February 21, 2014

Cauliflower Crust Hot Pockets

Cauliflower Crust Hot Pockets
Guys, this recipe is phenomenal. Truly, madly, deeply phenomenal.
But let’s start from the beginning.
Let’s start from Hot Pockets.
For those of you unfamiliar with Hot Pockets, they’re wildly popular microwaveable turnovers, made of dough and stuffed with a LOT of cheese, meat, and/or vegetables.
They probably are the quintessential microwaveable food.
I actually can’t think of any other food that screams “microwave food” as much as Hot Pockets do.
Grab one from the freezer, remove the wrapper, pop it in the microwave, nuke it for 2 minutes, and voila’ a steamy Hot Pocket ready to be devoured.

Cauliflower Crust Hot Pockets
So why Hot Pockets?
Because the other day, as I was hurrying through the aisle of the supermarket, I absent-mindedly looked at the frozen entrées section, and among Celeste Pizzas, Bagel Bites, White Castle Burgers, and Lean Cuisines, there they were, Hot Pockets.
I suddenly realized I haven’t had a HP in like a million years, but now I wanted one.
That's the power of commercials people.
As much as I like to think that I’m not susceptible of being influenced, let alone manipulated, by advertising, just like everybody else, I probably am.

And somehow the "Buy Me" message hidden in that bizarre Hot Pockets’ commercial I keep seeing on TV (you know, the one featuring Snoop Dogg and Kate Upton), has creeped into my mind, forcing its way into my subconscious, taking over everything.
So there I was, standing in a cold aisle of a supermarket holding a package of frozen Ham & Cheese Hot Pockets, on the verge of buying it.

Cauliflower Crust Hot Pockets
But there’s one thing the advertisers had not predicted when they casted their evil spell.
That this triathlete - which is a now nothing more than a puppet with no will power whatsoever - always checks the ingredients on every packet or container before buying it.
As soon as my eyes saw "lovely" stuff such as Partially Hydrogenated Soybean Oil, Partially Hydrogenated Palm Kernel Oil, Sodium Stearoyl Lactylate and Methylcellulose the spell was broken, and I returned to my senses.
Phew...that was close.

Then it dawned on me, I can still have Hot Pockets, Cauliflower Crust Hot Pockets!
Cauliflower Crust Hot Pockets
My biggest concern in making these babies was with the cauliflower crust lack of flexibility.
Let me explain.
One thing is to spread cauliflower crust on a baking sheet and top it with all sort of stuff to make a pizza; but bend it, fold it, tuck it, stuff it to make a Hot Pocket? That's a whole different story...

My concerns were soon gone. Turns out, the cauliflower crust bends like Beckham and allows to make perfectly shaped Hot Pockets. Easy.

Cauliflower Crust Hot Pockets
Cauliflower crust hot pockets are arguably the best thing that happened to cauliflower crust.
They’re beyond delicious and totally guilt-free. 
Double, triple, quadruple this recipe; there is never going to be enough cauli crust hot pockets in your life!

Cauliflower Crust Hot Pockets                                                  Print this recipe!
Ingredients Makes 2 Hot Pockets

1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets (should yield 3 cups of cauliflower rice)
1 free-range organic egg, lightly beaten
½ cup / 1.7 oz / 50 gr shredded mozzarella cheese
½ teaspoon fine grain sea salt
½ teaspoon dried oregano
½ teaspoon garlic powder
¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

Filling:

½ cup cubed cheese (I used cheddar)
½ cup cubed ham (I used smoked ham)

Grated Parmesan cheese to taste

Directions

Preheat oven to 450°F (220°C) and place a rack in the middle.
Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and then cut it in half. Liberally grease each piece of parchment paper with olive oil. Set aside.
In a food processor rice the cauliflower florets (it should be evenly chopped but not completely pulverized).
Transfer cauliflower rice to a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 8 minutes, until cooked.
Place the cauliflower rice in a tea towel and twist it to squeeze as much moisture as you can (I usually squeeze out over a cup of liquid). This is very important. The cauliflower rice needs to be dry, otherwise you’ll end up with mushy dough, impossible to fold into pockets.
Transfer the cauliflower rice to a mixing bowl, add egg, mozzarella, oregano, garlic powder, salt and pepper and mix well.
Divide the cauliflower into two parts. Spread onto the two parchment paper pieces and form into an oval/rectangle.
Place in the oven and bake for exactly 10 minutes (no more, no less, 10 minutes).
Remove from the oven and spread cheese and ham cubes in the middle of the rectangles.
With a large spatula lift the longer sides of the crust and form into a burrito-like shape (you may also use the parchment paper to help you do this!)
Flip them seam down and tuck/fold the shorter side to form your pockets (I know this may sound complicated but it’s actually pretty intuitive).
Top liberally with grated Parmesan cheese and garlic powder (if you can handle it!)
Return to the oven and bake for an additional 12 minutes.
Let sit a couple of minutes before serving.
As the pockets cool the cauliflower crust hardens and you can easily eat them with your hands.

Nutrition facts

One pocket yields 320 calories, 20 grams of fat, 9 grams of carbs and 24 grams of protein.

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47 comments:

  1. Genius! Hot Pockets were a staple of my childhood, but of course they're impossible to find here...this recipe is the perfect healthy solution!

