I've been cooking a lot of vegetarian items lately and this has become one of the favorites. For a long time at Caja Caliente we barely had any vegan or vegetarian options and I can see how frustrating that was for some people. I've made it a point to work on expanding those options and this recipe will not have you missing meat at all!!! It tastes like the real thing, it's insane! I make veggie picadillo bowls at caja and now have veggie empanadas using this same recipe. Serve it with warm rice or if you're feeling healthy with some warm cauliflower rice.
13 oz. of meat crumble alternative (I use Gardein, as pictured below)
1 small yellow or white onion, finely chopped
1 green bell pepper, finely chopped
3 garlic cloves, finely minced
1 1/2 tsp. cumin
2 (8 oz.) cans of tomato sauce - Use Goya salsa de tomato
1/3 cup vino seco + 2 tbsp. (dry white cooking wine, I like the brand Edmundo)
1 packet of Goya (The orange one that says con culantro y achiote)
1/4 cup raisins
1/3 cup chopped olives
1 tsp. Sazon completa (green bottle from "Badia")
2 tbsp. capers + 1 tbsp. of the brine the capers come in
Salt & pepper
1. Heat about 3 tbsp. of extra virgin olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat and add your Sofrito ingredients: garlic, onion and bell pepper. Salt and cook down 7-10 min. over medium heat until onions become translucent and soft.
2. Add ground vegan "beef" to your sofrito mix. Cook, while stirring for about 3-4 min. Now add your tomato sauce and orange packet of sazon and stir until all the ingredients are combined and your picadillo becomes a beautiful orange red-ish color. Add your cumin, Sazon completa, capers, brine, green olives & raisins and stir again, add salt & taste.
3. Add your vino seco, stir and bring to simmer on low-medium heat for about 15 min. Serve warm over rice or cauliflower rice which I did below!