Admit it. You went through a phase in your life when you thought hot pockets were awesome. Or, maybe you never actually bought any, but you sure jumped at the opportunity to have one, like when visiting a friend’s house when you were a kid. For me, it was in college when I visited my male friends who didn’t know how to use a kitchen (sorry for stereotyping, boys). Hot pockets were their version of cooking, and I jumped at the opportunity to have this warm, convenient, tasty treat.
Now, I am older and wiser, and the real food movement has opened our eyes to the plentiful and bad ingredients in many pre-made foods, including hot pockets. And so, I am making my own healthy hot pockets from scratch! (really, they are calzones, but I thought of hot pockets today for some reason and I’m sticking with calling them that. What’s the difference, really? Not much, if you ask me!)
You can use whatever fillings you want for this. I chose spinach and mushroom with mozzarella cheese, with a side of marinara sauce for dipping. I happened to have some frozen puff pastry in the freezer, and while it isn’t whole wheat, I didn’t want to see it go to waste. (I eat whole wheat 90% of the time but will sometimes sacrifice this based on taste or convenience, or in this case, to not be wasteful). Regardless, making these from scratch and controlling the fillings that go inside is much better than eating those from your freezer aisle, whole-grain or not.
Next time I make these, I will probably try it with whole wheat pie crust.
When assembling, seal the calzone by pressing the edges with a fork. It will make it look pretty and keep it together, and an egg wash to brushed top will make them a delicious golden-brown color.
The other great thing about this? They are easy to make in bulk, and freezable (just like hot pockets!) After baking them, allow to cool and flash freeze them before wrapping individually in a paper towel and saran wrap, like make-ahead frozen burritos. Grab one and go for lunch, and microwave in the paper towel to prevent it making a mess and drying out while reheating.
- 1 package frozen puff pastry
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 16 oz. mushrooms, sliced
- 8 oz. fresh spinach, stemmed and washed
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 8 oz. sliced fresh or shredded mozzarella
- 1 egg, beaten mixed with 1 teaspoon cold water
- 2 cups marinara sauce, for dipping
- Saute mushrooms in olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat, until liquid releases and evaporates and mushrooms begin to brown (about 5 minutes)
- Add spinach to skillet and allow to wilt; about 2 minutes
- Add garlic, allow liquid to evaporate.
- Roll puff pastry into a large rectangle and divide into 8 squares
- Spoon some of the mushroom/spinach mixture into the center of each square, topped by a slice of mozzarella cheese
- Fold the puff pastry dough over and seal with the tines of a fork
- Place the assembled calzones on a parchment covered baking sheet; brush with egg mixture
- Bake at 350 for approximately 30 minutes, or until golden brown on top
- Serve with a side of marinara sauce for dipping
- After baking, allow to cool and flash freeze them before wrapping individually in a paper towel and saran wrap. Grab one and go for lunch, and microwave in the paper towel to prevent it making a mess and drying out while reheating.