot of water to boil. Add the beluga lentils to the pot of water and cook until just tender, but not mushy, around 15 minutes, drain and allow to cool.
Meanwhile, chop the onion and mushroom in large chunks, add to your food processor and pulse until chopped into small bits, add to your pan. Cook until most of the liquid from the mushrooms has evaporated, then add your minced garlic and thyme. Fry until everything is soft and starting to brown. Remove from heat and add the balsamic vinegar and soy sauce.
Place the oatmeal in your food processor and blend until it forms a flour, add to a large bowl. Mix the bread crumbs, chia seeds, salt, and pepper into the oatmeal flour. Pulse half the sunflower seeds and all of the beluga lentils in the food porcessor, leaving it chunky. Add this and the fried vegetables to the bowl and using a wooden spoon, mix until completely combined.
Using your hands, form the dough into 8 patties. Heat the remaining olive oil over medium heat and fry the patties in a frying pan until golden and crispy, about 4 minutes per side. Alternatively, you can grill them on a bbq or bake in the oven, flipping halfway. Freeze extra patties for a quick meal another night!
**If using gluten free bread crumbs, you may have to use more than 1 cup to get a firm dough. If you don't have a food processor, just chop the veggies small, use pre-ground oatmeal (bulk barn sells it, or order from amazon link above), chop the sunflower seeds and mash the lentils with a fork as best you can, before mixing all together. If cooking from frozen, defrost first, then cook as normal.**