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Veggie Calzones

4 Apr

As a kid, I loved calzones.  Whenever my family went to a pizza place, I’d favor calzones over regular pizza.  Preferrably the type filled with more cheese than anything else.  And always, with the sauce on the side.  I’ve never been a big fan of tomato sauce in calzones or on pizza.  I know, call me crazy, but there is just something about simplicity of melted cheese on soft chewy dough.  I don’t want tomato sauce to come in and crash the party in my mouth 🙂

Now that I’m a grown-up older and I have more knowledge about proper nutrition, I’ve come to appreciate calzones with a better balance between cheese and vegetables.  But don’t even think about putting tomato sauce in there.  I’ll spit it out and go to my room without dinner.

Looks like somethings never change.

Veggie Calzone
(recipe serves one)


  • Pizza dough (I used 1/4 of the recipe for one calzone.)
  • 1 Tbsp basil pesto
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 2 cups spinach
  • 1 head broccoli, chopped
  • 1/4 cup mozzerella cheese
  • 2 Tbsp parmesan cheese
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • dash of garlic powder and Italian seasonings


  1. Prepare pizza dough (allow up to two hours for rising time) or use previously prepared dough.  You’ll only need 1/4 of the dough for one calzone.
  2. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
  3. Spray a skillet with nonstick cooking spray and heat over medium heat.  Add onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes.  Add spinach and cook until wilted.  Finally add broccoli for an extra minute or two.
  4. Roll your dough into a large circle.
  5. On half of the dough, spread 1 tablespoon of pesto.  Be sure to leave at least one inch of dough around the edge so that you can fold your calzone.
  6. On top of basil pesto, place your cooked veggies.  Top veggies with cheeses and salt and pepper, if using.
  7. Fold dough over veggies and pinch the edges closed.
  8. Make a couple small slits in the top of the dough.  Brush with olive oil and dust with garlic powder and Italian seasonings.
  9. Bake on a lightly oiled baking sheet for 8 to 10 minutes.

Do you prefer pizza or calzones?  With tomato sauce or without?


Five Favorites Friday – 4/1/11

1 Apr

Between the promise of warm weather and the fact that I have to fit into a wedding dress in less than seven months, I’ve been favoring light, healthy foods lately.  I’ve been focusing on increasing the amount of fruits and veggies I eat, while decreasing the amount of processed foods and sugar. 

I kept this all in mind while compiling my list of favorites this week.  You’ll find that all these recipes use real, whole foods and incorporate a variety of flavors.  Who says healthy has to be boring?

My favorites for Friday, April 1st:

  1. Coconut Cinnamon Granola (from Naturally Ella)
    I think I’ve made it clear that I love coconut.  But one thing that I haven’t featured on the blog yet is homemade granola.  Making granola from scratch is one of the most simple things you can do in the kitchen.  You don’t even need to follow an exact recipe.  So long as you have the basic components, granola can easily be tailored to your taste.  This recipe combines some of my favorite flavors with one of my favorite foods. 
  2. Irish oatmeal bread with cheddar and pumpkin seeds (from Cooking Lessons)
    Although it is very intriging, I’ve never had the chance to make soda bread.  I can appreciate that it doesn’t involve yeast and therefore doesn’t involve lengthly rising times.  What I like about this particular soda bread is the incorporation of whole wheat flour, steel cut oats, and pumpkin seeds.  If the pictures aren’t telling enough, I’m sure these components lend themselves to wonderful texture and flavor.
  3. 5 Ingredient No Bake Vegan Date Squares (from Oh She Glows)
    These vegan date squares look so tempting!  I love that the ingredient list is so short, the directions very straight forward and they are no bake.  What’s not to like? 
  4. Black Rice and Soy Salad with Asian Dressing (from
    I’ve only had black rice once but from what I can remember, it has a nutty taste and a chewy texture.  It’s certainly thicker than brown rice and it’s high in antioxidants.  The incorporation of soy beans and tofu make this a great high protein option for those on a plant based diet.
  5. Banana Chips (from A Sweet Road)
    I can completely identify with Jaime’s over abundence of brown bananas.  Since I love banana bread so much, I tend to hoard bananas like they’re going out of style.  But the problem is, my banana stockpile tends to grow at a faster rate than my banana bread baking.  This recipe looks like a great way to use up the bananas before the fruit flies attack.

