June 2010 Archives

This July 4th weekend, give your family all the delicious fun foods they’re expecting while still ensuring that they get all the nutrition they need. I’ve got a fantastic recipe I’ve named “Bonus Burgers” that’s a guaranteed hit!

This version of the traditional hamburger has been deliciously "sweetened up" with completely hidden pureed blueberries and spinach, plus whole grains. The blueberries add a mild sweetness that everyone loves, plus loads of nutrition your family needs.

Plus, if you’re adding the optional chickpeas, you’ll boost the fiber and vitamin content, so as you sit back and watch everyone devour these burgers, you’ll know that you’ve made this Fourth of July the most delicious and nutritionally fun holiday weekend ever! Click Here for the Free Recipe.

Enjoy in good health,

Missy

BONUS BURGERS

Makes 8 to 10 burgers

1 large egg
1/4 cup Purple Puree (see Make Ahead Recipe #1)
3 tablespoons ketchup
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup fresh whole wheat bread crumbs
1 pound lean ground beef
8 to 10 American cheese slices (optional)
8 to 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 Below)

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. At 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 nonstick 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 (optional) to melt over patties for another 3 minutes.

Serve on fresh, soft burger buns or English muffins with ketchup and pickles. 

Make-Ahead Recipe #8: Chickpea Puree 

1 (15-ounce) can chickpeas* (garbanzo beans)
2 to 3 tablespoons water
*If you prefer to use whole beans, soak overnight and cook as directed

Rinse and drain the chickpeas and place them in the bowl of your food processor. Add 1 tablespoon of the water, then pulse on high until you have a smooth puree. If necessary, use a little more water, a tiny bit at a time, until the mixture smoothes out and no pieces or full chickpeas are visible.

This recipe makes about 1 cup of puree; double it if you want to store another cup. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or you can freeze 1⁄4-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.

 

Hey Missy,

I have your cookbook and LOVE it.  As I am trying to count my calories, I was jut wondering how many calories are in a serving of your Unbelievable Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Thanks,
Jody

Dear Jody,

I'm so glad you love my book(s)!  Here's the nutritional info on Unbelievable Chocolate Chip Cookies, plus I'm including the recipe and nutritional info for my Light Chocolate Chip Cookies from my third book, Sneaky Chef to the Rescue. That book has lots of light recipes in it, in addition to recipes for food allergies and holidays : )

Enjoy in good health!

Missy
 
LIGHT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
I was very pleased with the way these lower fat chocolate chip cookies turned out. While I wasn’t able to reduce the sugar content (which was already low in the original recipe), I did manage to successfully replace half the butter with more White Bean Puree. Another good trick here is to use mini chocolate chips so you get more chips per cookie for less calories. Making these cookies smaller let’s kids have two for the price of one.
 
Makes 72 cookies – one serving equals 2 cookies
1 cup Flour Blend (see Make-Ahead Recipe #13)
½ teaspoon each baking soda and salt
¼ cup oat bran
4 tablespoons unsalted butter
¼ cup brown sugar, packed
¼ cup sugar
2 egg yolks
2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
½ cup White Bean Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #9)
½ cup plain yogurt
½ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (ideally “mini” chocolate chips)
 
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Remove butter from refrigerator to let soften.
 
In a large bowl, whisk together Flour Blend, baking soda, salt, and oat bran. Set aside.
 
In the bowl of an electric mixer, beat butter and both sugars until creamy. Beat in egg yolks, vanilla, White Bean Puree, and yogurt. Add dry ingredients and mix on low speed. Stir in chocolate chips. Make small cookies by dropping rounded teaspoonfuls, spaced about an inch apart, onto nonstick or parchment- lined baking sheets. Spray tops of cookies lightly with oil and flatten with the back of a spatula.
 
Bake for 14 to 16 minutes or until golden brown. Let cool on a metal rack.
Store cookies in airtight container at room temperature.
 
Sneaky tip: double or triple this recipe and save some of the batter rolled in plastic wrap in the freezer for homemade “slice and bake” cookies anytime. 

 
UNBELIEVABLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES 
Per Serving (1 cookie, 21g): Calories 46; Total Fat 2.6g; Fiber 0.5g; Total Carbohydrates 5.6g; Sugars 3.0g; Protein 0.8g; Sodium 37mg; Cholesterol 9mg. 11% less calories, 10% less fat, 11% less carbs, 55% more fiber, 48% more potassium, 20% less sodium, 26% more protein, and 25% less sugars than traditional recipe.
 
