Thursday, November 14, 2019

Pizza Balls

I’m always trying to find new recipes for the Little Prince’s lunchbox. Sweet potato and parmesan muffins were poorly received (I tasted them too and they certainly weren’t my favorite). Then one day, he came home from school with a recipe printed on a piece of paper and asked me to make it for him. I gathered that the company that takes care of the food at his cafeteria held a pop-up (which they call “Discovery Kitchen”, according to the hand-out) and tried to get students interested in new foods. So I tried this recipe for curried chicken pasta salad (I can’t find it online), and the Little Prince didn’t touch his lunch that day, saying he didn’t like it. So I sent him to school with another lunch the next day, and served the pasta salad for our own lunch at home. And, readers – it was FOUL! The Fox and I absolutely hated it, and I forced myself to eat some because that’s what was for lunch and everything, but I threw the rest away, I’m never making it again, and I suspect that this recipe might turn off kids in our school district from curry, chicken, and pasta salad in general.

So back to a safe bet: I got pizza sauce out of the freezer and made another recipe from the Weelicious Lunches cookbook: pizza balls (the recipe seems to be gone from the Weelicious website, but it’s here. This was VERY well received; I got to eat one pizza ball myself, and gave one to the Engineer as well, and we all agree we love them.

For the filling: obviously, use something your kids (or you) will like. I knew broccoli florets wouldn’t fly, so I went with pepperoni, but if your child will eat finely chopped vegetables here, go for it. For the cheese, I used lactose-free shredded mozzarella (look for something that has 0 grams of sugar on the nutrition label). And for the dough, I used 1 pound of homemade dough I had in the freezer and 1 pound of storebought dough, hence the different appearance of my balls (ahem).

2 1-lb. packages white or whole wheat pizza dough (homemade or storebought)
¾ cup broccoli florets, cooked & chopped (or filling of choice, see note above)
1 cup lactose-free mozzarella cheese, shredded
½ cup pizza sauce (again, homemade or storebought)
olive oil
parmesan cheese, grated

Preheat oven to 425 °F. Grease a 9” pie plate or cake pan.

Bring pizza dough to room temperature and divide into 16 even pieces.

In a bowl, combine the broccoli (or whatever addition you choose), mozzarella and pizza sauce.

Roll out each piece of dough into a round, about 3 inches wide, and place 1 tablespoon of the cheese mixture in the center. Take the edges of the dough and bring them to the center, pinching along the edges to make sure they stick together, then roll into a ball.

Place the ball, sealed side down, in the pie plate and repeat these steps making the rest of the balls. Brush each ball with olive oil and sprinkle with parmesan cheese. Bake for 25 minutes or until golden.

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