March 2009 Archives

Titles of Allergy-Free Recipes

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Dear Missy,

I am very interested in your new book. I was hoping that
amazon would have the look inside for at least the table of
contents.My son has 30 allergies including all of the top8. I am
wondering how many of the recipes are usable as is or with small
modifications. Is there a table of contents list available anywhere?
I would love to look over the titles of the recipes before ordering
it.
Thank you,

Karen

Hi Karen,

So sorry the "search inside" function isn't up yet on Amazon...so here is the table of contents for the allergy-free foods from my new book!

Chapter 7: Sneaky Chef for Food Allergies (15 total)
Gluten-Free Flour Blend
Gluten-Free Better Breading
Gluten-Free Pancakes
Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip Cookies
Gluten-Free Pizza Crust
Gluten-Free Pizza
Gluten-Free Brownies
Gluten-Free Peanut Butter Cookies
Gluten-Free Chicken Tenders
Eggless and Nutless Chocolate Chip Cookies
Eggless Pancakes
Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Granola Bars
Egg-Free, Dairy-Free, Gluten-Free Grits Sticks
Eggless Banana Pancakes from Boxed Mix
Eggless Brainy Brownies


Hope that helps!
Missy

"College Brownies"

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Just had to tell you that I've used your brownie recipes
(both doctoring the boxed mix, and from scratch) for my college
daughter's care packages, and they've been devoured by her and her
friends, who she loved telling, after they ate them, about the hidden
ingredients.  Same thing with my 10th grader and 5th grader and their
friends!  I've made the brownies for their sports teams, college and
high school,  to eat before the game on a long bus-ride to an away
game, or after the game.  I've also devised  variations of an "Amish
Friendship Bread" recipe to include the purple  and white purees, and
your flour mix, and can't keep anyone away from them!  My picky
11-year old son never ate a green vegetable in his post-baby food life
until he ate your brownies!  Thank you so much!  Being from Maryland,
crab cakes are our favorite dish, and I just found your recipe, can\'t
wait to try it as I just bought fresh crab meat!  I THANK YOU for
posting that recipe, I\'m sure it will be a hit.  I may just have to
bring that up to the next college lacrosse game tailgate....
Thanks again!
~Mara

Dear Mara,

Let's face it, finding good recipes and sharing them is one of Life's pleasures! I'm so happy that sneak-enhanced brownies are spreading far and wide from your home base.

I'd love for you to share your Amish Bread recipe when we get a page up in the near future for the purpose of readers sharing and swapping their own sneaky creations.

You've won the Supportive Mom award! All the best to you and your athletes,

Missy

Weight Issues

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I have a 13yr. old son that is overweight, we share the same
concerns of his weight problem. However, he is so picky about foods. He
will only eat deepfried things such as chicken, pizzarolls, etc. He
likes pork & beans, mac & cheese and spaghetti w/meat. This is his
diet outside of school. I don\'t know how to change his eating habits
as he refuses to try other obtions!!! Please any help would be
appreciated. Thank you.

Dear April,

You are not alone. Thank goodness our nation's obesity problem is now receiving the attention and concern it merits. I am so relieved every time I get a letter like yours, because I know that once a parent seeks to solve this problem, my books can help.

Because of readers like you, I devoted a substantial part of my third book, "The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue," to low-calorie fare for kids (and adults) just like your son. I encourage you to explore these recipes. Start with those most similar to what he eats now, and then branch out a bit. Don't expect immediate and complete success. You might also be thinking ahead to summer vacation, when he will be eating at home for most meals. Perhaps you can instill a few eating habit goals, with a healthy bribe: if he reaches his goals, the entire family takes a fun trip, etc.

April, I'd love to hear back from you.

Wishing you all the best,

Missy

Stevia?

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Hi Missy! 

I can't tell you enough how much I LOVE both
your books and have placed my hold for your new one at Barnes and
Noble!  The meals I make from your books are our family staples each
night and my entire family LOVES them- even my pickiest eater, my
husband!  : )  I was wondering if you recommend stevia for children
and if so, can it be substituted in any of your recipes?  Thanks SO
MUCH for ALL you have done to make our family eat healthier each day
while loving every bite of it!  : )

Dear Andi,

What a sweet e-mail, literally and figuratively! Before I discuss the natural sugar substitute stevia, may I just say that I'm thrilled you're eating sneaky chef fare on a daily basis. All those nutritious purees will certainly buoy your family's health.

