Bonjour mes amis!
Some bonus trivia to start out with, for those of you who don’t know me personally: Aside from cooking, I also play the harp!
That’s me with my awesome band Kelsea Little and the 78s, playing the House of Blues in San Diego. It was the best night ever.
More Bonus Trivia! I actually studied the French language for 8 years. 4 years in high school, 4 years in college. I’ve always had an affinity for French culture because of this, so aside from my love of the move Julie & Julia, I actually do have a few other ties to this cuisine which I immerse myself in weekly. I still have yet to actually make it to France (or Europe for that matter), but I know when I do, I shall not want to return. So really, I’m doing my loved ones a great service by not having gone to Europe yet – they’d never see me again!
Today’s batch of recipes was SO enjoyable to make, I’m really excited for you guys to try them out. I had to get really creative with a lot of the ingredients, and was super nervous about how they’d turn out, but everything was AMAZING and DELICIOUS!
On the menu today:
- Épinards en Surprise (Spinach surprise!) VEGAN
- Crêpes avec bananes et chocolat (crêpes with bananas and chocolate) VEGAN
- Crêpes aux fraises et crème à la vanille (crêpes with strawberries and vanilla custard) VEGAN
- Crêpes avec épinards à la crème (crêpes with creamed spinach) VEGAN
The thing that is hard about following Julia Child’s cookbook is that almost every recipe has you refer to a recipe or technique on some page that is like 100-200 pages away from where you actually are, so you have to do this dance back and forth the whole time to actually complete an entire recipe. That’s another benefit of the blog! You can just stay on one post 🙂
I’ll go again in the order I actually cooked:
Épinards en Surprise
ALERT: You must chill crêpe batter for 2 hours before cooking.
So this recipe is called a “surprise” due to the presentation. It’s essentially creamed spinach, hidden under a crêpe. You put it on the table, and cut into it and… SURPRISE! Spinach, mother^&%#($! I have never really cooked a big batch of spinach from scratch, I usually eat it raw when I buy it. The process was really cool! I found myself thinking, “Woah, it looks store-bought!” Blanched spinach might be one of my new favorite side dishes.
What You’ll Need:
- 3 lbs fresh spinach
- Large stock pot
- Strainer or colander
- 4 Tbsp Earth Balance Vegan Butter
- 1 1/2 Tbsp flour
- 1 c vegan whipping cream (I’ll explain how to make it in the steps)
- 1/2 c vegan Swiss cheese (I use Daiya – it melts!)
- Salt & pepper to taste
- 1 crêpe (that recipe will follow this one)
1. Fill the large stock pot 3/4 of the way with water, and bring to a boil
2. A handful at a time, drop the spinach into the boiling water until it’s all in the pot, pushing it under the water with a wooden spoon if necessary. Bring the water back to a boil as quickly as possible and boil the spinach for 2 minutes.
3. Pour the spinach into the strainer or colander, and immediately being to run cold water over the blanched spinach (this preserves its color and freshness).
4. A small amount at a time, squeeze handfuls of the spinach to get as much of the water out as possible.
5. Chop the spinach with a big knife.
6. Heat 2 Tbsp butter in a medium sauce pan.
7. When butter is bubbling, stir in the spinach. Stir for 3 minutes, until the moisture from the spinach has boiled off.
8. Salt and pepper to taste.
9. Sprinkle on flour and stir for 2 minutes.
10. Remove from heat and pour in 1 c vegan whipping cream (simply puree 1/2 c silken tofu, and 1/2 c soy milk until smooth and silky – works like a charm!)
11. Bring spinach mixture to a simmer and cook slowly for 15 minutes (stir frequently to avoid spinach sticking to bottom of pan.)
12. Season with salt & pepper to taste again.
13. Remove from heat and fold in 2 Tbsp butter.
14. Place creamed spinach in serving dish (Julia suggests an 8-inch porcelain serving dish.)
15. Cover with a crêpe (following recipe).
Vegan Crêpes (makes 25-30 crêpes, 6 inches in diameter)
ALERT: You must chill this batter for 2 hours before cooking.
This recipe is for savory crêpes, but I personally like the contrast of savory crêpe batter with sweet fillings, so that’s how I paired some of them today. Not to worry, I’ll have an entirely different sweet crêpe post someday! This is the main recipe today where I had NO idea if it was going to work at all, and it happened to turn out AMAZINGLY! That’s my favorite part about veganizing things – your creativity can surprise you.
