Make this meal.

This is not an entirely original recipe.  The crepes are from Veganomicon by Isa Chandra Moskowitz and Terry Hope Romero.  The zucchini wine sauce is from a recipe I got verbally from a friend close to 20 years ago, made it once, and never made it again, and a version of it can be found (elsewhere) on the internet, normally used as a pasta sauce.  That’s what I used it for 20 years ago.  But THIS.  This is SO good.  You could also eat the sauce as a soup, because that’s what I did as soon as I put as much as I could into my clients’ container.  It is delicious.  And, well, the fillings are pretty ordinary.  Except that this meal is awesome.  This is truly a case of the sum being greater than its parts.

Also, this meal is a little labor intensive.  It involves a lot of pans and time.  But sometimes it’s just what you have to do for a satisfying and maybe a little unusual vegan meal.  I think it’s worth it.

Buckwheat crepes filled with caramelized onions, sauteed mushrooms, and roasted butternut squash, drizzled with zucchini wine sauce

Buckwheat crepes

  • 1 1/2 cups + 2 tbsp non-dairy milk
  • 1/4 water
  • 1/2 cup buckwheat flour
  • 1/4 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 cup chickpea flour
  • 1 tbsp arrowroot flour
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Place all of the ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Pour into a container, cover, and refrigerate for at least an hour or overnight.  When ready to use, whisk the ingredients again in case they’ve separated.

Heat a large cast iron pan over medium-high heat.  Once hot, spray generously with cooking spray.  Ladle about a 1/4 cup of batter into the center of the pan and immediately swirl the pan so that batter spreads out thinly.  When the top of the crepe is dry and there are some holes in it, VERY CAREFULLY flip it over with a thin metal spatula.  The first one will often be for the chef.  Don’t be discouraged.  Just fry the next one, and really make sure it’s dry on top before you touch it!  Fry on the second side for about 30 seconds, then remove from the pan and place on a plate.  Continue until you’ve used all of the batter.  You should get 8 to 10 crepes.

Fillings

  • 8 oz cremini mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 large onion, halved and sliced
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled and diced small
  • Lots of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine
  • Herb of your choice or none (I like tarragon or sage on the squash)

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.  Spray a cookie sheet with cooking spray, place the butternut squash on top, drizzle with olive oil and an herb of your choice and roast for about 30 minutes, stirring after about 20 minutes.  Check for doneness and roasty color after 30, and probably roast for another 10 minutes.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with salt (try truffle salt if you can get it – I got mine at Trader Joe’s).

Meanwhile, heat two cast iron pans over medium-high heat.  Add about 2 tbsp olive oil to each, and place the onions in one and the mushrooms in the other.  Caramelize the onions for about 5 minutes until they start to brown, then turn the heat to medium-low, and saute, stirring occasionally, for about 25 to 30 minutes or more, depending on how dark you like them.  Salt to taste.

In the other pan, toss the mushrooms regularly until they’re browned and have started to stick to the pan.  Add the wine to deglaze the pan, and turn off the heat once much of the liquid has evaporated.  Sprinkle with salt and transfer the mushrooms from the pan to a plate, and set aside.

Zucchini wine sauce

  • 2-3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 large zucchini, grated
  • 4 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 1 cup good veg stock
  • Salt to taste

Heat a large cast iron pan (the one you sauteed the mushrooms in would be good – that’s why I told you to transfer them to a plate!) over medium-high heat.  Once hot, add the olive oil, swirling to coat your pan.  Add the grated zucchini and saute for about 10 minutes until they’ve started to caramelize.  Add the wine and the veg stock, and turn the heat to medium, and let saute for about 20 minutes until well cooked, and pretty melty and mushy.  Put the contents of the pan in a food processor and puree until smooth.  Salt to taste.

Serve a crepe (if you need to reheat, toast in a dry pan until warmed through) with a choice of fillings with the zucchini wine sauce drizzled on top.

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This week’s menu for client #1

  • Bangers and mash with greens
  • Grilled vegetable and farro salad with French cream of cauliflower soup
  • Black-eyed pea and pomegranate salad with late summer eggplant stew
  • Golden bowl over brown rice
  • Posole in broth with microgreens, avocado, olives, and toasted pepitas with Hatch tomatillo salsa

Favorite of the week: my French cream of cauliflower soup. Also, my mash. Mashed red-skinned potatoes with onions and garlic roasted with white wine and fresh turmeric, plain coconut milk yogurt, and rice milk. Potatoes and fresh turmeric are so delicious together. I highly recommend trying that combo!

New Mexican Hatch Muhammara

Have you ever had muhammara?  It’s a dip like hummus, also from the middle east, but instead of chickpeas and tahini, it’s traditionally a blend of roasted red peppers, walnuts, and pomegranate molasses.  YUM.

I was at Whole Foods the other day and saw that they were selling the renowned New Mexican Hatch chiles with the famously short growing season for CHEAP, so I had to buy them, not really knowing what I would do with them.  Upon doing some web research, I quickly learned that they are for roasting.  Apparently, in New Mexico, people buy them by the cases’ load, have them roasted, and do all sorts of cooking, storing, and freezing, so they have them through the winter.

I’d already had it in my mind that I wanted to make muhammara, which, as I said calls for roasted red peppers and a source of heat, normally crushed red peppers, so instead, I roasted the Hatch chiles and made the following VERY HOT and delicious recipe.

New Mexican Hatch Muhammara

  • 12 or so Hatch chiles
  • 3/4 cup dried whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tbsp pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 cup walnut oil

Preheat your broiler.  Cover a cookie sheet with a double layer of aluminum foil.  Wash the chiles and place them on the cookie sheet.  Place the chiles on your highest oven rack, as close as possible to the heat source, and roast for about 20 minutes, checking and turning the chiles about every 5 minutes until pretty well blackened.  Remove them from the oven, wrap them in the aluminum foil, and let steam for about 15 minutes.  When cool enough to handle, peel the skins from the chiles and remove the seeds.

Place roasted, peeled chiles in a food processor with the rest of the ingredients except for the walnut oil, and start the food processor.  Stream in the oil until you reach the desired consistency.  I like mine fairly creamy, like hummus.

We will be enjoying this dip with toasted whole wheat sourdough.

I finally did it!

Here I go!  Day ONE of blogging.  I hope you will enjoy my posts as much as I enjoy writing them – and most importantly – cooking them!  As some of you know, I have a great enthusiasm for cooking anything I can make vegan.  I love a challenge – like making chicken-fried seitan or making cheese danishes.  Sometimes my results are GREAT and sometimes, not so much, but it’s all about the adventure!

The inspiration for starting my blog is Vegan MoFo (veganmofo.com), or the Vegan Month of Food.  I will be blogging mostly every day for the month of September, so stay tuned!