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Whole Wheat Veggie Calzones

November 15, 2009

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before, but eating healthy and eating good food at most of the restaurants in my town is just not a possibility.  I have a city girl mentality when it comes to eating, and am used to having a world of variety available to me when I choose to go out to eat (Ethiopian!).  Now that I live in a small town, I’m fairly limited to burgers, wings, fried food, any kind of fast food I could possibly want, and mediocre Italian or Mexican.  While it’s fun to go out, I’ve learned in the last few months that I can do a whole lot better at home.

When Solomon told me he wanted calzones, the wheels started turning.  I think in Boston, I would have started trying to figure out which place we could go to or order from for the best calzones.  Now, my mind immediately goes to what should go in them, how I should make the dough, and how many meals I can stretch it into (P.S. leftovers calzones?  Not so great).

Having never made a calzone before in my life, I went to How to Cook Everything Vegetarian for inspiration.  This is a fabulous vegetarian, and all around cookbook, which I highly recommend.  It is full of fantastic ideas, and variations on so many recipes.  I recently got it for my friend Robin (who is hopefully going to be starting her own blog soon!) and she agrees that it’s a fantastic book.  In fact, the whole “How to Cook Everything” series is amazing. 

I made a dough based on the recipe in this book, but made a few tweaks, just to use some whole wheat flour.  First, I combined 1 1/2 cups all purpose flour and 1 1/2 cups whole wheat flour with 2 tsp. yeast and 2 tsp. coarse sea salt in my food processor.

DSC03059 Even though we are not big salt people (neither Solomon nor I ever add it to our food), I love having sea salt readily accessible in my kitchen.  I keep it in a cute little salt cellar so it’s always available to me.  I just want to share the cuteness.

DSC03062With all of this in the machine, turn it on, and slowly add between a cup and a cup and a half of water through the feed tube, and 2 tbsp. EVOO.  The more whole wheat flour you use, the more water is needed.  You want the dough to form a ball and be slightly sticky to the touch.  Add more water if it is try and more flour if it is too sticky.

Next, turn out the dough on a floured work surface and knead for a few seconds to form a smooth, round ball.  Put a little more EVOO in a bowl, put the dough in a cover with plastic wrap.  The dough should double in 1 to 2 hours.  I actually made it early and let it sit in the fridge for about 4 hours.  It doubled in this time.

When I was ready to use the dough I divided it in half and made each piece into a ball, which I put on a lightly floured surface, and sprinkled with more flour.  This was covered with a kitchen towel for about 20 minutes, just so the dough could puff a little bit.

DSC03075We used our hands to press out the dough into flat rounds.  Mine was more circular, and Solomon’s was more oblong.  He was jealous of the near perfection of mine.

DSC03077 We then went to town filling these bad boys.  We spread some ricotta cheese on one side of each, then used some frozen chopped (drained) spinach to add another layer of flavor.  I had also sautéed mushrooms and onions, which we threw in there as well.  A little bit of shredded mozzarella and some grated parmesan, plus a few spices (oregano, garlic and crushed red pepper) finished it up!

DSC03081 Now comes the only difficult part of the whole thing.  You fold the empty side over, and try the seal it.  This is a lesson in patience and creativity.  There was a lot of pinching of the dough, folding and cursing.  Fun for the whole family.

DSC03082 Mine is the gigantic ghetto looking one.  Yes, I’m just as surprised as you are.

Next time, I might sprinkle some spices or cheese on top.  Believe me, there will be a next time.

These bad boys went into a 350 degree oven for about 35 minutes.  I served them with a heated up bowl of homemade spicy tomato sauce (we really like spicy round here).

DSC03088 DSC03090 DSC03089MMMMM…look at all of the vegetable and cheese goodness.  Since we didn’t have enough veggies in the calzones, a side of asparagus was a must (steamed with EVOO, minced garlic, salt and pepper).

That’s all there is to it
.  The best restaurant in town is right in my kitchen (not to disrespect any of the restaurants in town, but this was damn good).  It got the Solomon eye roll of approval!

What’s your favorite kind of calzone?  The more veggies the merrier for me! 

Also, what’s your favorite cookbook?  You can tell I’m obsessed with all of mine!

Check back tomorrow for an awesome giveaway!  There are going to be a few winners this time!

Operation Chocolate Covered Kindness!

8 Comments leave one →
  1. November 15, 2009 10:06 am

    I’ve never made a calzone before. I think I’ve always been intimidated. Maybe I’ll try it. I think my fiance would love it.

    My favorite cookbook is called the PDQ Vegetarian Cookbook. It focuses a lot on using jarred or pre-cut food but I think everything that I’ve made has been really good and you don’t have to chop anything in prep.

  2. Lizzy permalink
    November 15, 2009 10:17 am

    i’ve never made calzones, or eaten out for them i don’t believe! but these look wonderful and not to hard to make in your own kitcken! did you only make enough dough for the 2, or did you have any left over for left overs??

  3. November 15, 2009 11:10 am

    Shout out to me and the “How to Cook Everything Vegetarian” Cookbook. Highly recommend it to everyone that reads Mo’s blog. Mo, the calzones look awesome–I am inspired to go cook right now! Love and miss you.

  4. November 15, 2009 12:11 pm

    They look great 😀 I’ve never made my own calzone and haven’t had one in years (hard to find here!) but I think I’d love lots of veggies and cheese. Favourite cookbook(s) are the Moosewood ones 😀

  5. Jessie permalink
    November 15, 2009 2:05 pm

    This looks so good. Awesome idea!

  6. November 15, 2009 2:35 pm

    I’ve never made calzones; I don’t think I’ve even eaten one, since they all seem to have cheese, which I don’t like! Yours look awesome, though. 🙂

    Favorite cookbooks?! I couldn’t possibly choose… I like the KBD series but they’re such involved recipes, I never have time for them! And, um, they tend to the rich side, if you know what I mean.

    ❤ ❤

  7. November 15, 2009 9:27 pm

    Hmm… I don’t think I’ve had a calzone since 1998 (no joke). I do remember loving it back then. I don’t even know where you can get a calzone around here. Yours however, looks good!

    Favorite cookbook right now is Eat, Drink and Be Vegan.

  8. November 16, 2009 7:56 am

    i cannot remember the last time I had a calzone!! whoaaa those look SO GOOD! i certainly have never made one homemade before thank you for the inspiration! I would pack mine withi veggies as well!!!

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