Crêpes with Garlic Sauce, Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach

One day I looked into my fridge and cupboards and the ingredients listed below are the same ones I had available that day. If you have leftover pancakes in the freezer, this is a great way to use leftover vegetables, combined with rice or pearl barley. I love crêpes...the French pancakes originating from Brittany in France. I do however think that they are a nightmare to make from scratch, which is why I always have some extra pancakes in the freezer, ready to whip out when I have some leftover vegetables and pearl barley or rice. So my advice to you is: Make the pancakes ahead!!! Traditionally buckwheat flour is used for making savoury crêpes so please use if you prefer. If you serve these made of buckwheat flour and with a rice filling, you have an excellent gluten free dinner for someone who might be intolerant to gluten. This is one of my favourite meals and I often make up a large batch of crêpes to freeze (including the filling) and re-heat later. You can make a larger quantity of the sauce as you can serve it with the crêpes if you like.

Lovely to eat, a bit fiddly to make

This recipe is:

  • Nut free

This recipe is easy to make:

  • Lactose (dairy) free

Crêpes with Garlic Sauce, Shiitake Mushrooms and Spinach

Serves 3-4 people


For the Crêpes (pancakes):

  • 125 grams (4¼ oz) spelt flour
  • 125 millilitres (4¼ fluid oz) skimmed milk
  • 1 egg (please use free range eggs)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 1 tablespoon aluminium free and gluten free baking powder

For the Filling:

  • 200 grams (7 oz) pearl barley (or brown rice)
  • 150 grams (5¼ oz) fresh shiitaki mushrooms (or any other wild mushrooms you prefer such as porcini or oyster), chopped finely
  • 100 grams (3½ oz) fresh or frozen spinach (thawed and excess water squeezed out)
  • 1 onion (red), chopped finely
  • 100 grams (3½ oz) low fat chees, grated cheese
  • 500 millilitres (17 fluid oz) water
  • 1 tablespoon tamari sauce
  • ¼ teaspoon salt (Himalaya or sea salt)

For the Garlic Sauce:

  • 3 tablespoons creme fraiche
  • 3 tablespoons yoghurt
  • 1 garlic clove
  • A pinch of pepper (black)



  1. First you need to prepare the crêpes. So sorry to tell you this now (I did warn you though!!!), but I recommend that you do this in advance the next time, it will save up a lot of time!
  2. Sift the 125 grams spelt flour and 1 tablespoon baking powder into a large mixing bowl.
  3. Make a well in the centre of the flour and break the egg into it.
  4. Whisk the egg into the batter. Try to even out all lumps.
  5. Gradually add the 125 millilitres skimmed milk (50 millilitres (1¾ fluid oz) or so at a time). Then add 1½ tablespoon coconut oil.
  6. Scrape the sides of the bowl with a spatula and whisk a little more. The batter should resemble a thin soup. You can add more milk later if you prefer.
  7. Melt the remaining ½ teaspoon coconut oil in the pan.
  8. Turn the heat up to highest setting and then turn it down to medium.
  9. Use a ladle to pour the batter onto the pan in one go. It is a good idea to do a "test pancake" to see if the pan is ready. The correct temperature is very important.
  10. As soon as the batter hits the pan, tip it from side to side so that the base of the pan is coated evenly with batter. Pour any leftover batter from the pan back into the uncooked batter.
  11. This process should only take about 30 seconds or so.
  12. Lift the edge of the pancake with a palette knife. If it is fairly loose from the pan, it should be ready.
  13. Flip the pancake over with a palette knife and heat the other side for a few seconds (normally 10 seconds will do).
  14. Transfer to a plate.

Garlic Sauce-Method:

  1. Combine 3 tablespoons creme fraiche, 3 tablespoons yoghurt and stir well. Crush the garlic into the sauce and stir well. Place in the fridge.


  1. Place the 200 grams pearl barley in a small saucepan and add 500 millilitres water. Cook the barley for around 30 minutes or until the water has evaporated (you might start hearing a hissing sound from the saucepan which means there is little water left and the barley is ready!).
  2. Chop the 150 grams mushrooms finely.
  3. If you are using frozen spinach, squeeze out any excess water from the 100 grams spinach.
  4. Peel the onion and chop finely.
  5. Grate the 100 grams cheese.
  6. Place the mushrooms in a large frying pan with 1 tablespoon water and 1 tablespoon tamari sauce. Fry the mushrooms for 10 minutes and set aside.
  7. Add the onion to the frying pan and a little water if needed. Fry for 5 minutes.
  8. Add spinach and heat for 2 minutes.
  9. Place the onion, mushrooms, spinach and cheese in a large bowl along with the cooked barley.
  10. Add the garlic sauce, a pinch of pepper, ¼ teaspoon salt and give everything a good stir.
  11. Place each pancake flat on the table and add 3-4 tablespoons barley mix. Fold or roll up each pancake and tuck in the sides so that the barley mix won't spill out.
  12. Transfer the crepes onto a baking tray (with baking parchment underneath) and bake in the oven at 180 degrees Celsius/350 Fahrenheit/Gas Mark 4, for 15-20 minutes.


  • Serve with more garlic sauce on the side if preferred and a light salad.
  • I always keep a stack of pancakes in the freezer for later use. Often when I make pancakes I reserve the "ugly" ones for making crêpes.
  • You can freeze the baked crêpes and reheat later.
  • You can use regular baking powder instead of the aluminium free and gluten free baking powder
  • You can use brown rice instead of the pearl barley.
  • If the coconut oil is cold (in which case it becomes solid), place the jar in a bowl filled with hot water for a couple of minutes.
  • You can use soy sauce instead of the tamari sauce (note: includes wheat).
  • You can use soy milk, rice milk or oat milk instead of the skimmed milk.
  • You can use wholewheat flour instead of spelt flour.