Paleo Empanadas with Avocado Sauce

These tasty empanadas make a fantastic appetizer, a snack or a meal. Kids love them and they’re a great party food, because you can eat them with your hands. This recipe is very unusual because it is gluten-free, grain-free, and 100% Paleo. The dough is made with pure coconut flakes, almond meal and arrowroot. The Vegan filling is rich, spicy and satisfying. Makes 8 large empanadas 6-inches wide. Serves 4.

Paleo Empanadas with Avocado Sauce

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Ingredients

    Filling
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, diced
  • 1/2 onion, diced
  • 1/2 lb mushrooms, diced
  • Unprocessed salt
  • Black pepper
  • 4 green onions, chopped fine
  • 4 large leaves greens such as kale or chard, chopped fine
  • 2 tablespoons filtered water
  • handful fresh basil
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Dough:
  • 1 1/2 cups medium shredded unsweetened coconut flakes (not coconut flour)
  • 1 cup almond meal or almond flour
  • 1/2 cup arrowroot powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon unprocessed salt
  • 2 eggs
  • 1 tablespoon live apple cider vinegar or lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon filtered water (only if necessary)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil – for brushing empanadas.
  • Avocado Cilantro Sauce:
  • 1 lemon or 2 limes, peel cut away , sliced and seeded
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 1 teaspoon Just Like Sugar Table Top natural chicory root sweetener (not Baking.)
  • Handful cilantro including stems
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 avocado
  • 1/4 cup olive oil or filtered water, as needed for smooth blending

Instructions

    For the filling:
  1. In a large skillet, sauté garlic and onion in coconut oil until soft. Add mushrooms and cook until they begin to soften. Turn the heat down to medium low and cover. Add the remaining ingredients and cook gently. Adjust salt, pepper and spices to taste. Do not overcook, as it will be baked later. Remove the pan from stove, cover and set aside.
  2. Preheat oven to 350°F. Get out two baking sheets.
  3. For the dough:
  4. In a food processor, place the coconut and almond meal. Spin it for a minute to a fine flour. Open the processor, stir the bottom, and grind again until very fine.
  5. Add arrowroot powder, salt and mix again. Add eggs and vinegar or lemon juice. Process until it forms a cohesive dough. If it is too thick, add a bit of water a teaspoon at a time.
  6. Form the dough into a ball and place on a counter top lightly dusted with arrowroot powder. I find it easiest to roll each empanada one at a time. Or you can roll out the entire dough and cut. Roll it between 2 layers of parchment or wax paper to 1/8 inch thick. Peel off the top layer of paper. How large do you want your empanadas? I cut the dough in 6-inch circles. You can use any round object such as an inverted bowl or a pan lid to measure. Cut the dough into round circles. Move the dough circle to the baking sheet.
  7. Assemble and Bake:
  8. Place a few tablespoons of filling inside the circle. Fold it in half and crimp the edges with a fork. Repeat for all the empanadas. Prick 1 to 3 tiny steam holes in the top of each empanada with a small knife.
  9. Brush each empanada with melted coconut oil. Then bake for 20 minutes. If your empanadas are small, bake for 15 minutes. You can finish them to a beautiful golden brown by turning the oven on broil for the last few minutes. Watch carefully and remove them as they begin to brown.
  10. Avocado Sauce:
  11. While the empanadas are baking, blend all sauce ingredients in any blender and pour into a serving bowl. Easy!
  12. Serve:
  13. Allow empanads to cool for 5 - 10 minutes. Serve with avocado sauce on the side.