My Montreal 24 hour Relay menu is finally fleshed out last weekend. Even though the beautiful weather was calling my name, I diligently sat in front of my computer and went through the very unglamorous task of tabulating shopping list, packing list, and cooking schedule. It isn’t quite military level precision but the plan ought to keep me on track when I get flustered. On Sunday, I took advantage of a no-tax sale event and did a lion’s share of my shopping before my MRI appointment in the evening.
Most of the cooking will be done on Friday but the more labour/time intensive and frozen items are already under way. Last night, I made a batch of these Spiced Lentils, Kale, and Sweet Potato Pockets. They are inspired by a recipe I bookmarked long ago from The Kitchn. I had every intention to follow the recipe. But then, I wanted to use my favourite overnight whole wheat pizza dough. Next, I realized I couldn’t bring myself to boil kale with the lentils (the flavour! All gone!). So I improvised and made the filling using the same flavour profile. I sautéed onion, garlic, cooked black beluga lentils, kale, and spices all together in the pan.
Should I call these vegan treats empanadas or calzones or hot pockets? All that matters is they are convenient and portable. Skaters can simply grab a defrosted pocket and enjoy them at room temperature. Under normal circumstances, I would not dream of going through the fussiness of shaping individual hand pies. I was pleasantly surprised to discover that pizza dough is a lot more forgiving than any pastry work. Once the portioned dough had time to relax, I could easily roll it into a large oval. I piled on roasted sweet potato mash and lentil filling on half of the dough. It was easy to fold and crimp. I didn’t even need any egg wash to seal. I brushed the top with olive oil and the pockets crisped and browned beautifully in the oven.
There was only one little problem. Since I freestyled the filling, I made the rookie mistake of not having enough filling for the dough. Only 10 vegan pockets were made and I had to come up with something for the remaining two portions of dough. I opened my fridge and the first things that caught my attention were some barbecued beef brisket and cumin gouda cheese. I have no clue if they taste good together. I guess my friends will let me know this weekend.
Once all the pockets were cooled, I slipped them into individual parchment paper bags and stored in the freezer. Vegan ones are sealed with square stickers and meat pockets are denoted by round stickers.
One recipe down. A gazillion more to go.