Sunday, March 08, 2009

Vegan Empanadas

Empanada: a stuffed bread or pastry. South American empanadas are normally small and semi-circular. Thanks Wiki!

This recipe is from Vegetarian Times: March 2009, pg 85.

I followed the recipe in general, I will put my comments and ideas in regular (parentheses) but everything else in italics is 100% VT. Photos are mine of course.

Banana and Black Bean Empanadas
Serves 6
A more healthful variation on the classic Argentinean pastry, these empanadas call for whole-wheat flour and are baked instead of deep-fried.

1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour
1 cup all-pupose flour
1 1/2 tsp. salt
1/2 tsp. chili powder
4 Tbs. cold soy margarine, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
1/2 cup unsweetened applesauce
1 Tbs. white wine vinegar

1 Tbs. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
1 cup cooked black beans
1 clove garlic, minced (1 tsp.)
2 bananas, peeled and diced (1 cup)
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 ts. cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper
1/4 tsp. ground coriander
2 Tbs. chopped fresh cilantro
1 tsp. red pepper sauce, such as Tabasco

(If you DO NOT want/have bananas, use 2 CUPS of whatever. Corn, chopped peppers, more beans, spinach, fake meat, etc)

1. To make Crust: Sift flours salt, and chili powder into a bowl. Mix in margarine with fingers until mixture resembles coarse meal. Whisk together applesauce, vinegar, and 1/3 cup cold water in a separate bowl. Stir applesauce mixture into flour mixture until texture dough forms, adding up to 1/4 cup more water if necessary. (I used 1/2 C of water- just remember add it slowly, not all at once!) Knead on lightly floured surface until dough comes together. Form into ball, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill 1 hour, or overnight.

2. To make Filling, heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Saute onion 4 to 5 minutes, or until soft and translucent. Add beans and garlic, reduce heat to medium, and cook 3 minutes. Stir in bananas, cumin, cayenne, and coriander, and cook 2 minutes, or until bananas begin to break down and spices are fragrant. Remove from heat, and stir in cilantro and red pepper sauce.

3. Preheat oven to 400F.
(Depending on your oven- wait until you're done rolling the dough, otherwise you will be wasting A LOT of energy) Divide dough into 12 balls. Coat baking sheet with cooking spray. Roll out each ball to 6-inch round (1/4-inch thick) on lightly floured work surface. Fill with 2 Tbs. Filling (More like 3 Tbs to fill it up with non-banana filling) and brush edges of pastry with water. Fold dough circle in half, press to close, and crimp edges with fork to seal.

Transfer to prepared baking sheet, and repeat with remaining dough balls and Filling. chill 10 minutes. Bake empanadas 20 minutes, or until golden brown and crusty. Cool 5 minutes on baking sheet before serving.

(I would brush a little oil on top before baking to give it some crunch)

I used the rest of my can of black beans, mixed peppers, corn, and veggie steak strips in my empanadas.
The spice mix is nice. The dough is really good and I would like to use it again to make calzones or Cornish pasties. It's a little soft- not a lot of crispiness, which is why I suggested the oil. They seem to be a bit dry though. You cannot add sauce to the inside or the dough won't be crisp. So some salsa or heated enchilada sauce might be nice to have on hand.
Reheat leftovers in the toaster oven- totally awesome.


Monday, March 02, 2009


Thank you! Thank you Vegan Dad! For being totally super awesome!

This recipe is obviously from Vegan Dad: Homemade Sausages. They are dead easy to make, super customizable (more spicy? more savory? no prob!), half or double the recipe... can I say more? You won't being buying fakes from the store anymore!
Pro-tip: Fennel seed is the KEY to awesome sausageness, try not to skip it!

- 1/2 cup pinto beans, rinsed and drained
- 1 cup cold vegetable broth
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons soy sauce
- 2 cloves garlic, grated (with a microplane, or very finely minced)
- 1 1/4 cups vital wheat gluten
- 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fennel seed, crushed
- 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- Several dashes fresh black pepper

1. Before mixing your ingredients, get your steaming apparatus ready, bring water to a full boil. The rest of the recipe comes together very quickly.
2. Have ready 6 sheets of tin foil. In a large bowl, mash the pinto beans until no whole ones are left. Throw all the other ingredients together in the order listed and mix with a fork. Divide dough into 6 even parts. Place one part of dough into tin foil and mold into about a 5 inch log. Wrap dough in tin foil, like a tootsie roll. Don’t worry too much about shaping it, it will snap into shape while it’s steaming because this recipe is awesome.
3. Place wrapped sausages in steamer and steam for 40 minutes.

With Japanese curry

Sausage with onions and ketchup. No need to hide all those flavors!