After 3 years of working from home I finally took the liberty to invite a friend over for lunch and actually cooked lunch at home. It just dawned on me that I never took advantage of this perk of working from home. Guess we German’s are strange…or at least this German is very strange, so wrapped up in work thinking I can’t have fun for a couple of hours and then go back to work. This thinking is also one of the main inhibitors why I never really go and work out (at least that’s what I tell myself..)…lets see if this could be a New Years resolution for me to divide my day into 2 parts with one big break and enjoy the break to the fullest instead of scarfing down my food in front of the computer.
Well today was the day of enjoying the perk of working from home and not only did I cook food from scratch for lunch, I cooked a very healthy lunch AND enjoyed a vegetarian and somewhat typical German dish with my lovely friend Astrid. Astrid is vegetarian and since I rarely cook vegetarian I consulted one of my 4 or 5 folders that I had put together when I still lived in Germany and was collecting German “paper” recipes (as opposed to now online recipes). I came across this zesty veggie crepe/pancake casserole which made for a perfect lunch and paired it with a red beet and goat cheese salad.
If you don’t have the time to cook everything from scratch that day, then you can prepare the veggies and crepe/pancakes a day ahead and bring it to room temperature prior to assembling it and baking it the next day and your dish is ready in less than 15 minutes. Don’t be fooled by the somewhat boring name of the dish (it doesn’t contain “salted” or caramelized” or “burnt”..these all seem very popular titles); its a very hearty and fulfilling lunch or dinner dish.
Baked Veggie Crepe/Pancake Casserole
- 3/4 cup flour
- 1,5 cups milk
- 3 eggs
- a little bit of salt
- 1 tablespoon fresh chopped chive
- 8 oz. sliced carrots
- 10 oz. cup of sliced mushrooms
- 2 leeks (cut into rings/slices)
- 2 tablespoons butter
- Salt and pepper
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1,5 cups cream
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley and chive
- 3 oz hearty cheese (Asagio, older gouda or other hart cheese, just watch out that its not really salty cheese, hart cheese tends to me salty)
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Mix together the flour, milk, eggs salt and 1 tablespoon chive, you might have to add a little bit of milk depending on the flour you are using, it should be a pretty liquid (but not watery) consistency; set aside for 10 minutes.
- Cut the veggies into slices.
- Melt 1 tablespoon of butter and bake 8 crepes/pancakes (one at a time) on medium heat, approx. 2 minutes per side, until golden with a few brown speckles.
- While the pancakes are baking start to sautee the veggies in a different pan. Melt 2 tablespoons of butter, add the veggies and sautee on medium high to high heat until all the water is cooked off and the mushrooms are brown, press in the 2 garlic cloves, add the chopped chives and parsley and cook for another 2 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and then add the cream. Stir and cook for one more minute, then take the mixture off the heat.
- Spread out the pancakes on your countertop and lift the veggies out of the sauce with a slotted spoon onto the pancakes, then roll up the pancakes, folding in the sides to ensure the veggies don’t fall out and fit the pancakes into a buttered baking dish. Top the crepes with the left over pan sauce and the grated cheese and bake for 10 minutes.
- Serve with a fresh green or beet salad and some crunchy fresh bread.