August 02, 2008

The Sneaky Chef and Deceptively Delicious

Thanks to a recommendation by a friend, and through discovery in a catalog, I have found three cookbooks which are worth taking a look at if you, like me, have trouble getting someone in your family to eat enough veggies or fruits!

"The Sneaky Chef: Simple Strategies for Hiding Healthy Foods in Kids' Favorite Meals" by Missy Chase Lapine is the first one. The premise is that you create purees of fruits and/or veggies that you store in your freezer (or fridge for short-term use). Then you add them to things like pizza sauce, macaroni and cheese, baked goods, etc. Her second book, "The Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man (in the Kitchen!): Hiding Healthy Foods in Hearty Meals any Guy Will Love" is also worth checking out for adult food ideas. You can visit her website for free recipes to try. I printed them all, and have tried several just this week with the following results:

Doctor's Choice Chili (vegetarian version): everyone loved it!
One & Only Guacamole: a little heavy on the lime. Not my favorite.
Power Pizza: yummy and quick - feels good to serve this "cheese only" pizza to my kids
Mac & Cheese: they had no idea I snuck cauliflower and zucchini puree in it; gobbled up!
Better-for-You Brownies: yummy with wheat germ, pureed spinach and blueberries
Legal Donuts: These were so good I shared with my neighbor!
Granola Bar Fix: oh yeah, very tasty. Mine had dried blueberries in them.
Cold Sesame Noodles: none of us liked this. Too bad, since I made a special trip to get the tahini! Anyone know any good recipes to use up my tahini?

The other book is called "Deceptively Delicious" by Jessica Seinfeld. Now the concept is the same, and some of the recipes are suspiciously quite similar. However, from what I read online, Missy Chase Lapine doesn't care, as long as people start eating healthier. My library had this book available, and I tried these this week with the following results:

Quesadillas: all but one daughter loved these
Chocolate Pudding: the avocado puree wasn't masked well enough for myself and my oldest daughter. The other two gobbled it up.

There are oodles of other recipes in the book I hope to try next week!

Here's a tip from me if you end up trying these. When you freeze the purees in ziploc bags, flatten the puree inside the bag to make a thin layer. This makes it quick to thaw when you need it.

Have fun being sneaky and deceptive!

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