Vegetarian Stromboli (tasty, healthy, fast)
You know the scene. It's a busy work night. You're tired. Everyone is hungry. You are somewhat uninspired. Here is a simple, tasty main dish you can pack with healthy veggies and the kids will gobble it down.
The very best way to do this is to make your own pizza dough, or buy one made locally. Usually bakeries make fresh pizza dough which is lovely if you can find it. You can also get several of these from your natural food or grocery store in advance and freeze them. It's also good to use whole wheat dough because it is healthier. Remember to thaw it, though, if you've had your dough in the freezer. Luckily, I received fresh and local pizza doughs from Pete's Greens during our CSA this summer and fall which made this much easier!
Next, roll out the dough like you are making a pizza, only roll it out into a large rectangle. Now here is where you can get creative. Essentially, you are placing one layer of ingredients in the middle of the dough, then rolling one third of it over that layer. Then you place another layer of ingredients, and then roll it up the rest of the way to seal.
On the first layer, I like to add a few spoonfuls of tomato sauce and spread it out. Then you can add a layer of fresh chopped spinach and cover it with sprinkle of mozzarella or provolone cheese.
In the next layer you can use a different vegetable. Steamed, chopped broccoli works well. You can also use pesto in this layer or some sort of soy or vegetarian meat substitute. I've used veggie pepperoni and grillers and they make it quite substantial and tasty.
Every time you make this, you can vary the insides based on what you have available. This keeps it interesting, and you can introduce your kids to different vegetables which are surrounded by food they love (bread and cheese).
Once you roll it up all the way, pour a little olive oil on the outside and rub it all over the Stromboli. Add some basil, pepper and salt to the outside and bake at 400 degrees for 20 minutes. Take it out when it is lightly browned and bubbly. Let it cool and slice it up. Kids love to pick up their slices and dip them into tomato sauce.
Katy Farber is an author, teacher and blogger. She writes the blog Non-Toxic Kids, which features green parenting news, environmental issue reporting, opportunities for activism, and book, music, and eco-friendly product reviews. You can find more tips for safer, greener, and healthier eating in her newest book, Eat Non-Toxic: a manual for busy parents, that was just released and is available now at Non-Toxic Kids. The ebook is 25% off this week only!