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Spinach & Red Pepper Calzones

September 21, 2009

I picked up a Trader Joe’s prepared garlic and herb dough this weekend in hopes of making a successful calzone. I actually made this a couple weeks ago, but the pictures turned out horrible. I forgot to do a bunch of things, like brush the tops with olive oil, cut slits on the top and crimp the edges shut. The calzones actually turned out tasty, but was not photogenic in the least bit. I know it sounds crazy, but I am a little OCD when it comes to using pictures for my blog. I have yet to discover the perfect lighting and setting for my pictures, but I’m sure it’ll come one of these days. I’ve been experimenting with the different settings on my Canon Powershot SD1100, and finally realized pictures look so much more natural without flash. I know, it was a defining moment in my blogging history. Natural lighting is still the best, but since I make most of these recipes for dinner, our living room light will have to do for now. Any professional photogs have any advice for me? The reason why I’m so obsessed with taking so many pictures and only using a couple is because I believe the pictures represent how the food tastes. Since whoever is reading this right now probably hasn’t had this dish, the only judgment you can make it based on the pictures. Unfortunately, a lot of times the food turns out great, but the picture never makes it to the blog because I can’t get a good shot. Oh well, sometimes it works the other way around!

Anyways, this prepared dough is great! I have actually never made dough from scratch before, but this dough was quick to roll out and baked up nicely. Since I didn’t have a roller, I used the next best thing, a tomato can which surprisingly worked. Who would have thought an 80 cent can works just as well as a kitchen tool. If you like, serve the calzones with a bowl of extra sauce for dipping.

Spinach & Red Pepper Calzones

Makes 4 calzones

  • 1 pound Whole-Wheat Pizza Dough  or other prepared dough
  • 3/4 cup prepared marinara sauce
  • 1 10-ounce package spinach
  • Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup red bell peppers, diced
  • 3/4 cup light Cheddar cheese
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil for coating


1. Preheat oven to 450°F
2. Spray a non-stick pan with cooking spray and toss in spinach and red bell peppers. Cook until spinach is wilted, about 4-5 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and oregano
3. Divide the dough into 4 pieces on a lightly floured surface,. Roll each piece into an 8-inch circle. Spread 2 tablespoons sauce on the lower half of each circle, leaving a 1-inch border. Top with red peppers, spinach and cheese.
4. Brush the border with cold water and fold the top half of each circle over the filling. Fold the edges over and crimp with a fork to seal. Transfer the calzones to the prepared baking sheet. Brush the tops of the calzones with a little olive oil. Cut slits on the top to help the calzones vent
5. Bake the calzones for 12 to 15 minutes, or until golden. Let cool slightly before serving




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