Whole Wheat Veggie Calzones

Pizza, Vegetarian

Whole Wheat Veggie Calzones

Adapted from superhealthykids.com

For several months I had been craving a calzone. I remember the first time my mom made them many years ago back in Spain; I fell in love instantly, but I don’t think she ever made them again. I finally decided to make some but the problem I faced as I skimmed through my mom’s cutout recipes was that they all had ham. So I turned to the Internet for inspiration and found this recipe. I liked it because the dough was whole wheat (unfortunately not 100%) and because it had a great variety of vegetables.

Yields 8 mini calzones

Ingredients:

  • 1 package yeast (about 1 tablespoon)
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1½ cups white flour
  • 1 ½ cups whole wheat flour
  • ½ zucchini
  • ½ green bell pepper
  • ½ yellow bell pepper
  • ½ cup baby bella mushrooms
  • ½ cup Italian shredded cheese blend

Directions:

  1. Combine the yeast, sugar and warm water and let set for about 5 minutes. Meanwhile, mix the salt, olive oil and flours. Then add the yeast mixture. Cover with a dishtowel and let the dough rise in a warm, dark place for about 30-45 minutes.
  2. Place all the vegetables in a food processor and shred. Place them in a bowl and add the cheese. Mix well.
  3. Preheat the oven to 425F (218C).
  4. Once the dough has risen, roll out a small portion of the dough at a time, for mini calzones use a golf ball size piece of dough. You don’t need extra flour, as it won’t stick to the counter. Using your hands, press the ball of dough into a round disk. Top the middle of the disk with a scoop of the filling. Fold the calzone in half and crimp the edges with a fork. Set on a baking tray.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for 10-15 minutes or until lightly browned. The dough is done when it sounds hollow when tapped.

 

Comments: In my father’s words, these calzones were interesting and different. We all really liked them though my mom said she would have liked them with a little more cheese; I loved them just the way they were. One great thing about this recipe is that the dough is relatively quick to make; you only have to wait for it to rise for 30-45 minutes. Other doughs you have to let rest for about 45 minutes, knead it and then let rise again. It’s a really easy recipe, good for the middle of the week and very kid-friendly (you can sneak those vegetables into their dinner). They’re also really cute as mini calzones but you can make one large calzone though the cooking time will be longer. You can make them up to 2 days ahead and keep them refrigerated and then bake them. They also freeze well but thaw completely before reheating.

Whole Wheat Veggie Calzones II

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Milanesas de soja caseras

Vegan

(Homemade Soy Milanesas)

 Milanesas de soja caseras

Adapted and translated from desbarrigarse.blogspot.com

If there is one food that I miss as a vegetarian it’s milanesas; therefore, it is only fitting that the last meat meal I had were my mom’s spectacular milanesas. For those of you who don’t know, milanesas are a staple of the Argentinean cuisine. Originally from Italy (cotoletta alla milanese) it is a breaded slice of meat (beef, veal, chicken or pork) and is a personal favorite of all Argentines. Thankfully for the increasing number of Argentine vegetarians, the soy milanesa was invented, which, you guessed it, is made out of soy instead of meat. More commonly they are made with soybeans but the thing is that you have to soak them for about 12 hours. This recipe is much easier and faster since it uses soy flour instead of soybeans.

Yields 10 milanesas

Ingredients:

  • 1½ cups soy flour
  • 1½ cups whole wheat flour
  • Pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 cup warm water or as needed
  • ½ cup oats

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 450F (232C). Grease a baking sheet and set aside.
  2. Mix the soy flour, whole wheat flour, pepper and parsley in a large bowl.
  3. In the center of the mixture, form a bowl-like hole. Slowly pour the water into the hole. After each addition, mix it with our hands until it forms a ball but no longer sticks to your hands. Cover the bowl with a dishtowel and let rest for a half hour.
  4. Place the oats on a plate or shallow container. Once you have let the mixture rest, roll it into balls of about 150 grams each and flatten into oval patties. Press each patty into the oats so that both sides are covered and place on the prepared baking sheet.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes on each side. Be careful not to overbake as they may become quite hard and dry.

 

Comments: I was very pleased with my vegetarian milanesas. They actually tasted very similar to those I have had back home. Still, I would like to try other recipes to compare. When forming the patties, you can wet your hands to prevent sticking. I used old-fashioned oats but if you prefer you can also use oat flour or process the oats to form a powder. In Argentina, milanesas are typically served with fresh cut French fries, mashed potatoes or even pumpkin puré. At home we usually just have them with salad. We also have several variations. One is milanesa a la napolitana, which is topped with tomato sauce, ham and cheese; if you are vegetarian you can omit the ham or get vegetarian deli meat instead. Another variation is milanesa a caballo where the milanesa is topped with a fried egg (not a fan as I don’t like plain eggs).

Update April 2016: After taking a couple of quarters off of school, I returned to college in late March for the Spring quarter. I basically shop at Trader Joe’s and Whole Foods. Unfortunately, I was unable to find any soy flour to make soy milanesas. I started looking through the alternate flours they had at Whole Foods to see what I could use instead. I was between garbanzo flour and vital wheat gluten. In the end I chose vital wheat gluten because of its higher protein content (it has even more protein than beef!). The vital wheat gluten gave the milanesas a chewier consistency and they obviously taste differently. I actually think I prefer the vital wheat gluten milanesas but some may not like the chewy consistency. Try out both and see what you prefer!

Milanesas de soja caseras, porción

Always like lots of pepper on my food!

Lentil Joes

Vegan

Lentil Joes

Adapted from Happy Herbivore by Lindsay S. Nixon

I hope everyone had a wonderful time during the holidays. I myself spent three spectacular weeks back home in Argentina. I apologize for not posting these past weeks but I was very busy and I didn’t always have a connection to the internet. I must say that my gastronomic adventure in Argentina was, as always, marvelous. I hope to post a few entries about some of the restaurants on my other blog Les Restos de Lucienne. But for now back to this new recipe.

Having lived in the U.S. for about four years, I have never eaten a sloppy joe. Not once. The only reason I knew about them was because of Adam Sandler’s song “Lunch Lady Land,” which doesn’t make them sound very appetizing. Nonetheless, in one of my vegetarian cook books I found this recipe that uses lentils instead of ground beef. I found it was rather good and my parents really liked it too. Dig in and be sloppy!

Yields 6 servings

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, seeded and diced
  • ½ cup tomato purée
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce or gluten-free tamari
  • 2 ½ cups cooked lentils
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 6 whole wheat English muffins

Directions:

  1. Line a large skillet with a thin layer of water and sauté the onion and bell pepper until the onion is translucent, the bell pepper has softened and turned a mellow green and most of the water has evaporated.
  2. Add the remaining ingredients and stir to combine.
  3. Warm, stirring occasionally over low heat.
  4. To serve, cut the English muffins in half, spoon some of the lentil mixture onto the bottom half and top with the other half. Dig in!

 

Comments: Another great, delicious, filling and quick meal, packed with protein, veggies and whole grains. I bought whole wheat English muffins but you can of course buy the regular ones if you wish or buy hamburger buns. To make the sandwiches a little less messy, I read that you can press down the center of the bread to form a bowl-like shape in the bread; I did this to the English muffins but it probably works best with hamburger buns. Still I didn’t find them to be extremely messy.

Lentil Joes II