Monday, July 19, 2010

Lentil, Mushroom and Walnut Pate with a Little Kick

Yesterday Dan was in his office most of the day trying to finish a work project since he will be out of town on business until very late tonight. I think his plane lands sometime after 9pm. Since I had time on my hands I spent a bit of it in the kitchen and am so I glad I did. This experiment turned out really, really well. I just it love it when an experiment turns out well, LOL.

We were out of hummus again, so I wanted to make some sort of bean dip. But then I thought about a mushroom and lentil pate I used to make. It tastes amazing but it uses truffle oil (nectar of the Gods in my opinion though now on my rarely used list) and truffle salt. *sigh* I knew I could make something without either and make it lower in fat by adding beans. Here is what I made:

Lentil, Mushroom and Walnut Pate with a Little Kick
Serves 12


1 cup red lentils
2 – 4 cups water
2 cups yellow onion, peeled and finely minced (allow to stand 10 minutes before cooking)
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely minced (allow to stand 10 minutes before cooking)
1 cup dried mixed mushrooms, rehydrated in 1 one cup of hot water (soaking liquid strained and reserved)
1 cup walnuts
1 chipotle in adobo
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
1 clove raw garlic, peeled and minced
zest of one lemon
1 green onion, thinly sliced
½ teaspoon dried thyme


Combine the red lentils, two cups of water, onion, garlic, rehydrated mushrooms and strained cooking liquid and simmer stirring occasionally. You may need to add more water to achieve completely soft lentils. You want to cook the mixture until the lentils are completely soft and most of the cooking liquid has been absorbed or evaporated. I made the mistake of starting with too much water so my lentils simmered a very long time to evaporate the water. Next time I will start with the lesser amount of water given and add a little when necessary.

Once the lentils are soft it is time to blend.  Add the walnuts, chipotle, tomato paste, nutritional yeast, raw garlic, lemon zest, green onion, thyme and cooked lentil mixture into your blender. I used my Vitamix. If you don’t have a high speed blender chop the walnuts first in your food processor and then add the remaining ingredients. Process the mixture until it is completely smooth like hummus. Taste for seasoning and adjust to your tastes. Move to a container with a tight seal and refrigerate until needed.

The pate is pictured above on cucumber rounds topped with Dijon, salsa or broccoli sprouts. I think the Dijon topped round was my favorite, but they were all good.

Nutritional information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 148.4
Calories From Fat (40%) - 59.11

Total Fat - 6.79g
Saturated Fat - 0.68g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 17.31mg
Potassium - 252.19mg
Total Carbohydrates - 16.49g
Fiber - 3.38g
Sugar - 1.71g
Protein - 6.24g


Damn this stuff is good. The texture it so close to pate it is scary. I decided to season it more like lentil and mushrooms rather and meat pate and I am really happy with how this turned out. It has a little bit of heat (from the chipotle) in the background. The fact that this doesn’t need liquid aminos or sodium is just shocking to me. I kept adding a little of this and a little of that until I thought it had enough flavor. Thankfully I was writing it down. This will definitely be repeated at our house.

For those of you that are wondering about what do to with the leftover chipotle and tomato paste I have a suggestion. Whenever I open a can of chipotles in adobo I wrap the leftover chipotles individually and store them in a marked bag in the freezer. I do the same thing with tablespoons of tomato paste. This works great and I always have small amounts on hand to use in recipes. What I used today came for the freezer. I tossed them both into the blender frozen and the heat from the beans and the speed of Vitamix took care of the rest. Those little frozen flavor bombs are quite handy.

Dinner last night:

Since we have our mid-day meal at 3pm on the weekend that means dinner tends to be lighter because it is a late meal. At our house a late light meal normally means either soup or salad. Last night we had salad. I made a very simple salad with romaine, collards, red cabbage, salsa, cucumber, tomato, broccoli sprouts, raw sunflower seeds and topped with a little nutritional yeast. If you haven’t added nutritional yeast to your salad it adds nice flavor without sodium, fat or calories. I wanted to mention this for those that haven’t tried it yet. My nutritionist friend mentioned it to me and I love it on salad now.

Unrelated note:

Dan left the house at 7am for an early flight to Norfolk. He is due back on the last flight tonight. Nothing like a short day right? Since he had to get moving very early this morning I opted to make his veggie and fruit juice last night before we went to bed. While I prefer to make his juice fresh, I assume juice that is 10 hours old is better than no juice. *rolls eyes* Neither of us is a morning person. I had to get everything ready before bed, our vitamins, breakfast, juice, you name it. Otherwise there would be no way he would be heading out of here on time.

Since he is having lunch and dinner with clients I can only hope that he will find a salad or bean soup on the menu. To make sure that Dan has something with calories to eat tomorrow I packed him trail mix to have in his bag to snack on.

Having the day to myself today means I will be taking it easy. I plan to watch at least one health DVD in the queue that has been piling up. Other than that my day today is fairly open. I am just going to take a break from my to-do list and play things by ear and do whatever appeals to me at the moment. This is something that I don’t often do but I think I need the break today.

For now I want to catch up on my health and nutrition reading that has been piling up. If anything catches my eye I will be back to share it. I hope everyone is having a good Monday and that your day didn’t start as early or rushed as ours. Talk to you later.


