Mushroom, Lentil, and Quinoa Croquettes

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Morning, folks! Thanks for your comments on Saturday’s post. I didn’t expect that one to go so deep, but I was really fascinated by our conversation about the values and limitations of both holistic and allopathic medicine. It was also nice to see that so many of you are hungry for more integrative practices; that’s precisely what I’ve set out to do Smile

These mushroom, lentil, and quinoa croquettes happened spontaneously last week, as a means of using up some portobello mushrooms that were languishing in the back of my fridge. They’re proof that some of the best recipes happen organically, as we fool around in our own kitchens: I put the dish together at random, but the end result was so tasty and ideal that I wouldn’t go back and fiddle with anything.

I would imagine that these make great appetizers (you could serve them with a mushroom gravy, a dressing, or some cashew cream), fantastic fillings for a whole wheat pita pocket (think falafel, but untraditional), and of course I enjoyed them over and in a couple of meal sized salads. No matter what you choose to do with them, they’re delicious: a little cheesy, a little herb-y, and packed full of health fats, protein, and vitamins.

Mushrooms add texture to this recipe, but since I heard Dr. Fuhrman extol the virtues of mushrooms on Saturday, it would be remiss not to mention that they are also a potent example of food-as-medicine: the polysaccharides in mushrooms are thought to stimulate immune cells, potentially staving off tumor growth and infection. As an example, shitake mushrooms have been linked to the cell death of breast cancer cells, and regular mushroom consumption has been linked to at least some degree of breast cancer prevention in post-menopausal women. All told, mushrooms are as potentially health-boosting as they are delicious. Eat up!

Small disclaimer: this is a long ingredient list, but everything is common to plant based kitchens, and the flavors are solid. Don’t get intimidated: if you line your seasonings up beforehand, these are easy to make!

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Mushroom, Lentil, and Quinoa Croquettes (vegan, can be gluten free if you use GF breadcrumbs at the end)

Makes about 20 croquettes

1 tbsp water or 2 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
6 oz portobello mushrooms, chopped (you can substitute button or cremini)
1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
Dash salt and pepper
1 can lentils
1 cup walnuts, processed in a food processor, nut grinder, or Vita-Mix till they resemble a coarse meal
1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa
1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tbsp tamari or nama shoyu
1 tbsp maple syrup or agave
1 tsp liquid smoke
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley (or 1 tbsp dried)
2 tsp herbes de provence (or a mix of thyme, rosemary, and oregano)
1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs (or rice bread crumbs for GF eaters)

1) Sautee the onion and garlic in water or oil till tender and translucent. Add the mushrooms and sautee till they’re tender and well cooked. Add 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar and a dash of salt and pepper. Keep sauteeing till the mixture has only a small amount of liquid left.

2) Add the lentils and walnut meal to the pan, and give it all a few quick stirs. You want to keep stirring for about a two minutes, so that the walnuts take on a toasty flavor.

3) Transfer everything to a big mixing bowl. Add the quinoa, ACV, tamari, maple syrup, liquid smoke, nutritional yeast, parsley, and herbs. Mix well with hands, as if you were making meatloaf (ick!). If it’s too thick and pasty, add a little water; if it’s too mushy, feel free to add a little more quinoa.

4) Shape into something that’s about the size of falafel: bigger than a meatball, smaller than a veggie burger. Roll each in the whole wheat bread crumbs. Spray a fresh pan with coconut oil spray, and pan fry till each side is crispy and they’re very hot.

Alternately, you can bake these at 375 for about 30 minutes. Serve.

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These are so savory and delicious: I’m dying to make them again.

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Before I go, I might as well extend my Twitter poll to my blog: I’m thinking about getting an iPhone rather than upgrading my Blackberry. The reason I might want to is because my Blackberry’s browser isn’t great, and I’d like a sturdier, less feckless device; the reason I hesitate is because I’m not interested in apps or graphics, and I use my phone primarily for writing emails, so I’m afraid I might go nuts with the touchpad and autocorrect. Thoughts? Advice?


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Categories: Vegan Basics
Ingredients: Lentils, Quinoa

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  1. Hiya, these look fab ! I’m looking for easy recipes i can freeze then cook for my kids when i’m in a hurry… would these freeze okay.. would you freeze before cooking or after then reheat?

    Sorry so many questions and thanks for sharing 🙂

  2. I just made these and they are amazing probably the most delicious vegan recipe I have ever had. I use 3 oz of shitake mushrooms and 3 oz of portabello. I also added like 1/4 cup of cashews as I ran out of walnuts. They taste so indulgent you would never know they were healthy. With that said, it was a whole lot of work to make and took about 2 hours. I am happy I have 18 left that will last me while. I would definitely make them again for a special occasion.

  3. Hey Gena –

    We’re BIG lentil fans – inexpensive and packed with yummy nutritiousness. We actually buy organic lentils in 25 lb bags from our local HFS and they are so economical!