What you’ll need:
- 1 cup cold water
- 1 cup cold milk
- 1 cup silken tofu
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 1/2 cup flour
- 4 Tbsp melted Earth Balance Vegan Butter
- Non-stick pan, or a regular pan prepared with cooking spray
1. Place all ingredients into a blender (I used my Magic Bullet to make small batches and it was totally fine!)
2. Blend at top speed for 1 minute.
3. Cover batter and refrigerate for 2 hours.
4. Prepare your pan, and set over medium-high heat.
5. Pick up pan and pour on 1/4 c batter.
6. Quickly tilt the pan in all directions to spread the batter thinly, while still keeping it a circle.
7. Return the pan to heat for 60 seconds.
8. Shake the pan back and forth to loosen the crepe. Use a spatula if necessary.
9. When the underside of the crêpe is light brown, use the spatula to flip it over.
10. Cook for another 30 seconds and transfer the finished crêpe from the pan to your serving plate.
Crêpes avec bananes et chocolat
My only note is that this is to die for. Also, the way I have you melt the chocolate is a pro-tip from Julia – best thing I learned from this batch!
What you’ll need:
- Sliced banana
- Melted dark chocolate
- Medium sauce pan
- Large stock pot
1. Prepare your crêpes, and transfer to a serving plate.
2. Place 3 sliced bananas on open crêpe.
3. Break up dark chocolate into small pieces and place in bottom of medium sauce pan.
4. Fill stock pot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil.
5. When the water is boiling, place the sauce pan inside the stock pot to rest.
6. Immediately turn off the boiling water. Your chocolate will melt perfectly without burning (Thanks Julia!!!)
7. Drizzle melted chocolate on top of bananas.
8. Fold up crêpe and drizzle chocolate over the top. Et voilà!
Crêpes aux fraises et crème à la vanille
This was another recipe where I didn’t know if it would work out – custards are a very specific consistency, and I had no idea if tofu would cut it – VEGANS WIN AGAIN! It was delicious and so dang custardy.
What you’ll need:
- Fresh strawberries
- 1 c sugar
- 3/4 c silken tofu
- 1/2 c flour
- 2 c soy milk
- 1 Tbsp butter
- 1 1/2 Tbsp vanilla extract
- Medium mixing bowl
1. Purée tofu until silky smooth and transfer to mixing bowl.
2. Add sugar to mixing bowl and beat with electric hand mixer until smooth.
3. Beat in flour.
4. Boil milk in medium sauce pan.
5. Pour boiling milk into mixing bowl with flour mixture.
6. Beat with hand mixer until smooth.
7. Transfer back into saucepan and set over medium-high heat. Stir with wire whisk and bring to a boil.
8. When boil is reached, lower heat and beat for 2 minutes, or until custard thickens.
9. Remove from heat and beat in butter vanilla. Your custard is now done!
10. Place crêpe on serving plate.
11. Arrange 3-4 strawberry slices on open crêpe.
12. Place a dollop of custard on strawberries, and smooth out over strawberries.
13. Fold up crêpe, and sprinkle with powdered sugar for presentation.
Crêpes avec épinards à la crème
Lots of Julia’s recipes combine multiple recipes with each other (which makes me not even be able to tell what counts as one of the 524 recipes…) but for this crepe, just save some of your creamed spinach from the first recipe, and use as filling! So easy and delicious.
What you’ll need:
- Creamed spinach
1. Place crêpe on serving plate.
2. Spread spinach in center.
3. Fold up crêpe and serve! So easy.
And there you have it friends! All of these recipes turned out SO great, I highly recommend any of them. Please let me know if you try any, and how you like them! I’d love to know.
I believe this post counts as 6 recipes, with all of the elements combined. That means I’m 11 recipes down, 513 to go. Not a bad pace so far!
Thanks for all the views and support – keep cooking and sharing! Je vous aimez ❤
Here’s a bonus photo of Jack the Sous Chef hiding after he’d ripped up a million paper bags.
Here’s a photo of my lunch for the day (an entirely separate non-Julia recipe I made) Buffalo Cauliflower Bites dipped in Bleu Cheese dressing. May I just say ERMAHGERD. I got the recipe here. I was jealous of everyone’s buffalo wings at our Super Bowl party (not of the chicken, but of the spicy deliciousness), so I had a craving to take care of 🙂
Finally, for those of you also in San Diego, I have a recommendation for you! Girl on the Go Night Spa in Golden Hill gives the BEST EVER manicures/pedicures, and guess what… ALL of their products are vegan, and devoid of harmful chemicals! Plus, they’re honestly the best manicures I’ve ever had. I highly recommend it to vegans and non-vegans alike! Here’s a photo of my manicure from yesterday:
Alright, bonus photos over! Good night, I hope you all have full happy bellies.