One of the things I miss most about living in Portland is the overwhelming presence of bulk bins (as also discussed here). In Portland it is assumed that everyone – not just health food shoppers – would enjoy bulk bin benefits: saving money and the ability to buy the amount of something you need when you need it. Needless to say, I usually went a little overboard. In cleaning out my pantry recently, I can across one of the more unusual bulk bin purchases: chickpea flour (also called garbanzo bean flour or gram flour).
These empanadas are made with a simple chickpea flour dough, but feel free to substitute any gluten-free flour you prefer to bake with. If you do try the chickpea flour, fair warning: the raw dough tastes weird. Chickpea flour has a bit of a strange flavor, but I assure you that this disappears after baking.
The vegan stuffing is full of caribbean flavor: lime, chipotle, cinnamon, nutmeg and cilantro. The mango salsa adds a delicious sweetness and spicy crunch to balance out the creaminess of the sweet potato filling. Add a dollop of cashew sour cream (or the real deal) and you’re good to go.