    I’ve made these little croquettes 3 times already and just love them. I work 12 hour overnight shifts (RN) and I really enjoy having these on hand to take with me to add some serious protein power to my dinner salads. Tonight they’re going over a bed of mixed greens (turnip, collards, mustard). Our local CSA had red cabbage recently so we made these and served them over sauteed red cabbage and onions – equally yummy.

    Thanks for another great recipe and TONS of inspiration!

  4. dELISH.

    Would you consider posting the nutritional value and caloric content for your recipes?

  5. I know I’m late on the uptake here but these are amazing. Except mine always fall apart after I cook them. Your’s look so solid, I can’t help but think I’m doing something very wrong. I may experiment by blending up some of the lentils to help everything stay together next time.

  6. Hi Gena… made these for lunch! My husband and I really enjoyed the earthy flavors— like the Shepherd’s Pie of yours we love so much! I appreciate your combination of ingredients here! Found canned lentils @ W.F.’s. Thanks for the tip. 🙂

  7. Hi, I’ve never commented before but had to tell you I made these for a potluck last week and they were a hit! Someone emailed me today to say she’s still thinking about them and could I send the recipe. As I don’t know how she figured out my email address or last night, I figure she must’ve been really determined to get that recipe!

  8. I stumbled on your blog and this recipe. I have recently been experimenting with vegetarian recipes and this one is excellent. A little bit of work, but worth it!!

  9. I was nervous about the touch buttons with my iphone too (previously having a blackberry). I LOVE my iphone. The auto correct is a bit annoying, but not terrible. The pros beat the cons.

    I love having it to catch up on blogs when I’m doing things like getting the oil changed in my car or waiting on any kind of appointment.

  10. I heart my iPhone. Even if you aren’t into apps, you might find some useful, things like periodic tables and ochem equations for now, grays anatomy/netter textbooks and harrisons internal medicine for later. And countless med calculators (I use medequations) and epocrates:)

  11. Just made them and they were incredible, even though I didn’t have balsamic vinegar (I realised too late). This recipe is a keeper, thanks for sharing Gena!

  12. This recipe just went to the top of my list! I have memories of making salmon croquettes with my mom as a kid, but since becoming a vegan I have not had a croquette of any variety. Really looking forward to trying these.

    As far as the iphone, the touch keys really bothered me at first but once I got used to it I had no problem. iphone was a good choice for me.

  13. i just recently (2 weeks ago) switched to the iphone 4s from blackberry. i find that in making it a point to type with both thumbs (as you do on a blackberry) you can type just as fast. Naturally, most people want to use one index finger to type because that is how you scroll through everything else. also – it is shocking how incorrectly you can type a word and the phone knows what you meant ninety percent of the time!

    and having a fast browser is amazing!

  14. I was so happy to read this post and all the comments! Firstly, the croquettes look amazing. I’ve just started a new job in DC and am having trouble making wholesome meals on the schedule I now have. Thank you so much for inspiration. And secondly, I was just doing research last night on iPhones. I’m about to switch from my blackberry as well! I’m going with the iPhone. It just seems to make more sense. Blackberry phones are touted for their security, but I don’t have any valuable information coming into mine, so it’s useless. Plus, iPhones are more aesthetically pleasing 🙂

  15. croquettes look delicious!!!
    and as for the phone we would say iphone! we love ours! and now Gary is thinking of getting rid of his blackberry and move to an iphone, seriously the best phones!

  16. These croquettes look absolutely wonderful. I want to make them but have looked for canned lentils @ all the local grocery stores around here and no one carries them. Whole Foods is over an hour away. Do you know if W.F. stocks canned lentils or where I can find them. You really are an amazing person, Gena! So balanced in your thinking and strongly dedicated to highly nutritious recipes. I love all that about you and hope to meet you one day. 🙂

    • Donna – Lentils generally don’t come canned as, unlike most beans, they are super simple and quick to prepare on the stovetop. WF and many online “bulk bin” shops carry a variety of dried legumes including several lentils.

    • Whole foods does have canned lentils, and they’re also VERY easy to cook. Thanks Donna! Hope to meet you too!

  17. Awesome! I am sending these to my mom right now. It makes sense that mushrooms are so healing, but I have never really thought of them that way before. Also, I love that you used the word feckless. My vocab is expanded every time I read your blog.

  18. Go Android! Like the iPhone, a far superior option than Blackberry (sorry RIM, this Canadian is not recommending your devices until you get your act together). The further advantage of Android, is it is as easy to use as the iPhone, but more customizable. In addition, you can choose for an array of hardware, so you could even get one with a hardware keyboard. I’m using the HTC Desire-Z, which has a slide-out keyboard and has been excellent for me. Great for web-browsing, email, a few key apps. Or, you can do far, far more with it as does my software-engineer boyfriend (he also has an Android, but an older non-hardware keyboard version). Non-Apple devices also have the added benefit as you can use them as external storage devices to transfer files, etc. (Don’t mean to bash Apple – I’m writing this on a Mac that I love). Love the blog 🙂

  19. Omg this recipe looks excellent I am going to have to try it this weekened. In regards to phone , touchscreens are awesome. I too was super frusted with blackberrys not so friendly browser, so I went to a touchscreen with keyboard then to a touchscreen with no keypad. It was super easy to just touchscreen especially with emails makes it so much easier, and now going back to a crackberry its hard not to be use to the touchscreen. You can’t make mistake with a touchscreen.