What are some of your favorite healthy foods?

Banana Bread Remix!

27 Mar

Hi there!  How’s your weekend been?  Mine has been so nice.  Yesterday I got to try on some beautiful wedding dresses for the first time!  I left the salon with two very good options.  I don’t know if either is “the one” but it’s great to have two very promising options and both are so reasonably priced.  All in all, it was a successful shopping trip.

After shopping I met up with Alex at… as a semi-New Yorker, I’m ashamed to admit this… the Olive Garden.  Their breadsticks just can’t be beat!  But while we were there I remembered why we don’t go very often.  It gets so crowded!!!  Ah well, it was a nice meal regardless, I just doubt we’ll be heading back any time soon.

Moving onto a different type of bread entirely.  Banana Bread.  I love banana bread and as soon as I have overly ripe bananas I know exactly what I’m going to do with them.  With that being said, I have a hard time making the same type of banana bread each time.  It’s just so much fun to experiment with new recipes!

Lately I’ve been enjoying coconut a lot so it only seemed natural that I’d incorporate it into this recipe.  And it turned out great.  Even if you’re not a fan of coconut, you’ll enjoy this recipe.  The coconut flavor is not overwhelming but I’d suggest leaving out the coconut flakes.

Coconut Banana Bread
(adapted  from this recipe)


  • 3-4 overly ripe bananas
  • 3/4 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 unsweetened applesauce
  • 1 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • flax seed “egg” (1 TBSP flax meal + 2.5 TBSP warm water)
  • 1/4 cup + 1 Tbsp pure cane sugar
  • 3/4 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/4 cup coconut flour
  • 2 scoops vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp baking soda
  • pinch of salt
  • 2 to 3 Tbsp unsweetened coconut flakes


  1. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Mash bananas until they are wet.
  3. Mix in remaining wet ingredients; pumpkin, applesauce, coconut oil, vanilla, “flax egg”, and sugar.
  4. Add whole wheat flour, coconut flour, protein powder, cinnamon, baking soda, baking powder and salt to the wet ingredients.  Mix well.  Once mixed, add in unsweetened coconut flakes.
  5. Line a 9×5 loaf pan with foil and spray with cooking spray.  Pour the batter into the pan.
  6. Sprinkle the top of the loaf with 1 Tbsp of sugar.
  7. Bake the bread for about 45 minutes.  To check that it’s done, insert a knife in the middle of the loaf.  The knife should be clean when removed.  If it isn’t, bake the bread on five minute intervals, until it’s done.

Do you have a go-to banana bread recipe or do you like to improvise?

Five Favorites Friday – 3/25/11

25 Mar

I’m very happy it’s Friday!  This weekend I’m going wedding dress shopping for the very first time.  Needless to say, I’m excited!  I’ve been scouring the internet for ideas.  I found a lot of promising ones but I can’t wait to get into the bridal salon and actually try on a dress.  I might have trouble sleeping tonight because I’m so excited, haha.

Anyway, since today is Friday, I have five great recipes to share with you.  However, before I get to the good stuff I want to share something really fun.  Yesterday Teri, at A Foodie Stays Fit, posted her five favorite iPhone apps.  She’s got a great list so you should check out the post!  My favorite from her list is ShakeItPhoto.  I had a lot of fun playing around with this app today so I’m going to show you some of the pics from my ShakeItPhoto photo shoot.

Yep, I was at work.

Aren’t these new shoes great?  Love. them.

Fun, right?  If you have an iPhone, go download it for yourself!

