I grew up with a brother who was diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Luckily, It didn’t really change too much around the house or effect what we ate. My little brother would just have to do without bread as we all sat around and greedily enjoyed it. We did end up getting a bread machine and would crank out gluten free rice bread, which resembled a sponge with the texture of dry wall. This whole gluten free thing was pretty new, but as time went on, it seemed as if more and more people were getting diagnosed. Unknown joint paints and stomach discomforts were now subject to a wheat free diet with many doctors thinking it could be the cause. For the most part, going gluten free would just mean you couldn’t eat any bread-like products and if you did, their substitutes (much like the rice bread above) really didn’t taste that great. However, since the demand is on the rise and many people are self medicating by going gluten free, the products out there have become more refined and quite good. Trader Joe’s has quite a few of these gluten free items, and I spotted a new one in their frozen pizza section adding to their selection of anti-wheat products. Gluten Free Cheese Pizza rested among the other pies and flatbreads, and I had to take it home. Here’s how it stacked up with the rest of the wheat crust versions:
Trader Joe’s Gluten Free Pizza rings up at $4.99 which is right around the price of most of their other premium pies. You’ll notice, though, that it’s quite a bit smaller than the other guys, stating on the back that it serves 2 (maybe 2 children). I would suggest sticking to eating only half of it as it is 350 calories per serving. I decided to pair it up with some herb spring mix salad with some smoked salmon for a little bit of balance.
I checked the cooking directions, and began preheating the oven allowing the pizza to thaw for 20 minutes out in the open. In the meantime, I prepped my salad and the pizza was ready to throw in the oven. 15 minutes later my apartment was filled with aroma of a perfectly cooked pizza. I cut it into quarters and plated it up with the salad. This was actually my first go with gluten free pizza and I was kinda anxious to dig in. The crust was a rice flour crust, that was actually quite light and crispy. Every thing else was right on par. It was much like a Margherita pizza with thick slices of roma tomatoes underneath stringy mozzarella cheese. It was lightly touched with a thin layer of tomato sauce that was sweet and nicely spiced. I’d almost venture to say that I preferred this pie over some of the others, it was quite good.
So, wheat is giving your digestive system the old FORK U and you have to change your diet. Well, the amount of gluten free items has expanded exponentially and you’ll never be short on selection at TJ’s. Pop in there and ask an employee to show you around. There’s plenty more to discover as far as gluten free goes.