LIGHT CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES 
Per Serving (1 Cookie, 14g): Calories 44; Total Fat 1.9g; Fiber 0.6g; Total Carbohydrates 6.4g; Sugars 3.3g; Protein 1.1g; Sodium 39mg; Cholesterol 10mg; Calcium 10mg. 33% less calories, 49% less fat, 62% more potassium, 47% more fiber, 29% more protein, and 37% less sugar than traditional recipe.

This Father’s Day, make him feel special right from the start with a decadent treat he’s guaranteed to love. Deliver breakfast in bed this Sunday with a stack of hot fresh pancakes and warm strawberry syrup. These pancakes have the look and taste of a white flour pancake, yet there is absolutely no flour in them! You’ll be nourishing him with hearty fare, packed with enough protein and whole grains to keep him feeling good all morning long.  And when dad’s happy, everyone’s happy!

Keep this recipe for regular weekdays when your mornings are rushed (and whose aren’t?!). You can make the batter the night before, then serve freshly made pancakes any day of the week; or place the cooked pancakes in a plastic bag and freeze them for up to three months, then simply toast them in the morning. These pancakes also hold up well as a “grab and go” handheld breakfast in the car on the way to work. You can find the Free Recipe right below this post.

Make the man you love feel special this Father’s Day!

With healthiest regards,

Missy 

Sneaky Chef Father's Day Pancakes with Warm Strawberry Syrup

Makes about 6 servings

1⁄2 cup low-fat cottage cheese
1⁄2 cup low-fat milk
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 large egg
1⁄2 cup rolled oats
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon baking powder 
1⁄2 cup Flour Blend (equal parts all-purpose flour, whole wheat flour and wheat germ) 
2 to 4 tablespoons semi-sweet chocolate chips, optional

In the container of a blender, combine all ingredients except Flour Blend and chocolate chips and blend until smooth. Add Flour Blend and pulse a few times until the dry ingredients are fully incorporated. Add the chocolate chips and mix lightly with a spoon (do not blend the chips if you want them to remain whole).

   Spray non-stick cooking oil on a griddle or large skillet over medium heat. Test the pan by tossing in a few drops of water; it will sizzle when it’s hot enough. The skillet will grow hotter over time, so turn down the heat if the pan starts to smoke.

   Drop small ladles (about 1 tablespoon) of batter onto the skillet in batches, making sure there are some chocolate chips in each pancake. When bubbles begin to set around the edges and the skillet-side of each pancake is golden (peek underneath), gently flip them over. Continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the pancake is fully set.

   Serve stacked high, drizzled with a little warm Strawberry Syrup (see recipe below) or dusted with powdered sugar.

Strawberry Syrup: 

Strawberries (fresh or frozen) combined with an equal part pure maple syrup. Pulse in blender. Warm, and serve.

Sneaky Time-Saving Tip! 

Put all ingredients (except the sprinkles) in the blender the night before and refrigerate overnight. 

Dear Missy,

Greetings! I noticed in your first book that you decided not to use asparagus in the purees because the flavor was too hard to hide... I recently became inundated with asparagus, so I made a huge batch of green puree with broccoli, asparagus, and spinach. I used a full cup of puree in the 'Speedy Stovetop Lasagna' and there was not a hint of asparagus in the final product. Yay! Just wanted to let you know that it can work!

Thanks!  Stephanie

Dear Stephanie,
 
Thanks so much for sharing this great puree experience! I can't wait to give it a whirl myself!

Enjoy more sneaky cooking, and congrats for your asparagus puree.

With healthiest regards,

Missy

CHONY BOY MAY 2010.jpg


Earlier this week I spent a truly remarkable day at the Children's Hospital of New York–Presbyterian  (CHONY). I've been trying to find a way to write about it all week.



I was invited to spend a couple of hours at the integrative therapies program for children with cancer, in order to teach kids about good nutrition. But as often happens with kids, it was the teacher who became the student. I learned more about hope and love, and real joy, on that one day, than I have in my whole life.



There was one six year old boy in particular, Justin (in photo above), who was so happy the whole time, and who was totally eager to dive into everything that was going on around him. The hardship that he was going through was plain to see on his physical body, but this did not dampen his enthusiasm one bit. His spirit was magnificently contagious and everyone was touched by him. I completely fell in love.



I felt compelled to share his joy and carefully picked him up over my head. He loved it. But not as much as I did. This child reminded me how to fully live in each moment, and why it's so important to love freely and completely in every moment that we have. 



I will never forget this day at CHONY, and I dedicate this blog to my wonderful friend Justin.

Missy

Dear Missy,

how do you get eggs to appeal to kids so they will like them.I would like to do eggs (scrambled, sunny side up) and french toast for breakfast, egg salad for lunch... Thanks! Christy

Dear Christy,

Here's my recipe for Fortified French Toast, French Toast Dip Sticks and Popeye's Eggs. That should get you off to a great start!

