pizza

You Can Thank My Mom for This Post: Veggie Calzones

Years ago before my going vegan/gluten-free, my mom and I used to go to this little pizza place for lunch regularly. But we rarely got pizza. We almost always got the calzones. The crust is crispy, but still soft. It was saucy and cheesy and full of all kinds of yumminess. But the day I had to go gluten free, those lunch trips stopped. I haven’t had a calzone since. Until today.

My mom, sister and I regularly have Friday night dinner together. During MoFo, it’s been assumed that I was cooking Friday night. So, yesterday when I was talking to mom, she said “How about calzones? Those are stuffed.” Well, to be honest, calzones were on my brainstorming list, but somehow got dropped from the schedule (I use that term very loosely).  There wasn’t really a reason for it.  I like them.  It would be something new and different for me to make, but I just hadn’t thought about it much.

Mom was pretty emphatic about it though.  I acquiesced.  It went something like this…

Mom: “What would you put in it?”
Me “Onions, tomatoes, peppers for me and B…”
Mom: “And, mushrooms?”
Me: “Really?  Of course, I’ll put mushrooms!”  (hehehe…my plan is working)

That nailed it.  Mom wanted to try mushrooms another way.  Third time in a week after being a mushroom hater previously.  I’m so proud of her spirit of trying things in the name of MoFo!

“Ok, mom, I’ve never made them before.  But, I make pizza sometimes, so I’ll try them.”

I don’t remember the last time I was so glad that I cooked something just because someone else wanted it.  Gone are the days of missing our pizza shop lunches.

Veggoe Calzone Cut Open

Veggie Calzones

Makes 3

  • 1 recipe of calzone dough (below)
  • 3/4 recipe of veggie calzone filling (below)
  • 4½ – 6 oz Mozzarella Style Daiya Shreds
  • Olive oil for brushing
  • 3 pinches of garlic salt

Preheat oven to 500F.  Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Divide the dough into 3 equal balls.  Using garfava flour, lightly flour your hands and the outside of each ball of dough so that it’s easier to work with.  On a floured piece of parchment paper, roll out 1 ball of dough into a circle about 1/8″ thick (approx 8-9 inches in diameter).  After you’ve rolled your circle, take it off of the parchment paper and turn it over (This is just to ensure that it’s not too sticky to come off the paper.  Wouldn’t want to lose dough after you filled it, right?)

Put filling on 1/2 of the dough, leaving some room around the edges for closing it up.

Filling the Calzone

Put 1½-2 oz of Daiya on top of vegetable filling.  Fold dough over and pinch the edges closed.  Get as tight a seal as possible.

Pick up the folded calzone and put it on the parchment-lined baking sheet.  Repeat with the other two calzones.

Brush the top of each calzone with a thin layer of olive oil and sprinkle on a pinch of garlic salt (or more, to taste).

Calzones ready to go in the oven

Bake for 9-11 minutes on a middle rack (or slightly below middle, but not all the way at the bottom) until golden brown.

Veggie Calzone

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Veggie Calzone Filling:

  • 1 large red onion, sliced in thin half moons and separated into strips
  • 8 oz sliced cremini mushrooms
  • 8 oz grape tomatoes
  • 1 small red bell pepper, cut in strips
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3 oz fresh spinach, chopped
  • Double batch of Vegetarian Times’ Quick Pizza Sauce

Preheat oven to 375. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil.

Place all vegetables except spinach on baking sheet.  Drizzle the olive oil over vegetables.  Toss to coat evenly.  Roast for 30 minutes.

While the vegetables are roasting, make the sauce.  (When the sauce is ready, it’s a good time to start making the dough so it can rise)

After roasting for 30 minutes, take the vegetables out of the oven.  (Depending on the time you have left for your dough, you can either turn your oven off and then back on to preheat for the final calzone baking or you can turn it up to preheat to 500F)

Mix the roasted vegetables and chopped spinach into the sauce until well combined.

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Calzone Dough:

This is a very slight variation of my pizza dough (and would work great for pizza) that I adapted from this recipe.

