Savory potstickers, chock full of shiitake, water chestnuts, carrot, bok choy, ginger and more, make the perfect appetizer (or entree!) with a delicious soy and rice wine vinegar dipping sauce. Cheryl from 40 Aprons shows how to make these beauties at home!

Vegetarian Shiitake Gyoza - full of flavor and perfectly crispy

Within the last year, I met a blogger from my hometown. Cheryl and I bonded immediately, e-mailing back and forth about our Memphis experiences and the various ways our lives have intertwined but we never met until we were both blogging. She is sharing a recipe that I’d love to inhale right about now and has some thrilling news to share, too. Take it away, Cheryl!

Well, hello there! I’m Cheryl from 40 Aprons, and I’m making a guest appearance here at The Speckled Palate while Erin attends to all things supermama. Erin and I started following one another’s blogs a while back and became friends when we realized we were both from the same hometown – small world, right? So when she asked me to provide a guest post during her maternity leave for her lovely readers, I jumped at the chance.

Especially since I’ll expect her to do the same in, oh, six months when I take my own maternity leave! Yup, I’m pretty newly preggers, so my recipe for you guys means even more now! But you’re not here to listen to me babble about pregnancy, are you? Because I could go on for days about the symptoms…. but no, you’re here for the food — of course you are!

Vegetarian Shiitake Gyoza - full of flavor and perfectly crispy

When O — that’s my husband and my, oh yeah, baby daddy — and I go out for Asian food, he’s drawn to the gyoza like a moth to the light. That man simply cannot not order a batch, no matter where we are, and no matter how badly I’m craving the mound of kimchi (this sort of thing happens a lot lately, people).. Nope, it’s crispy fried potstickers with tender, savory filling all the way in this household.

Growing up, my mom would always buy one of those massive 45-pound bags of potstickers at Costco, which we would fry up almost nightly as teenagers and dunk ferociously in the salty dipping sauce, gorging on plates of 10, 12… 19 at a time. Why? Because we could! Don’t you remember those days? I think I just gained another pound merely typing the words..

Vegetarian Shiitake Gyoza - full of flavor and perfectly crispy

Fusing O’s propensity towards filled-and-fried and my all-American memory of youth, I decided to whip up a batch of homemade vegetarian gyoza, which we could freeze and nibble on anytime! I packed them totally full of flavor — heady sesame and grounding ginger, oh man — and the shiitake blend inside keeps them so tender you’d never miss the meat.

O is all about it.

Vegetarian Shiitake Gyoza - full of flavor and perfectly crispy

You’ll love these because they’re perfect for entertaining, just as well as they’re perfect for a night in alone when your hubby heads off to the basketball game, and you act just a bit sad, but as soon as the door shuts, you rub your hands together like an evil queen and prance about the house in your manliest robe and most comfortable (and, necessarily, dorkiest) hair-do, gorging on gyoza and crying over episodes of The Mindy Project.

Like… just as an example, of course.

In addition to your weird habits, they’re also excellent for mothers-to-be — so easy to freeze and throw in the fridge, then pop out and fry up quickly for a take-out upgrade or simple dinner alongside some miso soup and seaweed salad. Yay for quick and easy!

Make these – you’ll love them!

