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Spinach Basil “Cheese” Calzone (raw, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free)

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Raw Spinach Basil "Cheese" Calzone RecipeThis may not be your typical pizza calzone but it is equally delicious.  Calzones are basically folded pizzas, made from the same dough and stuffed with the same ingredients as pizza,  folded over like an omelette.  I have the same general concept, but instead of a pizza filling, I took a sunflower seed based “cheese” and loaded it full of nutrient rich greens like spinach and basil.

For my husband, there are everyday “givens” that take place in the Nouveau Raw test kitchen (my kitchen)… first of all, any time he walks through the kitchen, I am constantly shoving a spoon in his mouth so he can taste test the latest creation.  I go through a ton of spoons on any given day. :)  Then there is the act of checking the dehydrator… I always call Bob into the pantry to come see what I am dehydrating.

Today was no different, Bob was getting ready to head outside to work on a project when I asked him to quickly come see what I had in the dehydrator. As soon as we hit the entrance to the panty… the rich aromas were already luring us in.  I popped off the front of the machine and pulled a tray out.  Spinach Basil “Cheese” Calzones!

Without thought he reached in to grab one but quickly withdrew his hand. “Oh!, you need pictures first, right?” I laughed at both his excitement of wanting one and then his thoughtfulness of knowing my routine.   How could I possibly deny the man.  “Go ahead sweetie, you can try it.”  He tour off the corner of one. “OMG, that is sooo good! Can I have more?”  I granted him another bite… then another and another and another.  Before I knew it, we polished off TWO of them as we stood almost eye-level to the machine.  I told him we had to stop otherwise I wouldn’t have any to take pictures of.  hehe

I have been creating a lot more recipes that are nut-free and this is one of them.  The bread almost has a buttery hint which melds beautifully with the rich flavors of the “cheese” which is fully nut-free too!  They taste great cold, at room temperature, and warm, which is my favorite.  Though I did notice that when I tried them cold, the flavors were a tad stronger/brighter.  To add a little punch, I created a dipping sauce that brought in some acidity…. we just loved it all. I hope you enjoy the recipe.  Let me know what you think. amie sue

Raw Healthy Spinach Basil "Cheese" Calzone Ingredients:

Bread dough: yields 6 pockets

  • 2 cups buckwheat, soak & sprout
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh organic corn
  • 3/4 cup cold pressed olive oil
  • 1/2 cup flax seeds, soaked in 1 cup water
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 1 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp thyme or 1 Tbsp fresh

Spinach & “Cheese” filling: yields 4 cups

  • 2 cups raw sunflower seeds, soak
  • 1/2 cup + 2 Tbsp water
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1 Tbsp raw chickpea miso
  • 1 Tbsp raw coconut vinegar
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
  • 3 small cloves garlic
  • 1/2 tsp Himalayan pink salt
  • 8 cups baby spinach
  • 1/2 cup fresh basil

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto: optional for dipping

  • 2 cups diced, fresh tomatoes
  • 1 cup sun-dried tomatoes
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp cold-pressed olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp raw coconut vinegar
  • 2 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp raw agave nectar
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • 10 large basil leaves

Preparation:

Bread dough:

