Chebe Dairy Free Calzone Delights

calzonelayers.jpg Some time ago, I discovered Chebe’s usefulness as a malleable dough that could be used as pastry dough for knish and tarts. I began to think that its application was limitless- and the best part was that it really wasn’t difficult to roll out, so could even be used for dinner on a weekday night. As I was browsing Chebe’s web site for recipes I came across a recipe for Calzones, and another recipe for Stromboli, both of which intrigued me. While Chebe isn’t my favorite dough for pizza, my complaint is not one based on taste, but rather texture. But I love the texture of it used as a pastry- so why not use it as dough for tasty Italian fillings? As I read these recipes, I realized I didn’t actually know the difference between Stromboli or Calzones. Luckily, Wikipedia was able to enlighten me. Apparently, a Calzone…

“is an Italian turnover made of pizza dough and stuffed with cheese (usually mozzarella cheese and Ricotta, but some varieties contain Parmesan, Provolone, or a locally substituted cheese), meat, vegetables, or a variety of other toppings. The dough is folded over, sealed on one edge, baked (or occasionally deep-fried), and often served with marinara sauce (a sauce based on tomatoes and basil) or bolognese sauce (a meat sauce).” (Source: Wikipedia)

calzone2.jpgartichokes.jpgIn contrast, Stromboli, while resembling Calzones, “usually contain only mozzarella cheese, while calzones contain a cheese mixture (often including ricotta) and tend to lack marinara sauce. Moreover, Stromboli is rolled to resemble a loaf, whereas a calzone is folded to resemble a semi-circle.”(Source: Wikipedia) While initially I intended to fill my calzone with mozzarella cheese, recently I’ve been thinking about cutting back on dairy, and I’ve also had several requests to experiment more with dairy free recipes here. So, I was inspired to create a ricotta type un-cheese, and make my own dairy free Italian Calzone! Little Italian grandmothers might be rolling in their graves as we speak, but you know what? I think they were pretty good! We enjoyed ours with steamed artichokes. If you haven’t experimented with Chebe as pastry yet, give it a try. And if you’re dairy free, why not try a tasty, simple tofu based un-cheese from books like The Ultimate Uncheese Cookbook by Joanne Stepaniak? And never fear, if you’re soy intolerant, she also has recipes using things like nuts and nutritional yeast. Mmmm mmm good… and vegan too.

Note: I haven’t tried this pastry with egg replacer instead of the egg, but if you try it due to egg allergies or a vegan diet, please let me know how it turns out!

Dairy Free Rico-notta Calzones
Chebe Calzone Dough:
1 pkg Chebe All Purpose Bread mix
2 large eggs
2 tbsp olive oil
5 tbsp plain soy milk
1/2 tsp Italian Seasonings
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp. garlic powder

Calzone Filling:
GF Pasta Sauce (I like Classico, but homemade is even better)
Favorite pizza toppings-
sauteed mushrooms, thinly sliced,
sliced kalamata olives
pine nuts
sauteed and drained spinach or kale etc.
Anything else you like! drained artichoke hearts? baked eggplant?

1/2 recipe Rico-notta Cheez [recipe follows]

2 tbsp Dairy free tomato or basil pesto for glazing(optional)

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Combine Calzone Dough ingredients in medium or large bowl. Knead until you have formed a malleable ball of dough. Roll out inside a gallon sized freezer ziploc bag with the sides cut open. (This makes it easier to roll out the dough, as it doesn’t stick to the bag as badly as it would stick to the rolling pin.) There should be enough dough to do this several times. If you have one, use a large dough press and lay one circular sheet of dough lightly over the press.

Spread some of the pasta sauce on one side of the circular press. Place spoonfuls of Rico-notta Cheez on top of the pasta sauce, and top with favorite pizza toppings. Don’t use too many toppings, or the calzone may become too full to seal! Using your hand, take the bare portion of the dough and gently lay it over the toppings. (This strains the dough less than folding it with the press.) Close the press to seal the edges and make it pretty! Take a sharp knife and cut the excess dough outside the crimping edges. Open press and carefully peel the calzone off, being careful not to handle the pretty, crimped edges. Place on baking sheet that has been sprayed with nonstick cooking spray. Brush with dairy free pesto OR spray with nonstick cooking spray and bake for 20 to 25 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with additional pasta sauce on the side for dipping or drizzled on the Calzone.

Rico-notta Cheez:
1 14 oz container tofu, pressed briefly (or for 30 minutes)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1 tsp dried basil
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp garlic powder
1/8 tsp onion powder

Combine ingredients in food processor until texture resembles ricotta cheese.

For an attractive Calzone tower, Gently cut the Calzone in half and fold the Calzone backwards on itself so that the open sides are on the same side. Looks like a sandwich or lasagna. See blog photo.