Enjoy in good health,

Missy

Fortified French Toast
Nutrition Highlights: Whole grains, protein, and vegetables
Rich in vitamins B, C, A, and K, potassium, fiber and calcium
 
I often make this batter the night before and leave it covered in the refrigerator for quicker french toast in the morning. The pureed sweet potatoes and carrots in the batter lend a hint of sweetness to the already delicious batter, and the optional crunchy topping is not only a great decoy technique, it adds whole grain health. If you don’t have time for the topping, a light dusting of powdered sugar also does the trick.
 
Makes 4 slices French toast
2 large eggs
1/2 cup milk
1/4 cup Orange Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #2 on Free Recipe Page this website)
1 tablespoon pure maple syrup or honey
1 teaspoon cinnamon
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
4 slices bread (preferably whole wheat)
Butter for pan frying
Powdered sugar for dusting
 
In a large shallow baking dish, whisk together the eggs, milk, Orange Puree, maple syrup (or honey), cinnamon, and vanilla. Dip bread until soaked through, then flip and soak other side. Cook on a moderately hot, well-greased skillet or frying pan, turning to brown each side. Dust lightly with powdered sugar.
 
French Toast Dip Sticks
Following recipe above, cut the pieces of french toast into kid-friendly finger-sized sticks so that they can dip them into maple syrup or Homemade Berry Syrup (see recipe, pg.(book only)).
 
Crunchy French Toast Variation
1 cup whole grain cereal flakes (like Wheaties or Total)
1/4 c wheat germ, unsweetened
 
Using a rolling pin, gently crush cereal (in a sealed plastic bag) to coarse crushed flakes. Alternatively, you can quickly pulse the cereal in a food processor. Pour crushed cereal on a plate, and add the wheat germ. Mix well. Dip each side of the soaked bread from the above recipe in the topping. Proceed to pan fry in butter as instructed above.
 
Popeye’s Eggs
Nutrition Highlights: Protein, vegetables, whole grains, and calcium
Rich in vitamins A and K, folate, iron, tryptophan, selenium, and calcium
 
Here’s a wacky recipe that goes really well with a breakfast reading of Dr. Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham. It’s also a fun way to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day or Earth Day. It’s hard to believe, but the spinach juice leaves no discernable taste, only a terrific green color. This dish will either be a big hit with the kids or get you laughed out of the kitchen. You can also use the tortilla and cheese to hide the green eggs inside a breakfast wrap. The ham is strictly optional.
 
Makes 2 small servings
Butter for pan
2 large eggs
1/4 cup Spinach Juice (see Make Ahead Recipe #5 below)
2 soft flour tortillas (preferably whole wheat)
2 slices American cheese (optional)
Salt
 
Melt butter in a small nonstick skillet over medium heat. Crack the eggs into a mixing bowl and whisk in the Spinach Juice until well incorporated. Add the beaten egg mixture to the skillet, allow to set briefly, and then, using a rubber spatula, lift edges of eggs as they cook, letting uncooked part run underneath until omelet is completely set.
Place half of the omelet in each tortilla, season with salt, and top each with a slice of cheese and roll up. The cheese will melt under the hot eggs.
If you prefer to serve these as scrambled eggs, simply pour the egg mixture into the hot skillet and stir frequently until they are cooked through.
 
Sneaky tip: Smell eggs after cracking to be sure there is no off odor.

Make-Ahead Recipe #5: Green Juice
3 cups raw baby spinach leaves (or 2 cups frozen chopped spinach, or frozen chopped collard greens)
1 cup water 
 
If using raw spinach, thoroughly wash it, even if package says “ prewashed.” Bring spinach or collards and water to boil in a medium pot. Turn heat to low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into a fine mesh strainer over a container or bowl, pressing the green “pulp” with the back of a spoon until all the liquid is released. 
Store in refrigerator up to 3 days, or freeze 1/4 cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers. This makes about 1 cup of Green juice. Double the recipe if you want to store another cup of juice. 
Green Juice is used in the following recipes:
Quick Fixes for Store-Bought Chocolate Pudding
Earth Day Milk Shake
Chocolate Shake
Popeye’s Eggs
Green Icing
 
Nutritional Information for Green Juice:
Green Juice is an extremely nutrient dense food. One tablespoon of it is comparable to eating about 1/4 cup of spinach leaves. It has been boiled for safety, and it possesses the motherlode of nutrients like iron, calcium and enzymes for digestion, as well as chlorophyll and carotenes for disease-fighting power. 
 
 

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