Wednesday 13 October 2010

Pate, Goslings and Bubbies

Do you ever buy a book for its cover? I did last week. I was recently saddened to see a new version of How it all Vegan. The cover in muted earth mother tones was just wrong. These colours are fine for the autumn fashion collection but not right for this book. The tone is full of fun and frivolity. I have always been attracted to the original gaudy cover with the colourful photo of the kooky authors. So when I saw a copy of the book with that original cover I snapped it up.

I have browsed the book in the stores often enough to be confident I would enjoy the pages in between the cover. Given that I own cookbooks that I have never cooked from, it is a good sign when I make a recipe from this book within a week of purchase. And the Voracious Vegan Pate was excellent. I made quite a few changes but for me, a good recipe should be flexible enough to work with different pantries. I also love new ideas the seem so crazy they just might work. Grated potato in pate is a new one for me but it does add to the texture.
So the recipe was flexible, innovative and delicious. That is high praise. But I must caution that when I first tasted it I wasn’t quite sure of it because it tasted too meaty for me. Then I tried it again and identified more flavours – mushroom, onion, nutritional yeast flakes, smoked paprika, cayenne powder and the merest crunch of sunflower seeds.. This was a recipe I needed as I have had good intentions of trying pate for a while and I haven’t had much inspiration in my dinner lately. The pate has been a great sandwich spread, the centre of healthy dinner platters and an excellent snack. I made it on Sunday when I had a bit more time. Which was just as well given that, once I had the vegies frying, I couldn’t find any sunflower seeds so I went to the supermarket in the middle of making the pate.It was one of those relaxed days which started with a lie-in while E amused Sylvia and then a walk to Coburg Lake where we watched the geese with their fluffy goslings. In the afternoon E and Sylvia played outside with her new sandpit while I started on the pate. I made the dough for a batch of Tofu Pesto Biscuits while Sylvia had her afternoon nap and baked them in the evening.Biscuits are very popular in our house at the moment. Sylvia’s face lights up at the very word, even if she is the one who is mentioning them – and it usually is! She drives them around in her trolley and will offer them to Zinckie but she knows that our cat has her own bikkies. She offers them to the alien in the sock, who is more receptive and often responds “nummy”. I suspect if given the chance she would have offered them to the goslings at the lake.

Whereas E and I prefer to just eat them. We have had lots of bikkies in the house with our pate. Tofu pesto biscuits, oat and walnut biscuits, sesame seed and poppy seed biscuits, rice crackers. We had the pate again for dinner last night and I discovered that the combination of avocado, pate and tomato is excellent. There is still more in the fridge so I am going to enjoy it for another few days. I am sure I will be making this again and I am looking forward to more great recipes from How it all Vegan.
Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe:
This time last year: HoTM: Chocolate Sesame Cookies
This time two years ago: Broccoli Soup from AWW

Voracious Vegan Pateadapted from How it all Vegan
  • Splash of olive oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 5 medium or 10 small button mushrooms
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 cup raw sunflower seeds, ground
  • 1/2 cup of breadcrumbs (or besan flour)
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp dried mixed herbs
  • 1/2 tsp dried sage
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 and 1/4 cups water
  • 1 medium potato, grated (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 medium carrot, grated (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp tamari or soy sauce (or maybe less)
* NB I used breadcrumbs instead of flour and reduced the water. My pate was quite moist and I wondered about increasing the breadcrumbs or using less water next time, by about ¼ cup either way.  Update: I have made this with chickpea flour (besan) for a gf version.

Heat olive oil in frypan and add onion, mushroom and garlic. Fry over low (or medium) heat until onion is soft. I think I fried mine for about 15 minutes and then left the onions in the warm frypan while I went to the supermarket.

Stir in ground sunflower seeds, breadcrumbs, nutritional yeast, salt, herbs, sage, smoked paprika and cayenne till you have a crumbly mixture. Add remaining ingredients and stir until combined. Tip into a lined and greased or a silicone loaf tin (as I did or a 20cm cake tin as the original recipe did). Bake for 45 minutes at 180 C until golden brown and the middle has firmed up.

