August 2010 Archives

I'll be in New York all day today doing a "Satellite Media TV Tour " where I'll be demonstrating my newest back-to-school recipes on morning shows across the nation.

I'll be using Uncle Ben's whole grain white rice as the featured ingredient. It's an amazing new product that will become every mom's secret weapon in the kitchen!

It's the first and only whole grain rice that looks and tastes like white rice.

This is truly the ultimate sneaky product and, as you can imagine, my dream come true. It even has twice the amount of fiber of brown rice! 

Kids will never know they're eating something healthy.

I can't tell you how good I feel about this product. 

See you on your local morning show!

Enjoy in good health,


Gravy & Fries

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Hi Missy!!!

I have been using the sneaky chef for a few months and I LOVE  the speedy stovetop lasanga!My mother bought this book for me because I am a HEALTH NUT!!!(I am only 12!) but one thing I was wondering was in your recipe "Suprise Cheese Fries" you said it was called "poutine" in canada but that isn't poutine...poutine is cheese curd or mozza cheese with gravy and fries...way too fattening I was there anyway too make it more healthy???? compliments to the sneaky chef!!!!!! –Lauren

Dear Lauren,

I am also a health nut as you may have guessed already! And I'm thrilled you love my Speedy Stovetop Lasagne–it's one of my favorite recipes. Fast, delicious, only one pan to wash!

I've learned about my Poutine typo from other Canadians like you--whoops! It sounds like we could make real nutrition gains with poutine by using Sneaky Chef baked fries and Sneaky Chef gravy instead. I've pasted the recipes below.

Enjoy in good health!


Crispy No-Fry Fries
Nutrition Highlights: Vegetables and whole grains
Rich in vitamins B complex and C, folate, antioxidants, and fiber
The humble russet potato surprised the health community and took top honors recently with one of the highest disease-fighting antioxidant ratings of all vegetables. That’s not to say we should all run out to eat french fries, which are full of saturated fat. This low-fat version uses a touch of heart-healthy olive oil and a dusting of cornmeal to help mimic the texture of the deep-fried variety that is so often lacking in oven-baked fries. It also adds a bit of extra fiber and whole grain nutrition. Egg whites cut down on the need for a lot of oil and also help the potatoes achieve a nice golden crust.
If you want to scrub and cut the potatoes earlier in the day or even the day before, simply place the wedges in a bowl of water and refrigerate until ready to cook, and then pat dry before proceeding.
Sneaky tip: Serve these fries in an ice cream parfait (or regular) glass lined with parchment paper sticking out of the top.
Makes 4 servings
2 russet potatoes
1 large egg white
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 tablespoon cornmeal
Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
Cut each potato into 8 wedges or several thin sticks. Toss potatoes in a mixing bowl with the egg white, olive oil, and salt, coating evenly. Then dust with cornmeal and spread the potatoes in a single layer on a baking sheet sprayed with oil.
Bake 50 to 60 minutes or until golden brown.
Goes well with Hi-Fi Fish Sticks, page __, Crunchy Chicken Tenders, page __ or Bonus Burgers, page __
Cheese fry variation:
Same method as No-Fry Fries above, but sprinkle with 1 to 2 tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese at the same time you dust with the cornmeal.
IMHO – blog version of “in my humble opinion” -- there’s nothing sexy about gravy. In fact, it’s my least favorite part of Thanksgiving dinner since it traditionally needs to be made at the last minute from pan drippings as guests are just arriving at your door. You can cheat a little and make this gravy with a good quality packaged chicken broth, or do it the traditional way from the turkey itself. Either way, the Lentil Puree adds a depth of hearty flavor as well as a great dose of fiber that will help rid the body of all that unhealthy fat that’s just accepted as an unavoidable part of this holiday meal
Makes about 3 cups gravy
2 tablespoons butter or pan drippings (from chicken or turkey)
1 ½ tablespoons whole wheat flour
2 cups chicken broth 
1 ½ teaspoons Worcester sauce (or “Gravy Master”)
½ cup Lentil Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #_, page _)
Salt and pepper to taste
Optional Extra Boost: ½ onion, minced or pureed
Heat the butter or pan drippings over medium heat in a sauté pan. Add the onions (if using) and cook until they are lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the flour, then the broth, Worcester sauce (or Gravy Master) and Lentil Puree. Cook for about 5 minutes until thickened. Add a touch of milk, if you desire lighter colored gravy. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 
Make-Ahead Recipe #5: Lentil Puree
2/3 cup lentils* (about 4 ounces), rinsed 
2 cups water plus 2 tablespoons water
*Green Lentils have the most fiber, but you can use any color lentil for this recipe - green, brown, orange, black; also feel free to substitute canned lentils and skip the cooking step – go right to pureeing.
Combine the lentils and the water in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer, cover, and simmer for 35 to 40 minutes, or until lentils are tender. Drain any excess liquid and fill the bowl of your food processor with the lentils and 1 tablespoon of water. Puree on high until as smooth as possible, adding the other tablespoon of water if needed. Stop occasionally to push the contents to the bottom. If necessary, use another tablespoon of water to smooth-out the puree.
This recipe makes about 1 ½ cups of puree; double it if you want to store more. It will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or you can freeze 1⁄4-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.
Lentil Puree is used in the following recipes: 
Mexican Cheeseburger
Sneaky Sliders
Sneaky Gravy

