Harvest Picnic Calzone

House decorated floorboards-to-chandeliers for Halloween:  Check.

Fall Pinterest boards in heavy use:  Check

"Spooky Symphonies" Pandora station playing:  Check.

Excessive amounts of pumpkin spice flavored coffee brewed:  Check.

Flour all over the kitchen + pumpkin on my apron:  Aaaand check.

Harvest Picnic Calzones - like slices of fall I can pack up and enjoy among the fallen leaves. #fallrecipes

This is me, gearing up for another fantastic fall in Arizona.  It's THE time of year for those of us who have been waiting the last 5 months to leave our homes without fearing the wrath of the sun.  Do you think I exaggerate?  Well, yeah, maybe a little.  But it really can't be understated how nice it is when the highs finally hit the low 80s after a 100 + summer!

Suddenly, it seems like everyone in Tucson has come out of hiding.  We all want to get outdoors and see what un-air-conditioned air smells like.  Mmmm...

Calzones filled with pumpkin and seasonal veggies are just the comfort food for this season! #healthybaking

So hitting the pumpkin patch this weekend was just what I needed - which then inspired me to get back to working in the kitchen.  Goodness it was gorgeous out - but goodness were those fresh farmer's market pumpkins, peppers, and greens tasty-looking!  

Can you believe this Zucchini?! It makes me look like an ant!

Can you believe this Zucchini?! It makes me look like an ant!

As far as I've been staying away from grainy-carby-things like flour for the last several weeks of my bikini competition, now two weeks out, I still couldn't escape the fact that these awesome ingredients deserved a REALLY tasty recipe.  Not just any recipe.  Something that would be as comforting and delicious as it was transportable.  After all, us Tucsonians are so anxious to get back outdoors, we're practically leaving the front doors open.

Soaking up the sun!  Just like these here sunflowers!  Such a gorgeous October day.

Soaking up the sun!  Just like these here sunflowers!  Such a gorgeous October day.

Hence, the Harvest Picnic Calzone.  We've got to enjoy this sort of deliciousness al fresco to really appreciate it!

Harvest Picnic Calzones - like slices of fall I can pack up and enjoy among the fallen leaves. #fallrecipes

By the way, I did actually eat some of this!  I had a good chunk of the actual bready stuff (couldn't help myself, it smelled too darn good) and put some of the filling and turkey on top of a low-carb tortilla to make a thin-crust pizza, too.

It's a good thing I wasn't planning on eating a lot of it, though - the hubby ate almost the entire calzone by himself!  I had to stop him from eating the whole thing so I could take these photos the next day.  And also I was a little jealous...

Calzones to enjoy in the beautiful weather - the taste of fall is so much better al fresco! #fallrecipes

Harvest Picnic Calzone

Ingredients:

Crust:

1 cup water, 110-115 degrees F. (or as warm as your yeast needs!)
1 T. or 1 packet fast-acting yeast
1 tsp. sugar
2 T. olive oil
1 1/2 c. whole wheat flour
1 1/2 c. white flour or bread flour
1/2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. garlic powder

For the filling:

2.5 oz Edam cheese, or other mild white cheese (like plain Gouda or Fontina) shredded
5 oz red bell pepper, diced
3.5 oz (about 1/4 large) yellow onion, diced
10 g (1 small) habanero or other spicy red pepper
2-3 cloves garlic, minced
1.5 oz dark leafy greens - spinach/kale/or Swiss chard, chopped
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1/4 c. chicken stock
About 8 leaves fresh sage, finely chopped (or 1/4 tsp. dried)
1/8 tsp. salt (or more to taste)
Pinch nutmeg (slightly less than 1/8 tsp.)
Pinch black pepper (slightly less than 1/8 tsp.)
1/2 lb. ground turkey

Directions:

In a stand mixer or large bowl, combine the water, yeast, and sugar.  Allow the yeast to wake their sleepy selves up for about five minutes.  The water should become cloudy as they make short work of the sugar in the bowl.  

Add the olive oil, flour, salt and garlic powder.  With a dough hook - or large spoon - mix everything together for about 10 minutes to activate the gluten to help it rise.  If the dough is still overly sticky by the end, add a bit of flour at a time until it is elastic and soft but not terribly sticky. (Will be slightly tacky.)

Round the dough into a ball and place into a greased bowl and cover it loosely with plastic wrap or a clean towel.  Place the bowl in a warm, non-drafty, area, like the window sill or in a slightly warmed oven. (Just be careful you take this out before preheating the oven later!)
Set a timer for 30-60 minutes and allow to rise until about doubled in size.

While the dough is rising, shred the cheese and prep the veggies.  Heat a large pan over medium heat + spray with canola oil cooking spray.

Once the pan is hot, saute the diced bell pepper, onion, habanero, and garlic.  Add a bit of salt + pepper.  Cook, stirring every minute or so, for about 5 minutes, until the veggies begin to soften and become fragrant.  

Add the sage, pumpkin, chicken stock, leafy greens, and spices.  Cook just until the greens are just wilted.  Transfer the filling to a bowl.

Reheat the pan with a bit more cooking spray + add the ground turkey.  Season with more of the salt/pepper/nutmeg/sage if you like, and cook completely.  Remove from the heat when done.

Meanwhile, (after removing the dough from the oven if it was rising there) preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.

Roll out the dough into a large circle - or two medium circles - as if you were making pizzas.  Try to make it fairly thin. 

Fill half the circle with as much filling and turkey as you like - or as much as you can! - and top with cheese.  Be sure to leave room near the edges.  Fold the untopped side over the filling and roll up around the edges to make a crust.  If no holes naturally appear in the top, poke with a fork or knife to allow air to escape.

Spritz the top of the calzone with cooking spray + sprinkle with salt + garlic.

Bake about 20 minutes, until the crust is completely baked and lightly browned on top.
Cut into wedges and serve melty hot, or pack up for an easy picnic lunch!

Makes 6 large wedges.

Per wedge: 365 calories; 9 g fat (3 g saturated); 51 g carbs; 6 g fiber (for 45 net carbs); 20 g protein; (Bonus: 47% DV vitamin A; 73% DV vitamin C; 13% DV calcium; 18% DV iron!)

Calzones filled with pumpkin and seasonal veggies are just the comfort food for this season! #healthybaking