Mushroom Lentil Faux Gras

Mushroom Lentil Faux Gras

I am a sucker for French food and French wine. To this day, my favorite cookbook is still Julia Child’s “Mastering the Art of French Cooking.” A few years ago, I bought a vintage 20th edition copy released in 1971, the year I was born. The book has what looks to be wine stains across its pages, likely from the valiant efforts of another brave epicure hoping to recreate her world-famous bourguignon. I say valiant because if you’ve never seen Julia’s bourguignon recipe, let me just say it is a three-page lesson in patience. But alas, I digress.

The very first vegan cooking class that I taught was Vegan France. This recipe, along with my mushroom bourguignon, were two of my favorite recipes I shared with the class. A traditional molded foie gras is made with goose liver. It is salty and savory, and let me just say when I was a meat-eater, one of my favorite indulgences.

This recipe is an adaptation of Rebecca Leffler’s recipe from her vegan French cookbook. This “faux” gras is made with mushrooms, french green lentils, rosemary, thyme, walnuts, cognac, and a beet puree added in for color. Sure to satisfy even the most die-hard fin gourmets, I like to serve it with nice French Bordeaux and a traditional Pain de Campagne Bon appétit!


Mushroom Lentil Faux Gras

  • Author: Stephanie Bosch (Adapated from Rebecca Leffler)
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10-12 minutes
  • Total Time: 32 minute



  • 24 medium-sized (200g, about 2 cups) button mushrooms
  • 4 tablespoons olive oil
  • 4 tablespoons butter salted or unsalted
  • 2 small onion peeled and diced
  • 4 cloves garlic peeled and minced
  • 2 cups (800g) cooked green lentils
  • 2 cups (280g) toasted walnuts or pecans
  • 4 tablespoons liquid aminos or tamari
  • 4 teaspoons minced fresh rosemary
  • 4 teaspoons fresh thyme, minced
  • 4 tablespoons fresh sage or flat leaf parsley
  • 4 teaspoons Cognac or brandy
  • 2-teaspoon brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 34 tablespoons beetroot puree (recipe below)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper


  1. Wipe the mushrooms clean. Remove stem end and slice them.


  1. Heat the olive oil and butter in a skillet or wide saucepan. Add the onions and garlic, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions become translucent, 5 to 6 minutes. Add mushrooms, rosemary, thyme, sage, and Cognac/brandy and cook, stirring occasionally, until the mushrooms are soft and cooked through, another 5 to 8 minutes. Remove from heat.


  1. In a food processor, combine the cooked lentils, brown sugar, and cayenne. Scrape in the cooked mushroom mixture and process until completely smooth. Fold in beet puree. Taste. Add salt, pepper, additional cognac, soy sauce, or lemon juice, if it needs balancing.


  1. Scrape the pâté into a small serving bowl, top with a thin layer of vegan butter if using, and refrigerate for a few hours, until firm.  (If you’re making it on the fly, feel free to freeze it)


For Beetroot Puree:


  • ½ pound roasted red beets
  • ¼ cup Grapeseed oil
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • 1 tablespoons finely chopped shallot
  • 1 tablespoons water
  • ¾ teaspoons fresh cilantro leaves
  • ¾ teaspoons red wine vinegar
  • Pinch of black pepper


Place beets, Grapeseed oil, shallots, 1 tablespoons water, cilantro, vinegar, and remaining 3/4 teaspoon salt in a blender, and process until blended, about 5 seconds. Add beets, and process until smooth, about 40 seconds, stopping to scrape down sides as needed. Stir in black pepper.


Chili Cashew Queso

Chili Cashew Queso
What an awesome day on Show Me St. Louis.   Dana and Anthony were fantastic!  Here is the Chili Cashew Queso recipe that I made on today’s show.  The recipe is a variation of a Dana Schultz recipe from “The Minimalist Baker.”    Love her, and love her recipes!

Just because you give up dairy doesn’t mean you have to give up cheese!   Many things can make milk!  You just need milk with higher fat content to make good rich cheese.  Hence, cashews! I keep this cheese on hand all the time. I use it as a sauce for macaroni and cheese, and as a base for my famous black bean dip!  But one of my favorite things to use it for is the base for a broccoli potato soup!  Sometimes, I just shamelessly stand over the bowl and eat it until I’m about to burst.  Loaded with protein and spices, this cheese sauce it my absolute favorite.

To heat or reheat microwave, covered, in 30-second bursts, whisking at each interval and thinning with water as needed.  Or re-warm on the stovetop, whisking occasionally and thinning with water as needed.


Easy Chili Cashew Queso

1 ½ C. raw cashews

1 cup hot water

3 Tbsp nutritional yeast

1 tsp sea salt

1/2 tsp garlic powder

1/2 tsp cumin

Pinch chili powder (optional)

1 chipotle in adobo with a little sauce


  • To make the Queso, add all ingredients to a high -speed blender and blend until smooth. Stop to scrape down the sides at least once.
  • Feel free to substitute salsa, roasted jalapenos, or your favorite hot sauce in place of the chipotle pepper.   The sauce is also really delicious with no heat!

Tahini Free Roasted Garlic Hummus

Adapted from The Wholesome Dish

I love hummus, and my husband has crowned himself the king of hummus.  He makes it all the time.   And his hummus is forever changing.  It’s usually a product of his current culinary whims. Sometimes he adds fresh dill from our garden. Sometimes he adds a nice smoked paprika that we found at our local Indian Grocer. But he is always upping the ante.  For me, I like a simple traditional hummus.  Its simplicity is what makes it good, and I feel like why mess with a good thing? But there are times when you HAVE to change it up.  Like the time I was out of tahini.  Or like the two months I decided to give up all cooking oils.

This recipe does it all.  It is sesame free and oil free.  The creaminess of this recipe comes from the aquafaba.  What is aquafaba you ask?  It is the water that you normally drain from the can of beans, and it’s amazing!  We vegans use it all the time as a sub for eggs in vegan baking. The starchy liquid is a great binder directly from the can, but what really makes it magical is that it whips and creates foam. Aquafaba is therefore able to trap air; giving items structure at the same time it delivers a fluffy crumb and lift.  You can even make meringues!  In hummus, it adds a flavor and a creaminess that can’t be beat!  It’s the perfect sub for both the oil and the tahini!

Feel free to add whatever spices, or beans you want!  That’s the beauty of hummus, it can be as simple as whatever you have on hand, or as complex as you want it to be!   You can use it as a dip for veggies, or thin it out with a little bit of water and use as a dressing.  We love it on top of our Buddha bowls!

This is a keeper.

“Tahini Free Roasted Garlic Hummus”

  • 2 15 ounce can chickpeas (garbanzo beans, drained but save aquafaba)
  • 2 cloves roasted garlic (buy it pre-roasted at Fresh Thyme)
  • ¼ cup aquafaba from chickpeas
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice (freshly squeezed is best)
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp of ground coriander
  • ½ tsp of crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp parsley (dried)
  • 1 ½ tsp of salt
  • ½ tsp pepper (or to taste)

Mix all ingredients in blender, and blend until smooth. Add more aquafaba if you find that it’s too dry. Season to taste. Chill for a few hours, taste again, and adjust seasonings if necessary.  You can use olive oil in place of the aquafaba, but it won’t be as creamy, and you’ll save yourself about 240 calories!

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