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Some things are just wrong

During a long running/ellipiticizing session last week I kept thinking of the mini-pizza I’d bought at the whole goods store and how great it would taste as my post-workout reward . Imagine my horror when I ripped open the cardboard box and this monstrosity slipped out.

Broccoli on pizza

Broccoli? On a pizza? I thought sprinkling pineapple chunks on top was weird, but this takes the cake (er, pie). In all fairness, the picture on the box clearly displays broccoli, but somehow it looks so much tastier when fully cooked and photographed professionally.

Pizza box

In the picture, the broccoli, tomatoes and cheese all blend into a tasty looking whole. The broccoli florets in the frozen version on my kitchen counter looked like an afterthought someone sprinkled on top after they ran out of pepperoni. They were as welcome as dried cockroaches. Normally I’m fine with broccoli. I don’t pretend to upchuck at its mention, but I’ve never written sonnets about it either. It just doesn’t belong on pizza, okay? Somehow they fooled me by calling it a “pesto” pizza. I don’t really know what a pesto is, but it sounds tastier than “broccoli and tomato.”

I ate it anyway. But next time I’m double-checking the box before I buy.

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35 Comments

Yumicho • March 31, 2008 at 8:12 am

When I was vegan, I loved Amy’s products. They are pretty yummy, but those broccolis look huge! Pesto, btw, is a sauce usually made with basil, olive oil, pine nuts, and cheese.

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Rhonda • March 31, 2008 at 8:47 am

It looks like it’s made out of playdough. …Like something my little girl would have dreamed up. :-) Oh, if only the food would actually look as good as it does on the box. Lighting – I guess it’s all in the lighting.

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MamaMaven • March 31, 2008 at 8:51 am

I think that may take the cake in the “looks different than what is in the box” department. I hate it when something I am really craving doesn’t meet my expectations!

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Mags • March 31, 2008 at 8:53 am

Broccoli and tomato is my favorite pizza!

I’m sorry you didn’t like it.

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vivi • March 31, 2008 at 9:12 am

What did it look like when you pulled the pizza out of the oven? Even worse?

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Jenn • March 31, 2008 at 9:20 am

Yeah…hmmm, looks like it left a lot to be desired. I LOVE Amy’s stuff, too. If you haven’t tried the spinich pizza, it’s a winner. I’m doing WW, and the personal spinich pizza is 10 pts…but I think it’s totally worth it. It looks a little puny before cooked, but much better by the time it comes out of the oven. :-)

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Jenny • March 31, 2008 at 9:32 am

I love pesto on a pizza. Its really simple to make your own… buy some of the boboli (sp?) crust, some premade pesto (with the spaghetti sauce or fresh in the refrigerator case), and some mozarella cheese. I like to also put some small bites of chicken (usually cooked with olive oil and italian spices), chopped fresh tomato, and fresh basil (after you pull it out of the oven). Its a great spring/summer pizza. Yummy!!! So much better than the frozen stuff and you can make it without the broccoli! I like to think its healthier too.

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Erin • March 31, 2008 at 9:43 am

I actually find myself putting broccoli on pizza now by choice….it’s actually one of my favorite pizza toppings! And, let’s face it, sometimes it’s easier to eat vegetables when they’re topped with cheese and combined with tomato sauce.

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yummers • March 31, 2008 at 9:44 am

Noooo! Veggies on pizza are great! Keep trying!

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G.G. • March 31, 2008 at 11:03 am

Frozen entree broccoli doesn’t typically freak me out, but frozen entree red pepper does. Is it me, or does almost every “healthy” frozen dinner out there have some species of red pepper in it? I like red pepper raw, I even like it roasted (once in a blue moon), but frozen and incorporated into a meal? Yech.

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Red • March 31, 2008 at 11:15 am

For me, there is only one frozen pizza: the bbq chicken pizza from trader joe’s. At $2.89, it’s one of my favorite and inexpensive bachelor meals when I’m on my own.

As for health content…

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Christine • March 31, 2008 at 11:35 am

Actually, broccoli on pizza (when done right – those pieces are clearly too big) is really good. I mean, think about it. Broccoli and cheese go so well together. Broccoli and tomatoes go well together too.

One of my favourite pizzas to make has grilled chicken, white sauce, plenty of garlic, broccoli, aubergine (eggplant) tomatoes, courgette (zucchini) and of course, mozzarella.

