These wraps have been a long time in the making and quite an evolutionary process. Many of my favourite recipes seem to tumble out first time lucky, but these guys required a little more devotion to get just right; luckily for our hungry and sometimes disorganised household there has been an abundance of crepes to nibble on in the meantime.
The recipe started with an old celeriac to use up and a wonderfully simple, pure, detox-friendly one from the Vivamayr cookbook, and has since expanded to include two of my favourite things: fresh beetroot, and pesto. Before I even knew it, halloumi had crept its way in, and here we are with a delicious little buckwheat crepe stuffed to the brim with sweet, salty, earthy goodness that is as comforting as it is vibrant. I especially like to cook with root vegetables in the winter as they ground us and comfort us with sweet warmth and plenty of immune-boosting vitamins and antioxidants – but always buy organic as they are very adept at absorbing the toxins from the ground as well as the nutrients. I have used a vegan pesto so as to avoid cow’s milk – and parmesan, which I find quite strong; if you are avoiding sheep’s milk as well you can use tofu instead of the halloumi. It is less salty but also delicious and creamy.
The gluten-free, dairy-free crepes are packed with protein and lend themselves to all sorts of flavours and uses. You can also add some fresh or dried herbs to the batter if you feel like it, and any non-sweetened milk will work.
The pesto is super quick to whizz up, and the perfect accompaniment to the sweet root vegetables; make extra and keep it in the fridge if you have a busy week coming up. (When do we not?!)
Finally, if you have a ripe avocado lying around, you can mash it up with some lemon and dip the wraps in. It’s delicious.
I am supposed to be revising for my second last nutrition exam and while making these piles of yumminess has been a happy and welcome distraction, I must hop back to the books. It is strange to think that soon three years of training will be over and real practise can fill its place. This Naturalista journey has so many evolving layers and continues to unfold in all directions; I must just trust it all and follow with curiosity, awareness and intention.
And plenty of beetroot pesto wraps.
For the pesto:
1 large handful fresh basil
1 large handful rocket
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 handful cashews
1 tbsp olive oil
Juice 1/2 lemon
1 small clove garlic
salt to season
For the filling:
1 fresh beetroot, peeled and grated
1 carrot, peeled and grated
1/2 celeriac, peeled and grated
1/2 tsp grated nutmeg
1 tsp ground coriander
2 tbsp olive oil
a pinch of salt and pepper
1 large handful kale, finely shredded
12 thin slices of halloumi or tofu
1/2 tsp olive oil for frying
Pre-heat the oven to 150 degrees.
Start by making your four crepes in a large non-stick pan and setting aside to cool.
Then, place all the ingredients for the filling except for the kale in the same pan and gently sauté for about ten minutes until soft, stirring often. Adjust the seasoning to taste and remove from the heat.
To make the pesto, pulse all the ingredients in a blender or magimix until chunky; transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Finally, lightly brown the halloumi or tofu until golden, then remove from the heat.
To make the wraps, spread a layer of the root veggies on a crepe, next add a quarter of the shredded kale, four pieces of tofu or halloumi, a couple of spoonfuls of pesto, a glug of olive oil and some salt and pepper. Roll it as tightly as you can, and secure with a cocktail stick if you need. Repeat for all four wraps, then bake in the oven for five or six minutes until warmed through.
Best served immediately.