Hearty lentils offer meatless satisfaction in this reinterpretation of a childhood favorite. Serve on toasted whole wheat buns or use as a filling in corn tortillas. Either way, prepare to get a little messy!
Place lentils in a small pot. Cover with 2 inches of water. Cover and bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook until lentils are tender, about 30 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion and bell pepper. Cook, stirring frequently until onion is golden brown, about 5 minutes. Add chili powder, paprika, cumin, cayenne and tomato paste. Cook, stirring constantly until spices and tomato paste are fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add vinegar and then use a wooden spoon to scrape up any bits from the bottom of the pan. Add 2 cups water, garlic, apricots and crushed tomatoes. Reduce heat to medium-low and let sauce simmer until it thickens, at least 30 minutes.
When lentils are cooked, drain off any excess cooking liquid. Add lentils to the pan with sauce; stir well to combine. Mash some or all of the lentils using a wooden spoon. Toast hamburger buns in the oven, if desired. Ladle 1 cup of the lentil mixture on each toasted bun and serve.
Per Serving:320 calories (25 from fat), 2.5g total fat, 0g saturated fat, 0mg cholesterol, 220mg sodium, 61g carbohydrate (12g dietary fiber, 15g sugar), 17g protein