Empanadas are a traditional South American dish. They are often a staple at parties and family get-togethers because they are so versatile. You can make them any size, any shape, and fill them with anything from sautéed greens to roasted corn and potatoes. Empanadas are a perfect little package of goodness. As a little girl my mom would pack them in my lunch instead of PB&J. Man oh man, I did not know how good I had it! Thankfully, my mom has passed down her empanada recipes and techniques. Now my children can enjoy them as well. I love Latin flare, flavors and cuisine. My passion is to make “not so healthy” Latin favorites healthier while maintaining the traditions I grew up with. I have done that very thing with the recipe for Good Clean Vegan Empanadas. Adding a delectable chimichurri sauce on the side as well as raw/vegan alfajores (latin cookie) for dessert I have made a family favorite much more nourishing. Even the biggest skeptics and diehard traditionalists have loved these recipes and I hope you will too. I am sharing these dishes with the YumUniverse community and entering them into your contest for an Excalibur Dehydrator (which BTW would have been super handy for my raw alfajores :)). Feliz anniversario!
Good Clean Vegan Empanadas with Chimichurri Sauce
- Saute pan
- cutting board
- wooden spoon
- chef's knife
- rolling pin
- cookie sheet
- 2 cups of garbanzo flour (gluten free) can substitute spelt or other healthier flour version
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- approx 1/4 cup water, then add more 1 tablespoon at a time till you reach a consistency where the dough holds and kneads
- 2 cups kale finely chopped
- 1 cup of spinach chopped
- 1 red pepper chopped
- 1 yellow onion diced
- 3 cloves of garlic chopped
- 5 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1 1/2 cup of cooked millet or you can substitute cooked quinoa
- 1 portobello mushroom chopped
- 1 teaspoon of paprika
- 2 teaspoons of oregano
- 1 tablespoon of cumin
- Pink Himalayan sea salt and pepper to taste
- 3/4 cup of olive oil
- 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
- 1/2 cup chopped parsley
- 3 garlic cloves minced
- 1 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1 teaspoon of red pepper flakes or to your preference
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Chimichurri is a very traditional sauce that is used in Argentina and Uruguay. It is a combination of simple and accessible ingredients but when put together the fusion of flavors is amazing! Traditionally used over meats it is wonderful to top grilled veggies, as a dip for cruditees, as an addition to hummus, over quinoa or brown rice, as a dressing on mixed greens, and featured here as the kick to the Good Clean Empanadas. I recommend making a big batch and storing it in a glass jar in the refrigerator it only gets better as the flavors fuse together (it can keep for up to a week). Note: allow it to come back to room temperature before serving.
Add the flour to a bowl. Slowly add the olive oil and mix, then add the water and mix. Continue by kneeding the dough and adding more water one tablespoon at a time until the dough easily comes together. Once you achieve the right texture let it sit at room temperature while you make the filling.
Heat a large pan on medium heat. Then drizzle with olive oil. Then add the onions and red peppers and cook for 2-3 minutes until they begin to soften. Then add the garlic. After about 30 sec add in the kale and allow it to soften. Once the kale is reduced down add in the spinach and mushroom. After about 2-3 min add the tomato paste and stir it in. Next add the millet and the rest of the ingredients and continue to stir until the filling has reduced and is well blended approx 3 minutes.
Putting them together:
Spray a cookie sheet with a light coat of olive oil and preheat the oven to 350F
Separate the dough into desired size of empanadas (I used golf ball size). Then roll out the dough and when you roll it out to about a 1/4 inch thickness take a spoonful of the filling and add to one half of the empanada dough. Then fold the other side of the dough over the filling side and pinch over the edges to close. Place the empanada on the cookie sheet and repeat. Once you have put together your empanadas bake in oven for 12-15 minutes depending on your oven. You want the dough to be just slightly firm to the touch. Allow them to cool. While they are cooling make the chimichurri sauce.
Add the olive oil, vinegar and parsley to a bowl and mix. Then add the garlic and the remaining ingredients and mix well. The chimichurri is then ready but is even more delicious the next day after the flavors blend even more. When serving; either drizzle the chimichurri over the empanadas or serve on the side.
Want a delicious and authentic Latin dessert to pair with your empanadas? Try my RAW'kin Alfajores. A delicious raw version of the classic South American cookie.