Pancake day palate pleasers

Posted on: 01 March 2019 by 50connect editorial

Three delicious alternatives that will ensure pancake day doesn't blow a hole in your healthy eating plans.

mushroom and spinach crepes

Ditch the sugar and lemon, and try these savoury alternative pancakes this Shrove Tuesday (5 March).

Spinach crêpes with mixed mushrooms

These elegant crêpes would make a delicious starter for a vegetarian supper. Serve with a green salad as a main course.

Serves 4 as a main course, 6 as a starter


  • 250g (8oz) spinach, trimmed
  • 1 quantity Basic crêpe batter unsweetened
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 shallots, finely chopped
  • 60g (2oz) unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp finely chopped fresh thyme
  • 350g (12oz) assorted mushrooms eg button, oyster, chestnut, shiitake, wiped and sliced
  • 4 Tbsp dry white wine
  • 300ml (10fl oz) double cream
  • Salt and black pepper
  • Fresh thyme, to garnish


Wash the spinach and pack into a saucepan whilst still wet. Cover the pan with a lid and cook the spinach over gentle heat for a bout 5 minutes, until the leaves are wilted. Drain well, pressing against the sides of a colander to extract as much water as possible. Allow to cool and then chop finely.

Prepare the batter and stir in the chopped spinach. Make the crêpes and keep warm. Take care not to over-cook them as they will be thicker and more difficult to fold.

Heat the oil in a large frying pan and gently fry the shallots and garlic for 3 minutes, until just softened. Add the butter and melt until bubbling, then stir in the thyme and mushrooms and cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes until brown and tender.

Stir in the wine and cream and bring to a simmer, and heat through for about 3 minutes, until piping hot. Season, then fill the crêpes with the mushroom mixture. Garnish with thyme.



Injera with lamb, beans and Spinach

I first had this interesting bread/pancake in an Ethiopian restaurant and found its sour taste strangely addictive. The idea is to break bits off and use it to scoop up your stew as you eat it. Injera is made from a grain called teff, a type of millet available from specialist food suppliers.

Serves 4

  • 225g (7½oz) wholemeal, plain or teff flour
  • 500g (1lb) lean lamb fillet, cut into thin slices
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • ½-1 tsp hot chilli powder
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 180g (6oz) thin green beans, topped and tailed
  • 30g (1oz) butter
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 250g (8oz) baby spinach, leaves trimmed
  • 1 tsp ground cumin


Put the flour in a mixing bowl and gradually whisk in 475ml (17fl oz) water to make a smooth batter the consistency of double cream. Cover with a clean cloth and leave in a cool place for 3-5 days to ferment, until bubbling and slightly sour in smell. If you are using teff flour the fermentation will occur more quickly.

When the batter is ready to cook, prepare the lamb. Place the lamb in a bowl and mix in half the olive oil, chilli powder to taste and plenty of seasoning. Cover and chill for about 1 hour. Bring a small saucepan of water to the boil and lightly cook the beans for about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool. Set aside.

Heat a large non-stick frying pan – about 24cm (9½in) diameter base – to a medium temperature. Take care with the temperature: if the pan is too hot the pancake will be too crisp and if it is too cold, it will stick. When a drop of water sizzles and bounces off the surface, the pan is ready to use. Pour about 100ml (3½fl oz) batter into the pan in circles from the outside towards the centre and swirl the pan to coat the base evenly. Cook for about 5 minutes, until bubbles appear all over the surface and it looks dry. Cook on one side only. Slide the cooked injera onto a wire rack to cool, then stack between layers of baking parchment. You should make about 6 in total.

Preheat the grill to a medium to hot setting. Thread the lamb onto 8 skewers and arrange on the grill rack. Cook for about 3 minutes on each side. Drain, remove thelamb from the skewers and keep warm. In a large frying pan, heat the remaining oil with the butter until melted together and gently fry the garlic for 3 minutes until softened. Add the green beans with the spinach and ground cumin. Cook, stirring, for about 5 minutes until the spinach has wilted and the beans are tender. To serve, place the injera overlapping on a large, warmed serving platter and spoon over the lamb, bean and spinach mixtures. To eat, break off pieces of injera, wrap up the food and eat with you fingers.

Quick injera recipe

  • 250g (8oz) self-raising flour
  • 60g (2oz) wholemeal flour
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp baking powder
  • 500 ml (16fl oz) soda water

Mix the flours, salt and baking powder in a large mixing bowl and gradually whisk in the soda water to make a smooth batter the consistency of double cream. Cook as above to make about eight injera.


organic porridge pancakes

Day after porridge pancakes with grilled honey and orange figs


  • 50g Organic Porridge Oats
  • 250 ml milk OR 275g leftover porridge and a splash of milk
  • 1 egg
  • 50g plain flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 4 black figs
  • Knob of butter
  • Juice and zest of half an orange
  • 1 tbsp honey
  • Greek yoghurt


Place the Organic Porridge Oats in a small pan over a medium heat with 250ml milk and bring to the boil and reduce the temperature to a low heat and continue cooking for around 10-12 minutes until thick and creamy. Leave the porridge overnight covered with some clingfilm.

Whisk the overnight porridge together with a splash of milk and the egg until well combined. Alternatively you can add the splash of milk and egg to any leftover porridge you may have.

Sift in the flour and baking powder to the porridge and whisk to combine.

Halve the figs and place cut side facing up on a baking tray. Drizzle with the honey and the orange zest and juice. Place under a hot grill and cook for 5-6 minutes or until the figs start to release their juices and collapse.

Melt a knob of butter in a non-stick frying pan and cook spoonfuls of the batter in batches until golden brown on each side. Repeat until all the batter is used up.

Serve the pancakes with the grilled figs and Greek yogurt.

Day after porridge pancakes recipe reproduced courtesy of Flahavans Organic Porridge Oats. 

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