May 2009 Archives

Missy,

Thanks for all the great recipes. I'm enjoying trying to make them all!
My 2 yr old loves everything so far although for some strange reason
didn't like the ice cream (crazy kid huh?!). 

I just got the 2nd book and made the blueberry muffins. I was wondering
if I read the recipe incorrectly. They still came out fabulous but when
I put 1/4 cup in each muffin tin I had a lot of batter leftover and
made about 10 instead of 6. Should I have used 1/2 cup and the extra
large muffin tins or should I have filled them higher in the tins? They
did not rise much above the height I filled them to, so I may have been
able to put more in each.

Thanks and keep creating these great recipes,

Stephanie

Hi Stephanie, I always like to overfill muffin tins just a little bit when I make them. They'll overflow just enough onto the top of the muffin tin to give each muffin a nice thick rim that everyone loves to pull off and eat first. If you bake it just long enough, it will have a slightly crispy edge and a soft and chewy inside. Muffins rule ; ) Enjoy on good health! Missy

Enterprising Kids

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Here's an entertaining story that only having kids could make possible:

I set out to test some fun new recipes for a project I’m doing with  
Motts applesauce. I baked some “cinnamon apple breakfast cookies”  
since everybody wants more grab ‘n go cookies for the morning.
 
These were good! Lightly sweetened and slightly crunchy with a sparkle  
of cinnamon sugar on top, and a fresh apple taste from the applesauce  
which I used in place of more than half the oil. I crunched up some  
whole grain cereal flakes for great texture and chew, and voila, a  
yummy new breakfast cookie was born right here in The Sneaky Chef test  
kitchen.
 
Enter the girls. They came home with friends from school, so I put a  
few cookies out on a plate, then went to run an errand. When I got  
home, they had set up an old-fashioned “lemonade” stand (only using  
applejuice) and set out all the cookies to sell!  So, now, of course,  
I had to buy some of my own cookies back myself–a deal only a kid  
could get away with ; )
 
Here’s a fun photo of the kids:

motts breakfast cookies 2 web.jpg

Burger Recipe

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Dear Sneaky Chef,

Can I turn magic meatballs recipe into small hamburger
patties and how long should I bake them in oven and on what
temperature?  My kid likes the taste of the magic meatballs but I want to shake it up a bit and make easier for me.

Dear Carol,

Turning them into hamburgers should be fine. I also have a recipe for Hamburger Stuffed Potatoes and Mexican Hamburgers in my latest book, and Bonus Burgers from first book. Here's the recipe for Bonus Burgers: it should get you off to a good start : )

Enjoy in good health!

Missy
 
Bonus Burgers
In this version of the traditional hamburger, we managed to sneak in a full teaspoon of nutrient-packed pureed blueberries and spinach per ounce of beef. The familiar taste of ketchup helps to override any detectable foreign flavors, and I have yet to find anyone who noticed anything unusual about this burger. If you’re adding the optional chickpeas, you will boost the fiber and vitamin content and ensure that all the saturated fat of the meat is quickly escorted out of the body.
 
Makes 8-10 burgers
1 pound lean ground beef
1 large egg
¼ cup Purple Puree (see Make Ahead Recipe #1)
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
¼ cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs*
8-10 American cheese slices (optional)
8-10 hamburger buns or English muffins (preferably whole grain)
Pickle slices and ketchup to garnish
Optional extra boost: 2 teaspoons Chickpea Puree (see Make Ahead Recipe #10)
 
In a large bowl, mix egg, Purple Puree, ketchup, salt and bread crumbs. Then add the ground beef, mixing with hands until well combined. If too sticky, add a few more bread crumbs.
 
Using damp hands, shape mixture into 8 to 10 patties that are fairly thin. Up to this point, the burgers may be prepared a day ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator. If you are not freezing for future use, proceed to next steps.
 
Spray a large skillet or grill pan with non-stick cooking spray and set over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking. Cook the burgers for 3 minutes on each side then flip and add cheese (if using) to melt over patties for another 3 minutes.
 
Serve on fresh, soft burger buns or English muffins with ketchup and pickles.
 
*Whole wheat bread crumbs can be found in natural and organic food stores, but you can easily make your own by pulsing whole grain bread in a food processor to achieve fine crumbs. It’s that simple. Three slices of bread yields about one cup of fresh crumbs. They keep for months in a sealed bag in the freezer.
 
A great use for leftover burgers: Undercover Crispy Ravioli, page __.
 