Now, back to stevia: I'm not a doctor or scientist, and as I'm sure you're aware, there has not been enough research on stevia for the FDA to give it a stamp of approval as a food. This is why it's available in health food stores as a supplement. You'll have to do your own research on the subject and come to your own conclusions. As for subbing in stevia, I can tell you that the results will be just as delicious. Just use the conversion charts on www.stevia.com to find out how much stevia to use.

With healthiest regards,

Missy

My children love peanut butter balls and I have  recipe that
I currently use (it only has powdered milk, peanut butter, honey and
choc chips).  Do you have any suggestions on how I can "sneak" some
other nutrition into those little balls?
Thanks

Hi Judy,

You can add orange puree to your peanut butter balls, but of course it might take multiple experiments to get it just right. In my third book, "The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue," I've got a great healthy recipe called "sneaky bonbons" that is exactly what you're looking for. The book should be coming to your favorite bookstore in the next few weeks.

Enjoy!

Missy

The Consumate Refuser

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Dear Missy,

I want to thank you so much for your wonderful solutions.  I have a 6 year old who is the consumate refuser...  Of late, he's been subsisting on frozen waffles, cereal bars, rice, and the occasional apple.  So, I was thrilled when I found your cook book.  I made the Brainy Brownies last night after dinner.  My son danced and laughed at the same time telling me how delicious they were.  Since I work at a small school, he wanted me to take them to school for the principal and other teachers.  This morning he even made me pinkie promise to make them again for him.  I am shocked and so happy that he loves it so much and has no idea there is healthy things inside.  Even my oldest son loves them.  And, all the teachers absolutely loved them.  Many were going to our Book Fair today to get their own copy.  So, thanks again.  You have saved me from going crazy and loosing my "Mom Badge" because I'm not feeding enough veggies.

Best wishes from Baton Rouge, La.

Rayma K.

Dear Rayma,

I am so glad that your Refuser has been Defused ; )  And a pinky promise at that!  What a wonderful story. Thank you so much for sending it. It made my day : )

Can't wait to hear your next success story!

With healthiest regards,

Missy

Underweight Child

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Dear Sneaky Chef,
I am very interested in using your brilliant ideas in my kitchen. By
I am wondering,  you creates various low calorie recipes, but I have
an 'underweight' 2  and half years old child. So, is it still
suitable to use a low calorie recipe? I like the idea of sneaking the
vegetables in the food though.

Dear Yossi,

There are many ways of introducing more calories to your child's diet while still enjoying the super-healthy recipes in my book. Many children respond well to small snacks throughout the day: a handful of nuts, rice cakes with nut butter or avocado topping, granola bars (I have a great recipe in my first book), yoghurt, etc.

You could let your child have a nutritiously enhanced snack such as my chocolate pudding with avocado, or "breakfast ice cream." Or you could supplement their diet with rich, yummy smoothies (many recipes in my books).

By exploring different snack options, you'll also pick up on what their palate is craving, and be able to strike off in a whole new culinary direction: perhaps she likes crunchy textures, or leans to savory dishes as opposed to sweet ones. I know you'll enjoy this discovery phase, and I am confident that you'll be off to fantastic start with the many recipes to choose from in my books!

With healthiest regards,

Missy

Vegan Needs

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Hi. I love the concept, but my son has severe peanut and
dairy allergies, and my daughter won't eat meat.  Do you have any
ideas on which recipes might convert best to a vegan need?

Thanks, Mary

Hi Mary,

One of my brothers is vegan, so I've had many enjoyable, savory meals with him over the years. I consulted with him in the development of many of the vegetarian recipes you'll find in each of my books, particularly in Book 3, To The Rescue. Each of the recipes is labeled with a "V" in a circle for vegetarian so you can spot them easily. He loves to use different grains to complement the entrée (quinoa, amaranth, and all sorts of different rice blends), which you might explore if your children like variety. But if that's still out of reach for now, you can just stick with the recipe as it's presented in the book and you'll have a sure winner : )

Regarding the dairy and peanut allergies, you can simply substitute soy or rice milk, and chopped walnuts or almonds in most of the recipes.

Keep up the great work!

With healthiest regards,

Missy

Hi Missy,

I was wondering how long the purees are good til when left
in the freezer.  I found myself making many of the meals in the book
and then I stopped.  I want to start up again but I am not sure if I
need to throw it all out and start over.  I have them in sealed
tupperward 1/4 cup individual containers.  I think they have been in
there 6 mths.  What should I do?
thanks!

