Black Bean Empanadas and Spanish Rice

I'm not sure how pie crust fits into our healthy lifestyle, but whether it's a hand pie, tomato pie, chicken pot pie, an actual dessert pie, or these delicious empanadas, I'm not complaining when it does! I suppose Whitney figures that as long as we make it ourselves, at least we know exactly what's in it (butter/flour/salt). These empanadas have a tasty veggie and cheese filling, and aside from tasting great, they're fun to eat! We had a little difficulty figuring out the balance of filling vs. crust when we were wrapping them up, but they turned out just fine.

Offsetting the empanadas are some homemade spanish rice (we made it from a wild rice blend) and a side salad. I think we undercooked the rice a little bit but other than that I found it to be an enjoyable alternative to our typically simple rice preparations. Whitney prepared a helpful printable doc here with the recipes.

Before baking
Hot and ready!
Mexican Night - Baked Black Bean Empanadas & Spanish Rice
adapted from Hip2Save

Empanadas Makes 20 small empanadas
1/4 cup canned sweet corn > substitue 1 squash, diced and sauteed with 1 onion, diced
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded and diced  
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed
1/4 cup salsa                
1 tsp Mexican seasoning blend
salt & pepper to taste        
1/2 lime, juiced
1/4 cup cilantro > we omitted             
Pie dough
1/2 cup Monterey Jack cheese, shredded
Optional: Egg white and small packet Sazon Goya seasoning

   In large bowl, mix corn [squash/onion], jalapenos, black beans, salsa, cumin, lime juice and cilantro. Set aside.
   Unroll pie pastry on floured countertop or cutting board. Use a 4 inch wide cup or round cookie cutter to cut circles from the dough. Roll out scrap pieces of dough for more circles.
Place bean mixture and a pinch of cheese on each circle. Fold over and use a fork to press down and seal edges.
   Optional Step: Mix one egg white and one small packet Sazon Goya found in the Hispanic food aisle. It is a very inexpensive mix of salt, cilantro, garlic, salt, cumin and Annatto (achiote) seeds. I brushed this on before baking to achieve a bright gold color and to add extra flavor.
   Lay each empanada on a parchment paper lined baking sheet and bake in a 450 degree oven for about 12 minutes, until browned. Serve with remaining corn and black bean salsa.

Spanish Rice
1 - 15  oz can stewed tomatoes  
1 1/2 cups chicken or vegetable stock
1 1/4 cups rice        
1 tablespoon butter
2 teaspoons chili powder        
3/4 teaspoon oregano
1/2 teaspoon garlic salt        
1 teaspoon cumin

   In medium saucepan, combine all ingredients (mash tomatoes with potato masher or fork.)
Bring to a boil; reduce heat to low. Cover and simmer 30 minutes or until rice is done.

Dupree can't believe how good these empanadas are!
Nacho doesn't care about Mexican night unless tortilla chips are involved.


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