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I'm Crystal Vaughn

a classically trained chef taking holistic plant-based nutrition on a grand adventure through North America. When I’m not creating in our traveling kitchen, you can usually find me on my yoga mat or a hiking trail.

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For a very lengthy title this breakfast wrap is quite easy.  The more I tried to cut eggs out of my diet, the more I noticed they upset my stomach when I did eat them.  At first, cutting out eggs seemed like a difficult task.  I grew up eating them all the time.  I loved slow mornings when my dad would fry them up over-easy or scramble some with cheese.  It feels like part of my childhood.  And if you read my brunch post, you know it is pretty much my favorite meal. 

A challenge was born... getting in the kitchen and finding new ways to create a delicious breakfast that didn't require eggs and also made you forget you ever wanted them in the first place.  I've experimented with lots of different recipes and many ingredient combinations but this may be one of my favorites.  Enter the humble chickpea.  Often, not much consideration goes into this little legume past hummus but it can be so much more (did you see my quiche using chickpea flour?). 

 

Now, the chickpeas have lend us to a wonderful texture and it is time to add flavor.  I have been craving sun-dried tomatoes and what pairs better with it than basil?  I guess I will have to enjoy these summer flavors while patiently (or not so patiently) waiting for the solstice to arrive. 

I really hope you will give this easy wrap a try for breakfast or anytime of day.  It comes together quickly and is packed with flavor.  I bet you won't even miss the eggs :)

Love and slow mornings,

Crystal

P.S. Once the wrap is filled, just eat it.  Trying to adjust it doesn't work well.  Example: photo number 2.

Autumn Pear Galette with Thyme Maple Cream
Serves 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS

Crust:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/3 cup coconut oil, chilled

1/2 tbsp coconut sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup ice water (more if needed)

Cream:

1/2 cup cashews, soaked*

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp maple syrup

pinch of salt

Up to 4 tbsp water

1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Topping:

1 lb Pears

1 tsp whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

 1. In a large mixing bowl combine the whole wheat flour, coconut sugar and salt.  Add in the coconut oil.  Work the coconut oil in until it starts to form a crumbly texture and there are no large chunks left. Add in the water and working with your hands incorporate the water into your flour mixture.  If it is a little dry you can add more water, a tablespoon at a time until a dough is formed and you can form it into a ball.  Once into a ball, cover and chill for 30 minutes.

2. In a small blender or food processor, blend the cashews, lemon zest, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and pinch of salt together.  Start to add one tablespoon of water at a time until the cream pulls together and is a nice creamy texture.  Stir in thyme leaves and set aside.

3. Thinly slice the pears making sure to remove the core and seeds.  In a bowl toss with flour and cinnamon until lightly coated.

4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Place the dough on a floured surface and start to roll** out into a large circle, until the dough is 1/4 to 1/8 inches thick.

5. In the center of the dough avoiding the outer edge spread the thyme and maple cream out evenly.  Next, layer the pears on top of the cream evenly.

6. Working around the galette gently fold the edges of the dough in.

7. Bake at 350˚ for about 55 to 60 minutes on a parchement lined baking sheet.  Until the crust nicely brown and the pears are cooked through.

8.  Right after it is pulled from the oven lightly brush the whole thing with maple syrup.  Remove to a cooling rack and garnish with thyme leaves.

Notes: *Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours.  I try to do overnight.  If you have to skip this step (which I have had to do) it is possible but your cream probably won't come out with the desired creamy whipped texture.  **A little trick I came up with before I had a rolling pin was using an empty wine bottle.  You may need to flour it really well but I promise it will do the trick in a pinch!

 

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This past weekend we welcomed the spring season.  Which, to me means, brunch season is back!  There is something about this time of year that makes brunch my favorite meal.  For the last month (and probably longer) I have been working on the perfect healthy (and of course, delicious) brunch spread.  These dishes would be perfect for your Easter get together this weekend!