Dear Corinne,

I'm glad to hear you're thinking sneaky again! I can understand how you want to use the frozen purees you have in the freezer: they represent time, effort and money! And there they are, ready to give a healthy makeover to so many of your family's favorite dishes!

Frozen fruits last 4 to 6 months, and veggies can go a bit longer--up to 8 months, assuming you've got them properly sealed in good containers. Check for any signs of freezer burn. Barring that, it sounds like you can make a big "bon voyage" meal using up your purees. Then whip up a new  batch and enjoy more adventures!

Healthiest regards,

Missy

ADHD

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Missy, I have a son that has ADHD, will the receipes in your
book be good for him?

Dear Rosa,

Good for you for exploring nutritional ways to help your son with ADHD. I am a firm believer in the effect that proper diet can have on our children's health in many regards, and particularly in their ability to focus and concentrate which is so much an issue when dealing with ADHD.

That said, there is more to ADHD then just the ability to concentrate, and proper diet alone is not likely to solve the problem, so I'd recommend that you see a nutritionist and have a conversation with your pediatrician about it as well. They'll both have good ideas about new foods to try and also how to properly monitor the effects that each food is having on your child. I've certainly had many parents share stories with me that their ADHD children have improved when switched to "sneaky" dishes with veggies and fruits in them, and there's also plenty of similar information available on the web. But again, I would definitely recommend speaking with a nutritionist and your pediatrician about it.

Keep up the great work!

With warmest regards,

Missy

Hi Missy,

Thanks so much for coming to Heathcote tonite.  It was a great
presentation and the samples were delish!  I am looking forward to
buying your new book, as 2 of my 3 kids have celiac disease and must
be on a GF diet.

Glad to see you doing well and look forward to making your recipes!!

Regards,
Michelle

Dear Michelle,

Thank you so much for your support, appreciation and encouragement! I love getting creative and sneaky in the kitchen, knowing that my dishes can help families such as yours (with special needs) feel good and eat well at the table. I really enjoyed my evening at Healthcote : )

Warmest regards,

Missy

The Humble Cucumber

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Dear Sneaky Chef,

What are the benefits and nutrients found in cucumbers?? Do
they have any value in them at all?? Thanks, Bonnie

Hi Bonnie,

Cucumbers do have a value, and deserve to be part of your diet. They're about 95% water, and can actually make you burn more calories in chewing and digesting them than they contain. Consider them a non-caloric treat.

Most people avoid the skin (which is often waxed), but even skinless, a cucumber does offer minerals and vitamins, including a modest amount of Vitamin C. A lot of people believe cucumbers to be effective in alleviating skin conditions, upset stomachs, and blood pressure problems.

No matter how you slice them, they're versatile table companions! Enjoy!

Missy

I am so excited that my third book, The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue,
has just hit the (virtual) shelves! Amazon.com and Barnes&Noble.com
have it available for immediate shipment, and the bricks and mortar
stores will be unpacking their boxes and getting them out on
display day by day!

Plus, the Associated Press just did a great article on the book.
You can read it here: Cookbook Author Up to Her Old Sneaky Tricks
Again!


As every author will attest, it feels great to have the product of
so much hard work finally be out there in the public. People start using the recipes and as the feedback starts to pour in, there's a feeling that you can finally relax
and let the food processor cool down a little. But then... the
ideas for the next book are already percolating!

Can't wait to hear from you all!

In the best of health,

Missy : )

New Book Release

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From: Lora

I saw your new book is ready to pre-order.  When do you
think it will come out?

Hi Lora,

My third book, "Sneaky Chef to the Rescue" is available for immediate shipment this week at Amazon.com. You should be able to find it at your favorite bookstore in a week or so. Enjoy!

Missy

Sneaky Pancakes

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Dear Missy

I am new to your website, but I have had your first book
since it first came out... I recommend it to every mom I know...
especially those who whine about wanting their kids to eat healthy but
feed them junk nonetheless. My kids absolutely LOVE your chocolate
pancakes...as do I... they are an absolute lifesaver. I make multiple
batches, freeze them and then toast them in the morning as we are
running out the door to 2 different schools in 2 different towns in
opposite directions - I call them the healthy "pop tart".  I don't
know if you've already answered this or addressed it somehow, but
I\'ve been wishing that your book had all the nutrition information
for each recipe, as in calories, fat, protein, fiber etc. It would be
very helpful in a lot of ways. And as you are making moms lives easier
I was wondering if you've considered putting in  page numbers
whenever you reference another recipe (ex: make ahead recipe #3,
pg..XX)  In my copy of the book, I've written a lot of them in but
would love it if they were there for every recipe. It makes for much
quicker flipping back and forth and better use of the book. Thanks so
much for doing these wonderful, much needed books. I can't recommend
them enough. Sincerely, Deborah G.

