Stop by the West End store foyer to try these delicious vegan empanadas from local chef Celena Pirela. Missed it? Make your own at home!


Sofrito Salsa


1 each red pepper, yellow pepper, green pepper

1 Spanish or yellow onion

3 garlic cloves

1 bunch cilantro

1 small tomato

½ cup pineapple

½ tsp sea salt

½ cup alkaline water


Once everything has been rinsed and seeded, blend in small batches in a food processor or blender. (Onions are great on the bottom; they give off a lot of liquid once blended.)

Refrigerate in a sealed container. Freeze any extra in small containers.


Empanada Dough


2 ¼ tsp active dry yeast

1 tsp sugar

1 tsp salt

2 cups pastry flour

1 Tbsp olive oil


In a glass bowl, mix yeast and sugar with 1 cup of hot water.

Add salt and flour. Mix with a fork until dough becomes firm. Knead for 1 to 2 minutes into a soft ball.

Pour oil into a separate bowl. Add dough and roll in oil to coat. Let sit until doubled in size.

Roll dough into a large rectangle.

Sazón Seasoning


 1 tbsp ground coriander

1 Tbsp ground cumin

1 Tbsp ground annatto seeds

1 Tbsp garlic powder

2 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp onion powder


Combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix until the spices are evenly distributed.

Store in a clean jar at room temperature for up to 1 year.

Beefless Filling


1 package Gardein beefless grounds

2 drops of olive oil 

1/2 tsp of Sazón seasoning, or to taste

1 tbsp of organic tomato sauce


In a saucepan on medium heat, add 2 drops of olive oil followed by the beefless grounds. Then add in all other ingredients. Stir until all ingredients are completely mixed in. If you like it a little more saucy, add additional tomato sauce. Taste and adjust as needed. Set aside to cool.

Preparation of empanadas

Lightly flour a work surface and roll out the dough to ¼-inch thick. Cut out 4-, 5- or 6-inch rounds, depending on your preference. Add some filling to each empanada and fold the dough over in half to enclose the filling. Use a fork to press and seal the edges closed. You can refrigerate the uncooked empanadas for up to 3 hours.

Heat 2-4 Tbsp olive oil in a hot skillet. Fry the empanadas until golden brown, 6 to 7 minutes per side. Serve with sofrito salsa.