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Monday, October 14, 2013

Mexican Calzones

Mexican Calzones
 My sister Renatta is living in an on-campus apartment this year, but she doesn't have a meal plan. Thinking back to my own college experience, it wasn't until my senior year that I was without a meal plan and my eating habits were less than stellar once I was on my own. Determined not to let Renatta fall into the trap of bumming meals off of friends or eating cereal for dinner every night (not that I'd know anything about either of those...), I've been trying to help her get her feet wet in the kitchen a bit.
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mexican calzones
Translation: I invite her over and cook for her while she keeps me company and washes a few dishes. To be fair, she's actually done remarkably well on her own, making dishes like sweet potato hash and my favorite salad (can you tell we have similar palates?!). In fact she's done so well that I think next time she can handle making calzones all on her own! 
One Sunday afternoon we set to work, whipping up a batch of spinach bacon cheese calzones (we swapped pepperoni for the bacon) as well as these Mexican calzones. I started with the base calzone filling (ricotta, egg, cheese), but added ground turkey, peppers, and spices to give them a Mexican flair. We wrapped both versions up individually in plastic wrap and then in freezer bags so she and her roommate are now stocked with an easy dinner that's far better than a frozen Hot Pocket!

I kept a few so I could sample the creation and was thrilled with the outcome. I'll be making a big batch for our freezer for busy nights. You can easily sub ground beef for the turkey or use beans instead of meat.

Two Years Ago: Foodie Finds-Connecticut & New York City and Coconut Rum Ice Cream with Toasted Coconut
Three Years Ago: Pumpkin Scones and Sautéed Cabbage, Apples, and Zucchini
Four Years Ago: White Chocolate Cranberry Oatmeal Cookies and Cranberry Apple Scones

Mexican Calzones
recipe by The Sweets Life

-12 oz pizza dough (I used my sourdough pizza dough)
-1 onion, diced
-1 lb ground turkey
-1 tsp cumin
-1/2 tsp chili powder
-1/2 tsp garlic powder
-2 bell peppers, seeded and diced
-1 egg
-1 (15 oz) container low-fat ricotta cheese
-1 cup shredded Mexican cheese
-salsa, avocado, and/or sour cream, for serving

1. Brown turkey with the diced onion and bell peppers in a large skillet over medium high heat. Once turkey has browned, stir in cumin, chili powder, and garlic powder, cooking for one minute. Remove from heat and allow to cool for 5 minutes.
2. In a large bowl, mix egg with ricotta and shredded cheese. Stir turkey mixture into the cheese mixture, mixing well to combine.
3. Divide pizza dough into 8 or 10 equal pieces. Roll each piece into a ball on a floured surface and use a rolling pin to roll into a thin circle. Top with 1/4-1/2 cup of the filling and fold one half of the circle over the other, creating a half circle. Pinch the open ends together to seal. Use a knife to cut a few slits in the top of each calzone.
4. To freeze, place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Freeze calzones until firm before wrapping individually in plastic wrap and storing in a freezer bag. To bake, allow to thaw. Unwrap, place on a greased or parchment-lined baking sheet and bake at 400F for 25-35 minutes, until heated through.