Savory Spinach Crepes with Sautéed Mushrooms

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When I was on study abroad several years ago, my roommates and I frequented  a handful of restaurants semi-regularly, one of which was a creperie in Dublin’s city center. Like many that cater to the brunch crowd, this was an order at the counter establishment, and all the cooking was done just to the right of the till, behind the counter. I remember watching each time as the cook spread buckwheat or regular batter across the big crepe pan, let it sizzle, flipped, and then added toppings. Ever the one to favor vegetables, I often reverted to the menu options that leaned heavily towards spinach and mushrooms.

 

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Like in years past, The Recipe Redux challenged us to Grab a Book and Cook this month and because I wouldn’t want to break from tradition too terribly much, I reached for my newest Green Kitchen Stories cookbook and found a recipe on page 127 I’ve been tweaking for quite some time. I had even transferred my version to a word document, dated last from July. Of course it was a quick and savory green crepe recipe, leaning heavily on spinach and mushrooms. Apparently my preferred crepe flavors have changed remarkably little in all these years.

David and Luise use rice flour and eggs in their crepes, and then they dress them up with an extra step of tahini, apple, and garbanzo salad. I never did favor that particular combination, the extra step involved, or the heavy egg flavor that came through, as I’m often particular about how and when I’ll take my eggs. Instead, I tweaked the recipe over time to include buckwheat, garbanzo or garbanzo/fava flour for extra protein without another topping, and aquafaba as an egg alternative.

Being quick and easy, these are weeknight friendly and the batter will keep for a couple days in the fridge if needed. As an extra note for those who have allergy/intolerance restrictions or prefer to avoid purchasing unnecessary ingredients, I realized a few months back that my favored buckwheat flour was no longer being milled in a gluten-free facility. I tend to opt for metrics when working with flours anyway, and if you do too and have a semi well-stocked pantry and a coffee grinder, unroasted buckwheat groats (not kasha) will grind into a fine flour as quick as can be and doing so mostly skips the gluten-contamination issue. I also tend to keep leftover aquafaba (chickpea cooking water) in the freezer for occasions that call for quick crepe meals like this one, but if you’re partial to eggs and/or have flax or chia, those options work as well.

 

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Savory Spinach Crepes with Sautéed Mushrooms
, serves 3-4
adapted from Green Kitchen at Home

Crepe batter

¾ cup / 112 g buckwheat flour
¾ cup / 112 g garbanzo or garfava flour
6 Tbs. aquafaba (or 2 eggs, or 2 Tbs. ground flax or chia plus 6 Tbs. water)
2 cups / 500 ml non-dairy milk
1 cup / 250 ml water
a pinch of sea salt
1 1/2 cups fresh spinach, rinsed
1-2 tsp. coconut oil, for sautéeing

Mushrooms
1 lb./450 g mushrooms, cleaned and thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbs. coconut oil
a couple sprigs fresh or dried thyme
salt and pepper

Optional Accompaniments
plain coconut yogurt
additional spinach
toasted sunflower seeds

  • Place the crepe ingredients in a large mixing bowl and blend, using a hand (immersion) blender, until smooth and green. Alternatively, mix the batter ingredients together in a blender. Refrigerate for about 30 minutes while you prep and cook the mushrooms.
  • For the mushrooms, heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add coconut oil, garlic, sliced mushrooms, thyme, and a couple pinches of salt and pepper. Cook until the mushrooms are soft and glistening, about 8-10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Remove from heat and set aside while cooking the crepes.
  • To cook the crepes, heat an 8 inch (20 cm) sauté pan over medium heat. Add a pinch of oil and when it is melted, about 1/3 cup (80 ml) of the crepe batter. Tilt the pan until the batter is evenly distributed. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, until each crepe is golden and can be turned easily. Repeat with the remaining batter until all the crepes are cooked. There will be about 12 in total. Place the finished crepes on a plate in the oven on the lowest setting while cooking the remaining batter.
  • To serve, top each crepe with yogurt, if desired, and mushrooms. Feel free to add a small handful of additional spinach and/or some toasted sunflower seeds alongside to round out the meal.

