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We Tried the New Whole Foods Red Beet Pizza Crust—Here’s What We Thought

We Tried the New Whole Foods Red Beet Pizza Crust—Here’s What We Thought

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Here’s how the market’s newest gluten-free pizza crust really tastes.

We know that cauliflower products like cauliflower pizza, cauliflower flour, and cauliflower gnocchi are having a moment—but there’s a new gluten-free (and brightly colored) crust in our midst. We’re talking about Whole Foods’ red beet pizza crust.

As soon as we caught a glimpse of this eye-popping red crust, we couldn't wait to get our hands on it. The 365 branded box retails for $5.99 and can be found in the frozen pizza section of your local Whole Foods.

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If you're considering enjoying gluten-free crusts at home in the hopes of cutting calories, cauliflower crusts at Whole Foods are just a tad healthier with 110 calories and 14g of carbohydrates for a quarter of the pie. The beet pizza has 140 calories and 17g of carbohydrates for the same serving size—but it does have more fiber and protein than its cauliflower counterpart.

In our test kitchen, we chose to make a basic margherita pizza using fresh mozzarella and a jarred tomato-based pizza sauce, then topping it off with some fresh basil. Some of our staffers noted during our taste test that the crust may have fared better with a pesto base.

But the box's instructions were very straightforward, and the pizza only took a few minutes to make. You'll just have to preheat the oven, unwrap the pizza, add your favorite healthy toppings, bake it for six to eight minutes, and you’re ready to serve.

Looking at the ingredients, we were shocked to see the crust hardly contains beets at all. In fact, beet root powder and beet juice concentrate are among the last ingredients listed of the bunch, only followed by xanthan gum. Other ingredients include potato flour, parmesan and mozzarella cheese, chickpea flour, sorghum flour, and egg whites— a bit strange considering the Whole Foods' cauliflower crust product first ingredient is actual cauliflower puree.

But even more disappointing is that it was nearly impossible to detect a strong beet flavor, and a few editors (who claim to fervently dislike beets) weren’t bothered by the flavor at all. The crust was more potato-forward than anything—another editor claimed if you were to close your eyes, it really would taste just like a potato crust.

The saving grace? The crust had a great texture, and it held up under the pressure of our toppings. It wasn’t nearly as flimsy and off texture as some of the more popular cauliflower crusts are. And the vivid red hue was certainly Instagram-friendly.

Some of our staff said they would buy it, and even prefer it over cauliflower crust should they be in the market for a gluten-free alternative. But the overwhelming response was, well, meh.


There was a time when i did not buy many items at these stores, but as i have trial-purchased more things over the years, and their product lines have improved, these stores have come to contribute substantially to my larder.Below, I am listing my favorite things from them (and some 'Never Buy Again's).I would urge you all to keep in mind that both stores GUARANTEE a refund on anything you did not like- no questions asked. so be adventurous and reach for that thing you've hesitated to try- you can always get your money back if you don't like it- for any reason. this policy is actually a very smart one for both stores, i think, as it encourages trying new things.I do return things fairly regularly, because i AM always trying new things, and i have never had a problem at either store.
please post your own favs. - anything to make our lives easier and more delicious.

Crackers and chips: stoned wheat thins / parmesanpita toasts/ cheddr pota chips and blue bag potato chips/ tr giotto crostini/ Snap Pea Crisps ( i am completely and helplessly addicted)////

Frozen: stir fry snow pea mix/ french green beans(HARICOTS VERTS- stir fry these do not blanch))/ grilled corn/Mandarin orange chicken (in a pinch)/ TAMALES- Grn chili and cheese, and Chicken /MINI BEEF TACOS/( i have detested all their other frozen mexican products- skimpy fillings and poorly flavored)/ MUSHROOM RAVS (though bj'S are better, to my great surprise)/TR JOES SPINACH PIE (not Filo Factory version)//TJ's eggplant parm in filo (good flavor but yes it is mushy)/exotic mushrooms/shiitakes/ edamame/artichoke hearts/ Tarte d'Alsace w/ gruyere and ham(what a tremendous product)/ turkey stromboli/calamari rings( good for quick protein/seafood addition to a soup or entree)////

Deli: niman bacon/corned beef/ cilantro lime noodle salad/ spinach, red chili, flour tortillas/ mexican layered dip/ North Atlantic (navy label)smoked salmon/ grated parm in navy blue bag(watch out- this can go moldy)/ aged Old amsterdam gouda w/ black rind/ drunken goat cheese/salmon caviar/pate in mini loaf- shaped crock//////

Baked Goods: all scones/ almond croissants/ triple ginger gingersnaps in tub///

Dry Goods: all nuts/ roasted sunflower seeds/thai
chili lime cashews/ dark chocolate bars- the single source ,and the larger tr joes bittersweet and extra dark ones( i use all these for baking)/coffee////

