February 2009 Archives

February 2009 Archives

A Fan for Many Reasons

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Dear Sneaky Chef,

Recently we made a temporary move from San Diego to the Sedona area (also known as 'the sticks') to care for my mother-in-law who has stage 4 liver cancer.  I am now cooking for 2 toddlers, one of which is very picky, my husband (who likes all of 2 vegetables), and a chemo patient who would rather eat doughnuts.  And then I found The Sneaky Chef (just now I was trying to find a Sneaky Chef page on FB to become a fan).

A  HUGE thank you.  You've just made my life considerably easier.

–A Fan for Many Reasons

Obama was referring to a simple restaurant in Chicago where they still make everything from scratch–delicious wholesome fare, at a fair price.

He is a man after my own heart. Every recipe I’ve developed for The Sneaky Chef has to pass three tests before it goes to print: first, it has to be delicious, second, it has to be packed with nutrition, and last but not least, it has to be made from accessible, real life, practical ingredients you can easily find and easily afford.

All three have to work together successfully if you’re going to feel really good about what you’re eating. A meal like this will give you the kind of deep down, lasting satisfaction that you feel all day long.

So, first, delicious. Either you really like it, or you’ll just be trying to convince yourself with every bite. If it doesn’t pass the taste test, it’s not going to be something that you’ll choose to make again.

Second, real nutrition. Our bodies and our energy levels never lie. It takes just one time to experience the difference between, say, how my Brainy Brownies (with hidden spinach and blueberries) leave you feeling, or your kids behaving, and the effect that regular brownies have.

Finally, real life ingredients you can use daily. If you have to travel to three specialty stores all over town to round up a bunch of exotic ingredients, it’s just not practical and certainly not economical. Compare that to the feeling of satisfaction you get when you can suddenly create all new nutrition-packed meals from the same store you always shop at, only now with a new eye for what you can put together quickly and easily.

At the end of the day, you’ll have made delicious, nutritious meals from readily available ingredients that leave you and your family feeling great for all the right reasons. It’s awesome having a foodie in the White House ☺

Fun Valentine's Day Recipes

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I love Valentine’s Day. It provides a great excuse to shower my husband (and my kids) with their favorite treats and surprises, and of course, lots more hugs all around :)

This year is going to be a little more challenging, though–I’ll be away on the 14th for a speaking engagement, so we have to postpone Valentine’s by one day. Postponing Valentine’s Day is not exactly the most romantic thing a person can do, but I know we’ll have lots of fun and more than make up for the short delay.

On Sunday morning, I’m planning to start the day by serving the girls and Rick a sweet and delicious Valentine’s Day red smoothie (see recipes below) from my men’s book.  Not only are these smoothies fun for the holiday, but they’re loaded with energy-boosting vitamins and nutrients that’ll give us energy for some fun outdoor activities now that the weather’s warmed up a bit.

Rick loves Sneaky Chef crab cakes (see recipes below), so I’m planning to make those for Valentine’s dinner.  They’re a yummy and low-cal way to sneak in some whole grains from the crunchy wheat germ coating and heart-healthy omega-3’s from the crab meat.  I have to run over to Costco today to get those large cans of top-rate lump crab at an affordable price!

So here’s to a healthy and happy Valentine’s Day for all of you!  Cheers!


Sneaky Chef Valentine’s Day Red Smoothie:
Makes 2 servings
1 cup frozen cherries, without syrup or added sweeteners
1 cup frozen strawberries, without syrup or added sweeteners
½ cup pomegranate juice
2 teaspoons sugar
In the container of a blender, combine the cherries, strawberries, pomegranate juice, and sugar, and pulse until smooth (add more juice if needed). Serve in a tall glass with a straw.
Sneaky Chef Concealed Crab Cakes
Makes 8 crab cakes
1 tablespoon light mayonnaise
1 egg white
1⁄4 cup White Bean Puree http://www.thesneakychef.com/free_recipe_white_bean_puree.php
1 tablespoon Dijon or coarse-grain mustard
1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon hot sauce
1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning
1⁄3 plus 1⁄3 cup wheat germ
Freshly ground pepper
1⁄2 pound fresh lump crabmeat (about 2 cups), drained
Optional extra boost: handful of chopped green onions, celery, and/or bell peppers
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with oil.
In a medium-size bowl, whisk the egg white, then mix in the White Bean Puree, mustard, hot sauce, Old Bay, 1⁄3 cup of the wheat germ, a few grinds of pepper, and the crabmeat.
Pour the remaining 1⁄3 cup of wheat germ on a plate. Scoop about 1⁄3 cup of crab mixture and form it into a fairly thick cake. Dredge the cakes in the wheat germ, fully covering all sides of the cake, and place the crab cake on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining crab mixture. Spray the top side of the cakes with oil and bake for 10 minutes. Flip once, spray oil on the tops of the cakes, and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown.

The Sneaky Chef is available at fine booksellers everywhere: