Thursday, May 19, 2011

Gluten Free Calzones

Our church's youth retreat is next month and Joe will need to take most of his own meals and snacks for the week. He's really easy going about food and has actually told me he would be happy if we packed up nothing but sandwiches but somehow that doesn't sound like the healthiest plan to me. My goal is give him variety and to have most things ready to eat straight from the retreat's fridge even though they said they will happily heat things for him.  Because the facility doesn't do much in the way of gluten free meals the concern about cross contamination makes me want to avoid that as much as possible. Calzones seem a neater way to pack pizza and Joe loves pizza hot or cold so we gave them a try at lunch today.  While not the healthiest meal I can sneak in veggies and it will be an easy lunch when the others are having sandwiches. The verdict was positive so we'll definitely pack up a couple for the trip.

Over the next three weeks I'll make an extra serving or two of meals, muffins, breads, etc. here and there and pack them up as I go. I'll mark them with Joe's name, our church's name, and any heating directions. I'll dedicate a freezer shelf to keep things together so I can see what I have and what I need.  By the time he's ready to go we'll just empty the shelf or shelves right into the cooler. Having everything frozen should keep everything safely chilled for the drive.

This post is really more of a method than a recipe as the dough is the same one I use here for pizza.  I just used a good jarred sauce, cheese, Wellshire natural pepperoni for the guys, chopped drained artichoke hearts for Chris and me, fresh basil from the garden and red pepper flakes.  Use what you prefer or have on hand to make your own.

For today's experiment I made five huge calzones.  They stretched a bit getting them on the baking sheet and grew even more in the oven.  Next time I would aim to make eight for a more packable meal size calzone. I think making even smaller mini-sized versions for a party would be fun, too, and will try that soon.

Heat oven to 425 and line baking sheets with parchment.

After making the pizza dough take a large sheet of plastic wrap and spray it with a bit of olive oil. The dough is sticky and using oil on the plastic wrap will make flipping them onto the baking sheet a snap.

Put a scoop of dough in the middle and with wet hands pat it into a circle.

Toppings, or rather fillings, went on one side only.  Leave room around the edges to seal it up tight.

Holding the plastic wrap firmly, quickly fold the empty side over the filled side and gently pat the edges to seal.  The dough is very sticky and will seal easily.

Here's the tricky part - it isn't hard but you have to move quickly with steady hands - open the plastic wrap up and quickly flip the calzone onto your parchment lined baking sheet.  Although it worked well for me I do think smaller calzones would make that process easier.  Seal any little holes you may have.

Bake at 425 until golden brown.

Cheesy goodness!  Enjoy!

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