Cans and Jars: hearts of palm( neat addition to salads though some of theirs are too soft)/ thai and moroccan simmer sauces/ vodka marinara sauce/ salsa with corn and black beans/ salsa verde///black truffle oil (better than the other cheap[less than $25] ones i've tried)/ presidents choice extra virgin olive oil///

Packaged Starches: Seeds of Change 7Grain Pilaf(TREMENDOUS ), and Cilantro Quinoa/ Casbah Saffron Jasmine Rice/Casbah? Moroccan Rice w/Lentils ,and Couscous w/Lentils and Tomatoes

Chips etc: Barbara's Cheese Puffs in White Bag (the ONLY great cheese puffs i have ever found) Frontera Chipotle Lime Tortilla Chips

Frozen: Blue Moon sorbets- grapefruit campari, and peach melba/ V cornmeal pizza crusts (TREMENDOUSthe ONLY pizza crust for me just bake longer than they say)/Nature's Touch veggie patties- vegetable medley and spicy black bean/RUDOLPH'S WHOLE RYE BREAD, brown wrapper- The most toothsome hearty Rye bread i have found -for toast- not sandwiches)

Bread: Pigs Fly- Dark Rye , Harvest/ Iggy's- all theirs but especially Francese(though the holes are a real drag)////

Chocolates: Vosges Bars- esp. Red Fire Bar and the one with smoked salt//newman's own peanut butter cups/Black and Green dark chocolate bar/ Lemon Chocolates in box (by bakery)////

Cheese dept.: fresh ricotta/ red pepper and feta spread/ vermont cheese co.? lightly salted or unsalted butter in yellow paper-wrapped tube/ bruderbasel cheese- for pizza/ parmesan (their new wisconsin parm is very very good, as cheaper alternative to the exp.italian ones)/danish feta in a jar (with herbed marinade which can be used to marinade lamb or chicken or beef add red wine vinegar first)/ fresh ravioli- smoked mozzarella and red pepper, and lobster////

Dairy: Eggs/ Lifeway Raspberry Kefir///

Salad Dressings: Cindy's Chipotle ranch, Cilantro, Deeply Roasted Sesame, Greek with Feta and Olive, (Ranch , and Creamy Miso need work)// Annie's Goddess/ 365 Peanut Sauce////

Seafood: trout, skate ( both are very flavorful fresh fish that won't break the bank) charlie trotter's 2 gravlax types/ frozen minced clams/ smoked scallops/
whole foods teriyaki orange marinade next to seafood////

Deli: Risotto Cakes/ Masa Cakes/ Cilantro Fritters/
the best deli Corned Beef i have had/ Turkey/Smoked Turkey/ Sesame Noodle salad/Roasted Beets//Guacamole-not low fat////corn tortillas/ red pepper hoomus///

Soups:corn chowder(i add cooked shrimp, smoked and regular scallops,clam juice, cilantro and pesto to this)/ clam chowder(i add more clams, and corn to this)/tomato fennel soup (i add cooked wheatberries or brown and wild rice, and/or chopped ham to this)/////

Produce: peeled garlic/ mixed sprouts- for salad/ chanterelles////

Jars: arrowhead crunchy peanut butter and almond butter/maple syrup- grade B for stronger flavor)///

Spices: they are the only ones who carry my fav curry powder-Sun brand Madras-in small gold square can- TONS better than any other brand,(even from Indian food stores).

    • 2 medium red beets, tops trimmed
    • 2 medium golden beets, tops trimmed
    • 3 blood oranges
    • 1 medium navel orange (preferably Cara Cara)
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
    • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
    • 1/2 small fennel bulb, very thinly sliced crosswise on a mandoline
    • 1/4 red onion, very thinly sliced on a mandoline (about 1/3 cup)
    • Good-quality extra-virgin olive, pumpkin seed, or walnut oil (for drizzling)
    • Coarse sea salt, such as fleur de sel or Maldon sea salt
    • freshly ground black pepper
    • 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh cilantro and/or chervil leaves
    1. Preheat oven to 400°. Wash beets, leaving some water on skins. Wrap individually in foil place on a rimmed baking sheet and roast until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, about 1 hour. Let cool.
    2. Meanwhile, using a sharp knife, cut all peel and white pith from all oranges discard. Working over a medium bowl, cut between membranes of 2 blood oranges to release segments into bowl squeeze juice from membranes into bowl and discard membranes. Slice remaining blood orange and Cara Cara orange crosswise into thin rounds. Place sliced oranges in bowl with the segments. Add lemon juice and lime juice.
    3. Peel cooled beets. Slice 2 beets crosswise into thin rounds. Cut remaining 2 beets into wedges. Strain citrus juices reserve. Layer beets and oranges on plates, dividing evenly. Arrange fennel and onion over beets. Spoon reserved citrus juices over, then drizzle salad generously with oil. Season to taste with coarse sea salt and pepper. Let salad stand for 5 minutes to allow flavors to meld. Garnish salad with cilantro leaves.

