Complete Score: 16 / 42 = 38%
Recently my diet has naturally featured less and less meat each week. Over the past 7-8 months my main method of transportation has been my bicycle and as such the food I eat doubles as my fuel too. With the new duel-nature of my food, I’ve naturally started eating more fruits and vegetables and less meat, partly because meat is tough to carry on the road (bruised fruit is still edible, whereas meat would hardly last an hour or two in my black backpack in the middle of summer) and partly because fruits and veggies give me better and more energy.
As my diet progressed away from meat I also noticed just how damn good everything tastes without meat overpowering everything. Now, I don’t even miss meat! So much so that I’ve been considering switching to a completely vegan diet, at least for a trial for a month. The toughest thing to give up would be pizza, so when I saw this Soy Cheese Pizza from Amy’s (makers of super-delicious frozen burritos) I had to give it a shot.
At $5.99 for a single person sized pizza, Amy’s Soy Cheeze Pizza is at least comparable in cost to a delivery pizza. It’s slightly cheaper than most small pizzas here in Boston, but remember to take into account the cost of cooking the pizza in terms of energy and time. Sure, it’s a relatively easy process but it still does cost money to cook this pizza. Still, six dollars for a meal is reasonable.
Below is the nutritional information for this pizza as reported on Amy’s Kitchen web-site. Note, the below figures are based off the box containing three servings, though realistically it’s a small enough pizza for one person to mow down in one sitting.
- 290 Calories
- 100 Calories from Fat
- 11 g Total Fat
- 1 g Saturated Fat
- 0 gTrans Fat
- 0 mg Cholesterol
- 590 mg Sodium
- 37 g Carbohydrates
- 2 g Fiber
- 3g Sugars
- 12 g Protein
- 80% Organic
- 4% Vitamin A
- 4% Vitamin C
- 2% Calcium
- 10% Iron
On its own, the soy cheeze pizza is not a great source of any nutrients, though it does have a fair amount of fiber and iron, as well as (obviously) being loaded with carbohydrates.
Score: 3 / 5
Though I was doubtful at first of soy’s ability to match real cheese, the description on the back of the box of the soy melting into a mozzarella-esque pile of delicious gooeyness had my mouth watering. Plus my recent experience with soy cream “cheese” left me optimistic about this pizza. I fired up my oven to 425 degrees, waited for it to warm up and popped the soon to be warm, crispy but gooey pile of tomato, soy and crust into the oven.
12-14 minutes later, my excitement and anticipation disappeared as my eyes fell upon a slightly burnt but not melted pile of dough, sauce and half melted half burnt soy bits. The sight left me sadder than a kid at Christmas opening a big box to find clothes.
Score: 1 / 5
While I commend Amy’s for their effort in taking the cheese out of cheese pizza, their soy based cheeze just does not compare to the real deal. The soy simply did not melt and instead either burned into a crisp or just stayed in its un-melted form. In either case it was honestly a bit nasty tasting, especially on the texture front. Having experienced the diversity of soy, I’m confident that this recipe could be tweaked to work but as is it simply does not mimic cheese. You’re much better off just making a cheese-less pizza if you’re trying to go the vegan route.
Score: 2 / 5
Well, if you stockpile a bunch of these pizzas and thus do not get pizza delivery, there would be a net positive impact on the environment. Better yet, we could make our own pizzas from scratch using local ingredients and thus reduce the polluting impact even more.
These pizzas are loaded with salt and other preservatives, which is the last thing most Americans need more of. They’re certainly not healthy but are most likely better for you than the average pizza shop. Amy’s should be commended for at least attempting to make a vegan cheese-esque pizza, though the actual implementation falls far short.
Score: 2 / 5
Somehow this soy cheese pizza ended up looking like a Barbecue chicken pizza, though unsurprisingly it did not taste like it at all.
Granted, I should have expected that the marketing on the back of the box wouldn’t match up with reality, but I at least expected the soy “cheese” to melt! Instead, the soy sort of warmed up and kinda melted in some spots and kinda burned in other spots. The texture was decidedly not gooey and instead had a plasticy feel to it as the whole layer of cheese was connected and crunchy.
Still, I was hungry and food is food. I cut up the pizza into eight slices and after a few bites realized it wasn’t as bad as it looked. The crust was actually quite good. Crispy and crunchy but also chewy enough in the right places. The sauce too was very, very good. Still, the disappointment of the cheese n bits topping overpowered the goodness of the sauce and crust.
Perhaps I’ll try this soy cheese pizza again (especially if I go through with my month of veganism experiment and fiend for pizza) but this first time was disappointing though edible.
Score: 8 / 22
Amy’s Soy Cheeze Pizza is available at Stop & Shop, Shaw’s and other supermarkets.
Complete Score: 16 / 42 = 38%