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Low Carb Calzones

By April 29, 2010December 3rd, 2020Weight Loss

Testimony of the Day

“Hi Maria! I’ve been putting off doing this for a while but finally decided its time to share! After 10 years of struggling with my weight due to the effects of enduring chemo for breast cancer, I was frantic to find answers. I don’t know how I stumbled upon your blog, but it has worked wonders for me. 

You can see the left photo I was very pasty, puffy, and miserable! About the same time (one year ago) that I decided to follow your plan, my husband was having extreme digestive issues, he’d had ah Pylori, was unable to sleep at night due to bile and acid problems-no matter if he ate a banana or pizza! He was about to go on a special diet to try to remedy his problems as Prevacid and every other rx was doing no good at all. The problem was, everything his “new” diet proposed, was completely opposite from what I had been reading about and was preparing to try. I asked him to do one thing for me first. That was to try this “other way” (“Maria way”) for 2 weeks to see what would happen. I told him I’d be happy to prepare his meals separately if necessary but if he would please give this a try first.

He agreed and his heartburn and indigestion went away within 3 days!!! He has never turned back!!! He dropped 30lbs quickly-he wasn’t overweight but now he looks great! It took my body a bit longer to acclimate and begin the fat burning process but I did not give up. I kept hard at it, as well as exercising faithfully.

By week 8 I began to see some changes. My clothes began to get loose, and by month 3 I had lost 20lbs. The photo on the right is me 3 months into this change. I was thrilled. I will never ever go back to that old way of eating…and I love it when you post the question about what some of the worst questions or comments we get from people-it never stops! But that will not deter me from my plan. My 16 year old daughter does not need to lose weight but she has embraced this way of eating and now I am working on my three younger children. (A little more difficult) I have breakfast and dinner down, just mastering lunches and snacks!!!” – Kari

If you want to get started on your “after” photo, click HERE. The 30-day meal plans will help you take the planning out of how to get the perfect keto ratios in your meals. 

low carb calzone



Did you ever wonder why it is easier to gain weight as compared to keeping it off? The key to this is in the fat cells where a powerful hormone is produced called leptin. Leptin signals the brain to regulate the metabolism in order to store or to burn fat.85% of people who lost weight, end up regaining weight because the “metabolic thermostat” of the body, leptin, is reset upward automatically. When people lose weight, leptin production decreases, which causes people to regain their lost weight. This protein hormone is derived from fat cells so when you lose fat, leptin levels drop. When you gain fat, leptin levels rise. Once leptin is secreted by your fat cells, it travels to the hypothalamus; which controls eating behavior. Once it’s there, leptin activates anorectic nerve cells, which decreases your appetite. At the same time, leptin stops cells from stimulating your appetite. To put it simply, when leptin levels drop, you get hungry. When they go up, you feel full. Leptin communicates directly to your brain, telling the brain how much fat is in storage. It controls appetite, energy, and metabolic rate. Leptin problems are the primary reason for food cravings, overeating, slow metabolism, food obsession, and heart disease. You’d think that having extra fat stores create more leptin, but that is where an interesting mystery comes into play. 98% of those who are significantly overweight are leptin-resistant. Most defects in leptin signaling may lead to obesity, overeating, and less energy expenditure. Leptin-resistance is similar to insulin-resistance in that it occurs after being overexposed to high levels of the hormone. At this point, the body no longer responds to the hormone. Much like high blood sugar levels result in surges in insulin, sugar metabolized in fat cells causes the fat to release surges in leptin. Over time, leptin-resistance may develop.

The best way to reduce your chances of diabetes is to avoid surges in leptin; which is the leading cause of leptin-resistance. Eating the typical American diet, full of refined sugars and other processed foods, is a guaranteed way to cause undesired surges. Focusing your diet on simple, unprocessed real foods is the best way to prevent leptin-resistance.

One food to help with leptin is protein. Protein improves leptin sensitivity, which lowers calorie intake by helping you feel full faster. Increasing your protein to at least 30 grams for breakfast and at least another 60 throughout the day. Choose quality proteins like salmon, grass-fed meat, free-range eggs, and a quality protein.

low carb calzone

I remember visiting my grandma Rosemary in Connecticut when I was 16. Just before I traveled to see her my aunt had me watch an older movie called Mystic Pizza which is one of Julia Robert’s first movie roles. Grandma took me to Mystic Connecticut just to eat at the restaurant the movie was made about. I had my first experience eating a calzone that day. It was dense and chewy but more than anything, the ambiance of the ocean was beautiful.

Has anyone watched that movie?

low carb calzone

1 1/2 cup eggplant or zucchini or cauliflower, shredded
1 egg
1 cup freshly shredded Parmesan or mozzarella (not that junk in a can!)
1/2 cup No sugar marinara (Mario Batali brand)
Favorite Toppings (Bolinski’s chicken sausage cut into slices, olives, mushrooms)
1/2 cup freshly shredded cheese (GOAT cheese anyone!?)

