Does your family like pizza as much as my family? Well, after a while of eating lots of it, all those calories add up! Pizza can be really fattening, but it also can be rather healthful if you make some small changes. The other day I was thinking how I could use make our usual pizza healthier and different to switch things up and get us out of the same day to day meals. This is what I came up with and I think they turned out great!
I first made my whole wheat pizza dough (recipe below) which bumped up the fiber content. I then roasted some veggies I had on hand (onions, garlic, carrots, zucchini) with olive oil, basil, salt and pepper. Roasting not only brings out their flavors but it brought out their natural sugars and made them slightly sweet. Delicious. I kept these vegetarian which means no pepperoni, chicken, sausage, etc. but as you know, those meats are high in sodium and fat. And, the vegetables were tasty enough on their own, I didn’t even miss the meat. Next I just got an assembly line going–roll out the dough, fill with sauce, cheese and veggies, fold over and press down. Overall, this recipe is a little time consuming but worth the wait. Especially being healthy and all!
If your family likes different toppings, then feel free to add them in! This is how I made them one day this week and they happened to be delicious and Gord and the little one ate them up. If your family wouldn’t like the whole wheat dough, then get some from a local pizzeria where you know it’s going to be good (also a big time saver). If they don’t like the fillings you’re using then give them a go at it! Making calzones could turn into a really fun family night where you lay out all your toppings and your kids pick and choose and end up making their own dinner! Easy on the pocket book and easy for Mom!
Overall, I’d say these were a hit, but my husband is used to my food experiments. I add random stuff into a lot of things! Haha. For this recipe, I would definitely recommend using a good pizza sauce that you know you like. Also, make sure you don’t add in raw vegetables that could give off a lot of liquid preventing the dough from cooking (like tomatoes). Other then that, have at it! A great meal for a Saturday night…or a Wednesday
Roasted Vegetable Whole Wheat Calzones
yield: 8 calzones
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1 lb. whole wheat pizza dough (*see below for recipe, or just find a good pizzeria and buy some)
3 tablespoons Olive Oil
2 medium zucchinis, diced
2 large carrots, peeled and diced
1 medium onion, large dice
4 large cloves garlic, smashed
1/2 teaspoon dried basil
1 cup good pizza sauce
2 cups grated mozzarella cheese
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
for the top:
If making your pizza dough from scratch, make that first. In a large bowl, combine 1 cup warm water with 2 1/4 teaspoons quick rise yeast (1 packet) and 1 teaspoon sugar or honey. Proof 5 minutes. Stir in 2 tablespoons olive oil, 2 1/2 teaspoons salt, 1 cup whole wheat flour and 1 1/2-2 cups all purpose flour (start with 2 cups total and work your way up). Knead dough 5 minutes. It should be slightly sticky but smooth. Coat in olive oil, place in large clean bowl and cover with plastic wrap or a clean kitchen towel. After 1-2 hours dough should have doubled in size. After it has risen, it is ready to use.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. On large baking sheet, toss all vegetables with olive oil, basil, salt and pepper. Spread out in one even layer on baking sheet. Bake 20-25 minutes until vegetables have browned and softened. Remove from oven and set aside to cool.
Preheat oven to 450. Punch dough down and cut into 8 equal portions. Roll into a circle (about 6-8 inches across). Spread about 2 tablespoons pizza sauce on the middle of the dough and top with 1/4 cup cheese. Place a few spoonfuls of roasted vegetables on top and sprinkle some parmesan cheese over that. Fold dough over fillings and press down to seal with the bottom. Place on greased cookie sheet. Brush top with olive oil and sprinkle on parmesan cheese, garlic salt and parsley flakes. Cut slit in the top. Repeat this process to make 7 more calzones. Bake for 12-15 minutes until dough is baked and has browned slightly. Serve warm.