December 2011 Archives

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Hi Missy,
My name is Sophia and I'm a 15-year-old who loves baking. My mom just bought me The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue on Christmas Eve and I'm loving it! For your recipes, I used mashed avocado instead of butter/margarine when I wanted to make it healthier for my family. I realized that in baking, everything needs a little bit of fat, but I wanted to use healthy fats instead, so I thought of avocado. Sometimes, when the avocado is too thick, I would add a little bit of applesauce so that it can mix better with the other ingredients. I also use applesauce to replace at least half of the oil in recipes. I know that some people might not like artificial sweeteners, but if you do then you can use those in place of sugar. I made your Light Brainy Brownies last night. I just tried them and they were the BEST! When I made the Purple Puree I accidentally put a little more spinach than I thought was required, so it didn't really have the purple color that I was looking for, but the brownies still came out chocolaty. My family still love the things that I bake for them, but they don't know about the things I put in them...yet :D

Thank you so much for telling us about the great idea of disguising tasty foods with the things we never expected to be in there! Now I have a better excuse to let my mom eat my favorite treats!
-Sophia S., New York, NY

Hi Sophia!
What a wonderful email – thank you for taking the time to share this with me. I just read it with my own daughter, Emily, reading over my shoulder. She suggested (and I agree) that you should have your own official Sneaky Chef apron….so I want to send you one! 

As for avocado, love that idea…..it's indeed a good fat, and it would coat the gluten/flour just fine, I think.  Did you see I have a brand new book out just this week? Check it out below – the Speedy Sneaky Chef!   Anyway, thank you again for taking the time to reach out to me. You're terrific! Email anytime with questions or whatever.

My best,
Missy

 

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Dear Missy,
I have looked at your new book- it’s exactly what I’ve been doing for years but without the guesswork. So glad your test kitchen has worked out the kinks for me! Between Chanukah and Christmas, I’m hoping that book will find its way to my kitchen counter.

Just so you know, your cookbooks saved us –bridging the time when my twin sons ate literally 5 foods, to this past summer, when they willingly began to eat tossed salads and “normal” food like meatloaf and tacos. They’re still picky, but at least I can finally make one dinner for the whole family.

Can’t wait to tell my colleagues that I won a Sneaky Chef apron...I just brought them a batch of Brownie Cookies (quick fix version) with the surprising recipe!

Happy holidays to you and yours-

Melanie S.

Dear Melanie,

That's awesome!! Thanks for sharing this great success story. I'll send out the apron shortly
My best to you and your family for a healthy and happy holiday!
Missy

 

Scroll down to skip to 4 new recipes
It’s a weekday evening and I’m standing in my kitchen. Our pooches Princess and Buddie are chasing each other around the island, my daughter Emily is looking for a notebook she needs for her homework, and her sister Samantha is finishing violin practice—with gusto. Everyone, including my husband Rick, is starving, the clock is ticking, and I am just about to see if I can find something deep in the bottom of the freezer to shove in the microwave, or failing that, to pick up the phone for takeout, when I stop myself. I’m the Sneaky Chef, for crying out loud! I’ve written five books on how to feed families healthfully and deliciously. I dream in menu plans, can recite nutritious shopping lists by heart, and have a pantry that’s stocked with good-for-you choices. But what I don’t have is time.

The above is the opening paragraph in my newest book, The Speedy Sneaky Chef
Quick, Healthy Fixes for Your Family’s Favorite Packaged Foods & Healthy Meals in a Hurry
.

SPEEDY COVER FINAL smaller for web.jpgIn The Speedy Sneaky Chef, I extend the concept of “sneaky” into “speedy”, giving you more than 80 all-new healthy recipes that you can prepare in a flash, including:

• Quick fixes for jarred tomato sauce, mac-and-cheese, pancake mixes, and cereals.
• Clever shortcuts that will get weeknight cooks out of the kitchen in a hurry.
• Info on navigating options in the supermarket, and what to look for when choosing packaged foods, which can shave minutes—and calories—from every shopping trip.
• Recipes that are dense in nutrients, while low in calories, fat, sodium, and sugars.