Dear Deborah,

It was wonderful to hear from you. I'm so glad my sneaky pancakes are such a success for you and your family. Stories like yours make all of my work worthwhile : )

You can find nutritional information for some of most popular recipes on the free recipe pages of my website. I've also included nutritional analysis for every recipe in my latest book, Sneaky Chef to the Rescue.

Page numbers are a little trickier, but we'll work on it : )

I wish you every continued success!

With healthiest regards,

Missy

Sneaky Ketchup

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Dear Missy,

I have a 3 and a 2 year old. they eat well, but like
everything with ketchup. thought of sneaking veggies into the mixture,
but how long can they last ? any ideas?

Dear Sheila,

Try using 2 parts ketchup to 1 part Orange Puree (see the Free Recipe Pages on my website for the Orange Puree recipe). That will give them a nice dose of sweet potatoes and carrots with every bite : )

A great sneaky idea is to put the ketchup/orange puree mixture back into the ketchup bottle so the kids can serve it normally without suspecting a thing. But remember, because it now contains fresh carrot and yam puree, you don't want to keep it longer than you would any other cooked vegetables–about 3 days maximum.

You can also use Sneaky Ketchup in the following sneaky recipes:

Baked Beans
Ketchup glaze on Meatloaf
Franks and Beans
Maxed Out Meatloaf
Camouflage Joe’s
Bonus Burgers

Enjoy in good health!

Missy

School Cafeterias

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Dear Missy,

Do you do any quantity recipes like for a school cafeteria?
I would love to incorporate your ideas with mine.PK-8 grade students.
Just a thought...

Vicky

Dear Vicky,

I haven't turned Sneaky Chef recipes into quantity recipes myself, but some large institutions have! like Columbia University Children's Hospital. They are successfully using my recipes in patient rooms and in their staff cafeteria as well. They server thousands. What ideas are you thinking about?

All the best,

Missy

Peanut Allergy

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Hi Missy,

My son, who is allergic to peanuts, loves to eat sunflower seed butter.  How can I use it in baking.  I tried tried to substitue Sunflower butter for peanut butter in Peanut butter cookies but they turned green on the inside.

All suggestions would be helpful.

Thanks for all you do, Ruth

Dear Ruth,

You've stumbled upon one of the chemical oddities of baking: certain fruits and seeds can turn baked goods green!

I've had this experience with cherries myself. You might try other nut butters if you're sure he's not allergic, like almond or cashew butter.

Keep up the good work : )

With healthiest regards,

Missy

Milk Allergy

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Dear Missy,

My son is allergic to milk. Is there something I can use in
place of the non-fat dry milk for the Grab 'n' Go Crispy Granola
Bars
? I used powdered goat's milk the first time I made them and my
family LOVES them, but the dry goat milk is expensive so I was hoping
you could suggest a more cost effective alternative.

Thank you in advance!

Marnie

Dear Marnie,

The powdered goat's milk sounds it worked out very well for your family, with the noteworthy exception of the price...

The nice thing about milk in general is that it's got sticky proteins in it that help the bars hold together. I would also try powdered soy milk. It's far less expensive and should be readily available in your local market.

Be sure to use my recipe for "Granola Bar Fix" on the Free Recipe pages of my website, and you might even try leaving out ALL of the oil if you're using powdered soy milk. That may help it stick together even more.

Enjoy in good health : )

Missy

The New York Time's Dining and Wine Section had an interesting article on the Obamas this week. Seems they're as into healthy food as we are! It's bound to have a positive affect on the nutritional awareness of  Americans, and even the world.

In a speech at the Department of Agriculture last month, Mrs. Obama described herself as “a big believer” in community gardens that provide “fresh fruits and vegetables for so many communities across this nation and world.”

The White House Chef tried sautéed spinach with olive oil and shallots, whipped into a purée. But Mrs. Obama conceded, the dish was not a hit with Sasha. No matter what you do, she said ruefully, “sometimes kids are like, ‘It’s green!’ ” Gotta' try sneaking it in, Michelle! A little green purée goes a long way :)

Book Giveaway!

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Parenting Magazine is currently giving away 10 copies of my newest book, The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue. Go to Parenting Magazine's web page to enter for your chance to win!

Good Luck!

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