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Pesto Pockets- 20 Minute Dinner Idea

Join us for green week! In honor of St. Patrick's Day next Monday, we are going to be sharing our favorite green food and green ideas all week! Not just on the blog, but also Facebook and Instagram!  We hope you'll follow us!  The first thing that came to my mind when we decided to find our favorite green food was Pesto!


We have made pesto with all sorts of greens before, including Arugula and spinach. But our favorite pesto has to be, good old fashioned basil pesto.   Basil 

  • Was anciently used to assist with digestion, as an antibiotic, and as an anti-inflammatory food.
  • Is low in calories (4 calories per tsp.)
  • Is a good source of Vitamin K, Iron, Calcium, Vitamin A, and fiber.

Sometimes we make our own pesto from scratch, using this recipe.  We will do this when our basil plant has gotten out of control  But sometimes we buy it. Costco has a store brand version of basic pesto, without chemicals or preservatives.   For my green recipe idea, we made pesto pockets-  It's sort of our homemade version of hot pockets, but the super fast, no dough rising version.   


We made a simple whole grain dough. We filled it with some pesto, veggies, and cheese, and baked it for 10 minutes.  It was a super fast (20 minutes at the most), light dinner that everyone loved.  It's perfect for busy nights, like those nights you are dropping kids off for soccer practice and ballet, and don't have time to sit down to a regular family meal.

We also tried a shamrock to keep with our St. Patrick's theme, but the shamrock was too difficult to fill with veggies as much as we wanted to.


Step 1: Make the Dough

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds

We combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulsed until it was combined into a ball of bread dough.

make pesto pockets.jpg

Step 2: Fill The Pocket

  • We created a super fine veggie mixture using broccoli, carrots, and Parmesan cheese in a food processor.
  • Then, we cut the dough with a large heart shaped cookie cutter (the kind that is big enough for a sandwich.)
  • We spread the pesto, and veggie mixture on the inside, and folded the heart over itself.
  • We crimped the edges to keep it sealed
  • Then brushed with a white egg wash and baked them for 10 minutes.


 So, that's it! (full printable recipe below)

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Pesto Pockets- 20 Minute Dinner Idea


The dough

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/8 tsp salt
  • 1/3 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup sunflower seeds

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and pulsed until it was combined into a ball of bread dough.  Roll out dough on a floured surface, using more of the whole wheat flour until it is not as sticky.

The filling

  • 1 carrot
  • 5 broccoli florets
  • 1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Pulse carrot, broccoli, and Parmesan in the food processor until it is chopped very finely.

Assemble Pockets

  • Pesto (about 1/2 cup)
  • 1 egg white

Pre-heat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Cut the dough using a large heart shaped cookie cutter. Spread pesto on one half of the heart, and sprinkle the veggie mixture on top.  Fold heart shape over and crimp the edges with a fork. Whisk 1 egg white together.  Using a pastry brush, brush the top of the pocket.   Bake on a cookie sheet for 10-13 minutes, or until dough is baked and browned.

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03/10/2014 9:37am
Have you ever frozen these?
03/19/2014 11:05am
Yes- they freeze great. Just store them in a freezer safe, air tight container or bags. Then bake to keep them crispy!
05/15/2014 5:34pm
Do you have to bake them before you freeze them?
05/19/2014 11:46am
I would bake it first, and then "re-bake" just to heat them through and keep them crispy.

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