Trouble With Toast

Recipe: Sweet Potato and Black Bean Empanadas | May 11, 2011

Wow, I cannot believe it’s been over a month since I posted anything.  Don’t worry – I haven’t been eating bad take-out.  In fact, the kitchen at TWT headquarters has been busy, and I have TONS of delicious new dishes to share with you.

My husband and I have been on a diet since late March.  Basically, even though we are good little exercisers, we weren’t feeling as healthy as we thought we could be.  We started using My Fitness Pal, a website/app that helps track calories (both consumed and burned), and we began paying a LOT more attention to the types and amounts of food we were putting into our bodies.  We also pledged to be more conscious of the calories we were drinking – so beer and wine consumption was significantly reduced.

The good news?  Not only am I down 10 pounds (and husband is down 12), but I have loads of healthy new recipes to talk about.  Not all of them were out-and-out successes, but I have found it amazing how satisfied I can be and still lose weight.  It’s all about planning, discipline, and understanding that while it’s okay to “cheat,” there are consequences to how you treat your temple, and if you can make good choices most of the time, you’ll really reap the benefits.

Let’s get to the food, shall we?

This recipe has now become one of my go-to dishes.  Empanadas are time consuming (especially when you make the dough from scratch), but you can make them ahead and freeze them for quick weeknight dinners or impressive party snacks.  This version shuns meat for (I think) equally filling beans and sweet potatoes, and baking rather than deep frying yields a golden brown result with all the extra fat and oil.

Note: Part of our lifestyle change involves watching portion sizes.  After all, who cares if something is only 100 calories if it’s only a bite!  In that vein, I am going to include key nutritional information in all future posts, to the extent that it is available.

  • 9 ounces all-purpose flour (2 cups)
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/3 cup canola oil
  • 1/4 cup cold water
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 1 large egg, lightly beaten
  • 1 poblano chile
  • 1 tablespoon cumin seeds
  • 1 cup mashed cooked sweet potatoes
  • 1 cup canned black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/3 cup chopped green onions
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 egg white, lightly beaten

Weigh or lightly spoon flour into dry measuring cups, and level with a knife. Combine flour and 3/4 teaspoon salt in a large bowl, stirring with a whisk. Combine canola oil, 1/4 cup water, 1 tablespoon vinegar, and egg in a medium bowl. Gradually add oil mixture to flour mixture, stirring just until moist. Knead lightly until smooth. Shape dough into a ball, and wrap in plastic wrap. Chill for 1 hour.

Preheat broiler.

Place poblano on a foil-lined baking sheet; broil 8 minutes or until blackened, turning after 6 minutes. Place in a paper bag; close tightly. Let stand 15 minutes. Peel chile; cut in half lengthwise. Discard seeds and membranes. Finely chop.

Preheat oven to 400°.

Cook the cumin seeds in a large saucepan over medium heat 1 minute or until toasted, stirring constantly. Place cumin in a clean spice or coffee grinder; process until ground. Combine cumin, poblano, sweet potatoes, and next 5 ingredients (through 1/2 teaspoon salt) in a large bowl; mash with a fork until almost smooth.

Divide dough into 10 equal portions, shaping each into a ball. Roll each dough portion into a (5-inch) circle on a lightly floured surface. Working with 1 portion at a time (cover remaining dough to keep from drying), spoon 3 level tablespoons poblano mixture into center of each circle. Moisten edges of dough with egg white; fold dough over filling. Press edges together to seal. Place empanadas on a large baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Cut 3 diagonal slits across top of each empanada. Bake at 400° for 16 minutes or until lightly browned.

Serving: 1 empanada

Per serving: 209 calories, 8.4 grams of fat, 29 grams of carbs, and 5.1 grams of protein



  1. The recipe sounds great and I’ll be trying it, but my comment is more to cheer your including nutritional information. As someone who watches her diet all the time, I love having that info available when I’m reading a recipe.

    One plea: could you add fiber content when available? I use the Weight Watcher’s system to maintain my weight (45 pounds down, kept it off for 6 years), and their new system needs protein, carbs, fat, and fiber to calculate the Points Plus value.

    Comment by NancyB — May 11, 2011 @ 2:07 pm

    • Nancy, thanks so much for the encouragement! And good for you for keeping that weight off – impressive. Fiber is a great thing to include, and I will do my best to post that info. This recipe has 2.9 grams, by the way. 🙂

      Comment by bettyjoan — May 11, 2011 @ 2:24 pm

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