Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Pizza Pockets

I was inspired by reading some of the blogs this week posted on Org Junkies Menu Plan Monday to try to make homemade, healthy pizza rolls (mine actually ended up being more like pizza pockets, but that's merely semantics, really. My boys, Stonewall and Skywalker, love pizza rolls, you know the ones, they come frozen, you bake them up, little rectangles of pizza-ey goodness (Now I'm making up words). The problem, they are full of fat, calories, preservatives, you name it. When I told my boys I was making homemade pizza rolls, Skywalker said, "Well, I like those at school, but I don't think I like them at home." Meaning, he knew inately that I was trying to make them healthy, and he wasn't having any of it. So, I changed the name to pizza pockets, I mean, why compete with something so loved. No, this is NOT what I'd planned for supper tonight, we'll have to have that tilapia another time.

First, I needed pizza sauce. I've always wanted to try making a tomato sauce, but never have. I didn't want to spend any extra money on this meal, since I've already done my grocery shopping for the week, so I kinda just grabbed things from my pantry and fridge. I decided I wanted a veggie-packed sauce so the boys would get all sorts of vitamins and good stuff. Here's what I did:
Veggie-Packed Tomato Sauce:
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
1 yellow onion, diced
2 tsp minced garlic
1 small red bell pepper, chopped
1 small zucchini, chopped
1 cup spinach, chopped
1 can diced tomatoes
1 can tomato puree
3 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped (may substitute basil)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 tsp red pepper flakes
1 tsp splenda
1 tsp dried oregano (if you've got fresh, use it!)

Here's how I put it together:

Heat EVOO in skillet over med-high heat. Add garlic and onion, and cook, stirring frequently, for 2-3 minutes. Throw in zucchini and bell pepper, and continue cooking about 8 minutes, or until the veggies are tender.
Add Spinach, and cook until wilted.

Add diced tomatoes and tomato puree, and stir to combine. Reduce heat to med-low. Add parsley, salt, pepper, red pepper flakes, and oregano, stirring to combine. Allow to simmer, stirring occasionally, for about 10 minutes. At this point your sauce is done, but I knew that my boys wouldn't eat it in this state, it's too chuncky.
So, I removed it from heat, allowed it cool for about 10 minutes, than put my new immersion blender to work, and pureed it smooth. Isn't it pretty!
This recipe yielded 4 cups of sauce. I froze 2 cups for another meal. I think it will be great on spaghetti, or stuffed bell peppers! The remaining 2 cups, I used for this recipe (and yes, we probably only used 1/2 of that. I may still freeze the remaining cup sitting in the fridge right now.
Then, it was time to make some dough. I finally found a recipe that I liked the ingredients in, but when I make it and allowed it to rise, it was way too sticky, and I would never have been able to roll it out, so I added some other things, and it worked. Here's the recipe I ended up with. (My hands were too sticky to take pics at this point, so bear with me.)

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough:
2 1/4 cup whole wheat flour
1/3 cup oat bran
1 packet active dry yeast
1 tbsp honey
1 tbsp olive oil
1 cup warm water
I just mixed the dry ingredients together, then added the wet and stirred/kneaded until well combined. Then, let sit, covered by a damp cloth for about 10-15 min to rise. Punch down, and roll out. (I greased my counters with olive oil because it was still a little sticky) I used a 4 inch round cookie cutter, and my dough made about 18-20 circles.
Then, to put to all together:
Pizza Pockets:
1 recipe veggie-packed tomato sauce
1 recipe whole wheat pizza dough
1/2 package turkey pepperoni
1 cup 2% Mozzarella cheese, shredded
(Any other pizza toppings you want, finely chopped)

Lay out your dough rounds on a greased cookie sheet, spread a small amount of sauce over each one, leaving 1/2 inch border. Then, top with tsp of chopped up pepperoni and 1 tbsp cheese. Fold in half and seal edges, crimping with fork.

Aren't they pretty! This was before baking. I baked them at 400 degrees for 15 minutes, and they were perfect. I served them with warmed sauce on the side to dip.
Stonewall ate them and liked them. Skywalker ate about 1/2 of one, then said he didn't like it. Oh well, you can't win them all!

1 comment:

Extraordinary Ordinary Life said...

Wow, that sauce looks good and so do the pizza pockets. I have yet to try this, but I think I must now.