  1. This amount of dough yields 10 (1/2 cup) 6 1/2″ circular breads.
  2. The night before I soaked the buckwheat, flax seeds and corn in three separate bowls.  Soaking the corns helps to soften the kernels.
    • You can take the buckwheat to the next nutritional level by sprouting it before continuing with the recipe.  This will take an extra day or two.
    • When you are ready to use the buckwheat, drain and rinse the tarnation of out of them.  It will take about 5 minutes.  Make sure that the water runs clear and you don’t detect any mucilage dripping from the mesh strainer.
    • Strain the corn.
  3. In a food processor, fitted with the “S” blade, combine the buckwheat, corn, oil, flax, garlic, salt, cumin, rosemary and thyme. Process until it reaches a dough-like consistency.
  4. On non-stick sheets that come with the dehydrator, spread 1/2 cup of batter into a 6 1/2″ circle.
  5. If you struggle with making perfect circles or question how big 6 1/2″ is… create a template.
    • Using a black sharpie pen, I took the ring from my Springform pan and traced it onto a piece of paper.  You want to use a marker of some sorts so you can see it through the non-stick sheet.
    • Slide the paper under the non-stick sheet and use this as a template.  Move the sheet to all 4 corners as you make the wraps. Remove the paper when done and save for your next creation!
  6. Option: sprinkle extra Italian seasoning on the surface of the wrap before drying.
  7. Dehydrate at 145 for 1 hour, then reduce the temp to 115 degrees (F) for a few hours, long enough to where they are done enough to turn over onto the mesh sheet and peel off the non-stick sheet.  Continue to dry for another 3-4+ hours. Keep an eye on them and test their flexibility.  They shouldn’t be tacky when touched and should remain flexible.
  8. Any leftover wraps should be wrapped individually, slid into a ziplock bag, and stored in the fridge for 5-7 days.

Raw Healthy Spinach Basil "Cheese" Calzone with Fresh Greens Spinach & “Cheese”:

  1. After soaking the sunflower seeds, drain and discard the soak water.  Place the sunflower seeds in a high-powered blender.
    • Soaking the sunflower seeds not only soften them for blending but also reduces the phytic acid which will make digesting them better.
    • If you already have soaked/dehydrated seeds, you don’t have to re-soak them unless you don’t have a high-powdered blender, then I would soak them once more to soften them for blending purposes.
  2. Add the water, lemon,  nutritional yeast, miso, seasoning, garlic and salt. Blend until creamy.  Place in a large-mixing bowl.
    • If you own a Vitamix, you will want to use the tamper to help push the ingredients into the blades.
    • If you don’t own a high-powered blender, you will need to stop the machine often to scrape the sides, pushing the mixture into the blades.
  3. In a food processor, fitted with a “S” blade,  process the spinach and basil in two batches, pulsing it to breakdown but not purée it.  Add to the bowl with the sunflower cheese and mix well.

Assembly:

  1. Place a flat bread in front of you. If the edges dried a bit too much, dip your finger in water and moisten the edges so they don’t crack.
  2. Place 1/4 – 1/2 cup worth of filling on half of the flat bread, taking it up to the edge.
  3. Fold the bread in half… gently!  If any sections of the bread form small crackers or tears, smooth them over with a damp finger.  Don’t worry about them needing to look perfect.  If the filling oozes out a bit it gives it that rustic yummy look.
  4. Place the flat bread on the mesh sheet and slid back into the dehydrator at 115 degrees (F) for 2-4 hours.
    • They can be eaten right away but the drying/warming process developed all the rich flavors in the pocket.
  5. Store leftovers in the fridge, wrapping individually so they don’t stick to one another.
  6. You can warm leftovers by placing them back in the dehydrator on 145 degrees (F) for about 1 hour.  The length of time depends on how crunchy you want the bread to become.  I love it when the edges are harder and full of texture.

Sun-Dried Tomato Pesto

  1. I used sun-dried tomatoes that were not soaked in oil.  If you don’t have a high-powered blender such as a Vitamix or Blendtec, I recommend re-hydrating the dried tomatoes in enough water to cover them.  Let them sit for about 15 minutes or until soft.
    • Drain the excess water from them when ready to use.
    • You can use the soak water in place of the plan water.
  2. Place the tomatoes, water, olive oil, vinegars, oregano, agave, garlic and basil leaves, blending until smooth.
    • You can hold off on the agave, taste testing to see if it is needed or desired.
  3. Store leftovers in the fridge for 2-3 days.

The Institute of Culinary Ingredients™

  • If you are new to using Nutritional Yeast, click (here).
  • What is Himalayan pink salt and does it really matter?  Click (here) to read more about it.
  • What is miso? Click (here) to learn more about it.

Culinary Explanations:

  • Why do I start the dehydrator at 145 degrees (F).  Click (here) to learn the reason behind this.
  • When working with fresh ingredients it is important to taste test as you build a recipe.  Learn why (here).
  • Don’t own a dehydrator? Learn how to use your oven (here). I do however truly believe that it is a worthwhile investment. Click (here) to learn what I use.

