For the information of those of you not in Canada, 2017 marks Canada’s sesquicentennial – or its 150th anniversary of Confederation. We celebrate Canada Day on July 1 every year. Because this year is the 150th, it’s a big year in Canada and we Canadians like any excuse to party! In honour of this milestone year, I am going to use the month of July to feature a few of my favourite recipes that I think represent different aspects of Canadiana. Stay tuned each week in July for a new recipe honouring our 150 years of Confederation.
This is it. The last week of July and my fourth and final Canada 150 month post. In this post I’m writing a love-letter to my home province of Saskatchewan.
This is a recipe that used to be called Lazy-Man’s Perogies (you can probably find something similar to it in your mom’s old cookbooks), but because most people don’t make perogies from scratch anymore, this is now more work than cooking frozen perogies – and thus is hardly “lazy”. As such, I’m renaming this dish Perogy Casserole! A perogy, traditionally, is a floury dumpling stuffed with potatoes mixed with onions, sauerkraut, cheese, or bacon. These dumplings are typically boiled or fried and served with fried onions, sour cream, and bacon or sausage.
This kind-ified version of Perogy Casserole marries the cheesy goodness of my ricotta with comforting mashed potatoes layered between lasagna noodles, topped with a buttery mix of golden fried onions and vegan sausage rounds. Top this with a dollop of vegan sour cream with chives and you have yourself a meal!
So, why is this representative of Saskatchewan in Canada 150 month?
Well, in Saskatchewan (and the Prairies in general), in case you are not aware, there are a LOT of Ukrainian people. In 1891, due to political unrest, blight, and famine (among other reasons) in Ukraine, the first wave of Ukrainian immigrants came to Canada. Because many of these folks led agrarian lifestyles, it was a natural fit for them to come settle and contribute agriculturally on the Canadian prairies. Wave after wave of Ukrainians sought refuge in Canada off and on from 1891 onward. According to the Province of Saskatchewan’s data, more than 13% of Saskatchewaners can trace their roots back to Ukrainian ancestors! In fact, Canada is home to the third largest population of Ukrainian folks in the world, after Ukraine and Russia! Due to such a Ukrainian cultural influence on the Prairies, everyone knows a Baba (Ukrainian for Grandma) who makes THE BEST perogies, cabbage rolls, borscht, and sausage.
Homemade perogies are quite a production, however this Perogy Casserole captures much of the essence of homemade perogies. By using lasagna noodles as the “dough” and my homemade ricotta as the cottage cheese, and topping with fried onions and Tofurkey Polish Sausage, I’ve managed to incorporate all the buttery, savoury, carb-a-licious (new word?! woot) wonderment that is perogies. Although humble, this filling dish is an impressive casserole that makes enough food so you can serve it to company, at a potluck, or even as a side or main on a holiday table!
- 2 cups mashed potatoes (mashed with vegan butter, milk)
- ½-1 cup vegan cheese of choice (optional)
- 3 green onions, chopped and divided.
- 1.5 cup vegan ricotta (see link below), thinned as necessary with non dairy yogurt or milk
- 16 lasagna noodles
- 4 vegan sausages
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- Vegan butter/oil for frying & drizzling
- Preheat oven to 375'F
- Cook lasagna noodles per package directions. Rinse under cool water and drain, set aside.
- Make mashed potatoes (or use leftovers). If making, you will need about 6 medium potatoes. Mash in the way you normally would serve mashed potatoes (with butter, salt, pepper, and milk).
- Stir 2 chopped green onions and shredded vegan cheddar into the potatoes (optional, you can leave this cheese out if you don't like vegan cheese - we found the Daiya block of cheddar, shredded, worked well in this recipe).
- In a large pan saute the onion and the sausage in some good quality vegan butter and/or oil until the onion is golden.
- Thin your ricotta to an easily spreadable consistency, if needed. (if you over-thin it, just add ½-1 tsp ground flax to help thicken it back up)
- ~~To Assemble~~
- Butter bottom and sides of a 9x13 pan
- Arrange 4 lasagna noodles on the bottom of the pan.
- On top of these noodles spread 1 cup of the mashed potatoes evenly to cover the noodles.
- Layer 4 more noodles atop the potatoes
- On those noodles evenly spread the ricotta mixture.
- Layer 4 more noodles atop the ricotta
- Spread 1 cup of the mashed potatoes to evenly cover the noodles.
- Layer 4 more noodles atop the potatoes
- Evenly arrange the sausage and onion mixture on top of the top noodles.
- For added richness, drizzle 1-2 tsp melted vegan butter over the top.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes or until sausages are sizzling and the edges of the noodles are beginning to crisp.
- Serve with vegan sour cream, bacon bits, and chopped chives or green onions.
*Find the link to my ricotta recipe here*
If you make this recipe, please rate/comment below. Thanks! 🙂
Be sure to check out all my Canada 150 recipes:
|Canada 150 #1||Canada 150 #2||Canada 150 #3||Canada 150 #4|