When it comes to easy and healthy meals, it does not have to be complicated. Now…the sound of making calzones can seem daunting. But honestly….it really isn’t. It’s an awesome vehicle to consume more vegetables at lunch/dinner time (hell even breakfast…) while increasing your lycopene intake (antioxidant that increases when you cook tomatoes). Not to mention…who doesn’t love to eat a calzone?!
I pick up a box of produce from a local farm every week. I found myself with an abundance of yellow squash. I already made squash soup so I was trying to think of another fun way to consume this awesome summer vegetable. As I was walking through Trader Joe’s, I saw their packet of whole wheat pizza dough. Done! I did a quick inventory in my head of what other veggies I had in the fridge (Onions, peppers, eggplant…perfect). I used marinara since I already had some at home but you can of course use pizza sauce if you prefer. The use of the white beans adds additional protein. White beans are not only full of protein but they are a great source of fiber, calcium, potassium, folate and B vitamins.
Like I always say, use what you have in the fridge or tweak the ingredients used if you don’t like something.
Veggie Calzones: Angela Style
1 small yellow onion (chopped)
1 medium sized yellow squash (chopped)
2 small eggplant (chopped)
2 small purple bell peppers (chopped)
1 can of white beans, drained and rinsed (optional)
1 cup of frozen green mix (or fresh greens)
Pinch of smoked paprika
Salt to taste
Marinara or pizza sauce
1 package fresh pizza dough (I used Trader Joe’s whole wheat)
Course sea salt
*Flour or cornmeal for when you’re rolling out the dough to make the calzones
Tools: Rolling pin
Preheat oven to 425F. In a medium-large sized pan, caramelize onion with some olive oil. Once the onion is looking good, throw in eggplant, squash and peppers. Cook until tender (make sure the eggplant is cooked through) but not mushy, sprinkle with paprika and salt. Throw the greens in once your mixture has only 2 minutes left to cook to gently re-heat (if using frozen greens), as well as the white beans.
While the veggies are cooking, divide your dough into 7-8 equal portions and roll it out to preferred thickness. Place two large spoonfuls of marinara and cooked veggies. Fold the dough over to form a calzone and pinch the sides. Brush tops with olive oil and sprinkle with course sea salt.
Place calzones on either a heated pizza stone. If you don’t have one of those, which I don’t….line either a baking sheet or pizza pan with parchment paper. Place calzones on top of parchment paper and bake until golden brown.
If you’re not into keeping this plant-based, go ahead and add in some cheese. OR if you’re looking for some creamy goodness to go with this dish, you can make the roasted garlic cashew cream that I made with mine. YEEEEEE DAWGIE is it good. You can dip it on the side or put it right in the calzone.
Roasted Garlic Cashew Sauce
1 cup of cashews (soak in boiling water for 30 mins)
1 small head of garlic (chop of top, drizzle with olive oil, wrap in foil, roast at 375 in oven for 45 mins). Once cooled, squeeze out garlic of head.
1 small yellow onion, caramelized
Pinch of salt
Drain cashews, place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.
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