1 cup garfava flour
3/4 cup tapioca flour
3 tbsp almond meal (see note 5 below)
1 Tbsp gluten-free yeast
4½ tsp xanthan gum
1 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1 cup warm water (around 110F)
1½ tsp canola oil
1½ tsp apple cider vinegar

Add all dry ingredients together in a kitchen stand mixer with a dough hook or food processor with S blade and combine well.  Add in liquids and mix until a stiff dough forms.  Using your hands, gather all the dough together.  (At this point, it will probably be a blob)  The dough is a bit sticky so put a very small amount of garfava flour on the outside as you form it into a ball.  Flatten it into a thick disc (about 2 inches).   Let the dough sit on a small piece of parchment or waxed paper 20-30 minutes to let the yeast work a little magic.  You won’t see as dramatic a rising as you might expect from a gluten dough, but it makes a big difference in the texture of the crust.

Notes:

1. I find rolling pizza/calzone dough a little easier with one of those little handheld pastry rollers, but a regular rolling pin should work just fine.

2. The dough recipe only makes 3, but there’s enough filling for 4. This was my first time making them so I didn’t know exactly what I needed. But that filling takes exactly 2 recipes of sauce. I’m thinking the leftover would be really good thinned down with pasta water and served over pasta. Or you might want to make just 3/4 of the veggies that I made, and mix it with 3/4 of the sauce. Then thin out the remaining sauce a little for dipping.

3.  Yep, that’s a full size dinner plate.  I couldn’t eat it all at one sitting.

4.  Mine opened up just a little bit at the seam while baking.  I could have probably prevented it with a bit less filling, but I thought it was perfectly filled.  So make your own call on whether you want more filling or none of the filling peeking out.

5. I’ve always used the store bought almond meal from Trader Joe’s in my pizza crust and it works fine.  But, it leaves little brown specs. I made my own from blanched slivered almonds tonight and the crust is prettier.  It’s just an aesthetic thing, but if it matters to you, buy the meal from blanched almonds or make your own.

6.  This is a very thick dough.  I always use my food processor.  Don’t use a hand mixer.

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Girls’ Night In (Pizza and a Movie)

Entertaining Thought #2:

If you’re having an informal event like girls’ (or guys’) night in, movie night, a slumber party, game night, etc, a make-your-own bar fits the bill.  It’s laid back, fun and less prep work for you.  You can set up a bar for baked potatoes, sundaes, tacos, salads, sandwiches and more. Make up some cute little labels for the ingredients and let your guests have a good time creating.

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Last week I was hosting a girls’ night in at my house with one of my favorite movies,

and a few of my favorite girls.  We had a make your own pizza night.

And here they are putting on the toppings…


Crust:
Makes 4 “rustic” pizza crusts



1-1/3 cup garfava flour
1 cup tapioca flour
1/4 cup almond meal
2 Tbsp gluten-free yeast
2 Tbsp xanthan gum
1-1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp sugar
1-1/3 cup warm water
2 tsp. canola oil
2 tsp. apple cider vinegar


    Add all dry ingredients together in a kitchen mixer or food processor and combine well. Stir in liquids while beating on medium speed. A stiff dough should form. Divide the dough into four equal pieces.  Let the dough sit 20-30 minutes to let the yeast work a little magic. You might not see much change in the size, but the finished product makes this worth the wait. Line two cookie sheets with parchment paper and roll out 4 rustic shaped crusts as shown in the picture.  It would of course work for round pizzas too, but with the rustic shape, we could fit two on the pan at a time.
    Move oven rack to bottom position.  Preheat oven to 500

    Let each guest put on the toppings s/he desires and then bake the pizzas on bottom rack for 10-12 minutes until crust is golden brown. 

    Toppings we had to create from:

    • Pizza Sauce
    • Olive Oil (helpful if you provide a brush)
    • Black Olives
    • Onions
    • Banana Peppers
    • Portobello “Sausage” (Slice thin and then cut in bite size pieces, cook in frying pan with a bit of oil – adding water as necessary to keep from sticking, until mushroom has soaked up all the water and gotten a little chewy – about 7 minutes – then add a little more water with sage, fennel, salt, garlic powder, crushed red pepper to taste.  Let portobello soak up all the water and seasonings and then remove from heat.)
    • Fresh Oregano
    • Fresh Basil
    • Fresh Chives
    • Navy Beans
    • Daiya Mozzarella
    • Eggplant (sliced thin)
    • Sweet Potatoes (cubed and steamed)
    • Pine Nuts
    • Roasted Red Peppers
    • Green Bell Peppers
    • Sliced Tomatoes
    • Pine Nut Cheese (recipe follows)

    Topping labels…



    There’s a pdf below that you can print out to set up your own pizza bar.  If you just want blanks so you can write in the toppings, just print out page 4 (go to scribd and download in order to print)

    For some reason, “the other Dawn” didn’t look so sure about these going in… I think it might have been her reaction to the Daiya before it was cooked. She liked it ok after cooking though. Btw, a good tip for people not used to Daiya: use about half of what you would use if it were dairy mozz. Too much will mess with the texture.

