Fresh Pesto and Veggie Calzones

Growing up, my mom made really yummy calzones. They’re not what you’d typically think of as calzones you can get at a pizza shop which would typically be filled with meat, cheese, and tomato sauce. She made them with fresh veggies and pesto. These calzones aren’t going to win any beauty contests, but they are so delicious it doesn’t matter!

The original recipe isn’t vegan, so I decided to try veganizing it since I was missing these old favorites. The result was pretty close to the original and just as yummy. I’m glad to have this recipe back in rotation!

Ingredients:

1 cup vegan pesto
1 medium yellow onion
1 bell pepper – any color
2 small yellow squash and/or zucchini
1 large stalk of broccoli
1/2 cup Daiya Pepperjack shredded cheese
3 Tbsp flour
2 Tbsp olive oil
1 1/2 tsp Ener-G Egg Replacer Powder + 2 Tbsp warm water
2 Tbsp soy milk
salt
black pepper
olive oil
cornmeal
Pizza Dough

Directions:

  • If you’re making your own pizza dough, you’ll want to start it ahead of time so it has time to rise. I decided to use 2 Trader Joe’s pizza doughs because I didn’t have time to make my own dough over the weekend. Homemade dough is always yummiest however! You might want to make two batches of dough depending on how big the batch is. Make the same amount of dough as you would for 2 pizzas.
  • Make up a batch of The Post Punk Kitchen’s Vegan Pesto. The batch I made ended up yielding about 1 cup of pesto, which was the right amount for the calzone recipe. You can also use your own favorite pesto recipe.
  • Preheat your oven to 400°F.
  • Chop the onion and pepper. Saute them in a little oil.
  • Chop the yellow squash, zucchini, and broccoli into small pieces (about 1/2 inch or so).
  • In a small bowl, whisk up the egg replacer powder and warm water. If you don’t have egg replacer on hand, I don’t think it’s a critical part of this recipe. It helps bind the filling together a little, but so does the flour, so if you can’t find Ener-G, don’t worry about it.
  • In a large mixing bowl combine the pesto, onion, pepper, yellow squash or zucchini, broccoli, Daiya, flour, olive oil, egg replacer, and soy milk. Add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Prepare a couple baking pans by drizzling a little olive oil on the pan and sprinkling a light coating of cornmeal on top of the olive oil.
  • Pull off a piece of pizza dough – about 1/3 of a cup, but it doesn’t have to be precise. Stretch it out into a circle like you would a pizza crust.
  • Add some filling to the center of the dough, being careful not to overfill it. Fold the dough in half over the filling and seal down the edges with your fingers. Poke a few little holes in the top of the calzone to vent steam. You can brush a little soy milk on top of the calzone if you like, but it’s optional.
  • Continue making calzones until you’ve used up all of your dough or all of your filling.
  • Bake the calzones for 30-35 minutes until the filling in bubbly and the crust is golden brown. Let them cool for a few minutes and enjoy!

Ginger Sesame Stir Fry with Seitan

I was in the mood for ginger and a healthy dose of veggies and this is the dish that resulted. It turned out really well especially for being a bit improvisational. Sometimes that’s the best way to cook! I make stir fries pretty often, but it was good to change things up and throw in some new flavors and veggies. It’s quite a colorful dish too. This is a quick and easy recipe that you can make on a weeknight, and the leftovers are perfect for lunch the next day!

Ingredients:

1 yellow squash
About 1 cup of French beans (or green beans)
1 red pepper
1 leek
1 yellow onion
1 or 2 shallots
5 cloves of garlic
1 heaping Tbsp of fresh grated ginger
sesame oil
1 package of seitan
1/4 – 1/2 cup of soy sauce
1/4 – 1/2 cup of rice vinegar
garlic powder
ground black pepper
sticky rice or noodles
sesame seeds

Directions:

  • Prepare your rice or noodles according to the package directions. I used sticky rice for this dish which worked out well. While the rice or noodles are cooking, prepare the rest of the dish.
  • Chop the yellow squash, french beans, red pepper, leek, yellow onion, and shallots. Press or mince the garlic and grate the ginger. Saute these ingredients in a large pan with some sesame oil.
  • In a separate pan saute the seitan in sesame oil so the edges get crispy.
  • Add about 1/4 of soy sauce and a 1/4 cup of rice vinegar to the veggies and let them simmer for a little bit to soak up the liquid.
  • Once the seitan is crispy, add about an 1/8-1/4 cup of soy and 1/8 to a 1/4 cup of rice vinegar. Start with less and add more to taste. Continue to saute so the seitan soaks up the flavor.
  • Combine the seitan with the veggies. Season with some garlic powder and ground black pepper to taste.
  • In a small pan, toast some sesame seeds over medium-low heat. It doesn’t take long for them to toast so keep an eye on them.
  • Once your rice or noodles are finished, spoon some into a bowl. Top with the veggies and seitan. Sprinkle some toasted sesame seeds on top.