Gluten Free Crêpe Recipe – Confetti Fruit + Mortadella & Cheese

Crêpes for all [wheat & dairy sensitivity]

I have a fondness for breakfast and brunch foods. In fact, I would say brunch is hands-down my favorite repast. On the weekends, the mid-morning meal represents the quality time I get to spend with people I love. Coffee that I can sip in comfort, and a meal that befits my more leisurely weekend tempo.

The hubs loves sweet and savory meals of french toast, pancakes, waffles and crepes. The challenge is that with a gluten sensitivity, we have to be more creative with options that taste almost or as good as the wheat version.

I want to share a simple crepe recipe that you can enjoy with your partner, your rambunctious family, or special date. If they have a gluten or dairy sensitivity, no problem!

Keep reading and you’ll see easy-peasy recipes for mortadella & cheese crepes and confetti fruit crepes. Fun fact, funfetti was trademarked by Pillsbury, so hence the references here to confetti and the use of rainbow sprinkles to achieve the effect.

A little crêpe history mon ami

The delicate, thin pancake is typically made of wheat flour. It’s French in origin and is a Latin derivative of the term crispa, which translates to ‘curled’. The history of crepes date back to the thirteenth century in Brittany, a region west of France. Crepes were made famous in Brittany and eventually became a national dish of France.  These delicate pancakes are most often filled with fruit fillings with sweet syrup, fresh fruit, and even a sweet lemon filling.

Crepes today can be found in much of the Western world. It’s popularity is seen in US, Canada, Belgium, and throughout Europe. Crepes are often eaten for breakfast, dessert, and the savory versions are ideal for lunch, snack or even dinner. Depending on the preparation, you could theoretically enjoy it breakfast, lunch and dinner. Popular savory versions include fillings of ham, cheese, and eggs with various types of veggies, i.e. mushrooms and spinach.

From time to time, you’ll see crêperies that specialize in an assortment of sweet and savory crepes. It’s also a popular item on some restaurant menus, but it’s easy to make at home. You don’t need any special equipment to make crepes in your own kitchen. Just grab that skillet, and let’s get started.

Basic Gluten Free Crepe Recipe

The first thing you want to do is to make the crepes themselves. You’ll need to gather up your ingredients. Dry ingredients of gluten-free flour and a pinch of salt. Wet ingredients of eggs, almond milk and vegan butter (for those with dairy sensitivities).  See the ingredients list below.

For gluten-free flour, I would recommend Bob’s Red Mill all-purpose baking flour, or King Arthur’s all-purpose flour. Both are high quality GF flours. The Bob’s Red Mill flour I use is made from a blend of garbanzo bean flour, potato starch, whole grain white sorghum flour, tapioca flour, and fava bean flour.  If you’re curious, the King Arthur all-purpose flour is a blend made from rice flour, tapioca flour, potato starch, and whole grain brown rice flour.

Gather ingredients
Ingredients of GF flour, eggs, butter and almond milk

Blend flour and a few pinches of sea salt
Quickly blend the GF flour with a few pinches of sea salt or kosher salt.

Gluten free flour
Blend GF flour and a few pinches of salt

Combine wet ingredients in a separate bowl
In a separate bowl, blend all your wet ingredients first. Your eggs, almond milk and melted butter (cooled to room temperature) should be whisked together until its well combined.

Then add your blended flour in with the wet ingredients, whisk until its well combined. Then set your batter aside

Combine the ingredients
Whisk and combine all the ingredients

Heat up 9-inch skillet to make crepes
Use extra virgin olive oil spray oil to lightly grease the Skillet, then heat it up to a medium heat. Once the pan is hot, then ladle in the batter (~5 tablespoons) until the bottom of the pan is completely covered. You’ll want to tilt the pan around so the batter evenly spreads. Give it a minute to a minute-and-a-half and then carefully flip over with a large spatula. The other side will need half the time.

Stack up the cooked crepes on a platter
You’ll be able to make one crepe at a time, and the time goes by pretty fast. Stack up the crepes on a large plate or platter.