     I bet it’s pretty obvious which one is mine.  Yes, I pile on the toppings!
     

    Here are a couple straight out of the oven.  Look how beautifully that crust browned!

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    Pine Nut Cheese (adapted from a recipe from Dr. Ben Kim)

    1 cup pines nuts, soaked for 1 hour then drained
    1/4 cup olive oil
    juice of 1 lemon
    1 small garlic clove
    1/4 cup nutritional yeast
    water to desired thickness (I use about 1/2 cup – it does thicken in the fridge)

    Put all ingredients in the food processor and process for 7-8 minutes until creamy.  Refrigerate for at least an hour so all the flavors can meld together.  Drop by spoonfuls onto pizza.

    Pizza Topping Labels

    Enjoy!!

    My entry in the Fork and Beans Valentine’s Bake off!

    Strawberry Dessert Pizza with Cocoa Crust

    Ingredients

    Crust:
    1/3 cup garfava (garbanzo/fava bean) flour, plus a little extra for working crust
    1/2 cup tapioca flour
    1/3 cup unsweetened cocoa, plus extra for dusting
    ¾ cup powdered sugar
    2 tablespoons almond meal
    1 Tbsp gluten-free yeast
    1 Tbsp xanthan gum
    3/4 tsp. salt
    3/4 cup warm water
    1 tsp canola oil
    1 tsp apple cider vinegar
    1 tsp vanilla extract

    Filling:
    3 cups almond milk, divided
    1/4 cup cornstarch
    1/3 cup sugar
    Pinch salt
    1-1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

    Topping:
    1 pound fresh strawberries, washed/capped/sliced
    1 Tbsp sugar

    Directions:

    Crust:
    Preheat oven to 350. Line an 16” pizza pan with parchment paper. Add all dry ingredients together in a food processor outfitted with an s blade and combine well. Process in the liquids until a stiff but sticky dough forms. Take out the dough in 3 small batches working in a little garfava flour to make the dough more workable. I used about 1 tbsp extra flour, but it may require a little more or a little less depending on the stickiness of your dough. Then combine the 3 small batchers into one larger flattened ball. Let sit for about 20 minutes. Lightly dust both sides of the dough with cocoa to make it easier to roll. Using a pastry roller, roll out the dough into a circle (easier if you spin the pizza pan as you roll) about 12-13” (You need the larger pan because it will grow in the oven). Roll up the edges a little to form a rim for the filling to stay in. Bake for 25-30 minutes until edges are browning. Just so you know what to expect – it will rise A LOT and then fall when you remove it from the oven. The final product is about a 15” crust.
    Remove crust from oven and set aside. If there are large bubbles in the crust, poke them with a toothpick and flatten with the bottom of a measuring cup. Technically, you could do it with your hands, but there’s steam in there and you risk burning your hands.

    Topping:
    Sprinkle strawberry slices with sugar, toss to coat and set aside. Be sure to do this before you make the filling so that you can put them on while the filling is still hot.

    Filling:
    You can start the filling while the crust is in the oven, but don’t start before you only have about 5 more minutes to bake or the filling will sit around hardening before the crust is ready.
    In a small sauce pan, combine 1 cup of almond milk and cornstarch with a fork until cornstarch is dissolved. Whisk in the remaining milk, the sugar and salt.
    Whisking occasionally, bring mixture to a boil over medium heat. As soon as the mixture boils, reduce heat to low and begin whisking continuously until it filling has thickened. This should take about 7 minutes.
    Stir in vanilla.
    Assemble Dessert Pizza:
    As soon as filling is ready, pour into pizza crust and spread evenly with a spoon. Immediately put strawberries on top of the filling. You don’t have to be to exact about it, just drop them on like you would pizza toppings. If you’re the kind who lays out pizza toppings exactly (I’m known to do that myself), feel free, but do it quickly before the filling starts to set.

    Cover the pizza with another sheet of parchment paper to keep the filling from forming a skin and to keep the strawberries from drying out. Place the pizza in the refrigerator to cool at least a couple hours. I think it’s even better the second day.

    When you are ready to cut it, skip the seemingly obvious pizza cutter for a knife. The pizza cutter will just pull the strawberries around and not give you an even cut.

