There actually is a vegan smoked cheddar on the market for these yummy veggie burgers, from a UK company called Sheese. I used it before in my Turnip Green and Shiitake Mushroom Calzone with 'Smoked Cheddar' recipe, and bought another batch for these burgers! You can order it in the States from veganessentials.com.
To start, combine 1/2 cup dried lentils, 1 and 1/4 cups water, and 1 bay leaf in a saucepan. Bring to a boil, then cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 30 minutes.
Drain the lentils and discard the bay leaf. Place the lentils in a large bowl and mash partially with a potato masher, then let cool slightly (about 5 minutes seems to have been enough time).
Meanwhile, heat 1/2 tsp. olive oil in a small skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1/2 cup finely chopped onion and 1/4 cup finely chopped carrot; saute for 5 minutes, then let cool slightly.
Add the onion mixture to the mashed lentils, along with 1/2 cup shredded Sheese smoked cheddar, 1/4 cup dry breadcrumbs, 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme, 1/2 tsp. salt, 1/4 tsp. garlic powder, 1/4 tsp. paprika, 1/4 tsp. black pepper, and 1/8 tsp. ground red pepper.
Whisk together "egg whites" by whisking 2 and 1/4 teaspoons Ener-G egg replacer powder into 3 tablespoons warm water. Pour the 'eggs' into the lentil mixture, and then stir until combined.
Cover and chill the mixture for 45 minutes.
When you're ready to assemble the burgers, divide the mixture into 4 equal patties, and shape them until they are about 1/2-inch thick. Heat an outdoor grill or indoor grill pan over medium-high heat and coat with cooking spray. Grill the patties for 5 minutes on each side.
Spread 1 teaspoon stone-ground mustard (such as Organicville), on the bottom half of 4 whole wheat sandwich buns. I used Whole Foods' whole wheat hamburger buns, which they have newly formulated with vegan shortening!
Place one lentil patty on the bottom half of each bun, then top each with a 1/4-inch thick tomato slice, 1/4 cup arugula, and the top half of the bun. Each burger is 360 calories.
fresh thyme $2.49
stone-ground mustard $3.99
The Vegan Pantry
- Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy http://www.wholesoyco.com/
- Vegan milk - Silk http://www.silksoymilk.com/
- Vegan Feta - Sunergia http://www.sunergiasoyfoods.com/
- Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods http://www.galaxyfoods.com/
- Vegan Eggs - Ener-G http://www.ener-g.com/
- Vegan Butter - Earth Balance http://www.earthbalance.net/product.html