Place first 3 ingredients in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 30 minutes or until tender; drain. Discard bay leaves. Place lentils in a large bowl; partially mash with a potato masher. Cool slightly.
Heat oil in a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and carrot; sauté 5 minutes or until tender. Cool slightly.
Add onion mixture, cheese, and next 8 ingredients (cheese through egg whites) to lentils; stir well to combine. Cover and chill 45 minutes. Divide mixture into 8 equal portions, shaping each into a 1/2-inch-thick patty.
Heat a grill pan coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat. Add half of patties, and cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Repeat procedure with remaining patties. Spread 1 teaspoon mustard on top half of each bun. Place 1 patty on bottom half of each bun, and top each serving with 1 tomato slice, 1/4 cup arugula, and top half of bun.
These get five stars for flavor, but demerits for the instructions. I agree that these do not hold together well. I ended up pulsing the mixture in my food processor so I could form patties, and even then they had to be handled delicately. A grill pan is a bad idea. The patties sink through the "grill", making them very difficult to pick up or turn without having them crumble. I cooked the first four this way and then heated up a regular skillet to cook the rest. As for ingredients, I used red lentils which I cooked in half the called-for amount of vegetable broth; and as I couldn't find smoked cheddar I used smoked gouda with fine results. I also accidentally used 2t dried thyme, but the flavor was still good and not overly "thyme-y". I omitted the onion as my husband doesn't like them and added a few dashes of onion powder to the mixture instead. We both liked these and I might make these again, but with more binding agent or something to make them sturdier.
These sounded really weird to me (cheddar and lentils?!) but they were actually really good. I have made them multiple times now. I handle them delicately, use a regular flat nonstick griddle pan (not grill pan) and have no trouble with them falling apart. I also do not chill them before shaping into patties and they turn out fine. I use regular cheddar and smoked paprika to make up for the regular cheddar. I accidentally put the mustard IN the burgers the first time and like them that way! Way too much salt. Used only 1/4 tsp tonight and that was adequate.
I have made this now several times and solve the holdup issue using guar gum, which u can easily find in any whole food or natural store and of course in Amazon... I then give them 30 sec to 1 min in the microwave to firm the outer part of the burger and the either freeze them for later on or cook them right there, it has worked perfectly, no disintegrating and very yummy even for non-vegetarian people! :)
Hmm, I would love to make this again because they tasted great (and my husband and I do not normally eat "fake" burgers) - BUT they completely fell apart when I cooked them, both on the George Foreman and in a pan as recommended. Suggestions anyone?
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