Gluten Free Spinach Cannelloni Crepes

 
 Last week I shared my recipe for Gluten Free Crepes.  This week I have for you our favourite way to use these crepes in a main course dish.  These Spinach Cannelloni Crepes are fast and easy to make and we love them topped with marinara sauce.
 I don't know if you have ever used regular cannelloni shells, but they can be a bit of a challenge.  If using the boil beforehand type they can easily tear while you are filling them and if using the oven ready ones they can crack.  I have always loved the cheesy spinach filling but for a number of years I abandoned the cannelloni and used jumbo pasta shells, I found them easier to stuff.  Since giving up gluten I have never seen gluten free jumbo shell pasta and so I have switched to crepes when I need my gooey, cheesy, cannelloni fix.  Turns out they are easier and faster to make and fill than any pasta!
My recipe for Gluten Free Crepes can be found HERE.  The yield is about ten 9 Inch crepes which is just the right amount for the quantity of filling.  The most important thing with the filling is to squeeze out all the excess liquid from the spinach.

Gluten Free Spinach Cannelloni Crepes 

  • 1 package (300 g) frozen spinach
  •  2 cups cottage cheese 
  • 1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese 
  • 1 cup grated marble or mozzarella cheese 
  • 1 Tbsp. chopped fresh or dried parsley 
  • 1/4 tsp. pepper 
  • 1/4 tsp. garlic powder 
  • 2 eggs 
  • 8-10 Gluten Free Crepes
Defrost and drain spinach (squeeze out excess moisture).  Mix all ingredients together.  Prepare crepes according to recipe HERE. Place 3-4 Tablespoons of filling in the middle of each crepe.  Roll crepe, leaving ends open.  Place in a shallow baking dish. Cover with foil and bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Serve with hot marinara sauce.  Yield: 8-10, 9 inch crepes.

Gluten Free Crepes

 Most  cultures around the world enjoy the tradition of some form of thin pancake.  The most famous of course are Crepes from France, where they are used in everything from Crepes Suzettes to a simple supper of leftovers. In Scandinavian countries the thin pancake is called Pannkaka or Pandekager, in Eastern Europe they are called Palacinka and are eaten with jam or Nutella.  Crepes are also enjoyed in Spain, Japan, South America and here in North America.  Why are crepes so popular?  Because they are Amazing!
 
 Crepes are actually very easy to make gluten free.  My Gluten Free Flour Blend contains some buckwheat flour which has a soft texture and helps hold things together.  These crepes have a great flavour and a wonderful texture.
 
Crepes, thin and delicate, can instantly transform simple ingredients into an elegant entrée or dessert.  Wherever they are eaten around the world they can be filled with whatever is available locally such as seafood, fruit, vegetables, cheese or fruit.  
For brunch I like to fill crepes with some vanilla or honey flavoured Greek yogurt and top with some fresh berries.  it looks impressive and tastes wonderful but it is super easy! For lunch try Salmon Salad in a Gluten Free Crepe, recipe Here.

Gluten Free Crepes 

Blend all ingredients together until smooth.  Preheat a heavy frypan and lightly grease with butter.  Pour 2 - 3 tablespoons (depending on the size of your pan) onto pan and tip and swirl to coat with a thin layer.  As the batter sets gently lift edge with a spatula, when crepe is lightly brown turn to brown the other side. (I usually turn with my fingers). I have found the key to having them not stick is having the pan hot enough.  Stack crepes on a plate. Fill as desired.
 

 

Gluten Free Lemon Roll With White Chocolate Ganache

  We have had a taste of spring here on the Canadian Prairies with warm sunshine and melting snow.  There may be new snow later in the week but for now we will enjoy the sun as it lifts the spirit and brings the hope of summer. With the coming of spring is the celebration of Easter!  We have made it through the dark days of winter and Lent to the joyous season of the Resurrection. Alleluia!  
  I always feel like I should serve lemon for Easter.  Maybe because the fresh taste reminds us of lemonade on a hot summer day, or maybe it's the colour, so bright and cheery.   Then I usually think... but Easter is all about chocolate ,which l leads to an inner debate usually resulting in 2 desserts.  This year I thought of a fabulous compromise: lemon roll with a creamy lemon filling smothered in white chocolate ganache!!
 **Note** This recipe uses two whole lemons, zest and juice divided between the cake and the filling.  When squeezing the juice for the filling reserve one teaspoon of the juice to use in the cake. Also, the zest from one of the lemons goes into the cake.    

