As a former New Yorker, I used to live on pizza. (Or, “slices”, as we said in Brooklyn.) I had a handful of go-to spots, places with thin crust that’s been tossed to perfection, savory sauce, and just enough cheese. But when I moved I largely gave up my pizza habit. It’s not as easy to come by restaurants selling slices to go, and the consistency is just different. Or so I thought.
A few days ago I stopped into one of the few local pizza chains that do offer individual slices. Most were piled with artisanal toppings—things like roasted squash and apples—but on that particular day I spied what looked like a classic slice. Fresh mozzarella, a little red sauce peeking thorough, and not much else. I ordered one, sprinkled on a few fresh pepper flakes, and was immediately transported. It tasted like home.
This past week I organized a viewing party for the Olympics. On the menu that evening: Pizza. Regular pizza nights have become a tradition in my house over the last year, ever since acquiring a pizza stone that helps the crusts of our pies bake evenly and all the way through. Each gathering is a bit of a potluck—guests bring toppings for a pie, or a salad, beverage, or dessert.
We were all glued to the TV during Shaun White’s time on the half-pipe—and his ultimate defeat—but it was really the pizzas that stole the show that night. We had fresh pineapple and prosciutto, roasted cauliflower and caramelized onion, and even a bacon-apple-rosemary pie. I had a big slice of each one, which seemed like a good idea in the moment. (An hour later, I was still in the same place on the couch.)
The pizza was good, but it came at a cost of around 224 calories a slice, or 672 calories for 3 slices. Yikes! That was definitely more of a meal than I’d been hoping for.
UPDATE: NOVEMBER 11, 2013: Wichita, Kansas is now a test market for rolling out the whole wheat pizza crust to their standard menu. Available for testing only in Wichita, the wheat crust option is $1 more, “due to the premium cost on the dough,” said Kym Money, director of marketing for Fugate Enterprises. She expanded, letting us know, “This is the same crust type that we use on our School Lunch pizzas, but topped with our regular toppings. It is very good, and I am hopeful it will be a successful test.”
Pizza Hut is known for its inventive approaches to the delivery pie, but few have been as impressive as their latest innovation. Pizza Hut has never been healthier, a requirement to let them keep up with the newly mandated school lunch nutrition guidelines. The brand expressed their excitement to us about being able to recreate its world-famous pizza in a way that kids could enjoy this Americanized comfort food.
“It’s a healthier option,” says Rachel Huber, MPH, RD, senior nutritionist for the Dallas-based Pizza Hut. While pizza could never be defined as a health food, Pizza Hut has made remarkable strides to make it a better part of a child’s school-day diet.
Stores facilitating the pizza for school lunch programs now have two sets of ingredients – one for the public and one for the public schools. In order for any school lunch program to receive its federal reimbursements they must meet new nutrition guidelines that took effect for the 2012-2013 school year. Pizza Hut didn’t want to miss the huge sales opportunity that is placement in these hungry cafeterias, so they made a better pizza.
A slice of the whole wheat cheese pizza has 270 calories and 8 grams of fat. The pizza beats the school lunch guideline expectations, with 26% of the calories coming from fat – the guideline is at or less than 30%. The slice of cheese also has three grams of fiber, attributed to the 51% whole wheat crust. Pizza Hut did not share the nutrition information for the other options – sausage, pepperoni, and veggie.
To make it, they went back to the drawing board, but not square one. (more…)
Is there anything more American than pizza? Well, specifically, Pizza Hut’s version of the Italian dish? Maybe the only way Pizza Hut could make the famous food more American is make it in a “fun size.” Well, this year, they’ve done just that. Pizza Hut recently introduced Big Pizza Sliders. So what’s the deal? Are they a better option? Or just another fast-food gimmick?
Well, let’s start with the stats. The Big Pizza Sliders are sold as three sliders for $5 or up to 9 sliders for $10. Consumers can mix and match and get up to three combinations of up to three toppings each. They end up being about 3.5 inches in diameter and can range from 230 calories for a plain cheese slider, up to 350 calories for a beef or sausage slider. The fat content ranges from 8-19 grams depending on toppings. (more…)
They say there’s a story behind every recipe and these peppers are no exception to that rule. After somehow deleting all of the photos I’d taken of these little beauties the first time I’d made them, I was consequently forced to make them again for this story. This would’ve been far more unfortunate had they not been so simple to prepare and so extremely delicious. I can attest to their robust flavor as I sit here eating one for lunch while writing this post.
Pizza inside a pepper – who would’ve thought? Not I. But they are certainly the best stuffed pepper I’ve ever tried.
On top of requiring minimal ingredients and coming together in about 40 minutes tops, they’re much healthier than eating an actual pizza. This is because a fiber-loaded bell peppers replaces the crust, and little whole grain bread cubes step in to mimic that “crunch” a thin crust pizza would have. (more…)