Last year at a company Christmas party potluck my beloved intern Jillian brought in this ooey gooey cheese fest hidden in layers of crunchy, doughy heaven. It was reminiscent of pizza but made me feel like I was indulging in a calzone (but not the ones from the pizza shop, I’m talking about the HUGE ones from college that were bigger than the size of my face) minus the ricotta.
There is something comforting about cheese. For the past 2 years I was completely convinced that being fully vegan (and probably being a stank b*tch about it) was the right way to go. But after some serious soul-searching and letting go of self judgment, I decided cheese is actually okay. I fully believe in the power of treats. By allowing ourselves a judgment free treat (I said “a treat” not multiple treats or a smorgasboard of treats) we are really allowing our souls to feel completely nourished. Why, you may ask? Well, simple. Our souls don’t like to be restricted. Unless you want to feel like a crazed, self judging, self loathing person, allowing yourself that small piece of chocolate, a macaron, a mani-pedi, or something that makes you feel uplifted and joyful is such a wonderful thing.
See, I don’t go overboard with my cheesy craving. I know where that got me before (20 pounds overweight, ovarian cysts, mood swings, fatigue and beyond). I even took this fabulous recipe that my former intern shared with me and made it less cheesy, more hearty and still absolutely lip smacking good. Grab your stack of napkins, this is going to be messy but delicious. I promise.
What You Need:
- 1 pound of pizza dough, divided into 4 equal dough balls (you can buy a multi-grain or gluten free version at whole foods, or you can get it from your pizza shop for about $4)
- 1/2 cup your favorite marinara sauce (more flavor than pizza sauce)
- 2 cups organic grass-fed buffala mozzarella, shredded gently by hand (full fat mozzarella works well here too)
- 1/2 cup organic parmigiano reggiano cheese, shredded
- 1/2 cup broccoli, cut into bite sized pieces
- 1 cup dark tuscan kale
- 1 tomato, chopped
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, reserved for sealing the stromboli
- Sea Salt, Black Pepper for seasoning
- Optional garnish: parsley
How You Make It:
- Preheat your oven to 475 degrees F.
- Take one of your dough balls, and roll out to a long rectangular shape (this will be similar to the process of a jelly roll), approximately 10×16.
- Gently place rolled out dough onto a large cookie sheet or baking sheet that is lined with parchment paper.
- Evenly spread a thin layer of marinara sauce on top of the dough but leaving at least 1/3 of the dough plain.
- Top the sauce with half the mozzarella. Add broccoli, kale and tomato on top of the cheese and season with sea salt and black pepper.
- Add the remaining mozzarella (if desired) or opt to use some of the parmigiano cheese here.
- Now, the fun part! Brush the plain part of the dough with olive oil.
- At the end where the fillings are, fold the top and sides of the dough in about an inch or two and press down (this will ensure that there are no leaks). Brush with olive oil.
- Starting from the end where all the fillings are, roll lengthwise nice and tight until the plain strip of dough is on the bottom.
- Brush the entire stromboli with olive oil. Every 1-2 inches gently cut slats on the diagonal.
- Season with sea salt, black pepper or top with parmiagiano and parsley.
- Get started on the second stromboli. Grab another dough ball and get cracking!
- Bake for 10-15 minutes or just until golden and bubbly brown.
- Enjoy with a side of marinara sauce for dipping and a big green salad.
What would you put in your stromboli?
Peace, love and NO beef,