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Polish vegetarian dishes

Discussion in 'Off The Beaten Track' started by elka_sk8, Apr 18, 2011.

  1. elka_sk8

    elka_sk8 Well-Known Member

    Help! I am attending an Easter dinner with a full Polish menu. Knowing the cooks and, to a lesser degree, Polish cuisine, I suspect it will be rather meat-heavy. I'm pretty sure I will be the only vegetarian in attendance and want to bring a non-meat dish to pass while sticking to the theme. Any ideas?? They will already have some sort of pirogi (that seems rather difficult anyway).
    Thanks in advance!
  2. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

  3. allezfred

    allezfred Master/Mistress of Sneer Staff Member

    Paging Southpaw!
  4. Aceon6

    Aceon6 Hit ball, find ball, hit it again.

    Stuffed cabbage (golumki)! Substitute tofu crumbles for the meat or make them with a mix of white and wild rice. It's yummy.
    Good recipe here. I prefer them with a plain tomato based sauce (no sour cream) and usually just do a quick sauce with crushed tomato, olive oil, and paprika.

    They travel really well if you do them in a covered baking dish. Don't sauce them until you reheat them, otherwise the cabbage will get too soggy.
  5. WindSpirit

    WindSpirit OmnipresentAdmeanistrator

    Yes. If you don't bring anything vegetarian, you might not have anything (or much) to eat. Do the hosts know you're a vegetarian? How do they feel about vegetarianism in general? (read on)

    I don't think there are any specific Polish vegetarian dishes. You could make red borscht. White borscht might be harder to make without meat, but not impossible. Make sure your hosts are not making either (or both) of those. You could bake babka.

    Be careful with pierogi, even if they're the most common kind (potato and cheese), they might have greaves (skwarki) on them. Others might be cabbage and meat filling. You could make pierogi with cabbage and mushrooms, but 1. making any pierogi is in general very time consuming, especially the cabbage + anything; 2. most people would prefer the cabbage + meat/potato & cheese kind anyway.

    Other than that good luck. I once visited my friend from college at Easter. They were Orthodox so I thought I had nothing to worry about but as it turned out her aunt was Catholic. I was dragged to the Easter dinner and it was...bad. I don't remember what I ate, but I think they had fish so that saved me but my refusal to eat any other kind of meat became the topic of conversation. Her aunt was visibly upset because to her it looked like nothing was good enough for me. She was a very nice lady, but the situation was still somewhat tense. I was her guest and she wanted to please me. I didn't want to hurt her feelings but I am not going to eat meat for anyone.

    When I stopped apologizing and people stopped badgering me to eat meat and the moods lightened up, they started pouring vodka. I thought: I'M FCUKED. :lol: I don't drink vodka (especially half a glass of vodka). I was ready to skin my friend, she found the whole thing hilarious.

    Many people in Poland (especially the older generation) still don't understand vegetarianism. They might be offended, think you're joking, "No, seriously, just try it!"

    I use mushrooms instead of meat (mixed with rice), and I serve them with mushroom sauce (different mushrooms).

    As for golumki/golumpki/golomki. Sometimes a name is so removed from the original I have to read the English description to know what it is.
  6. BittyBug

    BittyBug Living in a Kleptocracy

    That reminds me of the scene from Everything is Illuminated. :rofl:

    "I'm a vegetarian."
    "What's wrong with you?"
  7. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    I'd just make golubki with rice stuffing instead of meat and rice. You should be able to find a Lenten recipe that's meat-free. Or do your own pierogi so you can be sure they don't have anything in them (they're kind of a PITA to make, but you can use potato, cheese, sauerkraut, mushrooms...)

    (Being Polish and Ukrainian I have to admit, I have the same gut reaction as the lady in "My Big Fat Greek Wedding"---"You no eat MEAT?" *beat* "Is all right. I make lamb.")
  8. Southpaw

    Southpaw Saint Smugpawski

  9. Jenny

    Jenny From the Bloc

    My background includes Polish, Russian and Ukrainian so it's hard to tell what dishes were more Polish, but I do agree with those who suggest cabbage rolls stuffed with rice and doused in tomato sauce. Another thought is pickles - we always had pickled beets and pickled herring, and if you can't buy them, there are plenty of quick and easy recipes on the internet. If you are not storing for a long time there's no worry of sterilized jars and all that.

    We always had a little veggie tray too - radishes, celery, carrots etc - so you could bring an appetizer platter and fill up on that. And salad - traditionally with a sour cream-based dressing, but if don't want to include dairy it's easy enough to do a vinagrette. Be sure to include fresh dill!
  10. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    I doubt it's Polish ( what do I know) but I have a recipe for a delicious creamy baked cabbage. You can leave out the bacon.
  11. Vagabond

    Vagabond Well-Known Member

  12. barbk

    barbk Well-Known Member

    There was (and perhaps still is) a Polish restaurant in Santa Monica that had a heavenly spring vegetable soup -- milky, but not thick, and chock full of lovely vegetables. It was a great soup. I think it had celery root, and also fresh peas. Just yummy. Not sure what the "real" name of it is.

