April 2009 Archives

April 2009 Archives

Enter to Win The Book!

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Sick of picky eater struggles? Parenting Magazine is giving away copies of The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue.

Go To Parenting Magazine's web page for your chance to win!

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Polenta Fries

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From: Jay

Message: Do you have a recipe for a potato and veg mix that can be
shaped and cooked into 'french fries'?.  My boy needs the texture,
shape, and ease of chewing.  If it's in your book, which one?


Dear Jay,

Last night when the day was done I was thinking about your request, and I thought you might also try the below recipe for polenta squares from my Men's Book. You could just as easily slice them into french fry strips.

Enjoy : )


Plenty of Polenta
Don’t let the word “polenta” scare you into thinking this is a difficult dish to make. In fact, it’s very simple to prepare. The only tricky part is to allow it to chill long enough before you attempt to slice and grill it—refrigerate it between four and twenty-four hours first.
Makes 4 servings
3⁄4 cup vegetable broth
1⁄4 cup instant polenta*
1⁄2 cup White Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #4)
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese
*Instant polenta is available at most grocery and natural food stores, sometimes under the name corn grits. If you can’t find it, substitute with the same amount of yellow cornmeal and cook for 15 minutes, or according to package directions.
Spray a 13 x 9-inch baking pan with oil. Place a piece of parchment paper on the bottom.
Pour the broth into a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the polenta and reduce the heat to low; cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in the White Puree, salt, and cheese. Immediately transfer the polenta to the prepared baking pan, cover the pan with foil, and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour and as long as 24 hours.
Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high, or heat an indoor grill pan to medium-high and spray it with oil. Cut the chilled polenta into squares and remove it from the pan. Lightly spray both sides of the polenta squares with oil and grill for 2 to 3 minutes per side, or until grill marks appear on the polenta. Serve warm.
Pizza Polenta Variation
Follow the instructions for Plenty of Polenta, but cut the chilled polenta into triangle-shaped pieces instead of squares and top each piece with one tablespoon marinara sauce (or Mega Marinara Sauce, page 228) and one tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese. Broil until cheese melts, about 1 to 2 minutes.

Toddler & Husband

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From: Valerie Ringuette
To: Missy Chase
Subject: Love your book
Hi Missy,
First I just want to thank you for helping me to get my 23 month old toddler to eat some vegetables.  I've used your advice and techniques to put the puree's into my own recipes.  My daughter won't eat much...VERY picky.  She will eat the meatloaf and twice baked potatoes from your book though.  I still have not been able to get her to eat any chicken however.
My friends and husband think I'm nuts for making all these puree's and some juices, packaging them in 1/4 portions and freezing them.  It's worked out great.  There is no greater feeling then knowing I'm taking care of my family...whether they know it or not!  (-:  My husband has asked that I not tell him anymore when he has had green puree and wheat germ in his food.  LOL!
Thanks again!
Valerie Ringuette

Dear Valerie,

Your letter made my day!

Over and over I get the same feedback: "This really works!" That, to me, is the beauty of being a sneaky chef. Your family is really eating vegetables, and your health will only benefit from that.

I'm going to have an extra big grin on my face, thinking of your daughter eating super foods. And please tell your husband he gets a gold star for supporting your sneaky streak!

With healthiest regards,


High Protein Shake

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Dear Sneaky Chef
Every Morning as I am mixing my 4 1/2 year old son's "Milk Shake" I think about you and send you a huge Thank You! My son is a very picky eater!! He hates protein in all forms! He Loved your chocolate chip cookies (with white beans) so based on your White Bean Puree  and other recipes I have created my own form of a Breakfast Milk Shake:

He has a dairy problem so we use Rice Ice Cream , 1/4 cup pureed bean mixture , 1/4 cup spinach juice, frozen blueberries, and either orange puree (1/4 cup or I juice 2 carrots- That combined with some rice / or Almond Milk some really good quality Cocoa, a drizzle of a no preservative Chocolate Syrup and some vanilla all blended together makes a wonderful tasting Chocolate Milksahake- (sometimes we even add avacado) I make some taste tests-
sometimes I add more cocoa for a more chocolate taste and sometimes a little agave if I think it needs to be a little sweeter.

I know I have you to thank! That is the most nutrient dense meal he has all day! BUT HE DRINKS 90- 95% of it so I figure we are doing pretty well- I am sure you will see all of your various ingredient combo"s and recipes I pulled from to create this–I cannot stress enough how important this is because my son is a very high functioning Aspergers Child- As I am sure you know Nutrition is one of the many important aspects of helping him.

So Thank You!! I share my shake recipe with many parents combined with the statement that they "Must get the  Sneaky Chef Books for more great ideas!!" By the way I just ordered Your Book #3 from Amazon and am very excited to get it! Thank You Again! We really Love Your Books!!! Melissa

Dear Melissa,

You are really doing fantastic with this : ) I love to hear success stories like this. I can't tell you how rewarding it is to me hear that things are working out so well nutritionally for your child : )  Real nutrition can help with so much.

Keep up the great work, and enjoy in good health,

With fondest regards,


Step Parenting Made Easier

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Hi Missy,

I just want to thank you from the bottom of my heart for all your
work! I am a brand new stepmom to a 5 year old and a 4 year old, one
of which is a Picky eater and the other of which is a Majorly Picky
eater! Having not only no parenting experience, but zero
cooking-for-kids experience has made the road a bit bumpy for me...

