Kid-friendly Savory Tomato "Empadão do Brasil" Pies + Chopped "Salada do Brasil" + Brazilian "Limonada" Recipe - Sticky Fingers Cooking
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Family Meal Plan: Savory Tomato "Empadão do Brasil" Pies + Chopped "Salada do Brasil + Creamy Tropical Brazilian "Limonada"

Family Meal Plan: Savory Tomato "Empadão do Brasil" Pies + Chopped "Salada do Brasil" + Brazilian "Limonada"

Savory Tomato "Empadão do Brasil" Pies + Chopped "Salada do Brasil + Creamy Tropical Brazilian "Limonada"

by Dylan Sabuco
Photo by Dylan Sabuco
prep time
30 minutes
cook time
20 minutes
4-6 servings

Fun Food Story

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Savory Tomato "Empadão do Brasil" Pies

"Empadão do Brasil" is the perfect dish for, let's just say, "selective eaters." Why? It's essentially a twist on chicken pot pie, featuring a rich, well-balanced filling made of simmered and seasoned vegetables, then baked into miniature savory pies. I like to think of "Empadão do Brasil" as a tiny step on the path to more adventurous eating!  

To complete the meal, serve with a side of Chopped "Salada do Brasil" and a glass of Creamy Tropical Brazilian "Limonada."  The flavors of Brazil, along with the comfort of the familiar!

Happy & Healthy Cooking,

Chef Erin, Food-Geek-in-Chief

Shopping List

  • 2 C chopped romaine, iceberg lettuce, or spinach
  • 3 medium Roma tomatoes **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 large yellow onion
  • 3 limes
  • 1 pkg pre-made frozen pie crust, roughly 14 oz **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 3/4 C frozen mixed vegetables
  • 1 4-oz can or 8 T tomato purée sauce **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1/3 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/8 tsp salt
  • 2/3 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/3 tsp mild chili powder **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube (or 1 tsp bouillon powder/paste) **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • 4 T olive oil
  • 3/4 C green olives
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk **(see allergy subs below)**
  • 1/3 C + 2 tsp granulated sugar
  • 4 C cold water
  • 2 C Ice

Fun-Da-Mentals Kitchen Skills

  • bake :

    to cook food with dry heat, as in an oven.

  • blend :

    to stir together two or more ingredients until just combined; blending is a gentler process than mixing.

  • chop :

    to cut something into small, rough pieces using a blade.

  • measure :

    to calculate the specific amount of an ingredient required using a measuring tool (like measuring cups or spoons).

  • sauté :

    to cook or brown food in a pan containing a small quantity of butter, oil, or other fat.

  • simmer :

    to cook a food gently, usually in a liquid, until softened.

  • stir :

    to mix together two or more ingredients with a spoon or spatula, usually in a circle pattern, or figure eight, or in whatever direction you like!

  • whisk :

    to beat or stir ingredients vigorously with a fork or whisk to mix, blend, or incorporate air.

  • zest :

    to scrape off the outer colored part of a citrus fruit's rind (skin or peel) using a metal tool with small sharp blades, such as a zester, microplane, or the small holes of a grater (avoid the "pith," the white, spongy lining of the rind that can be bitter).

Equipment Checklist

  • Blender (or pitcher + immersion blender)
  • Zester (or grater with small zesting plate/side)
  • Cutting board
  • Kid-safe knife
  • Can opener
  • Liquid measuring cup
  • Dry measuring cups
  • Large mixing bowl
  • Small bowl or liquid measuring cup
  • Measuring spoons
  • Whisk
  • Wooden spoon
  • Oven
  • Large sauté pan
  • Muffin pan
  • Fork
  • Rubber spatula


