Bold Organics Pizza is gluten free, milk free and lactose free. The crust is made of brown rice flour, corn meal, yeast and potato starch. In addition to a vegan "cheese" pizza, there are a few other options, including a vegan "veggie lovers" with mushrooms, peppers and onions. Both the vegan options use Follow Your Heart brand cheese substitutes, which are made with non-GMO soy. The "meat lovers" and "deluxe" have real meat on them, but are also gluten and dairy free. Here's hoping we'll see a some vegan versions these pies soon! In the meantime, Tofurky makes a few vegan meat pies you can try.
The The Bold Organics line is carried locally at Food Lion and MOM's Organic Market. (Check their website to locate a store near you that carries them.) Last weekend, we happened to be driving by a Food Lion, so I popped in to grab a pizza. After spending a few confused minutes in the frozen pizza section, I tracked down a store employee, who in turn tracked down her manager. Turns out the Bold Organics products are located in the gluten free freezer case, which is located adjacent to the produce section.
According to the package, the pizzas are best prepared in your oven or toaster. The microwave is not recommended, so if you're in a hurry, this is not the pizza for you. You'll need time for your oven or toaster to reach 450, 20-22 minutes for cooking, an additional two minutes for broiling and then two minutes for cooling (or, in my case, photographing the pizza for the blog). I would recommend definitely doing the broiling, as it helps get the cheese nice and bubbly.
When we took the pizza out of the oven, it looked and smelled delicious! My husband and I both remarked that we couldn't believe it was vegan. He tasted it and concurred that it might fool him compared to a dairy frozen pizza. The "cheese" was melty and the sauce had a nice, spicy kick. The crust is flakier than a traditional pizza, but not unpleasantly so. It crisps up well.
I will note that I was hungry an hour after I had the pizza, so I would suggest serving it with a big salad or a heaping plate of veggies. Also, I know I've had this rant before, but let me say it again. The nutrition serving size on the nutrition panel? 1/2 a pizza. This thing is about the size of a small dinner plate - no one is eating just half of it. Figure a whole pizza will have 660 calories, 26 grams of fat, 3 grams of saturated fat, 1340 milligrams of sodium, 12 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein. You'll also get 30% of your Vitamin A, 40% of your Vitamin C, 12% of your calcium and 30% of your iron. So, while it's not an everyday food, it's definitely a better option than a traditional cheese and meat pizza, which will also wallop you with saturated fat, cholesterol and even more sodium.
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Another subject I've written about multiple times before are the finds at our local market, Grosvenor Market. This place is really a gem, especially when it comes to tracking down healthier snack alternatives. This weekend, I picked up a bag of Boom Chicka Pop. This popcorn is super simple - popcorn, sunflower oil and sea salt. Thus, it's great for vegans and our gluten free friends.
I tend to prefer hot popcorn, but this was a great vegan alternative to microwave popcorn (and I didn't feel like I had to eat the entire bag at once). It had just the right amount of salty goodness while only having 90 milligrams of sodium in a 3 2/3 cup serving (that, people, is a serving size!).
If you're interested in trying Boom Chicka Pop, you can use this map to find a retailer near you, or you can order it online.