Basic Crepe Ingredients (makes ~12 servings)

– 1 3/4 cup of gluten-free flour
– Few pinches of sea salt
– 3 large brown eggs
– 2 tablespoons of vegan (or regular) butter
– 2 cups of Almond milk
– extra virgin olive oil spray

Mortadella & Cheese Crepes

What I do is split the 12 crepes and make half savory crepes, and half sweet crepes. The first batch of 6 crepes, I start with the savory filled crepe of mortadella (Italian bologna) combined with diced tomatoes, mushrooms, and shredded cheese. Mortadella is basically a fancier bologna that has become quite popular. It’s made from finely ground, cured pork and flavored with spices and includes whole peppercorns, myrtle berries and slices of pistachios. It’s certainly not the bologna I grew up with back in the day.

For dairy sensitivity, Daiya mozzarella shreds are fantastic. Otherwise go with a nice blend of mozzarella and cheddar shredded cheese.

Savory ingredients
Savory ingredients

Heat up the skillet and make savory crepes
Make one crepe at a time and fill with a large tablespoon of each type of savory ingredient. Then fold over the crepe to cover the filling, using the large spatula. A minute on each side (carefully flip over the closed crepe).

Serve up the crepes on a platter, and dig in.

Savory crepes served
Savory crepes ready to eat

Savory Filling Ingredients

– 1/2 cup of diced tomatoes
– 3/4 cup of shredded (vegan) cheese
– 1/2 cup of sliced mushrooms
– 3-4 slices of Mortadella (Italian bologna) or ham. Diced up.
– 1/4 tsp Herbs de provence

Confetti Fruit Crepes

You can then use the remaining crepes to make sweet fruity versions, which the kids (or the kids at heart) will love.

Prep fresh bananas, strawberries and blueberries for the filling
Slice up the bananas and strawberries. Place them in a bowl along with the fresh blueberries. Sprinkle the fruit with cinnamon.

Heat up the skillet to make the fruit-filled crepes
Heat up the skillet at a medium temperature and place a generous tablespoon of each type of sliced fruit. Add more to your liking, and then fold over the crepe. Heat both sides of the folded crepe for about a minute.

Place the finished crepe on a serving plate and get ready to adorn with the funfetti part.

Melt dark chocolate down in a bowl
In a microwave safe bowl, you can melt down 70-80% dark chocolate (or bittersweet baking chocolate chips). Microwave on high for 1 minute when you’re actually ready to use the chocolate. Stir the chocolate with a spoon before you drizzle over each of the folded crepes. You can do zig-zags of melted chocolate over the folded crepe.

Top off the fruit-filled crepes with rainbow sprinkles
On each crepe, drizzle the melted dark chocolate using a table spoon. Then optionally add non-dairy (or regular) whip cream. You can add sprinkles at the top and then serve it up on a dish.

Confetti Fruit Filling Ingredients

– 1-2 large bananas (sliced)
– 1/2 cup of strawberries (stems removed, sliced)
– 1/2 cup of blueberries
– 1/2 tsp cinnamon
– 1/4 cup of dark chocolate (70% cacao+) melted down
– Rainbow sprinkles (confetti effect)
– Non-dairy whip cream (optional)

Funfetti Crepe
Crêpes with a funfetti soul

Enjoy a fun new breakfast tradition. For a healthier sweet crepe version, you can tweak and adjust the toppings.  Enjoy and bon appétit!

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Goat Cheese on Toast. Recipe x Five Ways

Chèvre 

If you haven’t had chèvre, you’re missing out. Chèvre is the French word for goat, and it’s the spreadable kind of tart cheese that tastes wonderful on toasted bread, baguette or bagel. Drizzle a little honey over it, and now we’re talking.

The versatile goat cheese can be eaten for breakfast, lunch, dinner, or as an hors d’oeuvres. It’s a great alternative to cream cheese if you want to add a bit more earthy depth to your morning bagel.