 

This quiche has taken many forms to get where it is today.  From socca, to an omelet style dish, to a version of an Italian frittata, to this fusion between a French quiche and a Spanish tortilla (not the flour or corn ones you are thinking of).  Yes people, we are really diving into the best of the European breakfast scene.  Lots of inspiration from my past travels and brunching around the continent go into this dish.  The most exciting part of this challenge (besides the travel)?  Making it as healthy and guilt free as possible.  I really think I deliver on this one!

 

This quiche is filled with decadent truffle oil, crimini mushrooms, shallots, chives and a chickpea flour batter (like socca!) that gives it a wonderful egg-like texture.  The dish gets its Spanish influence from the addition of potatoes.  Typically, they are spread throughout the tortilla but I have repurposed them as the crust and I think you will be pleasantly surprised how it turns out!

 

The two things I hear complained about when making a quiche are making the dough and the filling's consistency.  I have done away with both of those issues here.  For this crust there is no kneading or rolling out.  You don't have to worry about it puffing up or crumbling away.  The chickpea filling delivers every time.  The perfect consistency inside and crisp on top like the traditional quiche you know and love.

 

I have also created a simple yet delicious salad to go along side.  This salad comes together in minutes and complements the quiche wonderfully.  I start with a mix of spring greens add in some shallots, pepitas (pumpkin seeds) and toss it with a champagne vinaigrette.  This is a great go-to side salad to have in your recipe collection.

 

Now, lets talk dessert.  (Finally, right?)  I love desserts that are light and encourage mingling.  My Mini Berry Tartlets do just that and are the perfect end to the meal.  They have a sweet and tender crust, a tangy and creamy filling, are covered with berries and sliced into bite-sized pieces.  Spread them out on a platter and watch them disappear with delight!

Happy spring and brunch to all, 

Crystal

Autumn Pear Galette with Thyme Maple Cream
Serves 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS

Crust:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/3 cup coconut oil, chilled

1/2 tbsp coconut sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup ice water (more if needed)

Cream:

1/2 cup cashews, soaked*

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp maple syrup

pinch of salt

Up to 4 tbsp water

1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Topping:

1 lb Pears

1 tsp whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

 1. In a large mixing bowl combine the whole wheat flour, coconut sugar and salt.  Add in the coconut oil.  Work the coconut oil in until it starts to form a crumbly texture and there are no large chunks left. Add in the water and working with your hands incorporate the water into your flour mixture.  If it is a little dry you can add more water, a tablespoon at a time until a dough is formed and you can form it into a ball.  Once into a ball, cover and chill for 30 minutes.

2. In a small blender or food processor, blend the cashews, lemon zest, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and pinch of salt together.  Start to add one tablespoon of water at a time until the cream pulls together and is a nice creamy texture.  Stir in thyme leaves and set aside.

3. Thinly slice the pears making sure to remove the core and seeds.  In a bowl toss with flour and cinnamon until lightly coated.

4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Place the dough on a floured surface and start to roll** out into a large circle, until the dough is 1/4 to 1/8 inches thick.

5. In the center of the dough avoiding the outer edge spread the thyme and maple cream out evenly.  Next, layer the pears on top of the cream evenly.

6. Working around the galette gently fold the edges of the dough in.

7. Bake at 350˚ for about 55 to 60 minutes on a parchement lined baking sheet.  Until the crust nicely brown and the pears are cooked through.

8.  Right after it is pulled from the oven lightly brush the whole thing with maple syrup.  Remove to a cooling rack and garnish with thyme leaves.

Notes: *Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours.  I try to do overnight.  If you have to skip this step (which I have had to do) it is possible but your cream probably won't come out with the desired creamy whipped texture.  **A little trick I came up with before I had a rolling pin was using an empty wine bottle.  You may need to flour it really well but I promise it will do the trick in a pinch!

