A Bite out of 'Za
I wanted to make one of the most easy and relatable meals my very first food post. As this blog grows, you'll find that a lot of my food journey stems from my battle with Lyme Disease. I've never had food allergies or sensitivities, but Lyme Disease completely changed my body and the way I process certain foods. Not only do I now how to be careful about what I eat because it can cause a stomach ache, but now I have to consider which foods will create inflammation in my body which has adverse effects across my entire system. I've tried many different "diets" out there - anti-inflammatory, low-sugar, vegetarian, plant-based, etc. - and my challenge is that it just depends on the day in terms how how my body will end up processing.
One route I experimented with several months ago was a version of a Keto diet. Now, we all know that Keto diets focus on introducing meets into your diet and reducing /balancing other foods, which seems to counter my need for an anti-inflammatory diet. My approach was to try to adapt the Keto recipes, but limit the meets and swap out some of the veggies that tend to cause more inflammation. In all honestly, this was a fail. BUT, I did land on a delicious and easy-to-make recipe that I had to share with y'all.
The Big & Cheesy Pepperoni Pockets are super easy for the parent or the working professional. You can quickly make these for dinner or the night before and take the to work for lunch. You just have to be careful about how you store them to avoid soggy bread. My version of this recipe below.
1 Can of Pillsbury Grands (I used regular Crescent for reduced calories)
1 Jar Marinara Sauce (I used Prego)
1 Bag of Pepperoni Slices
1 Bag Shredded Mozzarella
The original recipe calls for Italian Seasoning. I left this out because I did not have any, but if you have Italian Seasoning, go for it! Italian Seasoning has some great nutrients, including Vitamin K, Fiber, Antioxidants and Iron. It's also know for helping your system protect itself against foodborn illnesses, digestion challenges, Colorectal Cancer and constipation - basically, it's good for the "downstairs."
Preheat over to 375 Degrees. Do the classic "hit the Pillsbury can against the counter" to crack it open and separate the dough into triangles. Connect two triangles so that they form a rectangle and press together the edges to form one triangular piece.
Add the ingredients. Spread 1 tablespoon of your Marinara Sauce in each rectangle like you would a pizza. Sprinkle Mozzarella Cheese over the Marinara to your liking. (I personally like a lot of cheese!). Top off the cheese with a few Pepperoni's. (The original recipe calls for two layers of Pepperoni, totalling 16 slices. This is up to you and your personal tastes, but I think this is a bit overkill and promotes more inflammation in the body than necessary. I only added 4 slices of Pepperoni and on the top so the flavor was exposed.) Fold both sides of the dough over the top to create a pocket and pinch together the sides.
Bake for 13 minutes. Mine took about 15 minutes to cook, but each oven is different. I recommend setting it for 10 minutes and checking on it. I made the mistake of using foil to cover my baking pan, which I don't recommend. The foil sticks to your pockets and you will have trouble getting it out of the dough. I recommend spraying a non-stick spray to the bottom of a pan and bake directly on the pan.
Once your pockets are done baking, let them cool a bit and then smash 'em with green side, like green beans or asparagus (or salad for a lighter option). If you're looking to take them to work the next day, let them cool completely before putting into tupperware. If you place into the tupperware too soon, the steam will create condensation that makes the bread soggy.
I hope you enjoy!