Monday, November 1, 2010

Calzone, Cookies, and Costumes!

By the time Friday finally came around, I was exhausted from the week and starting to feel pretty sick. Two of my co-workers were sent home by Occupational Health on Thursday with viral infections, and my throat felt scratchy and raw, and my body felt run down...I didn't want to get what they had! I "sat down" when I got home from work on Friday to wait for Pat to get home, and within minutes was asleep. He woke me up and I was starving and wanted something warm and cheesy. So my Italian Tofu Veggie Calzone was born...

I used:
  • 1/2 dough ball (Trader Joe's has the freshest, easiest to form pizza dough!)
  • 1/2 summer squash
  • 1/2 zucchini
  • 1/2 package extra-firm organic tofu
  • 4 mozzarella medallions
  • marinara sauce (also Trader Joe's!)
  • olive oil
  • chicken broth (optional)
  • spices

Let your dough sit out for at least 20 minutes before forming. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
First I cooked the zucchini and summer squash. I didn't want to use a lot of oil in this recipe, so instead I cooked it in a little bit of chicken broth. Oil or spray can be used as substitutes.

Then I sauteed my tofu (cut into strips and extra moisture patted out with paper towels) in a little bit of olive oil, garlic powder, basil and rosemary.

I stretched my dough ball out and spread some marinara sauce on one half and added the mozzarella medallions (if you're using fresh mozzarella like I did, make sure to pat out the water from the cheese before adding it to the calzone so you don't make the dough soggy).

Next add your cooked zucchini and summer squash:

Then add your sauteed tofu:

Then add another layer of sauce and close the calzone. Be sure to cut a few small slits in the dough to let steam escape.

Cook at 425 degrees for about 12 minutes. It should be nicely browned on top when finished.

What this calzone was lacking in appearance it certainly made up for in flavor! It was hot, melty, cheesy and delicious! Just the Italian I was craving, but with a healthier twist!

If you're not a tofu lover this would also be very good with chicken breasts instead.

Saturday morning I woke up feeling sicker, but also determined to get my 12 mile run in. I fueled up with steel cut oats (a heartier, higher fiber oatmeal), whole wheat toast with peanut butter and banana, and several large cups of green tea.

I drizzled Organic Blue Agave Sweetener on the oats.

For my run I drove over to a shopping plaza on the border of Nashua and Hollis. I planned my route so that I'd run into Hollis, by all the fields and farms I love, into the center of town, and back. Even though just a few miles from the highway, huge stores and chain restaurants, when in Hollis you feel like you're out in the country and far from it all.

Lull Farm!

There was some great signage on my run...really made me feel like I was out in the country:

Ahh, I love fall!

After my run I showered, ate, did a little relaxing (Real Housewives of Beverly Hills) did a little shopping, and finally did a little baking. For the holiday I made Pumpkin Cookies with Chocolate and White Chocolate Chips! I looked at several recipes for pumpkin cookies and used a combination of ingredients and made a few changes of my own.

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.

Cream together brown sugar and softened butter:

Add pumpkin, egg, and vanilla:

Mix together:

The dry ingredients:

Combine wet and dry ingredients and mix until well combined.

Separate batter equally into two bowls. Add chocolate chips to one:

And add white chocolate chips to the other:

Mix chips into batters, then spoon batter onto a sprayed baking sheet.

I tried to roll these cookies into nicer balls, but it wasn't happening. Even after spraying my hands they were too sticky! So I left them as they were and baked for 10-12 minutes.

And the finished product:

These may not be the prettiest cookies you've ever seen, but they are quite tasty! The consistency was more cakey than cookie, and they tasted light enough to have several (which I did). I am normally not a fan of white chocolate (I just used it because I thought the different chips would contrast nicely) but white chocolate with pumpkin was quite good! Since these were cakey, I bet they would have been great to use for whoopie pies...pumpkin chocolate chip whoopie that sounds dangerous!

Pumpkin Cookies with Chocolate and White Chocolate Chips

  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1 large egg
  • 3/4  cup dark brown sugar
  • 3 tbsp butter, softened
  • 2 tsp vanilla
  • 2 cups all purpose flour
  • 2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp baking soda
  • 1 1/2 tsp double-acting baking powder
  • 1/2 cup chocolate chips
  • 1/2 cup white chocolate chips

-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
-Cream together brown sugar and butter with wooden spoon. Then mix in pumpkin, egg, and vanilla.
-In a separate bowl, combine flour, cinnamon, salt, baking soda, and baking powder.
-Combine wet and dry ingredients until mixed well, then split the batter in half in two separate bowls.
-Stir in chocolate chips to one batter and white chocolate chips to the other.
-Drop by spoonful onto a baking sheet (spray first!) and bake for 10-12 minutes.

Pat was a marathoner:

I was an In-N-Out worker:

I was bummed that we missed all of the costumes on Saturday night, but Pat's cousin was nice enough to put hers on for me on Sunday morning. 

Jules was a blue Lego! So creative, and nicely made by her and her dad. She even had a bag for Halloween candy stapled inside...very resourceful!

We got home Sunday afternoon with just enough time to hit the gym (legs and shoulders weights) before the Patriots game.  Using the other half of the dough from my calzone on Friday, I made a tomato, goat cheese and mozzarella pizza for a half time snack:

And for dinner we had trout, spinach, and pepino melon:

Spinach: sauteed in olive oil and garlic
Trout: Spread a thin layer of mayonnaise, cover in seasoned panko crumbs, and baked at 350 for 12 minutes
(Lemon on side for fish)

What is a pepino melon you say?

This was grown in Ecuador, and said to taste like a mix between a banana and a pear. I couldn't picture something tasting like that, so I had to buy it. Indeed it smelled like a mix between banana and pear, but the taste was so mild that it didn't really taste like much. After eating it I did some research (probably should have been done before) and found that its good with lemon or lime juice and some salt and pepper. I wish I'd known that, considering I had a lemon on my plate! Next time...

Well there's my weekend wrap-up. Hope everyone had a very Happy Halloween!

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