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Sweet Potato, Bean and Turkey Empanada – Family Favorites

Our family’s favorite meal this week was a new one but it was a hit!  I took a little bit of lots of things we had around and came up with these empanadas.  I largely used this recipe but, as usual, made some modifications.  The recipe made a bunch, so we’re still eating leftovers, but I will definitely make them again, and might mix it up next time 🙂

A couple of months ago, a friend invited us for lunch and served tacos with sweet potatoes mixed in with the meat.  It was delicious!  She got the idea from Jessica Seinfeld’s book, Deceptively Delicious.  In theory, I was opposed to deceptively delicious.  I don’t want to hide vegetables from my kids, I want them to know them and to love them.  But my friend sold me on the notion of adding vegetables to things we’re already cooking for more nutrients and fiber and sometimes, flavor.  Let’s face it, on a whole, our society is lacking a few vegetables each day! So, when sweet potatoes went on sale this fall, I bought a few, cooked them and froze them for easy access.  I didn’t have a specific plan (which sometimes drives my dear husband crazy), but I figured I would use them.

So I pulled out our frozen mashed sweet potato, had some black beans on hand and cooked up some ground turkey because, frankly, our family likes meat, so rather than keep this vegetarian, we added in meat.  It would have been fine to have without the meat.  Finally, I put in some cheese.  I love cheese.  My kids love cheese.  So why not?  Once the dough was rolled out, I sprinkled on a little cheese before filling them.  We were pleasantly surprised with the result.  Top with the salsa of your choice (we had some green enchilada sauce) and some sour cream – rice on the side – yum!
ImageHungry yet?  Let’s get cooking!
Empanada Recipe (this takes about 1 1/2 hours start to finish!)

Printable Recipe: Sweet Potato, Black Bean, Turkey Empanadas

2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
3 Tablespoons butter
1/3 cup cold water
1 tablespoon cider vinegar
1 Tablespoon dried cilantro
1 large egg, lightly beaten

3/4 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
3/4 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 medium onion, diced
1/2 lb ground turkey
2  teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 Tablespoons dried cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons chile powder
1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 cup shredded cheddar cheese (or use monterey jack or colby jack)
1 egg white, lightly beaten

Combine flour and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk.  Cut in butter until flour resembles coarse sand.  Add water, vinegar and egg until just moist.  Knead lightly until smooth.  Add water a teaspoon at a time if not wet enough.  Shape dough into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for at least 1 hour.

Heat skillet over medium high heat.  Cook turkey until no longer pink.  Add in onions.  Cook until fragrant.  Stir in cumin and chile powder.  Set aside.
Stir together sweet potatoes, black beans and turkey mixture.

Preheat oven to 400°.


Divide dough into 10 equal portions, shaping each into a ball. Roll each dough portion into a (5-inch) circle on a lightly floured surface. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), sprinkle 2 teaspoons shredded cheese over dough.
Spoon 3 level tablespoons bean and potato mixture into center of each circle. Moisten edges of dough with egg white; fold dough over filling. Press edges together to seal.  Brush egg white on top of empanadas.  Place empanadas on a large baking sheet with a sheet of parchment paper.  Bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until lightly browned.
ImageTop with the salsa of your choice (we had some green enchilada sauce) and some sour cream – rice on the side – yum!



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Posted by on November 15, 2013 in Family Favorites


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