Calzone Time and Kale

Having a minuscule kitchen means things have to be easy. That is why I've been sharing recipes with you every week or so on easy AND healthy recipes.We've been hearing and reading more about Kale lately with all of it's health properties including being a big anti-inflammatory, that we've had to find a way to add more of it into our diet.

Dr. Oz calls it King Kale for all it's anti cancer properties. 

So we tried some of the Kale chips we've been reading about. Warning: this is so easy, your kids can do it and will eat it without much of a fuss.

Take 1 bunch of Kale, preferably organic. Wash and dry it. Cut or tear it into small pieces off of the hard stem.

Place the kale in a bowl or bag and drizzle about a tablespoon of olive oil over it and spread it on a baking sheet.

Take a pinch of fine sea salt and sprinkle it over the top.
Put it in the oven at 200-250 for approx 20 minutes. It should be crisp and crunchy.OK, maybe it doesn't look so pretty, but it tastes good and given it's health benefits, you'll want to eat a plateful.

Today's recipe is for Italian Calzones.

Kind of like a wrapped up pizza, I haven't made these in years and wanted to try something else to put some kale in that would be simple, simple, simple.

1 1/2 c. flour
1/2 c. water, warm
1 tsp. yeast
2 tsp. sugar
1/2 tsp. salt

Combine above ingredients, let sit in a warm location for 30 minutes (I have put my bread bowl above the coffee maker in the am). Once it has risen, you will take it out and divide in half and press /squeeze out all the air bubbles out.
Now let it rest for 5 minutes. Go and do the rest - we'll come back, I promise!

OK, this can really be ANYTHING you want, but here's what I used:
1/2 lb. ground pork
1 - 1 1/2 c. spaghetti sauce
1 tsp. chopped garlic
2-3 Tbls. dried, ground kale
1 Tbls. parsley
1 tsp. celery salt

Shredded Cheese - I used Edam, because that is what I had on hand, but my first choice would have been mozzarella.
Cook sausage completely. Add in next 5 ingredients and as soon as it comes to a low simmer, remove it from the heat. OK was that easy, or what?

Now, back to the dough. Take one of the two halves and flatten it out onto a flat surface. I used a couple tablespoons of flour on my board as I started out. Once it was coming into shape, I tossed a little cornmeal on my base so it would have an additional texture.

Almost ready!

From here you will make sure the dough is as flat as you can make it. Use your finger tips to dimple it continue to stretch the dough. If it tears, don't worry, just pull it back together and press.

When you have it to your desired thinness, take half the filling mixture and place it on one half of the dough. Add as much cheese as desired.

Now is actually the hardest part: folding and crimping. Even this though is fun which in turn makes it easier.  Grab the back half of the dough that doesn't have any filling on it and pull it over the top. All you are going to do is "roll" a little bit of the dough over itself and push it down onto itself. Gives a little crimped edge look.

When you're done it should look something like this:
Place it on your baking sheet. Next, repeat with the 2nd dough. Now, it is really, really, really important to take your fork and poke the top so the steam has somewhere to go. Otherwise you'll ended up with an extra airspace like this:
Not a huge deal - it is what it is and it still tasted great. The boys ate theirs not knowing how easy or just how good it was for them.

I hope you enjoy this one. Working on a couple more ideas for Kale. Have you tried it before and if so, how did you make it appealing?

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