Mock Chopped Liver with Lentils

mock chopped liver with lentils, onions, walnuts - vegan recipe
On Friday I made this version of a lentil paté that really does look like chopped liver, so I am calling this recipe “mock chopped liver.” I previously posted a recipe that I called vegetarian chopped liver – that one suggests eggs, and this one needs no egg, so it is suitable for vegans.

Ingredients for Mock Chopped Liver

  • 3/4 cup lentils
  • 1/2 cup walnuts
  • salt to taste
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tsp. cumin
  • 1 tsp. coriander
  • optional: ginger

Cook lentils until soft (add a bit of salt while cooking). Soak walnuts for about one half hour. Sauté onions for about one half hour – the lengthy sautéing helps to caramelize the onions, bringing more flavor to the recipe (if you stop after 15 minutes, it will still taste good). Blend lentils, walnuts and onions in the food processor with spices.

The inspiration for this recipe comes from Mary’s Lentil-Walnut Spread, Lentil Walnut Pate and my friend Klara.

I added this post to Ruth’s Real Food 101.

A Nutty Cookie

Nutty Cookies
These cookies were a Mother’s Day present from my daughter. She had a school assignment to get recipes for a book that would be presented to the mothers on Mother’s Day. So she and my husband went looking for the “perfect” cookie recipe – actually, they took various recipes they found online and combined them into a Raspberry Oatmeal Walnut Cookie. Last Friday I decided to make the cookies based on her recipe, and I was wondering why the recipe called for 3 cups of whole wheat flour AND 1 cup of oatmeal – that seemed to be an awfully dry cookie. I modified the recipe as I went along, and I found out when my husband came home that the recipe in the book was a conglomeration of various baking recipes. Oh, now he tells me. The recipe below is my modified version.


  • 1/2 cup brown sugar OR 1/2 cup white sugar + 1 Tbsp. molasses (I did white sugar + molasses)
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp. baking soda
  • 1 cup oatmeal (old-fashioned rolled oats)
  • 1 cup walnuts, chopped
  • 1/2 cup flour (whatever you like – I used white, unbleached flour)

Topping (optional):

  • 1/2 cup white sugar
  • 6 strawberries or 20 raspberries (my daughter’s recipe called for raspberries – I improvised with strawberries – worked fine)

Heat oven to 375°. Mix coconut oil, 1 egg, cinnamon and sugar in a bowl. Mix well. Add baking soda. Add flour, oats and chopped nuts. Mix well. If it looks dry (which my mixture did), add the second egg.

Put spoonfuls of the cookie batter on a baking sheet covered with parchment paper. Put in the oven and bake for 4 minutes. While the cookies are baking, mix the berries in the food processor with sugar. Take out the cookies after 4 minutes, and apply a spoonful of berry topping to each one. Then bake the cookies for another 8 minutes or so. If you skip the berry topping, you can just bake the cookies for 10 minutes.

•   •   •

My husband and I loved the cookies, and my sons said they were okay. My boys would have preferred the cookies without the berry topping. My middle son is considering making peanut butter with oatmeal cookies. His current peanut butter cookie recipe is just eggs, sugar and peanut butter.

Kale Radish Watercolor

radish watercolor painting
Radish Kale Nuts Parsley, Watercolor on paper, 2011 by Leora Wenger

Finally, after several months of not painting, I took out the watercolor paints yesterday. You can see some inspiration from this photograph of radishes, kale and nuts; the clementine on the left was in a different still life, and I decided that bit of orange would add to the painting.

Vegetarian Chopped Liver

farm chickens
Chickens at Howell Living History Farm in Mercer County, New Jersey

Thanks to this post that includes vegetarian chopped liver on Cooking Manager, I was inspired to once again try making a mock chopped liver. I think this one is a winner, folks!


  • 1/4 cup of walnuts
  • 2 zucchini, sliced lengthwise
  • 1 onion, quartered
  • 3 tsp. olive oil (experiment with amounts of oil – add a little at a time – you may need less)
  • Sea salt to taste
  • 2 hard boiled eggs

Bake the zucchinis and the onion in a stoneware dish in the oven for about 1 hour. You can do this the day before, or anytime you are baking other items in the oven. Take the baked vegetables out of the oven to cool. Chop the walnuts in the food processor. Add all the other ingredients except the hard-boiled eggs. You can see what this dish would be like without the eggs, in case you would prefer to have an eggless version of vegetarian chopped liver. I found it too watery, but when I added the hard-boiled eggs, oh, my, it obtained the creaminess of chopped liver. Also, the next day in the refrigerator it turns browner, so it looks more like chopped liver, too.

Alternative: use grilled zucchini and onions (I don’t have a pareve grill)

Have you made mock chopped liver? Any suggestions?

See also: Vegan chopped liver spread with lentils, walnuts and onions

Basil Pesto, Garden Fresh

My daughter asked, how come you haven’t made this since last year? Because I finally have enough basil to make a pesto! She had no idea that some dishes are seasonal.


  • 40 – 50 leaves of fresh basil
  • 1/3 cup of olive oil, cold pressed extra virgin
  • 1/3 cup of walnuts (or whatever nuts you choose)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt (or to taste)
  • 1 box of rotini noodles
    (or substitute steamed cauliflower if you are on a low or no carb diet or gluten-free diet)

Boil water for the pasta. When the pasta is almost done, put the nuts, olive oil, basil leaves and salt in the food processor. Blend it all until you have a thick, green paste. You can taste it, if you want to be careful about the amount of salt (or just because it is absolutely yummy!). Drain the water from the pasta, put the pasta in serving bowl, and mix in the basil pesto paste. You can either eat this right away or refrigerate it and serve cold the next day.

Optional: the traditional way to make pesto is with parmesan cheese, so you can also had 1/3 cup grated parmesan to your pesto. In addition to experimenting with different nuts, pesto can also be made from sage or parsley. If you have any variations you want to share, please do so.

This is one of my favorite summer treats. It has two healthy fats, olive oil and walnuts. Contrary to popular belief, studies showed almond eaters lost weight instead of gaining.