My family on my mom’s side is from Belarus, which means depending upon which dictator was in charge and when, we are either Russian or Polish. Either way, we love our Slavic comfort foods. One of my sisters has occasionally made pierogi for Holiday meals and I decided this time I would give them a shot. If you’re not familiar with them, pierogi are basically dumplings, filled with (usually) either mashed potatoes or sauerkraut & onions. Traditionally, they’re boiled because we Polish folks will boil anything, but I really think they’re best fried (don’t send hate mail). OK, I think they actually should be boiled… and then fried. Happy? I went with the recipe in Vegan Brunch, mostly. I made both the potato and sauerkraut fillings. I changed up the sauerkraut filling by leaving out the mushrooms and adding onions. These little guys are pretty labor intensive, but so worth it. My mom & I agreed that the potato ones could use more salt, but otherwise they were a hit with the slavic, omni family. And I’ve been designated the official family pierogi-maker from now on.
Next up, I made some mini-spinach pies from the “This Is Sparta Spinach Pie” recipe in Vegan Eats World. This was also a pretty labor-intensive recipe and given that I made them on the same day as the pierogi, suffice it to say I spent most of my day in the kitchen. Anyway – more about the pies. I’ve never, ever worked with phyllo dough before and was prepared for a fight. Thankfully, there are handy tips in the recipe to make it less painful, which actually worked. I decided to make the mini pies so I could send some with Seth and because I felt like they’d keep/reheat better and could be frozen if needed. I wasn’t disappointed. The one and only thing I’d change for the next time is a little less dill, but my mom & I seem to be in the minority on that – everyone else who tried them thought they were perfect as is. It’s weird too, because my mom & I both love dill. I guess maybe we both wanted a stronger spinach flavor. Still, these are yum and have been added to the list of Holiday dishes I will be making from now on.
The rest of dinner was either made by my family or was frozen (the Gardein roast). I liked the roast, but Seth and I both prefer the Field Roast. I think we’ve tried all of the varieties and brands out there, and we’re both in agreement on it. It’s weird, because Gardein is generally my favorite prepared vegan meat brand. Go figure. I didn’t take a picture of it – it wasn’t all that pretty. My sister is awesome and has permanently veganized the green bean casserole she makes for holidays. Just swap out a vegan mushroom soup (like Imagine brand) and no one will ever know the difference. It really will taste just like the non-vegan version.
My mom made a roasted veggie dish that knocked my socks off. It was based on another recipe she had, but she switched things up a little and basically made it into a Moroccan roasted root veggie dish. She used carrots, potatoes, sweet potato, onions and parsnip. It was so good I made her write down what she did. I’ll make it myself soon and share the recipe with the masses. I made a mess of cookies and brought some of those for dessert, too. I’m thankful that my family has been open to veganized versions of old favorites and even asks for certain things now.