Perogies for Thanksgiving

Perogies on a plate with fall decor

Perogies, Pyrohy, Piroshki, etc., etc. Delicacy of Eastern Europe, particularly of Ukraine. Western Canada is perogy-land, having been settled by a large number of Ukrainians over the last century.

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They often make an appearance at old-school buffets, and many community halls hold perogy dinner fundraisers. Many people I know also include them at the Thanksgiving table.

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I learned to love perogies when our family moved away from the prairies to the maritimes, and my mom had to make them from scratch. It was a special-occasion meal because it was more labor intensive. When we moved to Alberta when I was a teenager, perogies beam a convenience food, cooked from a bag from the freezer aisle.

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It wasn’t until I lived on my own that I tried making perogies from scratch myself, but they’re worth the effort (I say that a lot on this blog!!). This recipe is one loosely based on a recipe from the Vegetarian Times cookbook. It’s also a good recipe to make with friends, as many hands speed the assembly stage. Our friend Matt came over when we last made these, and is the lovely hand model in the photos.

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Vegan Cheddar and Chive Perogies

An Agent Minty original recipe

Makes approximately 45 perogies

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup raw cashews, soaked 4 hours to overnight
  • 2 large baking potatoes
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp almond milk
  • 1 Tbsp miso paste
  • 4 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 2 1/2 + 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 tsp cream of tartar
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 sundried tomato, soaked in water and cut into quarters
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 tsp turmeric
  • 1/8 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 Tbsp paprika
  • 2-3 Tbsp chopped fresh chives

Instructions:

Prepare components:

  1. Peel and cube potatoes, cover with water and bring to a boil.
  2. Meanwhile, process together drained soaked cashews, until coarse.
  3. Add almond milk, miso, and vinegar and puree for 3-5 minutes until perfectly creamy.
  4. Set aside cashew cream for now.
  5. Once potatoes are cooked until very tender, drain, reserving potato cooking liquid in a bowl.
  6. Mash potatoes until smooth.
  7. Combine 2 1/2 cups of flour with cream of tartar and salt in a large mixing bowl.
  8. Mix 1 3/4 cups of mashed potato with 3/4 cups of potato cooking water and the oil.
  9. Add mixture from step 8 to the flour-salt mixture and stir well.
  10. Either kneading in the bowl by hand, or using your mixer’s dough hook attachment, start kneading the dough.
  11. Add remaining flour in 1/4 cupfuls every minute or so, until the dough is no longer very sticky.
  12. Continue kneading for about five minutes.
  13. Cover dough with plastic wrap to rest while you prepare the filling.
  14. Blend together 1/4 cup of cashew cream from step 4 with remaining mashed potato. Add in remaining ingredients and puree or stir until creamy.

Cut and fill perogies:

  1. Using a generous amount of flour, roll out 1/3 of dough to 1/8-inch thick.
  2. Cut 3-inch circles, and fill each with 1 Tbsp of filling.
  3. Moisten the edge of the dough with water, fold over, and press together with a fork.
  4. Transfer all finished perogies to a tray covered with plastic wrap to keep them moist.
  5. Scraps from cutting dough can be reused.
  6. After all perogies have been cut and filled, bring a pot of water to boil.
  7. Cook perogies in boiling water for 5-8 minutes.
  8. If desired, lightly sauté in oil before serving.
  9. Serve with remaining cashew cream, fried onions, and vegan “bacon” bits.
  10. Leftover boiled perogies store well in the fridge for a week.Perogies-3

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Sick day soup

Ah, the late-winter cold. Charming cousin to the Autumn and Christmas colds I’ve had this year. Despite me taking better care of myself than ever, a little bit of stress and enough germs in the workplace had me down for the weekend, plus yesterday. I felt indifferent to most food, but I wanted to make something healthy and filling, that wouldn’t upset my tummy.

Enter this soup. It’s packed with protein and carotenes, and makes enough to last for days. Think of it as the charming cousin of split pea soup and sweet potato soup. Also, it’s darn cheap to make, and tastes delicious with garlic toasts and plenty of cracked black pepper. Note that you can use a different mix of split lentils and beans, but for the best texture you should choose mostly ones that have their skins removed.

Lentil-yam-soup

 

 

 

Sweet potato, lentil, and sun-dried tomato soup – An Agent Minty original recipe

Makes eight 1-cup servings.

Ingredients:

  • One medium sweet potato, cubed
  • Olive oil
  • Herbs: parsley, sage, savoury
  • 1 cup red lentils
  • 3/4 cup moong dal
  • 2/3 c green lentils
  • 2 veggie bouillon cubes
  • 1 small can of V-8
  • 1.5 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

Instructions:

  1. Toss sweet potato cubes in enough oil to generously coat.
  2. Toss with salt and herbs of choice.
  3. Bake in a casserole dish at 400F for approximately 40 minutes, until very soft. 
  4. Meanwhile, wash your lentils until the water runs clear.
  5. Add the lentils to 8-10 cups of water, pus a generous amount of olive oil in a large pot and heat on medium-high.
  6. Once the lentils have come to a boil, turn heat to a gentle simmer and add bouillon cubes and V-8. Partly cover with a lid.
  7. Add more water as needed to prevent the lentils from sticking, stirring every 10 minutes or so.
  8. Simmer lentils for 30-40 minutes until they are very soft and start to break apart.
  9. Add in cooked sweet potato, sun-dried tomatoes, and nutritional yeast. 
  10. Simmer for another 10 minutes to allow flavours to combine.
  11. Using an immersion blender, puree soup until it is smooth.
  12. Season with salt as needed.