So often you might think there is not enough food in the house to make dinner. It’s time to get creative! You don’t always need meat to make a meal. Actually, a great way to be a bit thrifty and save money is to reduce the amount of meat that you eat each week. There are loads of tasty vegetarian recipes but one that I use regularly is for lentil burgers – for some reason I always have a random can of lentils in the pantry. These freeze well too and are great for a last minute dinner. I usually make them as a burger but you could always just serve them with a side salad or some rice.
1 tin of red lentils
1 onion sliced finely
1 tsp minced ginger
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Lettuce, beetroot and tomato
1 tbsp sweet chilli
3 tbsp parsley, basil or mint (if you don’t have this, don’t worry)
Oil for the pan
1. Place the lentils in a saucepan with a cup of water, the onion and ginger. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 20 mins. Set aside to cool (I usually put it in the freezer for a while).
2. Combine the breadcrumbs and egg in a food processor (or just mix with a fork). Add this to the cooled lentil mix and stir together with a wooden spoon. Wet your hands and form the mix into 4 large patties or 6 medium ones
3. Heat the oil on the pan and cook the patties over a medium heat for about 4 mins each side, or until golden brown. They may fall apart a little but will still taste good
4. Toast the buns. Mix the herbs, sweet chilli and the yoghurt to use as a sauce. Place the patty and the salad onto the bun, and finish with the yoghurt sauce.
A good habit to get into is to put your stale bread in a food processor, then freeze for when you need breadcrumbs. I just started doing this recently, as I was always using my fresh bread, which seems like a waste.
I would love to hear about any of your pantry meals that you've made lately!