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Saturday, May 23, 2015

CHICKEN AND SPINACH CALZONES






CHICKEN AND SPINACH CALZONES

Delicious calzones with spinach, chicken and homemade Marinara Sauce (See recipe below).  The miracle dough can make all kinds of chicken, beef and vegetable pies.  It is my go-to pastry most of the time, as it is suitably low-carb and very easy to work with.

MIRACLE DOUGH TIPS: - Please note:USE BOB'S RED MILL COCONUT FLOUR FOR ALL MY RECIPES AND ESPECIALLY FOR THIS MIRACLE DOUGH - COCONUT FLOURS DIFFER GREATLY IN THEIR ABILITY TO ABSORB MOISTURE!  There are several variations of this kind of dough on the internet, but mine is different to all the others out there.  I am getting very adept with this dough.  Use a fork to make it come together.  At first it looks impossible (might even have strings of cheese in it), but keep mixing and then turn out on a cutting board.  Knead for a couple of minutes, adding a bit of coconut flour as needed to make a lovely elastic dough. The more coconut flour one can add (usually about 1 tbsp or a bit more), the more bread-like the dough becomes (more substantial).  Since coconut flour is mostly fiber, you're not really adding much in the way of carbs, spread over several servings.  I put the dough ball on parchment paper and cover the dough with plastic wrap and using a  rolling pin (sometimes I use my special small one for pie dough), roll it out with ease.  If at any time the dough becomes resistant to rolling, nuke it approximately 10  to 20 seconds and away you go again!

Here is a pic of the dough ball - lovely, soft and malleable!!


Mozzarella cheeses that I have successfully used with the Miracle Dough and The Sweet Miracle Pastry Dough as well.  I get mine from Price Smart in Central (technically South America) America, which is the same as Costco in the United States.

I tried this one a couple of times

I usually grate my own cheese using my 20-year old Braun food processor, which has a ton of gadgets - this is the cheese I use most often - looks like it might be very similar to the one above, however, I think they sometimes add something to their grated cheese to help it last longer.  I could be wrong.  CLICK ON THE PHOTO TO SEE A BIGGER IMAGE.



Marinara Sauce (see below)
Filling:
21/cups cooked, diced chicken (625 mL)
8 oz frozen spinach, squeezed dry (250 g)
3/cup Marinara Sauce below, OR commercial product (175 mL)
Salt, to taste
Black pepper, to taste
8 oz grated Mozzarella cheese, OR (250 g)
  more, to taste, OR sliced Mozzarella
Miracle Dough: (make a double batch) - Grain-Free version in Helpful Hints
2 cups grated Mozzarella cheese (500 mL)
2 tbsp melted butter (30 mL)
1 cup Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2, (250 mL)
  (no gelatin needed)
1 egg, fork beaten
1/tsp onion salt (1 mL)
1/tsp garlic powder (1 mL)
1 egg yolk

Filling:  In large bowl, combine chicken, spinach (squeezed dry with hands), Marinara Sauce, salt and pepper, to taste and grated Mozzarella cheese, OR keep the cheese separate and add on top of the mixture in the calzone dough.

Miracle Dough: In microwave oven in microwaveable bowl, melt Mozzarella cheese.  This took 2 minutes in my 1200 Watt microwave oven. Remove with oven gloves (be very careful!).  Pour melted butter over top of cheese. Place Gluten-Free Bake Mix 2 on top. In small bowl, beat egg with fork.  Add onion salt and garlic powder; whisk with fork.  Add to Mozzarella cheese mixture. Stir with a fork to form a dough ball.  Knead slightly to form a ball.

Measure six little balls (with each batch of Miracle Dough) weighing about 2.1 oz (60 g) each.  Place dough on parchment paper, cover with plastic wrap and roll out.  Roll each dough ball out into a 6-inch (15 cm) circle. I have a special gadget that makes lovely calzone shapes very easily, but it is not necessary.  In the center of the circle place the filling.  Add extra Mozzarella cheese, if desired.  Fold the calzone over and crimp the edges with the tines of a fork.  Cut three slits spaced evenly apart in the top of the calzones, if desired. Brush calzones with egg yolk.

Place the calzones on a greased cookie sheet and on the middle shelf in the oven.  Bake 12 to 18 minutes, or until the crust underneath is a lovely golden color. You don’t want them to burn, so check them very closely after 10 minutes have elapsed.  I usually check them every minute or so after the 10 minute mark.  You can take them out briefly to check.  Don’t burn yourself.

Helpful Hints: To reheat, these calzones heat up beautifully (still remaining crispy the first day) in the microwave oven … about 35 to 40 seconds in my microwave oven. You can also reheat them in a moderate oven, I’m sure, and they would be crispy the next day as well. If the dough becomes difficult to roll out, place the small balls in the microwave oven 8 to 10 seconds before rolling out.  This works beautifully. 

For a Grain-Free version, use a bake mix made up of 2 cups (500 mL) almond flour and 2/3 cup (150 mL) coconut flour.  Use 3/4  cup (175 mL) of the mixture.  Or, simply use 2/3 cup (150 mL) almond flour and 2 tbsp (30 mL) coconut flour for each batch of Miracle Dough (I have not tested this smaller version, but the Grain-Free Bake mix - yes!). I still prefer the Miracle Dough goodies made with the Gluten-Free Bake Mix, however, this is an very lovely option and the net carbs get reduced by 1.0 gram per serving usually.

Yield:  12 calzones
1 calzone
349.5 calories
23.4 g protein
24.8 g fat
0.5 g fiber
7.0 g net carbs




  
MARINARA SAUCE

Sometimes homemade tastes best.  This sauce is very easy to prepare.  I made it specifically for my Italian Chicken Marinara Casserole. Pureeing the sauce deepens the flavor.

2 tbsp olive oil (30 mL)
1/cup finely chopped red onion (60 mL)
28 oz diced, canned tomatoes (840 g)
1/cup water (125 mL)
Liquid sweetener to equal 2 tsp sugar (10 mL)
1/tsp salt (2 mL)
1/tsp dried basil (2 mL)
1/tsp dried oregano (2 mL)
1/tsp dried thyme (2 mL)
1/tsp black pepper (0.5 mL)


In frying pan in olive oil, cook onion over medium high heat until turning brown.  Add tomatoes, water, liquid sweetener, salt, basil, oregano, thyme and pepper. Simmer gently about 5 to 10 minutes, or until thickened.  In food processor, pour mixture and pulse until the sauce is a bit finer in texture, but not juiced.

Yield:  21/cups (625 mL)
1 tbsp (15 mL) per serving
12.3 calories
0.2 g protein
0.7 g fat
1.4 g net carbs


For other great Low-Carb, Gluten-Free recipes by the team & me:

Support your team, buy Low-Carbing Among Friends cookbooks at: 

http://amongfriends.us/Jen.php (Paypal/Amazon) - SALE priced!  Volume 4 is FREE with a purchase!

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