Thursday, August 5, 2010

Baked Mushroom Walnut Pate

As I have mentioned before I am trying to find ways to add mushrooms to our food everyday due to their antiproliferative properties. I have been racking my brain for ways to add mushrooms. This is a mixture of the lentil mushroom walnut pate and this pate de champagne. This time I wanted something with a slightly softer texture so that I could use it in a collard wrap. However, I think this would also be good spread on cucumber rounds (in place of crackers). Here is what I made last night:

Baked Mushroom Walnut Pate
Serves 7


1 cup mixed dried mushrooms
2 cup water
1 cup walnuts
4 ounces new potatoes
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast
¼ teaspoon dry mustard
½ teaspoon thyme
black pepper to taste (approximately ¼ teaspoon)


Combine the mushrooms and water in a microwave safe bowl and heat until hot (2 to 3 minutes). Allow the mushrooms to soak for at least 30 minutes. Strain the mushrooms and liquid through a couple of layers of cheesecloth, a fine wire strainer or a layer of damp paper towel.

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

In your blender combine: the soaked mushrooms, strained mushroom soaking liquid, raw potato, nutritional yeast, mustard, thyme and black pepper. Process the mixture until completely smooth. Taste and adjust the flavors to your taste.

Line a baking dish with a double layer of paper towel, or a kitchen towel, to keep the ramekins off the bottom. Pour the mushroom mixture into 7 – 3 ½ ounce ramekins. Place the ramekins in the baking dish. Pour water into the baking dish so that it rises ½ way up the sides of the ramekins. I did not cover the dish with aluminum foil but I will be doing this the next time to keep a skin from forming on the top of the pate.

Bake for 45 minutes, or as long as it takes the pate to get a little firm. It will rise a little like a quiche but will fall when it cools. The pate will be more firm when it is completely chilled.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 158.04
Calories From Fat (67%) - 105.26

Total Fat - 10.99g
Saturated Fat - 1.04g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 4.1mg
Potassium - 243.51mg
Total Carbohydrates - 9.2g
Fiber - 2.03g
Sugar - 0.55g
Protein - 3.41g


The only change I would make is to cover the pan while the pate is baking so the skin doesn’t form on the surface. Otherwise I am happy with how this turned out. It has a very intense mushroom flavor. The texture is smooth and spreadable. Walnuts give the pate an underlying richness. I added nutritional yeast for a buttery background. Thyme was added since this works so well with mushrooms. If you still cook with salt you may want to add that but otherwise I am happy with the flavor and the texture of this.

Dinner last night:

I have been craving salads for a few days, probably because we were out of lettuce. Last night we had a giant salad for dinner with romaine, red cabbage, black beans, salsa, tomatoes and avocado. It was SO good, man did I miss salad.

Almost a disaster:

After the salad I made a batch of strawberry and banana soft serve and my Vitamix started leaking out of the bottom. I was almost in a panic. What would I do if my Vitamix was out of service? I called Dan in to take a look quickly. We needed to get this problem resolved and fast. Thankfully it was a simple problem. He used the wrench that came with the machine to tighten the blade into the container and that fixed it. I felt like I dodged a bullet. The thought of not having the Vitamix was quite scary. ;-)

On a related note I am making the soft serve without oatmeal at the moment because Dan is trying to drop a few pounds. I was working so hard to keep weight on him I added a couple pounds too many. He feels best 5 pounds lighter than he was this morning.  If you would like to see the nutrition numbers without the oats let me know.

Breakfast this morning:

Since I was still craving salad I guess you know what I had. Yep, more salad. While Dan prefers a more traditional breakfast (oatmeal, with cinnamon, dried ginger, wild blueberries, ground flaxseeds and walnuts). However, I do have not breakfast restrictions. To go with my salad (romaine, red cabbage, black beans and salsa) I made two collard wraps (mushroom walnut pate posted above and marinated veggies). It was an enormous breakfast but so good and healthy.

Believe it or not I have eaten almost the entire jar of marinated veggies. Making more of those is on my to-do list today now.

I like to use collard wraps for sandwiches for a few reasons. First I don’t think bread adds any nutrition to a meal and a collard leaf does. Second collards are members of the cruciferous family of vegetables so anytime you can add them (particularly raw) go ahead; they are great for your health.

