When I was little, my Bubbie used to serve the occasional liver paté. I always thought it looked incredibly grey and gross. My parents somehow convinced me to try it once (I was a very picky eater) and as you might imagine, I was not won over.
And it’s not like my tastes were sophisticated. I mean, I ate hot dogs. Hot dogs. The worst bits of the pig rolled into one.
Isn’t it bizarre how we give some animal parts the label of ‘gross’, while other parts are deemed delicious?
As a nutritionist, it baffles me that we do the same thing as grown-ups, with both animal and plant foods. Brussels sprouts are vile, while French fries are mouth-watering. Chicken breasts are prized, yet calf brains are grotesque.
In fact, from a nutritional standpoint, organ meats are far more nutrient-dense than the limbs. If you’re into eating meat, shouldn’t one part of the animal be as edible as another?
But I’m getting sidetracked here.
This plant-based paté is going to knock your socks off. Promise. It’s easy to prepare, has loads of flavour and plenty of nutrients, too. Lentils are little powerhouses filled with protein, cholesterol-lowering fibre and essential minerals like magnesium and iron, while pecans are full of the antioxidant vitamin E.
Serve this with crackers, flatbread or veggies, or spread it on toast. I’ll admit it looks a little grey in the photo, but it’s anything but gross.
In your face, organ meats.
(Looking for healthy dessert recipes, or tips for how to eat deliciously on a budget? Then check out my e-books here.)
Lentil Pecan Paté
gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, soy-free, five ingredients or less
1/2 cup green lentils, soaked for a couple of hours (this improves digestibility)
1/2 cup pecans
half of a large onion (about 3/4 cup), chopped small
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tbsp chopped fresh rosemary, or 1/2 tsp dried
salt to taste
In a small pot, sauté the onions in a little bit of water until softened, about five minutes. Scrape them the out of the pot and set aside.
Add the lentils to the pot, along with 1 cup of water, and cook until they are tender, about half an hour. If there is extra water that hasn’t been absorbed, pass the lentils through a strainer to drain it.
Put the lentils, onions, pecans, mustard, rosemary and salt into a food processor. Blend everything together. You may need to add a tablespoon or two of water to help the mixture along.
Press the paté into a bowl and chill for an hour.