My son, Leo, had his 18 months checkup recently and he is growing very well. Because he is on a gluten-free diet, his pediatrician was concerned about his iron level due to the lack of enriched flour and whole-wheat flour in his diet. She suggested including iron rich foods such as lentils, gluten-free oats, and green leafy vegetables in his diet.
I recently posted a lentil butternut squash soup that my family enjoyed very much. I like the idea of combining shredded dark green vegetables with lentils to make the soup a well-balanced meal. This time I used Swiss chard, lentils, and quinoa as the main ingredients to make these burgers. Quinoa is a natural gluten-free grain that is also a complete protein. Not only do they provide extra protein and carbohydrates to the burgers, but they also give the burger a very chewy texture. These burgers make a fantastic snack for those little fingers to pick up in addition to being a great source of iron to supply their fast growing bodies.
After combining shredded Swiss chard, cooked lentils, and quinoa together, the mixture was too crumbly to form a burger. To fix that problem, I added some gluten-free oat flour and corn starch to help the burger mixture stick together and make it easy to work with. I added some chopped cilantro and a few tablespoons of tahini that livened up the burger with a refreshing and fragrant nutty taste. After baking the burgers at 375 °F for 25 minutes, they turned out just perfect, crunchy on the outside but soft and chewy on the inside. I knew these burgers where a great success when Leo clapped after his first bite and then quickly finished off the rest.
- 1½ cup cooked quinoa
- 1½ cup cooked lentils, rinsed and drained
- 1½ cup shredded Swiss chard
- 1 cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup oat flour (gluten-free if desired)
- ¼ cup corn starch
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp cumin powder
- a pinch of black pepper
- 1 tbs canola oil
- 2 tbs tahini or sesame seeds paste
- Preheat oven at 375 °F.
- Combine all ingredients. Use a quarter cup to scoop out the burger mixture and place on a parchment paper covered baking sheet. Bake for 25 minutes. Turn them over half way through the baking time.
- Remove the baked burger from oven. Cool on the cooling rack for 5 minutes before serving.