When I was about 16 years old my Ukrainian grandmother invited me over to cook. I was very excited to learn her secrets. Her Ukrainian food was the best I ever had.
Eight years later, the now vegan me misses her cooking. I have been veganizeing her famous dishes with mixed results. The problem is that she didn’t use any written recipes. Instead she’s taught me to “use enough water” or “a good amount of flour”. Its hard enough to follow recipes like these, let alone veganize them!
My grandmother’s perogies were far from vegan friendly. Chock full of cheese, encased in egg based dough, and tossed in melted butter. I decided I would attempt to make my vegan version of the classic Ukrainian/Polish dumpling.
My version has spinach mixed in the potatoes because I can never get enough leafy greens. I tossed my perogies in cooked onions, which is how my grandmother always served them. If you’re feeling crazy, try pan-frying them lightly after boiling. It makes the crust nice and crispy. I fried up a few, you can see how the fried ones gets golden brown.
Vegan Perogies with Potato Spinach Filling
For the Filling:
- 1 lbs Idaho potatoes, pleaded and cut into large chunks
- ½ box frozen spinach, thawed and drained/pressed to remove any liquid
- ½ medium onion, chopped
- A splash of vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- ½ tsp salt
For the Dough
- 3 cups all purpose flour, plus extra for kneading
- 1 tsp corn starch
- 3 tbls canola oil
- ½ tsp salt
- 1 cup water
For the Topping
- 1 Medium onion, chopped
- ½ cup canola oil
First make filling:
Boil potatoes until fork tender. Drain and transfer to a large bowl and mash until smooth.
Sauté onion in broth for 5 minutes. Add to potatoes. Add remaining filling ingredients and mix into evenly incorporated. Set aside to cool.
Mix all ingredients in a large bowl until it sticks together. You may need a bit more water, my grandmother said you could never really be sure about how much water you will need until you mix it all together. Flour surface and knead dough a few times. You want the dough to form a nice, non- sticky ball.
Roll out on a floured surface to roughly a ¼ inch thickness. Using a round cookie cutter (or cup) cut circles out.
Now get stuffin’: Fill each with a good amount of filling. It helps to roll the filling into a ball first. Pinch to seal the edges, using water if needed. Place on a floured platter until ready to boil.
Sauté onion in oil until they are very soft, and begin to turn yellow. About 15 minutes.
Heat a large pot of water to a boil. Gently place 5-6 perogies into the water. Let boil until they float to the top. Remove using a slotted spoon. Work in batches to cook the remaining perogies.
Top with onion/oil mixture and toss to coat.
Serve with applesauce or vegan sour cream.