Ask The Sneaky Chef Comments Archive


  • 1. allinnerpeace  |  March 28th, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Dear Sneaky Chef,

    I did an experiment I’d like to tell you about. I made some traditional chocolate chip cookies and told my kids they were “healthy” cookies. You probably already know the result–they wouldn’t eat them! So, my point is, that you’re right–don’t tell them they’re healthy.

    Thank you so much for helping me over the hurdle. My kids love your food and maybe one day when they have kids of their own, I’ll give them a copy of your book : )

  • 2. RealWildFlower  |  April 1st, 2007 at 7:55 pm

    Hey, funny how kids are. I was trying like crazy to get my 10 year old daughter to eat better until one day recently she just switched. turns out healthy wasn’t “cool” until her friends got into it. I never would have guessed that one. the real kicker was yesterday when she asked if we were having “sneaky spaghetti” for dinner. I looked at her and decided to confess since she’s old enough to be on to me anyway at this point. she said, “Great! I’m in to it!” and trotted off as if she’d been like this her entire life…

  • 3. vickb4  |  April 1st, 2007 at 8:26 pm

    Thank you so much for this book. I’ve been up the past 4 nights reading it and spent a while making purees tonight. It’s a picky-eater’s-mother’s answered prayer.

    I do have a question….my daughter has trouble gaining weight and we’re getting a little help from a dietitian but I was wondering if you have any ideas on hiding “good” fat into foods or increasing their calories without increasing their cholesterol??

  • 4. majestikbutterfly  |  April 2nd, 2007 at 6:55 am

    I’ve just seen you on TV and never in a million years thought about puree foods to sneak into my son’s meals. My 8 year old son is allergic to all dairy and ceasin protien. Needless to say, he is such a picky eater because he still thinks that certain foods will make him sick. He is a drama-king as well. So if I could possibly find some substitute to replace all the vitimins and minerals that dairy use to provide and sneak it into his meals, I would be eternally greatful!!

    Any suggestions for a non-dairy replacement veggie to “sneak” into things like spagetti, mashed potatoes, burger patties or anything else I can’t think of?? Thanks a million!!!

    Mother to Tyler the Firecracker
    Fremont, OH

  • 5. sewinstacey  |  April 2nd, 2007 at 10:06 am

    Just like vickb4– daughter has trouble gaining weight — I would be intrested to find new ways to increase her calories, in a healthy manner!
    I also have a friend, whose daughter is allergic to milk, and needs to gain weight also, along with increasing her Calcium intake.

    Any ideas?

  • 6. missy  |  April 3rd, 2007 at 8:01 am

    Hi Everyone,

    Missy will be blogging back tomorrow. As you can imagine, after the Today Show appearance yesterday she has been deluged with contacts. She knows you’re waiting for replies and will be on it tomorrow (Wednesday). Thanks for your patience, and check back Wednesday afternon! –The Webmaster

  • 7. PAcheryl  |  April 3rd, 2007 at 10:30 am

    Hi Missy,

    I’m not sure if you will see this email or your publisher, but here goes… When I saw you on the Today Show, I really got excited because I’m a new Grand-mom to my first grandchild, I’m also a Mom to a College student who doesn’t eat any veggies with the exception of corn, I’m also caring and cooking for my own 80 years old Mom who has pancreatic cancer and getting interesting meals that are also healthy has been really difficult…

    I got right on the phone to her hospice nurse and she said for me get your book right away because any way we can veggies into Mom will make her quality of life better… My Mom has a real sweet tooth… Thanks again…

  • 8. lottaviano  |  April 4th, 2007 at 6:00 am

    Has anyone tried adding puree to Annies brand whole wheat macaroni and cheese? It’s not as cheesy as Kraft so I wasn’t sure if it would work.

  • 9. lottaviano  |  April 4th, 2007 at 6:05 am

    Hi Vickb4,
    You can substitute canola oil or olive oil for butter in baked goods(use 3/4 of the amount ie 6T of oil if the recipe calls for 8T butter). I have tried this in cookies, brownies and pumpkin/banana breads. The consistency of the brownies is different and they take longer to bake.

  • 10. missy  |  April 6th, 2007 at 10:33 am

    Hi Vickb4,

    thanks so much for your comment, and your patience. It has been quite a week around here!

    I’m so glad you’re enjoying the book, especially late nights. That kind of thing really warms an author’s heart : )

    Regarding using “good” fats for weight gain and to avoid cholesterol, this is one of my favorite subjects. The types of fats that we choose is critical to weight management, in either direction.

