I’m already planning ahead for January. The tough thing about January when the holidays are over, is that we don’t leave the house much.

Why, though?

Yes, it’s cold, that’s one reason.
Yes, the snow, that’s another reason.
But the main reason is because our pants are too tight.

January is a time for facing the music. We ate too many treats during the holidays. Regret leads to resolutions. We vow to eat healthy and exercise with mixed results. You’ve heard of the Twelve Days of Christmas? These are the Seven Days of New Years’ Resolutions:

Day 1: Make resolution
Day 2: Exercise and eat healthy (optional)
Day 3: Denial
Day 4: Anger
Day 5: Bargaining
Day 6: Depression
Day 7: Acceptance (We like our pants tight!)

I wish to avoid the regret this year by eating healthier during the holiday season to begin with. Instead of an over-the-top, fatty goose liver pâté, for example, I made a plant-based pâté. The mushrooms, onions, garlic and herbs add beautiful flavor, and the ground walnuts, an overall decadent texture.

Serve this on top of your favorite cracker or sliced bread. I used sea salt crostini from Di Bruno Bros. found at Wolff’s Apple House. But this would be great on any of the LeBus breads they carry, Country French, Italian, Sourdough or Multigrain. Jerry Sheehan’s artisan sourdough baguette, sesame Italian or Asiago Cheese breads are great choices. Keep it light with any of the gluten-free crackers at the market.

If you want to be fancy, hollow out raw mushroom caps (any white variety or small portobello) and pass them on a tray as an hors d’oeuvre to guests. Pop them into your mouth with pinky extended. Remember, it is never necessary to sacrifice style for healthy eating.

Also, your pants will thank you.


Vegan Mushroom Walnut Pâté


  • Vegan Mushroom Walnut Pâté
  • Makes about 2 cups
  • Ingredients
  • 2 tablespoons water or vegetable broth
  • 1 small sweet, white onion, chopped
  • 3 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 16 ounces baby portobella mushrooms, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (or 2 teaspoons dried)
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
  • 3 tablespoons Bragg’s Liquid Aminos (substitute soy sauce)
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cups toasted walnuts
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Crackers for serving


  1. Heat the water (or broth) in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until softened, about five minutes.
  2. Add mushrooms. Cook for an additional 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Meanwhile, toast the walnuts by placing them in a small, dry frying pan on the stove over medium heat until just browned. Keep an eye on them so that they do not burn.
  4. To the frying pan mixture, add the thyme, sage, nutritional yeast, Bragg’s Liquid Aminos and balsamic vinegar. Allow the mixture time to cook down, about five minutes, then turn off heat.
  5. Transfer the mushroom mixture and toasted walnuts to a food processor, adding fresh ground pepper. Pulse until the mixture becomes a creamy pate. Do not over mix.
  6. Serve at room temperature with crackers, bread or crostini. Alternatively, hollow out raw mushroom caps and fill with the pâté.

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