Cheesy lentil burgers (+ meal planning with Sian’s Plan)

Cheesy lentil burgersSponsored post

Hands up who’s as disorganised as I am.

Nope. Put your hands down. There’s just no way that anyone is less organised than me. I consistently leave everything to the last minute, my washing basket is full to the rim before I remember to put a load on, and I usually decide what to make for dinner at about 7 o’clock at night.

So, today I’m going to talk about something that changed me as a person (yes, I really am going to be that dramatic):

Meal planning with Sian's Plan

Meal planning! I was so excited when Sian’s Plan asked me to try out their meal planning service this week – finally a reason to get myself organised. Meal planning isn’t something I’ve ever done before, but you know what? I loved it.

Sian’s Plan provides a selection of healthy, family-friendly recipes that you can easily drag and drop to create your meal plan – either 5 days or 7, depending on whether you want the weekend off. I chose the 5 day plan, and you can see the options I went for below (more on those in a minute!).

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Sian's Plan meal planning

The recipes are colour-coded to make it even easier for you to choose which you fancy. Red recipes are quick and easy. Blue recipes take a little longer to prepare (you’re encouraged to save these ones for the weekend!). And every few days, you’re prompted to choose a green recipe – these are designed to use up any leftovers you might have, to help you stay economical in your cooking. Each recipe also shows you its nutritional content, so you can make sure you’re eating healthily too.

Once you’ve chosen your meals for the week, you get to the best part: you can generate your shopping list with one click. Literally one click. You can easily adapt your list depending on what you already have in the cupboards, and then there’s even the option to order your groceries online at a variety of British and Irish supermarkets (note: even if you’re not in the UK or Ireland, the shopping list generator is still a hugely useful feature! You can print out your list using the nifty print button and take it to the store with you, or you can even email it to yourself directly so that you can access it on your smartphone).

Sian's Plan grocery list

It felt so good to be able to go shopping at the beginning of the week with an actual shopping list! I usually amble round the supermarket waiting for inspiration to strike, and end up coming home with a load of random ingredients (usually something along the lines of chocolate + cheese + broccoli). Sian’s Plan definitely helped me to feel more organised.

I also found that having my meals planned out in advance (with the ingredients already bought, so no opportunity to back out) helped a lot in resisting the urge to get a take away or go out to eat for no reason. Cooking a healthy dinner is much less of a chore when you know exactly what you’re making, and you know you’ve got all the ingredients to hand.

All of the recipes on Sian’s Plan are healthy, simple and family-friendly. Here are some of the recipes I sampled this week:

Spicy bean burritos

Spicy bean burritos - I was shocked at how quickly these came together! Just 15 minutes or so of prep, then I popped them in the oven and we were eating in no time. You know how I love my Mexican food, so these easy burritos were just my sort of thing.

Sweet and sour green bean stir fry with quinoa

Sweet and sour green bean stir fry with quinoa - Ever since I discovered quinoa a few months ago, I’ve been obsessed. I love how soft and fluffy it is, and it went perfectly with the fresh vegetables and homemade sauce in this quick recipe. Plus, look how pretty this dish is!

Pasta with lentil and tomato sauce

Pasta with lentil and tomato sauce - I knew this recipe would be added to my meal plan as soon as I saw it – you can’t beat a quick pasta dish. I’m a big fan of lentils too. This one reminded me a bit of a vegetarian spaghetti bolognese – lentils are a great alternative to meat!

Store cupboard pizza

Store cupboard pizza – this was the ‘green’ recipe I chose, which helped me to use up some of the vegetables that were lingering at the back of my fridge. I used some mushrooms and green pepper, but you can obviously adapt this depending on what you need to use. The pizza base was a scone-like dough that used store-cupboard ingredients, which I was very happy to see, because I’ve never quite got the hang of yeasted breads.

I’ve been kindly allowed to share one of the recipes from Sian’s Plan with you today, and I think it might just be my favourite of all the ones I tried – lentil and cheese burgers! I love a good veggie burger, and these were perfectly dense and hearty, not at all mushy like a lot of veggie burgers are. The cheese gave a great flavour to the burgers, and I liked seeing little chunks of vegetables throughout.

Lentil and cheese burgers

Before I share the recipe, I have one more super-exciting thing to share: Because you’re all so special, Sian’s Plan is offering you all 25% off their plans.

Use the code AMB25 to claim your 25% off!

Just enter the code on the payment page and you’ll be well on your way. Sian’s Plan is incredibly reasonably priced anyway, so you’re getting a real bargain here. The offer is only valid until the end of February, so get moving!

So, let’s get down to it: the recipe for these awesome lentil and cheese burgers. I adapted the recipe ever so slightly, mostly just because I wanted to halve it (there are only two of us!). It was really easy to adapt to make a smaller amount, and I’m sure it would have been easy to double up as well, if you have a large family or if you’re cooking for a crowd.