Savory Tomato "Empadão do Brasil" Pies

  • 1 pkg pre-made frozen pie crust **(for GLUTEN ALLERGY sub gluten-free/nut-free pre-made frozen pie crust; check ingredients for DAIRY AND SOY allergies)**
  • 2 medium Roma tomatoes **(for NIGHTSHADE/TOMATO ALLERGY sub 1 C chopped mushrooms)**
  • 1 4-oz can or 8 T tomato purée sauce **(for NIGHTSHADE/TOMATO ALLERGY sub 1 4-oz can or 8 T pumpkin purée)**
  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 large yellow onion
  • 3/4 C frozen mixed vegetables (peas, corn, carrots)
  • 1/4 C apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 tsp mild chili powder **(for NIGHTSHADE ALLERGY sub ground cumin)**
  • 1 vegetable bouillon cube (or 1 tsp bouillon powder/paste) **(Check label for possible allergens, like gluten, soy, or nightshade, and omit if necessary)**
  • 1/2 C green olives
  • 1 tsp granulated sugar
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 tsp cornstarch

Chopped "Salada do Brasil

  • 2 C chopped romaine, iceberg lettuce, or spinach
  • 1 medium Roma tomato **(for NIGHTSHADE/TOMATO ALLERGY sub 1/4 C chopped mushrooms)**
  • 1 T apple cider vinegar
  • 3 T olive oil
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 1 pinch ground black pepper
  • 1 pinch mild chili powder **(for NIGHTSHADE ALLERGY sub ground cumin)**
  • 1/4 C green olives
  • 1/2 large yellow onion

Creamy Tropical Brazilian "Limonada"

  • 3 limes
  • 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk **(for DAIRY ALLERGY sub 1 13.5-oz can coconut cream)**
  • 1/3 C granulated sugar
  • 4 C cold water
  • 2 C Ice

Food Allergen Substitutions

Savory Tomato "Empadão do Brasil" Pies

  • Gluten: Substitute gluten-free/nut-free pre-made frozen pie crust.
  • Dairy/Soy: Check ingredients listed on label of pre-made pie crust for possible dairy or soy allergens. 
  • Nightshade: For 3 medium Roma tomatoes, substitute 1 C chopped mushrooms. For 1 4-oz can or 8 T of tomato purée/sauce, substitute 1 4-oz can or 8 T of pumpkin purée. Substitute ground cumin for mild chili powder.
  • Gluten/Soy/Nightshade: Check vegetable bouillon cube ingredients listed on label and, if necessary, omit from recipe.

Chopped "Salada do Brasil

  • Nightshade: For 1 medium Roma tomato, substitute 1/4 C chopped mushrooms. Substitute ground cumin for mild chili powder.

Creamy Tropical Brazilian "Limonada"

  • Dairy: For 1 14-oz can sweetened condensed milk, substitute 1 13.5-oz can coconut cream.


Savory Tomato "Empadão do Brasil" Pies


"Bem-vindo" or "Welcome" in Portuguese! "Empadão (Em-pah-doh) do Brasil" is a delicious variation of the classic Chicken Pot Pie. It is made by simmering a savory tomato sauce with shredded chicken and veggies, then using that mixture as a filling in a buttery, crusty pie shell. Our Sticky Finger Cooking version will have you replace the chicken with extra veggies for an equally delicious outcome.

scrumptious science

When chopping onions, a compound in the onion called syn-Propanethial-S-oxide is released into the air, which results in your eyes tearing up. To help counteract that, you can store your onions in the refrigerator or freezer before chopping, reducing the amount of the compound released into the air. Also, onions can have an intense flavor, especially for younger chefs. Place your chopped onions in a bowl of ice water before using them in your recipe. This step will reduce the strong taste and make the onions much more palatable.

chop + sauté

Start by roughly chopping 1/2 cup green olives, 2 garlic cloves, 2 Roma tomatoes, and 1/2 yellow onion. Place all the ingredients in a large sauté pan over medium heat. Measure and add 3/4 cup frozen mixed vegetables, 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon salt, 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, 1/4 teaspoon chili powder, 1 vegetable bouillon cube, and 1 teaspoon sugar and simmer. Stir the mixture with a wooden spoon while it simmers.

measure + stir

After simmering the vegetables for 5 minutes, add 1 teaspoon cornstarch and 1 can or 8 tablespoons tomato sauce. Stir all the ingredients thoroughly and simmer for 5 more minutes. Turn the heat off and reserve the mixture to fill your pie crusts.

