Wednesday, July 11, 2012

crazy good calzones!

I get so excited when one of my veggie dishes turns out well that I'm like a little kid!  I made vegan calzones!

We've made these Italian sausage calzones for years, and they are one of my favorite meals.  Well, you know that sausage part doesn't go well with my new commitment to eat only foods without a face, and without a mother or a father.

So I had the calzones on the menu for everyone else, and I was feeling kind of sad and left out, until I thought of veganizing the recipe.  I could make some seitan sausage and use that along with some Daiya mozzarella cheese to make some vegan calzones.

I wouldn't say these calzones are very quick unless you prep the sausage onion pepper mixture the night before, or if there are two of you getting the meal ready, but they are easy and quite delicious.  They are originally from one of those little Pillsbury cookbooks that they sell near the cash registers.  I'm a sucker for those.  

I whipped up a batch of the seitan Italian sausages that I found here on Susan Voisin's blog, FatFree Vegan Kitchen.  I added a little extra fennel and black pepper to give it that definite sausage-y taste that I love.  You mix it, roll it into little sausage shapes and roll it up in tin foil packets.

Then you steam it and it looks like this.

I sauteed a little onion and green pepper in a bit of olive oil, added some of the cut up sausage, and mixed it all with some of the Daiya cheese.  Then I used that for the filling in my calzones. That Daiya cheese is some cool stuff.  It's made out of the same plant that tapioca comes from.  And when it melts, all I can say is, Oh My.

So I baked a separate batch of them after everyone else's were done, and I'm telling you, they made me giggle!  They were that good!  My heart is happy tonight!  Well my stomach is, too, but mostly my heart because my food isn't making me sad.  And it's good for me.  I'll take my leftovers for lunch tomorrow.  How much better does it get?

Here's the recipe, and the only things I changed for my vegan ones tonight are the things I mentioned above.  Give them a try--either way!  I've posted this before, but I'll post it again to save you the search if you want it.

Cheesy Sausage Calzones recipe

Source: Pillsbury Crescents Biscuits & More - March 2004

1 pound bulk Italian pork sausage
2/3 cup chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped red bell pepper
2 (8 biscuits) can Pillsbury Grands
4 ounces (1 cup) shredded mozzarella cheese
1 1/2 cups tomato pasta sauce, heated (I like to use jarred pizza sauce)

Heat oven to 375 degrees F.

In medium skillet, combine sausage, onions and bell pepper; cook over medium heat for 10 minutes or until sausage is no longer pink, stirring frequently. Drain. Cool 10 minutes.

Separate dough into 5 biscuits. On ungreased large cookie sheet, press each biscuit to form 6-inch round. I cut the sides of a large baggie open, spray the insides of it with cooking spray, put the biscuit in between them and roll it out with a rolling pin.

Top half of each biscuit round with sausage mixture and cheese to within 1/2 inch of edge. It takes a couple of tablespoons. Fold dough over filling; press edges firmly with fork to seal.

Bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.

Serve warm calzones with warm pasta sauce for dipping.

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