Do you have a vegetarian or vegan visiting you over the Christmas period? Are you are at a loss as to what to serve them? I know it can be stressful to cook at Christmas time – there’s just so much to get done – then throw a vegetarian or vegan into the mix and you have yourself a very stressful little Christmas; as you not only have to be extra vigilant with the ingredients, but you also have to be aware of cross contamination too. Well, look no further my little beauties because I have you all covered with this delicious vegetarian herb pate, which can also be adapted to suit vegans too. It’s so good in fact, it will have your guests singing the famous words in chorus – “Please Sir, can I have some more?”.
As always I used Quorn in this pate recipe, as I have a lot of respect for the brand and everything they have tried to accomplish over the years for not only vegetarians, but also people who are trying to lead a healthier life and cut back on fat and meat. I’ve eaten Quorn since I was 11 years old and like a fine wine, it has only got better with time. It’s funny because most people assume humans can only get their essential amino acids from meat, but Quorn products actually contain all of the amino acids that an adult requires; it’s also high in protein and fibre too with some of their products being low carb, gluten free and now vegan as well. I know what you’re all thinking ‘She must be affiliated with Quorn in some way or another!’ and that’s simply not true. I just love their products, as they are all versatile and I think this vegetarian herb pate is a perfect example of just how versatile it actually is, not only that, but I love the flavour too.
If you plan to make this ahead of time then you will need to sterilise the jars which you intend storing the pate in, but don’t worry, it’s not hard. Take your jars, wash them in hot soapy water, then place them in the oven for 40 minutes to an hour at 200c. Remove them and leave them cool at room temperature. Do not run the jars under cold water, as they will crack.
- 120g Quorn Mince
- 100g Quorn Chicken Pieces (they do a vegan version too)
- 2 Medium Shallots
- 100g Chestnut Mushrooms
- 1/2 Scoop (15g) of Pea Protein
- 60g Low-fat Soft Cheese (Whipped Coconut Cream for vegan)
- 20g Grass-fed Butter (Margarine or Coconut oil for vegan)
- 1 Garlic Clove
- 2 tsp Mixed Herbs
- 1 tsp Chilli Powder
- 1/2 tsp Turmeric
- Salt to taste
NB: I urge you to flavour the pate based on your own taste. It took me quite a while to flavour the pate, so please use the above measurements as a guide and base the end result off, of your own taste buds for best results.
- Chop your mushrooms and fry them in a heated frying pan on a medium heat until they start to soften. Peel and chop the shallot and toss it in with the mushrooms. When the shallot starts to soften, add in the Quorn mince and Quorn chicken pieces, as well as the garlic, herbs, spices and ACV and leave to cook until everything has softened and warmed through – leave to cool. If the ingredients start to stick to the frying pan then drizzle a little oil or butter.
- When the mixture is cool, add the cooked ingredients to a food processor and blend until the mixture is almost a puree. At this point you can add in the soft cheese and pea protein.
NB: If you are making the vegan version of this herb pate, after you have blended the ingredients once; whip some coconut cream with an electric whisk and gently fold the cream into the ingredients. As I haven’t tried this version before I’m not sure if there will be a hint of coconut in the pate, but it may be able to be masqueraded by adding some more herbs: taste as you progress. A better alternative would be a vegan soft cheese ( if you can find it) or blend tofu instead. The purpose of the soft cheese is to give the pate a mousse-like texture that is reminiscent of the meat pate, but also because it makes the pate easier to spread. You could omit the whipped coconut cream altogether, but I can’t guarantee the end results will be as successful as the vegetarian version.
- When your pate is complete it should have a bouncy, airy texture to it. If the mushrooms have made the pate too liquid, then add a touch more pea protein and blend again; spoon the mixture into your sterilised jars and cover with equal amounts of melted butter.
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