Vegan Hot Pockets

The roommates, hubby and I decided to host a dinner this past weekend. My roommate Austin and I are particularly fond of cooking and baking, however we tend to get a little over zealous and prepare far more food than we two could eat ourselves. So we periodically round up our group of friends and make them eat all of our creations. Austin was preparing chicken stuffed crescent pockets for the nonvegan bunch when I proudly exclaimed "Anything you can eat I can eat VEGAN!" And so I did! The outcome was infinitely better than I expected! When I was growing up I was very anti-meat so I never experienced any gourmet or creative dishes involving meat (my God I ate a lot of cheese though). As a result, I don't rely heavily on meat substitutes. Meat was just never a stable in my pre-vegetarian days so I never really felt the need to fill the void. But vegans and vegetarians come from many backgrounds. A lot of them consumed meat and dairy products on a daily basis and crave vegan alternatives to their old favorites. Additionally, giving omnivores vegan versions of recipes that they love and are familiar with is a great way to open their minds to a cruelty-free, plant-based lifestyle. These little pockets are a wonderful way to introduce your omnivore friends to vegan dining. They are light, "buttery", "cheesy" and surprisingly "meaty"! Oh did I mention they're delicious and I totally stuffed my chubby vegan face? These tasty babies can be served over rice and grilled veggies or eaten by themselves with or without the cheesy sauce. 

Yields 4 Servings
One package of Pillsbury Original Crescent Rolls (yup they're vegan) or half a batch of my home-made crescent roll recipe
6 strips of Beyond Meat Chicken strips (any variety) or about a cup of pressed tofu cut into small cubes
1 cup of finely diced mushrooms (I used baby bella but you can use any variety you like)
1/2 cup of vegan cream cheese
2 tbsp of Earth Balance buttery spread slightly melted
2 tbsp of parsley
1 tsp garlic powder
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp oregano
1 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp salt
1/4 tsp paprika
toasted vegan bread of your choice crumbled into small chunks and powder
2 tbsp of Earth Balance melted
"Cheese" Sauce
1/4 cup of Earth Balance
1/2 cup of All-Purplose flour
2 cups of unsweetened almond milk
1/4 cup of nutritional yeast
1 tsp Braggs Liquid Aminos or Soy Sauce
1 tsp cayenne
1/2 tsp salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 and slightly grease a cookie/baking sheet 
2. Begin by sautéing your Beyond Meat "Chicken Strips" or tofu until cooked throughly. If you are using Beyond Meat slice your strips into smaller cubes once they have been cooked.
3. In a medium bowl whisk all of the stuffing ingredients excluding the Beyond Meat and mushrooms. Once the sauce is well combined add in mushrooms and Beyond Meat and stir until they are throughly coated. 
4. Roll out your Pillsbury Crescent dough or the dough from my original crescent roll recipe into small rectangles. If you are using the Pillsbury dough just neatly pinch two triangles together to make one rectangle (make four of these rectangles). If you are using my dough recipe roll the dough out until it is 1/8 in thick and cut the dough into four 5x3 sized rectangles. You will probably have some left over dough that you can either wrap and refrigerate or roll into traditional crescents and bake along side the pockets.
5. Place about two spoonfuls of stuffing into each rectangle, or just evenly distribute the stuffing between all four rectangles. 
6. Fold over the two short ends of the rectangle so that they meet in the middle. Gently pinch the ends together so that they completely cover the top of the stuffing. Next pinch down along the bottom sides of the pocket to seal the stuffing inside.
7. Next brush your entire pocket in melted Earth Balance and coat it in your toasted bread crumbs.
8. Place all four pockets on a baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes or until pockets are a golden brown.
"Cheese" Sauce
1. While your pockets are baking in the oven, whisk together flour and vegetable oil in a sauce pot over medium heat.
2. Whisk in the remaining sauce ingredients until combined. 
3. Continue to whisk until sauce reaches a boil and thickens. 
4. Remove from heat and whisk for another minute or so. 

Once your pockets are done you can cover them with "Cheese" sauce and top it all off with a little bit of parsley! Enjoy!


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