Buckwheat Crêpes with Creamy Mushroom Filling

Buckwheat Crepes with Creamy Mushroom Filling

B is for…Buckwheat Flour!

Buckwheat Flour

I tend to accumulate bags of flour in my pantry…as with a lot of ingredients (!), one of the main reasons for doing this A to Z challenge in the first place. I seem to have worked my way through most of them, leaving teff flour, which, until I made my tasty Teff Pancakes with Caramelized Bananas I’d only used for making injera, and buckwheat flour which I used for my blueberry-orange buckwheat waffles, but has since been sitting redundant until now.

Buckwheat Crêpes with Creamy Mushroom Filling (Vegan)

I’m still a little wary of gluten-free baking and so instead of simply substituting buckwheat flour (a gluten-free flour) for wheat in a recipe, I thought I’d look for something which is gluten-free and uses buckwheat flour by default.  The obvious choice for me was Breton galettes.

The “galette bretonne” is a buckwheat flour crêpe traditionally from Brittany, France, although it’s now available and popular all over France. Unlike its wheat flour counterpart it’s usually served with savoury fillings. Neither the crêpe itself or the  fillings are typically vegan as they involve eggs, meat and cheese, but of course my version contains no animal products :)

Buckwheat Crêpes with Creamy Mushroom Filling:

Crêpe-making can seem tricky at first, and it kind of is, but don’t be discouraged if the first couple (or first batch!) don’t turn out so well, you’ll get the hang of it. It definitely helps to have a nice thin batter so you can swirl it round the pan easily. Although galettes should be a little thicker than dessert crêpes, you’re not making thick fluffy pancakes here but are after a more delicate, slightly crisp pancake.


1T Ground flax + 3T water
1C Buckwheat flour
1/2T Oil
1/4t of salt
1C Water (more if needed to make a fairly thin batter- about the consistency of heavy cream)
1T Oil for cooking galettes

Combine all ingredients and whisk well in a large bowl. Cover and leave to sit at room temperature for a couple of hours ideally.

Preheat a large crêpe pan or non-stick pan over medium high heat with a little oil. When hot pour a ladleful of the batter onto the pan and swirl to distribute quickly and evenly. After about a minute, slide a spatula under the crêpe and carefully flip. Let it cook on the reverse side for another 30 seconds or so and remove to a plate. Repeat, cooking the crêpes until all the batter is used up.

Serve warm, filled with the creamy mushroom mixture or your choice of fillings. Breton crêpes are not usually rolled but the 4 rounded sides are folded in over the filling, forming a square, as pictured.

Buckwheat Crêpes with Creamy Mushroom Filling (Vegan)

Creamy Mushroom Filling:

1/2T Oil
I Onion, chopped
250g Chestnut Mushrooms, sliced
2T Finely chopped fresh mixed herbs (I used rosemary, sage and thyme)
1/4C White wine (or vegetable broth)
1T Arrowroot
1/3C Non-dairy Cream (I used oat but cashew or soy would be fine)
Salt + Pepper

Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat and gently cook the mushrooms until soft and fragrant. Add the herbs and the sliced mushrooms and continue to cook until they release some moisture. In a small bowl dissolve arrowroot in wine or vegetable broth. Add this to the pan along with the cream and cook for a few minutes until it has thickened a little. Season with plenty of salt and pepper and serve with crepes.

Serves 2-3

Buckwheat Crêpes with Creamy Mushroom Filling (Vegan)

Buckwheat flour is made from whole buckwheat groats, actually a seed not a grain. The groats can be used in recipes too and I especially like this Raw Buckwheat Porridge.

Other buckwheat recipes to try:

Using whole buckwheat groats:

Buckwheat & Lentil Shepherd’s Pie

Buckwheat & Chickpea Nuggets

Raw Sprouted Buckwheat Chocolate Bars

Using buckwheat flour:

Blueberry, Almond & Buckwheat Muffins

Savoury Buckwheat Pancakes with Spicy Potato & Apple Stuffing

Gingerbread Buckwheat Pancakes

I’d love to hear about your experiences with buckwheat. Tell me how you like to use it.

