This article is an extract from The Vegan Cookbook by Adele McConnell.
Coconut oil has a fairly high smoke point (176°C/350°F), and so is suitable for frying. It can be heated without being damaged and oxidized, as other oils are. Oxidization causes oils to become unhealthy free radicals in the body. Choose organic, virgin and unrefined coconut oil, which is minimally processed.
Non-virgin coconut oil may be produced from dried coconut (copra) and will have lost nutrients as
well as being highly processed. Use coconut oil for baking, frying and in desserts or smoothies.
Alternatively, use olive oil (not extra virgin) for frying over medium heat.
Organic safflower oil is high in omega-6 essential fats and is my personal alternative for cooking if I am short of coconut oil.
Rice bran oil is rich in vitamin E and omega-6, and has a high smoke point at 232°C/ 450°F.
The only oil suitable for raw dishes, however, is coconut oil – for taste, nutrition and its ability to solidify quickly.
Crêpes with spinach & mushrooms
Preparation: 30 minutes, plus 1 hour resting
Cooking: 30 minutes
Ingredients: 125ml/4fl oz/½ cup soya milk; 50g/1¾oz/¼ cup vegan margarine; 125g/4½oz/1 cup plain flour; 1 tbsp coconut oil; dairy-free yogurt and lemon; wedges, to serve
Spinach and mushroom filling: 1 tsp olive oil or coconut oil; 180g/6¼oz button; mushrooms, thinly sliced; 400g/14oz baby spinach; 1 tbsp lemon juice; sea salt and freshly ground; black pepper
Put the milk in a large bowl and add the margarine, flour and a pinch of salt, then add 170ml/5½fl oz/²⁄³ c up water at room temperature.
Whisk, or use a hand blender, until smooth.
Cover the bowl with cling film, and put in the fridge for 1 hour.
Preheat the oven to 180°C/350°F/Gas 4 and put a heatproof plate inside to warm. To cook the crêpes, heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in an 18cm/7in frying pan and add just enough batter to coat
the base of the pan, tilting the pan to spread the mixture.
Cook until bubbles appear on the surface, then carefully turn the crêpe over and cook on the other side until lightly golden. Put the crêpe on to the warmed plate, then cover and keep warm in the oven while you cook the remaining batter.
Meanwhile, to make the filling, heat the oil in a non-stick saucepan over a low heat. Add the mushrooms and fry for 10 minutes, stirring frequently, or until the juices are released.
Add 1 teaspoon water at a time if the mushrooms begin to stick to the pan. Add the spinach to the pan and reduce the heat to low.
Cook for 2–3 minutes until the spinach begins to wilt, then stir in the lemon juice and season with salt and pepper.
Spoon 1 tablespoon of the filling on to one edge of a crêpe. Roll it up gently. Continue with the remaining crêpes, then put the filled crêpes in an ovenproof dish and reheat in the oven for
10 minutes. (Or serve them at room temperature, if you prefer.)
Serve with yogurt, and a lemon wedge.
The Vegan Cookbook
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