September 2009 Archives

Hi Missy,

Am I missing something in the hamburger stuffed potatoes recipe? It says that hamburger mixture should be brought to a boil and then simmered - but my mixture has no moisture to do this with.  What am I doing wrong?

Dear Kelsea, 

Sounds like something is amiss. Here is the recipes right out of the electronic version of my book which I maintain for myself on my computer. See if it matches up with what you're seeing. 

Enjoy in good health!


For the meat and potato lover in your kid, this is a full meal in a potato boat. It combines the concept of “double stuffed potatoes” with a cheeseburger, offering ample opportunities for Sneaky Chefs to slip in some nutritious purees. Prep ahead, refrigerate, then simply heat through at dinnertime (I heat mine in a toaster oven).
Makes 6 servings
3 large russet potatoes
For the hamburger mixture:
One tablespoon olive oil
One-half pound lean ground beef or turkey
1 tablespoon ketchup
1 teaspoon Worcester Sauce
3 tablespoons tomato paste
¼ cup Green Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #_, pg._)
1 tablespoon oat bran
½ teaspoon salt
For the potato:
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
2 tablespoons plain low-fat yogurt
¼ teaspoon salt
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Time saving tip: if you have leftover meat sauce or meatballs on hand, use either as a substitute for the ground meat mixture 
Prick potatoes several times with a fork and place them directly on oven rack. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until tender. 
While potatoes are baking, heat the oil over medium heat in a deep skillet or earthenware pot. Add the beef (or turkey), stirring to break it up, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the meat is no longer red. Stir in the ketchup, Worcester Sauce, tomato paste, Green Puree, oat bran, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Mix well. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 to 15 minutes.
Remove potatoes from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl, leaving some potato in the skin to keep shells intact. Mash potatoes lightly with a fork, adding the butter, yogurt, and salt. Set aside.
Fill each potato shell with about 2 tablespoons of the cooked hamburger mixture, then top with about 3 tablespoons of the potato mixture, mounding slightly. Spray tops with oil and place back in the oven for 5 minutes, to crisp the top of the potato. Serve immediately. 
Cheeseburger variation:
Follow same instructions for Hamburger Stuffed Potato above, adding one-half slice of American cheese to completed stuffed potato half and returning to oven for 5 minutes, until cheese is melted.

Slow Cooker Chicken Recipe

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Dear Missy,

Hello! I love your book. It helps my autistic child to eat more healthy food without resisting. I'm just wondering if there are any recipe ideas for crock pot meals? Thanks! Alaris

Dear Alaris,

I'm so glad my recipes are helping your child : )

Here's a great recipe for crock pot chicken, plus a letter I received from a reader that I thought you might like.

Enjoy in good health!

The idea behind slow cookers is to have a tender, delicious dinner that’s cooking while you’re gone and ready when you walk in the door. Chicken and stew recipes are most ideal for this hands-off gadget.
Makes 6 servings 
1 ¼ cups store-bought BBQ sauce* (or 2 cups Down Under BBQ Sauce, pg. __)
¾ cup White or Orange Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #_ or #_)
¼ cup vegetable or chicken broth
2 tablespoons oat bran
4 skinless half chicken breasts, with bone (about 2 lbs)
6 hamburger buns or English muffins (ideally whole grain)
*If using my "Down Under BBQ Sauce", use 2 cups of sauce and omit the additional Orange or White Puree in this recipe.
Preheat slow cooker to desired setting.
In the slow cooker pot, mix BBQ sauce with White or Orange Puree, broth, and oat bran. Add chicken to slow cooker and toss. Cover. Cook 5 hours on low or 2 ½ hours on high. 
Remove chicken from slow cooker. Shred chicken using 2 forks and toss with the hot sauce. Serve on warm hamburger buns or English muffins, if desired.
Note: For best results, do not remove cover during cooking.
“I am a mum of six children ranging from 19 to 8. My three youngest have autism. Finding food that they would eat is hard enough but healthy food is even harder. We decided to take out a lot of the preservatives in their diet as well as getting them to eat healthier. 

Finding your book was a Godsend. While making up the purees, I despaired getting them to eat them. Then I stood in awe as my 9-year-old took off with the bowl that I had made the "Brainy Brownies" in and began to lick it. I can make up food now knowing that in most things they are getting such wonderful vegetables. Putting a white and an orange puree into plain baked beans and watching them eating it is incredible. 

My son’s teacher came up to me after two weeks and asked me what I had done. She told me that my son was now working alone without needing much help and his spelling and English had improved dramatically. My 9-year-old daughter is amazing. Since starting with the purees and other things in the book, her speech has improved dramatically and she had now at least twice the amount of words. When she got out of the car the other day, and just before she ran off to school, she turned and called out. "I love you mummy." I sat and cried because that is not something she says. If I could meet Missy I would give her the hugest hug because without this book I would definitely not have the kids I have today. Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving my kids back to me.” Tina E., Australia (mum of 6)

Recipe for Manli-Cotti

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Hi Missy,

My kids love Manicotti, so I was wondering how to make it
more healthy.  Thanks so much!

Dear Cindy,

This is one of my favorites, too! I have a great recipe for "manli-cotti" in my second book, for men. Here's the recipe below. (You can find the recipe for White Puree on the Free Recipe pages of my website).

