In a previous post I said how awesome the Freschetta Pizza By the Slice was, and now they have discontinued it. Go figure! I sent in an inquiry to the company when I noticed it was removed from their website. I am pleasantly surprised that someone actually did get back to me with the scoop. For your entertainment here is the inquiry that I sent:
"What happened to the info about By the Slice on the website? Please don't tell me you have discontinued it!!! I loved the chicken, spinach, and mushroom slice. I loved that it was calorie controlled and portion controlled. I blogged about it on lowcalorieeating.com. If it didn't sell, then please think about promoting the calorie content to make it work. I would much rather eat a big flavorful slice than try to cut myself off after one serving of a large pizza. I would also rather have a slice of your pizza than a bland lean version that leaves me feeling deprived. Sara"
I realize the fact that I bothered to write to Freschetta about their product is an indicator that I either have way too much time on my hands or that their pizza was heavenly compared to the bland low-calorie pizzas I have been eating. I am guessing it's both.
Michelle from Freschetta was kind enough to respond back to me and inform me that my comments would be passed onto the Marketing Team. I am keeping my fingers crossed that they will come out with a new line of single portion pizzas that tout the calorie content. It seems like a no-brainer. However, in the meantime I am not going to hold my breath.
The best way to have a delicious, easy low-calorie pizza is to make it yourself. There are several different ways to go about this. For the crust I would suggest using a 100-calorie English Muffin, Pita Bread, Flat-Out Flat Bread, or a single serving frozen crust. I like to get Cascone's pizza sauce, but if you don't have it in your city you can use Pizza Quick or Contadina pizza sauce. It keeps for quite awhile in the fridge.
For the toppings I like to scour the salad bar at the grocery store for fresh toppings like spinach, tomatoes, mushrooms, peppers, onions, grilled chicken, artichokes, and olives. I like to top my pizza with Hormel Turkey Pepperoni or Original Pepperoni. Hormel Original Pepperoni is 10 calories per slice. To eliminate some of the grease I lay the pepperoni between two paper towels on a plate and nuke it in the microwave for a 15 to 20 seconds. Dab the grease out of the paper towels. Limit the pepperoni to 4 -5 slices (about 50 calories). As far as cheese I would suggest limiting yourself to 1/4 cup of 2% Mozzarella or 5-Cheese Italian Blend. It is very important to measure the cheese, because it is too easy to go overboard.
Depending on your time-frame/resources you can either microwave the pizza or bake it until the cheese is melted. I recommend baking your pizza. It always creates a crispier crust. The oven temperature depends on the type of crust you use, but a safe bet is 350 degrees. Keep an eye on it, and bake for 10 to 15 minutes until the cheese melts. If you want the cheese to turn a golden brown, then broil it on high for 1 minute at the very end. Just don't walk away from the oven. Even a matter of seconds under the broil can make a difference between golden brown and burnt.
If making your own pizza is just too much work, then the low-calorie versions from the grocer's freezer will have to suffice. That's what I had to do today. I was in a time crunch after writing my blog so I nuked a California Pizza Kitchen Small Margherita Pizza, 430 calories.
If you have a favorite frozen pizza or flat bread that's around 400 calories or less, then please post it to the comments. A client told me the Archer Farms (at Target) flat bread pizzas are quite good and low-calorie friendly. It's on my list of things to try next.
On a side note Freschetta has come out with new packaging that is more environmentally friendly, and I do applaud that. I don't know when it will hit stores. When it does I will check the calories.