Raw Healthy Spinach Basil "Cheese" Calzone with Fresh Greens on a serving Pan

55 thoughts on “Spinach Basil “Cheese” Calzone (raw, vegan, gluten-free, nut-free)

  1. Andrea A says:

    More of your usual “genius”! What a great recipe! And thank you for using buckwheat in the dough instead of oats. I always have to substitute buckwheat for oats in recipes & I can never seem to get it quite right. So I’m looking forward to making this! Thanks again! :)

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank You Andrea and you are welcome. hehe I do my best to rotate ingredients when creating recipes. I am glad that I nailed one that don’t have to tweak. :) Have a glorious day and thank you for sharing. Blessings, amie sue

  2. katie webb says:

    Hi – is there a substitute for the chick pea Miso? I’ve never seen that here in the UK. Thanks

    • amie-sue says:

      Do you have any miso’s in the UK? I would think so. Most are soy based and that would be fine, just aim for organic, non-GMO. Blessings and have a great day. amie sue

      • katie webb says:

        yes, we have regular soy Miso – will use that, thanks. just making it now and the dough mix is quite wet. wonder if i should add something dry to it, like almond flour? i know its supposed to be nun-free, but I dont mind. is it bad that its a bit sloppy and not like a dough?

        • amie-sue says:

          Hello Katie,

          I am sorry that I didn’t get right to you… what did you end up doing? One day, I hope to offer a live-chat program on my site to help with immediate situations. The nut flour would help but you could have also just used more buckwheat flour or a little but more flax seeds. Speaking of flax… did you let the batter rest some for the flax to thicken up? Keep me posted. Blessings, amie sue

          • katie webb says:

            haha oh goodness i didnt mean ‘nun’ free but i see you understood my predicament! No, thats what i did wrong, i didnt let the flax seeds rest or even soak for long enough. i forgot :(
            it all dehydrated fine but had no flexibility or stability (fell apart) so i just made strange sandwiches out of them with the spinach/seed filling. they were fine and tasted yummy. thank you!

            • amie-sue says:

              Aaah, well glad that we were able to pinpoint the issue. At least the flavors were still there. hehe Give it a go again and let me know how it turns out for you. Thanks for getting back to me. Blessings amie sue ;)

  3. Andrew says:

    Good lord you are amazing in every way. Seriously.

    I don’t use olive oil. Do you have any ideas on what I could substitute for it? Im assuming it’s used as a binder of some sort? Perhaps nut butter, psyllium husks, Irish moss?

    I will make this and report back.

    • amie-sue says:

      Awe thanks Andrew, that was really sweet of you. :)

      The olive oil was added for texture, I relied on the flax for the bulk of the binding but the oil did help. Do you enjoy any other oils? Avocado oil would be a good one to use in its place, or maybe grapeseed oil. Basically, any neutral flavored oil. Irish moss is an interesting concept here, but I haven’t tested it so not sure. Does this give you any ideas? Blessings, amie sue

  4. Binny says:

    Sounds delicious! I’m allergic to corn so is there anything else I can use as a substitute?

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Binny,

      I haven’t tested anything else other than corn, so it will be an experimentation. Just keep in mind other veggies will impart a difference flavor and might require you to tweak with the texture a bit. You could try zucchini, shredded carrots (or a mix), perhaps chickpeas or another bean? Good luck, amie sue

  5. Cheryl says:

    The recipe is looks amazing! Is there a replacement for buckwheat? I have an allergy to it.
    Thanks for all your wonderful recipes Amie Sue

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Cheryl,

      I haven’t tested it with anything else other than buckwheat. My goal was to make it nut-free but you can try ground almonds or cashews. Sunflower seeds just might work as well. Let me know if you experiment with it. Blessings and have fun, amie sue

  6. Rhondy says:

    Hello Amie,

    I have not sent recent posts to let you how much I continue to appreciate you and the blessing your website has been to my family and friends. In the culinary world, you are one of a kind. I know that I speak for myself and others when I say we are impressed with your work and grateful for your gift you so generously share with us all.