    Use the “extra sneaky strawberry breakfast ice cream” recipe with avocado. (Avocado is a highly absorbable, easy to digest fat source that should help with weight gain, without the cholesterol). Substitute whole mild yoghurt for the fat free. During the day, use extra virgin, cold pressed, organic (if possible) olive oil in all your salad dressings, and many places where butter is traditionally used. But if there’s any objection to taste, use a lighter oil like almond. Obviously, steer away from deep fried or saturated fats.

    An basic rule of thumb to determine whether something contains cholesterol is if it comes from an animal, such as meat or dairy, it does. But if it comes from the plant kingdom, it doesn’t.

    I’ve also had great success with weight gain using nut butters in smoothies, like almond butter (peanut butter is OK too, but peanuts are tougher to digest and go rancid more quickly as they are not a true nut). Cashew butter is also excellent. Always grind it yourself when you have the opportunity to do so, like in the health food section. Also try shelled sunflower or pumpkin seeds, raw or toasted (in the shell, although it’s fun, takes too long to eat so kids won’t get as much in. And if you want to salt them, use the Original Himalayan Crystal Salt available elsewhere on this site–it’s a great source of something like 84 minerals, tastes better, and has an entirely improved relationship with the body’s metabolic functions over regular table salt).

    Trail mix is also a high caloric food that hikers use for long burning, sustained energy. There’s usually a plethora of choices in the bulk section of any health food store, or even many regular super markets. So choose wisely. You can always add a touch of something fun looking yourself into an otherwise boring looking trail mix.

    And don’t forget the bananas : )

    Be sure to blog back after a couple of weeks and let me know how things are going!

    All the best,


  • 11. missy  |  April 6th, 2007 at 10:44 am

    Dear Michelle,

    The nutrients in dairy are fairly easy to replace. The major nutrients available from dairy are calcium and protein, which we can get from other sources easily enough. Read my reply to Vickb4 above for starters. Then, start using tofu for protein and calcium in many places where dairy is used (my book is full of recipes like this). Fortified rice milk (not regular) and almonds (soaking overnight makes them just like fresh coconut!) are a good source of calcium and kids love them. Edamame (soy beans in or out of the shell, available in the freezer section) is a fun finger food with both calcium and protein-and if you use the Original Himalayan Crystal salt on my website you’ll really be adding minerals.

    Fortified orange juice now has a good amount of calcium.

    Vitamins are really enzymes (and co-enzymes) that facilitate and make possible a host of metabolic functions in the body. Minerals also play a key role in this as well. That’s why they’re so important. Fresh salads (organic is best because it’s grown in soils that are rich in minerals) are loaded with them. But our kids often don’t understand this and won’t eat fresh veggies, so the Sneaky Chef was born. Answer: Puree dark greens like spinach for vitamins and minerals (and broccoli for protein). You’ll find everything you need in over 85 recipes in the book.

    In the end, your son will have low cholesterol and all the calcium, vitamins and minerals he needs.

    Stay in touch!


  • 12. missy  |  April 6th, 2007 at 10:47 am

    Hi SewinStacey,

    I think you’ll find the answers to everything you’ve asked about in my replies to Vickb4 and Michelle above. But please let me know if there’s anything else I can help with.

    Going to sneak away now ; )


  • 13. missy  |  April 6th, 2007 at 10:49 am

    Dear PA Cheryl,

    I was so touched by your email. Thank you so much for putting it on the blog so that others might see it.

    I wish you and your family all the best, always.

    With warmest regards,


  • 14. majestikbutterfly  |  April 6th, 2007 at 11:03 am

    Thank you so much Missy, I am going to be purchasing your book and get right on those recipes to see what I can “sneak” into my son’s meals! Thanks for clearing everything up and the fabulous advice!!

  • 15. vickb4  |  April 6th, 2007 at 11:08 am

    I don’t know what to say. Thank you so much for your helpful information. That’s more than I’ve gotten from 2 dietitians. They all say to add “good” fat, but not how to do that. Will be sure to try your suggestions!! Thanks again. Your time to reply directly to my question is awesome and greatly appreciated.

  • 16. wildviolets  |  April 8th, 2007 at 3:58 am

    I’ve been making a smoothie type drink for myself and my 2.5 year old boy just loves it. But I’m wondering if it’s not that good for him and wanted your advice.
    I put in a cup of skim milk, a cup of nonfat vanilla yogurt, a scoop of soy protein powder, some frozen strawberries and a half of a frozen banana. I’m most concerned about the soy protein powder.
    I just bought your book and LOVE it! I plan to tell all my friends about it. Keep up the good work.

