Everything has its beauty, but not everyone sees it.
This recipe has really been a long time coming on the blog, with 100% thanks to my mom, who never fails to adequately prepare for a visit from her kids with a freshly made pan of this delicious vegan pâté (among other delicious goodies, including her famous frozen brownies). Every time I visit her, I realize once again how good this recipe is – and one so indispensable it will save you a little cash if you tend to buy these types of things (which can be pricey in the stores, and bless those who are producing these great products). The base recipe is easily customizable, so feel free to try it once and then shake it up with added fresh herbs, fresh garlic or minced fresh jalapeno, or even mushrooms for added flavour. I like it plain jane, leaving the variety to the toppings on my sandwich or the goodies in my salad bowl – but hey, once you ace it, have fun with it and make it your own!
This pâté makes a great base for a super tasty and filling sandwich, loaded with garden fresh veggies inspired by a traipse through my parent’s lush garden or a trip to the farmer’s market. I love visiting my folks in the summer – and this year they surprised us with the new addition of a well built garden greenhouse, perfect for growing lush supplies of juicy red tomatoes (my absolute favourite). This time of year my folks meals are dictated by what is ready to pick: green beans, kale, zucchini, green peppers, cucumbers, peas, beets and potatoes are just a few of the organic goodies you can find growing there right now. Add to that the slew of ripe blackberries dripping from what seems like every gravel road corner, not to mention the stone-milled sourdough bakery across the street – and I’d say it’s a pretty good place to homestead. It’s a darned good thing then that they’ve been at it there for over forty years – and while the long trip means I only go back a few times a year, it will forever be that this little piece of property in the Gulf Islands of BC holds a special & sacred place in my heart.
We just returned from a quick visit as part of our week long getaway, and as always I’ve returned with my mom’s freshly dried garden mint, too many pics to properly edit, and loads of fresh inspiration, starting with this indispensable recipe for your new favourite pâté. Add a little to a bowl of raw or steamed veggies, smash it onto your favourite crackers, or use it in a sandwich like we did here.
We can thank my dear mom for this recipe that is soon to become a classic…..and I know you’ll already have everything you need for this ready to go. It’s a short, sweet, and super high quality ingredient list. Just the way I like it 😉
Vegan Sunflower Pâté:
1 cup sunflower seeds, ground (a dry Blendtec or Vitamix is great for this)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1/2 cup flour (many types of flour can be used, but I wouldn’t use almond flour … rice, garbanzo bean, corn flour makes it a bit more gritty unless a fine flour. I used freshly milled wheat flour)
3 Tablespoons Bragg’s or soy sauce
1 packed cup coarsely grated potato (squeeze out wetness)
1 1/4 cups water
1/3 cup olive oil
1/2 cup finely chopped yellow onion
1/4 tsp garlic powder
optional dry herbs: thyme, parsley or sage
Heat the oven to 350 degrees, and lightly oil a square or round 8-inch baking pan. Prepare all of the ingredients and add them to a large mixing bowl, starting in order from the top. To squeeze out the liquid in the grated potato, simply grate them and squeeze the potato in your hands over the sink, all of the water will come out and you will have a dry handful of potatoes.
Combine all of the ingredients well with your hands, until the mixture is evenly incorporated. Pour into the oiled baking pan and bake for 45 minutes, then remove from the oven and allow to cool. You can enjoy this freshly baked while still warm, or let it cool to room temperature. It’s great refrigerated for up to a week and freezes well too.
I always feel that sunflower seeds are a bit of an unsung hero in the nut/protein world. They are still incredibly budget friendly while other nuts and seeds have sky-rocketed in price. Sunflower seeds are high in protein and calcium, and can be much more digestible than other nuts like almonds or macadamias (two of my faves that I find a little tough to digest). You can still pick up a giant bag of these highly nutritious gems for less than $10, and they’ll go far. They make decent milks too, which are best enjoyed fresh, as I find sunflower seed milk can quickly turn bitter. Just keep them in your freezer for this recipe alone, you’ll be glad you have them!