I won’t lie, I totally got the idea of making bean-grain-vegetable pockets from one of my favourite blogs. I think they’re awesome – you can easily modify the ingredients and come up with something delicious, and, though they’re a little time-consuming to make and assemble, they freeze great and make a very yummy packed lunch – just grab one out of the freezer when you leave the house, combine it with a good salad and maybe a baked yam or something, and you’re good to go! I’ve been enjoying these veggie pockets for dinner at work all week, and I want to try a chickpea-barley-sage version next!
2 ½ cups spelt flour 1 teaspoon salt 2 teaspoons baking powder 1 ½ teaspoons turmeric 2 teaspoons nutritional yeast 6 tablespoons cold earth balance margarine ¾ cup cold water
1 cup French lentils ½ cup brown rice 3 cups water 1 cube vegetable boullion 1 onion 3 cloves garlic 1 tablespoon olive oil 2 cups crimini mushrooms ½ teaspoon salt 1 ½ cups chopped tomatoes (one can diced tomatoes would probably also work, just add it to the lentils and rice at the beginning and cook them with less water) handful fresh thyme 1 handful fresh parsley 1 teaspoon sage 1 tablespoon oregano ½ teaspoon red pepper flakes 1 bunch spinach juice of 1 lemon ¼ cup nutritional yeast
First, make the filling. Combine the lentils, brown rice and boullion in a large-ish cooking pot. Bring to boil and then simmer for 45 minutes. Now, while the lentils and rice are cooking, get to work! Prepare the vegetables – mince the garlic, chop up the onions, mushrooms and tomatoes, mince the parsley and thyme, and chop the spinach. Fry the onions and garlic in the oil until the onions begin to soften, then add the mushrooms and salt. Fry for a couple of minutes, then add the rest of the herbs and spices and the tomatoes and fry for a couple of minutes more. Dump it all into the pot with the lentils and rice, stir, and continue to cook until the 45 minutes are up. If it starts to look dry, add a teeny bit more water. Once the lentil/vegetables mixture is done, stir in the spinach, lemon juice and nutritional yeast and set aside to cool (until almost room temperature).
Now make the dough. Combine the flour, salt , baking powder, turmeric, and nutritional yeast, mixing well. Add the earth balance and mix, starting with a fork and then using your fingers, until there are no big clumps of margarine. Now add the water and knead until it forms a smooth, workable dough, adding more water if necessary. Chill in the fridge until the filling mixture is cooled enough.
Now assemble. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Take out the dough, divide it into 10 portions, make each portion into a ball and then roll it out to circles with diameters of approximately 13-15 centimeters. Spoon some filling into the middle of each circle (about 2 heaping tablespoons), then fold the circle in half, sealing the edges by pressing them down with the tines of a fork. Also poke some air vents in the pockets with the fork. Bake for 25 minutes, until the edges of the pockets start to darken a bit.
If you are freezing them (like I do), one delicious way to have them is thawed and then heated in a frying pan with some olive oil until golden on both sides - I little bit less healthy, I know, but so yummy!