Shredded red cabbage goes into my salads because I always try to eat the rainbow and the purple family is not the easiest to consume. I use wild blueberries, blackberries and beets where I can but red cabbage always works in salad so that turns up often at our house.

I also try to eat beans as often as I can for their fiber and protein. They also help me to feel satiated. If you have high cholesterol incorporating more beans in your diet is said to help lower your LDL. It must work as both mine and Dan’s is below 100.

Finally I make sure to incorporate a little fat (in the form of nuts, seeds or avocado) into every meal so that we can efficiently absorb the fat soluble vitamins in the food we are consuming. I don’t think you need much but a sprinkle of walnut parmesan or a dollop of cashew crème fraiche adds fat, flavor and nice mouth feel to food so why not.

I hope that helps you to understand why I include some of the things you see us eat regularly. I keep these things in mind when I am cooking. When we first started eating this way I memorized details. But now I have done this for some long it tends to happen automatically. Eating for health became something we just do.

Fresh Juice:

Every morning I make Dan a one liter bottle of fresh juice to take to work. I do this to increase the vitamins and macronutrients he consumes every day. While I know our diet is better than most in terms of health I think adding more nutrition has to be a good thing. The juice I make varies a little depending on what I have on hand but is very similar to what I made this morning which was:

Dan’s fresh juice
Serves 1 husband


10 carrots
3 apples
1 ½ lemons
5 collard leaves
1 inch fresh ginger
1 medium beet
3 stalks celery


Run this through the juicier and stir to combine. Keep chilled until ready to drink. Dan usually has a mug of this first thing in the morning and then has mugs of it regularly throughout the work day with a handful of trail mix.

Nutritional Information:

Amount Per Serving
Calories - 737.48
Calories From Fat (5%) - 38.22

Total Fat - 4.84g
Saturated Fat - 0.75g
Cholesterol - 0mg
Sodium - 813.88mg
Potassium - 4723.41mg
Total Carbohydrates - 184.51g
Fiber - 0.00g
Sugar - 89.74g
Protein - 18.72g


Both Dan and I think this juice actually tastes good in addition to being good for you. This bottle of juice contains 161,700IU of vitamin A, 400mg of vitamin C, 680mg of calcium, 7mg of iron, 7.5mg of vitamin E, 11mg of niacin, 2mg of B6, 350mcg of folate, 1500mcg of vitamin K, 500mg of phosphorus, 230mg of magnesium, and 3.5mg of zinc. Can you imagine getting that much nutrition without adding fresh juice? That is why we added a juicer to the equipment at our house.


I finally slept well last night. It was so nice to get up and not feel foggy. The weather is not so great today. It has been cloudy and threatening to rain all day but it is humid and sticky outside. Hopefully we will get a little rain today since the farmers need it.

I need to get a few things accomplished today since I have been slacking this week. I hope everyone is having a great Thursday. Talk to you all soon.


  1. Great post, Ali. Everything looks delicious! And I know what you mean about missing salad...I never thought that I would miss it, but it's pretty much my biggest obsession.

    Oh, and I had a little mini panic-attack just reading that something was wrong with the Vita. HUGE sigh of relief!


  2. LJ,

    I never expected to become a person that missed salad. Who misses salads, other than you and I? LOL

    Thanks for the support on the Vitamix. I knew you would understand. Apparently the machine has enough torque to loosen the blade assembly. Wow! Who would have expected that? But it did take years. *shakes head*

    hugs to you too,

  3. That pate looks great...I have a food processor in Washington so I will try that when I get back. Also will purchase a juicer...I want to do like you do!

  4. Aimee,

    Thanks, I enjoyed the mushroom intensity of the pate.

    I think the juice has to increase our antioxidant and mineral levels. We get so much fiber from our food (40g plus per day) that I don't worry about missing the fiber from juicing.


  5. That pate sounds so earthy...I'm sure it's delicious.

    I'm a die-hard salad muncher too...a dinner wouldn't be complete with out it, maybe because salad was always part of dinner when I was growing up...I can totally relate to missing salad if you don't have it for a day.

    That salad looks extremely munch-worthy by the way, as to the wraps...great shots!

