Tuesday, March 28, 2006

Empanada

When I started the Vegan Lunch Box project, I had no idea how universal the hand pie was. So far I've made Italian calzones, Russian piroshki, Cornish pasties, and now Spanish empanada! This empanada is filled with Taco Smart Ground. If I hadn't been making them for a picky shmoo, I might have made a pumpkin empanada, or one filled with spinach (using vegan cheese), or maybe just added some sautéed onions, green olives and raisins to the veggie meat (a traditional combination). The large lidded container holds apple and jicama, the medium container holds black beans and red Spanish rice (rice cooked with garlic, cumin, and Knudsen's Very Veggie Juice instead of water). The smallest container is filled with tofu sour cream for dipping.
Verdict: The empanada was completely devoured, along with everything but the sour cream. I guess anything in pie dough is an instant 5 stars.

63 comments:

dany said...

mmm, looks good.

What exactly is jicama? What does it taste like?

Anonymous said...

jicama is a vegetable that tastes sort of like a cross between potato and apple. i've never been a big fan of it, personally!

jenn, have you tried using yves ground round for tacos and such? the mexican flavor works really well.

Nancy said...

Looks great! We do a lot of little pies too - a very popuar item in our household.

YellowBellyHippy said...

Do you have a special recipe for your pie dough?
Mine always turns out so thick.

Kim M. said...

Im guessing the crust will be in the cookbook. Im dying to know how to make your crusts, in the mean time I will try and figure it out on my own. I love the Charlie Brown Napkin, If that is what it is. Very Classic!!!

miss tango in her eyes said...

I have seen the green olive and raisin combo in Argentina. What region is the cookbook from?

Anonymous said...

oh yum ... i want one!!!

miss tango in her eyes said...

I meant to add never seen this combo in Argentina!

Nancy said...

I would love your pastry recipe too! By the way, would pumpkin empanadas be for dinner or dessert??

Kim said...

Jennifer, I have an OT question, sorry. I have to take snack for 5yo ds soccer game this week and I really dont' want the usual, drink pouches and chips (in teeball it was donuts). What would you do that today's average kids wouldn't turn up his nose at? I was thinking about little baggies of trail mix. It has to be prepped way in advance since we are in a race that morning before the game.

michellejoe said...

Looks delicious!

Jennifershmoo said...

Here's a recipe for an Argentine meat, raisin, and green olive empanada:

http://pie.allrecipes.com/az/ArgentineMtEmpanadas.asp

By cookbook I think they were referring to my upcoming "Vegan Lunch Box" cookbook. And you're right -- it's in there!

>>would pumpkin empanadas be for dinner or dessert??

They sound rather desserty, but they sure sound good!

>>have you tried using yves ground round

I don't think so, but we enjoy their dogs and deli slices. Smart Ground is usually what we find at the local stores.

dany said...

I was just eating a kiwi and I remember reading how very very good they are for you. Does little shmoo like kiwi? That'd be a good way to hide excellent nutritional value. Even though you don't really need to do that with shmoo.

Christine said...

Hi there! Have you ever made pierogies? They seem to be like the Russian piroshkis. Also, what does jicama taste like? I've been wanting to try it for some time, as you post about it alot!
Thanks!

Susanna said...

Empanadas de carne with raisins and green olives are a classic food in Argentina. Where are you from, Tango? At least in Buenos Aires, it is a ubiquitous common combination...

Jennifer: my mom is an empanada "master" and she will be arriving from buenos aires on Thursday - and she has already told me she is going to spil me with empanadas. Some of her recipes, which - if you have not heard of - you should definitely try are:
humita (creamed corn)
apple
Quince jam
onions and cheese
"ham" and cheese
spicy "ground beef" with potatoes

Ruthie said...

Empanadas here in San Antonio are like doughnuts elsewhere (I think :)) They sell them in the bakery section of the grocery store, and in glass display cases in Mexican restaurants and even just diners. The most common here are Pumpkin (or generic "squash" which is pumpkin-pie-like), Sweet Potato (same thing), Strawberry, Pineapple, and Cheese (as in cream cheese). They have a dark, very thick, bready (yeasty?) dense crust that is sweet. It kind of reminds me of a heavy coffee cake.

Jennifer, I have a couple of more hand-pies for you. You have yet to make the classically delicious Indian Samosa with potatoes and peas or a vegan version of the All-American Hot Pocket. You know, those super high fat, overly processed hamandcheese things found in your grocer's freezer.