Cool before eating and serve at room temperature. The recipe suggests it is best after sitting overnight and I would tend to agree. I just left mine in the fridge in the silicone loaf tin with some clingwrap on it but I think it would look excellent as a loaf on a serving platter surrounded by greenery or dippers if you were entertaining.

On the stereo:
Excuses for Travellers: Mojave 3


  1. Hi Johanna. I received How it all Vegan (original cover) for my birthday earlier this year and I still haven't made anything from it. I am happy to have a recommendation on a good recipe to start with, this really sounds great. Speaking of biscuits, earlier this week another blogger wrote that the biscuits in How it all Vegan are her favorite (the buttermilk variety). Now I have two recipes to try soon! Love those gosling shots, really adorable. The geese over there are so much prettier than the Canadian geese in the US. :)

  2. I always do that with recipes. I start with all good intentions and then change them as I go along. You used so many beautiful veggies and the smoked paprika sure gives the necessary kick.

  3. How it All Vegan is one of my favourite cookbooks (Our copy is one my husband bought for himself a couple months before he went vegan 8 years ago-- it's the ONLY cookbook i've ever seen him use). I love the cover picture too 8)

  4. Love, love, love that name - Voracious Vegan Pate! So alliterative. Sadly, I often buy cookbooks for their covers - give me a pretty cover and I am sucked in. Looks like a gorgoeus day in Coburg - sadly, the weather has reverted to winter.

  5. I am really keen to try this! Where did you find nutritional yeast?

  6. That looks fantastic! I know I say that about most of the things you make, but I'm actually on a pate kick at the moment (should I admit it's the real, liver-involving one I've been eating?) so love the idea of a vegan version. Specially seeing as I keep forgetting about the nutritional yeast in my cupboard!

  7. This pâté sound really good! and lucky me, I have just bought smoked paprika and had no clue what to do with it (I bought it only because the tin was so cute!!) So now, I am going to try your pâté!

  8. Thanks Sarah - hope you enjoy the pate - but beware that the biscuits I speak of are actually known as 'crackers' in the US! Seems our geese are different too - I used to find them quite scary as a child and still wont go near but goslings are cute

    Thanks Katerina - it wasn't til I started to write up what I did on my blog that I realised how often I alter recipes

    Thanks Shawna - I hope the book might become a favourite of mine too

    Thanks Cakelaw - I love a beautiful cover too, you must have had fun dragging all your cookbooks around your recent moves or were they in boxes? Glad to see a bit more sunshine today - such miserable weather yesterday

    Thanks Lisa - nutritional yeast is in a lot of health food stores (the sort that sell food not just vitamins) - Hannah has some I assume you can get in in Canberra

    Thanks Hannah - I am sure you would love a vegan version though I cannot really remember pate of the real liver kind - esp if you have nutritional yeast to use up

    Thanks Sweet Artichoke - I love smoked paprika so you will find it in many of my recipes - a little often will pep up any savoury recipe or savoury baking and will reduce the need for salt

  9. This looks pretty good! I was wondering how it would be done without the meat but it sounds very tasty!

  10. I have to say, I am often guilty of judging cookbooks by their covers. I have heard good things about How It All Vegan though! And this pate sounds delicious!

  11. This sounds most excellent! I actually have the book (original cover) and have never made this recipe--now I'm going to go search for it! The geese are so lovely, and that scenery is just gorgeous. What a great way to spend the afternoon!

  12. You are making my mouth water with that pate Johanna, especially with the photo that has a selection of goodies to eat with the pate. Nom, nom!

  13. I've wanted to try vegan or vegetarian pate for a long time but haven't gotten around to it! I will definitely be keeping this one in mind for when I do try. I love the How It All Vegan cookbook though I seem to forget about it now. My new favourite vegan cookbook is eat drink and be vegan. Highly recommend you get that if you don't have it!


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