Help me imagine something. Let us imagine it together so well it becomes real. Imagine gluten free pizza. Not difficult right? There are plenty. Now imagine gluten free vegan pizza. Ooh, we lost a lot right there but we are okay. Such pizzas exist. So far so good. Time to increase the challenge.
Imagine a pizza where a “serving” is actually the entire pizza rather than an entirely make believe slice or two. Imagine an ENTIRE gluten free vegan pizza with just over 400 calories. Come on, focus! Imagine an entire pizza you can eat and still have room for a tub of Booja Booja gluten free vegan ice cream for dessert?!
Still with me? Imagine that the pizza has a cauliflower base so kinda sorta counts as a vegetable serving. Imagine that there are shops in which you can buy this fantasy pizza ready made and you only need pop it in the oven and can eat it minutes later.
Oh wow. We have done it! Thanks to the power of our imaginations and the creative folks at No Dough Pizza Co everything we imagine is actually true. We can have nice things!
What is the No Dough Pizza Co?
I am loving the name. No Dough Pizza Co are a small UK based company that have invented and launched a range of four Cauliflower base Pizzas, all gluten free, one vegan.
The range of four includes a Ham & Mushroom and a Pepperoni & Mozzarella. Then there is a regular Margherita and a Vegan Margherita, hurrah! This is a sensible and clever move by No Dough. If you are going to make pizzas that appeal to free from eaters it makes great sense to have a pizza that is gluten free, dairy free and vegan. Bravo! They are all sold fresh at a cost of £4 with a best before of around five days and marked as not suitable for home freezing.
So far to find one you have to pick your favorite hunting spear and track them down them down inside bigger, slower moving, Asda, Coop and Sainsbury stores.
I can feel another imagination exercise becoming necessary in order to have Ocado join that list of stockists. I am a 21st century hunter. Food needs to come to me! Literally to my door. I am okay to manage it from my door to my kitchen. Note to Ocado. When I you add these and I order them do not even dare to think about substituting anything else. No, not a cauliflower head. No, not a conventional pizza. These are a genuinely new and rather special thing.
No Dough Pizza Co Taste Test!
I sampled the vegan Margherita and the regular Margherita. How were they? Surprisingly good! Not the most amazing pizza I have eaten but good enough I would eat again with relish. Both the vegan and regular pizzas share the following virtues.
- Entire pizzas are only 400 calories
- Extremely thin & crispy base
- Pleasantly crispy edges offering a nice ‘bite’
- Cutlery optional because they are easy to eat with your hands
- Relatively simple ingredients
- Mild tasting, not over salty, and ready to be enhanced with your own choice of herbs and spices
Downsides? Be warned that people report that the pizza burns easily if you bake it too long or too hot. Once out of the oven it also cools very quickly within about 5 minutes. For the best results bake it on a pizza tray or pizza stone and serve it onto a heated plate.
No Dough Pizza Co Regular Margherita
Of the range the regular Margherita has the simplest ingredients. There is nothing you might not use in a homemade pizza. No gums. No emulsifiers. No modified starches. It is also the pizza with the lowest calorie count. Actually less than 400 calories per entire pizza!
I rather like that the pizza is basic and uncomplicated. It provides a great blank slate from which you can tailor the pizza to be exactly as you like it. Anchovies? Capers? Sundried tomatoes? Anchovies? Artichoke? Peppers? Mushrooms? Anchovies? Chilli? Oregano, Rosemary, Black Pepper? Go for it, make it great! By providing the ready made base and basic topping No Dough have cut out all the harder work and you can just apply the finishing touches. Do not forget the Anchovies.
Now to damn with faint praise. The low fat mozzarella cheese used is no better than passable on this pizza. It is surely one of the enablers to that miraculous calorie count. Trade off! It cannot be fairly compared to a pizza with a generous layer of rich, creamy cheese. Manage your expectations. Treat it as the snack sized meal that it is. Add extra Parmesan if you like or promise yourself dessert.
No Dough Pizza Co Vegan Margherita
I followed a vegan diet for several years and remain a flexitarean with a lot of love for vegan food. Thanks to this I *know* vegan cheese, or Gary as we are now calling it. I still buy it regularly after ceased to follow a fully vegan diet. These are my credentials for evaluating this Vegan Margherita pizza.
The vegan cheese is neither chalky nor clammy and melted reasonably well. However there is huge room for improvement. No Dough are using a soy, starch and coconut oil based vegan cheese. They should be using MozzaRisella. Seriously. There is all other vegan cheese and there is MozzaRisella. Any vegan pizza not using MozzaRisella is literally handicapping itself. Who agrees with me? White Rabbit Pizza Co. Zizzi. Ask Italian. Pizza Express. They all use MozzaRisella and so should No Dough!
Except for the vegan cheese the Vegan Margherita is identical to the regular Margherita, including the price.
No Dough Pizza Co vs Homemade
You might ask why not bake a cauliflower base pizza yourself? If you did how it would it compare to the No Dough? Yes, science! For science, and also as a thoroughly convincingly good reason to eat two pizzas I did exactly this.
For the vegan cauliflower rice base I followed this Minimalist Baker recipe. For the vegan cheese I used . . . . . yeah you got it. MozzaRisella. Not just any MozzaRisella though. I used these wonderful basil infused MozzaRisella slices. Perfect for pizza!
So, which pizza was best? Lets talk about the base, topping and cheese!
For the base I strongly preferred the No Dough. My homemade base was fairly thick, soft and spongy. It lacked a crispy edge and was less easy to eat using hands. My homemade topping was more flavoursome thanks to fresh ingredients and generous quantities of herbs but added toppings to the No Dough could easily bring it to equal standing. The cheese was a no contest. MozzaRisella was so much better melted and a goldilocks perfect marriage to the pizza that the comparison was just silly.
Love for No Dough?
An overall thumbs up from me. Are they healthy? I will give you an answer to that if you can first define healthy for me! They definitely are low calorie and lower carbohydrate. There are no highly refined carbohydrates. Ingredients are simple and blessedly free from some of the less desirable things found in pizzas from big brands.
Caveats are that £4 per pizza means that these will be a luxury item for many. I believe the price probably reflects a relatively tricky production process to get the cauliflower base working as well as it does. The vegan cheese on the vegan Margherita is a weakness and I hope No Dough upgrade it to MozzaRisella.
I will happily be buying again. I regularly cater for friends. When I began doing so I often served up popular junk food like conventional pizzas. Overt time I have migrated towards food more similar to that I would eat myself and consider healthier. The No Dough Pizzas offer a great combination of “healthier” and convenience wrapped into a popular food shaped package! Friends . . . . get ready!
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