Vegetarian Shiitake Gyoza
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Savory potstickers, chock full of shiitake, water chestnuts, carrot, bok choy, ginger and more, make the perfect appetizer (or entree!) with a delicious soy and rice wine vinegar dipping sauce.
Recipe type: Appetizer / Entree
Serves: 30 potstickers
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sesame oil, divided (2 teaspoons + 2 teaspoons)
  • 1½ teaspoon minced ginger
  • 2 large cloves garlic, minced
  • 6.5 ounces (about 3 cups) fresh shiitake caps, chopped
  • 1 8-ounce can water chestnuts, chopped
  • 1 carrot, shredded
  • 1½ cups bok choy, chopped
  • 1-2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 teaspoon miso paste
  • pinch of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon organic soy sauce
  • 1 package wonton wrappers (found in the refrigerated section of the grocery store, or in any Asian market), thawed if frozen
  • refined coconut oil or other neutral heat-friendly oil, for frying
  • a couple teaspoons sesame oil, for frying
Dipping Sauce
  • 6 tablespoons soy sauce
  • 3 tablespoons rice wine vinegar
  • 1 green onion, sliced
  • Sriracha or sambal olek, optional
  • sesame oil, optional
  1. Heat 2 teaspoons sesame oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and cook for about 30 seconds, or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add chopped shiitake, water chestnuts, and carrot. Cook for four minutes, stirring frequently.
  2. Add bok choy, green onion and miso paste and cook for 90 seconds, stirring frequently. Remove skillet from heat and scrape content into a large heat-proof bowl. Stir in pinch of sugar, rice wine vinegar, soy sauce, and remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Taste mixture and season to taste, adding more soy sauce, sesame oil, sugar, or rice wine vinegar if desired.
  3. Set up your gyoza-filling area: open wonton wrappers and then cover with a damp tea towel to prevent drying out. Fill a small bowl with water and set near the wonton wrappers. Working with about 2-3 at a time, lay wonton wrappers flat on your work surface, spoon a small amount of wonton filling into the center--about 2 teaspoons or so, maybe a little less. Then, dip your index fingers in the bowl of water and wet the edges of the wonton wrapper. Meet edges of wrapper around filling together and pleat one side, then press edges together so filling is contained. Make sure you don't let any air into the gyoza! If you need a bit of guidance here, check out this great tutorial for filling and sealing gyoza. Repeat until all filling has been used.
  4. When all gyoza are formed, heat a large skillet with a tight-fitting lid over medium heat. Add about 2 teaspoons coconut oil or other neutral heat-friendly oil and heat thoroughly. Carefully add as many gyoza as can fit the bottom surface of the skillet, pleated side up. Cook for about 3 minutes or until golden brown on the bottom. Next, carefully pour in ¼ cup water, using the lid to shield yourself from the splatter. When the steaming and splattering has died down, drizzle in ½ teaspoon sesame oil around the edge of the skillet. Cover with the lid and then quickly lower heat to keep the liquid at a bare simmer.
  5. Check gyoza after a couple minutes - if the wrappers look nearly translucent, then remove the lid and raise heat slightly. Continue cooking until all the water has evaporated and only the oil is left - about 2 minutes. Gyoza should slide about freely if they're browned enough, but if not, simply remove the skillet from the heat, cover, and let sit for a moment, then remove gyoza with a spatula. Cook remaining gyoza in the same method.
  6. To make sauce, combine soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, and green onion. Add Sriracha and/or sesame oil to taste. Serve gyoza immediately, with sauce.
To freeze, simply assemble all gyoza and spread out evenly on a baking sheet. Freeze. Once totally frozen, remove from baking sheet and store in an airtight container. When ready to serve, thaw gyoza and proceed with directions #4.


Cheryl Malik

Cheryl Malik is the author of 40 Aprons, a food blog with multiple personality disorder. She freelances as a web designer, food photographer and recipe developer and lives in Memphis, Tenn. with her husband and their accidentally tiny dog, Magnolia. She loves travel, is surprised by her affection for sports and thinks it’s perfectly cool to watch TV.

Brighten up a typical salad with this delightfully fresh and delicious Strawberry Vinaigrette Spinach Salad. Complete with spinach, apple, strawberries, walnuts and feta, then topped with a Strawberry Vinaigrette, what’s not to love about this spring salad recipe by Madison from The Wetherills Say I Do?

Strawberry Vinaigrette Spinach Salad // @madisonlynn35 for @speckledpalate

My friend Madison and I met a year or two ago through a blogging community, and we’ve been communicating back and forth ever since! When I asked her about guest posting during my maternity leave, she eagerly agreed. Little did she know that she’d make a recipe that I craved for the latter part of my pregnancy… because strawberries and apples and homemade vinaigrettes were extra delicious (and helped me not eat ALL the cookies.) Without further ado, here’s Madison!

Hi friends! I’m so honored to be here posting for Erin! I couldn’t be happier about her new addition and am so glad to take over her blog for the day. My name is Madison, and I blog at The Wetherills Say I Do, a faith-based lifestyle where I talk about everything from easy recipes, to helpful blogging tips and marriage lessons.

I wouldn’t have considered myself a healthy eater, not until a few years ago. My diet wasn’t extensive and involved a lot of chicken tenders and fries, though it still does occasionally nowadays, too. (Chick-Fil-A, anyone?) But over the years, my tastebuds have evolved and I’ve learned to love healthier foods. Even salads!

Strawberry Vinaigrette Spinach Salad // @madisonlynn35 for @speckledpalate

I fell in love with this salad when I had something similar at a deli. I can honestly say, besides a Caesar Salad, it was the first salad I ate and truly enjoyed. It’s a salad that is filling and complex enough to keep me interested bite after bite.

Strawberry Vinaigrette Spinach Salad // @madisonlynn35 for @speckledpalate

An important element to salads is texture. Salads that are all leaf are boring, to me. This salad is packed with texture with a variety of crunches with the walnuts, apples and spinach as well as soft textures from the strawberries and feta cheese.

Another huge element to a successful salad is the dressing. I knew I wanted to make this homemade and I’m so glad I did! Truthfully, I had never made salad dressing from scratch before, but I’ve made it one of my goals to challenge myself this year in cooking. So this was a huge success!