    Now on to this recipe. I am up working and studying when this email came in and it was just what I needed as I was menu planning and challenged with including more portable and pre-made nutritious raw stables for college aged children who are still home based. This fit the bill. When I saw your email, I did the foodie dance, smiling from ear-to-ear and thinking Amie Sue does it again and is right on time. You have made a very busy moment for me simpler.

    I have soaked and sprouting buckwheat groats out on the counter ready to go. However, will you please answer a few questions to help me along?

    * How much buckwheat groats does two cups produce when soaked?

    * My family does not eat corn. Is there anything that I could possibly substitute?

    * And lastly I have all the ingredients available to make the recipe with the exception of the chickpea miso and the Coconut Vinegar. I have a mellow white organic miso that is made from soybeans (which I will eat fermented only) and Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. Will these two items work as replacements?

    As soon as I hear from you, I will get started and report back to you. Also, I wanted to share that I have used your buckwheat crust featured in the raw apple pocket pie as a dough base for an empanada type raw turnover. It worked beautifully! And by the way, the family enjoyed them? I plan to use your buttery cinnamon buckwheat crust as pie shell for a raw quiche. You give me confidence.

    Oh and… I must not forget to thank you again and again for the raw wrap request you responded to by creating the Bell Pepper Rainbow Wrap. I made it and shared it with several of my students. They found them quite tasty filled with mock tuna.

    Okay, I must get back to work and study. I am preparing Rosh Kodesh (celebration of the beginning of the Hebrew month) and need to get back to it, but wanted to take the time to check-in and let you know that although I have been in the shadows, I keep your site open on my computer as it is a valuable resource.

    • amie-sue says:

      Good morning Rhondy,

      What a treasure to open my comments today and find this. Thank you for taking the time to share all this with me. It means a lot! I will do the foodie dance with you. hehe Let’s see if I can answer your questions…

      Q – I have soaked and sprouting buckwheat groats out on the counter ready to go. However, will you please answer a few questions to help me along?
      How much buckwheat groats does two cups produce when soaked?

      A – 1 cup dry raw buckwheat = 2 1/3 cup sprouted (roughly)

      Q – My family does not eat corn. Is there anything that I could possibly substitute?

      A – Hmmm, I haven’t tested the following suggestion but you could try zucchini. There might be other things that you could play round with but note that it will change the end flavor and possibly the texture. You could try sprouted or cooked chickpeas, other another bean. Corn has a bit of juiciness to it so you might need to add a few Tbsp of water if the batter ends up too dry. All depends on what you try.

      Q – I have a mellow white organic miso that is made from soybeans (which I will eat fermented only) will this work as replacement?

      A – Absolutely!

      Q – I have Braggs Apple Cider Vinegar. Will this work as replacement?

      A – You bet!

      I love that you share these foods and I am sure other healthy foods with your students. You are planting seeds in each and every one of them. happy Rosh Kodesh (I am a bit early, but I wanted to be the first to wish you happiness during the celebration)

      I hope this helps. Many blessings, amie sue

    • elli mor says:

      Deer Amie-Su I have replaced the corn with sprouted Mung beans and it came out great, just needed to add a bit more water as you said…

      • amie-sue says:

        Thank you Elli for letting me/us know. This will help others who can’t eat corn. Did you use the same measurement? Have a blessed day. amie sue

  7. Claudia says:

    Oh! How wonderful to see that you are back to us feeling wonderful, full of love and new energy to treat us all with new, delicious and fascinating recipes!
    It is a shame I cannot make any of the recipes that entail having a dehydrator… Nevertheless I always read to the last word of ALL your unique recipes and wish for a day I could make them. (There is no way in heaven I could spend that amount of money in all the deliciously fresh ingredients!
    This recipe, and the picture you depicted with the r d dip on the tip of the Calzone is just mouth watering!
    I absolutely adore all your an anecdotes with Bob, and I cannot help but feel the LOVE among you both!
    Have a wonderful, beautiful and inspiring Wednesday dear Amie Sue!