Sneaky Tip: High heat from grilling can react with protein in meat, poultry and fish to create cancer causing chemicals HCAs and PAHs. Adding blueberries or cherries to the meat before cooking has been found to significantly reduce this risk.

Printing Recipes

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Dear Sneaky Chef,

Is there any way to save the recipes Instead of copy and

pasting them? Thank you.

Dear Bunny,

You'll see a row of buttons at the very bottom of each recipe page on the Free Recipe Pages of my website. You can save as a PDF, print, or email to yourself (or a friend). I imagine this is what you need?


Keep up the good work : )

Missy
 

Hi Missy! I've used your first book since it came out, for my husband :). I bought your second book right away  too. I can't wait to read your third!

I noticed online you have a recipe for gluten free cookies, but it
doesn't show the recipe for gluten free flour blend....I would love
to make these cookies for a friend who can not eat gluten, and just
had a baby. Can you share the Gluten free blend recipe? 
Thanks!
Elizabeth

Hi Elizabeth,

I'm so glad my recipes are working out for you : )

Below is my recipe for GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR BLEND.

Enjoy in good health : )

Missy
 
GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR BLEND
2 cups rice flour (ideally “brown rice flour”)
2/3 cup potato starch (not “potato flour”)
1/3 cup tapioca flour (or tapioca starch)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
 
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. This blend can be stored in a sealed, labeled plastic bag in the refrigerator for months.
 
Note: most of the gluten-free ingredients in this chapter can be found at Whole Foods Market or on Amazon.com

Hi Missy! I've used your first book since it came out, for my husband :). I bought your second book right away  too. I can't wait to read your third!

I noticed online you have a recipe for gluten free cookies, but it
doesn't show the recipe for gluten free flour blend....I would love
to make these cookies for a friend who can not eat gluten, and just
had a baby. Can you share the Gluten free blend recipe? 
Thanks!
Elizabeth

Hi Elizabeth,

I'm so glad my recipes are working out for you : )

Below is my recipe for GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR BLEND.

Enjoy in good health : )

Missy
 
GLUTEN-FREE FLOUR BLEND
2 cups rice flour (ideally “brown rice flour”)
2/3 cup potato starch (not “potato flour”)
1/3 cup tapioca flour (or tapioca starch)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
 
Combine all ingredients in a bowl. This blend can be stored in a sealed, labeled plastic bag in the refrigerator for months.
 
Note: most of the gluten-free ingredients in this chapter can be found at Whole Foods Market or on Amazon.com

Message: Is WHITE Whole Wheat flour same as Whole wheat flour?  I saw that Trader Joe's sells the White Whole wheat and was wondering if I can use that to make the flour blend.  Thank you!

Dear Rose,

You can certainly use white wholewheat flour to make my Flour Blend. In fact, you'll also see on my homepage that I recommend "Ultragrain," which has this type of wholewheat flour in it.


Basically, white wholewheat flour is made from albino wheat, which means it is lighter in color than regular wholewheat flour (which is made from red wheat), so less treatment is needed in order to make it look like regular white flour. But it has the nutritious profile of wholewheat. Most people can't tell the difference between regular white flour and white wholewheat flour, so that's another "sneaky" perk.

Hope this helps!

Missy

Hi Everyone,
 
I'm Rick Lapine, the husband of The Sneaky Chef, and I've commandeered Missy's blog this week in honor of Mother's Day: I'd like to send everyone a great recipe (see below) and Missy a little surprise ; )
 
Our children approached me with a plan to bake something for Missy on Mother's Day. Now, imagine you're me, the husband of the best selling sneaky cookbook author herself, and you want to pull one over on her. Where do you start? 
 
OK, Missy loves chocolate anything. But I was hoping for a wake-up surprise treat. Hmmm... How about her very own recipe for chocolate cupcakes with spinach and blueberries? Perfect–healthy enough for breakfast, chocolatty enough for Missy.
 
I got the girls to make a practice batch with me today (see photo below) while Missy was out food shopping. They turned out quite well, actually, and it was a lot of fun to play Sneaky Chef with them. The girls are out now distributing them to eager neighborhood friends. I must say, they were pretty easy to make (and to indulge in ; )
 
Now that we're all pros, we plan to sneak into the Sneaky Chef test kitchen on Saturday while Missy is testing for her green belt in Tai Kwon Do (and we have to keep her from seeing this blog, too!). Sammy, our youngest, has already stated her intention to sneak something completely unknown into the batter to see if she can get away with it. Never a dull moment...
 
It's nice to give Missy something that we can feel good about giving the kids too. It should be a nice, pleasant, Mother's Day breakfast in bed. Famous last words... 
 