Have you made crêpes before?

Are you a pantry hoarder like me?!

Hope everyone’s enjoying Vegan MoFo so far. If you’re new to Coconut and Berries please do sign up for email updates or add me to your reader. You can also find me on Facebook, Instagram (@coconutandberries), Twitter and Pinterest.

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Smoky Black Bean Empanadas with Chipotle Sour Cream

Smoky Black Bean Empanadas with Chipotle Sour Cream

When I was younger and living in London, pre-theatre dinners or family get-togethers would often be a meal at an Argentinian steak restaurant, the Gaucho Grill. Of course, there’s no way I’d go there now (although I think it’s still one of my brother’s favourite places to eat…) , it must be the most un vegan-friendly place going- not just the menu but the décor too- the restaurants are all fitted out in black leather with cow hide furnishings everywhere! The one good thing I take from our visits though is the memory of empanadas.

Smoky Black Bean Empanadas with Chipotle Sour Cream

If you’re unfamiliar with empanadas, they’re popular street food in South America and are essentially flaky pastry pockets filled with a whole variety of fillings, often cheese, meat, and beans. For my vegan version I decided on a smoky, spiced black bean and vegetable filling and served them with a chipotle sour cream for a nice creamy contrast.

I ate a few for dinner alongside a fresh garden salad, but, like my beetroot falafel, they’re also great party food.  Pile up plates with the pastries, serve the sauce in a dish on the side and your guests can eat them with their hands.

Smoky Black Bean Empanadas with Chipotle Sour Cream

This recipe is rather time-consuming but it does make a lot. They are very moreish though so you might end up eating more than you anticipate! You can also freeze them either before or after baking and reheat or cook in the oven from frozen.

Smoky Black Bean Empanadas with Chipotle Sour Cream

Smoky Black Bean Empanadas with Chipotle Sour Cream:

For the Dough:

(Adapted from Viva Vegan! )

3C Flour ( I was using up odds and ends from the pantry so used a mixture of rye, spelt and cornmeal!)
1 1/2t Salt
1/4t Baking soda
7T Coconut oil, chilled
3/4C or more cold water

Non-dairy milk for brushing

Using a food processor pulse flour salt and baking soda together. Add solid coconut oil to the food processor and pulse again until the mixture resembles fine breadcrumbs. Remove mixture to a large bowl and stream in cold water while mixing with fingers. Add just enough water until dough comes together but is not sticky. Knead a few times, divide into 4 balls,  flatten each into a thick disc, wrap tightly in cling film and chill in the fridge for a minimum of 4 hours.

For the Filling:

1T Olive oil
1 Onion, diced small
2 Cloves of garlic, minced
1 Red pepper, diced small
1 Medium courgette, diced small
1 1/2C (1 Can) Black beans
1/2t Salt
1/2t Cumin
1/2t Mild chili powder
1/2t Smoked paprika
1/4-1/2t Liquid smoke (If unavailable use a bit more smoked paprika)

Warm the olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, for a couple of minutes. Add garlic, red pepper and courgette and continue to cook until soft, approx 5-8 minutes. Add black beans, salt and spices and stir to coat everything well. Turn off heat and set aside until you’re ready to fill your empanadas.

Note: Feel free to mix up the filling ingredients. I think corn would be a nice addition, crumbled tempeh, or maybe plantain?

Chipotle Sour Cream:

1/2C Cashews, soaked
1/4C + 2T Water
1T Chipotle chili in adobe sauce (I puree the cans and store in the freezer and break off a piece when needed)
1 Clove of garlic
1t Apple cider vinegar
1/4-1/2t Salt
Squeeze of lime juice

Blend everything together (a short-cup/personal blender is ideal for small amounts like this). Taste for salt.