Autumn Pear Galette with Thyme Maple Cream
Serves 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS

Crust:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/3 cup coconut oil, chilled

1/2 tbsp coconut sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup ice water (more if needed)

Cream:

1/2 cup cashews, soaked*

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp maple syrup

pinch of salt

Up to 4 tbsp water

1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Topping:

1 lb Pears

1 tsp whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

 1. In a large mixing bowl combine the whole wheat flour, coconut sugar and salt.  Add in the coconut oil.  Work the coconut oil in until it starts to form a crumbly texture and there are no large chunks left. Add in the water and working with your hands incorporate the water into your flour mixture.  If it is a little dry you can add more water, a tablespoon at a time until a dough is formed and you can form it into a ball.  Once into a ball, cover and chill for 30 minutes.

2. In a small blender or food processor, blend the cashews, lemon zest, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and pinch of salt together.  Start to add one tablespoon of water at a time until the cream pulls together and is a nice creamy texture.  Stir in thyme leaves and set aside.

3. Thinly slice the pears making sure to remove the core and seeds.  In a bowl toss with flour and cinnamon until lightly coated.

4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Place the dough on a floured surface and start to roll** out into a large circle, until the dough is 1/4 to 1/8 inches thick.

5. In the center of the dough avoiding the outer edge spread the thyme and maple cream out evenly.  Next, layer the pears on top of the cream evenly.

6. Working around the galette gently fold the edges of the dough in.

7. Bake at 350˚ for about 55 to 60 minutes on a parchement lined baking sheet.  Until the crust nicely brown and the pears are cooked through.

8.  Right after it is pulled from the oven lightly brush the whole thing with maple syrup.  Remove to a cooling rack and garnish with thyme leaves.

Notes: *Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours.  I try to do overnight.  If you have to skip this step (which I have had to do) it is possible but your cream probably won't come out with the desired creamy whipped texture.  **A little trick I came up with before I had a rolling pin was using an empty wine bottle.  You may need to flour it really well but I promise it will do the trick in a pinch!

Autumn Pear Galette with Thyme Maple Cream
Serves 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS

Crust:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/3 cup coconut oil, chilled

1/2 tbsp coconut sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup ice water (more if needed)

Cream:

1/2 cup cashews, soaked*

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp maple syrup

pinch of salt

Up to 4 tbsp water

1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Topping:

1 lb Pears

1 tsp whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

 1. In a large mixing bowl combine the whole wheat flour, coconut sugar and salt.  Add in the coconut oil.  Work the coconut oil in until it starts to form a crumbly texture and there are no large chunks left. Add in the water and working with your hands incorporate the water into your flour mixture.  If it is a little dry you can add more water, a tablespoon at a time until a dough is formed and you can form it into a ball.  Once into a ball, cover and chill for 30 minutes.

2. In a small blender or food processor, blend the cashews, lemon zest, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and pinch of salt together.  Start to add one tablespoon of water at a time until the cream pulls together and is a nice creamy texture.  Stir in thyme leaves and set aside.

3. Thinly slice the pears making sure to remove the core and seeds.  In a bowl toss with flour and cinnamon until lightly coated.

4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Place the dough on a floured surface and start to roll** out into a large circle, until the dough is 1/4 to 1/8 inches thick.

5. In the center of the dough avoiding the outer edge spread the thyme and maple cream out evenly.  Next, layer the pears on top of the cream evenly.

6. Working around the galette gently fold the edges of the dough in.

7. Bake at 350˚ for about 55 to 60 minutes on a parchement lined baking sheet.  Until the crust nicely brown and the pears are cooked through.

8.  Right after it is pulled from the oven lightly brush the whole thing with maple syrup.  Remove to a cooling rack and garnish with thyme leaves.

Notes: *Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours.  I try to do overnight.  If you have to skip this step (which I have had to do) it is possible but your cream probably won't come out with the desired creamy whipped texture.  **A little trick I came up with before I had a rolling pin was using an empty wine bottle.  You may need to flour it really well but I promise it will do the trick in a pinch!


 

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Oct 01, 2014

No food takes me back to Nice like socca does.  It is such a simple thing but so delicious.  Socca is basically a chickpea pancake and is a wonderful street food of the South of France.  

