Last week we attended our first holiday dinner party. It was with our sports performance group exercise class (I love you S3 peeps!) so I wanted to support healthy eating with the dish I brought. But, I didn't want to go so healthy that I embarrassed my husband and no one ate it (yes, this has happened to me before).
I decided to make my baked empanadas with a vegetarian filling and the traditional beef filling so that everyone had an option (we have some veggie-only folks in the group). I've never made the veggie filling but it turned out delish!
I had made roasted veggies the night before I made these empanadas so I had that step already done. This is a great way to reinvent a previous dinner into something new. You can use sweet potatoes or any winter squash in this mix and it would work. I also whipped up a quick avocado sour cream to serve on the side.
Bookmark this recipe for a time when you want to make something a little special and super tasty! Enjoy!
Roasted Veggie Empanadas
To roast veggies: Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Cut up veggies into 1/2" chunks. Toss in olive oil, salt and pepper. Spread on a baking sheet and bake until tender, about 15-20 minutes.
1 red bell pepper, diced
1 small purple onion, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
3/4 cup brown or amber ale (I used Rogue Dead Guy Ale and it was perfect!)
1 cup roasted winter vegetables (any combo of acorn squash, butternut squash, onion, or sweet potato)*
1/2 cup golden raisins
1 teaspoon cumin
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon each of salt and pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
20 frozen empanada disks, defrosted (found in ethnic freezer section in grocery store)
1 egg (optional)
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat.
- Add oil to pan and saute onion and bell pepper for 4 minutes. Add garlic and cook another 2 minutes.
- Add ale and stir to combine. Add roasted veggies, raisins, cumin, salt and pepper and tomato paste. Stir to combine. Reduce heat to simmer and cook for at least 10 minutes. If you have the time, let it simmer for about 30 minutes.
- While filling simmers, preheat oven to 450 degrees. Remove empanada disks from fridge right before ready to fill them.
- Allow filling to cool slightly. Place disks on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- On only one half of the disk, place 2 tablespoons of filling, leaving about 1/4" space to the edge. Fold over the empanada to form a half moon. Use the tongs of a fork to press the top and bottom edge together seal the the empanada.
- Break egg into a small bowl and add 1/4 cup water. Whisk together until well combined to create an egg wash. Using a pastry brush, brush a small amount of egg wash onto the top of each empanada. (This gives it a golden brown, shiny color without frying them. It is an optional step.)
- Bake for about 15 minutes, or until top of empanadas are golden brown. Serve warm.
Makes about 17-20 empanadas
*Alternative preparation: Substitute 1/2 pound lean, grass-fed beef for roasted veggies. Cook beef first in skillet. Remove and cook onion and pepper seperately. Add beef back in skillet and continue with step 3.
Quick Avocado Sour Cream Dipping Sauce
2 Hass avocadoes, seeded and flesh removed
1/2 cup reduced fat sour cream
2 teaspoons cumin
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon fresh oregano (or use 2 teaspoons of dried only)
Mix all the ingredients together in a small bowl using a fork or potato masher to break up avocado. Adjust seasoning to your taste preferences. Serve chilled.
Makes about 1 1/2 cups
Here's a picture of our family from the party mentioned.