Potato & Cheese Pierogi

David and I fell in love with pierogi (or vareniki) when we travelled to Russia in November 2014. This past fall, we discovered this amazing Polish diner about 45 minutes from where we live.

Last night, I finally decided to try to make pierogi at home from scratch! They are surprisingly easy to make, but admittedly, pretty time consuming. They are incredibly delicious, though!

Adapted from King Arthur

Yields ~40 pierogi

Ingredients

Dough

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter, softened

Filling

  • 1 lb potatoes (yukon gold or russet potatoes work well), or approximately 2-3 small potatoes
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt (for the water to cook the potatoes in)
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded

To Serve

  • Butter (~4 tablespoons for all the pierogi)
  • 4-5 green onions, diced
  • 1/2 small onion, diced
  • Extra sour cream

Directions

  1. You’re going to start by making the dough. Combine the flour and salt, then use an electric mixer to stir in the egg.
  2. Add the sour cream and butter. Keep mixing until a dough forms. It will be moist, but should become less sticky.
  3. Put the dough in a sealed container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes (up to 48 hours).
  4. While the dough is cooling, make the filling! First up is making the mashed potatoes.
  5. Peel and quarter the potatoes. Put them in a pot and add cold water until they are covered by at least 1″. Add the salt. Bring the pot to a boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook for ~15 minutes.
  6. While the potatoes are cooking, heat the 1/2 cup milk and 1 tablespoon butter until the butter has melted.
  7. When the potatoes are done, drain the water and put the potatoes in a bowl. Pour the milk/butter on top. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes with the milk/butter. Be careful not to overmash!
  8. While the mashed potatoes are still warm, stir in the 1 cup sharp shredded cheese. Your filling is complete!
  9. Now it’s time to fill the pierogi! Take half of the dough out of the refrigerator. Roll it out so it’s ~1/8″ thick. Use a 2″ round cutter to cut out the pierogi. Take the scraps of dough and re-roll to cut more circles. When you finish with the first half, you can do the same with the other half of the dough.

  10. Place 1 teaspoon filling on each circle. Fold the circle of dough in half to form a pocket. Press the dough closed with your fingers, then press the seal with the tines of a fork. Flip the pierogi over and use the tines of the fork on the other side too.

  11. You can freeze the pierogi (King Arthur recommends doing so for up to a month), refrigerate them over night, or cook immediately!
  12. To cook the pierogi, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the pierogi so that they are not touching/sticking to each other. (If you’re cooking all the pierogi, you will have to do this in batches.) When the pierogi float, they are done! (Mine, which were not frozen, took ~5 minutes.) Drain the pierogi.
  13. Warm the butter in a skillet. Add the pierogi, onion, and 1/2 the green onions. Cook until lightly browned.
  14. Serve with extra green onions and sour cream!

Roasted Veggie, Black Bean, and Sweet Potato Enchilada Casserole

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Adapted from Cookie + Kate

Ingredients

Roasted Veggies

  • 1 large sweet potato, cut into 1/2″ cubes
  • 1 large , sliced
  • 1 large yellow squash, sliced
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin

Other ingredients

  • 1 16oz jar salsa
  • 9-10 corn tortillas, cut in half
  • 1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 2 big handfuls spinach
  • 2 cups shredded cheese (sharp cheddar or Monterey Jack work great)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F

1. Line two baking sheets with silicone mats or parchment paper.

2. Spread the veggies and sweet potatoes between the two sheets, trying to keep it to a single layer. Toss the contents of each baking sheet in 1 tablespoon olive oil and 1 teaspoon cumin. Bake for 15 minutes, until the veggies are softened.

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3. Take the veggies out of the oven and reduce the heat to 350°F

4. To assemble the casserole, spread ~1/2 cup salsa on the bottom of a 9″ square pan.

5. Add a layer of the halved tortillas on top, arranging so they cover as much surface area as possible.

3. Add a layer of beans, a layer of vegetables, a layer of spinach, a layer of cheese. Don’t worry too much about how much you’re using of each–just spread them out so they cover the surface area.

4. Add another layer of tortillas and salsa, then repeat step #3.

5. Depending on how much room you have (and how many ingredients you have left), you can keep going or add your final layer: tortillas, salsa, vegetables, cheese.

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6. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove the foil, bake for 10 more minutes.

7. Allow to cool for 5-10 minutes, then dig in!

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Veggie & Black Bean Enchiladas

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Adapted from Cookie + Kate

When you factor in making the enchilada sauce (which could be done ahead of time), this isn’t the quickest recipe. But oh man, is it good!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups enchilada sauce (see recipe here)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 onion, chopped (red or yellow works!)
  • 1 red bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small bunch broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 5 cups packed spinach
  • 1 15oz can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 1/2 cups cheese, divided (sharp cheddar works great!)
  • 8 whole wheat or white tortillas (8″)

Directions

Preheat oven to 400°F

1. In a large pot over medium heat, toss the onions in the olive oil. Cook for a few minutes, until softened.

2. Add broccoli and bell pepper, stirring until well combined. Reduce heat to medium low and cover the pot. Cook for 8 minutes.

3. Add cumin and cinnamon.

4. Add the spinach, a handful at a time. Stir until wilted, then add more spinach, and repeat until you’ve added it all.

5. Remove from heat and stir in the beans, 1/4 cup cheese, and 2 tablespoons enchilada sauce. This is your filling!

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6. Spread 1/4 cup of enchilada sauce in the bottom of a 9×13″ baking pan.