  • 17. missy  |  April 8th, 2007 at 7:13 am

    Dear Denise,
    Your instincts are right on with regard to the soy protein powder, for your son and even for yourself. In my opinion, this is too intense for a child, and I don’t even like it for women. Soy in this form is highly processed into protein powder and while it is certainly packed with protein, that comes with a hefty dose of phytoestrogens (an estrogen-like compound) which are in question by many in the health field. The most serious questions about soy may be its use in infant formulas and for children: “The amount of phytoestrogens that are in a day’s worth of soy infant formula equals 5 birth control pills,” says Mary G. Enig, Ph.D., president of the Maryland Nutritionists Association. Soy Infant Formula Could Be Harmful to Infants: Groups Want it Pulled. Nutrition Week, Dec 10, 1999.

    Please note I like less processed, less intense forms of soy in small amounts, and I recommend tofu and whole soybeans in moderation.

    You already have yogurt in the shake, which is a good source of protein and calcium. If you want to add more great nutrition from a safe source, add half a ripe, fresh avocado. It'll add good fats and tons of nutrition. Avocados offer a rich source of potassium and monounsaturated fatty acids including oleic acid, which has recently been shown to offer significant protection against breast cancer, so add it to your shakes instead of controversial soy protein powder.

    Best wishes, and thanks for your support.

  • 18. ellenmoeller  |  April 11th, 2007 at 8:20 am

    My oldest of 3 children won’t eat pasta. Do you have any ideas for coercing him into trying any? We’ve tried letters, animals, everything. I think it’s a texture thing. Just thought I’d ask!! Thanks for a wonderful book!

  • 19. kristipj  |  April 12th, 2007 at 11:48 am

    I bought the book after seeing you on the Today Show and love it. I have very picky eaters in my family. I’ve been doing a few sneaky cooking things all along and didn’t even really realize what I was doing. I started when my daughter started to refuse her baby food & I couldn’t waste them so I put a scoop of baby food in just about everything. I’ve tried 5 of your recipes so far & have enjoyed them all. My husband and kids haven’t even noticed a difference! Thank you for making it ok to be sneaky!

  • 20. missy  |  April 13th, 2007 at 8:55 am

    Hi Ellen,

    You’re right. It probably is a texture thing. Try to hone in on the particular texture that is objectionable–slimy, springy, etc., and then cook it differently to overcome that.

    There are health food noodle varieties which might bridge the gap, such as corn, rice or whole wheat. Ramen is available in most any food store. Cous Cous is another possibility. Try stuffing some shells with ricotta cheese and covering with tomato sauce…

    In short, there are many varieties of pasta out there to try. Plus, cooking them in soups, or as dry as possible, depending on what you determine the objection to be.

    Keep us posted!


  • 21. missy  |  April 13th, 2007 at 9:00 am

    Hi Kris,

    You’re not alone! Actually, about 30% of parents sneak things already. Now, you’ve just elevated it to an art form : ) Your picky eaters will thank you later–kind of like when you squirrel away college funds instead of giving it to them right now to spend on frivolous things. Sneaking, yes. But for a good cause.

    Keep up the good work!


  • 22. tjmom  |  April 17th, 2007 at 4:17 pm


    I have a question about your green puree. I did it for the first time yesterday and I had a little bit of a problem with the peas hulls not all pureeing. I have a 2 cup chopper and will go and get a 3 cup because I think it will work better so that may have been part of the problem.

    Can I substitute baby food peas and how much in the basic puree recipe? I had no problem with the spinach and broccoli which I did fresh organic but I would like to try the baby food peas.


  • 23. peachbub  |  April 17th, 2007 at 5:46 pm

    I love the sneaky cooking! And, like many moms here, I was already doing some of this, but am loving all the new ideas! One question: I have heard that you shouldn’t thaw / refreeze things …is that true? Otherwise it would be my inclination to buy a big bag of frozen blueberries / spinach / cauliflower / whatever to puree and then freeze again. What are your thoughts on that?


