Since I finished my school schedule a couple months early, I have been enjoying the opportunity to spend a decent amount of time in my kitchen. I have been trying to use this extra time "wisely" to tackle some of the meals on my "must-make list" that tend to take a little bit longer. You know the type. Yeasted breads. Decorated cupcakes. Mile long ingredient lists. While I have some time right now, this may not be the case in a couple months because a couple weeks ago I accepted a residency position that starts in July. I am REALLY excited for it to get started, but I also know that this means I need to start looking for some quick meal ideas.
This is a recipe I spotted in a section of Cooking Light called "store-bought shortcuts for easy, home-cooked meals." They included a section about how using store-bought pizza dough, pie crust, rotisserie chicken can be okay (even nutritionally) if you have a night where you need to get dinner finished quickly. I actually defeated the purpose of the article by using my own pie crust, but to my credit, I had one in the freezer that I only had to thaw before using. They have a good point, and while I like to try to make these things at home when I plan out our menu for the week, there are nights (like last Sunday) where Trader Joe's pizza dough certainly comes in handy.
So what about the part that matters. Were they good? Definitely! I was a little disappointed that my homemade pie crust didn't brown much like the one in their photo, but on that thought, I don't think it was a pie crust recipe that I will use again anyway. It just didn't work quite right here or in the pie that I made. I only made one change because I realized at the last minute that the chicken sausages we had were already pre-cooked, so rather than crumbling them, I simply diced them and browned them quickly in the skillet. Besides my aesthetic browning issue, the turnovers were great! I was pleasantly surprised that they packed as much flavor as they did from a list of pretty unassuming ingredients, and I know that the hubby really enjoyed them too. Don't let the pie dough turn you away. Even with it, all of this comes in at less than 350 calories per turnover. It is certainly a recipe that will be going in the "quick and easy" file for the next year. Enjoy!
I am linking this post to Melt in Your Mouth Monday!
Savory Chicken Sausage, Spinach, and Onion Turnovers
Adapted from Cooking Light April 2011
2/3 c. diced, peeled red potatoes
1/3 c. diced red bell pepper
1/3 c. diced yellow onion
2 (3.5 oz) links hot chicken Italian sausage, casings removed (or diced if pre-cooked)
3 c. bagged washed baby spinach
2 Tbsp. fresh basil, finely chopped
1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. crushed red pepper
1/2 (14.1-ounce) pkg. Pillsbury refrigerated pie dough (or homemade dough for 1 crust pie)
2 Tbsp. water
1 large egg white, lightly beaten
3 Tbsp. grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Heat a medium nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Coat the pan with cooking spray. Add potatoes, bell pepper, and onion to the pan; saute 4 minutes or until onion begins to brown, stirring frequently. Add sausage; cook 4 minutes or until browned, stirring to crumble if using the uncooked variety. Stir in spinach; cook 2 minutes or until spinach wilts. Stir in basil, salt, and crushed red pepper. Remove from the heat.
Cut dough into 4 equal portions. Roll each portion into a 5-inch circle. Spoon about 1/2 cup potato mixture on half of each circle, leaving a 1/2-inch boarder. Fold dough over potato mixture until edges almost meet. Bring bottom edge of dough over top edge; crimp edges of dough to form a rim with fingers or a fork.
Place turnovers on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray if needed. Combine 2 tablespoons of water and egg white in a small bowl, stirring with a whisk; brush evenly over the dough. Sprinkle about 2 teaspoons cheese over each turnover. Bake at 400 degrees for 18 minutes or until golden brown. Let stand at least 5 minutes before serving.
Yield: 4 turnovers (4 servings)
I am linking this to Hunk of Meat Monday.