My goal for next month is to arm myself with a month’s worth of dinner ideas that I’m affectionately referring to as my “September Supper Plan.” This isn’t a formal weekly meal plan as I’ve been known to make in the past, but rather a list of 30 dinners that I can easily make over the course of the month. Rob is away for a few weekends and I’m flying solo with our boys amid some heavy work deadlines and, well, if you’ve had school-aged children, you know it’s a month filled with overlapping summer and fall sports, plenty of paperwork, new routines, and general re-adjustment for all.
I have no shame in admitting that this is the month I also turn to some store-bought favourites to help me out as needed. I’ve already stocked my freezer with Bolognese and cookie dough balls, but having just come back from vacation, I accept that our meals will not be strictly homemade in the coming week(s), and I’m perfectly fine with this.
There’s a season for everything, and this month isn’t going to be one where I can log long hours in the kitchen. I need quick-cooking, filling dinners that might also pack well for lunch the next day. Perogies are a popular choice for all when I turn store-bought items to help me get food on the table. They fill the bellies, are ridiculously economical, and lately I’ve been grabbing some bags while out on my shopping trips and stuffing them into the freezer for when needed. My most recent batch came from Walmart, and the kids happily devoured them. I bought their Great Value brand and was pleased with the value for my dollar.
Here’s the thing: If I’m not making perogies from scratch – which I have done – all of the frozen ones taste the same, as far as I’m concerned. The trick to making them taste a little more homemade is to jazz them up with a few favourite toppings, and then serve them alongside a hefty portion of veggies. They are perfect for meatless Mondays, or anytime you feel like eating vegetarian, but also taste pretty great when cooked with a little bacon or sausage. The leftovers always pack up well for my teenagers’ lunchbox, and quite frankly I feel they’re a much better alternative to French fries, a popular menu item in the high school cafeteria.
To cook the perogies, I boil them as per the package directions. Once cooked, I warm some olive oil and butter (approx. 1 tbsp. of each) in a large skillet and sauté the dumplings until both sides are golden and crispy. Here are 11 ways I like to serve my store-bought perogies, along with some suggestions for sides that pair well with them:
- Top with caramelized onion and fresh thyme.
- Top with caramelized onion and cooked, crumbled sausages.
- Top with leftover chilli, sour cream and green onions.
- Add a little extra olive oil to the pan and sauté some shredded kale and garlic with the perogies. Finish with lemon zest and fresh herbs.
- Toss cooked perogies with fresh onions, mushrooms, and bacon.
- Top with Bolognese and Parmesan cheese.
- Add cooked perogies to homemade pizza with pepperoni and mozzarella.
- Serve like nachos by topping with seasoned ground beef, sour cream, cheese, salsa, and olives.
- Serve with sautéed cabbage and apple and a side of sour cream.
- Top with a fried egg, sautéed peppers and green onions.
- Make a cobb-inspired perogie dish by serving with cherry tomatoes, chunked avocado, hard-boiled egg, crumbled bacon, and blue cheese dip.
Also, for those who are interested, here are 7 of our favourite side dishes that we like to serve alongside our perogies:
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts with Grainy Mustard Sauce
- Shredded Rainbow Salad
- Green Bean Fries
- Broccoli Slaw
- Roasted Carrots with Spiced Aioli
- Roasted Cauliflower with Toasted Lemony Breadcrumbs
- Kale Super Salad
Now it’s your turn to confess: what’s your favourite store-bought item to help you get dinner on the table in a hurry?
This post is sponsored by Walmart Canada, as part of its Back-to-School program. In exchange for this review, I have received special perks in the form of products and/or compensation. All opinions on this blog are my own.