I had an 8-ounce container of baby portabella mushrooms intended to be sliced and served in salads. But my taste buds were clamoring for some zingy sunflower seed pâté and what better vehicle to pair them with than marinated mushrooms. I first posted this combination last August and have since made the sunflower pâté many times. It's a wonderful item to have on hand for quick snacks, any raw vegetable is great with a schmear of pâté. Or use it as a base for leafy roll-ups or veggie sushi in nori rolls.
I stuffed the marinated mushrooms with a generous mounded teaspoon of the filling and included a few on my luncheon plate of summer rolls, rice wrappers filled rice vermicelli, shredded napa cabbage, slivered carrots, red bell pepper and cucumber. Not a completely raw meal, but mostly raw.
I use almond butter in all recipes that call for peanut butter— choosing to avoid peanuts, which aren't really nuts, but legumes. I make several different versions of 'peanut sauce'. All are simple to make and great to have in the fridge for dipping or thinned out with water to make an interesting sauce for steamed vegetables and grains.
Peanut Dipping Sauce: 1/2 cup almond butter . 1 clove garlic, minced . juice of one lime . 2 TBS grated ginger . 2 Tbs agave nectar . 2 TBS tamari . 2 TBS water . 1/2 tsp salt . 1/8 - 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes. This can be mixed in a blender or food processor, but I find it just as easy to whisk all together in a good size bowl (to avoid splashing).
Sunflower Pâté: 1 cup sunflower seeds (soaked) . 1/2 cup walnuts (soaked) . 1/2 sweet onion . 1 cloves garlic . 1 heaping Tbs tahini . 2 Tbs lemon juice . 2 Tbs tamari . 1/2 tsp salt . dash of cayenne. Place all ingredients in food processor. Blend until well combined with a smooth consistency. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
The pâté and dipping sauce quickly become staples in vegan and raw food kitchens, offering protein, a myriad of nutrients, not to mention they're real palate pleasers.