    Reprinted with permission from What's for Dinner? Delicious Recipes for a Busy Life by Curtis Stone. Photographs by Quentin Bacon. Copyright © 2013 by Curtis Stone. Published by Ballantine Books, an imprint of the Random House Publishing Group, a division of Random House, Inc., New York. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher

    CURTIS STONE is the author of five cookbooks and the host of Top Chef Masters on Bravo. He is also the creator of Kitchen Solutions, a sleek line of cookware sold in retailers worldwide, and writes a monthly column for Men's Fitness. Born in Melbourne, Australia, Stone honed his skills in London at Café Royal, under legendary three-star Michelin chef Marco Pierre White, and at Mirabelle and the revered Quo Vadis. He lives in Los Angeles with his wife and son.

    We Tried the New Whole Foods Red Beet Pizza Crust—Here’s What We Thought - Recipes

    My wife's friend, Pattiben, discovered that Mom's pasta sauce comes in many varieties , but ONLY the special marinara has no onions and no garlic (nong). Which is precisely why it is so special. The sauce tastes great, rich and creamy which chunks of basil. My kids love this sauce.

    From the website:
    Mom's Special Marinara is a quietly heroic sauce that is bright and rich in its simplicity. It is a lusciously smooth sauce that has a whisper of fresh wholesome butter and cream that will caress your senses and have you reaching for another slice of crusty garlic bread to mop up the sauce. Mom's Special Marinara is the kind of sauce that you would find if you were strolling down a winding strada in Rome and happened into a small intimate café. Served on a bed of Capellini, it hugs the pasta and warms the soul.

    After freezing my hands off looking through every frozen ravioli I had given up. If there was no onions or garlic it had eggs, if it did not have eggs it had onions and garlic. Then I stumbled upon one that was perfect - no onions, no garlic, but it had squid ink - seriously. If sitting in Earth Fare with gloves on reading labels were an Olympic event, I would place. Then my wife found this at Whole Foods. The perfect storm. The picture here is NOT the variety you want, I could not find a picture of the pumpkin (and I am too lazy to go to the freezer and grab one out of our stash and put it up here).

    These are great. Individually packed. Easy to cook. The pumpkin variety is quite sweet (much like Gujarati food), but can be tempered with the proper sauce. They are also a bit thick, but a small price to pay for quick easy stuffed pasta.

    Okay nothing to do with onions or garlic. This has everything to do with eggs, and the fact that a regular Snicker's bar has eggs in it. However the ice cream bar does NOT. So a pretty good substitute. Ice cream is better than nougat anyway. Note - the Breyer's tub of Snickers ice cream DOES have eggs in it (probably because the just made the ice cream and tossed in some broken pieces of candy bar).

    Remember Jell-O. Get Jell-O brand gelatin and make some fun! That Jell-O. The problem with Jell-O is gelatin. Gelatin is made from bones of dead animals. Kosher Gelatin is also made from animal bones. So for many of us that childhood treat has been off limits (and rightfully so, who wants to eat animal bones).

    Along comes Agar Agar. Made from seaweed this colorless, odorless substance has the magic property of making liquids congeal - into jelly. You see where I am going with this. Add fruit juice, sugar, water, and food coloring (we used beet juice so no need for food coloring) and voila - Jello-O. The key is the ratio of Agar Agar to the amount of water. Too much and you have a fruit roll up bar, to little and you have a watery mess. Also agar agar will set at room temperature - no need for a refrigerator (but seriously warm Jell-O is nasty). There is also a difference between agar agar flakes and agar agar powder. The powder can be compressed so you need less (by volume) than flake. The rule of thumb is 1 tsp of powder agar agar replaces 1 tsp of gelatin and 1 Tbs of agar agar flake replaces 1 tsp of gelatin. This stuff is really handy - especially if your making panna cotta or other custards. Look around the net you can find a ton of recipes. I made basil panna cotta yesterday and there is none left today.

    I have also spent a great deal of time in the soup aisle - listening to muzak and reading labels, sometimes attaining a zen-like meditative state as I plow through cans and containers. It does feel good to hit pay dirt and thanks to Wolfgang Puck we can all partake in the joys of soup. The only two that do not have onions and garlic are the country and classic tomato soup. Be careful he also as a creamy tomato soup that has garlic (why Wolfgang? why?)

