VEGAN CARROT-LENTIL CAKES WITH GARLIC-HERB TAHINI SAUCE

These vegan, gluten-free carrot-lentil cakes with garlic-herb tahini sauce are something special. Packed with red lentils, carrots, and kale, they're bursting with savory flavors, hearty texture, and oodles of plant-based protein, boasting a mighty 8 grams per patty. I recommend enjoying 2–3 per serving, which makes for a meal with a whopping 16–24 grams of protein (and 8–12 grams of fiber to boot)!

Ingredients
Carrot-Lentil Cakes
  • 1 cup heaping stemmed and finely chopped lacinato "Dino" kale
  • 1 cup old-fashioned rolled oats, divided
  • 1 cup split red lentils, thoroughly rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon fine grain sea salt or to taste
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 cup raw pepitas, shelled pumpkin seeds
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh chives
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro leaves, tough stems removed
  • 1/4 cup shelled hemp seeds
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 2 cups water
  • 3 cups peeled and roughly diced carrots (about 4–5 large carrots)
  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

Garlic-Herb Tahini Sauce
  • 1 cloves to 2 garlic, smashed and peeled
  • 1 tablespoon champagne vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons filtered water, as needed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/3 cup tahini
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, tough stems removed
  • 1/4 cup flat-leaf parsley, tough stems removed
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper


VEGAN CARROT-LENTIL CAKES WITH GARLIC-HERB TAHINI SAUCE

Instructions
For the Carrot-Lentil Cakes
  1. Steam the carrots in a steamer or over the stove for 25 minutes, or until fork-tender.
  2. While the carrots are steaming, add the rinsed lentils and water to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, and simmer, uncovered, for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender. If needed, add more water to keep the lentils submerged. Strain and set aside.
  3. Preheat the oven to 400F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper or silpat.
  4. Add the steamed carrots, cooked lentils,1/2 cup of the rolled oats, garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, paprika, cumin, sea salt, cayenne pepper, and black pepper to a food processor. Pulse 15 to 20 times, or until the mixture is chunky and all ingredients are well incorporated, stopping to scrape down the sides halfway through pulsing.
  5. Transfer the mixture to a large mixing bowl, and add the reserved 1/2 cup rolled oats, chopped kale, pepitas, chives, hemp seeds, and cilantro. Use a spoon to mix well, ensuring all ingredients are evenly dispersed. The mixture should be damp but able to hold its shape.
  6. Use a 1/3-cup measuring cup to scoop out 1/3 cup of the mixture. Form the mixture into a patty that is 1-inch thick and just shy of 3 inches in diameter, and transfer to the lined baking sheet. Repeat with the remaining mixture. You should have 10–12 patties. (Note: the uncooked mixture is damp and can be a bit challenging to form and compact into patties, but I promise they're worth the effort.)
  7. Bake the patties for 23 to 25 minutes, or until the bottoms are golden-brown and they feel gently set but not firm.
  8. Remove from the oven and cool completely on the pan before moving. They'll continue to firm up as they cool.

For the Garlic-Herb Tahini Sauce
  1. Add all ingredients to a food processor and process until emulsified and the sauce just begins to take on a soft green color. The herbs should be very finely chopped. Transfer to an airtight jar or container and refrigerate until ready to serve.

To Serve
  1. The patties can be enjoyed on their own, over a bed of peppery greens, tucked into warm pita bread, or on bun. Serve warm with a generous drizzle of the sauce.

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