We review plant-based "meat" from The Very Good Butchers When you want that plant-based meat…
It was one of those nights: errands, shopping, hungry, no plan for dinner, and there we were: at the super market. On the edge of hangry, the stack of Daiya Frozen Pizza in the freezer called to us. We are usually really budget-conscious but this was a choice between grumpiness and a shortcut to dinner. Plus, lets be honest, how cool to have several choices of vegan AND gluten-free frozen pizza at the big mass-market supermarket? We figured that we would do it for all of you :-)
Daiya Frozen Pizza in the House
First of all, at about $5 each it was easy to give them a try, so, we chose two: Fire Roasted Veggie and Supreme. An additional attraction was that the Supreme used Beyond Meat brand meatless sausage. Intriguing! Beyond Meat is up to some interesting stuff and their products are certainly causing some marketplace disruption. (We have tried some of their products and they are very good.) So, we got the pizzas home with our expectations raised and getting hungrier.
Pop ’em in the Oven
If you have ever purchased frozen pizza of any brand, you know the drill: get the oven going, open the box, take the pizza out (don’t forget to remove the plastic!), and just pop it on the rack. Like most frozen pizzas these looked, well, unassuming when they were uncooked. They often seem a little smaller and lighter on toppings than expected. The Supreme, however, had an immediately noticed enticing aroma so the situation was looking promising.
Cook ’em Quick
Frozen pizza has a tendency to get overcooked crust if you don’t pay attention. These Daiya pizzas were no different and the directions even mentioned to keep your eye on them. In addition, in our experience, gluten-free crusts can get downright crunchy even before the toppings are cooked. The directions say 10-15 minutes and our’s were done in a little less than 15 minutes. Don’t forget that these go directly on the rack in your oven.
tip: if you want to cook the toppings more, but not burn the crust (particularly with gluten-free crusts), try splitting the time between naked on the rack and on a cookie sheet.
So, How Were They?
The pizzas were done, everything smelled great, we were ready to eat – yay! First up was the Roasted Veggie: the crust was good (a little crunchy, oops!), and the taste was OK, but it just didn’t impress. In the end, it just didn’t have enough “stuff” on it. We actually added some broccoli, spinach, kale (frozen that we had on hand), a dash of oregano, and a bit of salt – it was “better”. But still a little “meh”.
On the other hand, the Supreme was quite yummy. The Beyond Meat sausage was spicy, with a nice texture, and the peppers sweet. Like the Fire-Roasted Veggie, it could have used more “stuff” but at least it tasted good. :-)
The Final Word
We are big fans of companies that are bringing alternative products for vegetarians and vegans to the market. Daiya has been doing it for years and has an impressive full product line. We enthusiastically support this. But, in the end, these frozen pizzas were a little uneven. The Fire-Roasted Vegetable underperformed and was a disappointment. C-
The Supreme was more successful with a nice range of spice and texture. B+
In the end, we wouldn’t serve them to guests that we were entertaining, but recommend the Supreme Daiya Frozen Pizza for those “shopping hungry” convenience food moments or to have on hand in the freezer for movie snacks nights.