Happy Mother's Day!  –Rick (Recipe follows photo)


Sammy Emmy Cupcakes Blog.jpg

RECIPE FOR CHOCOLATE CUPCAKES:

QUICK FIX FOR CHOCOLATE CAKE MIX
 
3 large eggs
¾ cup Purple Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #_, page _)
1 cup water
¼ cup wheat germ 
1 box (about 18 ounces) chocolate cake mix (such as Duncan Hines® Moist Deluxe® Classic Cake Mix)
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a cake pan (then lightly flour) or muffin tin (lined with muffin cups).
 
In the bowl of an electric mixer, combine eggs, Purple Puree, water, and dry ingredients. Blend at low speed for 30 seconds, then increase speed to medium speed for another 2 minutes. Pour batter into cake pan or muffin tins. Bake cake for 33 to 36 minutes, cupcakes for 18 to 21 minutes (both until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean).
 
NUTRITIONAL INFORMATION
Per Serving (1 slice, 75g): Calories 213; Total Fat 8.0g; Fiber 1.8g; Total Carbohydrates 33.7g; Sugars 17.3g; Protein 4.8g; Sodium 364mg; Cholesterol 52mg; Calcium 86mg. 55% less fat, 22% less cholesterol, 11% more potassium, and 41% more fiber than traditional recipe.
 

 

Texture Issues

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My 6 yr old son has serious \"texture\" issues with what he eats he likes crunchy things (no fish sticks tried that) he does not like burgers either. Basically eats chicken and pasta! HELP 

Dear Christine,

I'd really like you to try the "crunchy" recipes in my latest book,"The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue." This would include such dishes as:

Grandma Betty's Cornflake and Cheese Pudding (has a crunchy topping)
Lots of cookies recipes (including nutritious breakfast cookies)
Pasta with Better Butter Sauce (not crunchy, just pasta-y!)
Lunch Box Biscuits (crunchy tops)
Portable Pizza Muffins (crusty)
Sneak 'n Slice Pizza Bites
Lunch Box Muffins--Man 'n Cheese Flavor
Honey-Battered Popcorn Shrimp
Surprise Cheese Fries
Mighty Tots
Tater Pups
Pretty Pink Popcorn Balls
Chicken Tenders
and more!

How's that for a start! Good luck!

Missy

Someone has turned me on to your site recently and upon reading

the recipes for the purees - I noticed particularly the orange puree
the vegetables needed to be boiled.  What if sweet potato and carrots
were roasted or steamed before pureed?  I was under the impression
boiling would take all the nutrients out.  I can\'t wait to receive my
first book (I ordered today)!  Thanks!

Dear Nina,

Believe it or not, steaming and boiling preserve more of the nutritional components than baking. Steaming and boiling temperatures are about 212 degrees, versus 400 or so for baking. Baking tends to concentrate flavors, which is great for eating veggies straight up like many adults do. But for pureeing and hiding, we want the flavor to be as mild as possible. So steaming and boiling work for both taste and preserving nutrition in sneaky recipes. 

Also, if you steam rather than boil, just be aware that you may need to add a bit more liquid, to make a nice smooth puree.

Have fun!

Missy


Hi!  I just got your new book and LOVE it...just wondering,

can you do the same Quick Fix for Cakes for white cake as yellow?  I
see it is different for chocolate, because of color, but I notice one
uses wheat germ and one uses oat bran.  I just wanna get it right for
the next birthday party!  THANKS!

Dear Jana,

You can certainly apply the same principal and quantities of puree, etc., but be very careful about color matching, flavor and quantities. What I mean is that the flavors in yellow cake hide the flavor of orange puree (carrots and sweet potatoes) better than a white cake will, so I would recommend trying some white puree (cauliflower and zucchini) if you want to branch out. But you've got to be willing to experiment a little–it takes me at least half a dozen tries per recipe to get everything just right. Moisture content affects texture and appearance, spices affect flavor, etc. It's quite fun and addicting to see what you can create that actually works : )

Good Luck!

Missy


Dear Missy,

My 3 year old son only wants to eat chicken nuggets, pizza, peanut butter, or spaghettio's. It is affecting his ability to use the bathroom and everything. How do I sneak healthy foods into this? It also has to be store bought; I have tried homemade and he doesn't go for it. Somehow he knows the difference. 

Dear Casey,

Your son's favorites are typical for kids his age. That's why I chose these recipes to fix first. More kids eat these than any others. Check out these delicious, easy and nutritious fixes:

Peanut Butter:
In my first book, I mention adding wheat germ to peanut butter. I also have recipes for Peanut butter and Jelly muffins and Peanut butter Thumbprint Cookies, each with hidden purees of fruits or white beans in them. In my third book, "The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue," I've got quite a few peanut butter cookies and bars, again with my signature sneaky purees. 

Chicken nuggets:
My crunchy chicken tenders are fantastic and are loaded with sneaky orange puree with carrots and sweet potatoes, as well as my Better Breading with hidden wheat germ and whole wheat flour. Since he's so partial to store bought, we have two additional sneaky options: mix some of my finished nuggets into his favorite brand, or better yet, make mine and freeze them in the empty box from his favorite brand–and make sure he sees you taking them out of the box ; ) Works every time! 

Pizza:
How about you mixing the puree into the tomato sauce while he's having fun somewhere else, then call him into the kitchen and together, make an exciting pizza with all his favorite ingredients. He may just catch kitchen-fun-fever! Or, you can alternatively put the sneaky purees back into the jar and make sure he sees you taking it out again. Just remember that once you've put the fresh cooked purees into the jar, you'll only have about 3 days of shelf life to use it up. 

Spaghetti-Os:
Mix some orange puree into it, and serve it! Start with just 1/4 cup puree per can.

As you can see, I'm suggesting different approaches, and I've got 13 more sneaky methods of disguise in each of my books. I've never met a child who won't eat their vegetables on the very first try using my sneaky recipes ; )

With healthiest regards,

Missy

Acid Reflux Help

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Missy, I was just introduced to "the Sneaky Chef" and I

have a three year old that has many stomach and gastro (acid reflux)
problems...my question is...are these foods easy on the stomach and
easy to digest? Are there other recipes you would suggest for her
special needs. Thanks 

Dear Heather,

Your daughter is lucky to have such a caring mommy. I'd suggest that you discuss the ingredients of my purees with your daughter's doctor–The orange puree of carrots and sweet potatoes, for example, is used in dozens of my tomato sauce recipes, like pizza and pasta sauce. It not only adds a delicious natural sweetness which we all love, but it significantly cuts acidity as well. If you doctor likes the idea for your daughter's conditions, she will not only benefit from the improved flavor but the added nutritional content as well : )

Good luck!

Missy


Hi Everyone,

I woke up to increasingly unsettling news about Swine Flu and a global pandemic. When bombarded with Swine Flu information on every news program, article and blog, you can't help but ask yourself, " What can I do to keep my family safe?"

Like most moms, I'm not the type to just sit around–I have to do something. Stocking up on pantry items gives me some sense of control over the situation. Like all of us, I worry first about my children and how to protect them. As The Sneaky Chef, I've always turned to healthy food as my best weapon against illness – swine flu or any other.

Among the obvious things, like washing hands and covering our coughs, the CDC is also recommending nutritious food as one way to avoid getting the flu. Not that we didn't know that already, but it's nice to see it on their website. 

So here’s one of the ways I’m getting more immune-boosting foods into my family – a cold, sweet, refreshing smoothie. It just so happens to be pretty warm here in NY, so I was already thinking about a naturally sweet and delicious treat for my kids to both refresh and fortify them. It's loaded with vitamin C and I'm giving it to my kids every afternoon. I call it the Sneaky Chef Flu Fighter:

Sneaky Chef Flu Fighter:
Makes 4 servings
1 large orange, peeled
1 cup fresh or frozen strawberries
Juice from one fresh lemon
2 cups pomegranate or cranberry juice
4 tablespoons honey
Handful of ice

Put all ingredients in a blender on high until smooth.
Serve in a tall glass with a straw.

Here's to keeping your family healthy!

Missy

See over 100 more nutritious recipes in my newest book, The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue
Available at bookstores everywhere, and at Barnes&Noble and Amazon.comSneaky3cover_final web.jpg

 

I had the most fantastic experience on Fox & Friends on Sunday morning. I was invited to be a guest on the show to make Sneaky Chef chocolate pancakes. 

They had a few children standing by to do a "taste test" on my chocolate pancakes boosted with hidden spinach, blueberries, and whole grains. 

The kids loved them!! They said the pancakes were "delicious," and that although they now knew that spinach was hidden inside, they would still eat them at home. 

The show's producers and hosts, Alisyn Camerota, David Briggs and Clayton Morris were warm and welcoming to me, and said they were excited about trying Sneaky Chef recipes at home! 

The whole show felt really good, and made getting up at 4:00am worthwhile ; )

Click Here to watch the video. 

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