Today would have been my Grandmother’s 83rd birthday. She passed away in February (see my Polish Barley Soup post) and I miss her everyday. I am sad that my baby will never get to know what beautiful and loving person his Great Grandma was, but I am happy her bloodline gets to live on through him. I promise to make him (healthier versions of) Pierogi and kapusta while telling him the stories about her life on the farm in upstate New York and how our family came over from Poland. That is the best way I can honor her memory. I will make sure he is proud little Polish boy, just like she taught me be a proud little Polish girl.
I decided to make a healthier version of a traditional Polish dish, Haluski. It is a simple pan-fried noodle and cabbage dish common in most Slavic countries. I do remember my grandma making this for me once, but she never mentioned it was Polish. The dish varies a bit between the Slavic countries, but most call for a lot of butter and a giant glob of sour cream. Not vegan or healthy. So I cut out the sour cream, and used far less vegan butter. Also, I used a cabbage/kale mix and added some carrots for extra nutrition. To be very traditional, you should make your own noodles, called Kulski. I have tried a few times to make them, but have yet to master a vegan version yet, so look out for that recipe at a later date. If you aren’t making your own noodles, normally you use egg noodles, which are not vegan. So I used normal pasta (well actually broken up lasagna noodles because that is what I had on hand).
3 cups dry noodles or pasta (used a smaller, ribbon pasta)
2 tbs vegan butter (I used Earth Balance)
1 medium onion, chopped
4 cups cabbage/kale mix (I used Costco’s Sweet Kale Mix)
1/2 large carrots, shredded or peeled into ribbons with a peeler
1 teaspoon caraway seeds
Salt and pepper, to taste
Cook the noodles according the directions. Drain and set aside
In a large skillet over medium heat, melt the butter.
Add the chopped onions and cook until translucent.
Add the cabbage/kale mix and the carrots ribbons. Cook until slightly softened.
Reduce the heat to low.
Add the cooked noodles and caraway seeds.
Stir everything together well. Cook until it is all heated through.
Season with salt and pepper to taste.
You can enjoy this a light main dish, or pair it with some Tofurky Kielbasa to make it complete Polish meal.
I couldn’t help but smile as I ate this, makes me happy to honor my grandma.