Legend has it that vegan zombies only eat grains, making them less of a threat to humanity than conventional omnivores. That may be true of the old-school undead, but times have changed. If we can have nearly identical analogues for steak and seafood, why wouldn’t we be able to upgrade to plant-based brains, too?
This decadent brain food pâté is scary delicious. Creamy, firm but spreadable, buttery and subtly savory, brains are a delicacy unlike any other. The addition of blood-red sriracha on top introduces a spicy, tangy element that makes it truly irresistible. Heat from the chili peppers and acidity from the vinegar play off the richness of the brainy base. You might end up fighting the zombies off to go back for seconds and thirds yourself.
What Are Brain Foods?
Brain food pate is more than just a fun Halloween party starter; it has real brain-boosting nutrition behind it! A varied diet is key for reaping the greatest nutritional rewards, but certain foods in particular have been shown to have a greater impact on our cognitive abilities, such as understanding and processing new information, plus maintaining memory and concentration. This pate isn’t just brainy in appearance, but a smart choice for your health!
- Nuts and Seeds: Walnuts are particularly beneficial in this category, packed with protein and omega fatty acids. Protein builds brain cells, amino acids help them communicate, and omega fatty acids keep things humming.
- Beans: All legumes are like the support crew for your brain, supplying fiber, B vitamins, and those omega fatty acids. Fiber offers steady energy, B vitamins aid memory, and omega fatty acids keep your brain sharp.
- Beets: These earthy root vegetables fight inflammation, pack in antioxidants, and amp up blood flow, all of which help boost brainpower.
Big Brain Ideas and Adaptations
There’s a wide range of brains out there; big, small, sweet, and bitter. Use your own intellect to customize shapes and flavors to your own personal preferences.
- Nut-free: Swap the walnuts for sunflower seeds. If you want an even more haunting color, add a pinch of baking soda to turn those seeds green!
- Not spicy: For the more timid of palate, feel free to omit the sriracha and serve your brains plain, or use mild cocktail sauce instead.
- Hip to be square: If you need a less gruesome presentation for the office potluck or a less appropriate holiday, like Christmas or Hannukah, set the pate in a simple square baking dish, rather than a brain jello mold.
Don’t be a halfwit by serving up brains with no accoutrements.
- Something as simple as crackers and vegetable crudites will do just fine.
- Soft bread would also be a welcome foundation for this schmear, enjoyed solo or turned into a fully stacked sandwich.
- Briny pickles, such as cornichons (small cucumbers), cocktail onions, or pickled peppers help balance the richness of the pâté with contrast acidity and crunch.
- Serve up slabs of brain on salad plates for a formal first course, nestled into mixed greens to provide a crisp, refreshing element.
- Wine pairing are always welcome, particularly a crisp white wine, a light rosé, or a sparkling champagne to cleanse the palate between bites. Contrary to popular belief, a nice Chianti would be quite overpowering.
Vegan zombie fam, I’ve got you this Halloween. Stop settling for bland grains, when you can have genuine brains in all their glory. It’s simply a smarter choice for your health and happiness.
- 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Large Red Onion, Diced
- 5 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
- 1 Tablespoon Soy Sauce
- 2 Cups Mushroom or Vegetable Stock
- 1/4 Cup White Miso Paste
- 2 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
- 1 Tablespoon Agar Powder
- 2 1/2 Teaspoons Smoked Paprika
- 1/2 Teaspoon Ground Black Pepper
- 1 (15-Ounce) Can Butter Beans or White Beans, Rinsed and Drained
- 1 Cup Raw Walnuts
- 1/2 Cup (3.5 Ounces) Cooked, Sliced Red Beets
- Sriracha, to Taste
- Set a medium saucepan over medium heat and add the oil. Once shimmering, add the onion and garlic, sauteing for 8 - 10 minutes until translucent and lightly browned. Deglaze the with vinegar and soy sauce.
- Meanwhile, in a separate container, whisk together the stock and miso, until the miso is fully dissolved. Add the nutritional yeast, agar, paprika, and black pepper, stirring to incorporate.
- Once homogeneous, pour the liquid mixture into the saucepan. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to medium-low. Simmer for 5 minutes.
- Place the beans, walnuts, and beets in a high-speed blender. Carefully pour in the hot liquid mixture, then thoroughly puree. Blend until completely smooth and creamy.
- Lightly grease your mold and pour in the hot pate. It may seem very loose right now, but don't worry; it will solidify as it cools. Let cool to room temperature before placing the mold in the fridge. Chill for at least 3 hours, until fully set.
- When ready to serve, place a plate on top of the mold, then carefully turn it upside down. Give it a gentle tap if needed for the pate to slide down onto the plate. Drizzle liberally with sriracha, as desired.
Stored in a covered container, the pate will keep for up to 1 week in the fridge.
Please note that some of the links above are affiliate links, and at no additional cost to you, I will earn a commission if you decide to make a purchase after clicking through the link. I have experience with all of these companies and I recommend them because they are helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions I make if you decide to buy something through my links.
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 45Total Fat: 3gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 2gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 108mgCarbohydrates: 4gFiber: 1gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g
All nutritional information presented within this site are intended for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and any nutritional information on BitterSweetBlog.com should only be used as a general guideline. This information is provided as a courtesy and there is no guarantee that the information will be completely accurate. Even though I try to provide accurate nutritional information to the best of my ability, these figures should still be considered estimations.