Calzones Any Way

Anything that tastes good on a pizza tastes good in a calzone! I use up whatever we have laying around when making these.

The Dough

  • 2 cups of whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup of all-purpose white flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of fast-acting yeast
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 1/4 cups of lukewarm water

Combine the flours, salt and yeast in a large bowl. Drizzle the olive oil into it and mix with your hands until it looks like wet sand. Stir in the water until it forms a pasty ball.

Knead the ball (I keep it in the bowl while I do this) for 5 minutes or so, until it’s smooth. Cover it with plastic wrap and let it rise for 2 hours or so, until it’s doubled in size.

Once risen, cut the dough into however many calzones you want (the fewer pieces you cut, the larger your calzones will be). On a well floured surface, roll out each piece of dough until it’s flat. Preheat the oven to 450.

Lightly fill (the exact amout will vary depending on the size of your calzones) one half of the calzone, much like a quesadilla. Leave a little room around the edges free so the filling doesn’t spill out while it cooks.

Fold the dough over and use the tines of a fork to seal the edges. Place on a greased cookie sheet and bake for 5-10 minutes, until the tops are golden.WP_20160527_11_48_03_Pro

Filling Ideas

Peppers and Onion

  • traditional pizza sauce
  • diced up bell peppers and onion (saute in olive oil to soften them up)*
  • mozzarella cheese*

BBQ Black Bean

  • BBQ sauce
  • black beans*
  • sliced red onion*
  • monterrey jack cheese*

Potato and Leek

  • cream sauce (heat a little cream cheese, butter, minced garlic and a pinch of salt until well combined)
  • sliced leeks (saute them first)*
  • thinly sliced potatoes (saute with the leeks)*
  • mozzarella cheese*

Cheesy Ranch Chicken

  • ranch dressing
  • cooked and diced chicken
  • diced tomato*
  • cheddar cheese*

Chicken Fajita

  • salsa
  • cooked and diced chicken
  • diced peppers and onions (saute them first)*
  • cheddar, colby or monterrey jack cheese*

Bacon and Pineapple

  • traditional pizza sauce
  • cooked and crumbled bacon
  • crushed pineapple
  • mozzarella cheese*

Homemade Ranch

A great way to use up some of the massive amounts of dairy WIC provides each month! Great on salads, as a dip for veggies, and any other way you’d use regular store-bought ranch dressing.

Homemade Ranch

Makes 2 cups

  • 1 cup of plain Greek yogurt*
  • 1 cup of milk*
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of ground black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried parsley flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon of dried dill
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of onion powder

Combine everything in a bowl and whisk until evenly mixed. Or put in a jar and shake vigorously. Chill for at least 30 minutes before serving.

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Peanut Butter Hummus

This can be served with a variety of dippers. We ate it with peppers this time, but carrots and cucumbers taste great with it too! And all of those things can, of course, be purchased with WIC.

Peanut Butter Hummus

Makes 6-8 snack-sized servings

  • 1 can of chickpeas, drained*
  • 2 cloves of garlic*
  • 1 heaping tablespoon of peanut butter*
  • the juice of 1 fresh lemon*
  • 3 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon of cumin

Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Serve and enjoy!

If you don’t have a food processor, you can use a blender but mince the garlic first and add a little water as needed to help move the mixture around.

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Strawberry Oatmeal

Make this in the spring, when strawberries are in season and cheap! Substitute frozen strawberries if desired.

Strawberry Oatmeal

Serves 2-3

  • 2 cups of milk*
  • 1/4 cup of fresh strawberries, tops removed and quartered*
  • 4 packets of instant oatmeal*
  • 1/2 teaspoon of ground cinnamon
  • 2 tablespoons of brown sugar

In a pot over medium-high heat, combine the milk and strawberries and bring to a boil. Stir the mixture frequently to prevent the milk from burning on the bottom of the pot. Once heated, add in the oatmeal, cinnamon and brown sugar. Stir well and remove from heat. Allow oatmeal to sit for about five minutes before serving so that it can thicken up.

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Carrot-Sweet Potato-Apple Soup

Don’t be intimidated by the long ingredient list. Most of the ingredients can be purchased with WIC and it only takes about 30 minutes to cook. If you can get your kids to eat soup (sometimes mine don’t), they love the natural sweetness of this one!

Carrot-Sweet Potato-Apple Soup

Serves 4-6

  • 6 carrots, peeled and diced*
  • 2 sweet potatoes, peeled and diced*
  • 1 apple, peeled, cored and diced*
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 onion, diced*
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced*
  • 1 teaspoon of ground ginger
  • 1 teaspoon of curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 1/2 cup of apple juice*
  • 1 13 oz can of coconut milk

Place the diced carrots, sweet potatoes and apple into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil and boil until tender, about 10-15 minutes. Once cooked, save 1 cup of the broth and drain the rest. Blend or mash the cooked fruit and vegetables. Set aside.

In the same pot, heat the olive oil over medium high heat. Add the onion and garlic and cook until onion is translucent. Add the ginger, curry powder and salt. Stir the blended (or mashed) fruit and vegetables into the pot, along with the reserved 1 cup of broth and 1/2 cup of apple juice. Stir until well mixed.

Turn the heat down to low. Add in the coconut milk and stir well. Allow soup to simmer for 5 minutes before removing from heat and serving.

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Chicken Broth

A great way to make sure nothing goes to waste! Whenever you cook a chicken, save the carcass. Also, use up any leftover veggies in the fridge. Throw in celery leaves, carrot shavings and tops, onion ends, etc–things that would normally get thrown in the trash get used in this recipe.

Use the chicken broth in soups and stews. Make your brown rice or beans with it instead of water. It will boost the flavor of your foods as well as increase the nutritional content.

Chicken Broth

  • 1 chicken carcass or leftover chicken bones
  • 1 onion, quartered*
  • any leftover veggies or vegetable scraps you have on hand*
  • 1 tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (optional, increases the nutritional content of the final product by helping the minerals leach out of the bones)

Place all ingredients in a slow cooker. Fill with as much water as you can, until it’s about an inch or two from the top of the slow cooker. Turn slow cooker on low and let it cook 12-24 hours without removing the lid.

Allow to cool. Using a large pot and a colander, strain the contents. Throw away the bones and vegetables and pour the cooled broth into mason jars or plastic freezer bags. If using bags, label with the amount of broth in each bag. Once broth is cooled completely (I put it in the fridge overnight), transfer it to the freezer and use it as needed.

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Lemon-Lime Green Beans

A great side dish that kids love, and one that they can easily help prepare. I served these alongside a roast chicken.

Lemon-Lime Green Beans

Serves 4 

  • 1 lb of fresh green beans, ends snapped off*
  • 1/4 of a fresh lemon*
  • 1/4 of a fresh lime*
  • 1/2 of a tablespoon of butter
  • 1/4 teaspoon of salt

Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and toss in green beans. Boil for just one or two minutes, watching it and removing from heat and draining as soon as they start to turn bright green.

Return the quick-cooked green beans to the empty pot and stir in the butter and salt. Squeeze the lemon and lime onto the beans and stir well to coat, until the butter is completely melted.

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