Oh Versatile Calzones – Cheezy Spinach Version
I was initially going to make these on the grill, but then I remembered my Grilled Peaches Pizza and I sort of chickened out… so I decided to make abstraction of the intense summer heat and fired up the oven instead.
Yeah, the house got hot[ter], but it was very well worth it! What a delicious and filling and satisfying dish this was!
You know, I can’t think of a dish that’s more versatile than calzones, really.
- They are highly portable and you can eat them hot or cold, so that makes them an ideal dish to take with you to work for lunch;
- Of course, they’re aslo perfect for picnics, for you don’t need much else than a napkin to enjoy them if you’re gonna eat them cold;
- If you prefer to reheat them, can easily do so in the microwave or toaster oven;
- You could have them for breakfast, lunch, supper, snack… you can basically eat them whenever, wherever!
- You can make them ahead of time and keep them in the freezer wrapped in aluminum foil. Then it’s easy to just grab one (or as many as you need) from the freezer and reheat it in the oven. Better yet, just take one out of the freezer before you go to bed and in the morning, your lunch is all ready to go!
- You can make them as big or as small as you want;
- You can stuff them with pretty much anything you want which means you can make them as healthy (or as unhealthy) as you like… 😉
Of course, the version that you see here is super healthy!
I chose to take the classic route and go with spinach for my first try. You can’t go wrong with spinach, now, can you? But despite being extremely healthy, I found that if using spinach and cheese alone, the dish might have lacked a bit in the protein department.
Notice I did say MIGHT have…
I’ll let you in on a little secret. I won’t say it too loud, just in case your kids are listening. I wouldn’t want them to overhear, you know! 😉
I actually put tofu in these calzones.
But I promise I won’t tell anyone if you don’t… 😉
Because you know what? There is no way anyone will ever be able to tell it is actually there.
These taste rich and cheesy and have a great hooey and gooey texture. The tofu actually blends in with the cheese, so it gives the illusion that there is even more cheese than there actually is.
Now you might think that this is a little too extensive to make on a week night. Well, I thought the exact same thing, but I figured if the dough was good and ready to go by the time I got back from work, then I could very well pull it off.
So what I did is, the night before, I took the dough out of the freezer and left it in the fridge to thaw overnight. Then, before I left for work in the morning, I lightly brushed the dough with olive oil and placed it in a small bowl. I then covered it loosely with plastic wrap and put it in the cupboard to rise.
By the time I got back home, it was all poofed up and ready to use! The stuffing takes no time at all to make, and the calzones themselves cook fairly quickly also.
I highly recommend saving this one for a cooler day, however.
Unless you really love sweating…
Or you’re a little crazy, like me! 😉
- 325g spinach, chopped
- 1 small onion, diced
- ¼ tsp salt
- ¼ tsp pepper
- Freshly grated nutmeg
- 100g extra firm tofu, grated
- 100g low fat mozzarella, grated
- 1 cup cottage cheese
- 1 egg
- Preheat oven to 500F
- In a non-stick skillet, cook onion, salt and pepper over medium heat until translucent. Lower heat, add spinach and stir until spinach is completely wilted, about 1 minute. Turn off the heat and set aside.
- In a mixing bowl, add cottage cheese, tofu, mozzarella, egg and nutmeg and mix until well combined.
- Remove excess liquid from spinach and fold into cheese mixture. Mix until well combined. Set aside.
- Divide dough ball in 2 equal pieces and roll or stretch each piece into a 6-8 inch disc. I like to use cornmeal when rolling and stretching my dough as it tends to get trapped into the dough and adds a nice little crunch.
- Mound half of the spinach mixture on the center of each of the discs. Flatten it just a bit with a spoon, bringing the mixture more towards one side of the disc.
- Fold the dough back onto itself and press lightly on the calzone to form a half moon.
- Fold the edges, twice if possible, to seal in the filling.
- Transfer to a pizza pan or cookie sheet and cook in the oven for 15-20 minutes, until the crust turns crispy, nice and golden brown.
- Serve however, wherever and whenever you prefer! 😉