How to make healthy calzone. Many restaurants add sugar to the sauce, which we think ruins the flavor. Adding sugar is certainly not an Italian secret to delicious tomato sauce but it can take the bitterness out of the canned sauces. Cooking the sauce a bit longer also works good. We like to add a little bit of cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes to give the sauce a bit of pizzazz. It’s really good that way, but the secret is not to add too much hot pepper.
Calzones are little stuffed pizzas. You can stuff the bread dough with meats, cheeses, vegetables, whatever you like. Here’s our healthy recipe for vegetarian (whole wheat) Calzone.
Ingredients and Prep work
2 heads of broccoli, chopped and steamed
7 bell peppers and or red peppers, diced
2- bunches of spinach, chopped
6 cloves of garlic
3 lbs mozzarella or fresh Ecuadorian cheese
Bunch fresh basil or dried
2 teaspoons dried oregano
EV olive oil
Parmesan Cheese for stuffing
The Tomato Sauce
10 large tomatoes, chopped (preferably Roma’s; they don’t have in Ecuador ;-])
3 tbsp tomato paste
6 cloves of garlic
Handful of fresh basil, chopped, or you can use 2 teaspoons dried oregano
½ teaspoon cayenne or red pepper flakes
6 tbsp EV olive oil
Whole Wheat Bread Dough
2 tbsp yeast
1 tbsp raw honey or other sweetener
3 cups warm (not too hot) water
6 cups whole wheat flour
2 cups white flour more or less
2 tsp sea salt
3 tbsp EV Olive oil
Preparation time is about 3-hours
Prepare Bread Dough
In large bowl, add yeast, honey, and warm water. When yeast mixes with the honey it will begin to froth up and is ready for you to add the salt and oil. Stir in the flour a little at a time. When mixture gets hard to stir with the wooden spoon it’s time to do some kneading. Sprinkle flour on the counter and knead the dough, adding the rest of the flour (you might need a bit more flour) until your hands are not sticky with dough.
This whole process of bread making takes only about ten minutes.
Lightly grease the bowl, add your dough ball and allow the dough to rise in a warm place. Let rise for an hour or two.
Prepare the Tomato Sauce
Sauté garlic in olive oil until lightly brown. Add chopped tomatoes, red pepper flakes, and sea salt, turn flame down to medium low, add lid to the pan and let it simmer for five minutes. Stir in tomato paste, and salt to taste. Allow to cook for 10 minutes then stir in chopped fresh basil or oregano, depending on the flavor you want, and cook for another five minutes and it is done. Set aside.
NOTE: Roma’s are the best tomatoes to use for making true Italian tomato sauce as they are not as watery. Unfortunately because they don’t have Roma tomatoes in Cuenca I have to use about 3 or 4 tablespoons of tomato paste to help thicken the sauce. If you don’t use the paste the sauce comes out watery, which can make the breading soggy.
Steam whatever veggies you decide to use. Be careful and do not overcook the vegetables. You want your vegetables to still be crisp; to give veggies a good flavor, I always sauté them in a little olive oil, garlic, basil, and sea salt, after steaming. (Mix the bell peppers with the spinach before sautéing). This recipe is for 10 to 12 broccoli calzone and 10 to 12 spinach and bell pepper calzone. Set veggies aside.
Making the Calzone
Put a couple of tablespoons of sauce, then some vegetables and a sprinkle of mozzarella and parmesan cheese on dough squares. See the photo. Fold over and seal the edges good. Place them on a greased cookie sheet because we’re going to bake them. (Better for you than deep frying) You can (optional) brush on egg white on the calzone tops to make them a bit crispier
After you fill the cookie sheet with calzone, bake them in a 350 degree oven for a half hour or so. When they are lightly browned on top they are done. I usually make two or three different kinds of calzone for the variety. Serve with a green salad and you’ve got a delicious, healthy Italian meal. If you family likes sauce, be sure to make extra to serve on the side to dip your calzone in.