Meat-free Burgers With Protein-rich Lentils

Diana Helfand
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Wednesday - March 16, 2011
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Hawaii Pacific Health presents “Getting a grip on your active lifestyle,” a free community health event, Saturday, March 19, from 8:30 a.m. to noon in the Ala Moana Hotel Hibiscus Ballroom. The program also will be available via video conference at Pali Momi Medical Center in Leeward Oahu. For more information or to register, call 522-3469.

This year’s program features physicians and certified occupational therapists from throughout Hawaii Pacific Health Bone and Joint Services, who will present current surgical and non-surgical options to manage an active lifestyle.

The presentations will be followed by a question-and-answer session and panel discussion, moderated by S. Kalani Brady, M.D., M.P.H., F.A.C.P., director of education, Hawaii Pacific Health Conference Services.

This column is dedicated to event co-chairs Robert Durkin, M.D., division head, Orthopedic Surgery at Kapiolani Medical Specialists, Straub Heart Center, and Cass Nakasone, M.D., orthopedic surgeon, Straub Clinic and Hospital. These two wonderful doctors have put together a truly fascinating and educational program that includes the following presentations: “Protect Your Bones with a Little Bit of Muscle,” “Core Strength for the Active Adult,” “Treatment Strategies for Hip Pain in the Active Adult,” “Movement and Posture for Activities” and “Preventing and Treating Common Shoulder Problems.”

The four hospitals of Hawaii Pacific Health - Kapiolani Medical Center for Women and Children, Pali Momi Medical Center, Straub Clinic and Hospital, and Wilcox Memorial Hospital - provide bone and joint services to patients across the state. Learn more at

Try these burgers as a meat alternative. They are great cooked on a grill, and easy to take along to tail-gate parties.

Lentils are a legume and one of the world’s first cultivated foods. They are a good source of protein, especially in vegetarian diets, and contain fiber, iron, vitamin B1, minerals and folate. They are grown throughout the world, with India boasting about one third of worldwide production.


* 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
* 1/2 cup mixed mushrooms, minced (pulsed in food processor)
* 1 1/2 cups lentils, cooked and drained well
* 1/2 cup oatmeal, cook accordingly to package instructions plus an extra 10 minutes for a very stiff consistency
* 2 tablespoons teriyaki garlic marinade
* 4 whole wheat burger buns
* 1 tomato, sliced
* 1 Maui onion, sliced
* 4 leaves romaine lettuce

Heat olive oil in a sauté pan over medium-high heat. Sauté the minced mixed mushrooms until dry and browned. Toss the mushrooms, oatmeal and lentils in a bowl and mix lightly. Mix in teriyaki sauce. Let mixture cool. Shape cooled mixture into four patties and grill, or coat pan with cooking spray and pan-fry until lightly browned on both sides.

Serve on buns with lettuce, tomatoes and onions (you may brush with more teriyaki sauce, if desired.)

Makes four servings.

(Diana Helfand, author of “Hawaii Light and Healthy” and “The Best of Heart-y Cooking,” has taught nutrition in the Kapiolani Community College culinary arts program.)

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