A tasty and healthy meatless recipe for the whole family!
OK people! This is one of my favorite meatless dishes so far! Usually, when I make a vegetarian recipe, I’m a little concerned about my protein intake. You see, I try to work out 3-4 times a week which means I should get as much protein as I can from my meals in order to not lose any muscle mass. Eating meat on a daily basis isn’t an option for various reasons, such as maintaining a healthy lifestyle, being on a budget, or carrying about the preservation of Earth’s food resources (yes, by eating meat one consumes much more food compared to someone else who follows a plant based diet!). Here, the use of homemade buckwheat crepes (fake lasagna!) and some feta cheese and Greek, thick yogurt add the needed protein while keeping the dish healthy and delicious. Win-win situation!
I had to make a few tries to achieve the optimal results for this recipe, mostly because I wasn’t satisfied by the crepes. All the buckwheat crepe recipes I found, used a lot of eggs and that was something that made them taste more like a weird buckwheat omelet than real crepes. If you want to use buckwheat flour only, you’ll need to have a binding agent (such as eggs) for the crepes not to tear apart easily. An alternative solution is using psyllium husk powder like Cara does in these noodles, but I hadn’t any available so I decided to add some oat flour and all purpose flour. The crepes came out perfect!
Since making the crepes is a little time consuming, you can always use your favorite tortillas or store bought crepes, or even use real lasagna – though you’ll no longer have a fake lasagna casserole!
And speaking of fake lasagna, have you checked my easy fake mille feuille recipe yet? It’s amazing! 🙂
Buckwheat is considered to be a very healthy ingredient with high amounts of protein and a lot of fiber. Adding a fair amount of vegetables, tomatoes, olives and feta cheese, gives this dish a real mediterranean flavor. Moreover, using Greek yogurt along with feta makes it creamy and low fat at the same time! In a word, this casserole is full of nutrients, something you can feel from the first bite! Being very filling but fresh and light at the same time, it’s ideal for a summer dinner, at least in my mind! But don’t let that stop you from making it any time of the year you want!
Don’t be afraid of making the crepes! Even if some of them break, you can still make layers with the pieces without having any problems. Just make sure there are no big gaps.
The use of fresh basil really elevates this recipe, so try not to skip it!
Let the casserole cool for 15 minutes before serving. It will firm up and the pieces will come out more easily without falling apart.
For the oat flour just process some oats in your food processor!
Remember: eggplant loves garlic and mushrooms love thyme!
Instead of feta you can also use this spice feta dip (a.k.a. tirokafteri)
- For the crepes:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 large eggs
- 1/3 cup oat flour
- 1/3 cup buckwheat flour
- 1/3 cup all purpose flour
- Pinch of salt
- Pinch of sugar
- 1 cup plus 2 tablespoons milk
- For the casserole:
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 medium eggplants, diced in small cubes
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 leek, chopped
- 2-3 cloves garlic, whole or chopped for stronger flavor
- 1 pound mushrooms, chopped
- 1 teaspoon thyme
- 2 cans diced tomatoes
- 1 bunch basil, chopped
- 1/2 cup white wine
- 1/2 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup sliced olives
- Salt and pepper to taste
- For the cream topping:
- 1 cup feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 cup Greek yogurt, full fat or 2%
- 1 tablespoon water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1-2 tablespoons sliced olives
Combine all the ingredients for the crepes and mix well.
Let the mixture rest for 15 minutes, and if mixture is too thick add a tablespoon more milk.
Heat a lightly oiled skillet over medium/high heat, and pour just enough mixture to coat the bottom.
Cook for 2-3 minutes or until one side is done, turn and cook the other side for another 1-2 minutes.
Repeat until all the mixture is used. Depending on the size of your pan, you should have 8-12 crepes.
In a deep pan over high heat, cook the eggplant with 2 tablespoons of olive oil until soft. Reduce heat, add the garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes paying attention not to burn the garlic.
Transfer into a bowl and set aside (discard the garlic if you left it whole).
In the same pan over high heat cook the mushrooms with the remaining olive oil and the thyme until browned.
Add the onion and the leek and cook until translucent and soft.
Add the eggplant, pour in the white wine and cook until evaporated.
Add the tomatoes and reduce heat to a gentle simmer.
Simmer for 15-20 or until most of the liquids have evaporated and the sauce has thickend.
Remove from heat and add the basil, olives and feta cheese. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Preheat your oven to 350°F (175°C) and lightly oil a deep casserole, approximately 12x8 inches (30x20 cm)
Make a layer with the one third of the crepes.
Top with the one third of the sauce and repeat another two times with the crepes and the sauce.
Make the topping: Place feta in a bowl and crush it with a fork. Add the Greek yogurt, olive oil and water and mix until smooth. Spread this cream over the casserole and top with the olives.
Bake for 30-40 minutes.
Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
If you want to save time, cook the crepes while preparing the casserole filling. But keep in mind that doing those two things simultaneously requires good focus!
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