Vegan Empanadas

Hola amigos!

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How much do you love Mexican food?!  If you don’t absolutely love it, we probably can’t be friends.  It’s like the best food, ever!  And although I don’t eat more than half of what is on a standard Mexican restaurants menu, I still love what I can eat.  Of course homemade Mexican food can be adjusted to include loads of veggies, beans, and grains, without losing the traditional flavors I cannot live without enjoy so much!

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I was talking with a couple of friends at work about some of our favorite foods.  It was a no brainer that when empanadas came up, I knew I had to make some myself.

Even though the dough is probably not the best thing out there to eat, they are packed with protein from the beans and meat substitute (cancels the bad out, right?!).  I love the flakey crust, and the filling was so flavorful.  I can’t wait to try making a sweet version with some fresh fruit!

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Empanadas:

  • 2 packages of empanada disks – I used this brand found at a nearby Latin grocery store

  • 1 large yellow onion (or 2 small) – chopped

  • 6 garlic cloves – minced

  • 1/2 cup organic corn – rinsed and drained if from a can

  • 1 can organic black beans – rinsed, drained, then mashed pretty well with fork – I had a couple of whole beans left in

  • 1 tsp cumin

  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

  • 1/8 tsp ground cloves

  • 1/8 tsp nutmeg

  • 1 package of ground “beef” – I use this brand

  • 1/2 cup organic vegetable broth

  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro

  • Salt & pepper

  1. Defrost empanada rounds.  Heat “butter” (Earth Balance) in a large skillet.  Add onion and cook until tender.  Add garlic about 3/4 way through.

  2. Add corn, beans, and spices.  Cook for about 7 minutes, until everything is heated through.

  3. Add “meat” and cook until “meat” is broken up and everything is heated through.  about 10 minutes.

  4. Add broth and combine until liquid is absorbed.

  5. Remove from heat and place in glass bowl.  Refrigerate until completely cooled.  Before assembling empanadas, mix fresh cilantro into cooled mixture.

To assemble the empanadas, place a large spoonful in center of disk.   Lightly dab a wet finger (have a bowl of water near) on edge of half.  Folder over and seal with finger then fork.

{ spoonful in center }
{ spoonful in center }
{ fork and edges }
{ fork and edges }

Heat oven to 400.  Brush baking sheet with olive oil.  Place empanadas on sheet.  Generously brush empanadas with olive oil.  Bake for 25-30 minutes.  Remove and enjoy!!!  Top with some fresh cilantro, avocado, or whatever your little hearts desire :-)

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This made about 16 empanadas.  I fed several people!  If you don’t need to make that many, and won’t eat them as leftover, freeze the rest unbaked.  Just defrost when you want to cook them.  Bake the same way, and don’t forget to defrost them first!

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What are some of your favorite foods?

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