Pizza Pockets

Pizza Pockets

Pizza. I said it and you got hungry, right? My two older kids love it, but if we eat pizza, it's always made at home. My youngest is dairy free and ordering a cheeseless slice is too hard sometimes. Pizza Pockets are a new fun way for us to eat pizza as a family and they're a great opportunity for us to customize our toppings, or fillings, as it were. The end result is a dish full of pull-apart pizza magic! It's hands-on fun for the family, and if you're a fan of the DIY meals like we are, you'll want to add this to your list. These are great for packing in those lunchboxes too, and so easy to add to the LaLa Lunchbox food library! 

Here's what you'll need: 
Pizza dough (I used multigrain that I bought at the supermarket)
Tomato sauce
Fillings (we used sausage, kale and red peppers)

Here's what to do:
1. Preheat the oven to 425 F. Line a baking dish with parchment paper and brush with olive oil. Roll our your pizza dough on a floured surface until it's about 1/2 inch thick. Using a circle shaped cookie cutter, cut the dough into circles and set aside. 

dough circles

2. Add a spoon of sauce to the center of each dough circle. 

dough + sauce

3. Add your fillings. I sautéed sweet Italian sausage with kale, red onion and red bell peppers in advance but anything goes here! 

Pizza Pocket with topping

4. Add cheese. Looks like a mini pizza! 

Pizza Pocket with cheese

5. Fold up the sides into a ball, give it a little twist and place it with the seam down into your baking dish. I've marked the dairy free ones with an oregano leaf on top. Brush the tops with olive oil. 

Pizza Pockets ready to be baked

6. Bake at 425 for approximately 30-35 minutes. Here's what it looks like when done: 

Pizza Pockets fresh out of the oven

And the inside? Yummazing. These are easy to pull apart, delicious to eat and also great for lunchbox leftovers the next day! 

Pizza pocket deliciousness

DIY Pizzas and "no touching raw meat"

It's well documented that my kids voice their opinions when it comes to breakfast and lunch and that it's something that I both encourage and celebrate. But dinner? That's all me. Whatever I want to make (and eat) for dinner is what we're doing. I'm usually pretty confident that each of my kids will enjoy some part of dinner – but frankly with three kids (one of whom can't eat dairy, another who would eat her weight in dairy and pasta every day if she could and a third who basically only eats fruit, yogurt and chicken legs but will sometimes experiment with whatever his big sister is eating), it's near impossible to please everyone all of the time. Fine. Even when I'm past that challenge, dinner needs to be ready quickly. I aim for 30 minutes or less. And it usually has a protein, a vegetable and a fruit. 


After this weekend's kitchen disaster, where embarrassingly I mangled two fingers in a stick blender, I was told by an ER doc not to touch raw meat until the stitches come out next week. You can't be too careful when it comes to potential infection and wounds. I'd be fine with grain and green salads and black beans for days (or weeks!) on end, but I'm not sure the rest of my gang would feel the same. 

So tonight we're making pizzas. I bought whole wheat pizza dough and found these organic (fully cooked) sausages at my local market that my crew can add to their pizzas or have on the side (or not). My kids go bananas for DIY pizza. I cut some corners by buying pre-shredded cheese (I'm feeling a bit squeamish about sharp edged things at the moment) and buying already prepared sauce. We'll pair it with grapes (cut for the baby) and frozen peas (my son prefers these still frozen) and call it a day. It's a win-win, as far as I'm concerned. The prep time is not much more than the time it takes for my kids to roll out the dough and spread their own toppings, and I've followed doctor's orders. 

DIY pizza means you can leave the cheese off part of it, for the dairy-free! 

DIY pizza means you can leave the cheese off part of it, for the dairy-free!