December 3, 2018
Christmas is just around the corner and one of the staples at our traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve supper is perogies. Perogies are not hard to make vegan – just omit the cheese in the potato filling. However, they are full of butter, oil or margarine – in the dough, in the filling and in the toppings. Since Christmas would not be Christmas without perogies, I have continued to make vegan ones with oil. This year I decided to try making them oil free and was ecstatic to find a recipe. Now perogies don’t have to be an occasional treat, I can have them anytime.
Maria, from Buenos Aires (Sigrilina Plant-Based Recipes and Zero Waste Ideas) has an excellent recipe using nut butter instead of oil. My traditional recipe is 4 cups white flour, 1/3 cup oil, 1/3 tsp salt, 2 cups water. Maria’s recipe is 4 cups flour, 1 tbsp nut butter, 1 tbsp salt (too much), 9.1 oz mashed potatoes, and 1 cup water. Other than reducing the salt and tweeking the method a bit, the recipe is fantastic. It makes a really nice dough.
Maria uses peanut butter, but I used cashews as they have a more neutral taste. She blends the water with the nut butter. I didn’t have any cashew butter so I blended the water with about 1/3 cup raw cashews instead. Then add the mashed potatoes (I am not sure how exact the amount needs to be but I did use a scale to weigh out 9.1 oz, which is about 1 1/2 cups)
The method she uses is one I am not fond of, but I did use it this time. She mixes the flour and salt together in a bowl, then make a valley in the flour and add the water/nut butter and mashed potatoes. The problem was I did not have enough liquid to use the whole 4 cups of flour. I had to add more water and work it in. Perhaps my mashed potatoes where too dry. So I would definitely recommend mixing the water/nut butter and mashed potatoes with 3 cups of the flour and then kneading in more as needed to make a nice dough.
I also used white whole wheat flour for the first time. I know, it sounds like an oxymoron – white whole wheat, but its real. Its flour made from white wheat instead of the more usual red wheat. I found it at Bulk Barn. I made my dough with 100% whole wheat (but used unbleached white flour for the rolling out) and it is definitely not white like all purpose flour but its not as dark as the regular whole wheat. I love the taste and texture but then I am not fond of the big blob of white flour dough.
Maria filled her perogies with a sauerkraut mushroom filling that sounds so delicious I will definitely try it, but I filled mine with a potato, onion and cashew cheese filling instead.
Traditionally, we serve the perogies with onions swimming in butter and then sour cream on top. Since the traditional Ukrainian Christmas Eve supper is meat and dairy free, for Christmas Eve we serve the perogies with a mushroom gravy. I had mine today with leftover gravy I had in the fridge and it was great. I will definitely use gravy from now on.
This recipe makes about 4 dozen perogies. Since making perogies can be a bit time consuming, make your filling the day before to save time. Also, its easier to work with a cold filling than a hot one.
Oil Free Vegan Perogies
- 4 cups whole wheat flour (recommend white wheat flour)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tbsp nut butter or 1/3 cup cashews (soaked and drained)
- 9.1 oz plain mashed potatoes (about 1 1/2 cups)
Mix 3 cups flour with the salt in a large bowl. Blend water and nut butter (or cashews) until you get a smooth cream. Add cream mixture along with potatoes to the flour and mix well. Knead to make a smooth, soft dough, adding more flour as needed.
Knead dough for about 10 minutes then let rest for at least 30 minutes.
Flour your table top and roll out to about 1/8 inch thick, sprinkling with flour to keep from sticking. Cut into 3 1/2 inch circles (we used a glass). Fill each circle with the filling of your choice and pinch to form half moon shapes.
In a large pot, bring water to a boil. Place perogies (about 1 dozen at a time, depending on the size of your pot) in the boiling water. The perogies will sink to the bottom.
Let the water return to a boil and simmer until the perogies float to the top. If you are going to freeze your perogies then reboil before serving, I would recommend taking them out when they float. If you are eating them right away, I would recommend letting them boil for about 1 minute longer. I find whole wheat perogies need to cook a bit longer than the regular white, all purpose flour ones.
Serve immediately with vegan sour cream, onions sautéed in broth, or vegan gravy. Note that the perogies will stick together if not covered in butter, oil or margarine. After boiling and draining, I rinsed mine quickly with cold water and placed on a baking tray, so they don’t touch each other, until eating. So to make sure they stay hot, boil just before serving.
If you wish to freeze the perogies, place them on a baking sheet to cool. Make sure they don’t touch each other or they will stick together. Freeze. Once frozen, remove from the baking sheet and store in a freezer bag or container. To serve, you can throw them frozen into a pot of boiling water and when they float, remove and serve. Or you can thaw them on a baking sheet first, then boil.
I am doing a happy dance. Finally whole food plant based perogies. We had them for lunch topped with gravy and served with baked beans, cabbage and onions sautéed in broth, and a green salad.
I hope you enjoy them too. Thanks ever so much Maria from Buenos Aires for the inspiration. Be sure to check out her blog, Sigrilina, for more great whole food plant based recipes, including empanadas.