    While I do not buy it by the twelve pack (the only picture I could find), I do keep one or two at work. They are quick to heat up in the microwave (if you have a can opener - so keep your Swiss Army knife with you). They are also pretty tasty - if not a bit rich - think butter.

    Okay this one comes from a friend in Seattle. Now just to let everyone know I am not 100% sure that this counts as food. However this is an objective list and if your fancy swings in the way of hockey puck desserts, you cannot go wrong with these. They are vegetarian friendly and kosher - according to the website - which means no eggs. Now I am really curious what about what about Yodels, Devil Dogs, and Yankee Doodles - we really need to get to the bottom of this. Let us know. But seriously look out for the trans-fats.
    Update: Alak adds that Yodels, Devil Dogs, and Yankee Doodles are all off limits. However Drake's Funny Bone "which is similar to the Ring Ding but with a peanut butter filling" is good to go.
    Update: Mehul mentions that whey maybe a rennet by product. We need some more info to confirm. If this is true Ring Dings go off the list.

    This is a real find. All the credit goes to Angie Masi, who must have spent a great deal of time looking through the racks of fancy sauces and condiments at Williams and Sanoma to find Angie-friendly items. This was a birthday gift, and it has been used often. A really rich creamy pesto sauce with no garlic - again a real find.

    It is very, very difficult to find a vegetable broth that does not have onions and garlic. Yes I know I can make my own, thank you Martha Stewart. But when it is late and you need to get things going quick it is really handy to have a box of this lying around. It is a great base for Chinese or Thai soups or noodles. It is not very strong or overpowering so you may need to add to this. I usually add some kind of starch and tamari to add a bit of umami (leave a comment we can clarify).

    You would think that the place to find this is Trader Joe's, but alas you would be wrong. It seems that they have discontinued this product. Maybe Martha was right and we need to make our own. In any case we will keep this up in the off chance that it will come back around. If you find a stock alternative let us know - we are looking for one (along with ketchup, our ketchup comes from the middle east right now).

    We have well documented the difficulty in finding fresh pasta that has no eggs AND does not have onions and garlic, even frozen is difficult. In general gnocchi is a good alternative. It usually does not have any of the three. It can be a bit bland so go heavy with the sauce. I prefer the one shown here because of the following lifted from there package / marketing spiel:

    "From package to palate in minutes. Resealable bag. Eat Organic! For over 40 years, Caesars Pasta has been dedicated to serving your family frozen pasta made with only the highest quality ingredients. The Caesar family oversees every steep in the manufacturing process to ensure our items are individually quick frozen at the peak of freshness. Our Pasta products contain no artificial flavors, additives, preservatives, antibiotics, growth hormones, synthetic pesticides, fertilizers, bio-engineered foods, ionizing radiation and GMOs (genetically modified organisms)."

    Ankur points out that Sam's Club has a palatable version of Gnocchi pictured here. Again this is a good option when you are in a hurry - complements Mom's Special Marinara and La Bonta Pesto very well. Bon Appetite.

    This comes to us by way of Ankur's sister-in law who undertook great pains to make sure that these were copacetic. She actually called the buyer, in her own words, "I had called company to inquire about the covers-all-sins "spices" listed in their ingredient list and [the] buyer told me that she has never purchased onion, garlic, etc (things from the allium world that are alien to us)."

    Vegetarian Parmesan cheese can be hard to come by since we never know where the rennet came from. Some label reading and we find Vegetarian artisan cheese. My nephew calls parmesan foot odor cheese, but he still eats it by the plateful. Kids are resilient that way.

    We all love the chick pea. And if you mash it up you get hummus. Then you go to buy it at the store and it is festooned with garlic (on several containers garlic was listed twice - just for emphasis). Along comes Trader Joe and this garlic and onion free hummus. Honestly how can you not buy something that has a horse made out of a radish on it's container.

    Serious good eats. Passes the son eating test (the horseradish is not overpowering, but you will notice it). Trader Joe's has it.

    Nurse Avanee does not eat vegetables (being a vegetarian you would think this would be an issue) but she eats Skittles. She informs us that these colorful treats are now gelatin and gluten free. She warns that this will "still requires label reading because older packets are still in circulation."

    Making pizza at home is great fun, especially if you have a pizza oven in your back yard, a chord of wood lying around, and a few hours. Amitaben clues us in an a slighter faster option. She also mentions that Gino's and Tostino's frozen pizza may also have something.

    A friend clues us in to CPK and their frozen plain cheese pizza (aka mergherita). Think, crispy and no onions and no garlic. Good in a pinch. Available in grocery stores everywhere. Ingredients listed here.

    Update: Avni mentions that there maybe garlic in the sauce, however Raj says he found that it was good to go. We would check the ingredients, it maybe certain batches have different sauces. Nilpa was asking about the cheese and enzymes. As far as we can tell they cheese seems to be good. Will update as more information is available.

