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Meatless Monday - Homemade pizza and nacho rolls

Posted Apr 26 2010 1:00am
A big thanks to Nurse Practitioner Schools for including this blog in its list of 100 Best Blogs for Parenting Advice !   I'm looking forward to checking out some of the other blogs on the list!

I'm retrieving an oldie but a goodie for today's Meatless Monday post.  We had these for dinner tonight, and I sent one with my son for lunch last week.  Such a good little hand held meal!

My son is a picky eater - just like his mother. He gets bored easily with sandwiches - also just like his mother - so I've started a running list of sandwich alternatives to serve at lunch. 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 Chic ken Po ckets (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.  Maybe hummus with fresh oregano and feta cheese or...well, you get the idea.  Go crazy!

One note - be careful buying pizza sauce! HFCS is a common ingredient in packaged pizza sauce. Once upon a time, we were 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.

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.  (My pizza crust recipe is at the bottom.)  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 cheddar cheese and a dab of salsa.

Apologies for the poor quality of my food pictures! Still, you get the idea...

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!

And if you need another good pizza dough recipe for your breadmaker, here's one that I've adapted to my own tastes from The Bread Lover's Bread Machine Cookbook .  This dough is softer than the dough recipe that I've posted in the past, and I like it better because of that.

Whole Wheat Pizza Dough

1 1/3 cups water
1/4 cup olive oil
1 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour
2 cups white whole wheat flour
1 TBSP sugar
1 1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp gluten
1 1/2 tsp bread machine yeast

Place all ingredients in your breadmaker according to the manufacturer's instructions.  Program for Pizza Dough and press start.  When the machine beeps at the end of the cycle, immediately remove the dough from the bread machine and place in an oiled bowl.  Let rise for another 30 min.  Use the dough for pizza or pizza rolls.
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