One of the best things about Nice is the open air market, the Cours Saleya in Vieux Nice (old Nice), which was just blocks away from my apartment.  There is always an abundance of fresh produce and it's possibly the reason I fell in love with Nice on my first backpacking trip across Europe. 

The self proclaimed “Queen of the Market” Chez Thérésa makes the best socca around.  There would always be a line but it was well worth the wait!  A man would fix it off site, load it on a small trailer attached to his bike and then pedal it through the small pedestrian streets.  She would then heat it over a large fire bin, cut it up and serve it with olive oil, salt and pepper.

 

I missed this dish so much I knew I had to create it at home.  My recipe has changed over time as I came up with what worked best in my kitchen.  It has become a staple in our house and we have it almost every week.

The main ingredient is chickpea flour.  Over the last few years this has become more widely available in grocery stores but it is easy to buy online as well.    

Socca is pretty versatile.  Sometimes I like serving it with just a little olive oil, salt and pepper.  Other days I add toppings and treat it like a flat bread or pizza crust.  Today we enjoyed it for lunch topped with hummus, caramelized red onion, spinach and aged balsamic vinegar alongside a chilled Rosé.  What tastes more like the South of France than a nice Rosé from Provence?  Not a whole lot. 

I hope you enjoy this recipe and a little peak at the South of France.  It will always feel like my home across the Atlantic.  Do you have any fun travel stories or recipes you brought home with you?  Please share in the comments below!

Autumn Pear Galette with Thyme Maple Cream
Serves 6 to 8

INGREDIENTS

Crust:

2 cups whole wheat flour

1/3 cup coconut oil, chilled

1/2 tbsp coconut sugar

1/2 tsp salt

1/2 cup ice water (more if needed)

Cream:

1/2 cup cashews, soaked*

Zest of 1 lemon

Juice of 1 lemon

1/2 tsp apple cider vinegar

1 tbsp maple syrup

pinch of salt

Up to 4 tbsp water

1 1/2 tsp fresh thyme leaves, chopped

Topping:

1 lb Pears

1 tsp whole wheat flour

1/4 tsp cinnamon

1 tbsp maple syrup

INSTRUCTIONS

 1. In a large mixing bowl combine the whole wheat flour, coconut sugar and salt.  Add in the coconut oil.  Work the coconut oil in until it starts to form a crumbly texture and there are no large chunks left. Add in the water and working with your hands incorporate the water into your flour mixture.  If it is a little dry you can add more water, a tablespoon at a time until a dough is formed and you can form it into a ball.  Once into a ball, cover and chill for 30 minutes.

2. In a small blender or food processor, blend the cashews, lemon zest, lemon juice, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and pinch of salt together.  Start to add one tablespoon of water at a time until the cream pulls together and is a nice creamy texture.  Stir in thyme leaves and set aside.

3. Thinly slice the pears making sure to remove the core and seeds.  In a bowl toss with flour and cinnamon until lightly coated.

4. Remove the dough from the refrigerator.  Place the dough on a floured surface and start to roll** out into a large circle, until the dough is 1/4 to 1/8 inches thick.

5. In the center of the dough avoiding the outer edge spread the thyme and maple cream out evenly.  Next, layer the pears on top of the cream evenly.

6. Working around the galette gently fold the edges of the dough in.

7. Bake at 350˚ for about 55 to 60 minutes on a parchement lined baking sheet.  Until the crust nicely brown and the pears are cooked through.

8.  Right after it is pulled from the oven lightly brush the whole thing with maple syrup.  Remove to a cooling rack and garnish with thyme leaves.

Notes: *Soak the cashews for at least 4 hours.  I try to do overnight.  If you have to skip this step (which I have had to do) it is possible but your cream probably won't come out with the desired creamy whipped texture.  **A little trick I came up with before I had a rolling pin was using an empty wine bottle.  You may need to flour it really well but I promise it will do the trick in a pinch!

 

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