Hi all — below is a guest blog from my bestie for a delightful recipe we her husband Ilya concocted last Friday. Andrea (also known as “bestie” or ”A”) found the recipe, chose the ingredients, and offered the substitutions. This is the cute couple:
Bestie A and hubby Ilya
Andrea also my co-hort in the wedding planning business and has recently updated our blog at engineeredelegance.wordpress.com
Guest blogger Andrea here. Shanna is out of town on travel. So to ease her already busy week I agreed to step in and keep you all posted on our goings on, which it turns out is pretty easy because S and I spend a lot of time together!
Before S left, we were lucky enough to have an off-Friday that everyone actually had off (Shanna’s off-Fridays have lately been filled with work, and our other partner-in-crime, Rachel, doesn’t normally have Friday’s off, but got one after successfully orchestrating some very large events for Stanford). So we planned a fun-time girl day filled with doggies, horses, mani-pedis, food, and of course vino! The day started out with a trip down to Rachel’s barn for horsey lessons. Shanna brought her pup Naava to hang out while she watched the lesson, while Rachel and I hopped on for some fun jump time. This turned out to be not an ideal situation since the horses running around really got Naava worked up, and the weather was much colder than expected, leaving poor S chilled to the bone after more than an hour of watching. For future planning (and I admit I should have known this going in), watching a horse lesson is 100 times less fun than participating in a horse lesson…. especially whilst freezing your bum off and holding onto a strong misbehavin’ pup! So with our Friday fun-day off to a not-so-great start… we headed back to my house to jump start the fun with a glass of vino.
Just a side-note here… I am a firm believer that if life is giving you lemons, have a glass of vino. No, not lemonade… vino. Perhaps you are one of those miraculous people who can look at the bright side of things, or change your attitude at the drop of a hat. If so, I am profoundly jealous. I am not one of those people. When I’m faced with loads of stress and things not going my way, I just prime my system with a glass of vino, take a deep breath, and start my day over. So that’s just what we did! We sat down, had a healthy serving of Flock Pinot Noir, took a deep breath, and started our Friday over. Sure it was already 3:30p, but I reserve the right to start the day over any time of day, dangit!
So with Friday rebooted, we hoofed it off to our fav nail salon for some much needed, and supremely relaxing, mani-pedis. Oh mani-pedi… you can come by my place anytime with your steaming towels and hot stone massages… *sigh*. Sorry, got a little side-tracked there. I daydream a lot.
After mani-pedi heaven, we all reconvened once more at my place (this time with our boys along for the fun…and Rachel and Matt’s super cute new puppy!) to take part in what I can only call summer veggie bliss. The six of us have been trading off hosting super yummy meals for about a month now, and I can say that being challenged to come up with something healthy, delicious, and above all easy (I don’t like putting a lot of effort in after a relaxing girl day), has really been fun. Ilya (my lovely hubby) actually volunteered to do most of the cooking work, so I picked out the recipe and did the shopping and serving. And the recipe was a total hit! It was entitled summer veggie crepes… but you can replace the word crepes with bliss, because that’s exactly what I thought it was. I’ll start out by posting the original recipe below (from eatingwell.com, one of my fav recipe sites) and then I’ll tell you how I modified it to make it our own.
Delicious Eating Well Crepe masquerading as white blob
1/3 cup reduced-fat sour cream
1/2 cup chopped fresh chives, divided, plus more for garnish
3 tablespoons low-fat milk
2 teaspoons lemon juice
3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 cups chopped zucchini
1 1/4 cups chopped green beans
1 cup fresh corn kernels
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
4 9-inch “ready-to-use” crêpes
Stir sour cream, 1/4 cup chives, milk, lemon juice and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a small bowl until combined. Set aside.
Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add zucchini, green beans and corn and cook, stirring, until beginning to brown, 6 to 8 minutes. Reduce heat to low; stir in ricotta, Monterey Jack, the remaining 1/4 cup chives, the remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt and pepper. Cook, stirring gently, until the cheese is melted, 1 to 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.
To roll crêpes, place one on a piece of parchment or wax paper (or leave it on the piece of plastic separating the crêpes in the package). Spoon one-fourth of the vegetable-cheese mixture (about 3/4 cup) down the center of the crêpe. Use the paper (or plastic) to help you gently roll the crêpe around the filling. Place the crêpe seam-side down on a dinner plate. Repeat with the remaining crêpes and filling. Serve each crêpe topped with 2 tablespoons of the reserved sauce and more chives, if desired.
Now I’m not a huge fan of sour cream, so I replaced that with non-fat plain yogurt (greek yogurt would have been great as well), and we replaced the low-fat milk with fat-free milk. I’m also somewhat lukewarm about cooked green beans… I feel like they can be done well but too often get over-cooked and soggy. So instead of green beans we put in a bunch of chopped up asparagus spears. And I’m glad we did, because the asparagus gave it a really nice punchy flavor that the green beans would not have. We served the yummy veggie crepes with a spring salad topped with sugar snap peas and tossed with a low-cal raspberry vinaigrette. The photo doesn’t really do it justice, because my food presentation skills are somewhat sub par… but the crowd was going wild over the flavor of these bad boys. And we ended up with no leftovers.. score! You can tell how easy the recipe was by the very few bullet points in the preparation section, but I can tell you how easy it was by how few pots, pans, and bowls Ilya used to prepare the food. Usually I end up with every dish we own being used when Ilya cooks, but this time it was really easy to clean up and I think that is in part because of the super easy recipe. EatingWell.com posts this as the nutritional value for each veggie crepe:
Per serving: 302 calories; 17 g fat (8 g sat, 6 g mono); 46 mg cholesterol; 25 g carbohydrates; 15 g protein; 3 g fiber; 687 mg sodium; 485 mg potassium
But our version would be lower in calories due to the yogurt and milk substitutions. And our salad dressing was only 35 cals per 2 tbsp, which means each plate was close to 300 cals. Winning!! And by winning I mean, that gave us room to drink more vino. How I love Friday girl-days!
So tell me, do you ever have a day where you need a reboot? Do you use vino or some other magical remedy? (Do tell because there are days where I need a reboot and don’t have vino).
Ok, well thanks for letting me stop by oh fans of Shanna Like Banana! Until we meet again….
Thanks A for writing up such a great blog. Personal notes: super tasty dinner even for a non-crepe aficionado! Zach also gave it two thumbs up citing its only fault as not being thick enough, but I found it to be thicker than any restaurant crepes! Thanks Ilya for executing a lovely dish!