Moving on… here are my five favorites for Friday, March 25, 2011:

  1. Homemade Soft Pretzel Bites (from Crepes of Wrath)
    Soft pretzels are one of those foods that I love but never really crave… until I smell them!  You know what I’m talking about.  Picture this; you’re innocently walking through the mall (could be any old mall) when you happen to pass the food court.  All of a sudden, you are overwhelmed by the rich, buttery, cinnamon-sugary scent of Auntie Anne’s.  Mmmm.  Yeah, I want that scent wafting through my apartment 🙂
  2. Cinnamon Sugar Pull-apart Bread (from Annie’s Eats)
    Clearly I have cinnamon sugar on the brain this week.  But take one look at Annie’s bread and tell me that you don’t want to reach through the screen to peel-apart a piece for yourself!
  3. Double Chocolate Power Muffins (from All Day I Dream About Food)
    I love that these muffins have two types of chocolate, I love that they have protein powder for staying power, and I love that they’re naturally low in sugar.
  4. Homemade Granola (from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen)
    Granola is a such a great snack!  I prefer to make it at home because I can control how much sugar gets added and what type of nuts or dried fruit gets mixed in.  This recipe sounds like it has a ton of flavor and Christina’s pictures showcase just how crispy and crunchy it is.  I can’t wait to whip up a batch!
  5. Zipper Ruffle Ballet Flats Tutorial (from Craftaholics Anonymous)
    These shoes may not be edible but they may be something you want to feast your eyes on (har har har).  But seriously, I love the zipper detail.  It turns a plain flat into something incredibly cute and fashionable.  And the tutorial makes it look soooo easy.

Tell me one thing you’re excited for this weekend!

Five Favorites Friday – 3/4/11

4 Mar

This has been a busy week!  It seems ever since Alex and I got engaged we’ve been go, go, go and it’s not even because of wedding planning.  We haven’t started yet!  This coming weekend is action packed too.  My younger brother, Mike, will be running in a track meet here in the city, so my parents are coming to visit.  They’ll get to see Mike run and congratulate Alex and I on our engagement. 

Also, my parents and my future in-laws will be meeting for the first time!  I’m very excited for everyone to meet.  I’m glad Alex and I are able to introduce them now instead of right before the wedding, which could be stressful.  And this gives them time to get to know each other before the big day. 

Because of all this excitement in my everyday life, I haven’t had as much time in the kitchen.  But that doesn’t mean I haven’t had time to read about being in the kitchen, haha.  I still manage to read recipe after recipe all week.  Sometimes it’s just easier to read about all the things other people are cooking and baking instead of doing it yourself, ya know?  Nonetheless, once I have a chance to get back in the kitchen you can be guaranteed I’ll be making some of these recipes!

My five favorites for Friday, March 4th:

  1. Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Cereal (from meals & moves)
    If you follow healthy living blogs, you’ve probably heard the buzz around this healthy cereal.  Ashley first posted a new cracker recipe using garbanzo bean flour, which Mama Pea later adapted into a healthy version of Cinnamon Toast Crunch.  Peanut Butter Chocolate Protein Cereal is Janetha’s take on the healthy cereal craze and I’m pretty excited to try it out.  I like that she added protein powder to the mix for extra staying power.  And I’m game for pretty much anything that involves both chocolate and peanut butter!
  2. Avocado Hummus (from Live, Laugh, Eat)
    Keeping with the garbanzo theme, the avocado hummus sounds awesome.  I just bought myself a new food processor so I can’t wait to break it in with this recipe!
  3. Super Easy DIY Pockets (from Chow Vegan)
    Janetha provide inspiration for this one as well!  During the week, she posted a healthy version of hotpockets.  I liked the idea a lot and it seemed easy enough, so I decided to add it to my list of “things to make”.  Then, as luck would have it, I came across these super easy DIY pockets.  I like the idea of making a quick dough from scratch and then stuffing it with my own mix of goodies.
  4. Coconut Dark Chocolate Banana Bread (from The Weather in Cascadia)
    For a while I was making banana bread once a week.  Lately I haven’t had the time, but next time I do, I’ll be sure to use this recipe.  It looks great!
  5. Mac Book Pro
    It’s about time I upgrade my computer!  If you have a Mac Book Pro, do you like it?  Do you have any recommendations for me?

