Vegan Lentil Mince: A Healthier Substitute to Ground Beef

If you have been looking for ways to substitute ground beef in that spaghetti bolognese and shepherd’s pie or trying to get creative with your taco toppings this is how to do it. 

We have been skeptical of meat substitutes, especially the fake meat products. This is simply because we do not crave for that “meaty” taste. However, you do not have to be a vegetarian or vegan to appreciate the wonders of lentils. In this recipe they resemble crumbled cooked ground beef in texture but with walnuts and appropriate seasoning they will elevate any dish. This is simple to prepare and a great way to downsize your meat consumption.

Simple rule: 1 cup of dried, uncooked lentils = 500 gr of ground beef

 

Total Time: 40 m I Prep: 10 m I Cook: 30 m I Difficulty: Easy

 

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 100gr (1 cup) brown lentils washed well in a sieve
  • 25 gr walnuts
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 bay leaf
  • good pinch of cumin seeds
  • black peppercorns 

 

Method

  • Put all ingredients in a deep saucepan. Fill with water and bring to boil and reduce heat to low and simmer. Cook for about 20 mins 
  • As lentils cook a white foam will form on top. This is from the saponins which prevent protein digestion resulting in stagnation and gas of the bowels. Scoop up and discard this foam as much as you can. Cumin will help curb the gas problem. 
  • Drain well and remove the garlic clove and bay leaf. Put everything else in a food processor with walnuts and whizz a couple of times until the nuts are the desired size. 

 

If you need an inspiration to use lentil mince, check out our vegetarian moussaka recipe!