October 7th, 2009
My ChowBaby is only 2 1/2. His school program is two mornings a week, with caregiver. No packed lunch needed. Even so, I’m working hard to diversify his lunch options and come up with ideas that’ll give me a head start on sending him to school with lunch in tow.
I’m big on making lunch out of leftovers from dinner the night before. Since I work from home and Isaac and his sitter are usually home at lunchtime, too, almost anything works. It can be messy, it can require heating—we’re all good. But, as many of you know (better than me), the same won’t be true when we start packing lunch.
The idea of crepes came to me as I was thinking of new ways to approach sandwiches (pinwheels, wraps, quesadillas, using lavash, etc.). The great thing about crepes is that they also make a delicious, sophisticated dinner. So make a big stack, fill, and serve alongside salad for dinner. Take 5 minutes the next day to fill and fold for a great packed lunch. We went with spinach, ham and butter (cheddar or gruyere would be great, too), but the possibilities are endless. Be creative!
Ham, Spinach & Butter Crepes
makes 10-12 crepes
(can be served to kids 10+ mos)
1 c organic flour (all-purpose or whole wheat)
pinch of salt
1 1/4 c organic milk
2 organic eggs
2 tbsp organic salted butter, melted and cooled + more, slightly softened, for spreading
organic sliced ham
organic baby spinach, washed & dried
honey mustard, optional
Make the Crepes (recipe from Mark Bittman’s How to Cook Everything)
1. Whisk the flour, salt, and milk until the mixture is bubbly. Whisk in eggs and then the cooled butter. (I used a blender for this entire step). Refrigerate for at least an hour. (I have made crepes without time to refrigerate the batter and they’ve always come out fine.)
2. Heat a nonstick pan until drops of water tossed in the pan skitter across the surface. You’ll probably want to adjust the heat as you go, because you want to keep the pan very hot, but not so hot as to burn the crepes.
3. Using a small ladle, add somewhere between 1/8 and 1/4 of a cup of batter to the pan. Swirl it so it covers the bottom. (I don’t have a crepe pan and the one I use is larger than 8″, so I just swirled to make an APPROX circular crepe.) The batter will start cooking immediately, so swirl fast! Cook until all the batter has “dried up,” but don’t let it bubble.
4. Flip. Cook the second side for about 20 to 30 seconds. You don’t want them to be as brown as pancakes would be—just slightly golden.
Assemble the Crepes
5. For dinner: slather butter (and honey mustard, if using) on crepes while they are still hot. Immediately add a layer of spinach, then a layer of ham. Roll and serve. Refrigerate leftover crepes.
6. For lunch: Remove crepes from fridge and spread with butter (it doesn’t have to melt like at dinner time, but you may want to soften it so that it’s easy to spread). Add spinach and ham. Fold into quarters and pack!