Do you ever get so sick of your same lunch and dinner meals that you just think, oh crap, what am I going to eat!? Excuse our language but in this instance we want you to instead think, oh crepe! Though typically thought of as a decadent and overly sweet breakfast indulgence, crepe dough itself is a healthy homemade choice and is versatile enough to be transformed into a lunch or dinner meal. This protein packed, Mediterranean style crepe recipe will be your answer the next time you don't know what to eat. We were even able to pull this crepe recipe off without eggs, making it vegan friendly, but still gave you both recipe options. But before we get to the crepes, more on another cooking method we just love.
If you're in the market for new ways to prepare vegetarian protein options (as we always are), than the dry fry tofu method is for you! It is as simple as the name sounds, a frying method that does not require oil. The tofu is cut into thin slices and fried in a grease-less non-stick pan over medium-low heat with a watchful eye to make sure that the tofu doesn't burn or stick. Flipping the tofu pieces every 2 minutes is a good way to monitor the cooking progress and make sure the pieces aren't sticking. Some tricks for preventing the tofu from sticking without oil include choosing the right tofu product, we think extra firm works best, and draining some of the tofu water before cooking. You can gently squeeze the block of tofu after removing from the packaging liquid and then wrap in a dish towel and let the block sit, weighted with a plate or book on top of the towel, for about 15-30 minutes to allow the towel to absorb some of the water. Your frying pan is also important and should be non-stick, though we recommend alternatives to the usual non-stick varieties as these are typically made using a chemical coating (Teflon is popular) that can potentially leach into food. We suggest spending the time and money to invest in a well seasoned cast iron, ceramic, or enameled cast-iron frying pan. These options can work as "non-stick" without oil and don't come with the potential for chemical exposure. Towards the end of cooking the tofu can be seasoned with herbs/spices of your choice (as we did) but be careful not to burn them. The final product is wonderfully crispy on the outside and still soft on the inside and absorbs sauce nicely in a finished dish. Basically, you haven't really tried tofu until you've had it dry-fry. And don't worry if you do have some sticking to the pan on your first try, just peel the pieces up with a fork and maybe try a different pan, lower heat, or firmer tofu your next go around. You'll get it!
Mediterranean Dry-Fry Tofu Crepes
PREP TIME: 20 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 crepes
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup organic unsweetened plain soy milk (or 1/2 cup organic cow or goat milk if not making vegan)
1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup buckwheat flour
1/2 tsp sea salt
2 Tbsp ground flax seeds + 4 Tbsp water (or 2 organic eggs if not making vegan)
1 Tbsp coconut oil or butter to grease the bottom of the pan
8 oz organic firm tofu
6 oz organic raw spinach
4 oz feta cheese (We used Bulgarian sheep milk feta. If making vegan we suggest 4 Tbsp roasted and salted chopped cashews instead.)
4 Tbsp olives, chopped (we used a combination of black and green olives)
2 tsp green za'atar or spice mix of your choice
4 tsp unbleached sesame seeds
1/8 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cracked black pepper
2 Tbsp plain yogurt
1 Tbsp olive oil
2 tsp lemon juice
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/8 tsp cracked black pepper
1/4 tsp garlic powder
1 tsp olive brine juice
To make the crepe batter, combine the 2 Tbsp ground flax seeds with 4 Tbsp water, whisk with a fork, then allow to sit until thickened. Add the remaining water, milk, flours, salt, and flax seed/water mixture to a blender and blend on high for 30 seconds or until all ingredients come together. Set aside while you prepare the filling.
Drain tofu from water, slice into thin 1/4" slices and sprinkle with sea salt, pepper, and za'atar seasoning. Using a non-stick or seasoned cast iron skillet, bring heat up to medium and add the seasoned tofu to the hot pan. Dry fry tofu for 3-5 minutes per side or until tofu is a light golden color then set aside. Using the same pan you used to cook the tofu, lightly wilt the spinach then set aside.
To make the yogurt sauce, combine the yogurt, olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt, pepper, garlic powder, and olive brine juice and whisk until combined.
To make the crepes, grease a 9" non-stick pan with coconut oil and place over medium heat. Pour 1/4 of the batter in the pan and holding the pan at an angle above the burner quickly swirl the pan to allow the batter to cover the bottom of the pan as close to the edge of the pan as possible. Continue to cook the crepe until it starts to form bubbles and the batter appears set. This batter cooks quickly. Using a flat wooden or metal spatula, check the bottom of the crepe after ~1-2 minutes of cooking. Once the crepe is golden and set all the way though, carefully flip the crepe and continue cooking on the other side for an additional ~1-2 minutes. After flipping and while the second side is cooking, add the filling ingredients towards the bottom of the crepe starting with the tofu, spinach, olives, feta cheese, and then the sesame seeds. Fold the crepe in half, and make another fold forming a triangle shape. Continue this process until all 4 crepes have been made. Serve crepes warm topped with yogurt sauce. Note that if you do not plan to serve all crepes at the same meal, the crepe batter can be stored in an air tight container in the fridge for up to 2 days. Allow the batter to come to room temperature and whisk to combine before cooking crepes according to instructions above.
Crepe dough is just too good and so much easier to make at home than most people believe. The spongy dough is the perfect wrap for the mix of salty goodness inside this recipe. And the pack of protein from the feta cheese and dry-fry tofu will keep you full and satisfied until your next, oh no, what's for lunch/dinner moment. A crepe, that's what.
Jess and Cecelia
Jess and Cecelia welcome you to our kitchen. We are fun-loving and passionate foodies working to make the world a healthier, happier place one plant based recipe at a time.