7. To assemble the enchiladas, pour 1/4 cup of filling down the middle of the tortillas. Tuck the left side of the tortilla over the right (rolling up like a burrito of sorts, but no need to tuck in the ends!). Put the enchilada seam side down in the baking pan. Repeat with all 8 tortillas. It may get crowded in the baking pan, just squish them together–they will fit!

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8. Pour the remaining enchilada sauce over the enchiladas, spreading it as evenly as you can. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the tortillas.

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9. Bake, uncovered, for 20 minutes.

 

 

Broccoli & Onion Quiche

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Ingredients

  • 1 frozen pie crust (or make one from scratch!)
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 2 cups broccoli, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
  • 4 eggs, beaten
  • 1 cup milk

Directions

>>Preheat oven to 350°F.

1. In a large pot, toss the onion and broccoli in olive oil.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until softened.

2. Press ~1/2 cup cheese into the bottom of the crust. Put the broccoli and onions on top.

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3. In a separate bowl, combine the eggs, milk, and 1/2 cup cheese. Stir well, then pour over the broccoli and onions.

4. Sprinkle the remaining 1/2 cup cheese on top.

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5. Bake at 350°F until the quiche has set, around 50 minutes-1 hour.

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Spaghetti Squash Taco Bowl

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I had half of a spaghetti squash leftover from making spaghetti squash primavera, and was craving something spicy, so I made a spaghetti squash taco bowl!

Ingredients

Serves 4

  • 1/2 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 yellow or white onion, chopped
  • 2 fresh jalapenos, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 bell pepper (color of your choice), chopped
  • 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes, drained
  • 1 cup corn, drained
  • 1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon cumin

Note: This is fairly spicy! If you need to tone down the heat, deseed the jalapenos. You can also add only half the curry powder, paprika, and cumin.

To serve

  • cilantro, diced
  • green onion, diced
  • greek yogurt (or sour cream)*
  • salsa
  • shredded sharp cheddar cheese*

You could also use: lime wedges, avocado, extra jalapenos… !

*Leave off to make vegan

Directions

Preheat oven to 375°F

  1. Place the squash, uncut, on a baking sheet. Bake for 50 minutes. Take out of the oven, let cool for half an hour.
  2. Cut the squash in half. For this recipe, you’ll only need half (or you can double the recipe). Remove the seeds with a spoon or your fingers. Using a fork, scrape the sides of the squash, scooping out the “spaghetti.”
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  3. In a large saucepan or pot, toss the jalapeno and onion in the olive oil. Cook over medium heat for about five minutes, until slightly softened.
  4. Add the bell pepper and continue to cook for another few minutes, until the bell pepper is slightly softened.
  5. Add the spaghetti squash, tomatoes, corn, beans, and spices. Stir until well combined.
  6. Cover the pot and simmer for ten minutes.
  7. Serve with lots of toppings. Make sure to stir your bowls up–the greek yogurt makes it nice and creamy!
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Cayenne Cheddar Bread

I’ve only ever had cayenne cheddar bread at a restaurant called The Friendly Toast. I wanted to make my own since it is so, so delicious. I made a simple white bread and added cayenne and cheddar.

Ingredients

>>Yields two loaves

  • 2 cups warm water
  • 2/3 cup white sugar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons active dry yeast
  • 1/4 cup vegetable oil
  • 6 cups bread flour
  • 2 cups shredded cheddar cheese (I used sharp)
  • 2 teaspoons cayenne

Directions

1) Add all the ingredients together in a food processor. (You could do this by hand.) Mix (or knead) until the dough is smooth and elastic.

2) In a greased bowl, leave the dough to rise until it is doubled in size, or about one hour. Cover the bowl with a slightly damp dish cloth so the dough doesn’t dry out.

3) Knead the dough briefly for a couple of minutes.

4) Split the dough in half, and put into to two 9×5 greased loaf pans. Let it rise until the dough has risen one inch above the pans. (It should only take around 30 minutes, but it took almost two hours for my dough to rise! I think it’s because my kitchen is a bit chilly and dough rises a lot faster when it’s warm.)

5) Preheat oven to 350°F.

6) Bake for approximately 30 minutes.

Vegetarian Tortilla Soup

Adapted from AllRecipes.

>>Serves 6-8

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons vegetable or olive oil
  • 2 red bell peppers, sliced
  • 1 large onion, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons cumin
  • approximately 14 ounces chopped green chili peppers (I bought two 7oz cans; three 4oz cans would be okay too)
  • 4 cups vegetable broth (28-32 ounces works great); you can add more broth if you like your soup thinner
  • 1 28oz can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 15oz can of black beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 15oz can of corn, drained
  • black pepper, to taste

Serve with:

  • lime slices
  • cilantro
  • avocado slices
  • shredded cheddar cheese
  • tortilla chips

Directions

1) Combine the oil, red pepper, onion, garlic, and cumin in a large pot over medium heat. Stir for approximately five minutes, or until the vegetables are softened.

2) Add the remaining soup ingredients to the pot, except for the corn (green chili peppers, broth, tomatoes, beans, and black pepper). Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook for approximately 20-25 minutes.

3) Add the corn and simmer for five more minutes.

4) Serve with cilantro, avocado, cheese, and tortilla chips. Squeeze a small wedge of lime over each bowl.