A GUIDE TO OUR NEW MENU AND ITS HEALTH BENEFITS!

It was quite a busy summer for Pierogi Ladies, as we worked (almost) every week for two months in that merciless heat on new pierogi flavors and new dishes! Our efforts paid off and the result is 5 new additions to our menu at the moment! They are not only scrumptious but also contain a lot of benefits for human well being! Obviously, we are not going to claim here that pierogi are ultimately healthy food.HOWEVER!

#1 – The stuffing and ingredients will enhance your health.

#2 – The 2 new dishes we have ARE 100 % purely healthy, especially now, in the fall!

Here’s what you should know!

1) PIEROGI WITH BEETROOTS AND GOAT CHEESE

bURAKI

In „Jitterbug Perfume” – a novel by Tom Robbins – you will find a lot of statements about beetroots ( one of the main ‘characters’ in the book) and according to one of them ‘ Slavic peoples get their physical characteristics from potatoes,their smoldering inquietitude from radishes, their seriousness from beets.The beet is the most intense of vegetables” That’s probably why it is the healthiest one as well as it contains myriad health benefits, among them:

  • lowering blood pressure
  • improving oxygenation to the brain and the muscles, thus slowing the progression of dementia and improving athletic performance
  • lowering glucose levels

  • working to prevent constipation and promoting regularity for helathy digestive tract

  • helping with sleep ,movement, learning memory and reducing inflammation via choline

Goat cheese is not worthless either as it is higher in vitamins D,K and niacin than cow’s cheese.It also contains Vitamin B riboflavin as well as mineral phosphorus and vitamin A.It is low in fat, cholesterol,sodium and calories!

2) PIEROGI WITH SAUERKRAUT AND MUSHROOMS (PORCINI)

Kapusta

Sauerkraut has been popular throughout Central Europe for hundreds of years. It combines one of the healthiest foods there is (cabbage) with one of the most beneficial and time-honored food preparation methods ever used (fermentation).

Sauerkraut’s fermentation process produces beneficial probiotics that are linked to improvements in immune, cognitive, digestive and endocrine function.

Dried porcini will also benefit your health as they contain niacin, potassium, selenium and protein.

3) MALIBU PIEROGI WITH COCOA DOUGH

Czeko

Alright,you might get these pierogi on your ‘cheat days’ as they are really sweet.But! We replace some part of flour with cocoa and here is how cocoa works!

  • decreases blood pressure

  • improves blood vessel health

  • improves cholesterol level

  • prevents heart disease

  • contains antioxidants

4) BIGOS – HUNTER’S STEW

bigos

This one is a staple of every Polish wedding and best hangover food ever, as I have mentioned in previous posts.It is a mixture of fresh cabbage with sauerkraut,assorted kinds of chopped meat, dried mushrooms, onions, plums and a tiny bit of red wine.

Bigos is true to Paleo way of life,without modifying the recipe as it consists only from meat and veggies plus some fruit if you add plums.

Besides the benefits of sauerkraut I have already mentioned before, you should know that probiotic foods like sauerkraut include lowering the risk of:

  • brain disorders and mental illness
  • digestive disorders
  • mood disorders like depression and anxiety
  • cancer

  • asthma

  • hormonal imbalances

  • food allergies and sensitivities

  • metabolic conditions such as diabetes

  • obesity or weight gain

  • various autoimmune diseases

5) BEETROOT SOUP WITH TINY DUMPLINGS – BARSZCZ Z USZKAMI

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Beetroots have long been an important part of the diet of any Pole, as they combine ultimate health benefits I mentioned above with delicious taste in any form.The most popular one probably is ‘borscht’ – beetroot soup with tiny little dumplings stuffed with dried mushrooms.It is the first dish Polish people eat at Christmas eve dinner.

You simply can’t beat the beet soup to keep healthy and warm! In addition to all the advantages mentioned before, the most intense of veggies also contains anti-cancer properties ( betanin pigment from beetroot can reduce tumor growth in colon, stomach, nerve, breasts and testicular tissues).Beetroot power doesn’t stop there! Powerful betanin from beetroot helps liver get rid of toxins and the antioxidants in beets counteract the effects of free radical damage on tissues.