The Speedy Sneaky Chef
is not only about saving you time, it’s also about sharing what I’ve learned over the course of writing five cookbooks—spilling all the secret tips and tricks I’ve discovered during the course of creating and testing thousands of recipes myself, and hearing feedback from countless readers every day. This is my best book ever and I'm so excited that you can now order your own copy.

“Moms and dads, if you’re at your wit’s end trying to get your kids to eat healthy . . . well, fret no more! . . . As the mother of a very picky eater, the only way to get my son Josh to eat his veggies is to sneak it, and Missy’s recipes are not only creative and delicious, they are a lifesaver for this often over-worried mom.”
Natalie Morales, co-host, NBC’s Today Show

CHICKEN FRIES 

Makes 4 servingsChickenFries smaller.jpg2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons wheat germ
1 cup breadcrumbs, ideally whole grain
12 ounces uncooked boneless, skinless, thinly sliced chicken breasts
Cooking spray oil

Dip:
1⁄2 cup store-bought marinara sauce
1⁄4 cup Orange Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe) or baby food carrot or
sweet potato puree

Preheat oven to 425 degrees and generously coat baking sheet with cooking spray oil.
Cut tenders into French fry–shaped strips, easily done using kitchen scissors. Combine flax, wheat germ, and breadcrumbs in zip-top plastic bag, seal, and shake to mix. Add chicken strips, seal, and shake to coat chicken evenly. Remove chicken pieces and place on prepared baking sheet. Generously coat top of chicken with more cooking spray and bake for 12 to 14 minutes or until browned and cooked through.
Combine marinara sauce with puree and serve as dip alongside the chicken fries. ORDER BOOK

TROPICAL TWIST BREAKFAST ICE-CREAM CONES  

BreakfastIceCream trop twist smaller.jpgMakes 2 servings
1⁄2 cup frozen mango, no added syrup or sugar
1⁄2 cup frozen strawberries, no added syrup or sugar
1 banana, peeled and chopped frozen or fresh)
1⁄2 cup low-fat milk
1 to 2 tablespoons honey or sugar
4 wafer ice-cream cones
Fill bowl of food processor with frozen fruit and pulse several times to start the puree. Add banana, milk, and sugar and puree on high until smooth, stopping if needed to scrape down the sides of the bowl and push contents to the bottom. Ice cream will be soft—fill cones to just below the top, cover with plastic wrap, and freeze to further harden (or fill cones and serve immediately). ORDER BOOK

CHICKEN PARM POPS

ChickenParmPop_0006 web.jpgMakes 4 servings
1 package (about 14) fully cooked chicken nuggets or One-Step Chicken Nuggets
(p. 159)
1⁄2 cup store-bought tomato sauce
1⁄4 cup Orange Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe) or baby food squash or
carrot puree
1 cup shredded, reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
Optional: 14 skewers or craft sticks
Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a baking sheet with oil.
In a mixing bowl, combine tomato sauce and puree. Dip one side of each nugget in the sauce mixture, place on the prepared baking sheet, then sprinkle with about a tablespoon of cheese. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes until cheese is lightly browned and bubbly. If using, insert a skewer or craft stick into each nugget and serve. ORDER BOOK

4O-SECOND SOFT TACOS  
Makes 4 tacos (2 servings)
6 tablespoons canned refried beans, no lard
2 tablespoons tomato paste 
2 tablespoons wheat germ or ground flaxseed
Pinch of salt
1⁄2 cup shredded, reduced-fat Mexican cheese
4 (6-inch round) corn or flour tortillas, ideally whole grain
Optional toppings: dash of taco seasoning, shredded lettuce, salsa, and/or plain 
Greek yogurt

In a mixing bowl, combine the refried beans, tomato paste, and wheat germ or flax. Lay a few wet paper towels on the microwave turntable, place 2 of the tortillas on the paper towels, and top each tortilla with about 2 tablespoons of the bean mixture. Top each with about 2 tablespoons cheese and a pinch of salt. Leave open-faced and microwave on high for 40 seconds. Remove tacos from microwave, add optional toppings, fold in half and serve warm. Repeat with remaining 2 tacos. ORDER BOOK
 

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