Putting it together:

Preheat oven to 190C/375F

Remove dough from fridge and roll out a disc of dough between two sheets of parchment paper into a circle about 1/8” thick. Using a bowl as a guide, cut out circles of approx 4-5” diameter (you can make them bigger if you prefer but that’s the size I went for). Cover and keep cool while you repeat with the next dough disc. Gather up all the remaining dough scraps, re-roll only one more time and cut out as many circles as possible.

Place approx 1 1/2T filling in the middle of each circle, dampen edge with a wet finger and fold one side over the filling. Roll, braid or crimp edge to seal (It took me a while to get the hang of this but I found simply rolling the edge in was the easiest). Place on a lined baking sheet and brush lightly with non-dairy milk. Repeat process until all empanadas are filled- I had a little filling left.

Bake for 30-35 minutes, turning baking sheet half-way through cooking process to ensure even browning. Let cool for a couple of minutes and serve warm with chipotle sour cream.

I’m submitting this recipe to the weekly blog link-ups Wellness Weekends,  Healthy Vegan Fridays and Meatless Mondays

Smoky Black Bean Empanadas with Chipotle Sour Cream

Britain doesn’t have much of a tradition of street-food, although, in London especially, street food from other countries is getting really popular.

Where you live do you have street-food stalls available to you?

Summer Vegetable + Chickpea Sauté

Summer Vegetable Chickpea Sauté

Yesterday felt like a long day. After a gentle morning baking and pottering in the garden I cycled up to my Granny’s new house to help with her moving in. Lugging around furniture, unpacking boxes and organizing is tiring work! I suppose it’s good practice for my own move in a few weeks’ time though!

After cycling home on a flat tyre, doubling the time my ride should have taken me, the last thing I felt like doing was cooking dinner. The lure of putting my feet up with a large mug of peppermint tea, some dark chocolate, and calling it a day, was pretty strong, but knowing that my Mum would be anticipating a meal on her return dragged me to the kitchen…

Summer Vegetable + Chickpea Sauté

This quick recipe really shows how tasty a meal can be relying on fresh vegetables, herbs and simple seasoning, and in my opinion it certainly qualifies for my favourite food description: “Delicious and nutritious”! I was glad I made a little effort as I definitely felt better for eating a good, healthy meal…I still had my chocolate though Smile

As I hadn’t planned in advance I used canned chickpeas but I do usually prefer to cook them myself as it’s so much cheaper and I think they have a better flavour. Keeping a couple of cans on on hand is very convenient for times like this though.

This simple sauté came together in about 20 minutes, including the time it took for me to pop out and pick a courgette and some herbs from the garden- pretty speedy if I do say so myself.

Summer Vegetable + Chickpea Sauté

Summer Vegetable + Chickpea Sauté:

If you have it definitely use coconut oil for this dish. It adds a delicious buttery flavour and lends a little bit of richness here.

1/2C Green beans, cut into 2” lengths
1/2C Podded broad beans OR edamame
1/2-1T Coconut Oil
1/2 Onion, diced
1 Medium courgette, diced (1C)
1/2C Corn
3/4C (1/2 Can) Cooked chickpeas
1/2T Lemon juice
1T Chives
2T Basil, julienned
Salt + Pepper

First steam your green beans and broad beans or edamame for 3 minutes. Pinch of skins from broad beans and set aside.

Meanwhile, warm coconut oil in a pan over medium heat and add onions. Cook for a few minutes until clear. Toss in diced courgette and cook, stirring every now and again, for about 5 minutes more. Toss in corn, chickpeas and steamed green vegetables, and continue to cook until all heated through. Season well with salt and pepper, turn off heat and stir in fresh herbs and lemon juice.

Serves 2

I pulled out a couple of pieces of leftover cornbread from the freezer for us to eat alongside this. Love freezer finds!