scrumptious science

In the above step, you will use the gelling power of cornstarch. Cornstarch is a powder derived from the cellulose present in all plant cells. In its natural form, cellulose is like microscopic gelatin. It protects plant cells by cushioning them and filling in all the empty spaces in a cell. In this recipe, we use a powder version with all the liquid removed. When we add this dry cornstarch to a wet mixture (like tomato sauce), the cornstarch will absorb the liquid, and the cellulose will start to thicken our tomato sauce into a pie-filling consistency.

preheat + shape + bake

Preheat your oven to 350 F. Next, divide the pie crust evenly among each well of a muffin pan. Make small cups with the dough by pressing it directly into the muffin pan wells. Once all the dough is in cup shapes, add a heaping tablespoon of the filling to each pie crust. Then, using all the leftover dough, make top crusts by rolling out your extra dough to make thin discs. You will need one for each small pie. Then, completely cover the pies in the muffin pan with the top crusts and pinch the pie crusts together using a fork to press and seal the edges together. Slide the muffin pan into the oven and bake for 18 to 20 minutes or until golden brown.

cool + serve

Remove the pies carefully with a rubber spatula. Cool for 2 minutes and serve! "Bom apetite" or "Enjoy" in Portuguese!

Chopped "Salada do Brasil

chop + whisk

Start by having your students chop 2 cups of romaine, iceberg lettuce, or spinach for the base of the salad. Then, roughly chop 1/4 cup green olives, 1/2 yellow onion, and 1 Roma tomato. Place all the chopped veggies into a large mixing bowl.

stir + munch

Time to make the salad dressing. In a separate bowl or liquid measuring cup, measure 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar, 3 tablespoons olive oil, 1 pinch of salt, 1 pinch of black pepper, and 1 pinch of mild chili powder. Whisk thoroughly to create the salad dressing. Pour the dressing over the chopped veggies and stir. Once everything is coated in the dressing, serve the salad alongside an entrée, like Savory Tomato "Empadão do Brasil" Pies!

Creamy Tropical Brazilian "Limonada"

zest + peel

Zest 3 limes, then peel as much of the remaining skin as possible and discard. Place the zest and the peeled limes in the bottom of a blender (or pitcher for use with an immersion blender).

measure + blend + count

Then, add 1 can sweetened condensed milk, 1/3 cup sugar, 4 cups cold water, and 2 cups ice. Blend until smooth. Practice counting in Portuguese while the drink blends: 1 um (oohm), 2 dois (DOY-eess), 3 três (TREH-eess), 4 quatro (KWAH-troh), 5 cinco (SEEN-coh), 6 seis (SAY-iss), 7 sete (SEH-chee), 8 oito (OY-too), 9 nove (NOH-vee), 10 dez (DEH-iss)!

pour + serve

Pour into cups and serve! "Saúde" (SAH-ooh-djee) or "Cheers" (literally "health") in Portuguese!

Surprise Ingredient: Tomato!

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Photo by Zaitsava Olga/

Hi! I’m Tomato!

"I'm a beautiful, juicy red Tomato. Do you pronounce my name: "tuh-may-tow" or "tuh-mah-tow?" Either way you slice it (or say it), we tomatoes are wonderfully adaptable. You'll find us fresh or cooked on sandwiches, in salads, tacos, soups, stews, sauces, and much more." 

History & Etymology

  • The tomatoes we have now descended from the pea-size fruit of wild plants that grew in western South America. Mesoamericans were the first to domesticate the tomato plant sometime before 500 BCE. 
  • Hernán Cortés, a Spanish conquistador, may have brought tomatoes back to Europe in the 16th century after conquering the Aztec city, Tenochtitlan (now Mexico City). 
  • Tomatoes cultivated in North American colonies in the early 1700s may have been introduced from the Caribbean. Thomas Jefferson also brought tomato seeds back from France. Before tomatoes were used in cooking, the plants were used ornamentally due to some people's beliefs that they were poisonous. One reason for this error was that tomatoes come from the nightshade family, including the belladonna plant (or deadly nightshade), which has highly toxic leaves and berries. Another reason may be that the pewter plates they used back then adversely reacted to the acid in tomato juice. 
  • China is by far the largest producer of tomatoes in the world. In the United States, California and Florida produce the most tomatoes.
  • The American and British pronunciations of "tomato" were made famous by an Ira and George Gershwin song from 1937 called "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off." Americans pronounce the word "tuh-may-tow," and the British say "tuh-mah-tow."
  • The word "tomato" comes from the Spanish, French, or Portuguese "tomate," from the Nahuatl "tomatl."


