Veganniversary/ Mushroom & Hazelnut Pâté Recipe

It is 20 years since I became vegan! That means two things: I must be old, and everyone who thought it was ‘just a phase’ can suck it.

So of course I threw a wee dinner party. I was planning a big party thing but, y’know, working mum… winter nights… Anyway I’ve decided that I can keep celebrating throughout the year so stay tuned for some celebration/fundraiser gigs around the place.

Between the bad lighting, the many wines we blind-tasted and the frantic plating (how the hell do you keep the food warm without lamps?!), there is a distinct lack of good pictures of the evening but here is the menu: (Recipe Below.)

Veganniversary Menu:

Mushroom & Hazelnut Pâté , Baguette, Pickled Slippery Jack Mushrooms

Tongue in Groove 2015 Little Stomper orange wine

White Bean & Garlic Soup with Garlic Oil

The Bone Line Barebone 2016 Chardonnay

Roasted Pumpkin, Fried Kale, Toasted Pumpkin Seeds, Sundried Tomatoes, Wild Parsley, Micro Coriander, Tahini & Pomegranate Dressing, Sumac

Campo De Gules 2013 Crianza

Whole Roasted Green Cauliflower, Purple Cauliflower Chips, White Cauliflower Puree, Roasted White Carrot, Carrot-Top Pesto, Fried Onion

Barbera – can’t remember which

Dessert & Cheese Platter: Lupo Black Pepper Almond Cheese, Fresh Figs, Dark Chocolate, Frozen Grapes, Apple Jelly, Pineapple Sage Flower Mini Cheesecakes (adapted from The Minimalist Baker

Coffee, Pineapple sage tea, Pegasus Bay 1997 Finale dessert wine



Mushroom & Hazelnut Pâté



1/2 cup hazelnuts
2 tablespoons vegan margarine
1/2 large onion
2 cloves garlic
500-700g mixed mushrooms
1 teaspoon thyme leaves
1 teaspoon good quality salt
1/2 teaspoon of black pepper
2 tablespoons olive oil
pinch of cayenne pepper
150ml vegetarian chicken or mushroom stock
1/2 teaspoon agar agar

If you’re using whole hazelnuts, crack open in a mortar and pestle and discard shells. You want about 1/3-1/2 cup of shelled nuts. Spread on a tray and roast in an oven for 10 mins at 200 degrees celsius until dark brown. Cover in a clean tea towel and rub to remove skins. Set aside.

Peel and roughly chop onions and garlic. Cut mushrooms into cubes.
Heat margarine in a large frying pan, add onion. Fry for a few minutes until starting to soften, then add mushrooms, garlic, thyme, salt and pepper and cook down until mushrooms are soft and liquid has evaporated. Take out of the pan and leave to cool.

Blend toasted nuts while pouring olive oil in slowly. Blend until a smooth paste. Add cooled mushrooms and a pinch of cayenne pepper. Blend again.

(You can use this as it is – just transfer into a clean jar and spread on toast.)

Heat stock in a small pan until almost boiling. Add agar agar and stir continuously for 2-3 minutes to dissolve. Pour the liquid over your pate and mix until well incorporated.

Crush some whole peppercorns in a mortar and pestle until half-crushed – you want some chunks rather than smooth powder. Spoon pepper into molds and shake gently to coat the bottom. Gently spoon your pate into the molds, pressing and tapping to fill the space. Put into the fridge to set. Agar sets really quickly but the flavours develop with time so ideally prepare it 1-2 days before serving.

*(I used a blend of wild mushrooms – porcini, puffball and birch boletes. Wild mushroom will always give a stronger, more complex flavour but you can use button, shiitake – whatever edible mushrooms you can get your hands on).

Veganniversary/ Mushroom & Hazelnut Pâté Recipe

What Vegan Babies Eat Part 2


Anaïs has two tiny teeth! As cute as her very small toothbrush is, teething has been a bitch so in desperation I have become the type of person who makes homemade popsicles and teething pastes:

Banana Ice Bites

Blend: 1x banana, a dash of organic soy or almond milk, 1-2 teaspoons of chia seeds and 1 teaspoon of dried goji berries. Pour the mixture into an icecube tray and place 1x wooden popsicle stick into each cube (it’s ok if they fall over). Freeze for at least an hour. Alternatively you can pour the mixture into a wide container like a cake tin. Then just cut into cubes or long sticks as needed to give to baby. They can handle a fairly large chunk in their mouths as it melts quickly and is fun (and soothing) to roll around in the mouth and chew.

Homemade Teething Paste (doubles as a toothpaste)

In a bowl, mix: 2 Tablespoons of coconut oil, 1/2 teaspoon baking soda, 1 drop of clove oil, 5 drops of strong camomile tea, 5-10 drops of Weleda Toothache Drops (or arnica drops). When well incorporated put into a clean baby food jar or small container. Rub a small amount on the gums twice a day. *clove oil is super strong so check the paste on your own gums first to make sure the dilution is weak enough for your baby.

And here is some more of what she’s eating/drinking now:

  • oranges! (Yay for August in NZ)
  • porridge cooked with cubed pears and chia and/or sunflower seeds
  • banana icecream and banana ice bites (recipe above)
  • orzo (risoni) cooked with tinned tomatoes, chopped spinach, coriander and garlic (just throw a whole piece of peeled garlic in and mash it when soft – tastes sweeter that way)
  • toast fingers with hummus, smashed avocado or cashew cheese spread (recipe below)
  • cooked, smashed black beans on small pieces of soft corn tacos
  • overcooked broccoli florets with toasted sesame seeds
  • quinoa cooked with pumpkin chunks or grated carrot
  • chunks of kiwifruit
  • cauliflower pieces roasted with olive oil (and sometimes cumin/lemon juice/paprika)
  • brown basmati rice cooked with onion, tomatoes, smoked paprika and capsicum (kind of like a baby vege paella)
  • brown lentils cooked with kale and onion
  • mushroom risotto
  • broccoli and almond soup
  • cous cous with lemon juice, parsley and a little watered-down tahini
  • cabbage miso soup (recipe on earlier blog entry)
  • cubes of tofu baked in a little fresh orange juice, a dash of sesame oil and a dash of tamari
  • vegan potato gratin
  • truffled cauliflower (see photo above)
  • salt-free kale chips
  • pasta with kale pesto
  • pearl cous cous with coriander pesto and chopped preserved lemon
  • camomile tea
  • rooibos tea


Cashew Cheese Spread

I have no idea about quantities for this… I make it like I make hummus. I’ve guessed here but please adjust to taste.

Soak a couple of handfuls of cashews for 24 hours (super cheap if you buy broken, bulk cashews). Drain, rinse and put into a blender. Add: 1 clove of garlic or 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder, 1-2 Tablespoons of nutritional yeast, 1-2 teaspoons of salt, 1/2 teaspoon white pepper, 1-2 Tablespoons of either lemon juice or apple cider vinegar, some water. Blend. If it’s having trouble getting smooth, add more water. Blend until super smooth. If you’ve added too much water, place a sieve over a bowl, line with linen or cheesecloth and scoop mixture into lined sieve. Press and mix with a spatula until the consistency you want – too dry and it’s not spreadable, too wet and it’s unpleasant. You want it kinda like hummus in texture. Place into a clean jar and leave overnight for flavours to develop. Keeps well for a week or so.

Experiment with adding smoked paprika or herbs. My favourite combo is some fresh thyme and parsley and lots of black pepper.



What Vegan Babies Eat Part 2