Husband and I are always coming up with Hot Pocket fillings: BBQ tvp, black beans and spanish rice, thickened leftover stew, broccoli and tofu ricotta. :-D

Ruthie

Daily SAHM said...

I've given jicama to my daughter several times hoping she'll like. But no luck yet. You are lucky to have a non-picky eater!

Anonymous said...

I LOVE black beans and spanish rice!! Being a vegan Mexican food is one of my favorites!!

R2K said...

empenadas and coke.

Snakes on a plane

Sam said...

Are you telling us that no crust came back in the lunch box?? My 5 y/o is pretty good with a variety of foods but we have a similar aversion to crusts and those kind of crusts always come back lol

Great lunch, as always!!

Liz said...

I have been dying to try jicama and can't find it/ I've checked several supermarkets, Whole Foods, Trader Joe's and a health food store with a produce section. Am I looking in the wrong places? Should I look for a Hispanic grocery? I really need to expand my veggies as mostly I have carrots, celery & cucumbers with lunch. Looking for other raw veggies that will pack well in my lunchbox.

Vicki said...

That really looks delicious! Everytime I've attemped to make an empanada the inside dough is gooey. Do you have any suggestions for that?

themarlatts said...

Here in Houston we have a large hispanic population, and like the other person said about San Antonio empanadas are served everywhere. Someone asked about the pumpkin ones being for dessert or dinner - around here people eat them for breakfast!

Dee said...

NO crusts left! Let the "snoopy dance begin!

Taleia said...

Ooh, I've had fresh from the oven empanadas that a hispanic immigrant friend of mine made. Heavenly! though hers were quite bland, not 'spicy' or 'mexican' as I'd imagined they'd be.

Ooh, to have one of Dona Rita's empanadas... *shivers*

sarchan said...

Looks delicious as always!

Kate said...

Jennifer -

I made empanadas too!!! I have the same sentiments about their awesome all-purposeness - read this post from Sunday: http://moon-pie.blogspot.com/2006/03/empanada-extravaganza.html

Ouch!Papercut said...

Ok, I've been lurking - and drooling - for quite some time...I love this blog!

Anyhoo, I am truly curious to know how much time you spend cooking (shop, prep, cooking, clean up) because it sounds like you alway have the most fab meals. Also, not a dig, I am surprised to hear that you can get so much specialty food in Kennewick...I live in N Seattle, and often have a hard time finding local supplies of some specialty foods! Wish you cooked for me!

Anonymous said...

Meat, olives,and raisins are definitely components of empanadas argentinas. A vegan version would be delicious!

Laura said...

Hey! I just started reading the vegan lunchbox recently, and I've got to say, what a great site! As a veg college student (Central WA University), it's given me lots of ideas for healthy things I can make to supplement the mushy dining hall food here. Thanks for the inspiration!

Ally said...

I found your pasty recipe fascinating. I'm from the upper peninsula of Michigan, and pasties are somewhat of a staple. As a new vegetarian (1 month in and life is good), I haven't tried the "mock meat" kind. Definitley a good idea.

Angela said...

Oooh, this looks so good! Have you made tamales yet? They take a lot of work to make, but it goes fast in a group and you can make up a ton and freeze them. Just a half hour of steaming cooks them from frozen and you have the world's best convenient food, IMO!

In my household lately we've been enjoying a lot out of "Vegan with a Vengeance." That's one of the most fun cookbooks I've read in a while, with all the stories and great recipe intros and stuff. One of the best vegan cookbooks I've bought in a while! The parsnip scallion latkes were a surprising success, and I bet they'd go over great in Shmoo's lunch. Maybe if you ever do a Jewish theme.

Anonymous said...

Well, I have to say that while olives and onions are almost a staple in any Argentine empanada, raisins are not everybody's cup of tea and many times they're not used for fear of guests frowning in disgust. I mean, if you buy an empanada from a delivery shop or pizzeria, most likely they will NOT have raisins.
But, really, is one of those subjects that could start a civil war, like the ingredients of salade niçoise in France or paella in Spain, so better leave it like that!
Love love love your blog
Maria

Anonymous said...

My grandmother makes empanadas filled with sweet yams, then she bakes them.

One of my favorite meals is black beans with yellow rice and fried sweet plantains. I haven't seen plantains in shmoo's lunchbox yet, but I would definitely recommend them- they are AMAZING!!! The sweet ones are called maduros, and there are smashed salty ones called tostones. They are incorporated into a lot of 'island' food- Cuban, Jamaican, Hatian, Bahamian. I love them so much, I could sit down and eat a bowlful.

