Monday, March 21, 2011

Vegetarian Meatball Calzones

A while back, I created and submitted a recipe to Foodbuzz's Tastemaker program using Newman's Own ingredients. To my surprise, my recipe was actually chosen! It was just bad timing that I received my package the weekend I was sick as a dog with both strep and flu and then I had to fly out to Utah to see my Grandma. So this weekend was the first chance I had to shoot my video.

I do have to say that I was extremely nervous doing this video. I wasn't until that red light came on and then I just couldn't speak properly. And the fact that the director and producer kept trying to show you my face instead of the food. What is that about? Anyway, enjoy and remember that I am a beginner. :) If you don't want to watch the video or are too busy laughing at my speaking problems to write down the recipe, it's after the video.

Vegetarian Meatball Calzones
Serves 4
  • 1 ball prepared pizza dough (found in the bakery or deli section of most grocery stores)
  • 1 cup organic shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 8-10 meatless meatballs (found frozen in natural foods or vegetarian foods section)
  • 1/2-1 cup any Newman's Own pasta sauce (depending on how much sauce you like)
  • 3/4 cup frozen bell pepper mix, or 1 large bell pepper, sliced
  • 2 tsp dried basil
  • 1 large egg beaten with about 2 tsp water to make an egg wash
Preheat oven to 400°rees;F. If you have a pizza stone, set it in the oven. I don't have one yet so I just lightly greased a baking pan and set it on top of the oven to warm it up some.

Heat a nonstick skillet sprayed lightly with canola oil over medium heat. After about 90 seconds, add the meatballs carefully. Meatless meatballs crumble pretty easily so be careful while adding and turning. Give the meatballs about 2-3 minutes before turning. After turning once, add the peppers to the skillet. After 2-3 minutes more, turn the heat to low. Let the peppers and onions cook for 5-7 minutes longer, or until peppers are browned and meatballs are no longer frozen.

While peppers and meatballs are cooking, you can form the dough. On a lightly floured surface, slice dough into two even portions. Work the dough into large circles. Mine were more like ovals which worked well. 

To assemble sauce, pour half of desired sauce onto each circle, leaving a 1/2-inch border. (Despite what I said in the video, a 1-inch border was far too much crust.) Top each with half the meatballs and peppers. Top each with 1/2 mozzarella and sprinkle with 1/2 the basil. 

Fold each calzone in half carefully. Pinch the edges together and use a fork for decorative edges, if desired. Brush each calzone with some egg wash. Gently transfer the calzones to the baking surface and bake for 20-25 minutes, or until golden brown.

Serve with additional sauce and cheese, if desired. Also goes well with a side salad. (gotta amp up those veggies!) 

Nutritional Information (1/2 calzone): 482 calories, 15 g fat (5g sat), 62 g carbs, 6 fiber, 24g protein

These were deeeelicious. Of course, as with any first try of a recipe, there are a few things I would change. I would add more sauce in the preparation. I used only 1/2 cup and most of that was absorbed into the crust. I would also either cut the meatballs in half or crumble them to disperse them better. I could probably have fit more meatballs that way too. And I highly recommend using organic cheese. Not only for health and ethical reasons but because it melts better. And there's nothing better than good old melty cheese oooozing out of a calzone. ;)

Disclosure: I received Newman's Own products and a Flip video camera from Foodbuzz and Newman's Own to make the recipe and record the video with. The opinions expressed are my own.


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