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Can’t keep up? Simplify dinner with this!

Spring has sprung! You know what this means? Everybody just got really busy! We have so much on our plates there’s no time to put food on them!

Cheaper than take-out, healthier than frozen, homemade pizza pockets (AKA calzones), make a speedy dinner, especially when you start with pizza dough from the dairy case.

There are three main reasons to DIY this convenient food. First, you’ll know exactly what’s in them (I’m still hung up on 60 ingredients). Second, you control the portion sizes. Big ones for big appetites and little ones for little hands. Third, you can get as creative with the flavors as you like.

Make at least a double batch – one to have for dinner tonight, and more to freeze for later. I’ve included some handy money-saving recipes for Petite Portion Pizza Sauce and Mock-Ricotta, too.

PIZZA POCKETS

Yield: 4 servings

What You’ll Need:

1 (13.8 oz. to 16 oz.) prepared pizza dough

½ cup Petite Portion Pizza Sauce – recipe below

½ cup ricotta or Mock-Ricotta – recipe below

1 ½ cup mozzarella – shredded

1 (3 oz.) package pepperoni – sliced

1 egg

2 tablespoons Parmesan

Here’s How:

Preheat oven to 425°F. Place parchment paper on work surface the size of your baking sheet. On parchment, roll pizza dough very thin. Divide into four portions. On one side of each piece (leaving one inch gap around edges); spread 1 tablespoon pizza sauce, 2 tablespoons Mock-Ricotta, a generous ¼ cup mozzarella and some pepperoni.

Beat the egg with a teaspoon of water to make egg wash. Brush outer edges of dough with egg wash. Fold the empty half of the dough over filling and press to seal. Fold the edges of the dough over and pinch to further seal the dough. Brush the tops of the calzones with egg wash and sprinkle each with Parmesan. Cut a few small slits in the top of the calzones to release steam. Slide the parchment onto the baking sheet. Bake 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve immediately or cool completely, wrap individually and freeze up to 3 months. Reheat in the microwave or in the oven.

Petite Portion Pizza Sauce – Drain 8 oz. can of tomato sauce through a coffee filter set in a strainer over a bowl for 15 minutes to remove excess liquid. Mix the drained sauce with 1 teaspoon each garlic powder and Italian seasoning and 2 teaspoons of sugar.

Mock-Ricotta – For a ½ cup portion – in a small food processor or by hand – blend ½ cup cottage cheese (not low fat, the texture is different) with 1/8 teaspoon each; garlic powder, Italian seasoning and salt. This is easily doubled or quadrupled to be used on pizzas or in lasagna.

Now that you know this technique, what will you fill them with? Ham and cheddar, egg and sausage, chicken pot pie, anything you want!

No more stressing over dinner. You’re so clever.

Fabulous Food by Patti Diamond from Divas On A Dime – Where Frugal, Meets Fabulous! – www.divasonadime.com Join us on Facebook at DivasOnADimeDotCom

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