These delicious morsels will be the star of your next party!

One night, I had some friends over for a small house party, and I had EVERY intention of making vegetarian empanadas for the occasion! I had my yummy filling made and had my dough prepared. I was ready to create some magic! Well, have you ever had something completely planned out, to then find out that that said plan did NOT go your way? Yep-that’s what happened to me.

Deliciously savory empa-rose filling!
I began filling each piece of dough with the filling, and found that the dough could not fold in the shape of an empanada. In fact, the dough was beginning to crumble apart! I allowed myself to freak out for two seconds. Then, being the creative out-of-the-box person I am, I was determined to figure out how to stuff my empanadas in a way without having them crumble. After a couple minutes, I looked at the filling and my dough, and thought to myself: ‘What if I folded the filling into the dough by rolling it into a pinwheel shape?‘ And you know what? It worked out beautifully! I took the filling, and gently wrapped the dough around the filling mixture, and found that the pastry resembled a rose. That’s how I deemed these babies as empa-roses! Not only did my beautiful savory pastry roses look pretty (after making them the second time), but they were incredibly delicious. These babies were also a huge hit with my guests!

Empa-roses are a GREAT & versatile dish to make: You can make them for your next party, or for your next Tuesday night supper. The options are really endless!

Some advice:

·         Be gentle when rolling the roses, as your dough may fall apart if you over-stuff.

·         I highly recommend not scooping more than two tablespoons TOPS (one heaping tablespoon per pastry should really do!)

·         Muffin or cupcake tins will be your best friend.

·         You DON’T have to use crescent roll dough-you can sub that for any other type of dough.

·         The filling can really be whatever you’d like! These can even serve as a sweet dessert!

Here’s my recipe!

·         One 8oz. can crescent roll dough
·         1 medium bell pepper
·         1 cup fresh spinach
·         1 small onion
·         8 oz. packet baby portabella mushrooms
·         3 cloves garlic, minced
·         2 tbsp. tomato paste
·         2 tbsp. cumin or 2 tbsp. of favorite taco seasoning
·         2 tbsp. cooking oil
·         ¼ tsp. salt
·         1 egg or 1-2 tbsp. melted coconut oil (if vegan)
1.       Preheat oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. While oven is preheating, gently open the crescent roll dough can and separate the crescent roll dough pieces into the pre-cut triangles, and lay them out on parchment paper, or on a lightly floured surface. Set aside.

2.       Dice the onion, bell pepper, and portabella mushrooms into cubes roughly about the size of an inch. Set aside.

3.       In a skillet, heat to medium high, and place cooking oil to let warm up for about 20-30 seconds. Gradually add the garlic, onion, bell pepper, and mushroom. Cover and let the veggie mixture sauté for about 7-10 minutes, or until the veggies lightly caramelize. Make sure to keep an eye on the veggies and stir frequently (about every two minutes).

4.       During the last two minutes of the veggies sautéing, add the spinach mixture and immediately cover and let it sit, until the spinach begins to wilt. Gradually stir in the spinach with the rest of veggie mixture.

5.       After the veggies have been mixed, gradually add in the tomato paste and cumin/taco seasoning and salt, until everything is well combined. Remove the mixture from heat and let it cool off for about 5 minutes, or until it is warm to the touch.

6.       Assembling the Empa-roses!
a.       Place about one tablespoon of filling into the center of each crescent roll triangle (it’s the fattest part of the triangle).
step a
b.      Gently use the bottom portion of the triangle to fold over the mixture.
step b
c.       Fold the right corner over the mixture.
step c
d.      Once both the bottom and right triangle corner of the dough has been folded over the filling, gently take the longest corner and fold it over the dough, and wrap the dough around until the shape resembled something like a rose (or pinwheel/ roll).
step d
step d

e.      Delicately place each rose into an ungreased muffin tin hole. Repeat steps a-e for each empa-rose.
step e
f.        (Vegetarian step-if vegan, go to step g)Take your egg scramble into a bowl. Then brush that mixture over each of the empa-rose.
g.       (Vegan step) Take your melted coconut oil and brush it over each rose.
h.      Place your roses in the center rack of your oven and bake the pastries for about 8-10 minutes, or until golden brown.
7.       Enjoy! 🙂

Makes 4 servings (2 empa-roses each)

Nutritional Information per serving:
300 calories/ 10.4 grams protein/ 12.5 grams fat/ 38.6 grams carbohydrates/ 3.5 grams of fiber

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