    Pizza sauces can be quite complicated. Amrita clued us in on this as a maybe and Hitesh confirms that this is good to go. Again spices shows up on the ingredients. I would think that this could be found easily in any super market. Update: This is now 2 to 1 in the wisdom of crowds as Rina mentions that spices include onions and garlic, "[she] confirmed this a few years ago by checking with the manufacturer." So this is on the bubble as more people weigh in, the wisdom of groups should lead us to a definitive answer.

    Got the munchies? Vimal sends us this tip from the snack food aisle. The website even has a symbol for onion free. Although some of us believe that a corn chip should consist of three ingredients (with salt being optional). This is a great product if your world view floats towards packing in the flavors in one bite.

    Looking for protein. We have one word. Tofu. Yogesh correctly points out the health benefits of this product, "[It] includes a great deal of protein per serving size, low amount of calories (only 70 per serving) and really tastes great. This is definitely a must have for all fake meat lovers!" Read about it here.

    "I have found this product in most supermarket stores in the produce section. Of course each store will have its own labeling, but you'll find it in the Kosher section or near the salad section within the produce section. "

    Yogesh also recommends the following and we are sensing a theme. Now how does it taste. Well he will admit "[in and] of itself, it doesn't taste amazing, but its decent. However, pile the condiments, and you really have a decent snack/meal. Again, since it's Tofu, it's healthy for you, has protein, and is low in calories.

    • Ener-G Egg Replacer - follow directions on box.
    • 2 tbsp cornstarch = 1 egg
    • 2 tbsp arrowroot flour = 1 egg
    • 2 tbsp potato starch = 1 egg
    • 1 heaping tbsp soy powder + 2 tbsp water = 1 egg
    • 1 tbsp soy milk powder + 1 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water = 1 egg.
    • 1 banana = 1 egg in cakes.
    • 1 tbsp milled flax seed and 3 tbsp water = 1 egg. Light, fluffy cakes!

    This is an interesting find from Ankur. He contacted the company to make sure it is palatable. "Ginger, celery and cilantro are perfect substitutes for onion/garlic. Old Bay's seasoning has 2 of these 3 spices plus bay leaves, cardamom ans mustard. Seriously, I think someone ripped off Raju Dhabawalla's secret recipe, slapped a patent on it and turned it into a multi-million dollar business. Good on salad, pasta, veggies, and of course, Tofu Pups."

    You can get it here and in grocery stores as well.

    Cheese crafted by a 100 year old farm cooperative (farmer owned since 1901). Amita points out that a few of their cheese are made from animal rennet from the website: All of our cheeses are made with a microbial/vegetable based enzymes, with the exception of Tillamook Vintage White Medium Cheddar Cheese and Tillamook Vintage White Extra Sharp Cheddar Cheese, which use a traditional rennet. Amita has found this cheese at Trader Joe's.

    Amita points out that cheese made from yogurt does not require rennet of any kind since yogurt has all the enzymes you need. "it also 'works' just like regular cheese (flavor and melt-ability were rated very highly in our home). Another 'plus' for those of us who are lactose-intolerant is that Yogurt Cheese also has NO LACTOSE. We buy the white-colored Yogurt cheese brick from our local coop" Also known to make a mean grill cheese. Hit up your coops or Trader Joe's.

    Many of us have known that the decorative edible silver and gold foil put on many Indian sweets have animal products associated with them. Amit points out that this manufacturer is making vegetarian varakh. He has not been able to find any store where this is sold. His local Indian store does not carry any varakh of any kind. Anyone have any ideas on how to get our hands on this?

    Someone sends us this picture and we know for sure that this is nong (no onion no garlic). This has improved over time. If you really want ketchup and do not want to muck with federal regulations and dreaded spices, this is your best bet. Not all Mandirs carry it, so you have to look. Minal mentions that "Shayona ketchup is getting better. They hand make everything so its harder to get the consistency just right." She also mentions that her dad had hit the phone lines and could not find anyone save this brand that was nong. Hitesh also mentions that "it is getting there. Definitely better than before, but still not quite as good as the store brands. Still, way better than what we used to use - Maagi tomato sauce."

    Nisha tuned us into the fact that the Wish-bone Salad Spritzers Balsamic Breeze Vinaigrette Dressing we had listed earlier had onion juice / garlic juice. (After her husband already bought a bottle - sorry!)

    We did a little digging and we found that we may have lost something in translation, since this salad dressing (the regular balsamic vinaigrette) is nong friendly.

    1. Salad Spritzer bad
    2. Balsamic Vainaigrette good
    3. We owe Nisha a bottle of salad dressing

    Chirag reminds us that this stand by is rennet free. Hit up your Indian stores.