I’m submitting this recipe to the blog parties: Healthy Vegan Fridays and Wellness Weekends

Summer Vegetable + Chickpea Sauté

What are your pantry staples for last-minute meals?

Vegan Roasted Vegetable Frittata


You might have to forgive me for throwing several recipes at you over the next few days. I’ve got a stack of them lined up waiting to be posted and in my kitchen I’m churning out more than I can keep up with posting. Also, if I want to participate in Vegan MoFo I’d like to get most of them out to you before it begins in September.

On that note, I haven’t decided if I’m going to take part in Vegan MoFo this year. For those of you who don’t know,  the idea of Vegan MoFo (Month of Food) is for bloggers to write as much as they can about vegan food over the designated month. Bloggers usually take on a theme for the period and write posts accordingly. There aren’t strict guidelines for how often to write, but the idea is to shoot for every weekday, or about 20 times in the month.

As I’ll be moving into my new flat in September AND starting my Masters course at the end of the month I don’t know if it’s going to be possible to blog that frequently…so we’ll see. Is there a theme you’d like me to tackle?

Vegan Roasted Vegetable Frittata

After being reminded of how much I like tofu omelettes when I made my pesto, ricotta + cherry tomato filled ones a while back, I thought I’d try out another variation- frittata! I haven’t quite worked out the difference between frittata and Spanish omelette yet (I think Spanish omelette might just have potatoes and onions along with the egg base, whereas frittata can have other ingredients too? ) but just like with my decision to name my “Summer” rolls, I decided on frittata to avoid the negative associations I have with  “Spanish omelette”…

On a Spanish exchange I went on when I was 15, not an overly fun experience in any case, my exchange’s mother kindly packed me a lunch to take on one of our day-trips. I was greeted by a Spanish omelette sandwich: a thick wedge of potato omelette between 2 slices of white bread. Now that might sound delicious to some of you but to the fussy teenager that I was then, who also hated eggs, it was a pretty nasty sight. Needless to say it got tossed in favour of an ice cream…!

I’ve used a similar silken tofu base to my omelette for this recipe, easy enough to whizz up in a blender, then combined it with some sweet roasted vegetables and diced new potatoes for some substance, cooked it in a skillet on the stove top and finished it off under the broiler. A lovely light meal for 2-3, and very quick if you happen to have any leftover roasted veg on hand.

Vegan Roasted Vegetable Frittata

Roast Vegetable Frittata:

(Adapted from Chef Chloe)

Roast Vegetables:

1/2 Yellow, chopped
1/2 Red Pepper, chopped
1/2 Red Onion, Sliced into fairly thin wedges
1/2 T Olive Oil

Frittata Base:

200g Silken Tofu
1/2 T Olive Oil
3T Arrowroot (or other starch)
1/2t Black salt (or sea salt if unavailable)
1/8t Turmeric
1/2t Onion powder
1/2t Garlic powder

Handful of cooked new potatoes, halved or cut into slices approx 1cm thick.
2T Chopped parsley for garnish

Preheat oven to 350C.

If you haven’t already, steam or boil your new potatoes.

Place vegetables in a roasting dish, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for approx 20 minutes, until soft.

Meanwhile blend all the ingredients for the frittata base in a blender. (I used my Tribest personal blender which is ideal for small amounts. If you don’t have something similar I’d suggest using an immersion blender rather than a full-size blender or it might be difficult to get all the mix out of the bottom. )

Heat a 9” oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add a touch more olive oil and toss in the potatoes to crisp up the edges for a couple of minutes and to grease the pan. Add the roast vegetables to the skillet too and finally the frittata base mixture from the blender. Quickly mix with the vegetables before it starts to set, and, using a spatula spread out the mixture evenly in the skillet. Turn down heat to medium-low and let cook, undisturbed for 15 minutes.

Preheat the broiler.