    Are potato pancakes a possibility?
  13. Artemis@BC

    Artemis@BC Well-Known Member

  14. elka_sk8

    elka_sk8 Well-Known Member


    My aunt and uncle are the hosts and they do know- they no doubt think I'm crazy but are lovely and try to be accomodating and keep inviting me back for holidays. :lol: I've only been for Thanksgiving, which is easier. My experience at the dinner table was quite like yours though- my aunt's family (the Polish side) grilled me the whole time which was very awkward. I thought when I went back the next year it was all done with but the questions started up all over again! Apparently it's an entertaining source of conversation. It's been a couple of years now since I've joined them for a holiday so we'll see how it goes. :p

    I've been assured there are many starches I can eat (it's actually gnocchi, not perogies, that they're making). They're the type that like to do everything themselves and usually refuse to let me bring anything other than wine, but I'm trying to change that this time. Thanks for the suggestions- the cabbage rolls sound like a great idea and fairly easily to transport.

    Anyway, thanks again and wish me luck!
  15. skatingfan5

    skatingfan5 Past Prancer's Corridor

    That spring soup sounds delicious! My grandmother used to make schav, a tart sorrel soup, served cold. But it's not vegetarian, since it uses eggs (some recipes call for chicken stock). I've always used eggs when making potato pancakes, but perhaps there's a vegetarian version?
  16. BittyBug

    BittyBug Living in a Kleptocracy

    Old Belarussian recipe for latkes: grated potatoes, salt.

    Seriously - potatoes are starchy, and that starch serves as a natural binding agent, so flour and eggs are not needed. I started making mine this way once I learned the :sekret: recipe, and they're delicious. I do modify them slightly by incorporating a bit of finely minced shallot or onion into the potatoes.

    You pile the grated potatoes in a little mound in the pan and then press them down so they're kind of smushing together, and voila - a latke is born.
  17. jollibee

    jollibee Member

    I'm curious in that recipe... Share it please. :cheer:
  18. Marlowe

    Marlowe Well-Known Member

  19. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    I'm not at home right now but will post it tonight. Simple to make and delicious.

  20. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    Here you go.


    Small head of cabbage (about 4 cups)
    Cooked bacon (about half a cup broken up)
    Salt (half of a teaspoon or to taste)
    Paprika (quarter of a teaspoon)
    Pepper (eighth of a teaspoon or to taste)
    1 cup of milk
    1 cup of soft bread crumbs (I use small cubes of day old bread)

    Rough chop the cabbage and boil for about 7 minutes. Use the bacon grease to make a thick roux with the dry ingredients and milk. Drain the cabbage and mix in bacon then put in small baking dish (I use a small souffle dish). Pour the roux over the cabbage, a bit more bacon and the bread cubes on top and bake at 400F for 15 minutes. I drizzle a little butter on the top of the bread.
  21. BittyBug

    BittyBug Living in a Kleptocracy

    Your recipe looks delicious, but perhaps somewhat unorthodox in its preparation and directions. A roux is a mixture of flour cooked in fat that is used to thicken liquids; there is no milk in a roux. Moreover, one would generally not add milk until the flour has been cooked in the fat. (The traditional / classic procedure should be to cook the flour in the bacon grease (or butter) and then slowly add the milk while whisking.) Once you have added the milk, it is no longer a "roux" but rather a bechamel. Pepper, paprika and salt can be added either with the flour or after all the milk has been incorporated.
    milanessa and (deleted member) like this.
  22. milanessa

    milanessa engaged to dupa

    You're right. I should have said make a sauce from the roux. :)
  23. reese

    reese Well-Known Member

  24. jollibee

    jollibee Member

    Thanks so much!! :) I'm definitely making it. It's quick, easy & really does sound delicious so it's just perfect! Thank you! :)
  25. Civic

    Civic New Member

    My Russian Tea Room cookbook has several recipes for delicious salads. One is a yummy and filling potato salad with diced beets and carrots. Does Polish cuisine have similar dishes?
  26. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    There's loads of Polish dishes that are vegetarian!

    - pierogi (potato&soft cheese and sauerkraut&mushrooms)
    - kopytka (it's small pieces of cooked pastry) with a mushroom sauce
    - leniwe pierogi (again, small pieces of cooked pastry - those are with soft cheese and sweeter than kopytka)
    - potato cakes
    - pancakes with soft cheese and raisins
    - burgers made from breaded crushed eggs and spring onions

    And that's just off the top of my head, there's surely loads more.
  27. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    I know them as golubtzi. Not even sure if it's Polish or Ukrainian or what but they are delicious.
    Do you mean draniki--I think that's the Russian name. They are to die for with sour cream, sort of like latkes.
  28. Ziggy

    Ziggy Well-Known Member

    Gołąbki in Polish.

    They are made with minced meat and rice but you could make a vegetarian version, replacing the meat with mushrooms or some veg.

    Same goes for Bigos.

    Nope, I mean this:
  29. IceAlisa

    IceAlisa discriminating and persnickety ballet aficionado

    Now I am sad all over again that my favorite Polish restaurant in town closed. :wuzrobbed
  30. danceronice

    danceronice Corgi Wrangler

    You can just make golubki with rice filling-it's the Lenten way. Or my weirdo vegetarian Ukrainian great-grandmother's all the time way. (Just don't do the fish-base borscht like she did. Mom was off borscht for years because of that one.)