    1 food 5 ways, Cashews, Way #1: Cashew Goat Cheese


    This recipe has been floating around the internet for a couple years, but I’ve only recently tried it. And I LOVE it! Vegetarian Times’ pepper crusted cashew goat cheese takes some pre-planning, but with a food processor (or possibly even a good blender) it’s pretty easy. I can’t honestly tell you that it tastes just like goat cheese because I don’t remember what goat cheese tastes like. But it’s creamy, tangy, and all around delicious.

    If you haven’t made this recipe before, I have a few tips for you:

    1. Make sure it’s really creamy before you take it out of the food processor. You don’t want ANY chunks of cashew left.
    2. In step 3 of the recipe where it says to drain out the extra liquid, don’t be concerned if you don’t get any liquid out. I don’t and it still turns out great. But DO give it the 12 hours to sit there and age even if it doesn’t need to drain.
    3. To get the cheese as firm as I think it should be, I cook it 50-60 minutes instead of the 35 as listed.
    4. Try it asap!!

    For those to whom the recipe is not new, here are a few of the ways I like to use it. Hopefully at least one of them will be something new for you.

    Rice cake with cheese and diced fresh peaches


    Foodie Tortilla Pizza Wedges
    Brown Rice Tortilla, Your favorite pesto (I whipped up a spinach based one), red bell peppers, shallots, crimini mushrooms and crumbled cashew goat cheese
    Bake on pizza pan at 400 for 8-10 minutes until edges of tortilla are golden brown
    Use as a meal or put out a platter full for appetizers


    Pear- Cashew Goat Cheese-Walnut Salad

    Spring Mix, 1/4 pear – seeded and sliced, walnut pieces, crumbled cashew goat cheese, dried cranberries and red wine vinegar-agave dressing (1.5 tsp of each)
    The tart dressing and cheese against the sweet fruit is delish!

    Fig-Cashew Goat Cheese-Walnut Salad
    Same as above but replace spring mix with spinach, pears with sliced figs and leave out the cranberries (though they’d be good too)


    Enjoy! I’ll be back tomorrow with way #2 to use cashews.

    Cookbook Challenge Week 2: Vegan with a Vengeance – Recipe #5 The Recipe: Green Goddess Garlic Pizza

    This is the last catch-up post for CC Week 2. And what better way to end a week of reviewing good recipes, than with a pizza? This recipe is actually three recipes in one because you need the Green Garden Puree (p 137) and the Classic Pesto (p 132)

    Cookbook Challenge Week 2: Vegan with a Vengeance – Recipe #5 The Recipe: Green Goddess Garlic Pizza (p 136)

    The Reasoning: Green Goddess. Garlic. Pizza. That is all.

    The Substitutions:

    Pizza: Rather than reinventing the wheel by trying to figure another gf pizza crust, I used my usual which I posted earlier . But, I have started letting it rise 20 minutes instead of 10, and I followed VwaV’s cooking instructions instead of the ones I posted with the crust. I left off the olives for the simple reason that I don’t like them.

    Puree: In case I haven’t made this perfectly clear in previous posts, I am a basil hater. I used only about 1/4 cup of basil instead of a full cup. I also replaced the pound of tofu with 1-1/2 cups of navy beans (but any white bean would do). Because of the subs, I only got 5 cups.

    Pesto: I replaced the basil with parsley and added a little dry basil for the kick. I used all the parsley I had – about 3 cups, not packed. Because of the sub, I only got about 1 cup of pesto.

    The Process: This is labor intensive! I made the garden puree the day before, and it still took me two hours after work to make the pesto, roast the garlic, make the crust and put it all together. Two hours seems forever for one meal. And then I realized it wasn’t one meal. I typically eat 2 slices of pizza with a salad for one meal. This recipe is for 2 pizzas. Hello…that’s 8 meals for me. Doesn’t sound so bad when I look at it this way. I will however, do this on a day off in the future. I’m not too keen on eating dinner at 9 pm when I like to be in bed by 9:30 or 10. I actually didn’t make 2 pizzas at once, I saved the toppings and made a second crust when the first pizza was gone. Even after the 2 pizzas were made there was pesto and garden puree leftover. VwaV suggests using it for pasta. I already had enough meals prepared for the week, and I don’t eat much pasta anyway, so I froze them in hopes that I’ll be able to pull them out and whip up a pizza at a later time.

