Baking naturally gravitates toward sweet recipes. And yet, there are options galore for incorporating freshly milled grain in ways that don’t relegate baked goods to dessert!
In Texas, we do Tex-Mex!
Born and bred in the Lone Star State, Tex-Mex is my thing! This recipe for Empanadas – nutritionally superior to any GMO, processed and inflammatory restaurant junk – liberally adapts and merges three recipes from the Nourishing Traditions cookbook by Sally Fallon.
Which, by the way, Nourishing Traditions is the creme de la creme of all whole foods recipe books. Buy it. You won’t regret it!
Surprise! Don’t Gross Out!
Instead of just giving you recipes to enjoy, I want to teach you why I eat what I eat. With my training in nutrition, there’s usually a scientific reason fueling my food choices. I rarely, if ever, eat for convenience or pleasure. (Well, maybe unless it’s coffee…strong coffee. But that’s not a food, it’s a beverage!) As I was saying;
Food is fuel that either builds up or tears down health.
In keeping with helping you make wise food choices, these empanadas have a SURPRISE (over-the-top-nutrient-dense) INGREDIENT that might make you gag…at least initially. Our grandparents probably ate it daily, yet it’s nearly disappeared from modern cuisine. This ingredient is abundant in nutrients like fat-soluble vitamins A and D, iron and a whole gamut of trace and macro minerals. In fact, a three ounce serving provides up to 280% of the daily values for Vitamin A and 280% B12*, 160% of the folate, and 90% of the riboflavin needed by our bodies. Vitamin D and iron are two of the most common nutrient deficiencies in modern diets and are linked to a host of health concerns.
If you are a woman struggling with energy or anemia issues, eating this ideal food might really help you overcome those challenges!
It MUST be consumed organic and preferably sourced from a trusted local farm. It is a rich addition to my diet and would be to yours, as well. (It’s also perfectly disguised inside this spicy dish).
Empanada Cupcakes with Bone Broth Enchilada Sauce
*Note: You’ll need to prepare your dough one day before you cook the Empanada filling. Scroll down for the easy instructions.
1. Empanada Filling
- One pound ground meat of choice
- One pound puréed chicken or beef LIVER (Yes, surprise! You read that right! LIVER!)
- Six tablespoons or so of olive oil, tallow or butter
- Two and one half teaspoons cumin seeds
- One onion, chopped
- Two bunches green onions, chopped
- Two bell peppers, chopped
- Ten cloves fresh garlic, peeled and mashed
- Three tablespoons dried parsley
- Three carrots, chopped
- One half cup cilantro, chopped
- Two cups green peas, cooked
- One cup corn, cooked or canned
- Sea salt and pepper, to taste
- Juice of one lime
- Optional Toppings: Two cups grated sharp cheddar or Monterrey jack cheese, avocado slices, more fresh cilantro.
Preheat your skillet to screaming hot. Add a oil to coat the pan. Add ground meat and liver, then sauté until cooked through and beginning to brown. Add half your cumin seeds and season with salt and pepper.
In a separate, preheated skillet, drizzle oil to coat the pan and sauté your carrots, bell peppers and onions until onions begin to appear translucent. Add lime juice, garlic, parsley, remaining cumin seeds, cilantro, peas and corn and sauté until warm.
In a large bowl, combine meat mixture with veggie mixture and stir to incorporate. Season with more salt and pepper, if you like. Set aside.
2. Bone Broth Enchilada Sauce
- Four ounces whole, dried Ancho chiles
- One quarter cup olive oil
- One onion, chopped
- Two teaspoons ground cumin
- Two cups beef or chicken bone broth
- Four cloves garlic, peeled and chopped
- Two six-eight ounce cans of tomato paste
- One tablespoon apple cider or red wine vinegar
- Sea salt to taste
Firstly, you’ll need to prepare the dried chiles by removing the stems and shaking out the seeds. BE SURE TO WEAR RUBBER GLOVES when cleaning the chiles. They’re HOT and you do not want to accidentally rub your face with chile fingers!
Secondly, sauté the onion in olive oil. Add cumin, stirring constantly until the cumin and oil are thoroughly incorporated. Add your bone broth and chiles. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to simmer. Whisk in garlic, tomato paste and vinegar. Simmer for about forty-five minutes. Allow to cool enough to pour sauce into a blender (I use a Vitamix) and purée. Double check the salt and pepper are to your liking. Voila!
3. Yogurt Dough (for “Cupcakes”)
- Two cups unsweetened, unflavored, whole milk yogurt (may use kefir)
- Two cups butter, softened to room temperature
- Seven cups freshly milled wheat, kamut or spelt (that’s 4 3/4 cups whole grain)
- Four teaspoons sea salt
Day One: In a large mixing bowl, whip yogurt and butter until creamy by using a hand mixer. Blend in flour, a little at a time, and salt. Once all dry ingredients are incorporated, cover the bowl with a dish towel or clean shower cap and leave on a warm countertop for twelve to twenty-four hours.
Day Two: Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Once dough is cultured and ready to go, pretended it’s play dough and roll it into one inch balls. Now, using a greased muffin tin, smash the dough balls into each hole and conform the dough to the shape of the muffin cup. Bake for ten to twelve minutes, NOT until browned.
4. Putting it all together
Remove muffin tin from oven. It’s time to fill up the dough cups with Empanada filling. Gently spoon the warm filling into each cup until full, gently press the filling into the cup with the back of your spoon.
Pop into the oven at 350 for another ten to twelve minutes, watching carefully until the dough is nicely, barely browned.
Remove from oven. Cool for ten minutes. Remove from muffin, plate Empanadas. Garnish with your enchilada sauce, avocado slices, grated cheese or more fresh cilantro.
Enjoy muy pronto! Es muy deliciosa!!
This recipe is a labor of love, but multiply the batch and freeze your leftovers. They’re perfect for packed lunches!
With love and butter,
Jess, The Bread Believer
“Let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” Galatians 6:9 KJV
*Lazy B Ranch statistics, purveyors of pastured animal products.