When Anya (golubkakitchen.com) sent me a message that she would like to send me a copy of her new published cookbook “Simply Vibrant” I was very exited because I loved her blog for a many years since I only started my food journey. Anya makes beautiful and in the same time simple food which is mostly vegan and plant based. I love her clever ideas about the cooking process and ingredients combinations! Although I am not a vegan I like cooking vegan friendly food and finding unusual substitutions for basic ingredients. So there are a lot of reasons why I have put “Simply Vibrant” cookbook on my kitchen bookshelf.
It was hard to select what to cook first and I’ve choosen this white bean and sweet potato dumpling after a while of thinking. Dumplings (or I can call them “vareniki”) are food from my childhood and my mum made these for us very often! Her favourite fillings were mashed potatoes with caramelised onions and sautéed white cabbage. I was curious about the sweet potato filling and it didn’t backfire. I also would like to say that adding lime juice to the filling made it very fresh and neutralised sweetness of sweet potatoes a bit. I loved it!
(makes about 50) For the dough: 1 1/2 cup whole or sprouted spelt flour, plus more for rolling (*I used wholemeal flour as I was run out of spelt flour) 1/2 tsp sea salt 2 tbsp melted coconut oil/olive oil 1/2 cup plus 1 tbsp boiling water For the filling: 1/2 cup dried cannelini beans soaked in purified water overnight 2 bay leaves 2-3 garlic cloves, crushed 2 tbsp coconut oil 1 large red onion, chopped sea salt 1/2 tsp chipotle powder 2 cups baby spinach leaves juice of 1 lime 1 small sweet potato, baked and peeled black pepper
To make the dough:
Combine flour and salt in a big mixing bowl. Add the oil and work with your hands until the oil is incorporated well and the mixture resembles sand. Slowly add the water , stirring constantly until just combined. Knead the soft elastic dough, return it in the bowl and cover with a damp kitchen towel until you’re preparing the filling.
1.Drain and rinse the beans. Place the beans in a medium pot and cover them with plenty of water. Add the bay leaves, and crushed garlic cloves, if using. Bring the mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to a strong simmer and cook for about 30 minutes, or until the beans are soft but not mushy. Drain the beans in a colander set over a large heatproof bowl; reserve the cooking liquid. Discard the bay leaves.
2. Warm the coconut oil in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Add the onion and, sauté for 8 to 10 minutes or until in begins to brown. Reduce the heat to medium low, add a pinch or two of salt, and sauté for another 10 to 12 minutes, until the onion is caramelised Add the minced garlic and chipotle powder in the last 3 minutes of cooking. Increase the heat back to medium and add the spinach and lime juice. Stir until the spinach is wilted and the lime juice is absorber, 1 to 2 minutes.
3. Ina food processor, combine the beans, sweet potato, sautéed vegetables, and salt and black pepper to taste. Process until the mixture is smooth and well combined.
To make the dumplings
1. Dust your work surface with flour. Divide the dough into 4 equal pieces. Working with one piece at the time, roll the dough between your hands into and evenly sized rope, about 1/2 inch in diameter. Keep the other pieces of dough covered.
2. Cut the rope into small pieces, each about 1/2 inch wide; You should end up with 12 to 13 pieces per rope. Roll each piece in flour and press it into a round disk with the palm of your hand. Using a rolling pin, roll each disc into a dumpling skin about 1/8 inch thick.
3. Place 1 heaping teaspoon of the filling into the centre of each dumpling skin. Fold and ping the edges together to enclose the filling, making sure to secure the seal. The traditional Russian pinched seal (pictured) is optional. If you are not pinching out your seals, make sure that your dough sticks together well so your dumplings do not fall apart while they cook. Keep all the small pieces of dough covered with a towel while you assemble each batch of dumplings. Lay the finished dumplings on a well floured cutting board or a parchment paper-lined baking sheet. Repeat this process with the rest of the dough and filling. Cook the dumplings straight away or place the cutting board or baking sheet into the refrigerator and cook them within a day. Or, freeze the dumplings on a tray and transfer them into freezer bags once hardened. They will keep in a freezer for up to 1 month.
4. To cook the dumplings, bring a large pot of well-salted water to a biol. Add all the dumplings and stir gently to prevent them from sticking to the bottom of the pot. Boil them for 3 to 4 minutes until the dumplings float to the surface.
5. Using a slotted spoon, transfer the dumplings to a bowl or platter and toss them gently with oil to prevent them from sticking together. Serve the dumplings hot with pesto, chimichurri, plain Greek yoghurt, or traditional way – with sour cream.