Vegan Crêpes With Bananas Flambé


A gift of the French culinary experience, it is said that these thin pancakes originated from a lack of wheat to bake bread.
Also of French cooking tradition, it’s believed that it is difficult to make. I thought so myself for quite sometime as there are only three main ingredients, eggs, milk and flour. Not exactly vegan.

I’ve wanted to serve these for many brunches as the batter rests well or the crêpes themselves may be made ahead.
Crêpes are come in two varieties, sweet and savory and match wonderfully with guests. Served as an appetizer, a dessert or for breakfast, with a bit of practice, crêpes may be made large or small and stuffed with a variety of fillings.

So pretty, formal, but really quite easy to make. Try them at your next brunch.

VEGAN CRÊPES

Recipe makes six to eight 8″ crêpes

1/2 Cup Unbleached, All Purpose Flour
1 1/4 Cups Soy Milk
Replacer for One Egg
pinch salt
1 Tablespoon Canola Oil
1-2 Tablespoons Margarine or spray oil as needed, for cooking

Combine the flour. salt and egg replacer in a large bowl or blender. Whisk to sift.
Add the milk and oil. Whisk just to combine.
Do not over blend.
Refrigerate while you prepare your filling, or over night.
Preheat an 8, non-stick pan to a medium high heat.
Once a drop of water spatters, spray to coat the pan or add 1/2 teaspoon of melted margarine.
Ladle in about 2 Tablespoons of the batter. Swirl the batter across the pan to form a thin, round layer.
Flip the crêpe over once it begins to appear dry on the top. The other side will be done when you see some light browning on the edges.

For Todays Filling:
While the batter was cooling, I opted for the ripening bananas on my counter top.

BANANAS FLAMBÉ

2 Bananas
2 Tablespoons Margarine
3 Tablespoons Maple Syrup
2 Tablespoons Brandy
1 Match (These last two are optional for breakfast, but make a blast of an impression for dessert.)

Peel and slice the two bananas on the diagonal, about a 1/4″ thickness.
Heat a large skillet to medium high, melt the margarine then add the bananas.
Toss to coat and cook to soften slightly, about 1 – 2 minutes.
Add the syrup, covering the bananas evenly.
If using, pour over the brandy, stand back and touch a flame to the edge of a soaked banana. This is best done with an audience, and a lid for the skillet close by.

To wrap, add a few spoonfuls of the filling to the center of each crêpe.
Fold over opposite sides toward the middle then roll upward from the bottom.

Summer’s On



The May long weekend is behind us and summer is blazing ahead.

As I stretch out of hibernation, I’m sizing up my lumps, bumps and what can’t be covered by a bathing suit.
That and my darling beloved was caught admiring one of my rolls. One of which is not of the bread variety.

I’ve never been much of a dieter, more of a healthy eater perhaps, that’s why the Volumetrics Diet caught my attention.

Seems somewhat common sense to me. Eat well. Choose fiber. Don’t fill up on empty calories. The theory here is that if you choose a low calorie, high fiber diet, stay well hydrated and have an exercise plan you will successfully lose weight.

Hmmm.

Anyhow, it got me to thinking about guests who do come over and my own food choices for that matter. I do try to create menus to satisfy everyone, most specifically vegan but what about when people are on further specified diets?

Vegan food is wonderful. I do try my best to use the most natural choices in a recipe, but if I’m going to try and lose a few, or any one else for that matter, I may have to see how well trying to stick to a hydrated, nutrient and fiber rich diet works out for a while.

This morning I opted for volume at it’s finest. Oatmeal.
Thankfully is it a favorite around here. I’m not sure if it’s coming from a Scottish or a foodie background, but instant oatmeal is just not the better option. Steel cut oats take a bit longer to cook but are well worth the wait. They have options with a chewier texture and a nutty flavor. They’re perfect on their own and can hold up being well topped with brown sugar, fruit and baked. As intimidating as they could be, they end up just right more often then their rolled counterpart.

Either way, oats are #1 on my list of low-cal, packed with goodness to fill you into only needing a light lunch, kind of meal.

CREAMY SCOTCH OATS

1 Cup Steel Cut Oatmeal
2 1/2 Cups water
1/2 Cup Soy Milk (Plus whatever is desired for serving)
1/2 teaspoon Salt

Add the oatmeal, water and salt to a large saucepan. Bring everything to a low simmer.
Let the oat simmer for about 15 minutes, trying not to stir, until the oats begin to thicken.
Stirring gently, add the soy milk and allow to finish cooking for about another 10 minutes.
Serve into individual bowls and serve with a drizzle of maple syrup or a sprinkling of brown sugar (or both)

You may try other serving options like;
Topping with brown sugar and toasted pecans,
chopped,dried apricots with fresh blueberries,
or once the oats are cooked, spoon them into a casserole dish and top with sliced bananas and syrup,
or thinly sliced apples dotted with 2 Tablespoons of brown sugar and 1/4 teaspoon of cinnamon

Or try the overnight version in your slow cooker:

OVERNIGHT OATS

1 cup steel cut oats
4 Cups Water
1/2 Cup Soy Milk
1 Tablespoon Brown Sugar
1/2 teaspoon Salt
1/4 teaspoon Cinnamon
1 cup dried apricots, chopped
1 cup dried figs, chopped

Right before bed, combine all ingredients in a slow cooker and set to low heat. Cover and get some shut eye. Let the oats cook for 8 to 9 hours.Stir and remove to 4 bowls. Serve with a drizzle of syrup and your morning coffee or tea.

There are so many options. Get creative – oats really are anything but boring.
Now I just have to wait to get hungry again to post a volumizing lunch option…