  • 24. traciekat  |  April 21st, 2007 at 11:29 am

    Dear Missy,

    You are a GENIOUS! Thank you, Thank you, Thank you! I have only had your book for a week and can not get enough of it! My two-year-old is eating veggies and so is my HUSBAND! It is a miracle.
    Two quick questions:

    1. Are most antioxidants/nutritian from fruits/veggies distroyed by baking/cooking? I have heard this and wondered…

    2. I think this book is brilliant for children AND adults. Have you thought about a book more adult focused and/or are you working on another book?


  • 25. missy  |  June 5th, 2007 at 1:53 pm

    Hi Jen,

    Using mini chocolate chips to increase your “coverage” is perfect-just how a sneaky chef should be thinking! Reminds me of the story I tell in the book about my daughter Sammy being upset because she had only one cookie when her sister had two after hers had broken into two pieces! It’s just how they think until they’re about 7, when the ability to reason sets in.

    As for the flax seeds, you’re right, they do need to be ground. And the fresher ground the better because the omega 3s oxidise quicky. I assumed Sue was grinding hers but I didn’t think to ask. You’re also right about high heat destroying the heatlhy benefits of the oils. But flax seed has other beneficial fiber and nutrients so ground seeds are good in the breading for those reasons. But for cooking in general, don’t use omega 3 oils because the great nutritional value of the oil will be lost.

    You guys are doing great thing out there and your kids are no doubt the healthier for it. Feels good, doesn’t it?

    More power to ya!

  • 26. missy  |  June 5th, 2007 at 3:31 pm

    Hi Loyal Bloggers,

    I would like to introduce you to a great new resource now available on our website. We've had so many questions about nutrition and special diets that we've decided to bring a Registered Dietitian/Nutritionist on board who will address your specific nutritional questions on the Ask The Sneaky Chef blog.

    Shoshana Suzanne Werber, MS, RD, CDN is a Registered Dietitian with a Masters degree in Clinical Nutrition from New York University. Her private practice is located on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.

    Please feel free to blog your special nutritional/ diet questions and concerns to Shoshana. She'll be happy to blog back to you personally.

    Looking forward to hearing from you as always!

  • 27. sroginski  |  June 5th, 2007 at 5:50 pm

    My husband had purchased the Hodgson Mill flax seed that was already ground. When we run out (which won’t be long), I look for a source of whole seeds and grind them myself. I had read on one website to use a coffee grinder or one of the hand-held blenders with the chopper attachment. It was also recommended to keep them in the freezer in a sealed, airtight container to prolong its health benefits. Supposedly 2 tablespoons a day are sufficient. I’m not sure how much to use in a meal and how much is too much. There is also some debate about flax seed consumption for pregnant women and children but the benefits seem to be compelling for the use rather than not (lowering cholesterol, cancer prevention, heart health, etc.) . Thanks for adding Dr. Werber to the blog. Perhaps she can shed some more light on the flax seed issue.

  • 28. sroginski  |  June 5th, 2007 at 6:07 pm

    What about adding your cooking buddies to the blog? Between your trials and tribulations during the production of your recipes, perhaps they could help us as we muddle through our own devious concoctions. Why reinvent the wheel, right? It might be helpful to know what didn’t work along with the pleasant surprises.

  • 29. Susan Jardine  |  June 6th, 2007 at 11:35 am

    I’ve just been introduced to your website by a friend. My “child’ is my 66yr old husband of 30yrs who has early-onset Alzheimers and just had surgery for Rectal cancer. We are fortunate that he came through the surgery fine (no additional permanent dimentia) and it appears that the tumor and lymph nodes that were removed were all clear of cancer. We do have a temporary Ileostomy which will be reversed in 3-4months, but this a minor issue other than another surgery/stay in the hospital. The ‘ostomy does require that we increase his fluids to prevent dehydration, but it is his overall health issues due to the AD are my primary concern. I must maximize every bite/sip of food he takes to ensure he gets the most in terms of nutrition/calories/protein. He has lost weight with the surgery (went in at 108 is now 98) and this is my number 1 concern. At this time, he is a picky eater due to lack of appetite/energy. While he can feed himself with fork/spoon, this will ultimately become an issue due to the AD. He will drink fluids/milk with no problems and this appears to be my best vehicle to give him his nutrition. I will get you book upon sending this note, but I need help from the nutritional experts to maximize nutritional needs for an adult child who needs to gain weight, increase strength and build as much nutritional health possible to help his body fight everything coming his way…and do so in an appetizing drink.