  • The tomato is a berry from the tomato plant (Solanum Lycopersicum), a perennial vine. It is part of the Solanaceae family, like the potato, pepper, eggplant, and petunia. Since it is a berry, it is a fruit, although mainly used as a vegetable. 
  • A tomato's color is usually red but can also be yellow, orange, green, or purple. Tomatoes can be spherical, oval, or pear-shaped. Their flesh is pulpy with cavities, called locules, that hold the seeds. 
  • There are more than 10,000 tomato varieties. Some are hybrids, and some are heirlooms. An heirloom tomato is a variety that has been grown for generations on a family farm rather than commercially. Unfortunately, in the past 40 years, many heirloom varieties have been lost, along with the smaller family farms that grew them. However, hundreds of heirloom tomato varieties are still available. 

How to Pick, Buy, & Eat

  • If you are growing your own tomatoes, pick them from the vine while still firm, with a slight give, and before their ripe color (usually red) deepens too much. While holding the fruit, twist it off the stem until it snaps off. The leaf on top of the tomato (the calyx) and part of the stem will come with it. You can also snip it off using garden scissors.
  • When you choose tomatoes at the store, pick fruit that has smooth, brightly colored skin with no cracks or bruises, is firm but gives with slight pressure, is heavy for its size, and has a pleasant, aromatic smell. Avoid tomatoes with pale or dark spots.  
  • Store tomatoes at room temperature, as their flavor will decrease in a refrigerator's cold temperature. Wait to wash them until you are ready to use them.
  • If you plan to make a tomato sauce or soup using fresh, raw tomatoes, you will want to peel them first. This can be difficult without some preparation: First, put a pot of water on the stove to boil and fill a large bowl with cold or icy water. Next, after washing the tomatoes, use your knife to cut a shallow 'X' through the skin at the top or bottom of each one. Then use a slotted spoon to place the tomatoes into the boiling water until the skin begins to loosen and peel back at the incision, about 30 to 60 seconds. Finally, immediately dunk them into the ice water. The skin should peel easily now. You can also remove the seeds by cutting the peeled tomatoes in half and scooping the seeds out with a spoon.  
  • Tomatoes are versatile vegetables for cooking. Ripe tomatoes can be prepared fresh, stuffed, baked, boiled, or stewed, and they are the base for many sauces. You can also pickle green, unripe tomatoes, add them to salsa or bread and fry them.


  • Tomatoes are a moderate source of vitamin C, and cooked tomatoes are high in lycopene, an antioxidant, which may help protect your body's cells from damage, strengthen your immune system, and prevent some diseases.


What is an Empadão?

Photo by by America/
  • "Empadão" is Portuguese for "pie." It often refers to a pot pie or something similar to a shepherd's pie. It is a traditional dish in Portugal and Brazil and is considered a comfort food. 
  • The meats that can fill the pie or casserole include ground beef, shredded chicken, tuna, shrimp, and other seafood. Additional ingredients consist of simmered vegetables, like garlic, onion, tomato, mushrooms, hearts of palm, and olives, with a layer of mashed potatoes and sometimes a ricotta-like cheese called "requeijão.

Let's Learn About Brazil!

