Convenience food is not necessarily known for being particularly healthy. While it's quick and easy and yes, tastes good, in the long run the toll on one's health from subsisting mainly on pre-packaged, processed foods just may not really be worth the time you save in the kitchen at all.
Fortunately for me, I love to cook. However, I also have an extremely busy 2 1/2 year old BOY. As in I can not usually maintain any kind of productive activity for more than 30 seconds at a time because the remainder of each minute requires me to take immediate action to prevent him from destroying something or hurting himself. This makes cooking difficult some days, especially in the morning if Mister doesn't sleep late. As if 7 am is really late, but I'm just sayin'...
I have for some time now wanted to make some healthy (or at least healthier) homemade "convenience foods" to toss in the freezer but just haven't had the time/ingredients/organization/motivation lately. My youngest stepson, who is almost 16 and a football player, has inspired and motivated me to give it a whirl. So, today I whipped up some breakfast hot pockets. They're really rather easy, although as you'll see below I do need to tweak my technique. They may look strange, but they are pretty tasty! I've always had trouble with this sort of thing...ravioli, those pizza-like things of which I can not remember the name...the dough always ends up too thin in the middle and the stuffing pokes out or leaks out, then the edges are super thick. I think with practice, though, I'll be able to nail it one of these days.
I used my favorite pizza dough recipe for these, it only takes maybe 10 minutes to make...no first and second rise like with bread dough, and it's tasty and has nice texture too. Since my football player was headed out to a game this morning, I decided it would be a great time to try this. I added a bit of Frank's Red Hot to his, because I know he likes that on his eggs.
BREAKFAST HOT POCKETS
- 1 RECIPE 5 MINUTE PIZZA DOUGH, BELOW
- 6 EGGS
- 1/4 C MILK
- 1 TB SEASON SALT OR TO TASTE
- 1/2 TO 1 LB BACON, SAUSAGE OR OTHER MEAT, COOKED TO YOUR LIKING
- 6 SLICES CHEESE (I USED WHITE AMERICAN)
PREHEAT OVEN TO 400 DEGREES. BEAT TOGETHER THE EGGS, MILK AND SEASON SALT AND SCRAMBLE. AFTER MAKING THE DOUGH, SCOOP OUT A BALL THE SIZE OF A LARGE SERVING SPOON OR SO AND PRESS OR ROLL INTO A CIRCLE, MAKING SURE TO NOT GET THE MIDDLE TOO THIN. PLACE CHEESE, TEARING OR CUTTING TO FIT INSIDE THE DOUGH PIECE IF NECESSARY, A SLICE OF BACON (OR A COUPLE TABLESPOONS OF SAUSAGE OR OTHER MEAT), AND A COUPLE TABLESPOONS OF SCRAMBLED EGG ON TOP. CAREFULLY FOLD THE DOUGH OVER AND SEAL THE EDGES. CHECK POCKET TO MAKE SURE THERE ARE NO HOLES FOR THE FILLING TO LEAK OUT WHILE BAKING. PLACE ON BAKING SHEET AND BAKE 20 MINUTES OR UNTIL GOLDEN BROWN. COOL COMPLETELY BEFORE WRAPPING AND FREEZING.
YOU SHOULD BE ABLE TO GET 6 HOT POCKETS OUT OF ONE BATCH OF DOUGH. YOU MAY OR MAY NOT HAVE EGGS OR MEAT LEFT OVER, I'M REALLY JUST GUESSING ON THOSE AMOUNTS SINCE I'M A THROW-IT-TOGETHER COOK! I MADE TWO BATCHES, USED A DOZEN EGGS, WITH A SERVING OR TWO LEFT OVER, AND ABOUT A POUND OF BACON.
5 MINUTE PIZZA DOUGH (REFERS TO HOW LONG IT SITS!)
- 2 1/2 C FLOUR (I USE 2 C BREAD FLOUR, 1/2 C ULTRAGRAIN WHOLE WHEAT
- 2 TB SUGAR (I USE ORGANIC EVAPORATED CANE JUICE)
- 1 tsp SEA SALT
- 1 TB YEAST
- 2 TB OLIVE OIL
- 1 C WARM WATER (105-110 DEGREES)
MIX DRY INGREDIENTS, ADD OIL AND WATER AND MIX UNTIL DOUGH BALL FORMS AND FLOUR IS MOSTLY MIXED IN (DON'T OVERWORK IT OR IT WILL BE TOUGH, IT'S OK FOR A TEASPOON OR SO OF FLOUR TO BE LEFT). SET IN WARM PLACE FOR 5 MINUTES. (FOR PIZZA, PRESS INTO PAN AND ADD TOPPINGS)
And now for some pictures of my first attempt at these delicious morning goodies:
Dough ball, this is roughly the size of my palm
Dough circle...I just press them out but you can roll if you want
I take a slice of cheese and tear it in half, then put on bacon and eggs. I found putting the bacon on last ends up with bacon poking out of the dough. Not good!
On this one, I decided to fold each side up to meet in the middle, since folding it over completely, like what commercial hot pockets look like, results in a big hole in the middle. Definitely not good!
I pinched the dough together, this is the bottom.
Four pockets ready to bake...notice the variegated forms LOL
This is the first batch I did. The one in the foreground I used a fork to pinch/seal the edges. I had to do some "repairs" on that one because the filling ended up poking out of some holes.
Second batch turned out a bit more uniform looking
Inside...warm, cheesy breakfast goodness! I was afraid the bread-to-filling ratio might be too much, but it was ok. I'm finding it's tricky to get enough filling and be able to cover it all.
My dear friend Mary from church suggested using two circles, like making a pie. Easier to work with...I think also that if I rolled out two dough sheets in a rectangular shape and cut them in rectangles that would also work. She also suggested brushing them with melted butter after them come out of the oven. I'm going to try those suggestions next time!
This is really a a versatile recipe. You can add herbs and seasonings to the dough, use fancy cheeses. You can leave out the meat. You can add veggies or mushrooms. Salsa and jalapenos. Cream cheese flavored with herbs. Or cream cheese and fruit...that sounds great! I'm planning a "baking day" here soon and want to make some with pizza fillings or other sandwich fillings for lunches and suppers too.
Use the freshest, healthiest ingredients you have or can procure. I know bacon isn't necessarily the healthiest food in the world, but we love it anyway. And the fact that this wasn't loaded with preservatives and other chemicals makes it far more healthy than what you can buy in the store.
So, now I have some quick and easy breakfasts in the freezer. Since I'm trying not to use my microwave these days, I figure I can get a couple out the night before to thaw and then heat them in my cast iron skillet to warm them up. I'm glad I finally got these done!