Paleo Meat Empanadas

by Gregory
paleo meat empanadas

Empanadas are a mainstay in Mexican cuisine.  And it is easy to see why.  They are versatile, compact, and easy to transport.  Today we are going to talk about Paleo Meat Empanadas. 

For you unfamiliar with empanadas, they are flour-based dumpling-looking creations.  One of the reasons for their popularity is their versatility.  Similar to our Crepes recipe (click below to check it out), you can put whatever you like in it.  This is a Paleo Meat Empanadas recipe so we are doing meat, but you can honestly put anything in this “capsule.”  Other protein-based popular ones include chicken and port.  Lots of people use them to fill them with sugar-laced fruits, such as pumpkin or pineapple.

As a child of Mexican-born parent who emigrated here in the 1960s, I was surprisingly not exposed to empanadas.  This was for two reasons.  One, my mother, God bless her soul, is not the best cook or baker.  In fact, I never recall her baking anything aside from instant cookie mixes.  Secondly, as immigrants I think she tried to Americanize us as much as possible.  So authentic Mexican food was not forthcoming at the Luna household.

Why do we need a Paleo Meat Empanadas?  Well, the standard empanadas, as mentioned, are flour-based.  The dough which wraps all this goodness has gluten, the protein found in all wheat. 

What is wrong with gluten?  Some people have an autoimmune disorder called Celiac Disease where if they ingest any gluten, it triggers their immune system to attack the cells which are responsible for digestion of foods.  These people must avoid gluten.  That being said, estimates show that perhaps as much as 60% of Americans are sensitive to gluten, meaning that it has a deleterious effect on the body in some minor or covert major way.  Most common symptoms are “brain fog,” abdominal bloating, “leaky gut” and more. 

What about the other ingredients in the conventional panaderia empanada?  Most empanada makers will use the lowest quality meat and other ingredients.  Yes, buying them store-bought is convenient but in the long run making empanadas at home, like this Paleo Meat Empanada recipe, will save you money in the long run.

Paleo Meat Empanada

So what makes this Paleo Meat Empanada recipe so worthwhile?  Primarily, we are removing the wheat flour and replacing it with flours that are not allergenic.  This recipe uses almond and tapioca flour for the empanada crust.  Click HERE to see our Review of non-Wheat Flours article and/or Holistic Health News podcast episode.

In this recipe, we are using high-quality ground beef.  If you can afford it, use organic or grass fed ground meat.  Conventional meat is full of ammonia-based fillers to keep it “fresh,” growth hormones, and antibiotics.

This recipe is meat-based, but feel free to make one in the future with fresh fruit.  But what that recipe is forthcoming.

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paleo meat empanadas

Paleo Meat Empanadas

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Serves: 6 Empanadas Prep Time: Cooking Time:
Nutrition facts: 200 calories 20 grams fat
Rating: 5.0/5
( 1 voted )

Ingredients

  • Filling
  • 1 pound organic ground beef
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil (avocado is good too)
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • Crust
  • 1 cup coconut milk (refrigerated or canned, full-fat)
  • 1/2 cup almond flour
  • 1/2 cup tapioca flour
  • 1 egg (pastured)

Instructions

Sautee on medium heat olive oil and onions.

Add garlic, chia seeds, and spices when onions look well-sautéed.

After a few minutes, add meat and mix well.  Set aside.

For the crust, combine the flours, coconut milk, and egg.

Pour 1/4 of batter onto non-stick pan over medium heat. Let the batter cook until the bottom of the batter is firm enough to move.

Using a spatula, lift the bread and move onto baking sheet, flipping it over so that the sticky side is down.  Repeat this until batter is done. 

Spoon the meat mixture into the middle of the bread. Pinch dough closed.

Brush the empanadas with some butter or olive oil.

Bake for 350 degrees for 30-40 minutes or until crispy.

 

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