A little goat story

Since I always like to understand what I’m eating, I researched this French staple. The artisanal cheese making process has been around for thousands of years. France is the #1 producer of (pure) goat cheese with over 3,000 goat cheese producers.

Billy goat
Happy goat grazing and not minding a pat on the back

Did you know goats produce cheese 7-8 months in a year? This is different from cows, which can be milked year-round. Goat’s milk is therefore in season during the months of March through July. Goat cheese has a short aging process of a few days to a few weeks.

If aged for a few days to one-week, the milky goat cheese is similar in character to that of cream cheese. If the cheese is aged 2 weeks or longer, then you’ve unlocked a more intense taste with a crumbly texture and a yellower color. You’ll often find chèvre in a cylindrical form.

The process of making chèvre involves the coagulation of milk, solid cheese curds are drained through a cloth, the curds are poured into molds, later drained and dried, salted, and then left at a controlled temperature to age the cheese.

Cheese that doesn’t quite melt

An interesting fact. Chèvre will go soft, but it will not completely melt when heated. This is something you may notice when making flat bread pizza with goat cheese.

Better for lactose sensitivities

Goat cheese is easier to digest. Goat’s milk is lower in lactose compared to cow’s milk, and more importantly goat’s milk is naturally homogenized and has smaller fat globules vs. cow’s milk. This aids in easier digestion, especially if you have some sensitivity to lactose.

Fancy up Breakfast or Brunch

You can buy classic chèvre at most any grocery store, and you’ll find different variations of goat cheese like the offerings from Vermont Creamery, ranging from honey, blueberry lemon thyme, and pepper jelly to herb de provence, peppercorn, and cranberry orange cinnamon.

If you want to make a gorgeous little meal, it takes no time at all. You can accompany your cheese on toast with a mixed green salad. For brunch or lunch, pair it with a glass of sparkling wine or rosé.

Note: For gluten sensitivities, I highly recommend Vermont-based Against the Grain baguette, or the more readily available Udi’s Delicious Soft sliced bread.

Toast with cheese and raw honey
Spread goat cheese on toast, and take a tablespoon of raw honey and drizzle over the top.

Toast with tomatoes and fresh basil
Take sliced artisanal bread and toast. Spread a generous layer of goat cheese and layer on slices of tomato and chopped fresh basil.

Toast with fresh fruit
Chop up fresh fruit from your local farmer’s market. Layer on the goat cheese and top it all off with berries and tart apples.

Beets and orange with chèvre
Earthy beets and orange segments on goat cheese smeared toast at The Press Cafe

Toast with beets and oranges
Earthy beets and citrus orange segments pair well together when layered over goat cheese on toast.

Smashed avocado and cheese
Take a ripe avocado, and smash it up with a fork. Spread it first on the toast and then crumble some goat cheese over the top. Toss a handful of red pepper flakes, crack some sea salt, and drizzle extra virgin olive oil.

If you have other chèvre toast making suggestions, please share in comments.
Bon appétit!

Instant Pot: GF Berry-Apple Bread Pudding Recipe

Low-glycemic dessert for breakfast

I have a sweet tooth, but I try to find ways to make healthy-ish versions of my favorite desserts. Nothing is more comforting than a warm, gooey bread pudding. I’ve come up with my own version that’s gluten-free, dairy-free, low GI, and something you can whip up easily. All you need is an Instant Pot and 30 minutes from prep to plate.

*Spoiler Alert: No heavy cream (or dairy) was used in the following recipe. Taste was not compromised.*

Bits of Bread Pudding History

Bread pudding is said to date back as far as the 11th century. A humble dish, it was designed out of necessity so leftover bread would not go to waste. In the 13th century in England, bread pudding was described as “poor man’s pudding.”

Bread pudding is typically made with leftover bread, and baked with a mixture of milk, cream, eggs, butter and/or oil, and includes other add-ins. It can be made as either a savory or sweet dish. Though most of us think of bread pudding as a sweet dish, served in restaurants or made at home.

