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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 ;)

Vegan Waffles: Do Not Try This At Home

Le sigh.

To be honest, I wasn’t that nervous entering vegan week. I knew I had a bunch of delicious vegan recipes up my sleeve. There was no way I would go hungry.

But there was one nagging issue.

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I mean, I’m the self-proclaimed Waffle Queen. Waffles are what I do. I often make waffles without the use of cow’s milk. But I rarely make waffles without eggs.

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I searched the internets, finding picture upon picture of successful egg-free attempts.

Just leave out the eggs? Just like that? No chia egg or flax egg?

I started up the waffle maker. Mixed up my flour, vegan protein powder, baking powder, cinnamon, vanilla, coconut oil and almond milk.

I waited. Made coffee. Then it happened.

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The split.

The worst thing that could happen when making a waffle is for the thing to split down the middle, sticking to both sides of the press. I was screwed.

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Parts of the middle were still a little mushy, so I threw it into a frying pan and scrambled the vegan mess.

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In all fairness, the batter was downright delicious. Made only better by topping with toasted sliced almonds, coconut, blueberries and maple syrup. It was more than edible and filled my belly. Which in most cases would be a success.

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But this is my second waffle fail in a row. I would like to blame my waffle iron, but it still churns out waffled pieces of art for my roommie. I would like to blame the recipes, perhaps I should stop experimenting and stick to what I know. At this rate, I’m going to develop a waffle complex.

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At least I can still make a mean cup of coffee. Thank god coffee is vegan ;)

In other news, I am off to Ottawa tomorrow!

I’m taking the train for the first time ever.

To hang out with this girl…

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Sister Sara.

And this girl…

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Soeur Jane.

I hope to do something I’ve been dreaming of since I was a kid.

 
Skate on the canal in our country’s capital!

And hopefully eat more Elgin Street Diner poutine.

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Veganweekwhat?? :P

 

Question of the Day: What is one dish you feel intimidated to make? Right now croissants are at the top of my list. But I hope to tackle them soon!

Veganism: It’s Not All About The Food

I am loving the enthusiasm surrounding vegan week! Even if you love your animal protein (and believe me, I do too), an excuse to add more plants to our diets is never a bad thing.

But as a past (yet brief) vegan, I find myself noticing a huge part of veganism has thus far been neglected.

The point of veganism is to stay away from all animal products. But that doesn’t end with what we put in our bodies. It also includes what we put on our bodies.

I’m talking leather.

Suede.

Fur.

Down.

Wool.

Silk.

To me, veganism doesn’t end at the food. 99% of people make the choice to be vegan because they take issue with animals being hurt and used for our benefit.

I guess it’s all about finding where you want to draw that personal line. There are some vegans out there who believe wearing wool is cruel to the animal and won’t have anything to do with it. Then there are vegans who just don’t want to digest anything that came from an animal.

I don’t think there’s a right or wrong way to do it. It’s all about making choices that suit you. However, it is definitely food for thought. If I were to ever do veganism again, I would probably try to stay away from all animal-derived products because it’s what makes sense in my brain and in my gut. But I would never poo-poo on someone who thinks that’s silly.

For example, there is one vegan “rule” that I just can’t get down with.

Honey.

Bees run on instincts. They don’t have a central nervous system. I’m not sure what the environmental impact of farming them is. But in my own “Hypothetical Vegan Creed” honey is is a-okay.

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I grew up eating peanut butter and honey sandwiches every day that my dad packed us for lunch. Of all the things in the world to pair with peanut butter, honey is probably my favourite.

Why then, why, has it never occurred to me to put this dynamic duo on top of oats?

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I will take my honey-topped oats eaten in bed, whilst wearing my fake synthetic wool socks, thankyouverymuch ;)

 

Question of the Day: What are your thoughts on this? Is veganism just about what you eat, or about all products that you buy?

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