So don’t knock it until you try the real thing!!

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Melissa A. • March 31, 2008 at 11:45 am

I have had broccoli on pizza, but not like that. I’d better in small chunks and when someone else makes it. I hate it normally.

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Dottie • March 31, 2008 at 11:50 am

Wow, that looks nothing like what the box cover features. Those broccoli pieces are much too big.

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sara • March 31, 2008 at 12:38 pm

ok yuck….The broccoli wouldn’t worry me as much as the green dough would….I think that’s a perfect specimen for fear factor…

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Andrew is getting fit • March 31, 2008 at 1:22 pm

I love brocolli but on a pizza? Weird. How can you not like pineapple on a pizza? Weird. :)

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JEM • March 31, 2008 at 1:48 pm

Don’t write Amy’s off completely, she makes some really great things. I love her mushroom and olive pizza best.

I am a big fan of the new Kashi pizzas. Maybe you should check it out?

I do agree though, I hate the pesto pizza. They just didn’t get it right. And I love pesto!!

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Danielle • March 31, 2008 at 1:51 pm

If you have a California Pizza Kitchen near you, try the Vegetarian with Japanese Eggplant pizza. It’s delish. It has broccoli on it. As well, as eggplant, onions, mushrooms, corn, sundried tomatoes, and mozzarella cheese. When I get it, I usually hold the mozzarella and add goat cheese instead. It’s a lot less cheese, and tastes yummy.

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Lora • March 31, 2008 at 1:52 pm

Hi, PQ,

How about broccoli or cauliflower pizza? Missing calzones? Or perhaps taco salad?

Check out this blog from Cleochatra! This girl is becoming famous for her recipes!

http://www.cleochatra.blogspot.com/

I can’t cook and she makes the recipes so easy!

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AG • March 31, 2008 at 2:24 pm

I say if you’re gonna have pizza, have pizza! Never sully it with vegetables!

In saying that, veggies are such a key to weight loss. Try steaming either asparagus, broccoli or brussel sprouts (I promise, I can change your mind on b.s.)

Then in a sauce pan, braise them with a little olive oil, put a dash of salt and some fresh parmesean AND YOU WILL BE IN HEAVEN.

Yum.

AG

http://www.100daysinbed.blogspot.com

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CdR • March 31, 2008 at 2:59 pm

Broccoli on pizza is my absolute favorite.

Also, your half marathon is on my wedding day, so every time I see your countdown I smile.

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Reb • March 31, 2008 at 3:36 pm

The picture looks good because they take time to prepare it properly, by hand and then it gets shellacked. The broccoli really should have been cut up smaller, that is really off putting.

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victoria • March 31, 2008 at 7:18 pm

Pesto:

put a bunch of fresh basil leaves, a few skinned garlic cloves, olive oil, pinenuts, salt & pepper in a blender; blend until smooth. Taste. It should have a little garlicky bite. You can also add shredded Parmesan if you like a richer flavor. Pesto recipes abound but I like to wing it, tasting to get the right balance each time.

Pesto is just about my favorite sauce/condiment.

The bad news is, pesto is typically served on pasta. Bad, bad, high-glycemic impact pasta.

The good news is, you can adapt pesto to just about any food that doesn’t fight its strong flavors. You can use pesto to dress a salad made of zucchini, broccoli, cauliflower, red bell peppers, jicama, artichoke hearts, endive, radicchio.

You can also use pesto in a vegetarian wrap or sandwich (it’s very good in this capacity).

Pesto adds a lot of fat, but it packs a huge flavor-wallop for the calories. Plus it has zero cholesteral (if you omit the Parmesan), the pine nuts and olive oil have essential fatty acids, and the dark green basil has folate, vitamin C, and a little fiber, so pesto is way healthier than other condiments you would use in the same place (like mayonnaise or salad dressing).

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MediaMer • March 31, 2008 at 7:52 pm

Dude, Amy’s products rock. Hand’s down the best frozen food out there, and lots of great veggie options to boot. I recommend the Thai coconut canned soup, any of the frozen pizzas (there’s even a vegan one!) – and especially the frozen burritos.

Amy’s has gotten me through many a long day at the office. Pass the broccoli!

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Trisha • March 31, 2008 at 9:32 pm

Broccoli is great on pizza! Try it again but in smaller pieces. Good luck.