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7 Responses to “Chebe Dairy Free Calzone Delights”

  1. You sure do make some fine looking food!
    And, having been GF from a very early age, you sure have a lot of experience behind you. Nice blog :)

  2. Why thank you! It’s always nice to get comments and compliments. I think having been diagnosed for so long is good in some ways and difficult in others. For example, sometimes I have no idea what something is “supposed” to be like, so I just have to guess and figure out how to make it come out a way I like it. ;) But GF food has definitely come a LONG way, and the quality of the products available to us is Soooo much better than it ever was when I was a kid.


  3. Sea-
    Oh WOW!! I’m so excited to try these (and, of course, the dairy-free ricotta!!) I picked up some Chebe mix at Whole Foods while visiting California over the weekend. Now I know what I’ll use the mix for.

    I may end up living in Palo Alto for graduate school. If that becomes the case, I might have to ask you for GF grocery/restaurant tips for the bay area.

  4. That looks amazing! Unfortunately, I can’t find a retail shop anywhere near me that sells Chebe. I’m in Oakland, and the closed places the site lists are Santa Rosa and Palo Alto. Le sigh.

    And btw, what is your favorite pizza dough? I’d love to know.

  5. Hey there Ashley, Stephanie!

    Ashley- It’d be great to have you in the Bay Area! Palo Alto is nice because it’s right on the train line, making it easy to get around to San Francisco etc. It’s not too shabby for us GF folk, although not quite as lovely as Boulder, Co. *sigh*

    Stephanie- That’s too bad! Chebe will ship for free, but you have to order a case. On the other hand, you could order one or two packages from Gluten Free Mall, but they charge heavy shipping fees. Doh. My favorite pizza crust is currently Carol Fenster’s recipe, which you can access under Gluten Free Recipe Collections:
    Carol Fenster’s Savory Palate in the left bar.

    Take care!

  6. [...] Being gluten-free on the road can be difficult, unless you happen to be traveling to some area like Portland, Oregon that has unexpected numbers of health food stores and gluten free bakeries. Luckily, some time ago I came across By the Bay’s brilliant solution to the self-contained meal: gluten free chebe knishes. She took a package of chebe and used the manioc based mix to create a brilliant, pliable dough that can be used for pastries, knish, perogies, and even calzones. The possibilities are endless. My favorite thing is how easy this dough is to roll out and handle- I never thought of pastry as a “weekday meal” option before I discovered Chebe as pastry, but now I don’t hesitate to make baked samosas, spinach tartlets and even calzones as a last minute meal solution. Cool, right? As you can tell, By the Bay’s recipes have really inspired me. But you know what’s better than being inspired by ONE By the Bay recipe? Being inspired by TWO of By the Bay’s recipes at the same time! As part of her un-cooking series, By the Bay featured a recipe for Balsamic Tuna Salad. Maybe I’ve become entirely too obsessed with these chebe meal packets, because as soon as I saw this unconventional tuna salad recipe, I thought that it would undoubtedly taste great baked into a knish! So, some time ago when DH and I planned a road trip to Sacramento and intended to start our trip in the evening, I baked up a big batch of knishes to take with us. Half of the recipe was filled with By the Bay’s potato knish filling, and the other half was filled with balsamic tuna salad! It was absolutely delicious, and very satisfying. The only thing about chebe knishes is that the day after you make them, they really need to be baked in the oven for 10 minutes or so to achieve crispiness, and they’re not very good microwaved. But, since we were chomping in the car relatively soon after I baked them, they were perfect little self contained meals. But, as you know, although I occasionally indulge in seafood, my meal focus is really vegetarian. As soon as I tasted the Balsamic knish, I immediately started thinking of how I could make a vegetarian version. The recipe below is actually my second attempt. The first time I used little white beans, and I was not at all happy with the results. Although usually home baked slow cooked beans are preferable to store bought, in this case the soft mushiness and the bland sweetness of the white beans couldn’t stand up to the vigor of the balsamic sauce. I started thinking about a veggie bean salad I make sometimes, inspired by a trip to Florida, and decided that, since kidney beans hold their own in that vegetable salad recipe with raspberry vinaigrette, they just might stand up to this kind of balsamic vinaigrette. I tried it, and success!(small photo, right) I was very happy with the results, although I think DH preferred the tuna version. By the way, the main photo for this post is of my version of By the Bay’s potato knish- virtually identical to her recipe except this time I sauteed some pressed garlic with the onions, and I added some turmeric to the dough for color. I’ve also tried her potato knish recipe with portobello mushrooms added to the onion mixture.(small photo, left) It is delicious, but I think I prefer the original recipe (with garlic). [...]

  7. Great recipe, thanks. I made one with chicken, mushroom, onion and avocado (no tofu cheese). Excellent!

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