Daily Archives: March 15, 2011

Keeping Balanced: Homemade Veggie Pâté

I know my blog has been a little on the indulgent side lately. I’ve been frantically eating my way through Toronto before I leave in 10 days. My hometown is a lot of wonderful things, but rich in culinary diversity it is not.

Will all of this said, fret not, I have not totally gone off the deep end. I am “Balance Susan” after all. Not to mention, I’ve got a pretty effed up arm injury in need of nutrient rich foods to help it heal.

While not eating giant pancakes and shortbread cookies, there have been many, many fried egg sandwiches.

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I’m a strong believer in eating only what the body craves. Lately, when I think about food, one of the first things my mind goes to are toasted carbs with a fatty fried egg along with cheese or bacon. Rounded out with crunchy raw veggies for simple sugars and water.

When not off slurping up frozen yogurt or chowing down on thick BLTs, there’s been a lot of lean protein in the form of cottage cheese or tuna.

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Seen here is a meal of cottage cheese, tuna, chopped apple, raisins, a pinch of curry powder, and a dash of maple syrup. Did the body good.

Now mind you, I also crave a tray of freshly baked brownies every day. But I like to think I can distinguish between that craving, and the plain, simple food combinations that suddenly cause my mouth to water when I think about them.

When I saw this sunflower seed pâté sandwich at Bridgehead Cafe in Ottawa last week, I knew it was mine. With cashew butter, sprouts, carrots, all on a grainy bread, it sounded perfect for my hungered body.

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And I’ve been thinking about it ever since!

Veggie pâté is one of those things I lovelovelove but never make. My mom makes her own version and is my favourite kind ever. Her version contains a lot of ingredients and can be difficult to make. Being limited to one hand, I had to find a pâté that was easy to make.

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I ended up with this recipe because it contained few ingredients and lots of sunflower seeds like the Bridgehead sandwich I’ve been dreaming of. I used baby carrots so I wouldn’t have to chop a regular one with one hand. Along with one raw potato, half a large onion, one stalk celery, and two cloves garlic.

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I also liked this recipe because of the nutritional yeast! I knew it would give the pâté a cheesy flavour. I added half a cup of the stuff, with half cup whole wheat flour, and a full cup salted sunflower seeds.

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I strayed from the spices a bit and ended up adding what sounded good based on what I had on hand:

  • 1/2 tsp dried parsley
  • 1/2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1/2 tsp thyme
  • 1/2 tsp sage
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp dry mustard
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper

All thrown in the food processor!

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Along with 1 1/2 cups water and 2 tbsp lemon juice. I omitted the half cup oil from the recipe, it didn’t seem necessary.

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Those who can’t chop, blend!!

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I processed until there were just a few chunks left. But I knew it was a little too watery for my tastes when I poured it into a greased loaf pan.

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Baked at 350F for 90 minutes. A half hour longer than instructed, but definitely needed! I let it cool in the pan and found the centre collapsed once I returned!!

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Even though this is one of the “fancier” recipes I’ve attempted since my accident, I still gobbled it up in the simplest way possible – on pita bread. It’s exactly how I was craving it.

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Despite my watery woes, it turned out very spreadable like a normal pâté. I will however note that I like my veggie pâté more loaf like. It’s how mom makes it!

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Taste wise, it totally hit the spot. I love the potatoes and savoury factor the seeds and nutritional yeast add. The addition of oil may have amped the taste up even more, but I’ll save the greasy food for my adventures around Toronto’s restaurants. I gotta balance it all out somehow ;)

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