Chef Alejandra Schrader’s Nutrient-Dense Arepa with Plant-Based “Dominó” Filling

Chef Alejandra Schrader brought her special take on Venezuelan arepas to live at Reimagining Food Systems co-hosted by EAT & The Rockefeller Foundation in June 2020

Click here to see the recipe presented as part of Reimagining Food Systems

Nutrient-Dense Arepas

(Yield: 4 servings)


  • 1 ¼ cup warm water
  • 1 tsp chia seeds
  • 1 tsp ground flaxseeds
  • 1 tbsp ground oats
  • ½ tsp coarse sea salt
  • ¾ cup + 2 tbsp Harina PAN: pre-cooked white corn flour or “arepa” flour, do not use masa harina


  1. In a bowl, mix water with chia, flaxseeds, oats, and salt. Add the corn flour slowly, mixing with spoon or clean hands until all ingredients are well incorporated; make sure there are no lumps. Allow to rest for 5 min.
  2. Preheat oven at 375 degrees F, ~190 degrees C
  3. Using your clean, damp hands, separate dough into 4 even parts. Keep your hands damp and make each portion into a ball, then flatten to a disk of about 3/4” (~2cm.) Sear each arepa on a hot cast iron pan over medium heat, about 1 min on each side.
  4. Transfer to oven and bake for 8–10 min until arepas have puffed a bit and a crust has formed.



Plant-Based “Dominó” Arepa Filling

(Yield: 2 servings)


  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp minced green bell peppers
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • ¾ cup cooked black turtle beans
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 tbsp chopped raw cashews, soaked in water for at least 2 hours or refrigerated overnight


  1. Pre-heat a small skillet over medium heat then add olive oil
  2. Add bell peppers and cook for just 30 sec then add garlic and cook for 1 min, stirring often.
  3. Reduce heat to low and add beans, coriander, and salt; simmer for 4 min stirring occasionally.
  4. Sprinkle chopped cashews over beans.
  5. Remove from heat.

To Serve:

Stuff 2 arepas with dominó filling and add microgreens or fresh herbs and #zerowaste aquafaba aioli (see recipe on her Instagram)



Zero-Waste Banana Peel “Mechada” Arepa Filling

(Yield: 2 servings)


  • Peel of 1 large organic banana
  • ½ tbsp olive oil
  • 2-3 tbsp finely julienned/shaved brown onions
  • 2-3 tbsp finely julienned/shaved fennel white
  • ½ tsp smoked paprika
  • ¼ tsp turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tbsp warm water
  • Pinch of salt

Remove ends from banana peel and scrape the white membrane from the inside of the peel using a pairing knife; cut peels in half, lengthwise. In a small pot with boiling water, cook banana peels for 2 min. Carefully drain and allow to cool down; then thinly julienne peels creating “shreds”. Set aside.

Pre-heat a small skillet over medium heat then add olive oil. Add onions and fennel then cook for 2-3 minutes until soft and pliable. Add paprika, turmeric, and cumin then add banana peel shreds. Mix well until spices are evenly coating all ingredients. Reduce heat to low, add water and stir; simmer for 4-5 min. Remove from heat.

To serve: Stuff 2 arepas with “mechada” filling and add avocado mash* and cilantro leaf.

* ½ haas avocado mashed with a fork with 1 tsp lime juice and pinch of salt until soft and creamy.

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