We’re embarking on a new way of eating. There is a long history of high blood pressure and diabetes on both sides of the family. We’re lowering our fat intake. We’re lowering our cholesterol intake. We’re eating more veggies and less processed foods. The kids have complained and whined along the way and when I said we were having SPINACH with our dinner tonight (in it, not as a side) there were tears before I’d even started preparing dinner.
But as they saw it come together and smelled it and helped prepare it (a big plus in getting most kids to eat anything), they decided they would try it but not like it. When I told them they were going to be calzones and they could crimp the edges together with a fork, they decided that they would give it a chance. When I told them they could dip them in pizza sauce, I saw a glimmer in their eyes. Because everything is better with dipping sauce when you’re a kid.
Dinner was a huge hit tonight. They LOVED the chicken and spinach calzones we made. They enjoyed them so much, they asked me to make sure that I saved what was leftover to make some more for lunch tomorrow and told me that I needed to make sure I put them on the menu again soon – only this time make MORE of them because they didn’t get enough! WOOHOO!!!
For those who might be interested – here’s the recipe:
|2 teaspoons olive oil|
|1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts|
|1 package (10 ounces) frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained|
|8 ounces part-skim ricotta cheese|
|1 teaspoon minced garlic|
|1 tablespoon chopped parsley|
|4 teaspoons Parmesan cheese|
|2 egg whites, divided|
|1 frozen whole-wheat bread dough loaf (16 ounces), thawed, not risen|
I used cottage cheese instead of ricotta (we don’t like ricotta) and no parsley (because I didn’t have it).
Preheat the oven to 350 F. Lightly coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.
In a large, nonstick frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the chicken and saute, turning occasionally until golden brown, about 10 to 12 minutes. Set aside to cool. When cool to the touch, cut the chicken breasts into cubes. Set aside. (My aside – I put it in the food processer and shredded it instead of cubing it and then just mixed the cooled, shredded chicken in with the other stuff).
In a small bowl, combine the spinach, ricotta cheese, garlic, parsley, Parmesan cheese and 1 of the egg whites. Mix until well blended. Set aside.
In another bowl, using a wire whisk or fork beat the remaining egg white lightly.
Cut the bread dough into 6 equal-sized pieces. On a floured surface, press each piece into a circle. Using a rolling pin, roll each dough piece into ovals 8 inches long and 6 inches wide. Brush the edges of the dough ovals with the lightly beaten egg white.
Place 1/6 of the chicken cubes in the center of each oval. Add 1/6 of the spinach mixture to each. Fold the dough over the filling, pressing the edges together. Crimp with a fork and place on the prepared baking sheet. Bake until browned and crispy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Serve immediately.