Happy New Year everyone!
After a super rejuvenating visit home, I’m back in Calgary for my first winter out west. I truly had a wonderful Christmas holiday visiting friends and family, and although it was busy as heck, I feel extremely thankful for having such fun and caring people in my life. Being in a new city is exciting, but sometimes I miss having the familiarity and history that I have with people and places back home. The visit was just what I needed to start off the new year.
Since I’ve been back from my trip, it has taken a while to get back into the kitchen routine. Let’s be honest; eating plant-based can require a lot more prep time than the standard American diet (SAD). Especially if you want to eat on the cheap, making your own beans, hummus, pâtés, nut milks, nut cheeses, etc, can take up a good chunk of your regular routine (although if money allows, you can usually buy these items). Sometimes I feel overwhelmed by the amount of cooking I feel like I have to do in the week to make whole foods for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And, sometimes I feel as though a lot of vegan bloggers and writers don’t address how much more work it can be.
On the other hand, I was recently watching an interview with Canadian plant-based cookbook author Dreena Burton, and she brought up a good point that eating home-cooked foods, whether or not it is plant-based, takes more time than to just reheat a pre-made meal. Eating healthy, no matter what, takes a bit of elbow grease. I believe that the extra time I am investing in home-cooked wholesome food is an investment in my long-term health. And, that is what I want to remind myself during the times I feel overwhelmed by the prep work.
And that’s all I will say about that. I just wanted to address this issue that I believe many vegan writers don’t. The recipes I write about here do take time and prep, but they are cheap and worth the effort if you can find the time to make them.
Today I want to write about a recipe for veggie pâté, which is a delicious vegan food that I honestly cannot get enough of. When I was living in Quebec, veggie pâté was available at any grocery store, but this is not the case in Ontario or Alberta. So, like many other vegans out there, making it myself is a good alternative, and it freezes well (hello pâté sandwiches for weeks!). You can put this stuff in salads, wraps, sandwiches, and crackers. Here’s my recipe, inspired by many different recipes from all around.
1 cup toasted sunflower seeds (baked from raw at 350*F until golden and smelling, around 10 minutes)
1 small sweet potato or regular potato, chopped
1 medium carrot, chopped
1/2 onion, chopped
1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 tsp sage
1 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp paprika
1 tbsp soy sauce or tamari
1 tbsp white vinegar or lemon juice
1 tsp salt
Pepper to taste
I started by preheating the oven to 350*F. In a food processor I pulsed the sweet potato, carrot, and onion until it was almost a puree. I transferred the mixture to a bowl and stirred in the flour, nutritional yeast, sage, oregano, paprika, soy sauce, vinegar, salt, and pepper. I transferred the mixture back into the food processor and added half the sunflower seeds. I blended the mixture until it was a uniform consistency. I transferred the mixture back into the bowl and stirred in the rest of the sunflower seeds. The mixture was baked in a lined and greased loaf pan for 45 minutes, but it could take up to one hour. The pâté is done when it feels firm on the top and the edges are golden. Keep an eye on the pâté at around 40 minutes, as the edges can over-cook, and you may need to add some tin foil for the last bit of cooking.
My favourite way to eat veggie pâté is on toast with hummus as a base and avocado and sprouts on top. I had no sprouts, but you get the idea in the picture below. Best breakfast, lunch, or snack EVER.