    Deepa mentions that when her friends from the east coast pay her a visit a great deal of time is spent going to Safeway to stock up on this dressing. While she says "it's pretty good, Amit swears by it." I cannot find a picture and it would seem to be available only where you can find a Safeway.

    Update: Prerna mentions that the cheese has rennet. Kaushal saw this as well and said it was plant based. If anyone contacts the manufacturer we may find a more definitive answer. If you do, let us know.

    More dessert. Nishant mentions that he called and found that this is good to go.

    The tomato (as well as the potato) was originally from South America. So what did people in the East do before contact with the America's in regards to ketchup. I am sure they used mangoes. And really it is only fitting that Chef Allen take this ingredient and sell it back to the West. Verified nong via email. Another combatant in the condiment wars. Let us know what you think of this one, we have not tried it. We also have no idea where to get this from other than the Internet.

    Nila also mentions that we can eat ALL many varieties of Cabot brand cheese. It is from Vermont and owned by diary farmers since 1919.

    Nila also mentions that we any American produced Kraft cheese product (except for Kraft Domestic Swiss Cheese) may contain animal rennet. See more information here.

    Lots of Updates: Priya informs us that the Cheddar is off limits. However Nilpa has found that the Sharp, Seriously Sharp, and Low Fat Cheddar cheese is fine. In fact "if you look at the pack it even labels in caps NO ANIMAL RENNET. Also Cabot blocks are available at Walmart as well." So it seems that Cheddar is back on the menu as long as you choose your variety correctly. (After reading this does anyone else wonder how sharp seriously sharp can be?)

    Krsna mentions that "Wheat Thins used to be my favorite thing to munch on until I read ONION POWDER in 2007. This year, I happened to pick up a box and there is no onion powder anymore. It's on the Wheat Thins boxed with a new packaging. Be sure to read the food label to double check."

    When our only cheese ravioli went off the list it was a sad day. But thanks to Tapan (and Andrea) we have a new option. Tapan mentions that "Andrea makes a light version of ravioli readily available in all of the supermarkets here [locally]. Its great for a quick easy meal or if you bread them up and fry them, they make great toasted raviolis to go with mom's marinara sauce. I checked with the company and they are rennet free and nong friendly."

    It is imported from France and made with double cream and has no animal rennet - really is there any reason not run out and get this? Any recipe that requires brie - this is your best bet. It usually does not last long since all it takes is a few grapes and some saltines and most people make quick work of this. The box announces that this is a Whole Foods exclusive - so you know where to go.

    While we're still unsure about Taco Bell's sauce, here's one alternative submitted Sneha - who let's us know that "the taste is extremely spicy - which is something we often have to give up when we cut out onion & garlic."
    With just jalapenos, vinegar, and salt, it's enough to add that caliente sensation.

    Urvi sends us this link and shares the following thought: "I am sharing a prenatal vitamin for pregnant and nursing mothers. It is sooo important and most of the vitamins out there contain gelatin. With this satsangi moms will not have to compromise the health of their future babies.
    Thanks Urvi - we are sure the entire shishu mandal appreciates this (or will some day, maybe).

    Okay so this was on the list, then it went off the list, and now it looks like it is on the list. As best we can figure it seems that is should be on the list. Tushar received the following email no April 2, 2012.

    Dairy-Free Pizza

    What comes to mind when you hear the word pizza? Regional arguments aside, most would imagine a slightly speckled, golden brown crust laddled with seasoned pizza sauce and bubbling with stretchy, melty mozzarella cheese. Now, picture a dairy-free pizza. Can you even call it pizza without that mouthwatering crown of dairy cheese? At The Pizza Plant, we don’t believe you should be forced to choose between dairy-free and delicious pizza. You should be able to enjoy that Insta-worthy cheese pull and adhere to your dairy-free diet. Because pizza isn’t pizza without cheese.

    Why Dairy-Free Pizza?

    Why Dairy-Free Pizza?

    If you weren’t already aware, dairy-free is trending, and we know it’s not going away (calling all lactose-intolerant humans, it’s time to rejoice!). Beyond those who simply can’t digest dairy, there are people to choose to avoid it for health reasons, and others are just looking for a vegan option. Hey, why not be kinder to your body and to the cows? Regardless of the reason to go dairy-free, we’re all searching for something to delight our taste buds—something that reminds us of our favorite slice instead of deprivation. To achieve this, we knew we couldn’t just remove the cheese and offer frozen pizza dough with marinara and veggies. That would just be a sad pizza. We needed to create dairy-free cheese. That was a non-negotiable.

    Is Dairy-Free Cheese Actually Good?

    Is Dairy-Free Cheese Actually Good?

