Peculiar Purple Pâté and why you should eat a rainbow

April 28th, 2010 · Lisa · product review, Review · Comments

If you’re looking a delicious protein source this simple Pumpkin Seed Pâté from Becoming Raw maybe the perfect solution. One serving of this pâté contains 15 grams of protein, which is more than a 2-ounce hamburger or veggie patty. 

But why is it purple? Well, the powerful phytochemicals packed into fruits and vegetables offered up this interesting surprise when I added a purple carrot rather than an orange one to the ingredients in my food processor. It didn’t affect the flavour but it did make for a more interesting presentation. 

With this colour-me-confused moment, I started thinking about the importance of consuming a range of colourful foods.

Oh, but first I soaked my seeds (I hope this behaviour is catching on in your kitchen too)

It is really easy for most of us to fall into a routine of eating the same things week in and week out. I know we are creatures of comfort, we crave the familiar, especially when life gets busy or stressful. However, consuming a variety of whole foods really helps to ensure that we get the full spectrum of vitamins and minerals that we need. 

I love cookbooks and food blogs as a great source of inspiration to try a new recipe, new ingredient or new cooking technique. (On her blog, Mandee challenged herself to highlight meals focused on a different ingredient each week for 13 weeks). Doing cookbook reviews for the Toronto Vegetarian Association and here on my blog, has pushed me to experiment with flavour combination that I never would have imagined on my own. Through the process, I’ve learned a lot about creating delicious meals, working with a broad range of spices, fruits and vegetables. When I talk about ramps, fiddle heads or durian most of my friends look at me with a blank stare. But I know many of you share my passion for understanding what different foods can offer as fuel and as a source of pleasure for our palates.

Most weeks I eat a rainbow, but I can easily fall into a rut where each colour is being contributed by the same reliable source, for example:

Red: Apples
Green: Kale & Broccoli
Orange: Carrots
Purple: Blueberries
Yellow: Summer squash (yellow zucchini)
White – Cauliflower

Over the last few weeks I’ve found myself reaching for a little more variety, including:

Red: Bell Peppers, Tomatoes, Raspberry, Strawberries & Beets
Green: Dandelion Greens, Kohlrabi, Asparagus, Nappa Cabbage, Bok Choy, Cilantro, Parsley, Avocado
Orange: Bell Peppers, Oranges, Melon, Mango
Purple: Blueberries, Purple Carrots, Figs, Red Cabbage
Yellow: Bell Peppers, Nutritional Yeast, Corn
White – Nuts, Seeds, Celeriac, Daikon, Jicama

We are drawn to vibrant colours in the foods we eat. Packaging of processed foods tries to entice us by leveraging our natural inclination toward brightly coloured fare.

The diversification of our diet serves a similar role that it does in our finances. It provides protection (covers your bases), increasing the chances that you will get the resources (vitamins, minerals or money) you need. We don’t always know exactly what our bodies need so selecting foods of all different colours improves the chances that we’ll satisfy all of our nutritional needs.

If you’re vegan and do not consume fortified foods I do suggest supplementing your diet with a good source of B12, such as nutritional yeast.

What 3 foods do you regularly rely on for flavour and nutrition? Have you added something new in the last month? Does it vary by season?

Have you ever eaten the same meal so much that you had to take a break from certain ingredients? I’ve heard from many young vegans who eat PB and J everyday until the could no longer stand the smell of peanuts.

Do you have a favourite cookbook that you turn to for inspiration when your meals start to lose your lust for making dinner?

Training Update:
Last night I did 55 minutes on the bike at a 95-98 RPM cadence – followed by a 5 minute run (just to loosen up those legs).
Tonight I did a 9km run with about 5 short hill repeats.
I’m feeling a little tired but it is more mental then physical – you know, work stuff!

I have just two more days of my Becoming Raw review. I plan to share one more recipe. Let me know if you have a request. Otherwise, I’ll pick my favourite from the month to share on Friday.


  1. Posted April 28, 2010 at 9:55 pm

    The pate looks good. I tend to eat the same savory things every day – raw soup/salad. When it comes to dessert, it's a wider variety, lol -lots of banana, blueberry, and/or chia puddings.
    The 3 foods I rely on daily would be: romaine, cacao, grapefruit. I know what you mean about food rut, but hey, I eat what I love 🙂

  2. Posted April 28, 2010 at 10:45 pm

    Oh yes! I have definitely overdone some foods to the point that it has had a lasting effect for many years. 🙁

    Several years back someone introduced me to the peanut butter with bananas sandwhich. I was shocked – it sounded so gross and it was so delicious! I started eating it almost every day. I got sick of it eventually and haven't had it since.

    Also, I used to go through phases of eating a lot of raisins and getting sick of them, then after a break being able to start eating them again only to get sick of them eventually. That one seems to come and go but the peanut butter and banana combo has stuck. Which is odd because I feel like I could eat an unlimited number of plain peanut butter sandwhiches or bananas on their own but the combination….!

  3. Posted April 28, 2010 at 11:04 pm

    I believe getting variety is important, but I do go through periods where I just crave certain foods more than others. I love my grapefruit and collards right now.

    Pure2raw twins

  4. Posted April 28, 2010 at 11:14 pm

    I've made something that looks almost identical to that pate. I have a copy of Sergei and Valya Boutenko's book, Eating Without Heating. One of the recipes is for raw "sausage" patties. It's made with cabbage, pumpkin seeds, caraway seeds, onion powder and a few other spices I think. They don't tell you to dehydrate, but I do anyway for an hour or two, as it gives a bit of a crust to the exterior. I wouldn't want these patties now, but in the fall and winter I enjoy them. They also don't tell you what kind of cabbage to use. I've made these 2 or 3 times, and each time I happened to have purple cabbage available. Particularly before I dehydrate them, they look excactly like your pate.:).

  5. Posted April 28, 2010 at 11:21 pm

    i just got becoming raw in the mail! can't wait to delve into reading it.

    What 3 foods do you regularly rely on for flavour and nutrition? Have you added something new in the last month? Does it vary by season?

    i rely on greens, bananas, berries and probably hemp the most. (sorry that's 4!) I have added some local greens now that there are more at the farmer's market.

    Have you ever eaten the same meal so much that you had to take a break from certain ingredients?

    yup! i do this all the time.

    Do you have a favourite cookbook that you turn to for inspiration when your meals start to lose your lust for making dinner?

    i have so many recipe books I turn to all of them! or online recipes.

  6. Posted April 29, 2010 at 2:36 am

    I definitely need to have more focus on rainbow foods. That's a beautiful pate!

    My (slightly cheating) mix of staples would be:
    1) watercress, spinach & rocket as a salad mix
    2) bananas
    3) cashews & raisins or dates mixed

  7. Posted April 29, 2010 at 9:38 pm

    Heathy, Lori and Michelle
    I've been craving grapefruit a lot lately. Juicy grapefruit in the afternoon is such a refreshing treat. I'm glad your meals make you happy!

    barbee, pb & b was a big favourite of mine growing up and still a comfort food I crave when I'm sick.

    Mindy – so you've made purple pate too! You inspired me to pop some pate in my dehydrator to extend its shelf-life. Thanks for the great idea.

    Bitt-I hope you love Becoming Raw. I would love to hear what you think.

    Bitt and Antony – thanks for the suggestions for local greens. I need to start expanding my selection with the change in season.

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