FTC: Thank you to Sweet Earth Foods for sponsoring this post. All thoughts and opinions are my own. 

If you’ve been following me for a while you know that I go back and forth between vegan life and carnivore life very often. As hard as I try whenever the summer rolls around, or I head off to vacation, I lose sight of all of the benefits I experience while maintaining a plant based diet. 

My skin glows, my workouts are way more powerful/ impactful, and I have a ton more energy. So with the holidays coming up (a time when I also usually fail at maintaining my vegan lifestyle), I’ve decided to make the conscious effort to attempt a few vegan recipes to throw into the mix of my Friendsgiving/ Thanksgiving meals. 

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Being a Vegan With PCOS
Vegan Food On A Budget; Sweet Earth Foods Review 

              

Easy Vegan Empanada Recipe With Sweet Earth Foods Awesome Grounds

I’ll be hosting my very first Friendsgiving this year in my new home, and in preparation I’ve decided to play around with a few vegan recipes in order to master the flavors for the big day. One of my favorite dishes to make is empanadas, because there are so many things you can do with them. In knowing that, I decided to incorporate the new Sweet Earth Foods Awesome Grounds as a plant- based protein replacement instead of beef. 

I’ve tried other Sweet Earth plant based meals, and I haven’t been let down yet, so I decided they would have the pleasure of being a part of my first attempt at vegan empanadas. The Sweet Earth Foods Awesome Grounds just launched this Fall, and you can find them in the fresh meat section of select stores.

I’m a very simple and easy going cook. I don’t like to complicate things that do not need complication, and I certainly do not like being in the kitchen for hours. The quicker, easier, and tastier the better. Let’s get into the recipe before we get into the flavor, texture and taste. 

Easy Vegan Empanada Recipe: 

Ingredients:

  • Sweet Earth Foods Awesome Grounds (1-2 packages depending on amount of empanadas you’re making)
  • Empanada Crust (you can find these in the freezer at your local market, I use the Goya brand. If you’re really fancy, talented and have the time you can make your own crust from scratch… I won’t be doing that ever… lol)
  • Pasta Sauce (choose your favorite pasta flavored sauce)
  • Salt & Pepper 
  • Chopped Garlic & Onions (optional)
  • Paprika and Adobo (optional)
  • Oil

Directions:

  1. You are first going to let the empanada crust and grounds defrost (you can keep the grounds in the refrigerator as well).
  2. Lightly oil your favorite skillet or frying pan (I used EVOO to spray the pan) and place it on low-medium heat
  3. Add in your chopped garlic and onions at this time if you’re choosing to use them as a part of your flavoring), and let them simmer a bit. Don’t let them burn because that will affect the flavor of your empanada, watch for when they start to brown, become fragrant and translucent. 
  4. Mix in your favorite pasta sauce (add in about a quarter to half of the jar depending on how saucy you want your empanadas to be) and allow it to simmer for 3-4 minutes to absorb the garlic and onion flavor. 
  5. At this time add in your seasoning. I use salt, pepper, paprika and adobo. You know the flavor palette you are going for so add in the appropriate seasoning of your choice. 
  6. Lastly add in the Sweet Earth Foods Awesome Grounds and mix it/ coat it with the sauce/seasoning. Let it cook for approximately 7 mins, occasionally stirring. You will see a warm red color to know that it is done/cooked thoroughly. 
  7. During this time you can start laying out your empanada crusts. Once the grounds are ready, I use a regular sized spoon (think cereal spoon) to place the grounds onto my empanada crusts. Fold them over and seal them with a fork to get that dope pastry look. 
  8. Now… here’s the most important part to get your empanadas on and popping. You are going to flash fry your empanada for 2-3 minutes. Simply to cook your crust and give it that perfect golden brown/ crunchy look/taste. You can do this one of two ways. The classic frying option.
    1. Classic Option: Heat up your favorite frying oil (for my purposes I’m using regular corn oil… forgive me) and slowly/carefully place your empanada crust into the oil. Leave it on there for about 3 minutes. Flip over the crust at the halfway point. 
    2. Modern Option: If you have an air fryer (because what millennial doesn’t) you can go a bit healthier route, and air fry thy crust for 7-8 minutes depending on your air fryer settings. I’ve found that my air fryer doesn’t make my empanada crusts as golden brown/crunchy as the classic frying option, but it is healthier and just as good. 

The only thing left to do is EAT and enjoy and completely plant based empanada. So after trying out my first attempt at vegan empanadas, I must say I am thoroughly impressed with the fact that these Sweet Earth Awesome Grounds taste just like beef. They are made with non-gmo plant-based ingredients including pea and wheat protein. 

I like that it was really easy to cook in my skillet, and is incredibly recipe friendly to whatever traditional meat meals you usually make. Honestly I have no real reason to hide behind comfort foods that I love anymore, when this dish took me no more than 20 minutes to make and enjoy. I am excited to recreate this vegan friendly recipe again for my friends at Friendsgiving as another option for those with dietary restrictions without sacrificing taste and flavor. 

Sweet Earth Foods Awesome Grounds

Have you tried different meatless Monday (or any other day) recipes? I’d love to hear about em! Share with me below in the comments.