For a weekend brunch treat, whip up these light and flavorful crepes from the American Institute for Cancer Research. What’s the secret behind these thin pancakes? They use flour made from chickpeas called besan (or garbanzo bean or gram flour in the gluten-free aisle). Besan is made from beans so it’s still packed with fiber and protein, like whole grains. Fill with a savory combination of spinach, mushroom and pesto for the perfect brunch entrée.
1 cup chickpea flour
2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. finely chopped fresh rosemary
3/4 tsp. salt
2 tsp. soft buttery spread, if using skillet
2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
1/3 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
6 oz. Cremini mushrooms, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)
1 (5 oz. box) baby spinach
2 Tbsp. prepared pesto
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
In medium bowl, whisk chickpea flour, oil, rosemary and salt with water until mixture is smooth. Let batter sit 20-30 minutes to thicken slightly. Before cooking stir to loosen any clumps.
For crepes, set non-stick crepe pan over medium-high heat until drops of water flicked into pan ball up and bounce. With one hand, hold pan up at 45-degree angle. Pour 1/4 cup batter near top of pan, rotating pan as you pour so batter flows into 6-7-inch round crepe. Cook until crepe is golden on bottom, 1-2 minutes. Using large spatula, turn and cook until crepe is lightly golden on bottom, about 30 seconds. Transfer crepe to large plate. Cover each crepe with wax paper. If using a regular skillet instead of non-stick crepe pan, coat hot pan with 1/2 teaspoon spread before first crepe and repeat as needed between crepes.
If not filling crepes immediately, cool to room temperature and cover plate with plastic wrap. Hold crepes at room temperature for up to 8 hours, refrigerate for up to 24 hours.
For filling, in medium skillet heat oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, 2 minutes. Add red peppers and cook, stirring, until onions are translucent, 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook, stirring occasionally, until mixture looks wet, 5-6 minutes. Add spinach, stirring to wilt leaves. Cook, stirring often, until most of moisture has evaporated and filling is tender, 8 minutes.
If crepes have been made ahead, wrap them in foil and warm in 250 degrees oven, 20 minutes. To assemble crepes, in small bowl, mix pesto with 2 tablespoons warm water. Stir pesto into filling. Arrange a crepe on a plate. Spoon one-sixth filling over bottom half of each crepe, then gently fold crepe in half over filling. Repeat with remaining crepes and filling. If desired, garnish plate with some mesclun leaves and strawberries. Serve immediately.
Makes 6 servings.
Per serving: 170 calories, 11 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 15 g carbohydrate, 6 g protein, 4 g dietary fiber, 400 mg sodium.
Recipe from the American Institute for Cancer Research.