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starbird • April 1, 2008 at 12:18 am

To me, olive oil is fruit juice, not fat. After all, olives grow on trees, right? And olive oil comes from squeezing the fruit of that tree. That is why olive oil is so healthful. That’s what I think, anyway.

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Dreamer • April 1, 2008 at 4:13 am

Ooh, I LOVE broccoli on pizza. One of my favorite pizzas of all time is the Spinoccoli at Pizzeria Uno — broccoli, spinach, tomatoes, garlic, and cheese in a deep-dish pizza. (Actually, I’m not even sure whether Pizzeria Uno still makes that particular pizza, since I’m not living in the U.S. at the moment and it’s been years since I ate at Uno’s. In any case, I’m sure the Amy’s version is much healthier.)

I love pineapple on pizza, too. Also anchovies. When it comes to pizza, pretty much anything goes, I reckon.

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MizFit • April 1, 2008 at 5:48 am

ooooh ever had pizza free??

M.

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Becca • April 1, 2008 at 8:52 am

Ummm – the voice of a fat girl here among the many cries of broccoli pizza-defending health nuts. (no offense intended)

That thing looks like crap. The cheese looks like the residue at the bottom of my document shredder – the broccoli looks like it wanted to be part of a nice green salad instead, and the crust…is there green stuff in that crust? I’m with you PQ – that’s not a workout reward – it’s the kind of thing you eat when you feel guilty for NOT working out.

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K • April 1, 2008 at 4:43 pm

Yes! There is green stuff in that crust! That’s the pesto.

I am completely confused by the person who says “don’t sully pizza with vegetables.” Wouldn’t that just be toasted cheese on a pizza base? What’s the point in that?

(I suppose if you’re not vegetarian you could have meaty bits.)

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Stephanie Quilao • April 1, 2008 at 7:43 pm

I’ve seen asparagus and potatoes on pizza so the broccoli doesn’t seem so bad in comparison. It is amazing what good photography can do to food.

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Cindy • April 1, 2008 at 11:13 pm

We LOVE broccoli on pizza! With pineapples it is the best. We thought it was completely off the kilter when a friend of ours introduced us to it a million years ago…

Welcome aboard. Did you like it?

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Sarah • April 2, 2008 at 9:59 am

The picture on the box – looks gorgeous. Can’t say I really think the real deal looks as good.

I’m a chicago girl at heart, so I loves my pizza. However, I also loves being able to fit into my clotehs. When I want pizza I take a refrigerated pizza dough and roll it out. Put a little olive ooil on the crust. Bake it up for about 10 minutes. While it is baking up I slice up some mushrooms, roma tomatoes, a little red onion and shred some baby spinach. I toss them with a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar. Toss the veggies on the crust, put a little parmesan and/or motzerella on top, dust with italian spices to my liking, and bake it for a few more minutes. It is really yummy, and pretty much healthy!

No broccoli though. Broccoli is for steaming amd eating wtih cheese or putting cold into a salad with raisins and bacon.

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Lyn • April 2, 2008 at 3:28 pm

bahaha! That is hilarious! totally cracked me up. I almost bought that pizza this week, too. But yeah, the monster broccoli is just wrong. Why not put an entire head of cauliflower in the center, Amy?

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Sue • April 8, 2008 at 5:05 am

I stumbled upon this site the other day and decided to try making my own broccoli pizza, simply because I happen to think broccoli and anchovies go well together.

First, I made a paste with a can of sardines in springwater, half a can of smoked mussels in springwater, approximately 6 anchovy fillets and a little sprinkle of fish sauce.

Second I made a pizza base with 1 cup of self-raising flour, 4 tablespoons of fat-free natural yoghurt and 1 teaspoon of olive oil.

I rolled out the base, spread it with tomato sauce (ketchup if you’re American), then a layer of the fish paste; then I added some sliced, mushrooms, onions, capsicum, tomato, pineapple and sprinkled lots of finely chopped broccoli over the top, plus a sprinkle of pepper and salt.

For health reasons, I can’t eat cheese, but to my surprise it was delicious anyway. Cheese would make it magnificent.

From now on, that’s my pizza of choice. Give it a try!

Sue, Australia

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Jennette Fulda tells stories to the Internet about her life as a smartass, writer, weight-loss inspiration, chronic headache sufferer, and overall nice person (who is silently judging you). She does this at JenFul now, but you can still have fun perusing her past here.

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