Curried Cashew Burgers
Combine 2 cups water, carrots, lentils and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a saucepan. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low. Partially cover and simmer until the lentils are tender and falling apart, 12 to 14 minutes. Drain in a colander, gently pressing out excess liquid. Transfer to a plate; let cool to room temperature, about 20 minutes.Advertisement
Meanwhile, toast cashews in a small dry skillet over medium-low heat, stirring, until golden and fragrant, 2 to 4 minutes. Transfer to a plate to cool.
Heat 2 teaspoons oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until softened, 5 to 8 minutes. Add garlic, curry powder and the remaining 2 tablespoons water; cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Remove from heat and let cool.
Prepare Cucumber-Mint Raita, if using.
Pulse the cashews in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the lentils and the onion mixture; pulse until the mixture is cohesive but still somewhat textured. Transfer to a bowl and stir in breadcrumbs, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper; mix well.
With dampened hands, form the mixture into six 1/2-inch-thick patties, using about 1/2 cup for each.
Using 2 teaspoons oil per batch, cook 2 to 4 patties at a time in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until evenly browned and heated through, about 4 minutes per side. Cut small ends off pitas and open the pockets. Serve burgers in pitas, with lettuce, cucumber and the raita, if desired.
Make Ahead Tip: Prepare through step 6. Wrap patties individually and refrigerate for up to 2 days or freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before cooking.
Red lentils can be found in many supermarkets and virtually all natural-foods stores.
Storage smarts: For long-term freezer storage, wrap your food in a layer of plastic wrap followed by a layer of foil. The plastic will help prevent freezer burn while the foil will help keep off-odors from seeping into the food.
3 1/2 starch, 1 vegetable, 1/2 lean meat, 2 1/2 fat