One doesn’t have to be vegan to enjoy vegan food. This pâté managed to melt even Żubrek’s heart, who (and it now seems like a distant past) used to have a big issue with all things healthy. Now, I am regularly astonished, seeing him enjoying rocket leaves, garden cress or all the vegan/vegetarian inventions I present him with for dinner.
I do eat meat. But I avoid buying it from the supermarket. Not only the meat is often packed with potentially harmful substances (i.e. antibiotics, hormones), and the conditions in which the animals are kept are often not great. More about farm animal welfare in British supermarkets here. As organic meat is rather expensive, and I am currently not affluent enough to afford it on a regular basis, Żubrek and me developed a lifestyle, which allows us to be ethically conscious consumers, while looking after our health. The recipe is easy: eat less meat (only when we can afford good quality, organic one), a lot of vegetables and at least 2-3 vegan meals a week.
UK’s supermarket do one thing right: everyday the produce with expiry date approaching goes on sale, making it possible for people like me to afford organic produce. What I’ve noticed is that almost all discounted food disappears within few hours! Isn’t that great? By buying these food products on sale, we are not only saving money, but also preventing food waste and have a chance to feast on great, organic vegetables and fruits.
And let’s face it: what is expiry date on vegetables and fruits anyway? As far as I remember, the quality and freshness of fresh produce was always judged based on their appearance, taste, smell. Organoleptic test. I do hope nobody is throwing away expired (but still perfectly okay to eat) mangoes, cucumbers, tomatoes and bananas. Does it make me an idealist, the fact that I still have faith in people’s common sense?
But back to the awesome vegan pâté. Easter is right around the corner, and it calls (at least in Poland) for a good pâté. What would the Easter Sunday be without this Easter staple? But, as rebellious as I am sometimes, I stick to the tradition only partially this year, offering a vegan version of this Easter treat. And you know what? It tastes heavenly. Especially with homegrown garden cress.
RED LENTIL AND VEGGIE PATE (VEGAN)
makes 2 pâtés
2 cups red lentils
1/2 cup sunflower seeds
1/2 cup oats
2 garlic cloves
2 bay leaves
2-3 green onions
1 red chilli
black cumin seeds
bunch of parsley
freshly ground pepper
How to make?
1. Add three cups of boiling water to the pot with red lentils, add a bit of salt, bay leaves and cover the pot with a lid. Cook for about 20minutes, without stirring. When cooked, take out the bay leaves and leave lentils to cool.
2. Soak the sunflower seeds in boiling water for about 10 min. Drain.
3. Finely chop the onion and fry it with olive oil until translucent. Add finely grated carrot and celeriac, add a splash of water. Cover the pan with a lid and cook for 10-15 minutes.
4. Finely chop the chilli and green onions. Chop the parsley finely.
5. Add all the ingredients into a big mixing bowl (including chilli, green onion, red lentils, carrot and celeriac, chopped parsley, minced garlic and spices), mix thoroughly. Season to taste.
6. Transfer the mixture into two loaf tins, lined with baking parchment or tin foil (it would make it easier later, to take it out the form). Sprinkle the pâtés with (un-soaked) sunflower seeds and black cumin seeds. Bake for 45-50 minutes or until the surface of the pâté is golden brown and starts to loosen up by the edges.
7. Serve warm or cold, it tastes great with garden cress!