  1. That pate sounds heavenly. I love chipotles! Thanks for the tomato paste freeze idea. I don't know why I never thought to freeze it. I have frozen the chiptole/adobo though.

  2. Heather,

    I am really jazzed by this pate recipe. I had those three rounds with soup this morning for breakfast. This is really good, I hope you try it.

    I thought the same thing when I finally tried to freeze tomato paste, what took me so long. LOL

    I hope you have a good Monday,

  3. I love red lentils! Your pate sounds great.

    Isn't nutritional yeast on salads the best?! So good :-) Well, anything with nutritional yeast is good in my opinion, lol.

    When I used to drink smoothies for breakfast every morning, I wouldn't have time to throw them together before I left in the mornings either. So what I would do is make them right when I got home from work and throw it in the freezer. By the time I went to bed, it would be frozen (thus preserving more nutrients than just refrigeration), so I would move it from the freezer to the fridge to thaw over night. I would grab it on my way out the door, and by the time I was done with my workout it would be perfectly thawed and still really cold and refreshing! Hopefully you will just be able to drink your fresh juice in the mornings, but if Dan has any other early morning things I just thought I would mention it.


  4. Courtney,

    Seriously brilliant idea on the smoothie. I am going to try it with Dan's juice. My mornings would be so much easier if I made the juice the evening before. Thank you so much for sharing!

    Nutritional yeast is great on salads. I am a bit addicted to it now. Dan doesn't love it as much as I do, LOL. But he will eat it just not on every salad. ;-)

    Thanks again for sharing your ideas! This one will make my mornings so much more pleasant. I am not a morning person so I can use all the help in the morning I can get. ;-)

    talk to you later,

  5. I have to say, that pate does look like the real thing...hopefully you can win over some omni pate lovers with it and show them the light! LOL The ingredients sound really tasty, and I can imagine that it would go really well with the Dijon.

    The salad looks great; I like nut yeast on salad...and I have to say on almost anything...I always put a little dish of it out on the dinner table to sprinkle on as a condiment. John's like Dan a little, he's not soo much of a nut yeast fan, but he'll eat it if I sprinkle it on his food when I'm plating it up.

    Also, I like Courtney's idea about making a smoothie and freezing it and letting thaw for the next morning...I've been making smoothies in the morns lately, but some mornings I just plain run out of time.

  6. Rose,

    The texture of the pate was dead on (no pun intended). The dijon was my favorite topping, but I do love my mustand, LOL.

    Great idea about having a dish of nut yeast on the table. That is good idea of what do with my parmesan bowl if I can find a way to keep the felines out of it. They love nooch too, LOL.

    Courtney's idea is great isn't it? I just think that was a brilliant suggestion. I will be using it tomorrow and probably from now on.

    Yay for you making smoothies in the morning! Do you have a favorite combination so far? You should write a post about some of your favs (hint, hint). ;-)

    talk to you later,

  7. I don't really have a favorite yet...I've been pretty cavalier about it; just throwing in bits and pieces of what I far, I guess my fav was apple, blackberry, chard, cucumber, celery.

    I have to get a little bit more diligent about measuring it too...because I throw it in willy-nilly, sometimes it tastes pretty good, other times it's watery or something.

    Maybe I should follow a recipe (like one of yours) there's a novel idea :)

    Have a good one!

  8. Rose,

    When I am making fresh veg and fruit juice frequently I just start tossing things in. Then I taste it and add lemon, fresh ginger or carrot depending on what it needs. Since you are using a blender just save a litte room in the container to add stuff. ;-)

    talk to you later,

  9. This looks great and so creative. I just love seeing what you're up to everyday!!!

  10. Aimee,

    I am very pleased with this one. If you like pate I hope you give it a try. I had a bit more with my salad for lunch today. It is clearly a little addictive since I had it with breakfast and lunch, LOL.

    BTW, I am still craving that mango sorbet of yours. Mangoes are on my shopping list now. ;-)

    I hope you having a good Monday,

  11. I am intrigued with the pate!!
    I ahve never had traditional pate, so therefore I have no basis of comparison, but, I can almost taste this!!! I loved your salad. I always freeze my tomato paste in single serving uses when I have extra. I have tidbits in my freezer now!!!

  12. Brandi,

    The texture is the same as pate but I flavored it differently. I will warn you it is surprisingly addictive.

    I don't remember why I started freezing tomato paste, maybe I just got tired of throwing away what I didn't use. But it works well doesn't it?


  13. I love cute little bites like that zucchini appetizer. Also "yum" to the pate. I have never sprinkled nut. yst. on salad, but my favorite salad dressing is caesar dressing (no oil!) that has that as an ingredient.

  14. Jenny,

    I like nutritional yeast in dressing too. But when you are in a hurry salsa as dressing and nutritional yeast sprinkled on top the salad works great.

    Warning in the pate, it seems to be calling my name. I am finding it a bit overly tempting. ;-)


  15. Yum -- this sounds delicious!

    It's been awhile since I've visited as life gets busy sometimes, but looking forward to catching up on your creations!

    Dee :D

  16. Dee,

    Nice of you to stop by. I hope you have been busy with good things.

    The pate has seriously exceeded my expectations. This is one of my new favorite things.


  17. All I can say is "Nom Nom Nom"!

  18. Possum,

    We really like this, I hope you give it a try. It will definitely have a regular place in my recipe rotation. ;-)



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