I can't cook, but I sure can Nuke!

DiGiorno 200 Calorie Portions Cheese & Tomato (Pizza) $3.19

DiGiorno 200 Calorie Portions Cheese & Tomato (Pizza)

  • Taste
  • Nutrition
  • Honesty in Advertising
  • Green Packaging
  • Value

So it doesn’t actually call itself pizza, even though it obviously is. But then again, maybe it’s not – it’s a lot better than your usual pizza!

I’m not big on frozen pizza, in the oven or the microwave. In fact, if it weren’t for my kids, I’d probably never buy fresh pizza either. I know, that’s practically un-American! Oh sure, I love how it tastes, I just hate all the fat & calories. So I was intrigued by a “200 Calorie Portion” version of pizza. It wasn’t until I got home that I realized that A) it doesn’t actually call itself pizza anywhere on the box, and B) a “portion” is one piece – but there are two in the box (individually wrapped, naturally…). So I will simply refer to it as the “half box cheese-crust product.” Marketing magic at work. 🙂

Okay, enough about my minor gripes – the good news is that this stuff tastes great! (So good that I had a double portion, heh-heh) I really liked that there were actual chunks of tomatoes in the sauce, and the crust came out just nicely toasted rather than chewy or rock-hard (normally I prefer a soft crust, but I was following directions). There was just enough sauce and cheese to feel like I was neither cheated nor was it slopping all over the place. Yes, some melted onto the plate (so be sure to put a plate underneath), but only a very small amount.

As you might expect, nutrition is mixed. It’s too high in saturated fat (20%DV per piece, 40%DV per box), there are 400 calories if you eat both pieces, salt is a bit high (18%DV/36%DV), and there is only minimal fiber. But it has a few vitamins, and the ingredients are relatively benign. There is a small amount of L-Glutamic Acid (aka Umami, a component of MSG that is referred to as the “Fifth Taste”), and someone will have to explain to me what “Konjac Gum” is and why it’s in my pizza. But overall not terrible ingredients.

Preparation is somewhat unusual, but it works. Rather than placing the “product” in the middle of the microwave, we’re told to place it on the edge. Sure enough, that’s the right thing to do because of its long shape. Otherwise the middle wouldn’t cook and the outside would burn, so this was good advice. It also recommends placing it on a paper plate, which is wise because A) the little silver crisper underneath is too small to catch the melting cheese, and B) that same crisper gets hot! But that adds to the waste, esp. if you use a paper plate, so I knocked the “Green” rating a bit.

If you’re going to eat some “cheese crusted product,” I would certainly recommend this one. Just keep in mind that while it’s probably better for you than most frozen pizzas, that doesn’t mean it’s better for you than it could be.

Calories per serving/package: 200/400 (Caloric Density: 2.20 – yikes!)


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