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Tuesday, March 24, 2009

pseudo-mexican spice

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For reasons I can't fathom, I've had crazy crazy cravings for some spicy mexican fare lately. No, Lil Z is not going to be a big sis. I've just been absolutely craving fiesta-inspired food. Hubs and I just came back from a lovely, lovely respite in Cuba (where we attended and took some pics at a lush and colourful tropical wedding and trash the dress session. The whole setting just gave me intense longings for spicy food (Cuba is BEAUTIFUL, but the resorts are not exactly known as gastronomical meccas).

So the entire meal plan for this week is based around spice, spice and more spice. I recently got hold of a March 2009 copy of Cooking Light and within it found a veritable treasure trove of ethnic foods. So this week's plan consists almost entirely of recipes modified from that magazine. YUMMY. Cooking Light is my absolute FAVOURITE cooking magazine. As much as I love some of the more sinful publications (Bon Appetit, Gourmet), I really appreciate the fact that this magazine actually has food that I can eat and enjoy with little guilt. My back-to-work deadline is rapidly looming and I still can't jam myself back into most of my work Cooking Light is definitely de rigueur.

Last night, we dined on tex-mex turkey calzones, accompanied with a delicious black bean salad. The recipe as published in the magazine is pretty simple and quick. I complicated it a bit by making my own dough (I had the ingredients and the time), but if you follow their prescribed shortcuts, especially the one of just using shredded (already cooked) chicken breast), this would assemble in a jif. The results are deeeeeelish and satisfying and, as I was anticipating the sheer deliciousness of this meal, I doubled the recipe and froze half. I see some frozen calzones in the near future for me........

Tex Mex Calzones
tex mex turkey calzone
stolen and adapted from March 2009 Cooking Light

1 pound lean ground turkey breast
1 cup chopped onion
1 chopped green bell pepper
1 chopped red bell pepper (I cheated and used 2 green as they are cheaper!)
1.5 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons chili powder
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 cup fat-free fire-roasted salsa verde
1/4 c chopped cilantro
2 (11-ounce) can refrigerated thin-crust pizza dough (I made my own, recipe below)
2 cups preshredded Mexican blend cheese (I never buy pre-shredded cheese - it's SO expensive...I used grated old cheddar)
Cooking spray
low-fat sour cream

1. (If you're making your own dough, do that first!) See below. Preheat oven to 425°.

2. Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add ground turkey to pan; cook 3 minutes, stirring to crumble. Add onion and next 5 ingredients (through garlic) to pan; cook 4 minutes or until vegetables are crisp-tender, stirring mixture occasionally. Remove turkey mixture from heat; stir in salsa and cilantro.

turkey calzone filling

3. Unroll dough; divide into 4 equal portions (per can....or if you make your own dough, divide into 8). Stretch each portion into a 6 x 4–inch rectangle.

my 'rectangle'

Working with one rectangle at a time, spoon about 1/2 cup turkey mixture on one side of dough. Top with 3 tablespoons cheese; fold dough over turkey mixture, and press edges together with a fork to seal.

how to fill a calzone

4. Place on a baking sheet coated with cooking spray. Repeat procedure with remaining dough and turkey mixture.

unbaked and about to be delicious

5. Bake at 425° for 15 minutes or until browned. Serve with sour cream.

baked and delicious

Calzone Dough:
4.5 teaspoons active dry yeast (2 packages)
2 t sugar
1.5 c warm water
3 c. all purpose flour
1 c. whole wheat flour
2 T ground flax meal (it's good for ya!)
1 t salt
1 T canola oil
spices: about 1/2 t each cumin, chili powder, coriander, garlic and zest of one lime....TOTALLY optional but they are easy to throw in and taste oh-so-yummy

1. In the bowl of a stand mixer/food processor, combine yeast, sugar and water. Add flours, flax, salt and canola oil and mix on speed 2 until combined and forming a nice, cohesive ball. If it won't combine, add water, 1 t at a time. If it's too sticky, add flour, 1 T at a time. (You can do this by hand as well...I am just lazy and in luuuuurve with my kitchenaid).

not yet dough in a bowl

2. Turn out the dough into a greased large bowl.

dough in a bowl

Cover and let rise in a warm place for 1 hour. I like to have it rise in the oven, with the oven light on. It's perfectly warm and draft-free. If you make the dough first, you can let it rise while you make the filling and the salad. By the time you're done those, the dough should be just about done. When it's ready, punch it down and divide into 8 equal portions.

