Happy Friday! My goal for this post is to encourage you to be a foodie—outside—on this 4th of July weekend. Remember those bread baking skills you honed in March and April? I suggest putting them to use by making some veggie calzones either while camping (in a GoSun Solar Oven or steam-fried on the camp stove) or at home in a conventional oven for a picnic or outdoor adventure.
Oh, and if you’re like me, and missed out on this spring’s mass bread baking, I’ve also included an easy-to-follow dough recipe.
Outdoor Appropriate (i.e. not too messy!) Calzones
Mix any of these combos—or create your own—with olive oil and your favorite spices to fill the calzones. When cooking on the camp stove, lightly sauté or steam the vegetables first. In the GoSun Solar Oven the cook time is longer, so you can generally get away with not pre-cooking as long as you chop the vegetables really small.
Feta cheese, spinach or kale, artichokes
Cheddar cheese, broccoli (finely chopped), peas
Parmesan, green onions, shredded/grated zucchini
Swiss cheese (or any not-too-salty cheese to go with the sun dried tomatoes), sun dried tomatoes (soak them to soften them up), spinach or kale
Ricotta, fresh basil, sun dried tomatoes
Easy vegan cheese (try mixing together cashew butter, lemon juice, nutritional yeast, and garlic—taste test your way to the perfect ratio), spinach or kale, peas
Any cheese + whatever veggies you have in the cooler or fridge (carrots? cabbage? Shred or grate them, add some garlic and olive oil, and I promise it will be delicious)
Making the Calzones
Use the recipe for Easy Whole Wheat Calzone Dough (below)—or any bread or pizza dough recipe of your choice. After letting the dough rise just once, pinch off golf ball size pieces and roll them into ovals. The oval shape is important for the GoSun Solar Oven so they fit in the tray, a circle is just fine for cooking them on the camp stove or in a conventional oven.
- Spoon the filling over half of each dough oval/circle
- Stick your index finger in water and spread the water along the edge of the filling-free side of the dough
- Fold the filling-free side on top of the filling side
- Pinch the the edges closed, folding up as you go
If making the calzones gets too tedious, just make one giant calzone log.
Camp Cooking Pro Tip: pack frozen peas (8 grams of protein per serving!) in the cooler
A bag of frozen peas will help keep the cooler cold for a few days, and you can add them just about anything once they thaw—from stir fries, pasta, and grain bowls to CALZONES. As long as you plan to eat them on the first night, you can even bring peas backpacking and bikepacking. Be sure to double bag them, though, so they don’t juice on your things as they thaw. When peas (and most vegetables) thaw slowly, they tend to get a little slimy. Rinsing the thawed peas in a little water gets rid of the slime.
Camp Cooking Pro Tip: stash a bag of sun dried tomatoes (6 grams of protein per cup!) in your food bin
Sun dried tomatoes that come in bags, instead of jars, tend to be more versatile and keep longer. Add them to just about anything—especially CALZONES—for a protein boost. Soak them in hot water for 5-10 minutes or cold/room temperature water for 10-20 minutes to soften them up. If you’re sodium level is low from a long endurance adventure, try munching on a few straight out of the bag.
Be careful not to mix sun dried tomatoes with too many other salty products. I once pickled my boyfriend with a combo of olives, sun dried tomatoes, and feta. Jars of sun dried tomatoes in oil are also delicious (you can use the oil to coat the veggies for the calzones!), but I can’t condone the jars for camping as they ALWAYS leak in the cooler (and once all over my clothes).
Easy Whole Wheat Calzone (or Pizza) Dough
- 1/2 teaspoon sugar
- 1/2 tablespoon honey (or double the sugar)
- 1 tablespoon yeast
- 3/4 cup room temperature water*
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 cup white flour
- 3/4 cup whole wheat flour**
Mix the sugar, honey, olive oil, and water together. Stir in the yeast and let sit for 1-2 minutes.
Combine the flours with the salt. Slowly add the liquid mixture to the flour.
Knead the dough for 5 minutes. If it doesn’t start forming into a smooth elastic ball, add up to 1/4 cup more flour.
Let rise for 1-2 hours until it doubles in size. Pinch in to golf ball size pieces, roll into ovals, spooning filling on one side, fold the bare dough side on top of the filling, pinch closed.
*If you’re camping, water sitting in a bottle or jug will be close enough to the right temperature. If you’re collecting water from a cold spring, warm it up so that you can comfortably rest a finger in it—too hot burns the yeast, too cold makes for a longer rise time.
**100% white flour also works for this recipe. Plan on increasing the total flour to about 2 cups total.
GoSun Solar Oven Cooking Instructions
- Line the tray with parchment paper (cooking spray, olive oil, or butter work too—just prepare for a some dough to stick). The more oil, the less they will stick. The GoSun Sport only fits about 4-5 small calzones at a time, so you could have the kids eat directly out of the tray, peeling off any stuck dough in the process!
- Fill the tray with calzones, place it in the solar tube, and stick it in the sun. Check on the calzones every 20 minutes. I’ve had them cook in 20 minutes in direct sun at 11,000 feet. I’ve also cooked them on a very rainy day, and it took over 6 hours!
- When the calzones are firm to the touch on top, cut into one with a knife to make sure the dough has cooked all the way through.
Camp Stove Instructions (Steamed & Slightly Fried)
The trick to this method is low heat. The thinner you roll the dough, the quicker the calzones will cook. Add a little oil (if you’re looking for a deep fried calzone, keep adding oil) and 1-2 tablespoons of water. Place as many calzones as you can fit in the pan and cover with a lid. Hover over the calzones and flip them every 3-5 minutes.
For adventures from home, bake calzones in the oven for about 30 minutes at 375 degrees.
Wrap calzones in a beeswax cloth or pack them in plastic baggie. Eat them—all day—on trail.