Strawberry Vinaigrette Spinach Salad // @madisonlynn35 for @speckledpalate

This salad is definitely customizable as far as what your tastes are. You could vary the fruits or cheese and even add croutons if that appeals to you! I’ve also had this salad with grilled chicken, but for this one I really preferred the light and airiness of a vegetarian salad idea.

Strawberry Vinaigrette Spinach Salad
Prep time
Total time
Brighten up your typical salad with this delightfully fresh and delicious Strawberry Vinaigrette Spinach Salad. Complete with spinach, apple, strawberries, walnuts and feta, then topped with a Strawberry Vinaigrette, what's not to love about this spring salad?
Recipe type: Entree
Serves: 2
  • 6 ounces fresh spinach, washed and drained
  • 1 apple, cored and sliced
  • 4-5 strawberries, cored and sliced
  • ¼ cup walnuts (candied or regular)
  • ¼ cup crumbled feta cheese
Strawberry Vinaigrette
  • 1 pint of strawberries, cored (minus 4-5 for salad)
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  1. Combine ingredients for salad dressing in the food processor or blender, pulse to combine
  2. Adjust honey and/or vinegar to taste.
  3. Combine all salad ingredients in a large bowl, and toss to combine.
  4. Add vinaigrette to taste.

Strawberry Vinaigrette Spinach Salad // @madisonlynn35 for @speckledpalate

What is your favorite type of salad to eat?

Madison Wetherill

Madison is a faith-based lifestyle blogger who also runs a graphic design and photography studio, Grace + Vine Studios. She has a passion for helping others, whether it be through easy recipes, helpful blogging tips or posts about faith. She lives in North Carolina with her husband and boxer pup.

Strawberry Lemonade Muffins // @speckledpalate for @mycookingspot



What says springtime more than those?

Nothing, guys. Nothing at all.

And, obviously, I’m a fan of both. Together and separately.

Strawberry Lemonade Muffins // @speckledpalate for @mycookingspot

… What if I told you there’s a way to combine the two in muffin form for the ultimate springtime recipe? And that the muffins are really, really, ridiculously delicious?

You’d want to make them, too, right?

If so, you’re in luck! I’m over at My Cooking Spot sharing my Strawberry Lemonade Muffin recipe. Come join me, and be sure to let me know what dishes make you think of the springtime!

  • Megan PortaMarch 23, 2015 - 8:40 am

    I’m ALL about ULTIMATE springtime recipes! YUM! You sold me with the double awesomeness. :)ReplyCancel

    • ErinMarch 23, 2015 - 2:35 pm

      Thanks, Megan! I love me a good springtime recipe, and this combination is just heavenly!ReplyCancel

  • Trish @ Well Worn ForkMarch 24, 2015 - 12:35 pm

    I’d take some strawberry and lemonade in my muffins any day! These sound amazing :-)ReplyCancel

Cookies in celebration of spring? Yes, please! Vegan Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies are the perfect treat to start this new season off right. Abby from The Frosted Vegan shows us how.Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies // @frostedvegan for @speckledpalate

Who’s down for some dessert this Friday? My friend Abby from The Frosted Vegan is sharing a new fave in celebration of this new season, which officially begins today. I cannot tell y’all how many times I’ve wanted to lick my computer screen (or ask Abby to send me some of these cookies) since I scheduled this post. They look SO good. And they’re vegan! Take it away, Abby!

Hi there! I am so excited to be guest posting here on The Speckled Palate while Erin spends time with her new baby girl! I met Erin while taking part in a virtual baby shower for another food blogger, so I’m pretty excited to be helping her out.

When we were brainstorming, Erin asked that I post about something that I would normally make in the springtime, and even though it seems like everyone is turning to pastels and Easter at this time of year, I start thinking of cookies!

I know cookies seem like an odd thing to think about in the springtime, but for me, I like to start keeping cookie dough on hand in the freezer for friends who are coming to visit (no one likes to visit us in Wisconsin in the summer, I don’t blame them!) or impromptu patio celebrations as the weather starts to warm up.

Chocolate chip cookies are always a winner with any group, but I added peanut butter into this version and ran out of chocolate chips, so I figured chopping up a dark chocolate bar is a sufficient substitute, right? I made another version of these a few years ago with whole wheat flour and the peanut butter stuffed in the middle, but I wanted to fold the peanut butter right into the batter for this version.

Feel free to substitute in your favorite chocolate chips, but I think the dark chocolate chunks really make these a little more extra special. Also, if you are really prepared, use homemade peanut butter for these. I love really any peanut butter, but there is just something about homemade peanut butter that makes these crispy cookies just perfect!

