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From the Pilsbury homepage
Kind of dramatic post title, I know, but here I am thinking about carbs again...they taste so good, and they're so hard to get away from, especially when you love bread and baked goods. Out in the grocery store and newspaper ads, that means that after a childhood full of the stuff, when I see Pillsbury products go on sale my first instinct is, "Oh cool! That would be so easy to make into (fill in the blank with your own ideas)!" Which is normally promptly followed by, "Wait, crap...no, bad self! Can't have Pillsbury! SO bad for you!" It's so troubling having to fight myself (-_-") arg.

When I'm at the store, even if I'm pretty sure I'm not going to buy it, I'll still look at the nutritional information on the back/side to prove to myself that I'm making the right decision in not buying it, hahaha. Actually, though, Calorie Count has created a pretty comprehensive list of all the Pillsbury products and their corresponding nutritional information; they've even gone so far as to give a Nutrition Grade to most of the items! While a C might be a passing grade in school, it's definitely not a pass for my health, much less many of the other items that they ranked as D's. Have a look for yourself, click on the Pillsbury products that you've bought or eaten and see if you're happy with the results. First of all, pay attention to the serving size, and THEN look at the information below it. For example, ONE Grands Flaky Biscuit is almost 200 calories by itself!! *SHOCK* That, and the accompanying 9g of fat and the 24g of carbs (5g come from sugar), whoa! There's barely any fiber, a small amount of protein, and in comparison to the "bad" carb and calorie numbers, it's nutritionally just not worth it. Think of it in terms of something else, like a car; you wouldn't pay $40k for a car that has a great body kit, a nice paint job, and a super luxurious and comfortable interior, but doesn't have tires or is missing the windows and/or the engine, right? It's normally just not worth it.

In any case, while my boyfriend tends to gravitate towards the biscuits because his one signature dish is biscuits and gravy (no comment on the nutritional value of that...), I tend to gravitate more towards the refrigerated pie crust dough and the crescent rolls. I've made pie crust from scratch before, but it's just so tedious and involved, so the idea and convenience of ready-made pie crusts are just SO appealing. While I haven't ever made a crescent roll or even attempted to ever make them, the Pillsbury ones are so easy for making appetizers or quick fix meals. That being said, while I agree with Calorie Count that they're not the best thing for you, I also like to think of my mother's kitchen motto at times like this: "Everything in moderation!" Now, I'm not saying that I go and buy some crescent rolls every time they go on sale, that's crazy talk, but I might be inclined to purchase a reduced fat roll or two of them perhaps once every nine months to a year, hahahaha. In reality though, that is the essence of moderation. It's not that you can't ever have it again, it's just that it should only be something you rarely ever have.

SO, for that once or twice a year that I have crescent rolls on hand, I at least try to fill it with something healthier so that I don't end up feeling to guilty afterwards. For example, the recipe below for Spinach & Feta Crescent Rolls! I got the idea from Pinterest, but I healthified it to make myself happier. I halved the recipe so I wouldn't end up with so many; left out the olives that were originally called for since I just don't really like olives; switched fat-free feta for the regular kind; switched low-moisture part-skim mozzarella instead of the regular kind; and used liquid egg whites instead of cracking open a real egg.

Spinach & Feta Crescent Rolls

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Everybody in the pool!
Makes 8 rolls

Ingredients:
  • 1 tube Pillsbury (or whatever brand) crescent rolls (8 ct.)
  • 2 oz. crumbled fat-free feta cheese
  • 2 oz. part-skim mozzarella, shredded
  • 1.5 oz. fresh baby spinach, chopped
  • 3 tbsp liquid egg white (or 1 egg white, beaten)
  • 1/8 tsp red pepper flakes
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Optional: 1 oz. black olives, finely diced


Directions:
  1. Mix the spinach, feta, mozzarella, red pepper flakes, salt, pepper, and olives (if using) in a bowl together. Make sure all the ingredients in the mixture are evenly distributed (you don't want just a huge clump of cheese in one roll...or do you?)
  2. Preheat oven to 350F. Grease or line a baking sheet and set aside.
  3. Unroll the crescent roll dough and divide into the 8 triangles.
  4. Evenly divide up the spinach mixture among all eight of the triangles, using a spoon and heaping the mixture along the shortest side of the triangle.
  5. Carefully roll each one up (towards the far tip of the triangle), keeping the filling in the roll as best as possible.
  6. Arrange the rolls evenly spaced apart on the prepared baking sheet.
  7. Lightly brush each roll with the egg white (to help it brown), and bake for 15 minutes or until golden brown like in the picture below (I like mine a little crispier on the outside).
  8. Let it cool a couple minutes before serving.


Original recipe can be found here.

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On prepared baking sheet (or covered rack for my toaster oven, in this case) and ready for the oven
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All golden brown with cooked spinach and melted cheese, yummeh!

Other sources:
Photo: http://www.pillsbury.com/products/pillsburyclub



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