Sometimes I do feel sorry for Jane with all my vegan behaviour of late. Jane loves lumps of cheese and gorgeously fresh eggs (lain below our window ledge!!!!). We have chickens waking us every morning with a bombardment of clucks! Add to that many wonderful cheese folk who live in the surrounding valleys and nearby islands making some amazingly pungent creamy mould. We’ve seen their goats and they seem brimming over with happiness and vitality (goats being a particular BHK fav). Having said all of this, Jane is now really getting into the whole vegan vibe and I fear she may give up the mozzarella balls very soon!
This recipe is a little Sunday morning surprise that incorporates our favourite grain of the moment, Buckwheat, along with herbs from the garden and tomatoes from a wonderful friend. What a way to get things started!
Buckwheat is an awesome alternative for gluten free folk and has a proper full flavour, some would say an acquired taste, I’d just say YUM! It has a misleading name (like many foods) it is actually a berry! Nothing to do with wheat or gluten in the slightest. I love to use the flour, although a straight dark buckwheat flour recipe can result in a vivid pink looking loaf. You have been warned, buckwheat can get a little psychedelic when used pure.
Buckwheat crepes are common in France and are called ‘Galletes’. These crepes are veganized, so turn out less like a ‘Gallete’ and more like a thin, fluffy American ‘hotcake’ (a word which Jane and I appreciate). You can find light and dark buckwheat flour in the shops, I’d opt for light, especially if you’re cooking for an uninitiated buckwheat crowd. I have put white flour in here, but must admit to using wholewheat flour normally (= more nutrition, and I’d have to say taste, but less of the fluffiness associated with a crepe).
We’re still here in shimmeringly shiny Wales, glorious at this time of year. The bounty of local produce is in full swing. All of these ingredients are special to us and we cannot think of anything that we have eaten recently that is filled with such goodness and positive energy.
Dawn’s (our neighbour) chicken chorus is a nice way to be wakened, natural sounds certainly beat a car alarm or even worse, an alarm clock (aka the enemy of peace and sanity). You know you’re living the good life if you wake with the chickens and not with the bleeps. The other wonderful thing about Dawn’s chickens is that occasionally they overlay and we are offered a small basket of perfectly formed egg-ness.
Dawn’s little chicks are so tame, Jane and I were picking them up and petting them like little puppies the other day. I can safely say that I have never found a chicken ‘cute’ in the past, and am not a huge fan of the word, however these little cluckers where pleasant company and actually liked to be stroked.
Back to the crepe at hand, its a beat. Simple combinations of flavours that are sure fire winners, great colours and the perfect treat breakfast for a lazy Sunday morning or a decent brunch (just add dressed leaves).
The tanginess of the citrus feta (tofu or otherwise), the fruitiness of the olives and the plain deliciousness of the tomatoes mean that each mouthful was quite a thing.
You probably don’t live in a veggie+vegan household, obviously omit the parts of the method that don’t apply. Its really a very easy dish to get together.
If you’d like this gluten free, just go the whole hog and have it 100% buckwheat. They’re brilliant!
For 10-12 crepes:
Crepe – 2/3 cup buckwheat flour, 1/2 cup unbleached white flour, a good glug of olive oil, large pinch of sea salt, 100g silken tofu, 1 cup organic soya milk, 3/4 teas bicarb soda, water (continue adding water until a ‘double cream’ texture is achieved)
Janes (non vegan) – 1/2 tbs olive oil, 3 organic/ very free range, happy chicken eggs (preferably lain somewhere close to your front door), 3/4 cup feta (crumbled using fingers)
Lees (vegan) – 1 tbs olive oil, 300g firm tofu, a little squeeze of lemon juice, 1 teas nutritional yeast flakes (1/2 handful of cashew nuts if you’re feeling decadent!)
Mixed with half of the following:
2 handfuls of cherry tomatoes (halved if large), 2 cloves garlic (peeled and crushed), 1 handful of chives (finely diced), 1 handful green olives (finely chopped), squeeze of lemon juice, plenty of cracked black pepper and a little salt
In a large bowl, sieve in the flour and other dry ingredients. Add the rest of the wetter ingredients, pouring the water in gradually at the end, mixing until a ‘double cream’ consistency is formed. Cover and pop in the fridge for 20 minutes.
Mash up the tofu in a bowl with a fork, add the lemon juice and yeast flakes (this is best done in advance). Whisk the eggs up in another.
Mix the filling ingredients in a bowl and add half to each bowl of tofu or egg.
Now warm a frying pan on the hob, medium heat, add the oil and fry off the tofu mixture for 5 minutes, stirring regularly. Do the same for the egg mix, cook until the eggs are just how you like them.
Remove from the heat, cover and keep warm.
Make sure the crepe batter is at room temperature (keep stirring it to ensure that the flour doesn’t clog or stick to the bottom). In a small frying pan, heat on medium and cover the base with a very light film of oil. Now pour in 3 tbs of your pancake mix and swirl around the pan. The temperature of the pan is important (too hot is not cool, too cool is not hot!?)
Cook for 1 minutes on one side, run a spatula around the edges to loosen. Flip over and cook for 30 seconds – 1 minute on the other side. Keep this going until all the mix is used. If there is too much mixture, it will keep in the fridge well and can be frozen for at least a month.
Lay out a pancake on a plate and spoon in a good amount of the filling (3 tbs is normally good). Tuck one end over and roll away from you, like a fat buckwheat cigar (rolled on the thighs of a vegan). Serve straight away, for lunch, toss together a green salad. Two crepes are normally enough per person.
We had leftover crepes this morning and tried them with chopped oranges raisins, cinnamon and walnuts….lovely stuff.
Buckwheat is a whole grain that is actually a relative of rhubarb and is best described as a fruit seed. I love Buckwheat because its one of the few grains consumed in Northern Europe that is actually indigenous to the area.
Buckwheat lowers blood sugar and is packed with minerals like magnesium and copper. It has also been shown to help fight gall stones and has very high levels of antioxidants and a packs a decent hit of fibre.