Amazingly tasty lentil and walnut paté

Life has been so busy over the last month, The Sensitive Foodie blog has been somewhat abandoned and forlorn. However, there’s been lots of activity in the kitchen so there’s plenty of new recipes and ideas to share – I just need to find more time to write about them!

Now I may have mentioned before (once or twice!) that I do love a bit of hummus – it makes a fantastic dairy free lunch option, is easy to make, even easier to buy. But no matter how much I like it, there is only so much hummus that one girl can eat! It’s time for a new lunch time option that’s equally enjoyable and flavoursome.

One of the objections people have when it comes to dairy free or plant based food is that it lacks flavour and depth. As The Sensitive Foodie, it’s my mission to prove them wrong, and I can definitely say that this paté hits the mark with both of these. On top of that, it’s packed with essential omega 3 fatty acids, tonnes of fibre and protein as well as fabulous amounts of magnesium, folate, manganese and iron.

When I used to eat meat, I did enjoy eating paté but did have my concerns about what exactly was in it – especially those with a course texture that had chewy bits in! Checking on the ingredients list, an ardenne pate, for example contains pork liver, pork, pork fat as well as pork rind with some dextrose (sugar), salt, herbs and preservatives added in. Hmmm, not really sounding too tasty now. Flavoursome, maybe, but packed full of saturated fat and cholesterol and no fibre, it’s a combination of toxins heading straight for the belly.

This lentil and walnut paté, however, is packed full of fibre, as the whole food has been included, and no cholesterol or preservatives. Texture wise, it’s pretty similar to a smooth meat paté, only softer due to the lower fat levels. It will last in the fridge for about 5 days. Oh and don’t forget that this is not only dairy free but gluten free too.

Personally, I cook my own lentils from the dried pulse, usually preparing a big batch to use in more than one dish. If you just haven’t got the time, or the lentils to hand, then used tinned, but don’t forget to drain and rinse really well under running water to wash away the salty fluid from the tin.
Everyone who has tasted this has been impressed – even my father in law – so give it a go and give your tongue, and body, a tasty lunch time treat.

Lentil and walnut pate
3/4 cup walnuts
1 cup cooked green lentils
1 onion diced
2 cloves roasted garlic (optional)
2 tablespoons tamari*
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 bay leaf
salt and pepper
First, heat the oven to 160oC and toast your walnuts for a few minutes so they’re lightly browned. Take out and cool. Heat a little olive oil or water in a small pan and sauté the onion and bay leaf together until it’s lightly browned and soft. Leave to cool and remove the bay leaf. Once the onion and walnuts are cool, pop the walnuts, lentils, onion, garlic, tamari and lemon juice into a food processor and blitz until smooth. Taste and add extra tamari, lemon juice and salt and pepper as required.
Serve as you would any paté and enjoy!

*tamari is a wheat free, gluten free soya sauce, made from whole soya beans and brewed in wooden kegs. I buy mine in Holland and Barrett.

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