>> Monday, December 15, 2008
I'm sure that you've noticed that posts have been few and far between lately. What can I say? The holiday season - especially if you have kids, I think - is a busy one! I've got lots of ideas brewing and will post when I can during this fun and busy time. In the meantime, I hope that you'll enjoy this recipe idea and have a great holiday season!
My son is a picky eater - just like his mother. He gets bored easily with sandwiches - also just like his mother - so I've been trying to think of alternatives that I can fix for him to throw into his lunchbox. This recipe for Ranch Chicken Pockets at Megan's Munchies gave me an idea for making homemade pizza rolls. (And, yes, the pizza rolls are really just little calzones, but it's more fun to call them pizza rolls!)
These pizza rolls are great because you can make them ahead of time and throw them in a lunch or even freeze them to eat later. Even better - you can customize them however you want! We've made Megan's Ranch Chicken Pockets (using HFCS-free ranch dressing, of course) - delicious - and nacho pockets as well as the pizza rolls. The flavor combos that would work with this idea are endless.
One note - be careful buying pizza sauce! HFCS is a common ingredient in packaged pizza sauce. We used to be fans of Boboli's pizza sauce, but alas, it contains HFCS. There are several brands out there that don't have HFCS in it, though. We used Rustic Crust's One Top Tomato! Old World Tomato Sauce. It's a pretty good sauce, and comes in nice three-packs that are convenient. (If you have a recipe for a good homemade pizza sauce, I would love to get it!)
I also have to admit that my son does not like any of the pockets that I've made for him. None! Not even the pizza rolls! I suspect that he decided that he wouldn't like them ahead of time and that he will grow to like them, though, as often happens with my picky eater. My 2 yr old daughter loves them. My husband and I also love them. They're great for kids and adults alike.
On to the recipe!
Start with some pizza dough. You can buy some frozen pizza dough or make it yourself. I went the make it yourself route with a little help from my breadmaker. Not sure that a Jiffy crust kind of pizza dough would work well here as the quick dough made from the box tends to be a little too flimsy in my experience.
Take a little ball of the dough and roll it out. The dough will puff up a bit when cooking, so make it as flat as you possibly can. You can make your circle of dough big or small. I like to make them on the small side - better for lunch boxes and small hands.
Next, put a little of whatever you want in the middle of the circle. For pizza rolls, we used a little smear of pizza sauce topped with cheese for the kids and added some sauteed onion and mushroom for the adults. For nacho pockets, I used a smear of fat-free vegetarian refried beans (basically just smushed pinto beans) topped with some shredded nacho cheese. (I have to grudgingly admit that I used Velveeta Mexican Mild cheese here. Not exactly "real" cheese, but we liked the final product.) Salsa would also be a good addition.
Fold the dough over, and crimp with a fork to close. I've taken to doubling the seam over and crimping again to keep it from opening while cooking, but those of you that are better bakers than I am probably won't need to do that.
Bake in a preheated 400 F oven for 10-15 min until the rolls are lightly browned. Let cool and enjoy!