For this week’s Meat-Free Mondays Challenge, I’m spicing it up with protein-packed, meat-free empanadas. I recommend making a big batch, eat what you want, and freeze the rest. I usually have the ingredients for these crispy little pockets of yummy-ness. Don’t forget to check out the Switch It Up section at the bottom of the page for some interesting twists. The variations are virtually endless! Just change the spices from Mexican to Indian and viola, you have samosas! By the way, you can always ditch the dough and use the filling for tacos or burritos!

Photo Credit: Megan Cross

Let’s talk about the ever intimidating bulk aisle! Buying bulk doesn’t mean buying a lot, but rather buying just the right amount. It also doesn’t always mean cheaper. I buy bulk items when I can and store the ingredients in mason jars. Your grocery store will provide plastic bags and twist ties. Just fill up the bag with the bulk item you desire and don’t forget to write down the corresponding number on the twist tie. Some of my favorite bulk items are textured vegetable protein or TVP (used in the recipe below), nutritional yeast, nuts, oats and flour.

Smokey Black Bean Empanadas

You can usually find vegan frozen dough at your local health food store. My personal favorite is Trader Joe’s pizza dough in the refrigerated section. Either kind works. If using the frozen dough, thaw first. Proceed with step 2. If you want to make your own dough it’s obviously more time-consuming, but is well worth it!

Dough (From Mark Bittman’s, How To Cook Everything Vegetarian)

  • 1 1/2 C. all-purpose flour, plus a little more (I used spelt flour)
  • 1/2 C. masa harina, fine cornmeal flour, or more all-purpose flour
  • 1 1/2 t. baking powder
  • 1 t. salt
  • 1/2 C. plus 2 T. vegetable shortening or vegetable oil
1.) Mix the flour, masa harina, baking powder, and salt together in a food processor and process for about 5 seconds. With the machine running, add 1/2 cup shortening and process for 10 seconds. Then, with the machine running, add about 1/2 cold water. Just enough water for the dough to form a ball. Don’t add more water than necessary; the dough should be fairly dry. Knead by hand until smooth, just a minute or so.

 2.) Divide into 12 pieces, roll into balls and wrap in plastic or cover with a damp towel and let rest for at least 20 min. (You can refrigerate overnight; be sure to let it come to room temperature before proceeding) On a well-floured surface, roll each piece into a 6-inch circle, adding flour as necessary.

Filling

  • 1 c. TVP, rehydrated
  • 1 c. veggie stock
  • 1 T. soy sauce
  • 1/4 t. liquid smoke
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 T. safflower oil, divided
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 can black beans, drained, rinsed
  • 1/2 t. cumin
  • 1/2 t. chile powder
  • 1/2 t. smoked paprika

1.) In a small saucepan bring the veggie stock, soy sauce, liquid smoke, and onion powder to boil and remove from heat and the TVP to rehydrate and set aside. Heat 1 Tablespoon of the oil and add onion. Sauté until onion is translucent, and add garlic, beans, rehydrated TVP and remaining spices. Cook for a few more minutes. Add salt to taste and remove from heat.

2. Preheat oven to 400°. Add 2 tablespoons filling into each of the dough circles and pinch together with fingers or a fork. Brush each empanada with oil and bake for 10-15 minutes.

Chipotle Cream Sauce

  • 1 Chipotle pepper in adobo sauce
  • 1/4 C. vegan mayonnaise
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 t. soy sauce
  • 2 T. water

Process all ingredients in food processor until smooth. Add more water for a thinner sauce. Makes enough sauce for about 4 empanadas.

SWITCH IT UP

  • use marinated tofu, or tempeh instead of TVP
  • add corn or purple cabbage
  • serve with guacamole or salsa
  • Ditch the dough! Use fillings for tacos or burritos!

More Megan’s Meat-Free Monday Recipes:

Megan’s Meat-Free Monday: Curried Cauliflower Orzo

Megan’s Meat-Free Monday Edition: Buddha Bowl

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