I’ve solved the frozen vegan convenience foods deficit with these incredible vegan pizza buns! You’re welcome.
I’m not a meal planner by any stretch. In fact I’m pretty much the opposite of a meal planner. I intentionally do not plan meals so that I can perfectly match my meals to my cravings whenever they happen to arise. I like to keep a fully stocked fridge and pantry so that I can pretty much make whatever I want when I want it. In theory, and in my head, it’s a perfect system. In actuality, it’s not sustainable by any stretch. There are times when I find myself starving without any ambition to actually do anything about my hunger other than throw junk food in my face.
I have an open schedule, and no dependents. Nobody is really relying on me for sustenance, and I don’t have to take anyone else’s dietary restrictions or food particulars into account when I plan a meal. Yes, I do ask Ben what he’s in the mood for if I’m making dinner, but he’s fairly vague when it comes to providing me directions. Other than a few “NO” food items, I can pretty much make whatever I want.
I am grateful for my unique situation, and I understand that not everyone has the luxuries that I do. People work crazy hours. People have families to feed; families full of unique food personalities and varying schedules.
Ben, although he doesn’t necessarily have a schedule to worry about either, asserts that his number one reason for not being vegan is that it is not convenient enough. To his liking, there aren’t that many grab-and-go options that will quickly eliminate his hunger without causing him to have to actually plan a meal or cook it. Sure, there are a few frozen vegan snacks that can easily be heated and served, but neither of us have been overly impressed with any of them.
A couple of weeks ago someone posted a comment on one of my YouTube videos that they would like to see me do some type of meal prep. I thought that it was a great idea, although that there would be something unnatural about me coming up with a meal prep plan considering I’ve never meal prepped. The thought of knowing on Sunday what meal I have to eat on Thursday causes me a bit of anxiety, and brings up deep-seeded commitment issues.
Meal prepping is huge right now, though, so I get it. My mom raves about some meal prep plan that she’s on. She cooks six days worth of meals on Sunday, and she has three meals a day for a majority of the week, with one day to play with if she decided to go out to dinner or lunch. Whenever I talk to her about it, she’s raves how good the food is, and how much it’s helping her sort out some of the food issues in her life, particularly, the one where she’s starving RIGHT NOW and there’s nothing to eat but cheese and crackers. She doesn’t have to worry about cooking, she just heats up one of her personally packaged meals, and dinner is served.
Back to school season is in full bloom, and for the first time in 13 years, it officially means nothing to me. And although I don’t have to worry about going back to school anymore, seeing a lot of bloggers and YouTubers doing back to school recipes causes my blood pressure to rise ever so slightly, and it adds one more grey hair to my beard. I know that trying to figure out what to feed kids after school, or even during school, is a real struggle for people, especially those who are new to or transitioning to veganism, or for those parents who have kids that have decided to go vegan. This annual influx of back to school recipes, although anxiety-inducing for me, are life-savers to a number of families.
So, here’s my contribution to the genre of “back to school” foods, and my attempt at meal prepping. Even if you don’t have to worry about kids, or schedules, these are a great make-ahead vegan meal that you won’t be sorry you have on hand.
These buns are my vegan take on America’s favorite frozen savory filled pastry: The Hot Pocket. They are a cinch to make, and they can be tailored to meet a variety of cravings. But best of all, they can be stored in the freezer and then reheated in just one minute.
After testing this recipe, and having these buns in the freezer, it was easy to see how nice it actually was to have a delicious food that I could quickly heat up when hunger arrived. Ben has demanded that we have “like 100” of these pizza buns in the freezer at all time.
This recipe starts with a pound and a half of pizza dough, which yields 8 buns. You can easily make the dough from scratch as I did using the flatbread dough recipe from the Crossroads cookbook. Or you can make your life even easier by buying a hunk of pre-made dough from the grocery store. Most dough is sold by the pound, so you could either cut the recipe down and just make 6 buns, or you could buy two pounds of dough, and up the recipe to 12.
The ration is simple, so you can make as many or as few as you want, filling them with whatever ingredients you or your family loves. Below are the links to the recipe variations that I’ve come up with, but the world is your pizza pocket: fill it with the stuff you love.