-Raquel

ke said...

oh, my goodneess, click the pumpkin empenada link, just for the pic of "Cook Girl" who wrote the recipie. Her hair is awesome! I used to try to do that in High School. She's got skills.

So this isn't a complete de-rail... I love your blog as always. I started reading it just to look at the cute pics of the lunch boxes, but I keep reading for all the terrific links. I'm going to try to make the pastry as outlined by CookGirl, although I'm not good at desert-type recipies.

Anonymous said...

Ah, you're all making me so jealous with all this talk of various dough shapes filled with yummy stuff. I'm not vegan (or even veg.) but I have enough constraints trying to eat organic everything and pasture raised dairy and meat but without wheat, rye, barley and oats.(Celiac) I guess I just have to start experimenting with alternate flours. You really appreciate the baking qualities of wheat when you can't use it!!!

Susan - Lexington, KY said...

I love Schmoo's Charlie Brown napkin!! :)

Anonymous said...

Jennifer, I also had a question about how you find time to cook. I've been trying to cook fresh meals more often for my (omni) boyfriend and myself, but am having trouble finding enough hours in the day to get three healthy and satisfying meals made for us - even if I use leftovers creatively!

Since I will eventually plan a (vegan) family with my (omni) man, I aspire to your level of dedication when it comes to planning meals... but again, don't know how I would get it all done.

So I ask a (somewhat) personal question with no level whatsoever of being condescending - do you feel that if you were working outside the home as opposed to having a family as your full time job would alter the amount of energy you'd be able to funnel into things like cooking? I'm not sure I'd ever be in a (financial) position to stop working outside the home and concentrate on parenting and homemaking full time, and wonder what areas I will eventually have to compromise in order to "get it all done."

Again, please don't think I'm one of those snotty "why don't you have a 'real' job?" working women, because I'm not. I respect 100% the choice to have your family your job - just as much as I respect 100% the choice to work outside the home. But I wonder if I'd ever be able to be a model mom AND a working woman, without burning out completely...

Thanks in advance for considering my question.

Harmonia said...

Sorry I haven't commented in a while, but I'm back! Jicama! I have been wanting to try it but when I think about it - I can't find it! Next time I see it - it will be a definite!

the vegan vulcan said...

Wow, that empanada looks grand! I bet the "meat"/rasin combo would taste great if it was golden rasins. Mmm.

Oh, and why did someone have to mention samosas? What a great idea! Yum. It's only 10:00 am where I am, but now I am craving them.

Melody said...

When is the Vegan Lunchbox book coming out? Can you give us the link to it on Amazon.com? I went there but couldn't find it. I'd like to pre-order.

Chris said...

That empanada looks great! My favorite kind of hand pie is a Jamaican veggie patty. They're great fresh out of the oven, but also quite delicious for lunch the next day at room temperature.

Amy said...

And let's not forget another great South American stuffed, hand held pastry- the saltena from Bolivia (you have to put that squiggly mark on the n to pronounce it correctly, by the way). From my study abroad times, these pies are made with a corn crust and are stuffed with meat, olives, potatoes and spices. The yellow crust really makes them different- and oh so tasty.

By the way, absolutely love your blog Jennifer. Thank you for sharing all your wonderful efforts with us.

HeroinJulie said...

I wish I could have lunches like that. They are groovy, like your groovy lil shmoo!

mallory! said...

Do you use Tofutti or some similar soy sour cream or do you make your own? I like Tofutti sour cream but it's sort of expensive and, depending on where you shop, may or may not have trans fats, which I avoid. If you make your own, would you be willing to share a recipe?

Anonymous said...

hi! i love your blog, great ideas! i was wondering when and where i could get your cookbook!

flippern said...

Hi. I am a working vegan mom with two kids and I have been preparing vegan lunches since they were born almost 10 years ago. I wanted to address the poster above who was asking if this can be done if you work. Totally. My kids tend to get a few more repeats (ie. pizza every Wednesday to match the school schedule) than shmoo. I also bake at least once a week, usually early before the kids get up. Lunches take no more than 30 minutes prep. The big skill I had to develop was planning ahead. It takes planning, but it can be done.

This blog is a huge inspiration to me to try to make lunches a creative endeavor and not a chore.

stylebird said...

I love your site! It's inspired me to cook/experiment more so thank you. I flipping through the new Martha Stewart Everyday and saw something on broccoli calzones. They look divine and would be perfect for lunch. Another way to use a hand pie.

Anonymous said...

