I love crepes. One of the nicest things about my office in downtown San Francisco is its proximity to a big, marble atrium with palm trees, a fountain, the gorgeous Alexander Calder Star Maiden statue, and a very delicious crepe place.
I eat mostly gluten-free at home, but I enjoy that crepe place’s tikka masala special like nobody’s business. Today I had my salad and my chai in the atrium before a long, busy workday. As I nibbled and sipped (don’t I make myself sound dainty? Don’t be fooled.)- As I nibbled and sipped, I sketched out the recipe for tonight’s dinner. It came out pretty dang good so I am sharing it with you.
Gluten-free, Sugar-free Crepes with Chicken Tikka Masala-inspired Filling (makes 8)
Notes and switcharoos: This recipe is inspired by the one on http://www.spicely.com but is as you’ll see in no way traditional. You can make these dairy-free if you substitute coconut milk for milk and for yogurt, but I didn’t. If you do, add a bit of lemon- or lime juice to make up for the missing yogurt tang. This isn’t a classic tikka masala. In fact it’s not really a tikka masala at all. Basically, I was going for something quick and easy that shared some of the spirit of the dish without the time and labor. So I didn’t marinate the chicken in spices overnight, nor did I do a traditional long simmer or bake the chicken separately from the sauce. And this crepe filling is much less saucy than something you’d serve over rice. Like the crepe place in the atrium, I chose to add lettuce and tomatoes to make the filling more in keeping with my desire for lots of salads in the summertime. Finally, the crepe place adds goat cheese, which I didn’t but you may like to. It does add a zesty, melty goodness to the whole proceeding.
For the crepes:
1 cup almond flour (you can get it here.)
¾ cup organic whole milk (or coconut milk, or unsweetened almond milk if you swing that way)
¼ cup of water
A pinch or two of high quality salt (here’s a great one for baking)
2 tbsp butter or coconut oil, melted, plus more for your pan
For the chicken:
Two pounds of organic, free range chicken, cut into little pieces
½-1 teaspoon ground cumin
½-1 teaspoon ground coriander
A pinch or more of cayenne, to taste
Salt to taste
2 tablespoons coconut oil
1 tablespoon of garam masala spice mixture
5 cloves of minced fresh garlic
1 inch knob of minced fresh ginger
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1 cup organic whole fat yogurt
For the rest:
1-2 cups chopped romaine lettuce
1 large tomato
Fresh cilantro to garnish
Optional goat cheese to garnish
To make your filling:
Cut your chicken into bite-sized pieces and dredge it in your salt and your Three C’s (cumin, coriander, and cayenne).
Fry for a moment, about 5 minutes on each side, to seal in the juices. While the chicken cooks, mix your garam masala, ginger, garlic and tomato paste into your yogurt. When the chicken is cooked through, add the yogurt sauce mixture to the pan and cook, stirring, over medium heat until chicken is coated and sauce is reduced, around 10-15 minutes.
While the chicken cooks in sauce, make your crepes.
To make your crepes:
Mix all your ingredients in a mixing bowl, adding butter or oil last. Heat additional butter or oil in a smallish pan. Cast iron is healthier than non-stick so make sure you’ve coated yours with plenty of oil. Go over the oil with a paper towel to be sure the pan is all covered, and you’re ready to go.
Pour batter into your pan ¼ of a cup at a time. Swirl the batter until it covers the pan, and then cook only a minute or so. Flip it and cook another half a minute, then remove carefully. For really good crepe technique with pictures, go here.
Assemble your crepes:
Plate your crepes and fill with as much chicken and sauciness as you like. Add lettuce and tomatoes, and then roll your crepes slightly and top with a bit of cilantro to garnish. Serve as they are. They’re a complete meal with lots of protein, veggies, and good fats.
Oh la la, what’s not to love?
Kirsten Quint Fairbanks is health coach and holistic lifestyle expert who lives happily, works gratefully, home-schools secularly, dances inexpertly, cooks traditionally, and nurses on demand in the San Francisco Bay Area. She offers real-world healthy lifestyle coaching for busy women who want vibrant health, beautiful babies, thriving families, and more fun in their lives. She also offers holistic skincare consultation for anyone who is tired of the beauty hype and is ready to have healthy, glowing skin. She works online and in-person. Read more about her here.