Many countries have a version of the bread pudding, so you’ll find variations in Europe, Latin America, Asia, and in the US.

Bread pudding in an Instant Pot

I figured why not? I thought about the ingredients that go into a French toast, and not much different! I use the duo 6-in-1 Instant Pot, and have re-created a healthy-ish version. This recipe will serve 4-5 people. 

Get Your Instant Pot and steam rack ready
Pour 2 cups of water into the Instant Pot, and place a steam rack on top. (I ended up getting the silicone steam rack as part of a set on Amazon, which comes with a pan).

Grease the bottom of a 7- or 8-inch pan that will fit in your Instant Pot. Spray a little Coconut Oil to coat the bottom of the pan to ensure the bread pudding won’t stick.

Wash and prep your fruit
Fruit comes with natural sweetness and a load of nutrients, fiber, and antioxidants. That’s reason enough to make them a centerpiece in this recipe. I used two medium apples and a bowl of berries (blueberries and blackberries).

Apples and Berries
2 medium apples, blueberries and blackberries

For apples, I used Pink Lady and Gala. Wash and remove the skins. Core and slice the apples into cubes, then set aside. With the berries, simply wash and set aside.

Cut bread into cubes
You can chop up leftover bread. I use 4-5 slices of Udi’s Delicious White Bread (large version). Set aside the cubed bread.

Udi's Delicious White Bread (large size)
Gluten-free bread cut into cubes

Whisk the liquids together
In a large bowl, crack 3 large eggs, 1/4 cup of raw coconut nectar, 1/3 cup of almond milk, 1 tsp of Vanilla extract, and 1 tsp of Cinnamon.

Side note: I like Big Tree Farms Organic Amber Coconut Nectar, which I covered in an earlier post on GF pancakes. Made from the sap of coconut tree flowers, coconut nectar contains essential amino acids, and is low glycemic, so you don’t have the effects of blood sugar spikes.

Mix everything together in a big bowl
Take your cubes of apple and berries and toss into your liquid mixture. Then toss in the bread cubes and gently mix until the bread is coated.

Pour the mixture into the baking pan
Take your greased baking pan and pour the entire mixture into it. Press down into the pan to make sure everything is generally even. Drizzle the top with 2 tbsp of maple syrup.

Pressure cook for 15 minutes
Place the baking dish on top of the steamer rack inside the Instant Pot. Close the top of the Instant Pot lid and turn dial to sealing position. Turn on the manual setting at high pressure for 15 minutes.

Mixture placed in a baking pan
Sit the baking pan onto the steamer rack inside the Instant Pot

Voila! It’s done
You can let the steam out via natural release if you have the time. Or if you don’t, put on a silicone mitt and vent the top.

Gluten-free, dairy-free Berry Apple Bread Pudding
Gluten-free bread pudding perfect for breakfast or dessert

Serves 4-5 people

Ingredients

– 2 cups of water
– 1 tsp coconut oil (or olive oil). Or use spray
– 3 large eggs
– 1/4 cup unrefined raw coconut nectar (substitute is maple syrup)
– 2 tbsp of maple syrup
– 1/3 cup of almond milk
– 1 tsp of cinnamon
– 2 medium apples
– 1 to 1 1/2 cup of berries (blackberries and blueberries)
– 4 cups of bread, cut into cubes (or 4-5 slices of GF bread)
– Whipped cream (optional)

Serve up in a shallow bowl
You can use a pie server to cut and place a generous wedge of bread pudding in a shallow bowl. You can add a dollop of whipped cream, like I did, to give it a bit of umpf. Whole Foods and other health food stores sell traditional whipped cream and non-dairy alternatives like So Delicious Dairy Free Coco Whip.

Delish bread pudding made in an Instant Pot
Make your GF bread pudding special with a dollop of whipped cream. Yum!

Enjoy spending time with your loved ones, and treat yourself with this version of bread pudding for breakfast, brunch or dessert. Bon appétit!

