March is celebrated as National Nutrition Month® which is an annual campaign created by the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics. During the month of March, everyone is invited to learn about making informed food choices and developing healthful eating and physical activity habits.
This year’s theme for National Nutrition Month® is Celebrate a World of Flavors. To celebrate, I joined the Culinary Nutrition Collaborative to learn about cuisines from different parts of the world from so many great fellow dietitians. In one of my sessions, I learned about Russian and Ukrainian cuisine from the very talented dietitian Inga Voloshin.
I would be remiss not to mention what is happening in Ukraine right now. My heart goes out to the people of Ukraine who are suffering so much from the destruction caused by the Russian invasion, and also to the people of Russia who are against this war and want peace. The dish I learned is only a very small sampling of the incredible Russian and Ukrainian cultures, but I hope this dish brings you as much joy and knowledge about Russian and Ukrainian cuisines as it did for me.
Pelmeni is Russian dumplings that usually have meat as filling, and Vareniki is a Ukrainian dumpling that can have many other fillings like vegetables and fruits. I made mine with mushrooms and green peas, instead of the more traditional meat filling. They turned out delicious.
Here is how you can make these super healthy (vegetarian!) pelmeni/vareniki dumplings.
*You can also print this recipe card directly here with nutrition and therapeutic health benefits.
You can also access and save this recipe card on your NutriPledge profile page byregistering or signing in here!
- In a large bowl, combine flour and 1/2 tsp salt. Make a well in the center and add oil and slowly begin
adding boiling water, using a wooden spoon to stir together. Once dough comes together and is cool
enough to handle, transfer to a floured surface and knead 2-3 minutes, until smooth. Cover with plastic
wrap and let rest at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Make the filling: Saute shallots in 2 teaspoon oil. Add mushrooms and peas. Add salt and pepper and saute uncovred untill all teh water evaporates. Turn off teh heat and set aside.
- Divide dough into 2 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, roll out to 1/4-inch thickness. Cut out
circles using cookie cutter or drinking glass. Place 1 teaspoon of chicken filling in center of each circle.
Fold dough over filling to create a half-moon shape, pinch the edges together to seal, then pinch the
pointed edges together to create an ear shape.
- Bring a large pot of water to boil. Cook Pelmeni, about 7-8 minutes, until they float. Serve with a splash of white vinegar and/or dollop of sour cream or Greek yogurt.
NUTRIPLEDGE FOOD HEALTH RATING AND THERAPEUTIC HEALTH BENEFITS:
These dumplings are rated as a yellow dot, healthy balanced food in our food rating system due to the following healthy qualities that are known to promote positive health and wellbeing if consumed as a part of a healthy diet.
- Moderate in calories per serving (310 cal)
- A Healthy balance of carbohydrates, fat, protein, and dietary fiber
- Healthy balance of sodium
- Great source of calcium, iron, and potassium
- Great source of selenium, mangnesium and mangnese
- No food additives, artificial flavor or color
- No added sugars
Each serving (~ 4-5 pieces) of dumpling provides about 10 grams of plant-based protein and 1 cup equivalent of vegetables. It is also a good source of B vitamins to provide steady energy to the body. It provides many other minerals like Iron (20% DV), Selenium (42% DV), Folate (55%), Manganese (30% DV), and Calcium (15% DV). Iron and Folate are needed for red blood cell formation. Manganese and selenium are good antioxidants and keep our bodies from many diseases. Manganese along with fiber will also help with healthy blood sugar regulation.
DIETITIAN NUTRITIONIST NOTE AND RECOMMENDATIONS:
These super healthy dumplings can be a part of your balanced healthy diet. Mushrooms have been eaten as traditional medicine for thousands of years for their nutrient-rich phytochemical health benefits. They also have been subject to anticancer research and shown anti-cancer properties. Mushrooms are also one of the rare foods that provide sunshine vitamin D.
Disclaimer: Please note that this page is not medical advice. This can only be used as general guidance to a healthy and balanced diet for your health and wellness. This food does not ensure an adequate or inadequate and safe intake level for a single person. Please consult your health care provider and check out our Medical Nutrition Therapy services for the diet plan that is right for you!