We can’t wait to have you all try our new dishes and give us your feedback!

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HOW DO POLISH PEOPLE BEAT THE HEAT WITH FOOD??

Guess what?! Summer in Poland is hot too! Obviously, nothing can compete with Shanghai’s humidity,but still. The temperatures often reach 35 degrees and trust me – the locals struggle to find cool breeze just as much as Shanghailanders! One of the ways of cooling down is of course turning to cold dishes.Check out these 3 that are most popular in a traditional Polish household during summertime!

1) CHŁODNIK – COLD POLISH BEET SOUP

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The thing I love about the king of vegetables – beetroot – is that it is delicious and healthy in any way you prepare it.Chłodnik with beetroots is Polish summertime staple dish super easy and quick to prepare.Main ingredients are young, tender beets, cucumbers, radishes, green onions, kefir, plain youghurt and sour cream.The only condiments needed are salt and pepper.

2) MIZERIA – CUCUMBER IN SOUR CREAM SALAD

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This one is my all time favorite and here are two alternative stories behind its name. The literal meaning of ‘mizeria‘ is ‘misery‘.The first version states that the dish was conceived by peasants, who were nicknamed ‘ the miserable ones‘ by the have – gots!

According to another story, it was a favorite one of queen Bona Sforza,an Italian princess who married Polish king Sigismund I in the 16th century.She was so homesick for her native Italy where cucumbers where common, that every time she ate it, it made her cry.Hence, the Polish word for ‘misery’ derived from Latin.

Mizeria is probably the easiest salad you could imagine.All you need is a cucumber, saltcsour cream and dill.Optionally, you can add vinegar and pepper. What I do, though, is just mixing cucumber with dill and Greek youghurt. Works great for fighting Shanghai heat!

3) KLUSKI Z TRUSKAWKAMI NA ZIMNO – COLD NOODLES WITH STRAWBERRIES

makaron z truskawkami na słodko

One of the main similarites between Polish and Chinese cuisines is the love for noodles,which would be eaten mainly on Fridays in a tradional Polish household. Since older Polish generations used to be very religious, they would always follow the strict rule of ‘no meat Fridays'( because Jesus died on that day).Therefore, we would only have pierogi, fish or noodles every Friday.During the strawberry season (which in Poland lasts from May till end of June) the regular dish is usually cold noodles with strawberries.Again, the recipe is super easy.Any type of noodles of your choice,fresh strawberries and Greel youghurt or sour cream with sugar.

How about you? Which food helps you bring the temperature down?!

TOP MOUTHWATERING SPECIALTIES FROM 10 POLISH REGIONS

I have already reiterated that in my previous posts, but will do once more. Poland is small but incredibly diverse.And so is Polish food.

Polish cuisine ( in Polish ‘cuisine’ stands for ‘kuchnia’) is divided into 10 culinary regions.Each of them has created peculiar and signature cooking style with the use of specific,regional ingredients.

Development of regional,Polish cuisines was influenced by various factors. The most significant ones were:  access to forest and farm products, owning livestock or poultry farm and close  proximity to rivers, lakes and sea.

Today each region prides itself in unique and mouthwatering dishes,whose taste is worth traveling hundreds of kilometres! Check out the list of notoriously delicious, Polish dishes from all over the country!

1) KUCHNIA MAŁOPOLSKA / GALICYJSKA

kurczak-po-krakowsku

Kurczak po krakowsku – Kraków chicken

I start with this one for a simply biased reason – my hometown, Krakow, is the heart of this region and I grew up eating the local dishes.

I have alread mentioned one specialty from Kraków – obwarzanek – in this post http://pierogiladies.com/5-foods-besides-pierogi-that-you-must-try-in-poland/ , but we have much more to offer!

Another dish that my region prides in is ‘Kurczak po krakowku ‘ that translates into ‘Kraków Chicken’.

It is generously seasoned chicken stuffed and baked with buckwheat oats!

2) KUCHNIA MAZOWIECKA I KURPIOWSKA

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Buraczki do pieczeni – beets for roast

This cuisine is native to Joanna as she comes from Warszawa, which is one of the main cities in this region. One of the food symbols of this part of Poland is something that my dear Jo specializes in, that is beetroot puree also called ‘buraczki do pieczeni’  (‘beets for roast’).