Cheesy lentil burgers
 
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
 
Author:
Recipe type: Main meal
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 65g brown lentils
  • 70g red lentils
  • 1tbsp oil
  • ½ onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 50g mushrooms, diced
  • ½ red pepper, diced
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • 1 slice bread
  • 1 small carrot, grated
  • 30g cheddar cheese, grated
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • ~25g plain flour
  • 2tbsp oil, for frying
Instructions
  1. Begin to boil the brown lentils in plenty of water, and add the red lentils to the pan after around 10 minutes (check the packets to determine exactly how much longer the brown lentils should take). Stir occasionally, and keep an eye on them because you don't want them to overcook. They will probably take around 20-25 minutes in total.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large frying pan, and add the onion. Cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes, before adding the garlic, mushrooms and red pepper, along with the spices. Continue to cook for a further few minutes, until the vegetables are just soft. Set aside.
  3. Blitz the bread into crumbs using a mini food processor. Combine the breadcrumbs with the vegetable mixture, grated carrot and grated cheese. When the lentils are tender but not mushy, drain them and add them to the mixture, along with plenty of seasoning. Mix well to combine.
  4. Add the egg, and mix thoroughly. Next, add just enough flour to allow the mixture to come together - around 25g.
  5. The original recipe suggests forming the mixture into burger shapes and refrigerating for 10 minutes, but I skipped this step. My mixture was fairly wet and I thought it would work well as more of a fritter.
  6. Preheat the oven to 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F).
  7. Heat the oil in the same pan you've already used (no need to wash it), and add dollops of the lentil mixture. Gently press it out into a round, flat disk. Repeat with more of the mixture, but don't overcrowd your pan - I did two separate batches. Cook over a medium-high heat.
  8. When the underside of each burger is golden brown (which should take something like 3 minutes), carefully flip them over and repeat on the other side. Then transfer them to a baking tray while you cook the next batch.
  9. When all of the burgers are golden brown, place them in the oven for around 10 minutes, until firm and cooked through.

Tell me about your own meal planning experiences – is it something you’ve tried in the past, or are you as unorganised as I am (or should I say used to be…)?

Lentil and cheese burgers

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Comments

  1. Angrboda says

    This sounds useful. Since we moved and now have a decent sized fridge without plastic shelves beginning to crack (never ever EVER get a fridge with plastic shelves!) and a freezer bigger than a matchbox we’ve started planning for a big grocery shopping trip once a week. Obviously this requires meal planning as well. Previously we’d shop every day because that was as much as we had room for. Not having to do that anymore saves SO much time!

    Can you enter your own recipes into the plan as well as the ones already in there? Are they all vegetarian?

  2. Estelle says

    I use the poor man version of this website: deciding what recipes I want to make for the upcoming week, writing a list, going food shopping. Like you, I find it incredibly useful to know what I’m going to eat and to have all I need in my cupboards/fridge/freezer but I would never consider paying for such a service.

    I confess to shopping online though. My local supermarkets offer this service for free and I have pre-saved lists I can tinker with in a few minutes. Then I just have to swing by the supermarket after work and pick up my groceries. I was a bit weary of ordering fresh produce at first (I like choosing my own fruit and vegetables) but the selection from the supermarket employees has always been great so far. I still do some ‘in person’ shopping from time to time (when I need something specific that wasn’t available in the online selection, to see if there’s anything new, to buy things such as socks etc…) but doing it online is such a time-saver that I couldn’t do without it anymore.

      • Estelle says

        I guess it depends where you’re coming from. Since I don’t live in the UK, the price isn’t that cheap when you’re already on a budget (£–>€ is a killer) and the only really potentially useful feature for me (the possibility to order online from a supermarket) wouldn’t work. Even if it did, I don’t think I’d go ahead and subscribe. I guess it seems to me to be more of a gadget than a really useful thing. But that’s just me :)

  3. Uniflame says

    Can you also add own recipes to the planner? I already do meal planning but the one click grocery list sounds great!

  4. Elizabeth says

    I like the look of those cheesey lentil patties. I can’t plan menus that far ahead mainly because I don’t know what the weather will be like. It’s very hot and humid where I am at the moment which rules a lot of things out when you’re planning ahead.
    Elizabeth recently posted…Backyard mango sagoMy Profile

  5. Nic Dempsey says

    I meal plan, I’m boringly enthusiastic about it’s benefits (even wrote a post on it!) but a site that does it for you must be a godsend for someone who doesn’t or is short on time!

  6. Whitney @ To Live & Diet in L.A. says

    I’m a little unorganized. I manage to do the grocery shopping each week and prepare a few things (slice up veggies, cook some protein) but I never get to the stage of actual meal planning. This site seems like it would be a big help with that. And these burgers look fantastic! I love anything with lentils :)
    Whitney @ To Live & Diet in L.A. recently posted…Yoga vs. PilatesMy Profile

  7. Rachel Cotterill says

    I can definitely see the advantage of planning, but I just can’t do it. Best I can manage is to decide on a couple of things I feel like making during a given week… everything else just ends up being whatever takes my fancy on the day! But honestly, I enjoy it that way :)
    Rachel Cotterill recently posted…5 Things To Do In VancouverMy Profile

  8. Deirdre says

    Your Cheese Burgers look delicious. I am going to cook them for hubby and myself (minus the garlic, he abhors the taste and smell). Thanks again for another great recipie.

  9. Cathy says

    Thank you for linking up at Tasty Tuesdays! Your post has been pinned to my Recipes from Tasty Tuesday board. I can’t wait to see what you link up next week!
    Have a terrific week!
    Cathy
    APeekIntoMyParadise.com
    #TastyTuesdays

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