Vegan Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Vegan Peanut Butter Dark Chocolate Chunk Cookies are the perfect sweet to kick off spring right. With the combination of peanut butter and dark chocolate, what's not to love about this dessert?
Recipe type: Dessert
  • ¼ cup coconut oil
  • 1 cup peanut butter
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • ¼ cup granulated sugar
  • 1½ cups all-purpose flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ¾ teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 teaspoons apple cider vinegar
  • ½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
  • 1 cup dark chocolate, chopped
  1. Preheat oven to 350ºF. Grease two cookie sheets or line with parchment paper, and set aside.
  2. In a medium bowl, beat together the coconut oil, peanut butter, brown sugar and granulated sugar until all are combined.
  3. Add the flour, baking soda, baking powder, vinegar, salt and vanilla. Beat until batter comes together.
  4. Fold in the chopped dark chocolate chunks.
  5. Drop the batter onto the cookie sheets by the tablespoon full, spacing about 2 inches apart.
  6. Bake for 10-12 minutes, or until golden brown on top.
  7. Enjoy warm!

Vegan Peanut Butter Chocolate Chunk Cookies // @frostedvegan for @speckledpalate


Abby Thompson

Abby is a corporate social media strategist, plant strong, chocolate lover who would rather spend a night rolling truffles in her kitchen with her kitty friend at her feet more than anything else. A semi-recent transplant to Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Abby is embracing thevegan life in the cheese country, along with the blessing/curse of living a few blocks from an Italian bakery. The Frosted Vegan has been featured on The Kitchn, Australian Good Food Guide, FoodBuzz and Foodable. Abby likes Friday afternoon happy hours, fresh cookbooks, practicing yoga, and busting a move like nobody’s business. You can follow The Frosted Vegan on FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.

Who said simple dishes weren’t worth making? Phampants shows how to make the classic Italian comfort dish, Cacio e Pepe — cheese and pepper — and a Parmesan Cheese Bowl for it to be served in. Simple, delicious and perfect for a day when you need comfort food. 

Casio e Pepe // @phampants for @speckledpalate

Today for your maternity leave guest post, my running coach and pal John Pham[pants] is sharing a dish. Pham and I go way back, and I was thrilled when he said he would create a guest post for TSP during my time off. He’s a video blogger and does some spectacular work… and we teamed up last summer and fall for our 30th birth #project330 projects. Without further ado… here’s Pham!

I hope your St. Patrick Day’s hangover isn’t as bad as you thought it would be because under normal circumstances, I would show you how to make pho, the Vietnamese hangover cure. Unfortunately, that isn’t going to happen today because the last two times I made it, I set not only my kitchen on fire, but also my friend’s kitchen.

So instead, you’re going to have to suffer through your hangover and learn how to make Cacio e Pepe.

Though, instead of your typical cooking post, I thought I do something different. I’m going to actually show you how to make Cacio e Pepe with my worst Anthony Bourdain impression ever.

Please enjoy this delicious video:

Here’s how you make the pasta and Parmesan bowl:

Cacio e Pepe
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
The classic, grown-up Italian comfort dish, Cacio e Pepe -- cheese and pepper -- served up in a delicious Parmesan Cheese Bowl. What's not to love?
Recipe type: Entree
Cuisine: Italian
Serves: 4 servings
Parmesan Cheese Bowl
  • ¼-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese per bowl, finely grated
  • 1 small to medium-sized bowl
Cacio e Pepe
  • 1 lb. fresh spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ lb. Pecorino Romano cheese, grated
  • ¼ cup pasta water
  • Freshly ground black pepper
Make the Parmesan Cheese Bowl
  1. The size of cheese bowl you want to create will reflect on how much cheese you should use.
  2. Heat a large pan on low heat until warm.
  3. Spread the Parmesan cheese evenly around the pan. The cheese layer can't be too thin or too thick lest it breaks or falls apart.
  4. Once the cheese is fully melted, remove from heat and let it cool for 3-5 minutes until soft.
  5. With a spatula, turn the pan upside down and CAREFULLY peel the cheese over your upside down bowl.
  6. Let the cheese cool over the bowl until semi-hard.
  7. Once semi-hard, remove the cheese from the bowl. Mold the bowl as desired.
Make the Cacio e Pepe
  1. Cook the spaghetti al dente style.
  2. Remove the spaghetti but save the pasta water.
  3. Melt the butter on a large pan on medium heat.
  4. Add a generous layer of cracked pepper over the melted butter.
  5. Add the pasta water and heat until boiling.
  6. Toss in the pasta and mix well with the buttered water.
  7. Add ¾ of the pecorino cheese.
  8. Mix until the pasta and cheese are well melted together.
  9. Add more cracked pepper if desired.
Put everything together
  1. Serve over the Parmesan cheese bowl.
  2. Garnish with the rest of the pecorino cheese & more cracked pepper.

PhampantsJohn Pham, phampants as he is best know on the Internet, is a schemer of all things awesome while owning his awkwardness.  You can often find him on YouTube, Tumblr and the tweetsophere.  He’s also single, ladies, and likes long runs along the Chicago lakefront.