Guiltless as charged: Couple pursues a mostly carb-free pizza

We all know starches and sugars are bad for us – but they’re so good, too. Bread, pasta, pizza and potatoes. It can be hard to go without because they’re so satisfying, but worse, there aren’t great substitutions. (I know this from an unlucky attempt at homemade, coconut-flour, paleo pizza. Don’t try it.)

Luckily, my fiancé stumbled upon a local company making take-and-bake pizzas with carbohydrate-free crusts. We didn’t wait. Our next dinner would be pizza.

My expectations were low. Was there really a chance we could find something that fills the void of grease-topped, sweet tomato sauce over a soft, dense crust?

Guiltless Pizza the Carnivore

The carnivore pie from Guiltless Pizza features cheese and lean meats of turkey bacon, sausage, chicken and plenty of sautéed onions. (Photo by Taylor Adams)

That’s what Lindsey and Daniel Crouch asked themselves last fall.

“We wanted to try to make something healthy, but we wondered, ‘How do we substitute the grains and the flour that’s in your traditional crust?’” Lindsey said. “We were on vacation in Crested Butte [Colorado], and the big man upstairs told me, ‘Seeds.’”

They went to the farmers market in the Colorado mountain town and started testing recipes right there.

“We came home and we started working ferociously on the crust,” she said. “Once we got it right, it’s just been amazing.”

It took the couple three months to get it perfect.

Lindsey, who was previously a personal chef, whipped up the recipe along with the sugarless tomato sauce. Daniel is the only other employee of the operation and is a personal trainer.

The couple has been selling since January – customers order on their website for pies Monday through Friday. The couple makes their pizzas in a commercial kitchen in Garland, then bring them back to Uptown to be picked up.

Lindsey and Daniel Crouch have been serving pizza with a carb-less crust since the beginning of this year. Here, they serve  their pies back stage at SXSW, feeding the artists after their performances and backstage interviews. (Photo provided by Lindsey Crouch)

Lindsey and Daniel Crouch have been serving pizza with a carb-less crust since the beginning of this year. Here, they serve their pies back stage at SXSW, feeding the artists after their performances and backstage interviews. (Photo provided by Lindsey Crouch)

They’re getting about 75 orders a week at this point, said Lindsey, who is also seven months pregnant. I was one of these customers recently, and made the trip to the small street across from North Dallas High School to get my own order of the carnivore pizza.

The crust itself  was pretty satisfactory. You won’t bite into it and think you bit into a just-ordered pizza from Piggie Pies, but it’ll do for pizza when there are no carbs in the crust.  The only carbs in this pie come from the tomato sauce and vegetables you choose to top it.

(That’s as far as I’m willing to go for an early review. For my full opinion on Guiltless Pizza, check back with Bites of Dallas in a few weeks.)

The Crouches won’t be shocked if you find just one piece of their pizza to be hearty.

“It’s so filling that you’re satisfied after two slices, and you can’t go on; you’re not going to eat a bunch, carb-load, and get a carb-coma,” she said.

The Crouches say they aren’t bluffing when they talk about a healthy but still delicious alternative to traditional pizzas.

“The value in it is it’s full of fiber and protein, omega-3 and 6, the seeds are anti-cancerous and anti-inflammatory – it’s almost like you’re meeting requirements of your daily needs,” Lindsey said.

This isn’t the first healthy food endeavor by the couple. Previously, they had a crust-free quiche business called Quiche Queen, but they quickly learned there wasn’t a high market.

After starting the low-carb pizza gig, though, Lindsey thinks they’ve found their place, she said.

“We’re just really proud of the nutritional value that it boasts,” she said. “It has to be healthy. We’re not going to put anything out there that’s just frivolous and tastes good, and people can go get fat on it and waste $28.”

What’s the next step? Guiltless bread — which they’re already selling. (Though, it’s still not showing up on the website’s menu.)

“It’s a loaf and based off the same premise as guiltless pizza. No gluten, wheat, yeast, or any of those things in it. It’s delicious and moist,” Lindsey said.

They plan to franchise this concept, so it’s available to everyone. When you pick up your order, you’ll notice Daniel introduces himself to you and gets to know you a bit. He’s used to repeat business.

“They’re return customers because it becomes part of their diet plan and meal plan. We’re just really thankful that it’s not a splurge thing or a one-time deal,” Lindsey said. “We feel really amazing about not only being delicious but that it’s really good for you. We’ve had customers and clients who have lost 20 and 30 pounds by incorporating Guiltless Pizza into their lives … It really has just become part of people’s lifestyles.”

Guiltless Pizza
To order, visit the online order form and request your special pie from the menu. Do this by the early morning of the evening you want to pick up a pizza, and you’re set. Lindsey will send you an email on where exactly to go to pick up your dinner.

Online ordering only? Setting up a location for the pizza-money exchange? And you’re pizza’s low-carb? Yep, this is definitely a different kind of pizza company.

How it compares
The nutritional values are drastically different compared to your typical slice of pizza in the area – particularly if you’re watching your net carbohydrate intake. Their website provides some comparison for a piece of pepperoni pizza.

Guiltless Pizza
Calories: 240
Protein: 15.8 grams
Net carbs: 5 grams
Fiber: 4.6

Calories: 275
Protein: 11.25
Net carbs: 26 grams
Fiber: 1 gram

Calories: 330
Protein: 14 grams
Net carbs: 38 grams
Fiber: 2 grams


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