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Spinach Empanadas

By: Bulletproof Staff

Spinach Empanadas

Recipe provided by Chef Vanessa Musi

A tasty and unique take on the traditional spinach empanada — this recipe is Paleo-friendly, as well as gluten- and dairy-free. The key to the crust lies in its almond nut flour, containing the following macronutrients per ¼ cup: 14 grams fat; 6 grams protein; 6 grams carbs; 3 grams fiber. It’s a great Paleo-friendly baking flour especially when combined with something like ghee to hold it together. Plus, ghee adds all of that good fat essential to keep your body and mind in sync. For more on good fats, read here.

With two huge bunches of spinach rounding out the filling, you are in for a nutritional boost with each bite. Low in carbs and calories and vibrantly high in carotenoids, folate, vitamin C, calcium, iron, and vitamin K1, spinach is a winner — especially when cooked to remove any oxalates (antinutrients).

If you’re new to cooking with alternative flours, this recipe is a great start because it’s basic (though definitely not boring). If you’re an old pro, well, go ahead and get started already.

spinach empanadas

Spinach Empanadas

Ingredients:    

Crust:

  • 1 ½ cups (158 grams) almond flour
  • ½ cup tapioca flour aka: tapioca starch
  • 1 tablespoon Lakanto classic sweetener (Monk Fruit)
  • ½ teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons (90 grams) refrigerated ghee, cut into pieces
  • 1 large egg, organic, pasture raised, cold

Egg wash:

  • 1 pasture raised organic egg
  • 1 pasture raised organic egg yolk
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch Monk Fruit sweetener

Mix everything well with a whisk or hand blender to integrate. (You can do this step up to 1 day before and keep refrigerated.)

Instructions:

Empanada pastry

1. Combine the almond flour, tapioca flour, sweetener, salt and ghee in a food processor, or use a pastry blender in a bowl. Pulse or blend until the texture of coarse meal.

2. In a small bowl, whisk the egg and then add to the dry ingredients. Pulse/mix again until dough comes together. If you’re mixing in a bowl, you may want to use your hands to bring the dough together at the end.

3. Form dough into a rectangle. Wrap in plastic wrap. Refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

4. When you’re ready to bake, preheat oven to 360 °F.

5. Remove pastry from fridge bring to room temp: roll out one round of dough in between two sheets of parchment; cut with the largest cookie cutter.

6. Carefully lay circles (ideally must be cold) onto a perforated tray with a Silpat mat or parchment paper. Varnish edges with egg wash. Add 1 tsp of Kite Hill cream cheese and some spinach filling on top, close the empanada as if you are folding the circle to form a “quesadilla” glaze with egg wash and bake until golden.

7. If the dough breaks, that’s okay! Just press it back into place and repair any holes/cracks that may have formed.

Spinach Filling

  • 2 bunches baby spinach, approximately 2/3 cup, chopped
  • 1 large shallot or ½ small yellow onion, organic, chopped finely
  • 1 small garlic clove, pressed through a garlic press
  • 1/8 cup ghee
  • ½ cup Kite Hill Almond Milk cream cheese
  • Bragg’s Organic spice blend to taste
  • Himalayan sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1. In a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt ghee, saute shallot, garlic, season with spices, salt and pepper until golden, add spinach, add lemon juice and cook until soft.

2. Remove from heat.

3. Finish off with olive oil. Let cool.

Serves: Approximately 8-10, depending on the size of cookie cutter

A note on nuts

Except for coconut, all nuts are considered “suspect” on the Bulletproof Diet to some extent. Nuts contain a high risk of mold contamination and have high levels of omega-6 fats that oxidize easily and can contribute to inflammation. Nuts also contain varying levels of lectins, nutrient-sapping compounds that can also be tough on your gut.

If you’re having trouble losing weight or suffer from headaches, joint pain, or other autoimmune symptoms, try removing nuts from your diet completely. You can try reintroducing them once symptoms subside.

For more about the spectrum of Bulletproof Foods, check out the Bulletproof Roadmap, a visual guide to help you navigate the most nutrient-dense foods to the most kryptonite!

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