I have a special place in my heart for all things Abuelos and for allowing children to learn, grow and respect the elders in their lives. Sometimes it’s easy to take grandparents for granted as either always being there or just to help you watch the kids. But taking the time to help grandparents (or special aunts, uncles, etc) spend valuable time with your tweens, sharing a special moment, is priceless. One easy way to create such opportunities is via cuisine. Kids can learn from grandparents or special seniors how to cook and prepare traditional foods. I’ve seen a bond build between my girls and their Abuela as they spend an afternoon making traditional ‘empanadas’ with a healthy twist- they’re baked not fried. And delicious! They giggle and tell funny stories as they build their empanadas in various flavors. I stay out of the process. I want my girls to remember these moments with their grandmother- not specifically with me. And they all love it.
Make it easy. Speak to your kids about learning how to make a traditional recipe and then create an opportunity for your special ‘viejito’ (as I lovingly called my Abuelos) to teach the kids that recipe. Below is the healthier empanadas that my familia created- hope it sparks some fun sharing in yours.
Baked Meat Empanadas
Goya (or another brand) Frozen Empanada Shells, thawed
1-2 Tbps Olive Oil
¼ lb. Lean Ground Beef
1/2 Onion, diced
1 Garlic Glove, diced
Pinch of Cumin, Oregano, Pepper and Salt
1 Egg White
Heat a skillet and coat with olive oil. Brown the ground beef, onion, garlic, spices and tomato sauce to make a picadillo.
Place ‘picadillo’ filling on half of the empanada shell, fold over closing the edges by pressing a fork down along the ends
Brush with egg whites
Bake at 350 degrees for 20 mins
Stay tuned… Next week we’ll share Guava & Cheese baked empanadas—que rico!
As a mother of twin tweens in 2011 and an active Girl Scout Troop leader, Cristy realized there was a need to develop bilingual digital content and foster a community facing the challenges of raising kids after first grade. That year she founded and remains co-Publisher of Los Tweens & Teens, to support multicultural parents and mentors with content related to raising Gen Z- tweens & teens ages 7-18. Through the Los Tweens & Teens LIVE events such as Teens & Me – the growing team aims to provide our community with essential resources from chats with therapists to battle anxiety and bullying, to understanding social media and technology.