Last year, my family and I made an effort to eat less meat. We started with “Meatless Mondays” and now we are aiming for “Meat-free Fridays” too in 2017. I wanted to come up with something that was still tasty and fun, yet packed with goodness. So after some brainstorming, I concocted my Greek-inspired Crispy Lentil, Spinach and Feta Fritters.
Always trying to incorporate more veggies into our meals, these protein-packed lentil patties have just the right combination of tangy, low fat feta cheese, black olives, spinach and a good hit of lemon. We even use them as a hamburger substitute and throw a fritter on a bun with cucumbers, tomatoes and a dollop of tzatziki.
My kids love them! Add a squeeze of extra lemon and serve warm or cold. They also freeze great and are a regular addition to my daughter’s school lunch.
According to Lentils.org, my go-to resource and inspiration for lentil-based recipes, lentils are a powerhouse of nutrition. They are a low-fat source of potassium, calcium, zinc, niacin and vitamin K, but are particularly rich in dietary fibre, protein, folate and iron. These are a really fabulous meat-free alternative if that's something you're looking for!
Crispy Lentil, Spinach and Feta Fritters (makes about 12 fritters)
- 1 can cooked lentils (540 mL) or about 2 and a ¼ cups, washed and drained
- 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
- 1/2 cup reduced fat feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/2 cup of pitted black olives, chopped
- 1 tablespoon fresh or dry dill, finely chopped
- A few pinches of sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 cup of frozen chopped spinach, slightly defrosted and separated or 1 cup sautéed fresh spinach, chopped
- 1 large garlic clove, finely chopped or put through a press
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
- I pulsed half of the lentils in a food processor and left the remaining half whole.
- In a large bowl, add the lentils, eggs, garlic, dill, lemon juice, salt/pepper, feta cheese, bread crumbs, chopped black olives and mix well with the chopped spinach.
- Allow the mixture to stand for a few minutes, enabling the bread crumbs to absorb the lemon and eggs.
- Heat some olive oil in a large skillet or frying pan and set to medium.
- Form lentil cakes or patties about 2 1/2 inches in diameter and 1/2 inch thick. Place the patties in skillet, in batches if necessary.
- Cook the patties until they’re browned on the outside, 3 to 4 minutes per side and then flip.
- Serve warm with a squeeze of lemon and dip in tzatziki, a flavoured mayo or plain Greek yogurt. ENJOY!