‘Healthier than a Hot Pocket’ Beef and Broccoli Pies

You could eat this…

or you could eat that…

‘That’ is a Hot Pocket. A Ham and Cheese Hot Pocket to be more specific. This poster, designed by Justin Perricone, deconstructs the hard to read and often biblically long ingredients list found on most food packaging and puts it back together in a way that really makes its point. There are way too many ingredients in the packaged, processed foods that people are reaching for in the super market. I am so sick of picking up boxes off the shelf, only to return them moments later because the ingredients list is longer than the line at a newly opened Crispy Creme. My general rule of thumb when I shop is, if I can’t pronounce it, I probably shouldn’t be eating it.

I miss whole foods. Look at that poster. See where it says, “Imitation Mozzarella Cheese”. Why?! I want real cheese, damn it. There is part-skin mozzarella listed in tiny letters in the corner, but why can’t I have all mozzarella and why is there more of the fake stuff than the real stuff? How about, “Artificial Butter Flavor”. There is already a ton of butter in a Hot Pocket. Why do we need butter flavoring as well? Does it really affect the taste so much? What really baffles me is the amount of salt that all of these freezer foods contain. Why? What’s the point? Maybe it’s just me, but I don’t think it tastes good. There is so much salt, that it goes way beyond flavor enhancement. The salt becomes the flavor, you can’t even taste the ham and cheese in the ham and cheese. I haven’t even started on what it has done to our health, but I don’t think I need to go there.

Okay, enough ranting. This recipe takes a little time to put together, but is still very simple. While it isn’t inherently a convenience food, if you make a double batch, you could freeze half of them and have dinner or an on-the-go snack for later. You can freeze them before baking and then put them in the oven for about 50 minutes when you are ready to eat them. You can also freeze or refrigerate them after baking and then pop them in the microwave for a few minutes, just like a Hot Pocket.

Broccoli, Beef, and Cheddar Hand Pies

Makes 4 or 5 Pies


  • 1 cup Whole Wheat flour
  • 1 cup White Flour
  • 1 stick Unsalted Butter, cubed
  • 1 tsp Salt
  • 4 to 5 Tbs Ice Water


To make the pie dough, combine all of the ingredients in a food processor and pulse them together until a dough ball forms. Turn the dough out of the bowl and knead together a couple of times. Form the dough into a disc and wrap in plastic wrap. Store the dough in the fridge for at least ten minutes or while you make the filling.


  • 1 lb Beef(choose a cheap cut, such as round tip steak)
  • 1/2 Yellow Onion, diced
  • 6 ounces Fresh or Frozen Broccoli(I used frozen)
  • 1 cup Cheddar Cheese, grated
  • 1 cup Flour
  • 1 cup Water
  • 1 Tbs Oil
  • Salt and Pepper to taste


Cut the beef into bite-sized cubes and then dredge the cubes in flour that is seasoned with salt and pepper. Shake off the excess flour. Heat oil in a pan over medium heat. Add beef to the pan and cook it until it is nice and brown. It’s okay if some bits stick to the bottom of the pan. When the meat is browned, remove it from the pan and set it aside.

Add the diced onion and a tiny bit of salt to the pan. Cook the onions until they are translucent and then add the meat back to the pan, along with the broccoli. Cook for a minute more, then pour in a cup of water(or beef stock) to deglaze the pan, making sure to scrape up all of the brown bits on the bottom. Continue cooking until the liquid has turned into a thick sauce. Take the pan off of the heat and stir in the cheese.

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Take the dough out of the fridge and roll it out so that is roughly 1/8 inch thick. Using a dessert plate as a template, cut 7 inch rounds out of the dough. You will have to roll the dough out several times to make all the rounds.

Scoop some of the filling onto one half of each round. Fold over the other half so that it totally covers the filling, creating a half moon shape. Press the edges of the dough down with a fork to seal in the filling. Cut some slits in the top of the dough to allow steam to escape while baking. If you like, you can brush the tops with a mixture of one egg and a tablespoon of water.

Bake the pies for 40 to 45 minutes. Allow them to cool for at least 10 minutes before serving. These are a great meal to make on the weekends and then pack for lunch during the week.




Posted in Dinner, Healthy, Meat, Snacks

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