There are numerous recipes for this one, but the main ingredients are obviously beets and onion (but Joanna also adds an apple and I love it this way!) You need to boil and then you may also bake the beets and finally grate them.After mixing with chopped onion and garlic, ‘marinate’ them in vinegar mixed with bay leaf ,sugar, allspice and cloves.After several hours you will get delicous cold puree.

However, we just love the warm beets, stir fried with various spices.

3) KUCHNIA GÓRALSKA

kwasnica

Kapuśniak – white cabbage soup

This one is also close to my heart as I spent a huge part of my childhood in Polish mountains.

I have also mentioned one of the symbols of Polish mountains before – oscypek (smoked sheep cheese) and you can read more details in this post http://pierogiladies.com/5-foods-besides-pierogi-that-you-must-try-in-poland/

Another dish worth trying when in Polish mountains is ‘kapuśniak ‘. It’s a soup made of white cabbage, cooked with ribs, sauerkraut and a few other vegetables ( celery, carrot,onion and parsley). As most Polish soups, served with potatoes. Full of vitamin C and extremely filling. Just what you need after hours of skiing and snowboarding!

4) KUCHNIA MAZURSKA I WARMIŃSKA

gulasz-po-mazursku

Gulasz po mazursku – Mazury style goulash

This is one of my top favorite meat dishes – goulash. The lakeside part of Poland specializes in this scrumptious, healthy and filling stew,made mainly with beef, pickled cucumbers,potatoes,onions and white cabbage. Seasoned with salt, pepper, bay leaf and allspice (and now you probably already noticed favorite Polish condiments!)

5) KUCHNIA PODLASKA

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Pierogi pieczone po podlasku – Pierogi baked in Podlasie style

Although pierogi are widespread all over our small country, this type is specific to this region.

Unlike the ones you already know, these are made with yeast and sour cream,stuffed with meat and finally – baked.

6) KUCHNIA ŚLĄSKA

pyzy-slaskie

Pyzy śląskie – Silesian noodles

Pyzy śląskie aka kluski śląskie (Silesian noodles) are one of the main dishes that accompanies family gatherings all over Poland. They are also the origin of the word ‘pyza’ to describe a little, chubby girl!

They are quick and easy to make.All you need are 4 ingredients : potatoes, potato flour, salt and 1 egg!

7) KUCHNIA KRESOWA

olatki-ziemniaczane

Ołatki ziemniaczano – marchwiowe – Potato – carrot pancakes

In fact, one of the most signature dishes of the area are the most popular, so far, pierogi that we serve – the classic ‘pierogi ruskie’.

However, there is more! Another food pride of the region are ‘ołatki’ – potato – carrot pancakes. This is just another simple dish, that besides the two main ingredients, includes sour cream,flour, butter and egg.Seasoned with salt and pepper.Polish classic.

8) KUCHNIA WIELKOPOLSKA

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Kaczka po poznańsku – Poznań duck

Just like Peking has its famous duck, one Polish city – Poznań – also boasts to be pro at preparing this ubiquitous bird. Therefore its called Poznań duck.The main ingredients comprise red cabbage, lard,fatback, onion, red wine,marjoram and dried grapes.

9) KUCHNIA KASZUBSKA I POMORSKA

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Śledzie w jabłkach – herrings in apples

Undoubtedly the symbol of that region is fish. Plus, herring is specifically Polish fish, that according to our local saying – goes best with vodka!

If you are in the area, try the herring in apples,prepared with onions, sour cream,lemon juice and parsley.

10) KUCHNIA KUJAWSKA

zurek-kujawski

Żurek Kujawski

The soup I have been recently craving a lot and a dish you will see in many ‘traditional’ restaurants all over Poland.The main ingredients are potatoes, onions, white sausage, eggs and smoked fatback. However, the main point is to serve it in a round loaf of bread. Simple but fancy at the same time.

 Now – a question to you, Dear readers! Which one(s) would you like us to prepare here in Shanghai?!

We are looking forward to your feedback!