Friday, January 9, 2015

Turkey Taco Calzones


Well, after that first post of the year declaring how great it is to eat meatless 50% of the time, how about....a recipe with meat? Ha! Albeit a recipe for meat in which one pound of ground turkey stretches to serve eight. Plus, it's turkey instead of beef, so hey, props for that, right? And really, it's not that there's anything wrong with meat in moderation--as I should have mentioned in my half-vegetarian manifesto, in the world of dietetic science, meat is considered a "high biological value" protein. This is a measure of how well our bodies utilize the protein in a food for protein synthesis in our cells. Protein from animal sources gets the highest rating.

I dreamed up this meat-containing recipe as our family was on a road trip last weekend. Sitting in the car with no one asking me to play with them/check their homework/wipe their bottom gave me the chance to ponder what new and interesting dinner I might try in the coming week. I've been wanting to make calzones, and got to wondering how they would taste with a little Tex-Mex treatment. The answer, I discovered, is delicious! These came out super hearty, a little spicy, and excellent with a Mexican-style green salad. They also reheat well the next day.


As for our road trip, it took us to Payson, AZ, where we had a near-perfect snow day. The sun was shining and it was nice and warm, but snow still thickly covered the ground, providing plenty of fodder for snow ball fights, 


snow forts,


and even a king-sized snowman (which gave my husband a Parkour-style workout hauling the boulders of snow on top of each other).

My daughter sampling the snow.
We are so thankful to live in the great state of Arizona, where we can easily visit the snow (but it doesn't have to visit us).



Turkey Taco Calzones
A Love Letter to Food Original Recipe

Ingredients:

2 1-lb. packages refrigerated whole wheat pizza dough, like Trader Joe's
1/2 Tbsp. olive oil
1/2 c. chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb. ground turkey, 93% lean
2 1/2 Tbsp. taco seasoning (I always make my own, recipe here)
1 15 oz. can black beans, drained
1 1/4 c. fresh salsa (or canned, if fresh is unavailable)
8 oz. shredded cheddar or Mexican cheese blend
1/3 c. chopped green onion
Salsa and sour cream for serving

Directions:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.

2. Remove pizza dough from packaging and follow directions for rising (Trader Joe's dough rises for 30 minutes, which is just about what you need to prepare the calzone filling).

3. Prepare the filling: heat olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook onion and garlic in oil for 1 minute, then add ground turkey and cook until browned. Drain any excess liquid from pan. Add taco seasoning and stir until well combined. Add black beans and salsa, reduce heat to medium-low, and cook 5 minutes.

4. Grease 2 rimmed baking sheets with cooking spray. Spread 1 risen pound of dough in the bottom of each baking sheet. Spread turkey mixture crosswise on the lower halves of the dough. Sprinkle with cheese and green onion. Fold the empty upper half of the dough over to cover the filling. Crimp the bottom and sides together.

5. Bake in the preheated oven until the dough is brown and fully cooked, about 18 minutes. Cool 5 minutes, then cut into slices and serve with salsa and sour cream.

Serves 8.

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