    Honestly speaking, no, not all dairy-free cheese is good. We’ve tried other dairy-free pizza brands and an assortment of cheeseless frozen pizzas, but none left us truly satisfied. Truth be told, one made us cry (not happy tears). Our The Pizza Plant chef took on the challenge to create a cheese that was gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan while retaining the taste and texture profiles of the dairy-based cheese so many crave.

    It took a lot of trial and error, countless taste tests, and endless hours in the kitchen to develop and refine our perfect dairy-free recipes. However, we can confidently say that we are thrilled with the result. The dairy-free cheeses that top our The Pizza Plant frozen pizzas are spot-on—and, speaking from experience—highly cravable. Even after all those taste tests, we’re still not sick of pizza. Though we do wonder … how many days a week is it acceptable to eat pizza? If it’s less than seven, we may have overdone it.

    What About Dairy-Free Crust?

    Cheese is just one element of pizza. The perhaps more polarizing yet necessary element of pizza is the crust. Remember, it’s the style of crust that has posited New Yorkers and Chicagoans against each other. The deep dish versus tavern-style versus foldable thin crust war is real. Fortunately, no matter what style of crust you prefer, the vast majority of pizza dough is naturally dairy-free.

    What About Dairy-Free Crust?

    Here’s the secret: pizza crust really isn’t that complicated. It’s simply prepared with warm water, yeast, flour, olive oil, and salt. Our crust is made pan-style, offering a sturdy carbohydrate canvas that stands up to the freezer but becomes pillowy and slightly chewy when reheated. It’s the closest to homemade pizza dough you’ll get without actually making it yourself!

    Are Dairy-Free and Vegan Pizza the Same?

    Are Dairy-Free and Vegan Pizza the Same?

    In regards to our The Pizza Plant pizzas, yes. All of our frozen pizzas are dairy-free and vegan. However, some frozen pizza brands may use lactose-free cheese (which is still made from cow’s milk) or include other animal-based ingredients in their toppings or crust. When you purchase a The Pizza Plant frozen pizza, you can rest assured it's vegan. All of our tasty cheeses and savory meats are made entirely from plants. They just taste like the real-deal, or, dare we say, even better? You’ll have to try it to find out.

    Meet the Pizzas

    Meet the Pizzas

    Half the fun of ordering pizza is the incredible variety it offers (there’s always one person in every crowd with that strange pizza order—you know who you are). While many frozen pizza brands offer just one dairy-free or vegan option, we wanted to provide the same range of choice you might have if you were ordering pizza for delivery. The Pizza Plant line includes four distinct dairy-free frozen pizza recipes to cater to whatever you’re in the mood for, be that a veggie-loaded pie or something meatier. Remember, dairy-free pizza is about choice, not restriction!

    For the veggie-lovers:

    For the veggie-lovers:

    Meet our Veggie Pals pizza. This pizza features our signature The Pizza Plant artisan pan-style, golden-brown crust topped with briny kalamata olives, sliced bell peppers, sharp red onion, and bright marinara dotted with our homemade cashew-based mozzarella. It’s fantastic on its own, but even more wonderful when finished with a slug of olive oil and fresh basil.

    For the meat-and-cheese crowd:

    For the meat-and-cheese crowd:

    Our Salsiccia Italia pizza showcases the best of the basics. It’s loaded with our homemade wheat-based sausage crumble infused with Italian seasoning, scratch-made marinara sauce, and creamy cashew mozzarella cheese. Sometimes, sausage, cheese, and sauce are all you need.

    For the pepperoni purists:

    For the pepperoni purists:

    Say hello to our Everything But the Hog. Our vegan pepperoni is made with ancho chile-spiced tofu that replicates this classic meaty topper in both taste and texture. Just be warned—it has a kick! Beyond its generous pepperoni slices, this dairy-free pizza comes equipped with our signature pan-style artisan crust and melty cashew mozzarella cheese. Pro tip: non-dairy ranch makes an excellent dip to cool down this hot pizza.

    For those who like it simple:

    For those who like it simple:

    Our Not Your Grandma’s pizza is The Pizza Plant take on the traditional marinara pie. We make it simply with our artisan pan-style crust and housemade marinara sauce swirled with creamy cashew mozzarella. Like the Veggie Pals pizza, it’s delightful served on its own or paired with fresh basil and a drizzle of quality olive oil. Some vegan vino enhances this pizza as well!

