So Latinos are well known for being unhealthy eaters. Or that's the way I see it. After living in a more Americanized neighborhood with a good selection of diversity I have experimented many different foods which include all our healthy green vegetables. I soon realized that my family got it all wrong. Respectfully, I understand that our Latino foods are from culture and displays who we are in society. However, I acknowledge the health hazards that come along with it and this is when I decided to play the replacement game.
Let me let you in on this game if you are one to choose to live a longer and healthier life. And for some of you this includes providing a healthier life style for your family as well. One of my kids favorites is pastelillos (or some call it empanadas). These are meat filled and fried. I substituted the ground beef for ground turkey. Some say yuck at the mention of ground turkey, but since this does not have any fat make sure to add water as much as possible to keep the meat tender. Then season to taste, and remember to adjust the seasoning whenever adding water. Keep breaking up the meat too as this meat can easily clump up. Now instead of frying try baking. They are good! Trust me. I will admit they won't be as juicy but if you keep the meat moist enough you really won't miss all the extra grease from frying.
And that's it! Simple right? Please give this a try and tell me what you think.
1 lb. of ground turkey
1 packet of Sazón
1 pack of Goya discs (local Latino store)
For the meat which sometimes we call it picadillo, you can add any other ingredients such as diced potatoes, olives, diced red peppers. The more the merrier. These add so much flavor to your picadillos however, I always choose to opt out because my kids are so picky!
After making the meat (picadillo) you want to grab a Goya disc and fill the middle with one to two teaspoons (depending on what disc size you have) and then close it by folding sealing the edges together. With a fork you want to press down all around making sure they are sealed. When baking they will open up if not pressed with pressure.
These are also great for parties. They make great finger foods if you cut the big discs in half and do miniature pastelillos.