“A girl cannot live on sweets alone.” – a vegan cook from Portland
Honestly, I love cooking. And actually I cook savory food more often than bake sweet food, but I’m typically always really hungry so the photo snapping time is generally neglected. But I was super excited about this dish so I managed to spare a few precious minutes to take some pictures before devouring it.
I know some would say, “Why make mexican crepes when you already have tortillas?” And perhaps this is a valid argument. But crepes are fun to make, and I might argue more fun than tortillas. Plus I just got a new crepe pan as a graduation present (thank you anonymous Tigard resident). And, well, the idea just randomly came to me one afternoon and I couldn’t get it out of my head and it called for soft, delicate crepes, not rough, durable tortillas. But the best, and most applicable, reason for using crepes instead of tortillas – I wanted to. Enough. Said.
This dish is all prep time. Once you slice and dice everything, and puree your crepe batter, there’s only about 20 minutes of cooking time left, depending on how many crepes you are making or how many crepe pans you have.
The nice thing about crepes is that, a) you can hold the batter in the fridge for a few days and, b) you can hold prepared crepes in the fridge for about a week or so. Yep, just stack em one on top of the other and plop em in a plastic bag or container. And what makes vegan crepes far superior to their eggy predecessor (aside from the obvious) is that they don’t stick to each other. Eggy crepes like to hold onto one another for dear life, especially after you chill them down in the fridge. These chicken friendly guys come right apart, no hassle or oven heating required.
Savory Mexican Crepes
Crepe Batter, adapted from Veganomicon
- 1 1/2 C soy milk
- 1/2 C water, plus more if too thick
- 3/4 C AP flour
- 1/4 C Garbanzo & Fava Flour
- 1 T Tapioca starch
- 1/2 t salt
This recipe is barely altered from Isa’s original version. I wasn’t sure if I should post it or not but then I found that you could view it on Google books so…
Place all ingredients in a blender and puree until smooth. Transfer to a tub of some sort and refrigerate for 30 minutes or longer. The batter will thicken a bit as it sits. Make sure to stir it well before you make the crepes.
You may end up needing more water. The half cup is already double what the original recipe calls for, but I just think thinner is better.
To make the crepes, heat a crepe pan or other non-stick pan on med/ high to high heat. Brush vegan butter or oil onto the pan with a heat tempered brush (or you’ll singe the little guy’s hair). Pour 1 – 2 oz of batter (2 – 4 tablespoons) onto the pan and swirl the pan to move the batter all around. This might take some practice and you’ll probably lose a crepe or two but don’t fret, it gets easier.
And you have options here. You can cook the crepes all the way and immediately fill and eat them. Or you can par-cook them, fill them, and warm them up in the oven later when you’re ready for them. Either way, the level of doneness is entirely up to you. You can cook them until there is just barely some color on the crepe, or get some nice brown splotches all over it. You can also cook both sides of the crepe in the pan (by flipping or using a spatula) or just cook one side and finish cooking the rest of it in the oven. It’s all up to you!
Fresh Tomatillo Salsa
- 12 – 13 oz tomatillos (about 6 or so, average size)
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1/2 small jalapeño, brunoise dice (1/8 in cut)
- 1/2 small yellow chile, brunoise dice
- 1/4 red onion, small dice (1/4 in cut)
- Juice from one lime
- 2 T minced cilantro
- Salt, to taste
- White pepper, to taste
The quantities listed above are basically approximate. If you like things hotter, add more diced peppers. Not on onion fan? Leave it out. Absolutely love cilantro? Pile it on! Recipes aren’t meant to be followed like they are set in stone. Use it as a guide and follow your taste buds.
Remove the husks from the tomatillos and wash them. Roughly chop them and place them in a food processor and pulse several times until they’re at the consistency you want. I had mine roughly pureed but chunky is fine too.
Transfer the tomatillos to a bowl and add the remaining ingredients. Let it sit in the fridge for awhile before deciding if it’s salty enough for you.
You can add other things like cumin and cayenne if you like. I wanted the flavors of the vegetables to shine through so I left the spices out.
Cilantro Lime Vinaigrette
- Lime juice (1 – 2 limes)
- Olive oil (1 – 2 T)
- Finely minced cilantro (2 – 3 t)
- 1 small clove of garlic, grated on a microplane
- Salt and pepper, to taste
The amount of oil versus lime juice versus cilantro is entirely up to you; the measurements in parentheses are about what I did. Salad dressings are typically loaded with oil, but I always cut it back quite a bit so mine was a bit on the acidic side. If you find your dressing is too acidic, try adding some sugar or agave to balance it out a little bit, or more olive oil.
Mix all ingredients vigorously with a small whisk or in a dressing emulsifier (love this thing). Set aside.
- 1/4 head of red (purple) cabbage
- 2 average sized carrots, peeled
Shred the cabbage and carrots in a food processor and toss them together in a bowl. If you let them sit for awhile, the carrots will turn this beautiful dark orange color from taking on the pigment in the cabbage. Toss with the vinaigrette when you’re ready to serve.
- 1/2 bunch curly kale, stemmed and roughly sliced
- 2 large cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 2 – 3 T sliced leeks (about an inch of the stalk)
- Salt, pepper, cumin, to taste
- Minced cilantro, about 2 T
This is enough filling for about 6 small (7 in) crepes. Double it if you need to.
Heat a saute pan with a smidge of oil. Saute the leeks first for a couple minutes and then add the mushrooms and cook for another couple minutes. Add the kale and seasonings and toss everything. Add water or stock if you need more liquid in the pan. Once the kale brightens and begins to wilt (soften), it’s done. Add the cilantro and set aside until you’re ready to assemble your crepes.
I added some pepitas (pumpkin seeds – look in the bulk section if you’ve no pumpkins lying around) to my kale filling and placed some sliced avocado on the crepes right before serving. You could do guacamole if you want, but I didn’t think it was necessary.
All the natural flavors of the vegetables come together quite nicely in this dish. My husband, who typically pours hot sauce on all his Mexican food, didn’t even bring the Valentinas to the table. It’s fresh, flavorful and filling, but light and just perfect for eating on the porch on a warm day.