Big News about Calcium

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I've just seen the shocking new study linking calcium supplement to heart attacks. The study Shows Patients Taking Pills to Boost Calcium Levels Face 31 Percent Increase in Heart Attacks. 

My kids and I have been taking calcium supplements for years. Not any more. Foods naturally rich in calcium are far better – they raise the blood level of calcium slower than supplements, avoiding the artery-clogging mechanism described in the study. There are many excellent whole foods that are rich in calcium: figs, for example, have as much calcium as skim milk!

And check out these other great whole food sources: Sardines and salmon (canned, with bones) are rich in calcium, as are sesame seeds (think tahini in hummus), almonds, kale, yogurt, and cheddar cheese.

Eating the whole food has always been my philosophy, and this new study bears this out again. See below for a list of calcium-rich foods to eat instead of taking supplements. I agree with the article that more study is definitely needed, but now it looks like it's better to get calcium through food, which doesn't seem to cause this type of heart problem.

Another mitigating factor is that taking vitamin D along with calcium helps to reduce the risk. 

ere's a list of whole foods that contain lots of calcium:

Top 5 Non-Dairy Foods High in Calcium 
1. Figs (four pieces contain 506 milligrams of calcium) 
2. Sardines with bones (3 ounces contain 324 milligrams) 
3. Soybeans (1 cup contains 261 milligrams) 
4. Salmon with bones (3 ounces contain 181 milligrams) 
5. Sesame Seeds (1 tablespoon contains 80 milligrams) 
Top 3 Foods with Calcium (by Category) 
1. Sesame Seeds 
2. Almonds 
3. Walnuts 
1. Sardines (with bones) 
2. Salmon (with bones) 
3. Oysters 
1. Soybeans 
2. Broccoli 
3. Chick Peas 
1. Figs 
2. Apricots 
3. Oranges 

Hi Missy,

I was woundering if there was a second book that only contained the new recipes verse the one with all the beging repeated chapters. Thanks! Michelle S.

Dear Michelle,

If I'm understanding your question correctly, you'd like to know why each one of my four books has to start with the make-ahead recipes. The reason is that first time readers need to know how to create the make-aheads when they're called for later in the book--for some readers, book 2, 3 or 4 is their first purchase. 

You'll find over 200 new recipes in books 2,3 and 4. Plus, I've published dozens of additional recipes on my website, both on the Free Recipe pages, as well as in the Ask The Sneaky Chef forum.

Enjoy in good health!


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