I am super excited about this week’s recipe. Growing up, cretons was one of my all time favourite foods. For those who don’t know, cretons is classic Quebécois food which is a meat spread. It is traditionally made with pork, onion, spices and bread crumbs. Cretons is a staple in Québecois breakfast and is often served at brunch. It goes great on toasts and bagels and is even better when it is applied on top of a layer of butter.
Since becoming vegetarian I obviously gave up eating cretons but never stopped daydreaming about them every time I went to brunch. Recently, my sister found a vegan version from a local vegan restaurant and bought them. They were quite good, but didn’t match the smokey and creamy meat taste found in real cretons. From that moment I knew that I needed to try my hand at making my own végé-cretons. So I started the planning, looking at the ingredient list of a couple of locally produced végé-cretons I could find.
My first batch tasted really good, and better than the store-bought version, but the texture wasn’t quite right. I experimented with a couple different techniques and ingredients and finally got to the recipe below; and damn am I proud of it. It will henceforth be a staple in my fridge, going on all my breakfast sandwiches. Not only is it delicious, but it’s also far healthier than the original recipe as it is made out of lentils and sunflower seeds. Not to mention how easy this recipe is, it can be completed start to finish in about a half hour! I hope this recipe can improve your brunch this weekend!
Active time: 15 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
- ¼ cup coconut oil
- 2 shallots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- ½ cup red lentils, rinsed
- 1 ¼ cup vegetable broth
- ⅓ cup raw sunflower seeds (shelled)
- 1 tsp sugar
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- Pinch of cloves
- ¼ tsp liquid smoke
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 2 tbsp bread crumbs
- 2 tsp nutritional yeast (nooch)
- Salt & freshly cracked black pepper
- Heat a large pan on medium heat. Once hot, add in the coconut oil and sauté the shallots, garlic and lots of freshly cracked black pepper for 3-4 minutes, until fragrant.
- Add in the red lentils, broth, sunflower seeds, sugar, cinnamon, cloves, liquid smoke and more freshly cracked black pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to a low and simmer uncovered for 9-10 minutes until most of the liquid has evaporated.
- Transfer to a food processor and add in the soy sauce, bread crumbs and nutritional yeast. Process for 30-45 seconds until the végé-cretons begin to be fairly smooth. They should still retain some texture from the sunflower seeds. Taste and adjust for salt, I would recommend adding about ¼ tsp, the végé-cretons should be relatively salty.
- Allow to cool and then put in the fridge for 3-4 hours before serving, as the végé-cretons will need to cool before they reach the desired consistency. Serve on warm toast with butter and enjoy!
Felix, thanks for sharing your Cretons recipe. I have been to Quebec several times but never have heard of it. I will indeed make it and try it and see what I have been missing all these years. Peace, Jerry