We all have those weeks when dinner means takeout and the kids are scrounging through the laundry looking for a shirt that’s (close to) clean. When those weeks are over — that is, when you have 15 minutes to spare — it pays to do some meal planning. Because when it comes to weeknight dinners, a little planning pays off.
You can do yourself an even bigger favor if you designate a few overlapping ingredients. For example, last week I used a whole organic chicken for homemade chicken noodle soup. A few days later, I used the leftover shredded chicken in whole wheat calzones. Broccoli also did double duty. One night we ate it as a simple side dish. I cooked extra, saving what we didn’t eat for these calzones.
I love this recipe because it packs a nutritional punch, not just from the protein in the chicken and the whole grains in the dough, but from the stealth addition of chopped, cooked broccoli. If your kids are vegetable averse, they’ll probably not even notice it given the yummy cover of parmesan and pesto. The recipe makes four large calzones, but you could easily shape six or eight smaller ones and save the leftovers for lunch.
Adapted from a recipe in The Sunset Cookbook
1 recipe whole wheat pizza dough (see below)
1 1/3 cup shredded mozzarella
½ cup pesto
1 cup cooked chopped broccoli
1 cup shredded, cooked chicken
¼ cup parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste
¼ ounce active dry yeast
½ tsp sugar
2 T olive oil
2 cups whole wheat flour
½ tsp salt
Mix yeast, sugar and 1/3 cup warm water in a bowl and let sit until bubbly. Add another 1/3 cup warm water, oil, flour and salt and mix well. Knead on a floured surface for several minutes until dough is smooth, adding drops of water if necessary. Place in an oiled bowl and cover while you prepare the remaining ingredients (30 minutes is ideal, but don’t worry if it’s less).
Divide dough into four pieces. Press into 6-inch rounds. Mix remaining ingredients. Spoon onto bottom half of circle, leaving a half-inch border. Fold top half over and pinch edges together. Brush with olive oil and place on oiled cookie sheet. Bake at 450 for 20-25 minutes.