What’s your favorite healthy-ish dessert made for breakfast? Feel free to comment. 

Top 5 Time-Savers for Busy YOU

Fiver for Adulting

This week’s Top Fiver is for folks who are busy adulting. Whether solo, in a relationship, or busy juggling work-family-life, there are some everyday hacks to keep your adult life under control.

Urban Dictionary definition: 

Adulting (v): to carry out one or more of the duties and responsibilities expected of fully developed individuals (paying off that credit card debt, settling beef without blasting social media, etc). Exclusively used by those who adult less than 50% of the time.

1) Create a to-do list. Rinse & Repeat.

Seems like a no-brainer right? It’s a must if you’re trying to keep your life organized and minimally cluttered. Create a to-do list in whatever form or medium works for you. Some people like the good ol’ fashioned notepad/notebook or fancier Italian-made moleskine notebook. You can always default to a Notes app, sticky notes, or task list.

While the aspect of creating a to-do list sounds mundane, it can keep you organized and help drive purpose in your daily existence. Each day, you can reprioritize what matters most to you.

I, for one, never seem to complete my to-do list, but I keep it moving each day.

2) Go minimalistic with your wardrobe

I’m not advocating that you take on Mark Zuckerberg’s approach of buying multiples of the same grey t-shirt. But, keep your everyday wardrobe simple. Spend less time worrying about coordinating the top, bottom, shoes, belt, or whatever accoutrements complete your look.

If you want to look slick and polished, tap into your inner Johnny Cash.

Pinterest is a great way to discover basic looks. Then head over to sites like Uniqlo, Madewell, J. Crew, Everlane, or MM. LaFleur to get your range of staples and more lux outfits that fit within your budget and shopping predilections.

For shoes, I like the versatile grey (or black) Allbirds loungers and sneakers, and I’ve been loving my splurge-worthy Sevilla Smith flats. Neutral shoe colors go well with just about anything – shorts, skirt, slacks and jeans.

3) Make breakfast in under 5-10 minutes

I save the grander meals for the weekends when I have more sit-down time with the family. During the week, I hustle breakfast and make it under 5-10 minutes.  But you won’t find me shoveling spoonfuls of cereal into my mouth. I like a bit of variety. So, here’s my hit list of simple, fast brekkies.

  • Gluten-free pancakes (or waffles) that are premade (frozen).
  • Bagels (or toast) with a variety of toppings.
    • Banana on creamy almond butter
    • (Vegan) cream cheese x berry preserves
    • Avocado toastie in its various delicious forms. Popular post here.
  • Breakfast sammie. Toast or pita with scrambled eggs and cheese for the basic.
  • Boiled eggs and soldiers. If you’ve got 6 minutes, perfect the British-inspired eggs and soldiers. More to come in an upcoming post.
  • Berry fruit x granola bowl. Mix berries and bananas with your favorite granola. My fave is Nature’s Path Love Crunch (*hint: peanut butter & dark chocolate)
  • Non-Dairy Yogurt + toss in some fruit. I opt for coconut milk, almond-milk or cashew-milk based yogurts. Our household had dairy sensitivity. I like Forager, So Delicious, and the ultra-creamy CoYo.

4) Subscribe online for essentials

I find the act of shopping at the mall physically and mentally exhausting. So, I do my shopping online. With essentials, I hate toting large rolls of TP, paper towels and other household essentials.

Amazon Subscribe and Save is a great way to stock up on essentials, get deliveries on a recurring schedule, and even snag 5-15% off the list price.

5) Work at the gym (sometimes)

Get your regular workout and fire up the laptop post-shower. Maximize your precious time by fitting in cardio, showering, and catching up on some work. For you tired moms and dads, some of the bigger fitness clubs offer onsite daycare. Take advantage of the daycare, so you can look after yourself and your fitness regimen. Then pick up your kid and grab a healthy smoothie.

Now go maximize your day, and enjoy some downtime.

Hope your enjoyed this week’s fiver!