This is a super versatile recipe as the combination for calzone filling is limitless. I was in the mood for my Mama's famous vegetarian spinach pie but since that has 4 kinds of cheese in it, I decided to come up with a vegan twist to satisfy my craving. The result? Exquisite. Honestly I got full just eating the filling before I even rolled out the dough. Now having stuffed my face with one of these monstrosities, I'm pretty sure I'm well on the road to being a very fat vegan. But jokes aside, I think you will find this recipe well worth the effort and there are a few shortcuts I'd recommend if you have the proper equipment.
Device #1 - a bread machine and Device #2 - a food processor. Of course the recipe does not require such devices but it did make for an easier prep since most of my time was spent on tasting and shaping the dough. Please be aware that I didn't measure everything precisely so how much you use of each spice is really a matter of personal preference. Just taste as you go and make adjustments to your liking. I'm sure they will turn out delicious.
Vegan Rainbow Veggie Calzones
1 batch of pizza dough***buy premade or make your own (I just used a basic recipe in my bread machine)
Olive oil (for sauteing and brushing on the finished product)
1 cup raw spinach (I'm sure you could substitute frozen but I'm not a fan of frozen spinach)
1 cup raw kale (I used Lacinato but any kale would do)
1 sweet yellow onion
1 medium zucchini
1/2 red bell pepper
3/4 cup sun dried tomatoes (preferably not packed in oil)
3 cloves garlic
10 ounce-package high protein, super firm tofu (pressed dry if packed in water)
2 meyer lemons (or 1 regular lemon)
1/2 tub vegan cream cheese (I used Tofutti Better Than Cream Cheese plain variety)
2 Tablespoons vegan sour cream (I made my own using cashews but bought stuff would be fine too)
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 Vegetable bouillon cube (I used Rapunzel brand)
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried marjoram
1/2 teaspoon dried dill
1/2 Teaspoon black pepper
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 Teaspoon Spike seasoning(optional, to taste)
1 teaspoon salt(optional, to taste)
Instructions: In batches appropriate for your size food processor, gently pulse spinach, kale, onion, zucchini, and garlic to achieve a fine dice. If you don't have a food processor, chop by hand and toss into a large bowl to mix. Begin warming a large saute pan with 1 Tablespoon of olive oil and add mixture stirring occasionally over a medium low flame. Add bouillon cube, oregano, marjoram, dill, black pepper, nutmeg, Spike and salt. Add vegan cream cheese and vegan sour cream and lemon juice to the pan and stir to coat. If you are feeling creative with your firm tofu then go ahead and cut the block in half and add half of it to the pan by crumbling it with your hands (so that it resembles feta cheese) and half of it can be grated on a box grater (to resemble mozzarella). Turn off heat and pour mixture back into the large bowl. Gently fold in finely diced sun dried tomatoes, red bell pepper (raw) and nutritional yeast. Taste mixture to adjust seasoning level.
Putting it all together: Preheat oven to 425 degrees and grease two large cookie sheets and set aside (or use parchment paper). Cut pizza dough into eight triangles and roll each into a ball and set aside. Roll each ball to make an 8-inch round and spoon a fistful of mixture onto half of the moon shape. Fold dough over and crimp with your fingers (I suggest using a rolling motion of curling the bottom crust over the top crust and pinching consecutively to ensure the pocket stays shut). Brush with additional olive oil and sprinkle with a little salt (optional). Make a few small slits on the top of each calzone. Place calzones so they are not touching on greased cookie sheets and bake at 425 degrees for 15-18 minutes. Let calzones cool for at least 5-7 minutes before eating as the pockets trap steam and will be very hot when you bite into them.
Serving suggestion: serve with a side of your favorite marinara sauce. Enjoy!
Makes 8 medium size calzones.
Note: feel free to add some of your favorite vegan cheese or faux meat products. Get creative. You won't be let down. It is a lot of work but the payoff is supreme.