After my first bite of Cheez-y Crepes from Sketch-Free Vegan Eating, I knew I would incorporate the basic recipe into my regular cooking repertoire. Quick and convenient to whip up in the short time frame between school and gymnastics practice, the recipe’s simplicity by no means translates to a lack of flavor (the amount of components seems daunting, but the preparations are all wonderfully easy). On the contrary—the bright orange, lip-smacking, nooch-laden sauce compliments and coats virtually any vegetable stuffed inside the hearty yet somehow decidedly elegant (perhaps it’s their French origin…) buckwheat crepes.
I’ve since toyed with the original recipe, filling the crepes with 1.) Lightly steamed broccoli and cauliflower with chickpeas, 2.) Lightly steamed lacinato kale and sunchokes, and 3.) Sauteed shallots, brussels sprouts, and Romanesco broccoli topped with dulse seaweed (this post’s focus).
For my latter take on Jac and Jenn’s genius, I employed some creative culinary liberties for further personalization and experimentation. Replacing 1/4 cup of the buckwheat flour with teff flour produced a nuttier, denser crepe; substituting kabocha squash for the sweet potato garnered an even sweeter, more vibrantly hued sauce; and sauteeing the veggies instead of simply steaming them imparted a gorgeous depth of flavor.
Thus, my new favorite version of the original Cheez-y Crepes, largely inspired by the always tantalizing recipes over at Sketch-Free Vegan Eating:
Teff-Buckwheat Crepes with Kabocha Cheeze Sauce (Nut Free, Soy Free if using non-soy miso)
Serves 1 very hungry stomach or 2 more moderately sized tummies.
Cheeze Sauce Ingredients:
- 1/2 lb (after trimming) kabocha squash, peeled and diced
- 1/4 cup non-dairy milk
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1 tsp apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 tsp miso paste (I used Chickpea Miso to keep the dish soy free).
In a medium saucepan fitted with a steamer basket, steam the squash for about 6 minutes, or until fork-tender. Place the squash in a food processor with the rest of the sauce ingredients and blend until smooth. Set aside.
- 1/4 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/4 cup teff flour
- 1 cup water
In a small mixing bowl, whisk together both flours and water.
Heat a large non-stick skillet over medium-low heat (spray with oil to ensure further non-stickiness). Place 1/4 cupful of batter in the middle of the skillet, then pick the pan up and swirl it around to evenly coat the bottom surface with batter. Cook for 2-4 minutes each side, or until dark brown and pliable. Repeat with remaining batter (should make 4 crepes). Keep crepes warm (while you saute the veggies in the same skillet) in a 200°F oven.
Veggie Saute Ingredients:
- 1 tsp olive oil
- 2 shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- About 10 oz brussels sprouts, ends trimmed and thinly sliced
- About 8 oz Romanesco broccoli (can substitute regular broccoli or cauliflower), finely chopped
In the same pan in which you made the crepes, heat the oil over medium heat (it should heat up almost immediately since the pan is already hot from making the crepes). Add the shallots and garlic and saute for about 2-3 minutes or until starting to brown. Add the brussels sprouts and Romanesco, cover, and steam-saute for about 10-15 minutes or until the veggies are crisp-tender, stirring fairly often.
- 1 tbsp dulse seaweed flakes (optional)
Place a generous line of veggies down the center of each crepe, spread with a dollop of cheeze sauce, and fold one side of the crepe over the filling to close. Repeat with remaining crepes, then spoon the remaining sauce over all four crepes, top with a sprinkle of dulse seaweed flakes, and serve.
Meal Checklist: Protein—though not legumes, teff and buckwheat pack a protein punch, both weighing in a 4 grams of protein per 1/4 cup. Also nutritional yeast. Whole Grain—teff, buckwheat. Vegetables—kabocha squash, shallots, garlic. Leafy Greens—brussels sprouts, Romanesco broccoli, dulse seaweed.
Comment Provoking Questions: What’s that one recipe that you just keep turning to for all your dinner needs? What’s your favorite combination of vegetables to steam or saute together?
Until next time, Ali.