May 2008 Archives


Some of you have noticed that I've started to add nutritional analysis to the free recipes offered on my website, prompted by your requests.  While I intentionally designed all of my recipes to be lower in calories and fat and high in fiber, I was also concerned with slipping in the superfoods that can change our health for the better. It wasn't until I saw the numbers myself  that I realized the final Sneaky Chef recipes often have only a fraction of the calories and fat of their traditional counterparts, and usually many times the fiber. It's no wonder my husband is losing weight and his cholesterol is down!

One group of firemen I interviewed for the Sneaky Chef Men's Book told me that it would be one thing to hide what they called "super veggies" in their favorite foods, but that it would be quite another to have their favorite comfort foods remade to be lower in calories and fat. They didn't believe I could do it while still having their favorite meals turn out tasting as good as the original. That was what they wanted: to have it taste like the original, but be healthy.

So the challenge was laid out before me. I'd been able to do it with kid's meals, but these were grown men. They were ready to detect  anything even slightly different, and I took this as a challenge.
Their desires resulted in sneakily enhanced versions of many of their favorites, including Boosted Buffalo Wings, Major Leek Soup, Hobo Hash and Stacked Pancakes (click here to go to The Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man in the Kitchen).

I say, if you can make it taste just as good, why not make every recipe as healthy as it can be? If you'd like to see your favorite fattening recipe remade The Sneaky Chef way and made way healthier, please send it to me in this blog or to my email at Missy@TheSneakyChef.com.  I'll work on as many recipes as I can, and post the results and the before and after nutritional comparisons on this site.

Thanks for all your great comments and support!

With healthiest regards,

Missy Chase Lapine
The Sneaky Chef

From: Marissa

Missy -- thanks for all your insight!!!  How would I get
permission to host a "learn how to cook healthy" night at my son's
grade school?  We would love to use your recipes and knowledge to
improve on the eating habits of our children.

"Yesterday was truly incredible–a once in a lifetime kind of feeling. I went to my first meeting as a member of the Children's Advisory Council of Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital of New York-Presbyterian and I was completely blown away. There are about 30 people on the committee and every one of them is a champion of kids healthcare in America. Not only did each person have expertise that children's health care vitally needs, but it was plainly evident that their hearts were in it even more so.
 
Present in the group were an array of experts, from industry leaders to the parents of sick children who had been treated at the hospital. All were visionary professionals with open hearts and a clear passion for helping children. I was particularly inspired by two parents in particular who had recognized the needs that siblings of pediatric patients have, and so they pioneered a sibling support program which has become a model for hospitals nationwide. The hospital administration recognized the value of this program and their state-of-the-art newly remodeled hospital is built to be sibling and family supportive, recognizing the crucial role that family members play in the healing process. They even created sleeping areas and facilities for family members who have to spend extended time near their sick children, brothers and sisters.  What this hospital has done is truly inspirational.  
 
This kind of innovative and forward thinking attitude is I why I chose to work with Morgan Stanley Children's Hospital in the first place (read the November, 2007, press release here). Although I knew that they were rated among the top 10 of children's hospitals in the nation, it was the responsiveness of the people that I was dealing with that was so fantastic. I thought I was approaching a huge institution with the idea of revamping menu items to sneakily improve their nutritional value, without sparking any resistance from the children. But in reality, I was dealing with highly responsive individuals, rather than a bureaucracy, who not only recognized the value of my proposal, but implemented it with such speed and agility that you'd think I was dealing with a kitchen and hospital staff that served dozens of meals each day, not thousands. Their responsiveness has prompted me to now refer to them as "the barge that turned on a dime." That such a large institution could deliver this program to its patients from start to finish in so few months is nothing short of amazing.
 
I'll never forget the day I attended the opening event, marking the first "official" Sneaky Chef meals being served to patients. I was standing next to a little girl who was enjoying some sneakily enhanced mac ‘n cheese that the hospital kitchen had prepared. I could see that she was enjoying it like any other bowl of pasta, but I had a deeper sense of satisfaction as well, knowing that she was getting the nutrition of hidden vegetables, not just pasta and cheese sauce. I smiled silently to myself, knowing that I had done a good deed without her even being aware of it (I feel that's the best kind) and asked her why she was there. She said that was waiting for a new heart. Believe me, it was all I could do to hold it together in the moment.  And in retelling this story, I am suddenly finding it hard to see my screen clearly...  
 
... I have gotten to know many of the staff even more intimately in recent months, as I chose to take my seven year old daughter, Sammy, there when she broke two bones in her arm while sledding. The hospital is known to have the best orthopedic surgeons in the country, and now can see why. Their level of care, commitment and expertise is world class. They are willing to go to great lengths to bring comfort and healing to their patients.  There are clowns in the hallways, walls dedicated to characters from favorite children's books, balloons, magicians... This is a hospital that doesn't feel like a hospital, and the children love and respond to it. If it weren't a hospital, it would be a great place for the family to hang out!
 
The members of the Children's Advisory Council have seen to it that this hospital heals on every available level. It was so inspiring for me to be among this group of dedicated top notch professionals volunteering their time, working silently behind the scenes, to improve the quality of children's health care in America. I am completely honored to be counted among them, and I am truly excited about the impact that we will make together in improving children's nutrition.
 

Missy: I picked up your book from the library and am really
interested both my daughter and husband do not eat veggies, my
question is...can I use my meatloaf receipe and add sneaky
ingredients...could I do this with all my receipes?
 
–Teresa D.
 
idol touch up.jpg

Ace Young, American Idol Finalist with Missy Chase Lapine, The Sneaky
Chef in Philadelphia on tour.

missy-with-fans-at-a-book.jpg

This past week my two daughters were at home on Spring Vacation. The weather wasn't so great, so one day my husband Rick and I decided to take them on a picnic--right here in our living room. Talk about instant excitement! We spread out our picnic blanket and decked it with paper plates, Sneaky Chef favorites, and a bowl of crunchy carrots, celery and dip. Everyone clambered onto the now limited blanket space including Princess, our stout retriever. Before I knew it, my youngest had rocked on her back in a burst of giggles as "Prinny" persistently wriggled toward her plate of goodies. Then she rocked back up, and PLOP! one cute but way too dirty foot went straight into the bowl of baked beans! Only my daughter Sammy could end up with her foot in a bowl of baked beans : )

Food can be fun together, and eating can be one of the most relaxing things we do as a family. When I don't have to worry about whether or not my daughters are getting their quota of nutrients, or nag my husband to eat smart, I'm free to focus more on just having fun. I encourage everyone to boost your family favorites the Sneaky Chef way. Or if you have a favorite I haven't yet "sneakified" in my two books, let me know and I'll get straight to work so that you can enjoy more at the table, too!

With healthiest regards,

Missy

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