Monday, January 14, 2013

What the *&$^ Did I Just Eat?

Tofu or not tofu? That was the question as I stood (yet again) in Wegmans, looking in great dismay at my pizza choices. For Swank dieters, choices are slim. At the recommendation of a friend, I bought one Amy's no-cheese, roasted vegetable pizza and (at the recommendation of no one) a Tofurkey pepperoni pizza. Oh, the desperation one feels when one is not allowed to eat real pizza.

Last night I decided it was high time to have pizza!! Yay! The picture on the box, incredibly, did not dissuade me:

No, I do not know how to rotate this damn picture.
"No matter!" I thought gaily. "The picture is probably bad!"

Besides, there were many encouraging and cheery proclamations on the box, such as: "Meatless and delicious!" and "Cheese that actually melts!" (This one should have been sufficient warning.)

Buoyed by the idea that, yes, I might be able to Swank AND eat delicious pizza, I scampered off to give myself my Copaxone injection while my husband did the honors and stuffed the Tofurkey in the oven.

I was upstairs, gleefully giving myself a shot, when the aroma of -- could it be? -- pepperoni wafted my way.

"Mmmmm," I thought. "This is going to be GREAT!"

I heard my husband rustling around in the kitchen, removing the pizza from the oven. I trotted down to make sure he didn't take the biggest pieces...and froze when I saw the pizza. It would have been handy to have seen it before it went in the oven; I might have been better prepared for the horror that now sat atop it. In short, the picture on the box was good. What was sitting on the pizza pan looked badhamster droppings pepperoni tofu bits in an alarming shade of red, resting on a circle of cardboard  crust with tiny flecks of "cheese." (To be fair, yes, the cheese flecks had melted into small whitish globs scattered here and there among the bright red bristling chunks of tofu.)

I felt a surge of nausea and disappointment. I'm embarrassed to say I lurched out of the kitchen and flung myself into a chair in the living room like a bratty child. I didn't weep or even curse, I just hunched there, quietly lamenting the fact that, for me and for the foreseeable future, great or even good pizza was not to be.

Soon, hunger got the better of me. After insisting my husband try it first, I glumly sat down to eat my half. (I also insisted HE take the biggest pieces!) In sum: it turned out to be edible. It sort of tasted like pepperoni pizza. Some tips, if anyone actually is considering trying this:

  1. Eat it while it's hot (for me, this required reheating, after my sulking-in-the-chair episode). 
  2. Don't LOOK at it while you're eating it.
  3. Repeat in your head as necessary: it's much less disgusting than real pepperoni or sausage, which is made up of snouts and tails and who the hell knows what, exactly? 
  4. Eat a large piece of angel food cake afterward. It helps remove the taste. Also, brush and floss and use liberal amounts of mouthwash.

It will likely be a while before I return to the Tofurkey pizza, but as the weeks of no pizza stretch on and on, I may decide it wasn't that bad after all. Next time, though, I'll try the Amy's. Stay tuned!


  1. Awww, CP. That sucks. I'll check my copy of the book (arrived last week, but I've put it off in favor of "He's Just Not That Into You," which alarmingly describes every man I've ever known, but that's neither here nor there, now, is it?) and see if I can make you some kind of wholegrain homemade pizzas to freeze. There's got to be a better/tasty solution to frozen tofurky "pizza," by God.

    1. Amy, your lovely offer makes ME into you, FWIW!

  2. You can make some pretty yummy dairy free pizzas from scratch. Just google vegan pizza. I use really great cheese substitutes from Daiya. I am not sure if the products are available in the US. Another thing to google, vegan cheese.

    1. Karen, thanks for the tip; I think I read somewhere something about that cheese, so it's good to have a first-hand recommendation. I'll stop despairing and get back on the dairy-free pizza wagon!

  3. Let me be so bold as to add a tentative #5 to your list...the pizza might be more palatable if you "had a few" before & during consumption. Does the good Dr. Swank permit wine? MK

    1. haha, I had that VERY thought. Swank, does, indeed allow "moderate" intake, which I think in the event of a Tofurkey pizza might be interpreted to mean "several" drinks!

  4. My smaller portion refers to tofu as bean turd. He also tells me that many, many tofu-delopes (antelopes) have died to give me their flesh. (he is a sick sad individual and refuses tofu regularly.)

    1. I have nothing to add but :D

      Thanks for making me laugh regularly!

  5. The Elephant's Child is always good for lightening one's mood, isn't she?

    This reminds me of the time I (allergic to dairy and celiac) saw some dairy and gluten-free mac and cheese and the store. I was so overjoyed, I saved it for a special birthday meal (yes--those who can eat anything cannot even begin to understand). When the big moment arrived, it tasted sort of like...slime mixed with dirt on soggy, goopy rice noodles. And soon after, I discovered that nutritional yeast (a frequent ingredient in non-dairy so-called ch--se) is something I am also allergic to. Let's just say it was the worst birthday meal ever. Alas.

    I once saw a letter someone wrote to a gluten free food company, commenting on their gluten free granola. She told them that ever since she was a little girl she'd always wondered what it would taste like to eat dirt. And now, having eaten their granola, she finally knew.

    I can't say I've wondered about eating hamster droppings, but I love the description!

    Does Swank allow non-meat oils? Olive oil? Homemade pesto pizza with veg is not bad. Although, granted, having to actually make it is bad (I hate to cook).

    1. She is indeed, as are you!

      I loved your mac & cheese story. One more thing to avoid... My husband has an aversion to hot creamy ch--se (that doesn't sound quite right), so M&C has never been a big menu item 'round these parts, but I do know what you mean about saving a special item for a big occasion.

      Swank allows olive/vegetable/soybean oils and a few more, just not tropical ones like palm and others I'm forgetting, no doubt. I love the pesto pizza idea! My wonderful friend Amy is making me a pizza this weekend that follows Swank regulations (she pitied me after the post above). I am SO excited. (Yes, this is what my life is reduced to.)

  6. Sometimes, I enjoy eating a frozen pizza. THIS is not one of those times!

    Thank you for ruining my frozen appetite. Had to gargle with Domino's!

    1. Yeah, in case I was too subtle above, I'd recommend giving the Tofurkey pizza a wide berth!

      Gargling with Domino's sounds dicey with MS. I sometimes *accidentally* gargle with food...

      Thanks for stopping by and commenting! I hope I can ruin your appetite many times in the future. :)

  7. Oh I am so glad to have found your blog! i am about to commence swank dietdom (just looking at the book on amazon tonight and the price nearly put me off food entirely ;) ). Your posts are very witty and have had me giggling for the past couple of hours, so you have bagged yourself a new subscriber... as soon as i figure out how to do that...

  8. Hi there! So nice to have a new subscriber, and thanks for the kind words. You're about to join an elite group of about 7 (which includes some family members), so allow me to help before you change your mind! You can subscribe via email in the box at the top right hand side of the page.

    Sadly, I was going to bed (it's not even 9pm) when I got notification of your comment, or I'd go visit your blog. Tomorrow, then.

    Swank dieting is a bit first. It DOES get better, and of course you can always ask me if you have any questions. Having been in the Swank trenches for a while now, I have some pretty tasty tips and recipes. I'll say this: the book is worth buying. Perhaps there's a used copy on Amazon?

    Okay, off to bed then. (No, I'm not 84 years old...)

    Ms. CrankyPants