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Southwestern Spiced Amaranth-Lentil Patties with Cilantro-Jalapeño Sauce

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Southwestern Spiced Amaranth-Lentil Patties with Cilantro-Jalapeño Sauce

Recipe courtesy of Lois Leonhardi

Lentil PattiesThese amaranth and red lentil veggie bites are flavored with a blend of Southwestern spices and topped with cilantro-jalapeño sauce. They are perfect for brunch, lunch, dinner or can be served as an appetizer. They are healthy and low-calorie, especially if you bake them. For a bit more decadence, you can shallow-fry them in ghee. For added protein, you can incorporate up to 50% ground turkey into the batter.

Amaranth is gluten-free grain with an earthy, nutty flavor. It was a staple food of the ancient Aztecs and is packed with protein. It contains essential amino acids, and is an excellent source of dietary fiber, manganese, magnesium, phosphorus and iron. The naturally-occurring phytonutrients in amaranth may have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant effects, protecting cells from damage.

Prep time: 40 minutes
Cook time: 8-10 minutes
Makes 15 small patties (3 servings)


  • ¾ cup amaranth (uncooked)
  • ¾ cup red lentils (uncooked)
  • 3 cups water
  • Southwestern spice mix (1½ teaspoons Himalayan salt, 1½ teaspoons chili powder, ¾ teaspoon oregano, ½ teaspoon cumin powder, ½ teaspoon black pepper, ¼ teaspoon turmeric)
  • 1 medium onion, grated
  • 1 garlic clove, pressed
  • ½ cup parsley, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons flax seeds, ground
  • 3 tablespoons coarse cornmeal (or regular)
  • ⅓ cup fresh mint, chopped (optional)


Cilantro-Jalapeño Sauce (mild)

  • 2 bunches (~2 cups) fresh cilantro, ends trimmed, washed and thoroughly dried
  • ½ small jalapeño, seeded and deveined
  • ½ cup plain yogurt (can substitute plant-based yogurt)
  • 1 clove garlic, pressed
  • 3 tablespoons lime juice
  •  salt and pepper to taste



  1. Preheat oven to 450⁰F .
  2. Grease a large baking sheet with 1-2 tablespoon of avocado oil
  3. In a medium pot, place amaranth, lentils, spice mix, and water. Bring to a boil, cover pot, and reduce to a simmer. Cook for 25 minutes until water is absorbed and amaranth and lentils are soft. Remove from heat. It will thicken as it cools.
  4. Add the onion, garlic, parsley, flax seeds, corn meal and mint (if using). Mix well. The batter is thick, but does not bind well.
  5. Scoop ¼ cup of batter and drop onto a prepared baking sheet. Gently shape into a small patty with back of a spoon. Repeat with remaining batter. Transfer to preheated oven. Bake for 8-10 minutes on each side until golden brown and crispy.
    **If you prefer, you can pan-fry in 1 tablespoon of olive oil.

Cooked patties do not freeze well. However, the batter may be made ahead and will keep in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Prepare the Cilantro-Jalapeño Sauce:

In a blender, combine the cilantro, jalapeño, garlic, lime juice, yogurt, salt and pepper. Process until smooth. The sauce can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Shake well before using.