More than ever, creativity in the kitchen can be an important boost to our health, mood and taste buds. With limited options in my pantry at the moment (not wanting to go to the store much these days), mealtime calls for some clever tweaking. I thought I'd share what's been keeping it interesting over here.
I'm a recipe collector. Recipes are the foundation for much of my inspiration – swapping out proteins, gluten, dairy and inflammatory oils for healthier options that my body favors. With that process of tweaking and my current kitchen resources, necessity really has become the mother of invention. The result: new soup, entree and dessert ideas to share.
- Cashew Cream Spinach Crêpes. Who remembers the amazing creamed spinach crêpes at the Magic Pan restaurant in New York City? I had a hankering for them last week. From a New York Times recipe for an egg, ham and cheese buckwheat galette, came my gluten-free, dairy-free, healthful cashew creamed spinach crêpes. Read on for my recipe.
- Dessert Crêpes. There were a few unfilled buckwheat crêpes leftover. Filled with organic Nutella-like chocolate coconut spread, or with nut butter and banana slices, they made excellent dessert crêpes.
- Miso Veggie Noodle Soup. Last week, I yearned for a healthful, warming lunch. Scavenging the fridge and pantry, I found miso paste, chard, tofu and Miracle Noodles – ta da! Sliced and sautéed chard strips and tofu added to a simple miso soup, plus boiled Miracle Noodles became a hearty, healthful soup. (Note: If you haven't yet tried shirataki noodles like these, it's time. Made from a resistant starch – great for the microbiome – these fun noodles offer fiber with zero carbs.)
- Lemon Chicken with a Chickpea Twist. Dried out falafel balls became a crumb coating for my lemon chicken. Into the food processor they went with some added thyme and salt. Visit my Instagram page for this inspiration.
- Up-leveled "Tuna" Noodle Casserole. Frozen sautéed salmon, steamed chard and Miracle Noodles became a modern-day, healthier version of a tuna-noodle casserole. The showstopper toppers: caramelized onions, toasted sesame seeds and dressing for 2 servings – 2 T sesame oil, 2 T olive oil, 2 T rice wine vinegar, 1 T mirin, 1 T tamari or gluten-free soy sauce, 1 t white miso paste. Whisk! Find this on my Instagram too.
- Warm salad. Since the quarantine, I've been heating raw leafy greens to protect us from the virus. Craving salad, I combined sautéed arugula and zucchini with raw sliced avocado topped with a lemon vinaigrette: In a ball jar combine 1 part lemon juice, 2 parts olive oil, a teaspoon of mustard, salt and pepper. Shake.
Cashew Cream Spinach Crêpes
Do you remember the Seinfeld episode when the Cubans rolled the crêpes too tightly? It was at an NYC crêpe restaurant, The Magic Pan, which was a childhood treat for me. And there, creamed spinach crêpes were my hands down favorites. Now gluten- and dairy-intolerant, I created this healthful version free of these food sensitivity triggers. Make the batter the day before you want to serve them.
1 1/2 c buckwheat flour
3 jumbo or 4 large eggs
1 3/4 c water
1/2 t salt
Olive oil spray for cooking in pan
1 c cashews
3/4 c water
juice of 1 lemon
1/3 t salt
1/8 t ground nutmeg, optional
1 16-oz package frozen chopped spinach
Combine all crêpe ingredients in a large bowl. Whisk until smooth. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
Make the filling by thawing spinach on counter, in microwave, or overnight in fridge. Squeeze out excess water. Combine the first five filling ingredients in a high powered blender. Blend until cashew cream is smooth. In a large bowl, combine cashew cream with spinach. Stir until well combined.
To cook crêpes, warm an 11" sautée pan over medium heat. Spray or brush a thin coat of olive oil onto surface of pan. Use a 1/4 c measuring cup of batter per crêpe, and pour into pan. Turn pan rather quickly to spread batter evenly out to all edges.
The spreading should happen within several seconds. If it doesn't, add a bit more water to batter in bowl to thin as needed for the next crêpe. Stir to combine. Cook each crêpe for 10 seconds per side. Remove from heat when done and stack on a dish. Repeat until all crêpes are cooked.
Spoon about 3 tablespoons of filling onto center of each crêpe, spreading filling in a line from edge to edge of each crêpe. Roll, flip so seam side is down. Enjoy!