  • 30. Jennifer  |  June 7th, 2007 at 11:35 am

    Dear Shoshana,

    I was wondering if it was possible to get information on how the recipes in The Sneaky Chef correspond to the daily food pyramid requirements for kids. For example, if I give my kids the frozen applesauce with blueberry juice, is that 1 serving of fruit? Two servings? One-half of a serving? This may be a huge undertaking that is more suited to future editions of the book. If that is the case, then perhaps you could let us know about the purees. If I give my child 1 Tbs. of a puree (for example, 1 Tbs. orange puree sneaked into a quesadilla), how much of a serving of veggies is that?

    Thanks for your help!

  • 31. Jennifer  |  June 7th, 2007 at 11:43 am

    Dear Missy,

    I have some questions about spinach:

    First, I’m not sure about measuring it. Do I pack the measuring cup, or loosely place the leaves in it? Is there a weight measurement for 1 cup of spinach (so I can weigh it on my kitchen scale for accuracy)?

    Second, after I cook it, there is considerable “shrinkage” (for lack of a better word). Am I doing this right? It seems like when 6 cups go into the pot, maybe only 2 comes out.

    Third, when I make the purple puree, it is too runny. My first batch had to be frozen in ice cube trays because it was so runny. My second batch is better, but nowhere near the consistency of mashed potatoes. Should I squeeze the water out of the spinach? I try to drain it well, but I think I might need to do more. Any tips?

    Also, avocado freezes great! I cut them into quarters, peel, freeze on a cookie sheet, and place in a freezer bag. Then I mix them into smoothies. I don’t like avocado, but I couldn’t tell a difference from my regular smoothies (except it was really creamy!)


  • 32. crickett_4jc  |  June 10th, 2007 at 12:38 am


    I just stayed up reading the first few chapters of your book, and even though I should be sleeping I just had to write to you! I am a bit of a “slacker mom,” but nutrition has been the one area that I have been pretty steadfast in. My son is 14 months old, and is just starting to be picky, so I feel like reading this book has really given me a leg up this problem early in the game–I don’t have to “switch over” as much, because I can use your ideas from the beginning.
    I was wondering if you have considered adding a baby/toddler chapter, or even writing a seperate book about baby/toddler sneaking, since they have different needs for certain nutritional elements, such as healthy fats.
    It has been amazing being able to read something so in line with my personal feelings–even your disciplinary approach is spot on with what I feel. Thank you so much for offering such well-thought out, simple, creative suggestions without ever once sounding pushy or judgmental. And thank you for doing the leg work for parents who are like-minded. I will be recomending your book to all of the other mothers I know, without hesitation. Please keep it coming!!!
    Kerstin Davies

  • 33. stacie  |  June 10th, 2007 at 6:13 am

    I made the granola bars today and my child complained that they were too sweet. Do you have any tips on how to make them less sweet? Because the sweeter is a liquid (honey), I know that just reducing the honey will cause the bars to fall apart. Perhaps mixing in some nut butter–will that work?

    Also, if I use the King Arthur White Whole Wheat flour, do you think they could completely replace the white flour in the Super Flour blend?


  • 34. Alison  |  June 11th, 2007 at 12:15 pm

    Dear Missy,

    I love your book! Today I made the white puree for the first time - it came out a little on the light green side (even though I peeled the zucchini completely). Is this normal? WIll it take away from the sneakiness when I add it to white macaroni and cheese?


  • 35. missy  |  June 11th, 2007 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Jen,

    Loosely packed spinach is how I measured, but add more if the taste isn’t too strong. The more, the better, so long as you can get away with it. If the puree is too runny, then defintely squeeze out the water, and don’t add any more water when pureeing. Don’t be afraid to make a mistake; the purees are not an exact science. I’m glad you wrote to clarify–and thanks for the great tip on freezing avocado!
    My best,

  • 36. missy  |  June 11th, 2007 at 1:43 pm

    Hi Sue,

    That’s a good idea. I’ll see who might be interested. Keep your eyes peeled for who pops up!

    All the best,


  • 37. missy  |  June 11th, 2007 at 1:45 pm

    For Susan Jardine and Jennifer:

    Shoshana’s away for a couple of days but will answer your questions shortly. Thanks for your continued patience!

    Best Regards,


  • 38. missy  |  June 11th, 2007 at 1:58 pm

    Dear Stacy,
    Wow, that’s a first….something being too sweet in a kids’ taste! You have a good point, given the honey is sort of the glue of the granola bars. Hmm…how about trying to cut out 1/2 the honey and use 3 egg whites. They get cooked, so no worries, and they are like glue too. Give it a try, and please let us know how it turns out. Thanks!

