Healthier Spinach Calzones- ready in 30 minutes

 

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Cottage cheese in place of ricotta- cuts the filling calories in half and the fat content by 75%

Sometimes I miss the days of just cooking for myself.

Making meatless meals and loving every minute of it.

Well those days are long gone. But I still fit in a meatless recipe now and then.

And my husband does not even complain as long as I give him advance warning:)

I was inspired to make this meatless calzone after enjoying a yummy fat laden one from a local pizza place.

I was determined to come up with one that I could enjoy more often without the guilt of ALL THAT CHEESE and OLIVE OIL.

So I cut back on the fat by using cottage cheese rather than ricotta. Ricotta has twice the calories and 4 times as much fat as cottage cheese.

And I find that in most baked Italian dishes cottage cheese can be substituted for the ricotta.

And the great thing is I could not even taste the cottage cheese in the calzone. It combines perfectly with the mozzarella and spices for a great tasting filling.

The calzones come together really quickly making it a perfect weeknight recipe.

Healthier Spinach Calzones

makes two large calzones, serves 4 (or 2 really hungry people:)

  • 1 lb bread or pizza dough, if frozen defrost it the refrigerator 4-8 hours, or at room temperature for 2 hours (I prefer the Bridgford or Trader Joe’s brands)
  • flour or cornmeal
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 4 oz mushrooms, sliced
  • 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 10 oz package frozen spinach
  • 1/2 cup fat free cottage cheese
  • 1/2 cup marinara, plus extra for dipping
  • 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella

Preheat oven to 400°F.

On a floured(or cornmealed) surface, cut the dough into two equal sections. Using your hands carefully spread the dough into a rectangle shape, approx 10″x 6″. Transfer the dough to a greased (or silpat or parchment paper lined) cookie sheet. Allow dough to rest while you prepare the filling.

Filling:

Defrost the spinach in the microwave (approx 4-5 minutes). Drain excess water from the spinach. Set aside.

While the spinach defrosts: Over medium heat, in a non-stick skillet add the olive oil and and the sliced mushrooms. Saute for about 3-5 minutes. Add spices and drained spinach to the mushrooms. Heat the spinach through (and evaporate any remaining water) and then add the cottage cheese to the skillet. Combine thoroughly. Set aside.

Assemble:

Spoon 1/4 cup of marinara over 1/2 of each section of dough. Add half of the filling to each section of dough. Top with mozzarella cheese. Fold the dough over the filling and pinch the seams closed. Cut 3 small slits in the top of each calzone to let the steam escape during baking.

Bake at 400°F for 15-20 minutes. Let rest 5 minutes. Serve with marinara.

Enjoy!

 

 

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