Believe it or not, this salad tastes like a cheeseburger without the ground beef or refined white-flour bun. Instead, it’s topped with a mixture of lentils and walnuts, which are surprisingly meatlike when seasoned properly (I promise!). Top this off with your favorite burger fixings and the special sauce—and you and your family will be licking the bowl clean. This salad is delicious served warm or cold, so it also makes a great packed lunch.
Prep: 15 minutes, plus soaking
Pressurize: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Natural Release: 10 minutes
Total: 45 minutes
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon paprika
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
½ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 cup green lentils
1¼ cups water
1 teaspoon fine sea salt
½ cup finely chopped raw walnuts
½ cup raw cashews, soaked for 1 hour
½ cup water
1 tablespoon raw apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons yellow mustard
½ teaspoon onion powder
¾ teaspoon fine sea salt
Chopped lettuce, tomatoes, and green onions; pickle slices; and shredded Cheddar cheese, for serving
1 To make the burger “meat,” press Sauté and add the olive oil to the Instant Pot. Once the oil is hot but not smoking, add the onion and sauté until softened, about 5 minutes. Press Cancel to stop the cooking cycle.
2 Stir in the garlic powder, paprika, cayenne, cumin, and black pepper while the pot is still hot. Add the green lentils and water, and stir to make sure the lentils are covered in the liquid for even cooking. Secure the lid and move the steam release valve to Sealing . Select Manual/Pressure Cook to cook on high pressure for 5 minutes.
3 While the lentils are cooking, make the special sauce. Drain and rinse the cashews, then add them to a blender with the water, vinegar, maple syrup, tomato paste, mustard, onion powder, and salt. Blend until very smooth and set aside.
4 When the cooking cycle on the burger “meat” is complete, let the pressure naturally release for 10 minutes, then move the steam release valve to Venting to release any remaining pressure. When the floating valve drops, remove the lid and stir in the salt and chopped walnuts.
5 Fill a bowl with chopped lettuce, the burger “meat,” tomatoes, green onions, pickles, and cheese. Drizzle plenty of special sauce over the top before serving. Store leftovers in three separate airtight containers—for the dressing, the burger “meat,” and the vegetables—in the fridge for 1 week.