PALEO TILAPIA EMPANADAS

5 Mar

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Finally! After several failed attempts, and I mean several, I finally sort of perfected a paleo empanada recipe! I cannot even begin to describe how many F bombs went off in my kitchen every time my batter fell apart, so before I proceed to the recipe instructions, I will list a few helpful tips that would make your empanada successful and stress free, or at least for the most part 😉

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Make sure you use canned full fat coconut milk (shake well) instead of the lite version. The fat in the coconut milk keeps the cream thick, which thickens the batter and makes it moldable when folding the dough. Using lite/low fat coconut milk will make your batter runny and well….you know the rest.

If you find that you would prefer a thicker batter after mixing all the batter ingredients, feel free to add ¼ cup brown rice flour or oat flour, but it won’t be paleo. If you would still prefer to keep it paleo, add 2 tbsp. of coconut flour to the batter and mix until it thickens up a little but more.

Finally, you need patience, and I mean a LOT of it. Have some music playing in your kitchen with a glass or wine sitting around (Apothic red is my new fav!). It may take you a couple of attempts to get it right, or you might get it right at your first attempt! Either way, you will still have a successful empanada if you follow these steps carefully.

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The tilapia is optional, so feel free to use beef, chicken or even dessert fillings to make it into a dessert empanada! The batter is quite diverse.

Recipe: modified from myheartbeets.com. Makes 6-8 wraps.

For Empanada:

½ cup almond flour (or ¼ cup brown rice flour, or 2 tbsp. coconut flour added)
½ cup tapioca starch
1 can full fat unsweetened coconut milk

For Filling:

1 large tilapia fillet
¼ cup chopped red onions
¼ cup scallions
2 minced garlic cloves
¼ cup diced red peppers
1 tsp Herbamere (or sea salt)
½ cayenne pepper
1 tsp ground cumin
½ green curry masala
1 organic cage free egg
Organic virgin coconut oil (for frying/searing)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Prepare filling ingredients. Place a skillet over medium heat and add 1 tsp. coconut oil. Add onions and garlic to the skillet and let it simmer for about ten seconds.

Dice tilapia into small cubes, then season with spices and add to the skillet. Sear tilapia in the skillet while mixing with onions and for 1 minute or until tender, then when ready, transfer tilapia into a bowl and mash until shredded. Set aside and proceed to make empanadas…whoop!

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Mix all empanada ingredients in a bowl until you get a smooth batter, then place a skillet over medium heat with 1 tsp of coconut oil. Using a ¼ measuring cup, scoop batter into the skillet and fry the bottom until it seems firm (about 3 minutes, and do not flip). This might take a little while because if the batter is taking off too soon, it will fall apart.

Place the empanadas on the baking sheet, then add the tilapia filling in the middle and fold gently. Pinch the edges until they stick and repeat the same process for the remaining batter.

Whisk the egg in a bowl and brush the stuffed empanadas with the egg wash, making sure you focus on the edges more. This will prevent the edges from opening up just in case there were areas you couldn’t pinch.

Place empanadas in the oven and bake for 30-40 minutes or until crispy. When ready, let it sit out at room temperature.

Devour when ready! You can also eat these with a sprinkle of lemon juice, salsa, avocado, or any healthy side dipping sauce of choice.

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