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    1. You have to give it a try Jess (and report back!) ;)

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  2. Oh my gosh, I am making these like this weekend. In elementary school I was obsessed with the 4 cheese hot pockets, bringing it back with these babies! Seriously these are too good.

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  3. Mike - these are amazing - BRILLIANT! You have outdone your cauliflower self!

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    1. lol Shashi, I'm such a sucker for cauliflower!

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  4. You've certainly outdone yourself this time! I totally know what you mean about processed food - every time I see the ingredient list I just can't do it. These look really awesome and way better than the prepackaged ones!

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    1. Oh yes K, they're 100x better than prepackaged ones, you should totally give 'em a try!

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  5. I will definitely be making this! Would steaming the cauliflower be a viable alternative to microwaving it? I haven't owned a microwave in years

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    1. You can definitely steam the cauliflower, just make sure to squeeze the be-jesus out of the cauliflower rice, it needs to be dry to make a perfect cauliflower crust!

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  6. Yet another thing I've never had in my life, but I'm thinking I really need one now. Trade you a rack of slow cooked ribs for a Cauliflower Hot Pocket? Man do those look good.

    INSANE!

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    1. Deal and deal my friend. And btw, we have just entered a binding agreement so there's no backing off. Question though: How are we going to perform our respective obligations?

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  7. Can't wait to try this!! I have been making your creamy mashed cauliflower with great results and reviews from my husband. He even requested them. I have only been following your site for a short time and I am loving it!! I am a fan! Thanks!!

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    1. Oh wow Bonnie, thank you so much. This makes me super happy!

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  8. Wow! Seriously I am in awe of this recipe. I never would have thought that cauliflower crust could do that. Pinned this and can't wait to wow my hubbie with this one!

    Krista @ Joyful Healthy Eats

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  9. Dude, this is seriously the most creative recipe I've seen in a long time. Like, seriously impressed by your creativity. Pinning and tweeting this bad boy out... it deserves some recognition!

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    1. Whoa man, thank you so much. You are LEGEND!

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  10. I am so incredibly excited to try this. Soon!!!!! Saw your pin and just can't believe you really made Hot Pockets with cauli-crust. Thank you!!!

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  11. I been on a cauliflower bend lately and this definitely fits the bill. looks great!

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  12. Got.To.Make.These!!!!!! Amazing : )

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  13. Now, seriously - this is the most brilliant recipe I've seen in a while. You're a genius!
    I can't wait to try these, so I'm going to bookmark them and pinning like 1000 times so I don't forget.
    I love me some hot pockets as well, but the ingredient list looks terrible indeed. Glad to know I now can make these and eat them too. Oh yes, you made my day! xx

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    1. You're making me blush Co...I'm humbled! ;)

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  14. You always manage to suprise us with delicious and healthy recipes Mike.
    This one looks amazing, is creative and gives cauliflower a total image lift :)

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  15. Do you know the Jim Gaffigan Hot Pockets skit? It's what I hear while reading this post. These look great!

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    1. I didn't, I'm watching right now on YouTube and LULZ!!! :DDDD

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  16. WOW! that is a genius idea to use cauliflower for your dough. I am with you with the ingredients, I never buy anything unless I check the ingredients. Who needs HP when yo have this recipe? Did you try freezing them?

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  17. Awesome idea and I can't wait to try it! :)

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  18. With a pre-teen who now has to eat gluten free, this recipe is life changing! Thank you!

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  19. Thanks for the yummy recipe, my 3 kids gobbled these down (we had to triple the recipe :) We don't use a microwave, so processed the cauliflower in the juicer, which worked great.
    Could I make a suggestion? Instead of posting 5 pictures of the exact same thing, it would have been really helpful to show a little more step-by-step of the process. For me specifically, it took me several read-throughs to wrap my head around the dough set-up and folding. Could my my brain is rather fried after a full day of homeschooling the kids and work!
    The flavor combo we used was fresh garlic, bell peppers and 2 cheeses. The kids were brainstorming more meaty combos after dinner. We'll definitely make these again :)

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    1. How did you do your cauliflower in the juicer, please?

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  20. These look amazing! I was on an artichoke chicken Lean Pocket spree for a while in college. One of the best parts about them was that they were a grab and go food. Can these cauliflower pockets be frozen and microwaved? If so, how long do you nuke them? Thanks and I can't wait to try these!

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  21. You just made my day, i love hot pockets and have to convince myself not to buy them when I see them. This is brilliant and will be making them this wknd!

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  22. Wow. Just made these. Delicious. Thank you kindly.

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  23. I can't figure out how many Hot Pockets this recipe makes. I'm studying the directions. Guess I'm pretty dumb.

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  24. Just finished making these for the second time. Great recipe, thanks for sharing.

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  25. How are these for refrigerating and reheating? (I'm thinking in terms of being able to pack them for lunches.)

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    1. They reheat pretty well Janet, I did it a couple of times and I was surprised with how well they turned out!

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    2. I've also made a double batch and frozen them. Reheat in the oven (lower than the original temp) and they come out great!

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  26. I am super stoked about giving these Cauliflower pockets a go! Thanks for sharing.

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  27. These look amazing...I will have to find something to replace the cheese though. Any suggestions?

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