  • 39. missy  |  June 11th, 2007 at 1:59 pm

    Dear Kersten,
    Thank you very much for blogging and for the great review. I re-wrote the chapters many times to not sound too pushy. Thanks for noticing!
    All my best,

  • 40. missy  |  June 11th, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    Hi Alison,
    I know what you mean about the White Puree coming out a bit green. That happens sometimes to me, but it doesn’t show up in the mac ‘n cheese or anywhere. If you peel the zucchini a bit more, it may be whiter, but I don’t think this is necessary….I have to admit, this happened to me on the Today Show, so I re-did the puree because it was on TV, otherwise I would use it as is!

  • 41. missy  |  June 11th, 2007 at 5:57 pm

    Dear Susan,
    I am sorry to hear about your husband's health problems and that the two of you are going through a difficult time. He is lucky to have you on his nutritional support team. Because your husband will drink milk, I agree that this is an excellent vehicle to supplement as many calories as possible. By the way, is your husband drinking whole, reduced-fat or skim milk? I would experiment with different smoothie ideas and recipes that incorporate milk, yogurt, fresh or frozen berries, banana, honey, ground flaxseeds, wheat germ, soy or whey protein powder, instant dry milk powder and ice cream. Some smoothies taste great with peanut butter blended in and peanut butter is a good way to add healthy fat. Fat provides more calories per gram than carbohydrates or protein, so try and add fat to foods or smoothies when possible. Drinking juice is another way to gain extra calories. Will your husband eat trail mix, dried fruit, nuts, and seeds, which are all caloric and nutrient dense? Encourage him to eat small frequent meals, avoid low-calorie foods, and eat high calorie foods, like mashed potatoes with butter and cheese (to which you can also add instant powdered milk for extra protein) creamy soups, hearty bean or lentil soups, crackers or bread with peanut or almond butter and jam. Try some of these ideas and let me know how they work out for you. If you need additional suggestions, please let me know. Good luck! And be sure to check this and all dietary advice that you get with your medical doctor.

    Shoshana, RD

  • 42. missy  |  June 12th, 2007 at 6:45 pm

    Hi Jen,
    Great question although it is a bit tricky to answer. It's hard to know exactly how many servings of fruit your children are getting without specifying how much of the applesauce (with blueberry juice) you are giving them. Serving sizes vary depending on the age of the child. The number of servings (from all the food groups) needed per day vary per child as well (depending on age, sex & activity level). The Sneaky Chef purees are concentrated, so a little goes a long way. For example, a cup of broccoli purees down to less than half a cup, so you get more per tablespoon. Use the purees as often as possible, and they’ll add up!
    Shoshana, RD

  • 43. camille  |  June 13th, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Dear Missy,

    I love the whole concept of your book, and even though my kids are all teens they still eat terribly as do I. We are not veggie lovers. My problem is that my 16 month old granddaughter lives with us and has had reactions when given peas, so I was wondering what can I replace the peas with in the Green Puree?

  • 44. missy  |  June 14th, 2007 at 12:09 pm

    Hi Camille,

    No problem taking out the peas. They don’t perform any special function in the recipe. Just substitute back in an equal amount of any of the other green veggies in the recipe that you like.

    Now go get those veggies and start enjoying the benefits of improved health and energy!

    All the best,

  • 45. missy  |  June 23rd, 2007 at 3:24 pm


  • 46. lkschmidt  |  June 24th, 2007 at 6:55 am

    Hi Missy,

    I just purchased your book and tried making the “purple” puree. I used 2 boxes-10 oz.-of frozen chopped spinach. The back of the box said it contained a 3.5 servings (1/3 cup serving size)…roughly a little over 1 cup. So, I used two boxes. The recipe calls for 2 cups. I kept adding blueberries, over 2 1/4 cups, but it remained an ugly shade of dark greenish brown. When using frozen chopped spinach, what size box do you use and how many? Should I still try using this batch in any of the recipes?

    Thank you for your reply!

  • 47. lkschmidt  |  June 24th, 2007 at 7:09 am

    I had a question about he purple puree and just saw your response to use fresh baby spinach. Can you please provide a weight of the 3 cups so I can measure it on a scale. I could probably squish 3 cups into 1 cup. I never know how to pack or measure fresh items like herbs or leafy vegetables. However, I’d still like to know the answer to the boxed spinach question I asked, so I know what to do with the batch I made.

    Thank you again!