Black bean salad:
black bean tomato onion and avocado
Combine 1 (15-ounce) can rinsed and drained black beans, 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes, 1/2 cup chopped red onion, 1/4 cup chopped celery, 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice, 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro, 1 avocado, 1 clove garlic and 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium bowl; toss well to coat.

black bean salad

Yield: 8 servings (serving size: 1 calzone and 1 tablespoon sour cream)

CALORIES 416 ; FAT 14.1g (sat 6.1g,mono 4.9g,poly 1.6g); CHOLESTEROL 44mg; CALCIUM 195mg; CARBOHYDRATE 46.2g; SODIUM 771mg; PROTEIN 25.7g; FIBER 2.5g; IRON 2.5mg

Said hubs, about this meal....'this is freaking phenomenal.' And about leftovers at lunch: 'I could just eat a lunch of these black beans, onions and tomatoes on their own.' It's absolutely delicious. The salsa verde imparts just enough spice to satisfy and they are yummy pockets of mostly-healthy goodness. Two thumbs up.

Tonight's meal is hopefully equally delicious - tilapia with coconut red curry sauce, served on a bed of seasoned jasmine and bok choy rice. I'm excited already. Thanks for reading!!!!!!!!!


Jenny said...

Oh Good Lord! DROOL! This LO has me craving epic amounts of spice. I cooked some Cuban Picadillo on Sunday and I'm still not satisfied! These calzones look awesome! I'm going straight out tonight and picking up Cooking Light (also a fav of mine).

P.S. Can I hire you as a chef?!?

Amie said...

I just printed this and will defintely be making it this weekend (with extras for lunches) Sounds awesome - can't wait!

Creative Classroom Core said...

Thanks for sharing the recipe! I cant wait to try it!

Loukia said...

Hello! You're a great photographer AND a great cook? Not to mention a mom? I feel terribly horrible right now! I'm a great mom to my two little boys, but I suck in the kitchen and my pictures are well, average.

I'm a local Ottawa girl, too.

Love your blog!

It made me very hungry. I will be back lots and lots.

I need easy recipe ideas. Long recipes with complicated ingredients confuse me.

Loukia said...

P.S. Would love for you to take pictures of my boys in the great outdoors this summer!

Gigi said...

Just stumbled upon your blog...i love it... the pictures are truely amazing and the recipes are unusual but still mainstream enough! Can't wait to try some in the archives and follow along with the new! Thanks for a great blog!


Season to Taste Blog said...

Sounds so yummy! I've been on a Spanish & Mexican tear on my blog too lately and have been making chorizo scrambles, paella, and lots of sangria to wash the spice down! Love how Italian calzone meets Mex fillings...thx, and great photos!

Unknown said...

sounds delicious...what a wonderful and lovely posting...mouthwatering...brilliantphotostory...gonna try it soon....uphere i always have a hard time trying to find of my friend introduced me to a great resource and i thought that i pass great along as well...thanks for sharing the recipe.


just wanted to say hello and thought you might be interested in "I BLOG MARTHA" button. :)

Marta said...

Hi! I just found your blog and I'm glad I did! Such great recipes, such great photos! This one in particular is very creative and looks so child-friendly!
i'm also so glad to find more Canadian food bloggers. I live in Ottawa for a couple of years and enjoyed the fantastic produce you get there... in Calgary things are very restricted :(

Max mickle said...

I like this recipe. these calzone dough are sure to taste great and are extremely nutritious as well. I am going to bake a batch for the holidays when my kids will be at home. I'll be sure that what they are eating is healthy.

Cherry Blossom said...

Geesh doesn't that look tempting.. printed...I steal a lot of recipes form cooking light....;-)) i truly enjoy your blog.. Waving from Germany Alissa

Cookie baker Lynn said...

So much yumminess! This one is definitely going on the menu for next week. Thanks for sharing the recipe.

Garden Of said...

I MISS YOU!!!!!!!!!!!! :)
Your blog is my favorite!

Foxy Renard said...

Okay, I replace turkey with ground round, then stirred cheddar into the mixture and stuffed in small pitas instead of the dough (couldn't find cold pizza dough at the grocery store?) and just did a quick broil to toast it up - deeeeelicious. So good that my husband didn't complain about eating soy! MIRACLE!

Rumela said...

Wow!! yami....Your calzone dough came out beautiful. The colors look great. My mouth is watering looking at your pictures. What a wonderful meal. thank you for shearing your post.

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