Easter/ Spring Pierogi

Easter/Spring Pierogi

I already enjoy making pasta with veggie- based dough. The colors are so pretty, and I love the way they taste. So, since it is almost Easter, I went a step further and used my veggie-based dough to make pierogi.

They remind me a little of Easter eggs. They came out so nice, I will be making them on Easter.

I used a potato and cheese filling, so that part is pretty traditional. The pierogi are also a nice choice for a meat-free dinner.

I served them with sauteed onions and sour cream.  Here is the recipe for all.


Easter/ Spring Pierogi

 All of the vegetable doughs were mixed using a food processor. If you want to mix them by hand- puree the veggies first.  Once the doughs are made allow them to rest at least 30 minutes. Since veggie pasta dough tends to be a little softer than traditional pasta- I actually prefer to make them a day ahead and chill. Chilling the dough, even for an hour, will help. The traditional pierogi dough was mixed in a stand mixer.

To make the pierogi a little sturdier, you can also make regular pierogi dough and mix a little of that dough in with the veggie-based doughs.

When ready to roll out your dough, grab a hunk of each dough and press them together. If the the dough is a little sticky that will help. Then on a floured surface roll out to the desired thickness. Folding and rolling a couple of times helps to mix up the color pasta better. I use a template to make my pierogi- but you can cut them out with any round cutter or even a glass or jar. Spoon filling of your choice on center of dough circle. Fold dough in half over filling and press edge with fork to seal. Wetting the edge of the dough will help the dough to stick. Don’t overfill or pierogi will split. Test a couple first to get the hang of it. Place a few at a time into salted boiling water and cook until they float. You can eat them as is, or brown cooked pierogi in butter in a skillet. Serve with grilled onions and/or sour cream. We would often make a larger batch and then freeze them, uncooked, on wax paper-lined baking sheets. When frozen they would be transferred to a freezer bag or container. Place right from the freezer into boiling water when ready to use.


Carrot Pasta

1 c. flour

1/2 t. dried dill

1/3 c. carrot puree

1-2 T. water, if needed

   Beet Pasta

1 c. flour

1/2 t. dill

1/3 c. beet puree

1-2 T. water, if needed

Spinach Pasta

2 c. flour

1 10 oz. package frozen spinach, cooked, drained, reserving some of the liquid

Mix this dough as for other pastas, but don’t be too quick to add reserved liquid. While kneading you’ll get water out of the spinach. May require more kneading and rolling than other pasta doughs. Be patient, it’s worth the work.

Classic Pierogi Dough

2 c. flour
1 t. salt
½ c. water (you can also use half milk and half water)
1 egg
Mix all ingredients together and knead on floured surface until smooth. Cover and let rest at least 15 minutes. Roll out thin and cut into circles. Re-roll scraps. You should get between 20-30.

 Pierogi Filling

1 lb. Potatoes, peeled and boiled
4 oz. cream cheese – normally I would use farmer’s cheese or cottage cheese, but cream cheese was what I had
1/2 c. shredded cheddar cheese, optional
salt and pepper to taste
Mash potatoes with other ingredients and season to taste.

I usually add some chopped sweet onion to my filling, but one of my guests isn’t crazy about onions, so I am leaving them out. Feel free to add some, if you like.

Potatoes O’Brien

Potatoes O’Brien

In all honesty, I love potatoes in pretty much any dish.  Sometimes you just want to go with an old time classic. For dinner last night, I knew I was going to make potatoes as a side dish. I just wasn’t sure what I was doing with them.

I am not sure why I even thought about Potatoes O’Brien. Hadn’t had them in years, but I knew I liked it when my Mom made them.

I think the sweet peppers I had also helped make up my mind. I wanted to use them in something.

Potatoes O’Brien are hash browns, with onions and diced peppers. The combination is so tasty. To speed up the cooking process, I cooked the potatoes in the microwave first.  You could also just use raw, diced potatoes. Either way, the end result is sure to be a hit.