Your book has truly been a godsend in our home---now that I know their
growing little bodies are getting some nutrients, I don't worry as
much about dinnertime and I can focus on the (MANY) other challenges
of stepmotherhood. You must get a thousand gushing messages like mine
every day, but I truly want you to know how grateful I am and my
husband is as well! We can't wait to get to Barnes and Noble to pick
up both of the more recent books!

Dear Wendy,

I am truly touched that my recipes are bringing peace and health to your table. Nothing brings me more pleasure than knowing I'm making a positive difference in many lives!

With healthiest regards and warmest wishes for a smooth road ahead,


Hi Missy,

I was at the Heathcote presentation last week.  It was great!  I
especially liked that there were so many things to sample.

I tried the blueberry muffins and liked them, but cannot find the
recipe in the book.  Where can I find the recipe for that??


PS - Made the corn tortilla chips when I got home.  They were a
complete hit!  Thanks for the great ideas!

Hi Judy,

Thanks for the nice note!  The blueberry muffins are from my 2nd
book for men here:  http://www.amazon.com/Sneaky-Chef-Kitchen-

In the meantime, here's the recipe *you have the Flour Blend and
White Bean Puree recipes in kids' book:

Blockbuster Blueberry Muffins

These days, the average supersized muffin costs you half a day’s
calories and fat grams. The ones that taste good are no better than
cupcakes without the icing (and the ones that are whole grain and
low-fat taste just like the box they came in!). If you want the
best of both worlds—great taste and lower fat—these muffins may
become your family’s favorite morning staple. White Bean Puree
works overtime to cut the fat and provide fiber, and the oat bran
and wheat germ disappear behind the world’s healthiest berry.

Be sure to make extras and freeze them in a plastic bag.
When you’re ready to eat, simply pull one out and toast it!

Makes 6 large muffins
2 large eggs
1⁄4 cup sugar
1⁄4 cup almond or canola oil
1⁄2 cup White Bean Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #9)
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
3⁄4 cup Flour Blend (see Make-Ahead Recipe #13)
2 teaspoons baking powder
1⁄2 teaspoon cinnamon
1⁄2 cup oat bran
1⁄2 teaspoon salt
1 cup fresh or frozen (not thawed) blueberries

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a muffin tin with paper liners.
In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs and sugar until well
combined, then whisk in the oil, White Bean Puree, and vanilla. In
another bowl, whisk together the Flour Blend, baking powder,
cinnamon, oat bran, and salt. Fold the dry ingredients into the
wet, mixing until the flour is just moistened, then lightly mix in
the blueberries. Don’t overmix, or the muffins will be dense.
Fill each muffin cup to the top, spooning about 1⁄4 cup of batter
into each. Bake for 22 to 25 minutes, until the tops are golden brown.

Grilled Muffin Variation
Once cool, slice the muffins in half, butter each side very
lightly, and place buttered-side down on a hot indoor grill pan or
outdoor grill until toasted the muffin is toasted and grill marks
appear. Serve hot, with coffee.

My best,

Substituting Flax

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Dear Missy,

I am addicted to sneaky cooking now thanks to you! I love
using mixed flax seed, can I substitute that for wheat germ in all of
your recipes? I have used it in your flour blend recipe with great


Dear Danielle,

Sneaky cooking is habit forming, isn't it! ; )

You can substitute flax for wheat germ, but you're going to have to do some experimentation. Flax tends to thicken up after it's been ground and moistened, whereas wheat germ will only soften but will not thicken. It sounds like you've got some experience with it, so I'd say give it a try. You'll get the results you're looking for in a batch or two : ) 

Keep up the creativity!


Substituting Pumpkin

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Hi Missy,

My daughter can't eat sweet potatoes. Would it be alright to
substitute pumpkin puree for the sweet potatoes in your orange puree?

Thanks, Davina

Dear Davina,

Absolutely! Good thinking. But keep in mind that pumpkin is not as sweet as sweet potatoes or yams, so you might want to increase the amount of sweetener in the recipe if it uses one.

With healthiest regards,


Meal Planner

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Hi Missy,
I am using your recipes for most of my cooking these days and I was
wondering if you had considered creating a computer program that could
do meal planning using your recipes? Something where one could pick
from your recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks and then it
would show/include nutritional info in an effort to create a
nutritionally balanced day, week, or month of meals. It could also
create shopping lists based on the planned week or month. Probably
even do more than I have thought of. Just an idea...?
Thanks for all the great recipes. I'm having fun trying them out and
discovering what my family likes.

Hi Marnie,

Thanks for taking the time to write.  Glad my recipes have become a part of your family's everyday life.  Great news!  My new book includes a meal planner and full nutritional analysis for every recipe! 
This should help (sorry it’s not a computer program just yet!)
All my best,

Purple Pancakes

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Dear Missy,

I just wanted to tell you that whenever I use plain pancake
mix lately, I've been adding the Purple Puree, and my 2 and 3 year
old love it!!!  We call them "Purple Pancakes"!



Hi Jen,

Awesome...then you'll really love my new book that has a bunch of Quick Fixes to Boxed Pancake Mix!  Check it out!

Here's one example from the new book - similar to what you described:

Chocolate Pancakes:
1 large egg
¾ cup low-fat milk
1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil
½ cup Purple Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #_, pg._)
1 cup boxed pancake mix
1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
¼ cup oat bran
¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, optional
In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, oil, and Purple Puree. Add boxed pancake mix, cocoa powder, and oat bran, and chocolate chips, if using, mixing just until combined (don't over mix - leave small lumps). If the batter is too thick, add a little more milk.

Thanks for writing and sharing the good "purple" news!! Enjoy.


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