Gluten Free Lemon Cake Roll

  • 1/2 cup Gluten Free Flour Blend
  • 1/4 cup potato starch
  • 1/4 tsp. xanthin gum
  • 1/2 tsp GF baking powder 
  • Dash sea salt
  • 4 large eggs, room temperature 
  • 1/3 cup cane sugar, or 2/3 cup white sugar
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice**see note**
  • Small amount of powdered sugar 
Mix flour, potato starch, xanthin gum, baking powder and salt, set aside.  With an electric mixer beat eggs for 5 minutes until they are very thick.  During the last minute slowly add sugar, lemon zest and lemon juice.  Sift in dry ingredients in two batches, folding in gently.  
 
Line 10X15 inch jelly roll pan with wax paper.  Distribute batter evenly in pan.  Bake in a preheated, 350 degree oven for 12 to 14 minutes, or until lightly browned.  When cake is done remove from oven and immediately turn onto a tea towel that has been sprinkled with powdered sugar.  Carefully remove wax paper.  Roll towel and cake together gently.  Place on a rack to cool.
 

Lemon Cream Filling 

  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • Juice of 2 lemons **see note**
  • 1/3 cup cane sugar, or 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1/4 cup butter, cut in small pieces 
  • 3 eggs, beaten 
  • 1 1/2 cups whipping cream
Combine all lemon zest, juice, sugar, butter, and eggs in a heavy saucepan.  Over medium heat whisk constantly until mixture thickens and bubbles begin to break the surface.  Refrigerate until chilled.  Whip cream until stiff peak stage.  Fold in lemon mixture.
               

White Chocolate Ganache 

  • 1 package, 225 g (approx. 1 1/4 cup)
  • 1/2 cup whipping cream
In a microwave safe bowl, combine chocolate and cream. Microwave for 1-2 minutes on high.  Let sit for a minute then stir until no lumps remain.  Cool to room temperature.
 
To assemble: unroll completely cooled cake.  Set aside 1 cup of lemon cream for decorating.  Spread remaining lemon cream over the cake.  Roll cake back up and set on a wire rack which has been set over a baking pan.  Spoon Ganache over roll allowing it to run down the sides, filling in any spots that get missed.  Allow to drip for a few minutes then transfer to a platter using two flippers. (save left over white chocolate) Decorate roll with remaining cream filling or keep it to use when serving.  Refrigerate roll for at least 30 minutes before cutting. Can be made up to one week in advance and frozen.  Allow 3-4 hours to defrost.
 

Gluten Free Breakfast Cookies

Breakfast cookies are very popular these days.  I think this indicates that, even though life is busy, people are trying to eat healthier.  Instead of grabbing a donut or muffin at the local coffee shop bringing something you made yourself is not only better for your health but easier on your wallet.  When you add the gluten free factor, bringing your own makes even more sense.  With breakfast cookies you can add so many healthy ingredients such as nuts, fruit, protein and fibre and they still turn out so yummy and sweet that it seems like a treat!

We recently enjoyed a holiday in Mexico.  It was great! We saw some Mayan ruins, went snorkelling and relaxed on the beach.  The only down side was the 6:00 am flight on the way there.  We stayed at a hotel close to the airport the night before but finding gluten free food at an airport is difficult at the best of times, at that time of the morning it is impossible!  A person can only eat so many nuts so I made these Breakfast Cookies and they were great!  They are soft and moist and lightly sweetened.  The healthy ingredients gave us enough energy for the full day of travel and exploring when we arrived.

Gluten Free Breakfast Cookies

  • 1/2 cup Gluten Free Flour Blend
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts
  • 1/4 cup ground flax
  • 2/3 fine, unsweetened coconut
  • 1 cup oatmeal
  • 1/2 tsp. sea salt
  • 1 tsp. GF baking powder
  • 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 3/4 cup apple sauce 
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup
  • 1 tsp. vanilla
  • 1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
  • 1/2 cup raisins 
In a mixing bowl, combine all dry ingredients.  Add remaining ingredients and stir until well combined.  Let batter sit for 10 minutes, as it sits it will thicken slightly.  Drop by tablespoons onto a greased cookie sheet, flatten slightly with the spoon.  Bake in a pre-heated oven for 15 - 20 minutes, until slightly browned.  Cool on a rack. Store in an airtight container in the freezer until needed.