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Picnics in the Park: Vegetarian Tex-Mex Puff Pockets

The following recipe was created specifically for our guest post on Kid City NY and although it’s geared towards the adults, it VERY easily translates to a kid-friendly entrée as well. After all, grown ups have to eat too! For kids, simply eliminate the jalapeno pepper and cut the cumin by half, as childrens’ palates are much purer and therefore more sensitive than adults’. If your children aren’t fond of spinach and mushrooms, again swap them out for 1½ cups of black beans and an equal portion of their favorite veggie (corn kernels work well).

You’ll need your largest cookie sheet/jelly roll pan if making a double recipe. You will also need parchment paper and a pastry brush. I doubled this recipe for the purpose of sharing it and used my 14” x 20” cookie sheet. If you don’t have this jumbo-sized cookie sheet, just prepare and bake them in separate batches. Keep one batch in the fridge while the other one is baking.

For our picnic-perfect Old Fashioned Oatmeal Cookies (pictured above), click here.

Vegetarian Tex-Mex Puff Pockets
Makes 8 Adult-Sized Pockets

Ingredients for 8 pockets:
1 sheet of frozen puff pastry dough, defrosted according to package directions – $2.95
8 oz. cream cheese at room temperature – $1.69
1 Jalapeno Pepper, seeded and minced – $0.19
½ red bell pepper, seeded and chopped fine: – $0.49
1 lb. fresh spinach, washed and coarsely chopped – $4.49
olive oil- stock
1 teaspoon minced garlic – stock
4 scallions, green and white parts chopped fine – $0.35
4 oz. white mushrooms, chopped – $0.89
2 teaspoons ground cumin – stock
4 oz. grated Monterey Jack cheese – $1.30
4 oz. grated cheddar cheese – $1.35
Egg wash
1 large egg beaten with 1 Tablespoon of water – stock
Grand Total Assuming Stocked Pantry: $13.70
Total Per Serving
:  $1.71 for 8 adult-sized pockets

1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

2. In a medium-size sauté pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and briefly sauté the spinach until limp and bright green. Remove the spinach from the pan and squeeze it dry with paper towels. Set aside.

3. Using the same pan, add a bit of oil if needed and sauté the chopped mushrooms and garlic until the mushrooms are pale gold, about 5 minutes. Again, remove from pan, squeeze dry and mix with the spinach.

4. Place the remaining ingredients in a medium-size mixing bowl and beat with an electric mixer until well blended. Fold in the cooked veggies.

5. Using a floured rolling pin roll out the pastry on a well-floured surface to measure 16” x 16”.

6. Cut the pastry into 8 equal squares. Cut each square diagonally to form a triangle.

7. Divide the filling equally between 8 of the triangles, spooning the filling onto the center of the triangle.

8. Moisten the edges of each triangle and place the unfilled pastry triangle over the filled piece. Press the edges together with the tines of a fork to seal. Gently, using the heel of your hand, press on the top of the pastry to nudge some of the filling towards the edges, but only up to about ½ inch from each edge so that it doesn’t spill out. It will spread further during the baking process as the cheeses melt.
Note: If preparing a double batch with the suggested ingredients for children, or preparing a single batch but want smaller portions for the little ones, cut their pastry into 2 ½ inch squares and don’t cut them into triangles. Simply cover the filled portions with another 2½ inch square, and press the moistened edges together as described above.

9. Place on a cookie sheet that is lined with parchment paper and refrigerate for 10 minutes.

10. Lightly paint the top of each pastry with the egg wash. Bake for 30 minutes until golden and puffed. Serve either warm or at room temperature.