    Where to Find The Pizza Plant Pizzas

    We thought long and hard about the best way to get our dairy-free pizzas to the people, and after a short stint of opening a brick-and-mortar and driving around in a bright green-hued food truck, we decided the grocery store frozen aisle was the most effective method of mass pizza distribution (plus, gas prices these days, oi). We’re proud to partner with Whole Foods Market and other Los Angeles-based specialty markets that carry our pizzas in-store. Right now, you can find The Pizza Plant frozen pizzas in select Whole Foods in California, Nevada, and Arizona as well as Besties Vegan Paradise, Farm District Marketplace, New Deli Venice, and Vintage Grocers. Don’t live nearby? We’re offering nationwide delivery! Each eight-pack box includes your choice of dairy-free pizza and free shipping. We also have a variety box for those who want to try it all. The best thing about our pizza delivery (besides the pizza itself)? You don’t have to tip the UPS guy.

    For all The Pizza Plant grocery locations and to find one near you, visit our store locator page. To order nationwide shipping, visit our delivery page.

    Remember to follow us on Instagram @thepizzaplantusa for drool-worthy pizza pics, perfect pizza pairings, new store distribution, and more!

    You mention a pizza stone in your directions, I don't have one.

    First, I highly recommend getting a pizza stone if you don't have one. It really makes a huge difference when you make gluten-free pizza.

    But no worries. If you don't have one, simply use a heavy baking sheet.

    If you don't have a heavy baking sheet then you can use a cookie sheet. Let it preheat in the oven just as you would a pizza stone.

    You can do this before you make your gluten-free pizza dough.

    Our Favorite Middle-Range Pizza

    Not every editor on my team would agree, but as far as I'm concerned, Tombstone makes the best frozen pizza you can buy anywhere frozen pizza is available. The crust is both crisp and chewy—as any good pizza crust should be—the sauce is lightly spicy and not too sweet (as was the problem with many of the pies on offer in the freezer section) and the cheese is plentiful. Some tasters may say the cheese was too plentiful, but I'm of the sort who thinks you really can't have too much cheese on a cheese pizza.

    Can I use other lentils?

    Honestly, I’ve not tried this recipe with other types of lentils.

    I do know from experience that other lentils take longer to cook and may not be suitable here.

    Red lentils soften quickly when soaked in water, allowing them to be easily blended into the batter that makes this crust.

    #5 Original Tombstone 5 Cheese Pizza

    Original Tombstone is another classic in the frozen pizza section of most supermarkets. Like many in the top rankings, this pizza was divisive. Some enjoyed it — “Spices! Multiple cheeses! Yay!” — while others were not impressed. “I’m running out of new ways to say awful,” noted one fatigued taster. There was also a familiarity to this pizza, which is not surprising given its popularity in many households. “This one has a very different taste that many may not like because it’s not what they’re used to,” one taster mused. “Very distinctive… I recognize it. Different cheeses and a garlicky taste that’s satisfying. Nice and chewy, but not too much.”

    Pizza Dough FAQ

    I’ve received quite a few questions about this dough recipe over the years. In short, this dough is best made as directed and used right away!

    Can I use regular active yeast? Can I leave out the yeast altogether? I don’t recommend it. This recipe is really designed for instant/rapid rise yeast. With regular active yeast, or without yeast altogether, the crust is more crisp and cracker-like with fewer air bubbles. Basically, it’s just not as good.

    Can I omit the honey/sugar? I don’t recommend it. The sugar feeds the yeast and without it, the crust will not taste as pleasantly yeasty. The finished result won’t be as tender, and it will have fewer small air pockets.

    Can I omit the Parmesan? Yes, you can. The Parmesan is just for flavor. Or you could substitute another firm cheese in its place, such as cheddar or part-skim mozzarella.

    Can I make this dough ahead of time? Technically yes, you can refrigerate and bake it within a few days (wrap the dough balls in lightly oiled plastic wrap). However, this dough is designed to be easy and quick. It’s ready in under 15 minutes and truly tastes best when it’s baked right away.

    Can I freeze this dough? Yes, but it’s best when it’s used right away (see above). Wrap the dough balls in lightly oiled plastic wrap and placed them in freezer bags. Defrost the dough in the fridge overnight or at room temperature for a couple of hours.

    Can I grill this dough? Yes! See recipe notes. This pizza dough also turns out great when baked in an Ooni pizza oven.

    Can I use this dough to make a calzone or stuffed bread (like garbage bread)? Yes, I’ve successfully made a calzone. Before baking brush the top lightly with olive oil and cut a couple of small slits in the top to allow steam to escape. Bake for about 10 minutes at 500 degrees Fahrenheit.

    What if I don’t have a food processor? No problem! Check the recipe notes for instructions on how to make this dough by hand. I imagine you could use a KitchenAid stand mixer as an alternative to the food processor.

    How much does this dough weigh? This dough weighs a bit over 1 pound and yields two 11-inch pizzas. I’ve used this recipe successfully in recipes that calls for 1 pound of pizza dough—just remember that you’ll be making two smaller pizzas instead of one large.



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