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CARROT AND LENTIL PATE WITH RUBY RED SALAD

CARROT AND LENTIL PATE WITH RUBY RED SALAD

My friend G asked me yesterday if it was hard cooking vegetarian food. My other friend D jumped in saying: “Linda loves cooking, so it isn’t hard for her at all”. She was right my love of cooking definitely makes it easy.

I can see why it would be a daunting prospect for anybody who hasn’t got any experience with cooking meals free of animal products. When you watch any cookery shows chefs have a tendency to base their meal around protein by which they mean meat. I base my meals around protein too, in a much looser sense of the word. I don’t cook thinking here is my protein, here is the carbohydrate, here is the side of veg... I cook with the knowledge that a) we really need less protein that most people think and b) protein doesn’t just equal meat, it is abundant in plants. Therefore, with variety, my meals are naturally protein rich (or just right for my needs)

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall, in his TV series accompanying River Cottage Veg Every Day, talked about going vegetarian for the duration of writing this book so that he could see the vegetables as the centre of his recipes, not just as an accompaniment to the meat. That is the perfect approach for anybody who wants to include more veg in their cooking. Put veg on the front page.


CARROT AND LENTIL PATE WITH RUBY RED SALAD
With the salad try to have equal amounts of the veg.
Carrots for the pate can also be steamed, I prefer the roasted flavour. I have roasted them without any oil but you can use a little bit of olive oil.
They both yield quite a few servings, keep in the fridge for about 3 days.

carrot-pate

ingredients
CARROT-LENTIL PATE
1 small potato (about 80-90g/3oz)
90g (1/2cup) red lentils
230g (1/2 lb carrots), cut into sticks or chunks (sticks cook quicker)
1 clove of garlic, chopped
2 spring onions, roughly chopped
1 tsp miso paste (any will do)
1 tsp cumin
2 Tbs fresh coriander, chopped
squeeze of lemon to taste
freshly ground pepper

RUBY RED SALAD

3 medium carrots
1 large beetroot, raw
half a red cabbage
pinch of salt
juice of 1 large orange
2 Tbs raspberry vinegar
couple handfuls of pecans or walnut

method
  1. Preheat the oven to 200C.
  2. Cook the potato in its skin (or use leftover cooked potato). Cook for about 30min, or till soft when pierced with a fork. Drain and let cool. When cool enough to handle peel and put through a ricer or mash thoroughly.
  3. In a small sauce pan place the lentils and 375 ml (1 and 1/2cups) water. Bring to a boil and let simmer for 15-20min till lentils are soft and almost all the water is gone. Let cool. Rest of the water will get absorbed as the lentils are cooling down.
  4. Line a baking tray with a greaseproof paper, place the carrots on top and roast for about 20-30 min till the carrots are soft and begin to caramelise. Remove the carrots from the oven and let them cool down.
  5. In a food processor, combine the lentils, carrots, garlic, spring onions, miso, cumin and coriander. Process into a a pate consistency, mainly smooth with some texture (see picture). The pate shouldn’t need salt as the miso is quite salty.
  6. Tip the pate into a bowl and add the mashed potato and lemon juice to taste.
  7. For the salad, fit your food processor with the grating attachment, grate the carrots, beetroot and cabbage.
  8. Transfer to a large bowl, season with salt, add pecans, the orange juice and the vinegar.
  9. Serve the pate and salad with some oatcakes or flat bread.
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