Thursday, June 9, 2011

Kale and Goat Cheese Calzones

So, we are in the middle of boxing up our entire life to get ready for our big move to Texas; the house is not the way I like it and the kids are climbing our cardboard pyramids as play structures. Since we have two weeks left I am clearing out the fridge and pantry, whittling down the amount of food we either eat, pack or give away. And in the middle of it I forgot I signed up to feed the missionaries. Um, oops. At least they called and reminded me the day of. That was helpful, but I was still humbled to have anyone see us in the process of whole house deconstruction. I also had to take a quick walk to the grocery store to pick up a few things since  the contents of my fridge are reduced. I slapped together some pizzas and a summery salad I really liked, and promise to write about later, and called it good. 

I made one of my favorites, potato and rosemary, a zucchini and mozzarella, and a classic margherita. Then Justin used some of the leftover Thanksgiving turkey we just found in the depths of the freezer (don't judge too much) to make his own meaty pizza. I wasn't tempted by the freezer aged turkey pizza since I had three delicious veg pizzas to keep me occupied. I probably even said as much. The missionaries powered through the pizza and then scanned through my large collection of cookbooks while we cleaned up dinner. After processing my pizza preferences and cookbook titles, one of the young missionaries asked in slight horror, "You're not vegetarian are you?" 

I laughed, grinned and said, "Not quite full-time." He continued to be aghast and waited for an explanation. I try not to be preachy about my beliefs, but if you really want to ask, I'll tell you. I answered lightly, " I decided to take Word of Wisdom at its word."
"Yeah, eat meat sparingly, among other things."
"Then do you a lot in the winter, it says that you know."
"No, I still don't eat a lot then, I don't think that is quite it." 
"But it says to."

Thankfully that was interrupted, but really. Really? I couldn't believe I was being told by a 20 year old, missionary or not. There may have been some lightness in his voice, but he had earnest conviction in his interpretation of the Word of Wisdom. I was humored how he fixated on that bit. Though, that isn't the first time I have heard people do that. 

I was in Sunday School last year when we covered the D&C and had the token lesson on Section 89. As the teacher read the verse, the meaty one, there were suddenly mumbles and whispers around the room about how that really wasn't applicable today because we have clean food and refrigeration. Really? Really.

I didn't raise my hand or correct anyone. I'm not the expert and don't want to call anyone out.  But when people ask I don't withhold my opinion. Here is the way I see it. Take it for what it says, don't try to reinterpret some hidden meaning or emphasis, or excuses exist in age of freezers. I don't judge what "sparingly" means to you, just don't lose the meaning or message in the words. They are what they are. I will judge what I eat and is okay to me that I can feel correct about, and you do the same for you. I say be conscious and honest with yourself. 

Oh, and fridge is also food for produce among other things. And there are vegetables, even in winter.

Here is my favorite calzone I have been meaning to share with you. Kale is available year round, delicious paired with goat cheese. The pungency of the greens with the creamy, tangy goat cheese is a great pairing.
The kale is easy to love here, even if you haven't been a fan in the past. I recommend giving it a go. 

Kale Goat Cheese Calzones

1 T. olive oil
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1 bunch kale or about 6 cups chopped
1 cup mozzarella, torn with your hands or grated
4 oz. goat cheese, crumbled
sea salt and pepper

Preheat the oven to 450*. Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add the olive oil. When hot, saute the red onion. While onion is cooking, wash kale and remove stems, chop. When onion begins to color add salt and pepper and  kale to the skillet. Cook about 5 minutes, until kale becomes more tender. Remove from heat and place kale and onion mix in a towel and wring out excess moisture. In the skillet or in a bowl mix in cheeses and adjust seasonings to taste. 
Shape dough into a large round or four small rounds. Place kale and cheese mixture on half and fold dough over and seal. Bake on a preheated stone or a baking sheet until golden brown and puffed about 20-30 minutes. 

What would you have said?


  1. I think you made this for our family after I had Savannah...loved it!! I think I will add this recipe to my recipe ziplist. Funny about the missionary--I would have done just what you did. If someone asks your opinion, by all means give it ;) Maybe he'll think more on it and it will be for his benefit. It is difficult to change how we eat and I am not as good at it as you are, but every bit helps!

    It sounds like our families are in the same house deconstruction! I hope it's going well. We will miss you!!

  2. Hey now, the best person I know is vegetarian.

    However, if you're going to tug at certain words or phrases, you have to be willing to accept criticism for ignoring other words or phrases. After all, I don't think you adhere to "wheat is for man, oats for the horse" admonition.

    I would have said, "hey now, the best person I know is vegetarian."
    oh wait I already did


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