  • 48. moonorchd  |  June 24th, 2007 at 11:53 am


    I have a few questions before I start making your recipes. My sons are thin, and I want to keep them that way. Many of your recipes call for milk and yogurt; can I substitute 1% milk and fat-free yogurt in the recipes? Also, you recommend slowly substituting whole weat flour for white flour so kids don’t notice the difference, but we don’t eat any white flour in our house, so I was wondering if instead of the 1 cup each of white flour and whole wheat flour called for in the flour blend I could use 2 cups of whole wheat and alleviate the white flour altogether.

    Thank you,

  • 49. missy  |  June 24th, 2007 at 5:10 pm

    Dear Kelly,
    You can definitely substitute 1% or fat free milk and yogurt in any recipe. And if your family is used to whole wheat flour, then definitely use it!! Forget the white. I do like whole wheat “pastry flour” if you can find it in the market. It’s a bit lighter, but still has all the nutrients and fiber.

  • 50. Nancy  |  June 25th, 2007 at 7:10 pm

    I’ve noticed several times in the blog, you’ve said it was okay to replace all or part of the white flour with whole wheat flour. I was always told that extra liquids would be needed when using all whole wheat flour. Is that true? If so, how much?

  • 51. missy  |  June 26th, 2007 at 2:45 am

    Dear Nancy,
    I’ve been using a whole wheat “pastry” flour in place of both the white and whole wheat flours, and no more liquid is needed. You can find these in natural markets like Whole Foods, and my normal grocery store now carries brands like Arrowhead Mills and Eagle Mills whole grain pastry flour.
    If you do go 100% whole wheat (not pastry flour), you may be right about the liquid. King Arthur flour says “. Whole-wheat flour absorbs more liquid than white, though this shouldn’t be a problem with 50-50 ratios.” You may need to add a bit of liquid, but I still think doing a 50-50 mix, or going with ww “pastry” flour is best for taste and texture.

  • 52. mia  |  June 27th, 2007 at 8:02 am

    Missy or Shoshanna,

    I made two loaves of whole wheat bread in the bread machine. My machine makes a 1 pound loaf, and I usually substitute white bread flour for some of the whole wheat, otherwise it’s too heavy for my family’s taste. The recipe calls for 2 1/3 cups whole wheat flour, and I substituted 1 cup of it with the flour blend.

    I had soaked about 3/4 cup of raisins in apple juice the night before, pureed them up, and added them to the first loaf of bread. Unfortunately, I was seen adding these to the machine when it beeped for the “mix-in” cycle and my 9 y/o wouldn’t touch it. It tasted really good, even though the top was flat.

    In the second loaf, I substituted about 1/2 cup of the water with the apple juice used to soak the raisins. Instead of the precise 1 1/2 tsp of yeast called for in the recipe, this time I added a bit more yeas, and the top wasn’t flat. One of my kids absolutely loved it because it was so much sweeter than usual. I’m thinking this could work with pretty much any dried fruit.

    One interesting thing I found out during this “experiment” is that raisins - at least the ones I soaked in the apple juice - do not freeze, and neither does the soaking water. I was going to freeze the pureed raisins and soaking water and use them at a later date, because I was pressed for time, but after 48 hours they were still slushy. I wonder if anyone could tell me why? My freezer seems to be working fine on other things.


  • 53. missy  |  June 28th, 2007 at 2:05 pm

    Hi Mia,

    Soaking the raisins in apple juice was a great idea. And the fact that the kids loved the bread is the proof in the pudding : ) You can also try soaking them in orange juice for an even more interesting flavor your kids will love.

    The only reason I can think of why the soaked raisins don’t freeze is the high sugar content of the solution. You’ll notice that concentrated fruit juices, like orange, apple and grape usually just freeze to a firm slush, rather than solid, unless your freezer is extra cold. This is due to their high sugar content lowering the freezing point (see, I was paying attention in high school chemistry class!).

    Enjoy your baking!

  • 54. missy  |  June 29th, 2007 at 2:10 am

    Correction to Purple Puree recipe:

    In my book, The Sneaky Chef, I give an option to use frozen spinach or collards (instead of raw baby spinach) in the Purple Puree. Many readers have noticed the amount in the book was too much for this frozen option - I originally called for 2 cups frozen spinach or collards. One cup of frozen spinach or collards works better than 2 cups. Thanks to all you astute sneaky chefs for catching this, and please enjoy the following new recipe for Purple Puree. One final note: raw baby spinach is still my preferred choice to use in this puree, and the original amount was correct for that option.