Jennifer, I hope after the vegan lunchbox book comes out that you are going to do a vegan lunches or vegan dinners book, otherwise people will be flapping on the floor in withdrawal :-)

Anonymous said...

I just saw another blog with no need to type in those cumbersome letters that I try and fail on repeatedly. Is this a blog owner option?
&%$ this is my third attempt to post this comment.

Ana said...

Just wanted to say that i'm very inspired by your blog, and i'm creating my own (just about food) here on blogspot. Thanks!

Patty said...

Yummy looking empanada. You seem to have endless ideas and never repeat them. I seem to get on cycles of making the same things

jessie said...

i noticed some posters mention tamales and the broccoli calzones.

if you check the archives, jennifer made tamales on january 3rd and broccoli calzones somewhere back there too... i can't find 'em right now but i saw them earlier...

there's some great stuff back there!

Chris said...

anonymous - I can answer your question about typing in the random letters when you comment. It is indeed a blog owner option, and I had it turned off on my own blog, but I just turned it on recently because I was starting to get too much spam in my comments. And spam definitely isn't vegan ;-) Unfortunately such measures need to be in place as long as there are spammers out there.

Jennifershmoo said...

Thanks, Jessie! Yep, I made broccoli calzones way back in September. You can use the search bar up at the top there to search my blog archives and find old posts. :-)

Hi, mallory! This time I made my own using silken tofu, but usually I buy Tofutti (it tastes so spot on!).

>>do you feel that if you were working outside the home as opposed to having a family as your full time job would alter the amount of energy you'd be able to funnel into things like cooking?

Well, I would certainly have to give up the blog! I think our meals would still be healthy and yummy, but would become more repetitive. I do a lot of little extras now just to keep the blog interesting and fun; if it weren't for that, shmoo would probably be getting more "repeats". But I think I would still be able to put together healthy, homecooked meals, using the skills I've developed with all the cooking I've been doing. The basics like steamed veggies, pastas, soups, porridges, etc. are quick, nutritious, and easy. Other "working mom" tips like making giant batches of soup and brown rice on the weekends would make dinners quicker and easier during the week.

Wide Lawns Subservient Worker said...

I was wondering if the crust you used on your empanadas is the same recipe from the link for the pumpkin ones? This looked very good to me and I wanted to try to make them. Also, I don't like canola oil (found in that crust recipe). I guess I could use vegetable oil, but do you think olive oil would taste too strong and ruin the crust? Beautiful, beautiful blog. Thank you so much for sharing your wonderful creations.

Narnia said...

The green olive and raisins is an Spanish classic. In Argentina, is very common in the nortern provinces. The "empanadas salteñas" (empanadas from the province of Salta) are almost sweet.

Narnia said...

Northern, I meant.

As somebodody said up there, in Argentina you can call by phone and you get your empanadas delivered. There are at leat four different national-wide franchised lines, and a lot of independent "casas de empanadas". You can get them for dessert (sweet potatoe, quincey, or apple, sometimes with some creamy cheese or tofu on the vegan versions) or as main course. You have some "traditional": knife-chopped meat, sweet meat or salteñas, grounded meat, humita (creamed corn), onion and cheese, ham and cheese, chicken (usually pretty spiced) or tuna for Easter week. But there are also new versions: pumpkim, chanpignon with cheese and Sherry, spinach, bacon & raisins, blue cheese and ham, tomato and corn, tomato and basil, chard with cheese, and many more.

There are three kinds of crust you can use: the traditional one for use on the oven, another that's only good for deep frying, or a "puff pastry" version, also for the oven. You can make them yourself (I'm sorry all the recipes I have are in Spanish) or just buy the ready-made discs: some are even made all-organic.

Anonymous said...

About Jicama - for those of you getting excited about trying to find it, don't go out of your way - it really doesn't taste like much at all. In fact, some people call it the "tasteless vegetable". It's not worth going to 10 stores to find it.

Erika said...

my god!! where were you when I was in school. I'm not even close to vegan but there are the best looking lunches I've ever seen. I was a yogurt, fruit, water just about everyday from 7th grade until i graduated high school. man this stuff looks so good. :) you rock!

Donna said...

I can recommend the pumpkin empanada recipe *grin*. The dough is great and is a great example of a butterless, eggless dough. Its a sweet recipe but not sickly sweet at all.
I just want to know how you guarantee the return of all of the bits of that lovely lunchbox everyday. We have 2 lunchboxes in rotation and boy, do we need the spare. Between communication folders, hats and lunchboxes I go quietly nuts LOL.

red said...

thank you



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