Did you know that every March we celebrate nutrition month in Canada? This year the theme is “good for you”. It highlights that many factors, such as culture and food traditions, impact how healthy eating looks different for everyone. These lentil kebabs are a fun plant-based twist to traditional kebabs that are enjoyed in many cultures across the world. Serve them with your favorite vegetables, a brown rice pilaf, and yogurt garlic dip for a deliciously balanced meal!
Serves 15 kebabs
3/4 cup raw green lentils
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
1/2 medium onion, diced
2 tbsp ground flaxseeds
2 garlic cloves, minced (or 2 tsp garlic paste or 1/4 tsp garlic powder)
2 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp ground coriander
1 tsp garam masala
1/2 inch ginger root, minced (or 1 tsp ginger paste or 1/8 tsp ginger powder)
1/2 tsp salt
3 cups & 4 tbsp water
2 ½ tbsp vegetable oil
Rinse lentils in water and remove any stones if necessary. Add rinsed lentils to a medium pot with 3 cups of water and bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce the heat to low and cover the pot. Allow the lentils to simmer until tender but not mushy (approximately 20 mins)
While the lentils are cooking, add a tsp of oil and the chopped onions to a pan on medium heat. Sauté for a few minutes until the onions are translucent.
Make a “flax egg” (this provides the binding capacity like an egg with a boost of omega 3’s) by adding the ground flax seeds and 4 tbsp of water to a bowl. Stir them together gently and allow the mixture to sit for a few minutes until it becomes thick.
When the lentils are done cooking, strain and rinse them once more with water.
Add the strained lentils to a large mixing bowl with the breadcrumbs, sautéed onions, the thickened flax and water mixture, ginger, garlic, and spices. Mash everything together well with your hands or a spoon.
Roll the mixture into 1–2-inch logs or patties with damp hands. Gently squish the kebabs together if needed to keep them secure.
Fry the kebabs on the stove top with 1-2 tbsps of oil until the outer edges are crispy. Alternatively, brush the uncooked kebabs with a bit of oil, skewer them, and grill them or bake them in the oven.
Allow the kebabs to cool and harden. Drizzle lemon juice from ½ a lemon evenly on the cooked kebabs.
Serve with a yogurt garlic dip and other sides as desired!
Recipe by Sophia Jhajj (5th year UBC Dietetics student)