Enjoy in good health!



Stuffed Manli-Cotti
This recipe really passes the Sneaky Chef Challenge, thanks to the convenient blandness of high-fiber, low-fat tofu. In this case, the tofu mimics the taste and texture of higher fat cheese. The cheesy mixture also camouflages hidden vegetables, and the tomato sauce affords yet another opportunity to slip in additional undetectable veggies.
Makes 6 servings
1 (8-ounce) package manicotti (12 tubes)
1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 cup firm tofu, mashed well or pureed in a food processor (1⁄2 of a 14-ounce block)
1 to 2 garlic cloves, minced
6 tablespoons grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
2 cups White Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #4)
1⁄2 teaspoon salt 
Freshly ground pepper, to taste 
11⁄2 cups store-bought tomato sauce, or 2 cups Mega Marinara Sauce,* page 228
*If you are using Mega Marinara Sauce, omit the White Puree called for in this recipe.
Cook the manicotti according to the package directions. Drain and rinse. 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Spray the bottom of a 13 x 9-inch baking dish with oil.
In a large bowl, mix the ricotta, tofu, garlic, Parmesan, salt, pepper, and 1 cup of the White Puree. In another bowl, mix the remaining cup of the White Puree into the tomato sauce.
Fill each manicotti with the ricotta mixture, about 3 tablespoons of filling per tube. Spread 3⁄4 cup of tomato sauce on the bottom of the prepared baking dish. Place the filled manicotti in a single layer on top of the sauce. Pour the remaining tomato sauce over the manicotti, cover the pan with foil sprayed with oil, and bake for 30 minutes.
Extra Cheesy Variation
Follow the instructions for Manli-Cotti, but just before baking, sprinkle the top of the casserole with 1 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (about 3 ounces). Cover with foil and bake as directed. Remove foil for the final 5 to 10 minutes of baking to lightly brown the cheese.


Lawsuit Update

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There was a procedural setback in my plagiarism case against the Seinfelds. It's clear that I’m up against very powerful opponents. 

It is important to note that the court did not dismiss my defamation claim against Jerry Seinfeld or my claims against the publisher, Harper Collins. It is not a joke that Jerry Seinfeld used national television to paint me in the minds of millions of people as a "wacko" and an "assassin."  There is no defense of a sense of humor that can justify this.

I can and will continue to pursue these claims in NY state court for the harm the Seinfelds caused me and my family.

Thank you all for your continued support!

With fondest regards,


Nutritional Info

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Hi Missy!

I'm a recent convert to your way of cooking and am really getting
into it. My kids are real picky, and have always enjoyed eating fruits
and broccoli, but we as a family just aren't very adventurous when it
comes to eating a variety of veggies. Your recipes have changed all
that. Thank you! The first time I made the Taco recipe from your book,
my older son, who likes tacos but never eats enough, ate 6! My younger
son, who doesn't like tacos, ate 2! It was a winner!

The main reason I'm writing, however, is to find out if there is a
place on your website or on the web somewhere that has the nutrition
info for all of the recipes from your earlier books. I try to keep a
pretty strict eye on my daily calorie intake, as well as balance of
protein/carbs/fat, and find this information invaluable. Is the info
available anywhere, or any plans for posting it on your site

Thanks so much for all of your hard work! This mom appreciates it! : D


Jan H.

Dear Jan,

It's great to hear stories like yours : ) It really makes it all worthwhile : )

Regarding the nutritional info, I've added it for all recipes in my latest book, To The Rescue, and for all recipes on my website. I'll also be doing it for all future books based on feedback like yours. 

Keep up the great work!


Back-to-school can mean lots of last-minute trips to the store for all kinds of forgotten items. It's just not possible, unless you're Supermom, to plan ahead for everything that's going to be needed until you're in the thick of it. 

In all the rush, thinking about what your child is going to eat for lunch on the first day of school doesn't usually come to mind until the night before, when your child appears in the kitchen holding their lunch box and asking what you're going to give them for lunch tomorrow. 

But when it comes to food, last-minute translates to poorer quality. We reach for quick, processed foods that require minimal prep time on our part. Do your child a favor: plan ahead just a day or two now, and you'll be able to make sure that your child isn't at a nutritional disadvantage on that all-important first day. First impressions are just as important for kids as they are for us, and study after study shows that kids who eat right have more balanced moods and energy, and do better in school as well.

If you put yourself in your child’s shoes, you’ll remember those back to school butterflies. Who will be sitting next to you, how hard are the classes going to be, how do you get everywhere, and most important of all: how do you fit in socially.

As a parent, you can be your child’s invisible guardian angel by making sure they feel good about themselves, with a clear head and high energy. By fueling them up with balanced, long lasting nutrition, instead of heavy foods that will make them sluggish or sugary foods that will burn out too quickly, they will feel at the top of their game, and that can make all the difference.

In the next 30 minutes, you can make a whole week’s worth of Sneaky Chef purees–just steam and puree some veggies, then throw half of it in the fridge and half in the freezer. You’ll have all you need to make any Sneaky Chef recipe every day for a week! 

Download free recipes from this website, or get some Sneaky Chef books from the library or bookstore. They’ll show you the fastest, easiest way to ensure that your child has every advantage right from the start.  

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