If you’re of the mind, check out past December Recipe Redux posts:
Toasted Oat Porridge with Chamomile, Walnuts + Spiced Apples, from Chefs on the Farm
Chili with Chocolate and Walnuts, from Green Kitchen Travels
Quinoa + Chorizo Wintry Salad, from Vegetarian Everyday

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Gluten-Free Flaxseed Crepes with Oregon Berry Sauce and Orange Curd

This past week has been a trial of tough decisions.  Growing up, one of my mentors always had two phrases that will forever stay with me:  “Show up to win” and “Remember the good things, the things that were done right; forget about the rest, and focus on what you did that went well.”  He was talking about showing horses, but I’ve found, years later, that he lives his life by that motto, and we should too.

Though life can often be found challenging, W and I try to embrace the good, the fun, and the beautiful moments that can be had.  So we made crepes.  Deliciousness ones with fresh berries that are perfectly ripe right now, and slathered with creamy, sweet orange curd.  They were a momentary cure for life’s uncertainties.  We followed the crepes with a beautiful hiking adventure through a short stretch of old growth forest up to a serene and quiet lake.  There were few people, and we could embrace the quiet of only the birds and other small creatures living amongst the foliage.

If you, too, find you need a little something to forget about your worries for a while, calm your spirit, and focus on the moments that be lived fully, I suggest you make crepes and then wander on into the woods.  It worked for us!

 
Gluten-Free Flaxseed Crepes, makes 4
14 grams flaxseed meal (about 2 Tbs.)
14 grams amaranth flour (about 2 Tbs.)
47 grams gluten-free flour mix* (about 1/3 cup)
1/8 tsp. sea salt
1 large egg
160 ml water (about 3/4 cup)
  • Combine all flours and salt. Use a fork to stir in the eggs. Stir in the water. Rest 30 minutes.
  • Heat a well-oiled 8-inch skillet to medium-high.  Spoon 1/4 cup-amounts into skillet.  Tilt so the batter spreads as thin as possible.  Cook 2-3 minutes on each side.
  • Continue with batch, until all cooked.

Oregon Berry Sauce

  • Mix 1/2-1 cup fresh Oregon berries together. We used blackberries, raspberries, and blueberries.
  • Heat on stove top until the mixture is warm and bubbly.  Serve over crepes.
Orange Curd, recipe adapted from Culinate
2 1/4 cups freshly squeezed orange juice
9 large egg yolks
9 Tbs. sugar
3 Tbs. finely grated orange zest
6 Tbs. cold butter, cut into small pieces.
 
  • Pour the orange juice into a small saucepan, and cook over medium-high heat until reduced to 3/4 cup. (Have a liquid measure nearby so that you can check the volume as necessary.) Set the reduction aside to cool slightly.
  • Fill a small pot one-third of the way with water, and bring to a boil.
  • In a medium bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, sugar, and orange zest. While whisking, slowly add the reduced orange juice until completely incorporated. Set the bowl over the pot of boiling water, and reduce the heat to medium-low. Whisk constantly for 6 to 7 minutes, or until the curd thickens and holds its shape when stirred. (You can also do this in a double boiler.) Remove the bowl from the heat and gradually stir in the butter.
  • Set a metal bowl into a larger bowl of ice water, and strain the curd through a fine-mesh sieve into the smaller bowl. Stir the curd occasionally until it is cool, about 5 minutes. Transfer the curd to a small container, cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate until well chilled. Use within 1 week.

 

* My current gluten-free whole-grain mix of flour is:

200 grams brown rice flour
200 grams millet flour
200 grams sorghum flour
100 grams buckwheat flour
100 grams tapioca flour
100 grams potato starch
100 grams cornstarch