Saturday, February 12, 2011

Free-Cheese Calzones

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil
1 medium yellow onion
1/2 large sweet red pepper
1/2 fork full minced garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 package (10 oz) frozen chopped broccoli, unthawed
2 tablespoons water
1 cup fat-free ricotta cheese
3/4 cup shredded fat-free mozzarella cheese
1/2 cup grated fat-free cheese substitute
1/4 cup egg substitute
1 pound frozen whole-wheat bread dough, thawed according to package directions
whole-wheat flour
grated fat-free cheese substitute

Heat oil in skillet. Coarsely chop onion and red pepper. Add onion, pepper, garlic, and basil to oil. Saute until onion is translucent. If I was as talented as my step-father, I would saute by flipping the veggies in the air (without spilling). But, alas, I am not. So I just stir with a wooden spoon. Add broccoli and water. The broccoli is still in a frozen chunk--do not be alarmed. Cover and allow to cook. Also, do NOT try to break the broccoli cube apart until it is soft in the center. I made the mistake of doing this and ended up with veggies flying all over the stove-top. Once broccoli is completely softened, turn off heat. Mix in cheeses and egg. Now I want to point out that I DO NOT measure my ingredients. I have tried to add estimations here. Measuring ingredients is compulsive and obsessive for me--so I am breaking the habit.

Divide the (now thawed and risen) dough into fourths. I use whole-wheat because of its nutritional benefits. I have a hard time eating starchy carbohydrates, but if I can convince myself of their health benefits they tend to go down easier. Whole-wheat (in comparison to white or regular wheat) is lower in calorie, lower carb, higher fat, higher fiber, and higher protein. The higher fat is due to the use of the whole kernel--it is mostly unsaturated (healthy) fat. Besides, I am already using all fat-free cheeses. Roll each 1/4 portion on a floured surface. Make large enough to hold approximately 3/4 cup of the filling, leaving a margin to pinch together. Place on an aluminum-foiled baking sheet.

Cover with a cloth. Place in the oven on warm for approximately 30 minutes. Remove from oven. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Brush calzones with water. Sprinkle grated cheese substitute on top.

Bake uncovered for 20 minutes, or until golden brown.

So how was it?

My calzones were huge to begin with--and they only grew during the baking. So they ran into each other a bit.

A few of the calzones stuck to the aluminum foil. This could have been due to the fact that the undersides of the dough were less baked than the top. But why would that cause them to stick? Hmmm.

The dough was quite soft, which I loved. And the broccoli filling was steaming hot.

I must admit that the filling was not bursting with as much flavor as I had hoped. This is probably because I used fat-free cheeses. But I am willing to sacrifice some of the flavor in order to feel less guilty about enjoying the meal. And both of my parents took seconds--so that implies that they tasted good to their tongues as well.

I enjoyed this so much that I ate more than I normally do. I feel a bit uncomfortable about that. One thing that I've found happens to me is that I had restricted certain foods for so long--that, now that I am allowing myself to eat them, I have little self-restraint. I need to learn to control my body's urges in a healthy way--everything in moderation.

Oh! I almost forgot about my socks!

Simple white with green stripes today. Not all that exciting. But they are a thicker pair of socks, and I wore them because I participated in a walk for the homeless today (hosted by Rescue Mission).

Recipe adapted from Reader's Digest One Dish Meals The Easy Way

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