Monday, November 14, 2011

Seitan and Vegetable Empanadas, Spanish Rice, and Cilantro Dressing.

Empanadas are traditionally made with meat and lard, and then deep-fried. I’ve altered, yet another recipe, to adapt it to my culinary preference and dietary restrictions. In short, they are Vegan. I love to serve them alongside Spanish styled rice, and a simple healthy green salad: greens, jicama, slivered carrots, and roasted pepita seeds (also called pumpkin seeds). The empanadas are excellent garnished with sour cream (vegan or non), fresh guacamole, salsa and chips. I hope you enjoy them as much as we have.

Seitan and Vegetable Empanadas

Makes 18-20


1/4-cup raisins (optional)

1 Tbsp. coconut oil or olive oil

1/2 cup yellow onion, finely diced

1/4 cup of finely diced red bell pepper

2 cups chopped cooked seitan (I pre-make mine, using the Real Food Daily recipe)

1/4 cup frozen corn

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 tsp. Dried oregano

1/4 tsp. Dried thyme

2 Tbsp. chopped green olives (optional)

1/4 cup grated cheese ( I like the almond cheese: Lisanatti Foods)


2 cups all purpose flour

1/2 Tbsp baking powder

1/2 tsp. Salt

1/4-cup coconut oil (melted) or olive oil

1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp. plain almond or soy milk


1. To make the filling: Cover raisins (opt) with boiling water, and let stand 5 minutes to plump. Drain, and set aside.

2. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Add onion and bell pepper; sauté 5 minutes. Stir in seitan, corn, garlic, oregano, thyme, and 1/2 cup water. Simmer 5 minutes, until most liquid has evaporated. Stir in olives and raisins, remove from heat, and cool. Stir in cheese.

3. Preheat oven to 400 degrees, and coat baking sheet with cooking spray.

4. To make crust: Combine flour, baking powder, and salt in bowl. Stir in oil until mixture resembles coarse sand. Place milk in measuring cup, and add 1/2-cup warm water. Stir into flour mixture to form soft dough, adding up to 2-4 Tbsp. more water if needed to achieve desired consistency. Transfer dough to well floured work surface and troll to 1/8 inch thickness. Cut into 4-inch circles.

5. Brush edges of circles with water. Place 1 Tbsp. filing in center of each. Gold into half moons, and pinch edges to close. Place on baking sheet, and bake 12-15 minutes, or until golden brown.


Spanish Rice

Spanish Rice: Makes 6 servings


1 Tbsp olive oil

1/2 yellow onion, diced

2 Tsp. Minced garlic

1-cup brown rice

1 cup white rice

6 cups of vegetable broth, or 6 cups water with one vegetable bouillon cube (Organic

Gourmet is a good brand)

2 1/2 Tbsp. tomato paste

2 1/2 tsp. Ground cumin

1 tsp. Chili powder

1 tsp. Salt, or to taste

1 tsp. Pepper, or to taste

1/8-cup cilantro, minced


1. Sauté yellow onion, and garlic in olive oil for 5 minutes, or until tender

2. Add brown rice and white rice to sauté and lightly toast grains in mix.

3. Add cumin, chili powder, and salt, sautéing for another 1-2 minutes

4. Add vegetable broth or water and bouillon cube, and tomato paste. Bring to boil, and then simmer for 20 minutes.

5. Stir occasionally during the remainder of cooking time, approximately 15-20 minutes.


Cilantro Dressing

Cilantro Dressing- Yield: 1 1/2 cups


2 Tbsp green onions

1/4-cup cilantro

1/2 carton of Mori Nu Silken XF tofu

1 Tsp. Miso

1 tsp garlic

1/2 tsp salt

Pepper to taste

1/2-cup water

1 Tbsp olive oil


Place all ingredients into a blender and blend until pureed. Serve cold.