In my home, we tend to fall back on chicken when we're in a pinch. When we're busy, chicken seems to be the fare more often than I'd care to admit. Even though you can make it a thousand different ways, it can get kind of old.

All of the sudden, my oldest daughter, who is now nine, announced that she no longer likes chicken. She's joining the ranks of the growing number of people I know who are over chicken. Even though chicken is a good source of protein and incredibly versatile, there are plenty of other options - like these veggie burgers.

In no way do these burgers mirror the flavor profile of chicken, I consider them a healthy protein substitute. If fact, for the reasons below, these veggie burgers are actually healthier! Here's why...

Turmeric is simply an amazing spice. It helps with both phase one and two detoxification. A big deal and potentially a game-changer if you are dealing with any sort of inflammation (arthritis, chronic infections, the inability to lose weight, etc.). Detoxification comes in two steps: phase 1 and phase 2. Phase 1 helps to move toxins out of your liver and into your blood, but phase 2 helps to handcuff the toxins from your blood and escort them out of your body. Think of phase 1 as a garbage can and phase 2 as the garbage truck that hauls it away. By the way, I use turmeric A LOT in The Belly Burn Plan.

Black pepper, another essential ingredient to these burgers, helps to amplify the effects of turmerics superstar ingredient, cucurmin. Yes, I'm talking about the regular old black pepper you have in your kitchen cabinet right now. A lot of recipes seem to have gone the way of cayenne pepper. It's kind of refreshing to go old school with black pepper again.

Garlic and onion are remarkable, too. Did you know that in addition to fighting inflammation, onion also helps to regulate blood sugar levels? Bring it on. Most people I know need a helping hand in that area. Garlic has been shown to control blood pressure and lower triglyceride levels.

Lentils are high in protein. Much higher than their legume counterparts. They're also a good, no...make that amazing source of fiber. Fiber is a lynchpin in helping create a healthier gut by benefitting existing good bacteria. One serving of lentils has around 13 grams. Ideally, a minimum of 30 grams should be consumed everyday.

Protein Powered Veggie Burgers
Yields 8 burgers

1 cup dry French lentils*
1 cup old fashioned oats
2 1/2 cups water
1 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 tbsp ground flax seed + 3 tbsp water (mixed)
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon black pepper
1 teaspoon salt + a pinch
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

*I wanted to use French lentils because they're a little heartier, and with the darker color, give more of an authentic "burger" look. If you enjoy a different type of lentil, go ahead and use those. The cooking time for other types of lentils may differ from the directions below.

  1. Rinse lentils.
  2. In a medium pot, add lentils, one tablespoon olive oil and a pinch of salt to water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, and simmer and cover for about 25 minutes, or until water has been absorbed.
  3. In a pan, heat two tablespoons of olive oil over medium heat, then sauté the onions for two minutes.
  4. Add garlic to onion mixture
  5. Finally mix in the turmeric and pepper to the heated garlic and onion, stirring for about one minute. Remove from heat.
  6. In a large bowl, combine oats, lentils, flax mixture, onion mixture and teaspoon of salt. Mix well.
  7. Form into patties and sauté over medium heat with remaining tablespoon of olive oil for about two minutes on each side.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. Let me know what you think. Don't forget to pick up my book, The Belly Burn Plan today. It's got 65 other recipes that are healthy and full of healthy ingredients.