If you like pizza and you follow me on Instagram, I apologise for the potentially tempting snaps I posted last night. Matt and I made our way to the Holborn branch of Pizza Express along with a host of bloggers to sample their latest healthy menu additions and even don our chef’s hats to have a go at making our own leggera pizza – yep, the ones shown here were made by our own fair hands! Now, I was already a huge Pizza Express fan – it’s tasty, fresh and the price means it’s a great way to socialise without spending a fortune. If I get together with family or friends or need to go for a meal before an event in an unknown area I know Pizza Express is a safe choice, so I eat there pretty frequently already. When I got an email announcing new, healthier options however, I was pretty excited. As you guys know, I’m always trying to stay in shape and maintain a healthy lifestyle. When you’re doing that, eating out isn’t always the easiest thing to do and can be a little stressful to say the least (keep your eyes peeled for a post and video this weekend on eating out and staying healthy) but it’s not impossible. Thankfully as the average consumer becomes more educated about nutrition, restaurants are becoming not only more transparent about what’s in our food but also taking steps to give us great healthy options.
Pizza Express already have an amazing range of Leggera pizzas, or as I affectionately like to call them, polo pizzas. Shaped like a polo mint (or I guess, a donut – but I’m not a fan of donuts!) these pizzas are 500 calories or under and come with a fresh salad in the centre. I’ve had these many a time and although the thinner base and slight restraint on cheese means they are definitely lighter options, they are still incredibly tasty and you don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything. The Dolcetti dessert menu is another lifesaver for health aficionados – the mini desserts that come with coffee are the perfect way to end a meal with something sweet without having to stuff yourself with a whole dessert. A new Raspberry Sorbet which I sampled last night is under 100 calories. Pizza Express are also adding to these healthy options with the launch of the Superfood Salad. Often, restaurant salads can be just as calorific as other options once the bacon, cheese, caesar sauce, croutons and meat are added, but this salad is super healthy and still delicious. It’s also an option for people that follow 5:2 diets such as the Fast Diet who still want to enjoy an evening out with friends.
- The superfood salad contains only 295 calories.
- It’s packed with butternut squash, avocado, beetroot, cucumber, spinach and light baby mozzarella.
- Chicken can be added for a £1 surcharge bringing the calorie content to 340.
- Launches April 30th priced at £9.95.
As well as the new salad Pizza Express chatted to us about their dedication to helping parents make the best choices in restaurants. Although I don’t have kids, I know a lot of you do and I can imagine how difficult it can be in a restaurant to make sure your children enjoy their food whilst still taking responsibility for their health. Pizza Express have decided to help make that a little easier by removing some items of temptation from the menu to stop the potential showdown between parents and a child who doesn’t quite understand why they can’t have doughballs to start, a pizza and then more doughballs with Nutella for dessert!
- The doughballs will now be served with crunchy vegetables and the garlic butter can now be optionally switched for olive oil and balsamic vinegar.
- “Create your own” will be available on the kids Piccolo menu so that parents can comfortably add or remove ingredients.
- The menu and photography have been redesigned to be as eye-catching and colourful to young eyes and emphasising the healthy options.
- Mozzarella has been reduced in salt.
- Options that are super high in fat and calories have been removed from the children’s menu – Nutella Dough Balls are no more and the fudge chunks are gone from the kids sundaes. Now there’s a raspberry sorbet made entirely from fruit.
- Gluten-free bases and desserts now on the kids menu.
- Instead of the full three course meal option at £6.50 it’s now possible to have simply a main course for kids for £3.95.
A lot of you also seemed super excited about the prospect of gluten-free options coming to Pizza Express. Although this is not something I personally struggle with, I have friends who do and I know how difficult it can be to eat out with everyone else!
- From April 30th new gluten-free menu options will be released.
- All of these dishes have NGCI accreditation.
- There will be starters, main courses (including pizza!), dessert and even a gluten-free beer.
All of this is really promising and it’s great to see such an established brand (especially one I love!) adopting all these changes. If there’s anything I feel strongly about, it’s that food is never the enemy, and guilt should never have to come into the equation if you just want to dine out with friends. It’s really refreshing to see a restaurant putting out great quality, tasty food that is responsible too. I’m off to go and attempt a DIY version of the Superfood Salad now because this post has made me HUNGRY!
The new menu launches on April 30th nationwide. What do you think of these changes? Let me know!
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