    • amie-sue says:

      It was so nice to hear from you Claudia. Your message really brightened my morning. :) I have never felt such a connection with a person, as I have with my husband. I am so blessed.

      Thank you for supporting by reading my recipes. I hope one day you can make one. Have a blessed day, amie sue

  8. ellen says:

    Good Morning, is the corn fresh or dried?

    Recipe appears yummy. Look forward to making this.

    Thanks so much

  9. Nancy says:

    Wow, you are back from your walkabout fresh and invigorated I see! Welcome home. I can’t wait to try this recipe, it looks scrumptious.

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Nancy. Always good to leave but even more better to return home. :) I am still slowly integrating back into life… in fact I have a whole new approach to my daily life. One that is calmer, more peaceful and more in alignment of who I am (whom ever that may be, still working through that hehe). I hope you enjoy the recipe and keep me posted. Blessings and enjoy your weekend. ame sue

  10. Linda St Angelo says:

    Well Amie Sue,
    You are creating masterpieces again and again. This looks sooo yummmlllly. I actually think I have all the ingredients for this recipe, except for the fresh corn, which I will pick up when I am running around. I love your stories and I love this one of you and your husband standing around smelling the savory goodness coming out of your dehydrator. I can just see the two of you munching away, yet having to hold back with NOT eating the whole shebang! I just had to giggle. You are a marvelous wonder in the kitchen and we all love you for it. Recipes have never been my forte…. I guess mine is in the art room, so I enjoy your culinary genius that you generously share with the world. Thanks you again and again.

    • amie-sue says:

      Awe thank you Linda… the creations never stop in my house. hehe

      I hope you get the time to try this recipe. I would love to hear your take on it. As you could tell from the story I shared… we thoroughly enjoyed it. hehe You have no idea how many times my creations have been gobbled up before reaching my site. haha I have sat food down in front of Bob only to quickly snatch it away to grab a photo first. He is use to it, a great sport about and it causes us to laugh a lot. At least with raw food, you don’t have to worry about it getting to cold to eat. :)

      Have a blessed and peaceful weekend. amie sue

  11. Biev says:

    I’ve always thought calzones were gross, but these look delicious. Can’t wait to try them!

    • amie-sue says:

      Well Biev, I hope you give the recipe a try. Granted this recipe doesn’t taste like bread dough, pizza, traditional style calzone but it is delicious!!! Blessings, amie sue

  12. Jesse Gabriel says:

    Hallo liebe Amie-Sue.
    Wie schön das sie wieder da sind, ich freue mich und ich hoffe sehr, dass sie ihre Auszeit genossen haben!?

    Was für ein Rezept, GROßARTIG!!!
    Ich musste laut lachen als ich ihre Geschichte gelesen habe und habe die Bilder vor Augen gehabt wie Bob und Sie einfach nicht warten konnten, wie auch bei so einem super Rezept.
    Die Bilder sind wie immer wunderschön, ich liebe sie!

    Ganz viele liebe Grüße sendet ihnen Jesse Gabriel

    P.S.: Ich habe Bobs Geburtstag am 05.02.16 nicht vergessen, ich wusste ja das sie nicht am Computer waren, deshalb habe ich nicht geschrieben, also möchte ich jetzt noch schnell ganz laut rufen, Happy Birthday nachträglich zum Geburtstag dir Bob.

    • amie-sue says:

      I plugged this into Google translation and this is how it reads :)

      Dear Amie – Sue .
      How beautiful they are back , I am pleased and I hope that they have enjoyed their time out !?

      What a recipe , GREAT !!!
      I had to laugh when I read her story and had the images in mind as Bob and you just could not wait , as well as with such a super recipe aloud.
      The pictures are as always beautiful, I love them!

      All the best send them Jesse Gabriel

      P.S .: I remember Bob’s birthday on 02/05/16 , I knew that they were not at the computer , so I have not written , so I would now like to quickly call out loud , Happy Birthday later Birthday to you Bob .