    The Review: I was a little concerned about the idea of cooking pizza at 500 on the bottom shelf not knowing how that would work with the gf crust. It was a dream come true in the pizza crust world. It was crispy on the outside, soft and bready on the inside. If someone had handed it to me, I would have suspected they were lying about it being gluten free. I doubt I will ever cook a pizza any other way ever again, especially since this method only takes 12 minutes until I have hot pizza goodness in my grubby little hands.

    All that garlic sounded like too much. It wasn’t. My tummy may have disagreed with me a bit (though I suspect that was the chickpea casserole), but my tastebuds say it rocked.

    The garden puree was a little bland (probably because I hardly had any basil in it), but when mixed with the strong flavors of the pesto it was delicious. I followed the “dolloping” instructions on the first pizza and I got some bites that were strong and some that were bland. For the second pizza I spread out the pesto and the puree so that I got some of each in every bite. I liked that MUCH better.

    This was not the kind of meal that would first spring to my mind when I think of the word pizza, but I loved it even heated up for breakfast. If there is anyway possible, please, for the sake of all that is good in pizza-land, reheat your pizza in the oven. (500 bottom rack 3-5 minutes)


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    Points information – Green Garden Puree, w/my subs – 1 cup=6 points; Classic Pesto, w/my subs – 1/4 cup=9 points; Pizza, w/my subs 1 slice=4 points
    This is not figured or endorsed by Weight Watchers. I figured the points value myself using an online point calculator.

    I may have a new favorite pizza: Roasted Vegetable White Pizza

    I hate throwing away food. I spend my hard-earned money on it and it’s just so wasteful. I especially hate to throw away beautiful produce. Since I was sick last week and didn’t cook much, I had some vegetables that were sitting in the crisper drawer needing to be used. But I have been craving pizza for about 2 weeks (even some of the time while I was lying on the couch half awake). How could I balance the two? Here’s what I came up with…

    Roasted Vegetable White Pizza (Makes One 10-12″ pizza)


    Vegetable Mixture:

    1 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise then cut in half-moon slices
    1 small orange bell pepper, cut in half rings
    1 small onion, cut in half-moon slices and layers separated
    4-5 cremini mushrooms, sliced
    2 cloves garlic, chopped
    1 tsp olive oil

    Toss all of the ingredients above on a rimmed baking sheet and roast in a preheated oven at 400F for 15 minutes. This is 5-10 minutes less time than I would normally roast vegetables because they will be cooked longer when put on the pizza.

    Meanwhile, prepare the pizza crust. I veganized the gluten free pizza crust from easypizzacrusts.com. I actually don’t have a kitchen stand mixer, so I mix it in my food processor with an s-blade and it works great.

    Crust:

    2/3 cup garfava flour
    1/2 cup tapioca flour
    2 Tbsp almond meal
    1 Tbsp gluten-free yeast
    1 Tbsp xanthan gum
    3/4 tsp salt
    1/2 tsp sugar
    2/3 cup warm water
    1 tsp.vegetable oil
    1 tsp. vinegar

    Add all dry ingredients together in a kitchen mixer or food processor and combine well. Stir in liquids while beating on medium speed. A stiff dough should form. Let the dough sit about 10 minutes to let the yeast work a little magic. You might not see much change in the size, but the finished product makes this worth the wait. Press/roll gluten free pizza crust dough onto a pizza pan lined with parchment paper. Prebake this crust for about 10 minutes at 350F.

    “Pesto”:
    Drizzle crust with olive oil (about 2 tsp), then brush it evenly across crust.
    Top with fresh parsley (about 3 Tbsp, chopped), dried oregano and ground rosemary. It would probably even be better to use all fresh herbs, but this is what I had around.
    Sprinkle almond meal (around 2 Tbsp) on top of the herbs.

    Voila! Pesto without actually making pesto. If you like basil pesto, use basil in place of/in addition to the parsley…I just don’t like the stuff.

    Top “Pesto” with the roasted vegetable mixture. (I actually didn’t quite use all of it and have a little leftover)

    Put spoonfuls of pine nut cheese on top of vegetables. I used about 1/3 cup total. See information about pine nut cheese on my post about roasted vegetable salad.

    Bake an additional 15 minutes until crust turns slightly brown on the bottom. At the very end, I like to brown the cheese by turning on the broiler. I don’t move the pan up near the broiler (so it’s about 7 inches away) and broil for 2-3 minutes. Be careful – it can go from perfect to burned in seconds!

    Optional: Garnish with fresh scallions and serve with a salad of spinach, tomato and grated carrot.

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