Photo by IrenaV/ (Rio de Janeiro with Christ the Redeemer statue and Sugarloaf Mountain)
  • The Federative Republic of Brazil is the largest country in South America. It is in the central-eastern part of the continent on the Atlantic Ocean. Brazil consists of 26 states and a federal district. 
  • Brazil shares borders with every other South American country except Chile and Ecuador. To its north are Venezuela, Guyana, Suriname, and French Guiana. It borders Colombia in the northwest. Uruguay is south of Brazil, and Argentina and Paraguay are southwest. Bolivia and Peru are on its western border.
  • Portugal colonized this part of South America in 1500. Brazil declared its independence from Portugal in 1822, becoming official in 1825. Sept 7
  • The government is a federal presidential constitutional republic with a president, vice president, legislature, and supreme court. The country's currency is the Brazilian "real" (pronounced HAY-al). 
  • Brazil's total area is 3,287,956 square miles and spans four time zones. Worldwide, it is the fifth largest country. Brazil's population is seventh in the world, with over 200 million people. The capital of Brazil is Brasília, and the largest city is São Paulo.
  • The official and national language is Portuguese. More people speak Portuguese in Brazil than in any other country. Numerous other languages exist in Brazil, including over 200 indigenous languages.
  • Because of its size, Brazil's geography is very diverse. It has plains, highlands, hills, mountains, plateaus, lakes, rivers, and rainforests. About 60 percent of the Amazon rainforest is in Brazil, along with almost two-thirds of the Amazon River. The country has 4,655 miles of coastline along the Atlantic Ocean. 
  • The Pantanal is the world's largest tropical wetland covering between 54,000 and 81,000 square miles. Iguaçu Falls, on the border of Argentina, is taller than Niagara Falls in the United States and wider than Victoria Falls in Southern Africa.
  • The country is rich in natural resources, and its economy is fueled by agriculture, mining (metal ore and gems), and automotive, food, and other industries. It is the world's largest producer of coffee, oranges, soy, and sugarcane. 
  • Brazil is the most biodiverse country in the world, with over 70 percent of all listed plants and animal species. The jaguar is the national animal. The piranha is a well-known fish found in the Amazon River.
  • Brazilian culture has been influenced by the cultures and traditions of its indigenous people, its Portuguese colonists, other European immigrants, Africans, and more recent Japanese, Arab, and Jewish immigrants.  
  • Brazilian music styles from Rio de Janeiro, like the samba and the bossa nova, are recognized in many other parts of the world. Different forms of the samba are heard during Brazilian Carnival, the most popular holiday in Brazil, celebrated on the Friday before Ash Wednesday and Lent. 
  • "Feijoada" (black bean and pork stew) is considered the national dish. Coffee is the national beverage.

What's It Like to Be a Kid in Brazil?

  • Because Brazil is below the equator, kids get out of school for summer vacation in early December and return in early February. 
  • The sports kids may participate in are soccer, volleyball, Brazilian martial arts, and swimming. Other games include "queimada," (a dodgeball game) and "bola de gude" (marbles).
  • There are several parks and beaches in Brazil for families to enjoy together. Other fun activities include riding the little red train up Corcovado Mountain to the 125-foot Christ the Redeemer statue or taking a cable car up to iconic Sugarloaf Mountain, a cone-shaped mountain, rounded at the top, like a refined loaf of sugar. Kids can visit sea turtles at a beach or over 500 bird species at the Parque das Aves near Iguaçu Falls. 
  • Kids may have a sandwich or French bread and butter for breakfast with chocolate milk or "pingado," a drink of steamed milk with a splash of coffee. They may eat rice with beans and meat and a salad for lunch. 
  • Favorite snacks in Brazil include "pão-de-queijo" (cheese bread or bun) and "coxinha" (deep-fried dough with shredded chicken filling).
  • Popular sweets and desserts are "brigadeiros" (chocolate fudge balls), "paçoca" (peanut candy), and "bolo de rolo" (roll cake with guava jam).

The Yolk's On You

What's the best thing to put into a pie?

Your teeth!

Lettuce Joke Around

How do you fix a broken tomato? 

Tomato paste!

THYME for a Laugh

What do you get when you cross a brontosaurus with a lime? 

A dino-sour!

THYME for a Laugh

What did the policeman say to the suspect? 

You have the right to romaine silent.

THYME for a Laugh

Two olives are sitting on a table.

Olive 1 rolls to the end of the table and falls off.

Olive 2 yells from the top of the table, "Are you okay?"

Olive 1 replies, "I’m a little bit sore, but olive (I'll live)."

Lettuce Joke Around

In our fridge there's condensed milk, evaporated milk, vanilla, and eggs.

So, just as a precaution we've put a sticker on them saying, "Warning: Highly Flannable."

That's Berry Funny

What do you call a lime that opens doors? 

A Key Lime!

Lettuce Joke Around

What do citrus fruits like to eat? 


That's Berry Funny

Why did the pie go to a dentist? 

Because it needed a filling!

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