At this point the frittata should look set on the top, if not continue to cook for a few more minutes. Place skillet under the broiler for 3-5 minutes to brown up. Keep an eye on it so it doesn’t burn!

Garnish with fresh parsley and serve.

Serves 2-3

Looking at these pictures from a few weeks ago reminded me of the silly game we played during dinner- spot the garden bean! At that time only a few of our green beans were ready to pick so I combined them with some we had bought. Now, it’s a different story all together- I just picked 1/2kg (over a lb) this morning!

Frittata or Spanish omelette, which sounds more appealing to you?

Are you taking part in Vegan MoFo this September? You don’t have to be vegan, just only post vegan food!

Sticky Miso Aubergine

Sticky Miso Aubergine (Eggplant)

I’m just back from a little holiday in Edinburgh during which I took a bit of a digital detox (I did have 1 post scheduled for while I was away) which I’m sure was good for me, but I am missing blogging and blog-reading after only 5 days away from my computer! I’m beginning to catch up with my reader and thought I’d give you a recipe to keep you going before I fill you in on my time away.

A recent survey on The Kitchn showed aubergine (eggplant) to be the least favourite summer vegetable, something I’m not hugely surprised about, but a shame all the same. I’ve had some pretty bad aubergine dishes in the past until I learnt how to cook it to show it at its best. Roasting is usually the way to go for me: simply seasoned with salt and pepper and drizzled in olive oil, the spongy chunks sweeten and soften. I love aubergine in tagines and curries too, where, after a long simmer it seems to soak up whatever tasty sauce you’re using.

Sticky Miso Aubergine (Eggplant)

I wanted to try a different flavour profile this time, and travelled to the Far East for this dish. This is a cross-between Mabo Nasu, a Chinese aubergine stir-fry, and Nasu Dengaku, grilled miso-glazed aubergine. Both sounded good to me, so I combined them! It’s a quick recipe to make as all stir-fries are, and the sweet, salty miso sauce coating it all will, I’m sure, have even vegetable-haters hoovering up a whole plateful.

The seasonings I’ve used are ones I always have in my kitchen, but perhaps they’re not typical in everyone’s pantries… I’ve mentioned the company Clearspring on the blog before and their fantastic line of Japanese seasonings are what I’ve used here. I’m planning a full review of their products but for now will highly recommend these ones if you need to stock up on Asian supplies.

Note: Whichever brand of Mirin you use, something to be aware of is that most nowadays contain either sugar or high fructose corn syrup, and preservatives, so try to find one where the rice is naturally fermented and with no additives.

Sticky Miso Aubergine (Eggplant)

Sticky Miso Aubergine

We ate this as a main dish, just alongside some brown rice and stir-fried Chinese greens but it would be a welcome addition to any Asian meal.

1 Medium aubergine, diced large
1t Sesame oil (or another high-heat oil )
1/2 Onion, diced
1/2 Green pepper, diced large
1 t Sesame oil
1 Clove of garlic, minced
1” Piece of ginger, minced

1/2T Red miso
3/4T Agave nectar
1 1/2T Rice vinegar
1 1/2T Mirin
1 1/2T Tamari
1/2T Arrowroot
Pinch of chili flakes

Toasted sesame seeds to garnish.

Whisk together sauce ingredients  in a small bowl. Set aside.

Warm 1t sesame oil in a pan or wok over med-high heat, stir-fry the aubergine chunks in the oil for approx 10 minutes until fairly soft. Remove from pan to a bowl.

Heat another teaspoon of sesame oil in the pan and stir-fry the onion and pepper until soft. Add the garlic and ginger and continue to cook, be careful not to let them burn though.

Return aubergine to the pan and pour over the sauce. It should thicken up almost immediately and create a sticky glaze. Continue to stir until all coated and hot.

Sprinkle with toasted sesame seeds to serve.

Are you one of the aubergine-haters out there? Perhaps I can change your mind with this dish!
If you’re a fan, how do you like to prepare it?