Product: Garden Lites Pizza Souffle – $3.49+
Can pizza be a vegetable? I mean…it’s normally made with tomato sauce…but tomato is a fruit. You can put vegetables on pizza (and I often do)…but it’s still…pizza right? Probably. In most cases. But thanks to Garden Lites…pizza is now a vegetable. For real.
Last year, I discovered and worked my way through the flavors of Garden Lites Souffles that were currently out on the market. Since then, more have been added and a few of those new flavors have actually been sitting in my freezer since I finally spotted them at the grocery store…MONTHS ago. Why hadn’t I pulled them out sooner? No clue. But that changed tonight. And, given the expiration dates, the first souffle to get sampled by my roomie and I was…Pizza.
Yes. Pizza Souffle. Hey, there have been stranger things in life. The “crust” isn’t a heavy dough like you would get in a normal pizza. Remember…this is a souffle. Therefore, cauliflower and brown rice make up the base, lending that crust-like flavor to the souffle itself. So…that cauliflower crust pizza that keeps turning up on Pinterest isn’t so new after all, eh? HA! Anyway, bound together with egg whites and topped off with tomato sauce and melty, gooey Mozzarella cheese and you have quite an interesting take on a souffle. And pizza for that matter.
Cooking this up is simple. Three minutes with the plastic wrap still on. Let it sit for a minute. Then remove the plastic and heat on 50% power for another minute. Enjoy. My roommate and I actually had ice cream for lunch (HAHA!), so we split this for dinner. But we both found that the smell and flavor was reminiscent of cafeteria pizza or pasta. You know…it has that lingering sweetness in the sauce that you just breathe in and it takes you back to grade school or…in the case of my roommate…some mess hall with some army thing-a-ma-jig. (Technical term!)
You know what? The flavor and taste sort of reminded me of cafeteria spaghetti too. Not saying that is a bad thing. I mean, whenever spaghetti day at school (from 1st grade through 12th grade) rolled around, you better believe that was the tray I grabbed from the lunch lady. Spaghetti was always my favorite thing to eat growing up (and still is now, although rice and corn noodles are now my noodle of choice due to the whole Celiac thing). Cafeteria food isn’t always the best tasting…but it is decent. It’s good. And that’s how I felt about this. It was like…eating a mix of my high school’s spaghetti and pizza. The sauce was very sweet, seasoned well, but sweet. More sweet than I usually like a tomato sauce. The cheese was a gooey mass on top, which I’m okay with. At least it was melty and gooey. Most packaged items don’t get to that point. Especially when nuked in the microwave. I don’t mind the cauliflower and rice base at all. It was actually a nice, crumbly texture that worked. The sauce was just…okay though. Thankfully the sauce and cheese weren’t heavy on the dish at all. In fact, there wasn’t too much of either of them. A nice balance that worked.
Let’s talk ingredients and nutrition now…
The Garden Lites Pizza Souffle is made from cauliflower, pasteruized egg whites, onion, low-fat milk, brown rice, crushed tomatoes, mozzarella cheese, red pepper, green pepper, corn starch, tomato paste, a natural spice mix (dehydrated onion, spices, corn starch, natural flavors, tomato powder, potassium chloride, autolyzed yeast extract), evaporated cane juice, canola oil, sea salt, lemon juice, garlic, basil, oregano, pepper, and a blend of locust bean gum, gaur gum, and xanthan gum. This souffle is gluten-free, soy-free, and nut-free.
As for the nutritional aspect of the Pizza Souffle…one serving, which is the entire bowl, will provide you with 200 calories and 4 grams of fat. That is AWESOME for a meal. That is awesome for pizza! That’s just awesome! It does contain 650 mg of sodium and 6 sugars. But you also do get 3 grams of fiber and a whopping 12 grams of protein. So, you won’t feel like you need to eat more on top of this little souffle dish. I mean, I filled up on ice cream and was only mildly hungry when I heated this up for my roomie and I…and I still felt full after eating just half of the dish.
It isn’t one of my favorites, but I would eat it again. Honestly. It wasn’t bad…but it wasn’t knock me off my seat delicious either. I love the healthy take on the traditional pizza and the use of cauliflower and brown rice as the base. It’s ingenious. And it works well. If anything, I only wish the sauce tasted more fresh and less fake-sweet. Aside from that…totally devourable in every way.