      ________________________

      I always love reading your messages Jesse. You are so kind and sweet. I made sure to share a belated Happy Birthday with Bob. He smiled big and appreciated your kindness. :) I hope that you are doing well. Blessings my friend, amie sue

  13. Lisa says:

    I love your recipes. This bread dough makes a nice raw pizza crust. I topped it with cashew cheese and spinach.

    • amie-sue says:

      Thank you Lisa,

      Yes, I can see where it would make a great pizza crust. Thanks for sharing and enjoy! amie sue :)

  14. Rose says:

    Hi Amie Sue,
    I am looking for a hot dog bun recipe. Would this work if I wrapped the hot dog inside and warmed it all in dehydrator?
    My friend has developed a wonderful carrot hot dog recipe. I need the bun to make it work. Let me know which recipe you would recommend.

    Love your site. Blessings to your health, Rose

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Rose,

      It might not be strong enough to wrap into a tube shape. You can try, just watch it closely during the drying process and remove it when starts to get flexible. Otherwise, I have used many of my raw bread recipes (http://nouveauraw.com/raw-recipies/artisan-breads/) and have just shaped them in bun shapes prior to drying them. Just pick your flavor profile. I hope this helps. Blessings, amie sue

  15. Monique says:

    Hi Amy I did the Bread Dough and I wonder why Calzones is not flexible.
    Thanks

  16. Jeanie says:

    I’ve never seen coconut vinegar. What is a substitute?

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Jeanie,

      Coconut vinegar is a raw product that I love to use. You can easily substitute it with raw apple cider vinegar. Have a great evening, amie sue

  17. Kimball says:

    I love this recipe and especially the “cheese”. I have to say that I’m a huge preserved lemon fan and since it’s raw, you might want to try it in this cheese. It just gets better and better as the days go by.

    Thank you for your terrific posts – I am a big fan and I love your flavors!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Kimball.

      Thanks for sharing. How are you using preserved lemons? Can you explain a bit further? I am thankful that you are finding inspiration throughout my site. Keep in touch and have a blessed and happy day, amie sue

  18. Hester says:

    I want to make the calzone but I do not eat corn. Is there substitute for corn. I like your site greetings from Holland

    • amie-sue says:

      Good afternoon Hester,

      I haven’t tested any other ingredients, but you could try zucchini, cooked or sprouted chickpeas. Someone here in the comments said that they used sprouted mung beans and it turned out good. Keep me posted on what you try and how it worked. Blessings, amie sue

  19. Hester says:

    Do you at the zuchinni than graded and raw?

  20. Hester says:

    In your last reply you said you can try zuchinni. How do i do that.

    • amie-sue says:

      Well as I said, I haven’t tested it but you could try shredding it and placing it in a paper towel to ring out any moisture and then add it to the recipe. amie sue

  21. Nicole says:

    Hi, in the dough, can I substitute the oil for water? I’m currently avoiding all types of oils. Thanks.

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Nicole,

      I haven’t tested it but I don’t think the batter will come quite as I intended for it with just water. Maybe test by adding in an avocado instead of the oil? Keep me posted if you play around with the ingredients and good luck! amie sue

  22. Angie says:

    although this is BEAUTIFUL (and I will share), what I really came to your site to search is if you have a quinoa flour pizza or bread … do you have a pizza recipe using quinoa flour (or do you not, since it wouldn’t be fully raw, please Amie Sue???)

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Angie,

      I am sorry to let you down but I don’t have any pizza recipe with quinoa flour. And it’s not because its not fully raw, I just have dabbled much with it, but I will! Have a splendid day. amie sue

  23. Diana says:

    I was looking all over for the “template” but I don’t see it. It seems to refer to a piece of paper, so when it says “shown below”, I only see the 2 pictures with the lovely food in the cast iron pan (??). Help!!??
    Thank you!

    • amie-sue says:

      Hello Diana,

      Well fiddle sticks, I have lost the photo that I took of the template that I had created. I did share what I did already in the instructions but I can’t find the picture. I hope the instructions are enough to give you the basic idea on how to create one for yourself. If not, let me know and I will try to be more clear. :) Have a great weekend, amie sue

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