Pre-fab frozen pizza pockets have long been a guilty pleasure for anyone looking for a quick pizza fix. Now you can shelve those boxes with a lengthy ingredient list of whatchamacallits in favour of stocking your freezer with these healthier hand-held pizza bombs that will appeal to all generations of a household.
Tortillas are a hack that streamlines the production and lets you save on doughy calories. Simply reheat and eat, or go upscale and serve pizza bundles on a plate draped in more warm tomato sauce, grated Parmesan, and sliced fresh basil. Or serve with dips such as guacamole, sour cream, or salsa.
Look for jarred marinara sauces with no added sugars in their ingredient list and that are lower in sodium. Or for fresher flavour, rustle up your own red sauce for all your pizza and pasta needs.
Simply place 2 lbs (1 kg) Roma (plum) tomatoes, 4 minced garlic cloves, 3 Tbsp (45 mL) balsamic vinegar, 2 Tbsp (30 mL) fresh thyme, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt, 1/2 tsp (2 mL) red chili flakes, and 1/4 tsp (1 mL) black pepper in blender, and blend until smooth. Pour mixture into medium saucepan and stir in 3 Tbsp (45 mL) olive oil. Bring tomato mixture to a boil, reduce heat to medium-low, and maintain a strong simmer until slightly thickened, about 30 minutes.
1 lb (450 g) skinless, boneless chicken breast
1 Tbsp (15 mL) grapeseed oil or camelina oil, divided
4 cups (1 L) sliced cremini mushrooms
1 cup (250 mL) marinara sauce
6 large whole grain tortillas
6 cups (1.5 L) spinach
1 1/2 cups (350 mL) shredded mozzarella
1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano
In large pot, place chicken and add enough water to completely cover by at least 1 in (2.5 cm). Bring water to a very slight simmer with just a few bubbles breaking the surface. Reduce heat to medium-low, partially cover, and poach chicken for 15 minutes, or until meat is cooked through. Adjust heat as needed during cooking to maintain the slight simmer (you don’t want to boil the meat) and skim off any foam that forms. Remove chicken from water and, when cool enough to handle, thinly slice.
In skillet over medium, heat 2 tsp (10 mL) oil. Add mushrooms and heat until softened.
Preheat oven to 400 F (200 C).
To assemble each pocket, spread about 3 Tbsp (45 mL) marinara sauce on a tortilla. Place 1 cup (250 mL) spinach, 1/6 of the mushrooms, 1/6 of sliced chicken, and 1/4 cup (60 mL) cheese on bottom third of tortilla. Roll up tortilla like a burrito: fold sides in, then fold bottom up and over ingredients, and roll up tightly, continuing to tuck in sides as you roll. Repeat with remaining ingredients. Place each wrapped hot pocket, seam-side down, in large baking pan. Brush tops with 1 tsp (5 mL) oil and sprinkle on oregano.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until tops are browned and turning crispy. Let cool for a few minutes before serving.
To freeze pizza pockets for future meals, let them cool down to room temperature on metal rack and then wrap tightly for storage in freezer. Frozen pockets can be reheated in the microwave, but for crustier results, heat in 400 F (200 C) oven for 15 minutes or heat in microwave for 3 minutes and then run under the broiler for about a minute.