Thursday, August 11, 2011

Veggie Calzone & Garlic Bread Sticks

When trying to decide what to make before the fast of Tisha B'av, I reached out for advice and scoured the internet for suggestions. After a little research and a little thought, I settled on something that would be easy, filling, and healthy, containing things like fiber and protein: Whole Wheat Veggie Calzones. I threw them together on Monday evening and we quite enjoyed them. Whether they helped us fast any better, who knows. But they were good.

As it happened, I had some of the filling leftover tonight. Enough to make one calzone. Since I had some leftover Chinese food to eat myself, I figured I'd make a calzone for Yaakov. The problem is that my pizza dough recipe makes enough dough for two large calzones, not just one. So I thought, "What can I do with the rest of the dough?"

Bread sticks of course!

I can't take full credit for the idea. The same person who shared the pizza dough recipe with me also gave me the idea for turning it in to bread sticks. I've just never really gotten around to it before now. And I'm regretting that. They're amazing. So, thank you Talia for sharing that dough recipe AND for the bread sticks suggestion. You're pretty awesome.

Here are the recipes:

Whole Wheat Veggie Calzones

  • 1 batch of No-Knead Pizza Dough made with whole wheat flour (recipe here)
  • 1 package frozen broccoli, thawed and drained
  • 1/2 package frozen spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 large tomato, diced
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 1/2 package of mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 container low-fat ricotta cheese (8 ounces?)
  • 1-2 Cups shredded mozzarella (depending on how cheesy you want it)
  1. Saute the onion until translucent. Then saute the mushrooms until tender. Then briefly saute the tomato chunks until they...look yummy...
  2. Mix all the filling ingredients in a large bowl. You can add seasoning like salt and pepper if you like, but it isn't necessary. I DID add a little garlic powder, though.
  3. Cut the pizza dough in half. Roll out 1 half of dough to 1/4 inch thickness (or thereabouts. I'm not too picky on this. Just roll it out until it looks big enough for the amount of filling you want to put in it.)
  4. Spoon filling onto half of the rolled out dough, leaving some space around the edges. Fold over the other half and press the edges together, then fold them up to avoid leaks.
  5. Repeat with the rest of the dough. Bake at 450 degrees for 15 minutes, or until they look nice and crispy. (Note: These tend to get soggy on the bottom when I bake them on a baking sheet. I think ideally, you should use a pizza crisper. Also, do try to get as much of the liquid OUT of the filling as possible. I really haven't figured out a way to keep them from getting soggy and leaky on the bottoms. Just be prepared for this as a possible outcome. They're still tasty.)

Garlic Bread Sticks

  • 1 batch Pizza Dough made with whole wheat flour
  • Olive oil cooking spray
  • jarred chopped/minced garlic
  • kosher salt
  • Rosemary (optional)
  1. Take a small amount of the pizza dough (about the size of an egg) and roll out to form (as much as possible) a long rectangle.
  2. Spray lightly with olive oil cooking spray. Spread on ~ 1 teaspoon of chopped garlic. Sprinkle on a little kosher salt and rosemary.
  3. Roll up the dough width-wise to form a long stick.
  4. Place on a baking sheet.
  5. Repeat with the remaining dough.
  6. Bake at 450 Farenheit for ~10-15 minutes. Keep an eye on them to make sure they don't burn. These seemed to brown faster than when I make pizza or calzones. (could be the olive oil spray) Don't worry about them being undercooked because there's nothing RAW in the dough. Just get them to where they look yummy and golden brown.
  7. Let them cool before eating them. They come out REALLY hot (and delicious).

Monday, August 1, 2011

Spinach Calzones

Today is the first day of the 9 Days, during which, as a sign of mourning, we do not eat meat. Normally, this doesn't bother me because I'm more of a dairy person anyway. But this year, silly me, I cooked for Shabbos anticipating leftovers to tide us over through some of the week. So...we've got some chicken that may become soup next shabbos...

Anyway, the point of this riveting story is that I had to come up with something for dinner tonight. I had bought some ingredients for making calzones a couple weeks ago and had never gotten around to it, so I offered that as a dinner option to the Huz. Needless to say, he got a little excited.

The thing about calzones is that they're very easy to make. You whip up a batch of pizza dough, make your filling, fill, fold, and bake. The process usually takes between 30-45 minutes.

I used some guidelines for my filling, but I did my own thing for the most part. It came out very tasty, but I'm concerned that the filling didn't fully cook. I also think that in the future, I will make 4 smaller calzones instead of 2 large ones. For me, the filling to dough ratio was a little too high.

Unfortunately, I forgot to take pictures before we started eating, so the ones I have aren't the best, or most appetizing, so I'll keep them to myself. Just imagine a calzone. That's what they looked like.

Anyway, here's the recipe. Enjoy! :)

Spinach Calzones

  • Pizza dough (recipe here)
  • 1 container low-fat cottage cheese
  • 1 Cup low-fat mozzarella cheese
  • 1 Cup frozen chopped spinach, defrosted and drained
  • 1 egg
  • salt and pepper
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  1. Mix all of the ingredients, excluding the pizza dough, in a bowl.
  2. Separate the pizza dough into 2-4 portions (depending on your size preference) and roll out to about 1/4 inch thickness.
  3. place 1/2 or 1/4 (depending on how many calzones your making) of the filling on one side of the rolled out dough. Fold the other half of the dough over and pinch closed, being careful not to let the filling squeeze out.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees Farenheit for about 20 minutes. Keep an eye on it to make sure the calzone isn't burning, and try to gauge when you think the filling is cooked.