admittedly, this picture is not of Jim’s actual empenadas. This is a free picture we found on-line, of obviously white flour empenadas. Trust us: Jim’s are better!

I’ve been making this recipe for years. It’s great in winter or summer, and my wife and I, and my book group (five hungry men), love them. The combo of organic grains, beans and vegetables satisfies. Which beans to use? Eden beans are cooked with kombu, which makes them more digestible, and Eden doesn’t use bisphenol-A to line their cans. Lin’s Farm tahini is made from whole sesame seeds so you get a lot of calcium. For the pie crust (I first discovered this basic pie crust recipe in 1976), add water to the dough until it reaches earlobe consistency. The result: a great pie crust and a pair of sticky, doughy ears.

12-14 servings   |   preheat oven to 350 degrees

2 medium carrots, diced 2 C whole wheat pastry flour
1 large parsnip, diced ½ tsp salt
1 medium onion, chopped ½ C Earth Balance spread, or butter
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) ½ C tahini
2 cans Eden kidney beans, drained 10 Tbsp cold water
2-3 Tbsp tamari Grated cheese, optional

Chop and dice veggies. Sauté them slowly and gently in 2 Tbsp EVOO to bring out their sweetness. When veggies are tender, add drained kidney beans and 2-3 Tbsp (to taste)) tamari. Simmer while you make the crust.

Mix the whole wheat flour and salt and cut in the Earth Balance (or butter) and tahini. Mix well by hand. Add approximately 10 Tbsp water and knead well. Adjust by feel (earlobes if necessary) to get good elasticity. Roll out the dough. You can either roll out the entire batch or divide batch in half and do one half at a time. I roll it between two sheets of wax paper to make it easier to handle.

Cut into circles about 4¾” in diameter. I use an upturned jar to make the circles. Remainders can be re-formed and re-rolled until all dough is all used up. Spoon about three Tbsp of filling onto each circle (I’ve never added cheese, but if you’re not a vegan, that would be delicious!) and fold over into a crescent. Press empanadas closed with your finger and thumb. Press with a fork to make a decorative edge. Lay empanadas onto shallow, greased pan (or two). Put in 350 degree oven, and bake for about 25 minutes.