Spice in the Kitchen: Baked Whole Wheat Pockets w/ Acorn Squash

Photographing food at night is so, so difficult. I refuse to use the flash!

Friday night is junk food night party night. But, this Friday, I was craving something healthy. Flavors collected in my mind... squash, walnuts, chard. We had whole wheat pizza dough from Trader Joe's in the fridge. Aha! Hot pockets! Junk food that's somewhat good for you! I served these with a walnut creme sauce (because everyone loves to dip!) and chard with a brown butter/ Fre white wine sauce.

Baked Whole Wheat Pockets with Spicy Acorn Squash, Fauxsage, Ricotta and Parmesan (vegetarian; though I suppose you could make vegan if you had vegan ricotta and cheeze)
serves 8

Ingredients

  • 1 acorn squash, baked
  • 32 ounces of homemade or prepared, uncooked pizza dough
  • faux sausage of your choice
  • olive oil for frying
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper
  • 1/2 - 1 tsp crushed rosemary (depends on your taste)
  • 15-16 ounces ricotta
  • 1/2 cup grated parmesan
  • 1/2 cup grated mozzarella
  • salt and pepper to taste


Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 350
  2. Cut washed acorn squash in half. Remove seeds. Place cut side down onto a baking dish and fill about 1/2 inch up with water. Bake for 30 minutes. Drain water and place acorn squash back in dish cut side up. Bake for 30 more minutes at 375. (Shut your oven off after you remove it from oven. You'll have to fire it up again, but why waste energy while you are waiting?)
  3. In the last 30 minutes of the squash baking, prepare your sausage. Cut or roll it into small bite-sized pieces and fry in a bit of olive oil until crispy. Set aside.
  4. Mix ricotta with salt, pepper, mozzarella, and parmesan. Set aside.
  5. Scoop out squash and mash in a bowl. Add spices and salt and pepper to taste.
  6. Either: Cut your dough into 8 equal parts. Roll each section into a round disk. -OR- Roll your dough out into 2 circles and cut into 8 total equal squares/rectangles. 
  7. Preheat oven to 425. Divide your fillings into 8 equal portions (just eyeball it--you don't have to be so precise). Spread ricotta first, then squash mixture and the sprinkle with sausage--leave at least 3/4" from the edges so you don't have spillage when you are sealing the pockets. If you want, you can add extra parmesan on top of sausage. Seal your pockets. I did square dough, put my fillings in, and then gathered opposite ends on top. This created a round shape. I then flipped over the seamed side, and placed that on the bottom which created a nicely sealed round orb with no seams on top. If you roll each piece out into a circle like a calzone, you can fold it over and pleat or seal with a fork. Pierce the tops so the heat/steam can escape and does not explode your pocket.
  8. Place each pocket on a cookie pan lined with parchment paper and sprayed with oil. Spray the tops with oil.
  9. Pans go into a 425 degree oven for about 15-20 minutes or until nicely browned. Let cool for about 10 minutes before serving. Yum! Serve with walnut creme sauce.

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