So, before you can really get started making these wonderful little packages, it is important to get the prep work out of the way first. Now--I used all the same ingredients as the original recipe, but some of the quantities have been changed to make this provide lunches for three people for an entire week, and some of the quantities have been changed due to my own personal preference. The latter changes I will make note of as we proceed.
Second on the list is nine cups of spinach. What does nine cups of spinach look like?
Nine cups of spinach pretty much looks like a colander full of spinach. When you are cooking this will seem like way too much spinach, but I promise it will cook down. We also need 6 tablespoons of fresh basil, finely chopped, and 3/4 of a teaspoon each salt and crushed red pepper. All three of these ingredients will be going in at the same time, so it is easiest to just put them all in a small container such as a ramekin together.
Once you are done with all the produce, remove the casings from 21 ounces worth of spicy Italian sausage, either chicken or turkey. Cooking Light recommends chicken, but WinCo carries turkey, and I can't say that it hurt anything.
They actually come out pretty easily. Once this is done, clean a space on your counter to begin working on the dough. You will want two packages of store-bought pie crust from the refrigerated section (the kind that has two crusts per package.) Cut each crust into quarters.
|After you are done cutting, roll each wedge into a ball.|
|Boy decided he wanted to help with this part.|
So, now that all of the prep work is done, heat your oven to four hundred degrees and heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Non-stick was recommended, but I just used cast iron with a hint of cooking spray. The more I cook with it, the more I am hard pressed to ever want to use anything but cast iron. Put everything on your vegetable plate--the onion, the pepper, and the potato--in and stir occasionally for 3 minutes or until your onions begin to brown:
Once the onions have started to caramelize, add the sausage, stirring to break it up, and cook until it is browned.
|In retrospect, you should break the sausage up more than I have here.|
Stir in your basil, salt, and crushed red pepper and remove the filling from heat. Your house should be smelling pretty good by this point, and I'd be surprised if you hadn't sampled a piece of sausage by this point. All that's left is to seal up 1/3 of a cup of filling inside of each tiny crust, hit it with a simple egg wash (the mix of 1 large egg yolk and 2 tablespoons of water is applied sparingly, so the quantity recommended for the original four serving version of this recipe does just as well covering sixteen,) and top each pocket with 3 teaspoons of Parmesan cheese.
Put them on a baking sheet sprayed with cooking spray and bake for 18 minutes. This recipe is a little bit time consuming, but apart from that it's super easy and the finished product is definitely worth it. By reducing the amount of filling in each pocket, I was able to lower the amount of calories (originally 344,) but it also allowed me to end up with 16 pockets--enough for myself, Wife, and Boy (who HATES cafeteria food) to end up with lunch for the week--and still have one to tear open and sample. If you don't have three people to feed, you can of course divide the recipe back down by 1/3, but you shouldn't. Turnovers like these freeze exceptionally well, and as long as you have access to a microwave at work you won't have to worry about what to pack for lunch for three weeks.
|Wife made some apple turnovers as well, but that's another story.......|