November 27, 2017



My husband's side of the family is Polish and he grew up eating many of the wonderful foods from that country. So the other day, I was thumbing through a cookbook of his mom's favorite recipes and came across her method for making pierogi filling. It was time to veganize it. I started by checking out Hot for Food's version. They had a wonderfully simple method of making the dough and after checking my pantry and garden for ingredients, it was time to have some fun. My first attempt involved using buckwheat flour with a sweet potato filling. They were Awesome! But frankly, they looked terrible. Back to the drawing board. My next attempt was a more traditional filling (lacking the cheese) and to amp up the herbs in the dough. Now we were getting somewhere. I then made the sweet potato/buckwheat combo, but used a combination of all purpose flour and buckwheat. Better. I also wanted to change the typical sauce, so I made a very light mushroom gravy to top it off. This is a yummy, yummy dinner and if you make extra, it freezes well for an easy weeknight dinner. I hope you try it...and we'll see if it passes the sister-in-law test. 


Pierogi Dough


3 cups all purpose flour

1 tsp fine sea salt

1 cup water

1 T vegetable oil

sprig of rosemary, leaves chopped fine

1 basil leaf, chopped fine

1/2 tsp marjoram

(or substitute your favorite herb flavors)


In a large mixing bowl, stir your salt and herbs into the flour. Add water and oil and stir until the water is incorporated into the flour. Turn your dough out onto a lightly floured surface and knead until it is only slightly sticky. Cut your dough in two and form into balls, let chill in the refrigerator while you make the filling. 


Buckwheat Dough


2 cups all purpose flour

1 cup buckwheat flour

1 tsp fine sea salt 

1 cup water

1 T vegetable oil 


Make as above. 



Red Potato Filling


3 medium red potatoes cubed

1 green onion, minced

1 T Earth Balance

2 T Nutritional Yeast (optional-but gives that cheesy flavor)

2 T unsweetend, unflavored non-dairy milk

3 mint leaves, minced

1 tsp garlic powder

1/4 cup sour kraut


Boil your potatoes in a medium pot of salted water until they can be pierced easily with a fork but are not completely waterlogged. About 10 minutes. Drain water from potatoes and mash. Add in your onion, Earth Balance, Nutritional Yeast, milk, mint and garlic. Stir in the sour kraut. Set aside. 


Sweet Potato Filling


1 large sweet potato, cubed

1 T Earth Balance 

1 medium zucchini, shredded

1 clove garlic, minced

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp allspice

1 tsp dill


Boil the sweet potatoes in a medium pot of salted water, around 10 minutes, until tender. Again, not waterlogged. Drain potatoes and mash with Earth Balance. Add in the shredded zucchini and garlic. Mash. Stir in the cinnamon, allspice and dill. Set aside. 


If you're going to cook your pierogi right away, set a large pot of salted water on the stove to bring to a boil.


Now, here's the fun part. Take your dough out of the fridge and, on a lightly floured surface, roll your dough out to about 1/16th of an inch. You want it thick enough to hold the filling, but not so thick that it overpowers the potato flavors. This dough rolls out very well, so don't be afraid!!!! Using a 4 inch biscuit cutter, or a decent sized drinking glass, cut out the pierogi dough. The last time I made this, I put the sour kraut potato filling in the herbed dough and the sweet potato filling in the buckwheat dough, but you can let your crazy come through and make Gomer Pyle Pierogi, "surprise, surprise, surprise!" (Yep, I'm that old). 



Okay, old tv shows aside, let's fill the pierogi. Take about a 1/2 tsp of potato filling and place in the middle of your dough circles. Barely dampen (with a wet finger) one edge of the circle, fold over and press the edges firmly together. Make sure they're sealed so the filling doesn't seep out while cooking. 



All set? Now drop the pierogi into the boiling water. Don't  crowd the pot. You'll do this in sections. Cook gently for 3 to 5 minutes. They'll tell you when they're ready. They'll float to the top. Lift them out carefully with a slotted spoon and set aside. 


Next, throw a little combo of Earth Balance and olive oil into a sauté pan and give those pierogi a little tan. Crisp them up a just a bit. 


To make a quick and light dressing for the little bundles of joy, chop up an onion and a large portabella mushroom, sauté in a bit of olive oil or Earth Balance (or both - that's good), and you have just added to your happiness. 


If you want to make these ahead and freeze, do this before you boil. After they're filled and sealed, place them on a cookie sheet, not touching, and freeze. Once they're frozen you can toss them into a smaller freezer container to store. Once you're ready to cook, let them thaw for a few minutes and give them more time in the pot. The nice thing is they're so accommodating that they tell you when they're ready (remember, they float).



















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