If using eggplant: Peel the outside off and cut up eggplant into long lasagna noodle-shaped strips. Place on a sprayed cookie sheet, sprinkle with salt and bake for 15 minutes (to get some moisture out).

Preheat oven to 450 degrees F. In a food processor, blend eggplant/zucchini/cauliflower, egg, and cheese. Grease a cookie sheet and a large circle, making sure to press the dough out evenly (don’t forget to grease the cookie sheet!). Bake for 10 minutes, or until the edges are brown. Flip the crust. Turn oven temperature to 375 degrees. On one half of the circle, top with toppings, careful to stay at least an inch from the edges. Around the edge of the crust, sprinkle a small amount of mozzarella cheese.

Fold crust over and press edges together firmly with your fingers by pressing down to the pan (the cheese will melt and hold the crust together). Bake for another 20 minutes, or until the top is sufficiently golden-brown. Serve with no sugar marinara for dipping. Makes 2 servings.

Traditional Calzone = 770 calories, 28g fat, 39g protein, 87 carbs, 3g fiber (85 effective)
“Healthified” Eggplant Calzone = 369 calories, 26g fat, 29.7g protein, 11 carbs, 4.1g fiber (6.9 effective)

“Healthified” Zucchini Calzone = 394 calories, 26 g fat, 30g protein, 10.4 carbs, 2.9g fiber (7.1 effective)
“Healthified” Cauliflower Calzone = 400 calories, 26g fat, 30g protein, 11.5 carbs, 3.9g fiber (7.6 effective)
Maria Emmerich

Maria is a wellness expert who has helped clients follow a Ketogenic lifestyle to heal and lose weight for over 20 years. She has helped thousands of clients get healthy, get off medications and heal their bodies; losing weight is just a bonus. She is the international best selling author of several books including "Keto: The Complete Guide to Success on the Ketogenic Diet.".


  • Anonymous says:

    Yummy…everyone in my family ate this and my hubby even went back for seconds. Thanks Maria.

  • Anonymous says:

    What did you use for the crust? Looks delicious!

  • Kim W says:

    I just finished this part of the book last night and I am intrigues by leptin. Going to try a re-feeding day once a week to try to keep my levels up while I’m losing weight. Thanks for all you do!

  • I used cauliflower and it tastes SOoooo good!

  • Thanks Kim! I appreciate your support!!!

  • Does it taste different with zucchini? All I have is that on hand right now and I’m wondering how appetizing green calzones might be for my family…

  • Zucchini works great! We make pizza crusts with this recipe and zucchini all the time!;)

    Happy eating!

  • Jennifer says:

    This looks amazing, Maria!

  • Thanks Jennifer!

    They taste awesome too!

  • Jennifer Scogin says:

    I think I can say with great certainty that I need to know to add cook time or cook at a higher temp for all your recipes. I ended up cooking at 500 when I noticed the crust oozing off my cookie sheet. At 10 minutes the edges were brown so I took it out. The outer edges all seemed “flipable” so I flipped. The whole center was still mush! I smooshed it back together added my cheese and just scooped it on top. We’ll see how it turns out, smells delicious! May not be pretty but I am sure the flavors will be there. It is a bit smaller than I anticipated. Next time I may need to double it to be enough for a dinner portion for 2 adults.

  • Shauna says:

    I am looking forward to the update. I have tried this twice and still haven’t gotten it to come out right. I was successful in using a greased Silpat and flipping the whole works over then peeling the Silpat off. It still didn’t fold well. It was also quite salty, though the second time I shopped for a cheese with less sodium, and I like my food salty. I have one more batch with cauliflower in the fridge. I made it last night, and I am going to pour off the liquid that has separated to see if that helps. I would really like to just throw some flour in there!

  • Mary says:

    Maria – which recipe did you use for the calzone in your video? You make it look so very easy! My husband did not like the zucchini calzone; so I was hoping to make the ones in your video. Thank you too for all the time you take to perfect all these recipes and provide the videos. You really are such a help to improving so many people’s lifestyles with healthy, tasty alternatives. I’ve shared your blog with so many over the years. Looking forward to your new cookbooks that are forthcoming as well!

  • K was wondering about the video one too-and if we do make the video version and say put sauce and cheese maybe pepperoni-do you bake it first or can you bake it with the sauce in that or not sure? Trying to make a grocery list and figure out what I’m doing lol. I think this is the same ingredients other than the water as the sub recipe for the video so that will make it easy to have more variety 🙂

  • Matvraket says:

    Hi. This blog is great. Even if we don’t have all the ingridiences here in Norway. I was wondering if these are freezable? Would be great to make it in quantity and freeze it. I will visit my brother next week and help him make som foods for his freezer. He is not a great cook and he keeps falling off the low-carb wagon.

  • Colleen says:

    Does anyone know – can you use the calzone like a noodle once it is baked? Instead of filling and folding has anyone sliced the calzone and used it as a noodle, like for lasagna?

  • Colleen says:

    Well just to let everyone know I used the calzone like a noodle as I asked about above. It worked and my daughter was thrilled because, in her words, “it tasted real!” Now I know it works! 🙂

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