Potatoes O’Brien could also be a nice side dish for your St. Patrick’s day dinner.


Potatoes O’Brien 


1 medium onion, chopped

1 c. chopped sweet pepper- I used baby peppers, sliced in rings

2 lbs. potatoes, diced, peeling is optional

salt and pepper

fresh parsley and thyme, optional

In skillet, heat a couple of tablespoons of oil. Saute onion until tender, add peppers and cook until they peppers are tender. Remove from skillet and set aside. Add a few more tablespoons of oil to the skillet and let it get pretty hot. Add the potatoes and cook, stirring often, until the potatoes are browned. They should be cooked, tender in the middle, crisp on the outside. I cooked the potatoes in the microwave first, then diced them once they were cool enough to handle. This made them cook up faster, but raw potatoes are fine, too. Return onion mixture to skillet with the potatoes, season with salt and pepper to taste and add the fresh herbs, if you like. Stir together until heated through. Serves 4-6.

Pink and Purple Salad

Pink and Purple Potato Salad

Sometimes we just need a little extra color in our day. My pop of color came in the form of a potato salad.  Yes, a potato salad. I had picked up some purple potatoes at a local produce market. I’ve had them before.

Normally, the purple potatoes lose a little color once cooked. For whatever reason, these potatoes retained all of that purple color.  I cooked them in the microwave, and maybe that is why. Maybe they were just a brighter color to begin with. All I know, is that when I started cutting them up for my salad, I was amazed at how purple they were.

Since I had some red onions, I decided to use them with the potatoes for my salad. I ended up with a purple and pink salad. Pretty and quite tasty.

A salad made with less colorful veggies, would still taste as good, but it would not be nearly as much fun to eat.

Pink and Purple Salad

1 lb. purple potatoes

1 lb. red onions

1 c. apple cider vinegar

1/2 c. sugar

1/4 c. water

salt and pepper to taste

1 t. celery seed

1/4 c. oil

Bake potatoes until tender. I used the microwave and it took about 7 minutes, but you can bake in a conventional oven, too. While potatoes are baking, peel, then slice onions thin and place in a saucepan with the rest of the ingredients, except the oil. Bring to a boil, then simmer for about 5-8 minutes until onions are just tender. Some of the liquid will cook off. Peel and cube potatoes and place in a bowl. Drizzle with the oil. Add the onion mixture and stir gently. Adjust seasonings, if needed. Chill. Serves 4.


Root Vegetable Soup

Root Vegetable Soup

Root Vegetable Soup

When the air is chilly I am always in the mood for a nice hot bowl of homemade soup. This soup came about as I rummaged through the veggie bin. I had a number of root vegetables so decided to make them the focal point. I happened to have homemade beef stock, but you could easily swap it out for chicken stock or vegetable stock as well. There is a part of me that wants to call it root vegetables soup- but that sounds funny. So here it it- the recipe that was created based on what I happened to have on hand. The end result was really good.




Root Vegetable Soup

3 T. oil

1 onion, chopped

2 large carrots, peeled and sliced

2 small parsnips, peeled and sliced

6 c. stock, I used beef

2 c. peeled and diced turnips, about 2 medium

2 c. diced potatoes, about 2 medium

2 c. diced tomatoes, or a (14 oz.) can of diced tomatoes, un-drained

1 medium sweet potato, diced

1/4 c. chopped parsley

2 T. apple cider vinegar

1 T. hot sauce, or to taste

salt and pepper to taste

In soup pot heat the oil and cook the onion until light golden. Add the  carrots and parsnips and cook until they are light golden, too. Add the stock, turnips, potatoes and tomatoes and bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer, covered, until veggies are tender, about 20-30 minutes. Add sweet potatoes and remaining ingredients and cook until sweet potatoes are tender, about 10-15 minutes. Adjust seasonings and serve. Serves 6-8.