  6. I love the looks of your black bean salad. I bet tastes great! I have never had the Pate stuff. I might have to try that sometime. Well, I guess I will have to try them all now. They all look great!

    Be well!

    Peace :)

  7. I love mushrooms so it's great to hear they are super good for us. This pate sounds super easy and looks yum, will have to give it a go! I love your blog because I learn so much about nutrition without having to do all the work! Lol.

  8. Rose,

    Thanks for the pate compliment, earthy is good description. I don't typically cook with mushrooms everyday so adding so many to our food has been more of a challenge than I expected.

    I tend to eat salad as the main dish these days which is very different for me. But I have been almost addicted to them, which must be a good thing for our health. ;-)

    I think it takes some time to get the hang of making collard wraps. But I seem to have it now, LOL. They are also a new obsession.

    I hope you are having a good week,

  9. Chandra,

    Thanks, I really enjoyed the salad. ;-)

    I used to love to make pate when I was omni. Apparantly some things never change. As you may have noticed I like "munchie" little foods like things spread on cucumber rounds so pate is perfect for me, LOL.

    thanks for your kind words,

  10. Ali, the pics look fab!
    The black bean salad is one that I make often. Our favorite. :)
    I can only eat a small portion of the salad. :( I have to consume a soluble fiber before touching the salad otherwise I have tummy troubles.
    I am trying to juice more to get in my nutrients. I was curious about the calories of the juice?
    Is it 737+ calories per serving?
    Also, I have a nice bag of Shiitake mushrooms in my CSA goodies this week. I have never cooked them before. Do you have a favorite recipe? I would love to know!

  11. Carol,

    I didn't realize until recently how good mushrooms are for us. You can expect to see many more recipes with them turn up on the blog in the future.

    This pate is very easy. I love anything I can toss into the Vitamix. ;-) Low involvement food is my favorite for everyday.

    I have not always been this focused on nutrition and didn't really know where to start initially. I try to share what I have learned to make it easier for everyone to get or stay healthy. Good nutrition always seems to come down to the same things though. Eat your produce, beans, nuts and seeds and minimize or elimiate the other stuff. The question for me is always how to make food that tastes different given those parameters.

    thanks for your kind words and good luck with the pate,

  12. Naina,

    Fresh juice tends to be very calorie and nutrient dense. I drink it as a meal replacement. The calorie count is for the entire recipe that makes the pictured one liter bottle plus another half mug (about 8 ounces).

    With fresh shitakes you need to only use the caps, the stems are tough. I save the stems in a freezer bag to make mushroom stock. I love shitakes marinated in a little mirin and liquid aminos and slowly cooked. They are great that way with green beans and onions. I also like to used sliced shitake caps in my miso soup. You can use them in any mushroom recipe. They are make a great mushroom sauce or gravy too. I hope that helped.

    thanks for your kind words,

  13. Thanks for the tips on the mushrooms. I will freeze the stems. :)

    Now I am a little nervous about juicing. The juice doesn't satisfy my hunger. I will still want to eat in an hour.

    I am so frustrated with my colon!
    I wish I had the courage to try an extended fast. If it worked life would be sweet. However, I fear the unknown of the fast. Plus, I doubt insurance would help with the bill. :(

  14. Naina,

    If you send me an email with items and quantities you are putting in your juice I will run the nutritional info for you. It only takes a few minutes to do.

    Sorry I can't be more help,

  15. Ali, I think I will just juice baby greens, and candy tomatoes. I'll eat my fruit. This way I will feel like I can eat something.
    I don't think the baby greens will have many calories, the tomatoes either. :)
    Thank you so much for your kind offer! =)

  16. Naina,

    If you change your mind let me know. The often is open ended. ;-)


  17. "man did I miss salad. "

    you are not alone!! i cannot NOT have lettuce in the house!!

  18. 161,700IU of vitamin A

    lol thats ridiculous(in a good way), i was blown away by that number!!

  19. Michelle,

    I think you will understand this, but others may think it is nuts. Late last week when I went to Costco I bought 30 heads of romaine hearts for Dan and I. It is scary that they will be gone in 10 days or less. Clearly we have salad issues and need help. ;-)

    I am always blown away by the numbers on the juice. Dan and I have been joking that he will start glowing in the dark soon with all the nutrients I pump into him every day.

    talk to you later,


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