Pelmeni

This is a popular Russian food that is similar to Chinese dumplings and normally eaten with sour cream. It is normally not made vegan but can easily be done.

Ingredients

Dough

2 1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup hot water

Filling

3/4 cup chopped onion

1/3 cup chopped carrot

2 minced garlic cloves

1 cup crumbled frozen tofu or use seitan if you prefer.

pinch of nutmeg and black pepper (optional)

For the water

vegetable broth

Method

*I prepared the filling and set aside before beginning the the dough. This can make a lot of Pelmeni so you can make a lot of them and freeze them or cut the recipe in half. There are other variations since this is traditionally made with beef or pork and sometimes mushrooms.

**After chopping up the onion and carrot and mincing the garlic, I put the frozen tofu in just-boiled water for a few minutes then drained it because I want it to be soft tasting. If you prefer, you can cook it in a skillet with some oil if you want it to have a crunchier taste. Next, put the onion, carrot, and tofu in a food processor and blend it for about a minute or until it is very small. You may have to stop it after a minute and push some big pieces down. This is a good time to add the garlic and blend well again for about a minute.

***Start boiling 3 quarts of water and add one cup of veggie broth to it. While the water is beginning to boil, start rolling out the dough and try to make it thin. Traditionally this dough is made with eggs but in this recipe I did not use any. The dough will be tough to roll so it may be best to let the dough sit for a few hours before kneading it which I did not do this time and my dough was thicker and harder to roll out but still worked.

****Use a small glass to cut out circles and then put a tsp of the filling on one side of the circle. Fold it in half and seal it and then pull the ends together and seal it again. It will look like tortellini or a Chinese dumpling.

*****Boil them until they start rising to the top, it doesn’t take longer than 5 minutes for them to start floating up. Enjoy hot with tomato sauce, vegan sour cream, or by themselves. 🙂

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Russian Salad

This is an easy dish to veganize, especially since vegan mayo is easy to find nowadays in regular grocery stores.

Ingredients

3 medium potatoes, chopped and cooked

3 oz of carrots, diced and cooked

3/4 cup of peas

1/3 cup of corn

2/3 cup plus 1 tbsp of vegan mayo

A pinch or two of Spanish smoked paprika

Salt and pepper (to taste)

about 7-8 slices of black olives (optional)

Russian salad is a common tapas food I would see in Seville, Spain and it is really common all over Europe. It is creamy and always served cold. There are several variations to this that are not vegan. In Spain, they put tuna in it and non vegan mayo. In Italy, I have heard they put ham in it. Some other variations I have seen add pickles, cucumber, and parsley which may be good but I have not tried that yet. If you don’t like mayo then use vegan plain yogurt instead.

For my variation to this super popular food I peeled and chopped my potatoes and boiled them first and then I prepared the rest of the ingredients as they cooked. I used frozen peas and corn and pre-sliced carrots. I used the Just Mayo Hampton Creek brand of mayo which is my favorite but there are other good brands out there depending on where you live.

Be sure to let the potatoes cool before you add the mayo. It helps the potatoes to cool faster if you start stirring in the veggies after about 5-10 minutes after you took them out of the pot. After the veggies are stirred in gently and the potatoes are cooled off enough, add the mayo and gently fold it in. Then add the seasonings. Chill your Russian salad for at least four hours before enjoying 🙂 (this recipe makes about 3-4 servings).

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