Zucchini Potato Pancakes

Zucchini Potato Pancakes

Zucchini Potato Pancakes

I really like putting potatoes and zucchini together in this dish. They work so well together to produce a  pancake that is crispy on the outside and tender inside. I’ve made this dish with just potatoes and with just zucchini- and I like them. For some reason the pairing up really works well, though. We made this dish is class last night and everyone liked it a lot. Rather than make a bunch of smaller pancakes we did them as a sort of large pancake. Worked out really nicely.


Zucchini Potato Pancakes

4 medium potatoes, I used red skinned
2 medium zucchini
2 eggs, lightly beaten
2 T. flour
¼ t. baking powder
1 t. salt or to taste
Pepper to taste
2 T. grated onion, I used dried chopped onion
½ c. oil

Peel *and grate potatoes. Place them in cold water and set aside. Trim zucchini and grate coarsely. Place in large bowl. Drain potatoes and squeeze dry. Place between towels to get out excess moisture and place in bowl with the zucchini. Add the rest of the ingredients, except the oil and stir to combine. Heat oil in a skillet. Drop rounded tablespoonfuls of the potato batter into the skillet. Cook several minutes per side or until golden and crispy. Drain on paper towels and serve. Serves 6-8.

* Peeling is really optional. I chose not to and I think they worked out fine. Personal choice.

Mustard Potato Salad

Mustard Potato Salad

Mustard Potato Salad

For a recent dinner with friends I was doing a potato salad. I love potato salad and always try to do something different. This time I went with an old stand by. It was the way I remember my Mom making it when I was a kid. I didn’t like mustard back then, but I sure liked it in her potato salad. The plan was for me to make a home made Bavarian mustard with beer in it- but alas time got the better of me so I used a nice whole grain mustard. Just a few ingredients but the flavors worked well together. Mom knew what she was doing. Here is the version I made.

Mustard Potato Salad

4 lbs. potatoes- I used Klondike Rose and I did not peel them

4 hard cooked eggs, peeled and chopped

1 sweet pepper, seeded and chopped

1 c. mayo- maybe a little less

1/4 c. prepared mustard

salt and pepper to taste

dash of hot sauce

Bake whole potatoes until tender and allow to cool. Cube potatoes into large bowl and combine with remaining ingredients. Chill until ready to serve. Serves 8.

Pesto Potato Salad

Pesto Potato Salad

Pesto Potato Salad

I never met a potato I didn’t like. This time of year it’s all about potato salads. I make them a lot and always look for new ways to change them. I love pesto sauce and the combination is quite nice.

 Pesto Potato Salad

2 lbs. Boiling potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces
1 c. basil leaves
3 T. pine nuts, walnuts or pecans
3 T. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/3 c. Parmesan cheese
Salt to taste

Cook potatoes until tender. Cool. In blender combine remaining ingredients, except 1 tablespoon of the nuts. Pour blended mixture over potatoes and sprinkle with the reserved nuts. Chill. Serves 6-8.

Just in Thyme Potato Salad

Just in Thyme Potato Salad

Just in Thyme Potato Salad

I find myself looking for more and different salads all the time. I love potato salad. Honestly, I love potatoes pretty much any way they are prepared. With my herb garden growing like crazy right now I thought this was the perfect dish to make. This salad can be served warm or cold and goes well with so many dishes. I find when I have leftovers I’ll even brown it in a skillet and serve it like hash browns with eggs for breakfast.

Just in Thyme Potato Salad

2 lbs. boiling potatoes, cut into bite sized pieces*
½ c. olive oil
¼ c. red wine vinegar
1 T. fresh lemon juice
2 t. fresh thyme leaves
Salt and pepper to taste

Cook potatoes until tender. Drain and toss with the rest of the ingredients and serve right away or chill to serve later. Serves 6-8.

* You can really use any potato you like. I often bake the potatoes whole and then peel and cut up. Cook them any way you prefer.

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