What are you plans for the weekend?  Do share!

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Five Favorites Friday – 2/25/11

25 Feb

Hello Friday!  I’m so happy you’re here.  This week was a short one but I’m still battling last weeks illness so it wasn’t the best week.  But that’s alright because the weekend is here.  I’m looking forward to some relaxation and good food.  Maybe some homemade breadsticks, Olive Garden style?  You’ll have to keep reading for the recipe!

My five favorites for Friday, February 25th:

  1. Rustic Whole Wheat Sweet Potato Bread (from Garlic and Sea Salt)
    Not too long ago, Allie featured this bread recipe and I knew I had to make it mine.  I love the idea of incorporating sweet potatoes into a yeast bread.  And it’ll give me even more experience with yeast breads!
  2. Olive Garden Breadsticks
    In my opinion, there is one reason to go to Olive Garden; their garlic, buttery breadsticks.  However, since moving to the city, I hardly ever go.  In fact, I think I’ve only been once in the past five or six years!  But now, I don’t have to worry about never making it there.  I can bring the best part of the restaurant to my own kitchen.
  3. Doughnuts take NYC by storm
    Doughnuts are the next cupcakes.  At least according to the NYTimes.  The slideshow included with the article says it all.  It’s inspired me for my next foodie adventure.
  4. McDonald’s does oatmeal
    This article is an opinion piece by Mark Bittman.  His message is that McDonald’s has found a way to make even the most basic of breakfasts into a sugar-laden health disaster.  It highlights somethings that the food industry does wrong, such as adding unnecessary ingredients and chemicals and it emphasizes that the best “diet” for anyone is real, whole foods.  It is a well written piece on an important message that everyone should read.
  5. Oreo Stuffed Chocolate Chip Cookies (from Lovin’ From the Oven)
    Lately I’ve seen several recipes for stuffed chocolate chip cookies.  I love the idea of a cookie within a cookie.  Next chance I get, I’m going to attempt making these cookies with Thin Mints in place of Oreos.  Think it’ll work?  Even if it doesn’t, it could be a tasty kitchen fail.  I’m willing to risk it.

Have a good weekend!  Any plans for your kitchen this weekend?

Five Favorites Friday – 2/18/11

18 Feb

Happy Friday!  How was your week?  I’ve had a great one!  It’s been so much fun talking about my engagement and thinking about wedding planning.  I’m incredibly excited.  There’s so much to do.  Have you ever planned a wedding?  Do you have any tips to share?  Even with all the excitement, I found time to uncover some great links.  Enjoy!

My five favorites for Friday, February 18th:

  1. Whole Wheat Cottage Cheese Lemony Loaf (from The Fresh Loaf)
    One of my goals for 2011 is to make more yeast bread.  To me, fresh bread from scratch is one of the most satisfying things to bake.  I also love the idea of cottage cheese in a yeast bread (extra protein!).
  2. Pretzel Bites with Cheese (from Sweet Pea’s Kitchen)
    Um, do these need further explanation?  Yum!
  3. Peanut Butter Crispy Bars by Baked (from Crepes of Wrath) – Love, love, LOVE peanut butter and chocolate together however, I often shy away from recipes with both because Alex doesn’t like the combo.   Which means, I’d end up eating the entire recipe myself.  But for these bars, I’m willing to make an exception.  These look to-die-for.
  4. Coconut Cinnamon Popcorn (from the edible perspective) – Coconut fever.  Ashley found a way to use coconut oil and coconut butter in one recipe!  Must. try. this. popcorn.
  5. Last, but not least, I’m loving the clothing website, Stop Staring! The New York Times wrote this piece about the revival of women’s clothing from the 1940s and 50s.  The article echoed my desire to wear more vintage clothing and provided inspiration to do something about it!  So, I did a little shopping (advertising mission accomplished!).  I decided on these two dresses.

**As a side note, in some of my posts I’ve mentioned products or companies that I like.  I have not been paid for my thoughts.  These are just my opinions and I’m happy to share because I think others will enjoy them too.**

What links did you enjoy this week?