  20. I know nothing about iPhones or BBerries, so sorry not to be able to help there. But I’ve been living on bean stews lately, and although stew is more my pace than a patty/croquette, the latter is definitely more my husband’s preference. I generally don’t even try anymore to make things for both of us because our tastes are so different and he really doesn’t like most vegan food, but something like this looks crispy and toothsome enough that it might tempt him!

  21. Those look perfectly wonderful. Totally my type of dish. I have all of it except liquid smoke. Regarding the phone. I don’t use apps and that was Ny initial issue with getting an I Phone (I was resistant actually). I love it now. The touch pad keyboard takes some getting used to, but I find that I type faster on my I Phone. AND the google map has saved my life more times than I can count. It’s also useful to carry my music with me in the same device. Auto correct is funny sometimes, but it seems to learn what you type more frequently, like it suggests Swedish corrections to me since I type in Swedish sometimes.

  22. If ever I could plan an ideal imaginary dining experience, you would definitely be head chef (or at least write the recipes 🙂 ) This sounds delicious – will definitely try as soon as I get all the ingredients lined up.

  23. i forgot to put my thought over on the other post. will do that. these look good! thanks for thinking of us GF folks.

    i said to you on twitter to go for it. I had a slide out keypad which was one of the main things i liked about my previous phone. now I have the iphone. i got used to the touchpad and the rest of it is like 1000 times better than my other phone so it was worth it. best thing i have done. i feel like a dork saying i like my phone so much but i do!

  24. I never had a blackberry, but I have had an iPhone for a while now. I find the touchscreen slows me down and can be annoying, and the autocorrect is WAY more “auto” than “correct” most of the time. I still love it, but I don’t enjoy texting/writing emails with it much! I miss having a real keypad

  25. The recipe looks great. Perfect for dinner or to make extra and have in advance for re-heating for dinner. Planned leftovers and/or things I can pull out of the freezer are my sanity savers!

    The BB vs. iphone debate. I went through this about 9-12 months ago. I got the iphone but was so scared of autocorrect and touch screen. A year later I am pretty good with touchscreen. I still do think BB keys are faster but for the total, 1 million increase in functionality, ease of use, and just overall everything that an iphone has to offer…do it. Do it. Do it. I debated for a year before making the switch and 1 week later I realized I would never ever go back to a BB.

    Also, just the camera alone on the iphone will make your life sooooo much easier. It will transform how you blog. I promise. Everything will be easier 🙂

    • I got the teenager at the apple genius bar to undo the auto correct before i even left the store! Total non issue

  26. Hey! I recently switched from a Blackberry to an iphone. I’ve had a Blackberry for 4+ years … I was in love before the switch.

    At first I was iffy about my decision, but once I learned how to do everything, I fell in love.

    So while it may be scary at first, iphone is the way to go. Hope this helps!

  27. Gosh, we think alike…I’m eating a big bowl of mushroom, lentil and quinoa soup (a random but delicious creation too!) as I read this post. I’m a ‘shroom lover so you can be sure I’ll be trying your recipe soon.

  28. This is what you create when you’re fooling around in the kitchen? If I had these ingredients, it’d probably end up as a stir fry. I suppose that’s what I have you for, to share!

  29. You might not be crazy about apps and graphics right now, but when you discover how much your iPhone can enhance your life, you’ll wonder how you lived without it. I had a BB before and I would NEVER go back.

  30. Mushrooms mean so much to me, since I once wrote a college paper about hating them and now i love them. I can’t wait to make this!

    I don’t have an iPhone, but I do have a touch screen. I do find emailing to be occasionally annoying, but not that bad at all.

  31. I love this mushroom kick you’ve been on lately! Between the mushroom stroganoff and these croquettes, I’m in mushroom heaven. 🙂

    As far as the phone – I used to have a blackberry but switched to an iPhone last year. I personally find the iPhone to be much more user-friendly and have no problems with the touchscreen. And this is coming from one of the world’s slowest texters. haha

  32. This might be the most amazing-looking recipe you’ve posted yet – I’m such a huge sucker for falafel or anything in that family!

    As far as the phone, I would go for the Iphone. I have a Blackberry and the browser is extra-frustrating to me. I think that once you get used to the touch screen, the emails won’t even be an issue.

  33. medical apps on the iphone make it worth the price/touchscreen frustration/etc. i think the stat is around 80% of clinicians are using iphones in their practice. having epocrates and micromedex at your fingertips (for free!) will change your life. happy phone hunting!

  34. 1- these look incredible. i’ll be attempting a rendition.
    2- get the iphone. it’s so user friendly and fun and nice and i barely use apps but i enjoy writing emails on it. i find i often use it more than my actual computer.

  35. Wow, I had no idea mushrooms were linked to breast-cancer fighting properties! Wish they had taught me that in my early nutrition classes here at FSU. Fascinating stuff.

    These look deeeeelish!