    Make-Ahead Recipe #1: Purple Puree

    3 cups raw baby spinach leaves (or 1 cup frozen chopped spinach, or frozen chopped collard greens)

    1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (no syrup or sugar added)

    1/2 teaspoon lemon juice

    1 - 2 tablespoons water

    If using raw spinach, thoroughly wash it, even if the 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. If using frozen blueberries, quickly rinse them under cold water to thaw a little, and then drain.

    Fill the bowl of your food processor with the blueberries and cooked spinach, (or collards) along with the lemon juice and 1 tablespoon of water, and puree on high until as smooth as possible. Stop occasionally to push top contents to bottom. If necessary, use a second tablespoon of water to make a fairly smooth puree.

    This amount of spinach and blueberries makes only about 1 cup of puree. Double the recipe if you want to store another cup of the puree. It will store in the refrigerator up to 2 days, or you can freeze 1/4 cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.

  • 55. rebles  |  July 4th, 2007 at 7:33 pm

    I just love your book. I read it cover to cover in 2 days and then started cooking. So far we have had mac n cheese from the box with the white puree. My kids didn’t say a thing! I only added 2 tablespoons of puree, can’t wait to try more. I made the chicken fingers. Huge hit. Abosolutely delicious. I made the brownies tonight. My husband said he liked them and asked what was in them. When I told him spinach and blueberries he just laughed. I have been a sneaky chef for years with whole grains, but not with spinach–I am so excited.

    I also made the chocolate chip cookies and was a little dissappointed. They tasted really good but were really crumbly. I added the optional almonds. When you measure the ground oats, do you measure them before you grind them, or after? I measured after. I really want to make the recipe work. Any suggestions?

    Thanks a million.

  • 56. missy  |  July 5th, 2007 at 1:28 am

    Hi Rebecca,
    Thanks for the great news about the success of the recipes! I’m thrilled to hear it. As for the oats in the chocolate chip cookies, you did the right thing — measure after you grind them. The white bean puree can make them a little fragile, and they hold together better if they are a bit smaller and you cook them a little longer than normal cookies. I’m going to try to make them again this week to give you more hints if I come up with any. Perhaps try the oats whole, not ground, and see what happens? Or, you could try reducing the Flour Blend by just a tablespoon. If you have time to do these again, let me know the results.

  • 57. elvis6676  |  July 5th, 2007 at 7:15 am

    just bought your book on amazon, made the mac n cheese and the meatballs yesterday - what a hit. my son has always been an outstanding eater, but when he turned 2 1/2 he refused any and all vegis - NOT ANYMORE!!! here is my question, im interested in making the green juice, but i dont understand… boil 3c spinach in 1c water, but then you say drain all of the liquid, wont that just leave spinach? im most interested in using it in the earth day milk shake but cannot imagine what it would look like with small green flakes of spinach floating in it! what am i missing??!! thank you

  • 58. missy  |  July 5th, 2007 at 4:31 pm

    Hi Elvis,

    So happy the mac and cheese and meatballs were a hit! Now for the Green do drain the liquid, but into a bowl. It's the liquid you use as the Green Juice, and save the "pulp" in the fine mesh strainer to add to Green Puree or Purple Puree. Hope that helps clarify things a bit!
    My best,

  • 59. elvis6676  |  July 6th, 2007 at 5:47 am

    thank you so much, of course that occurred to me at, what 3am???!!! im on my way!!! made the chicken legs last night, what a hit. my husband and i are benefiting as well!!!!! thanks keep up the good work. are there any plans to market the puree as a frozen food in the supermarket??? similar to babyfood? i think it would be a huge hit!!! thanks for the prompt response, looking forward to seeing you locally - northern NJ!!

  • 60. missy  |  July 7th, 2007 at 6:09 am

    Hi Elvis,

    Glad you’ve got some quiet time to think about things at 3am ; )

    Wait till your husband sees my next book for men-there’ll be plenty of sneaky macho meals that he’s going to love. Release date is targetted for Spring.

    Stay cool this summer!


  • 61. cate  |  July 8th, 2007 at 12:42 pm

    Hello Sneaky Chef!
    Thank you for your ingenious method of getting good nutrition to our little ones. I really appreciate your tasty, healthy recipes.

    I have made the ‘Grab and Go Granola Bars’ twice now, and the flavour is outstanding. My problem is that they are very crumbly and are not bars, but are more like lumps of granola bars. I followed the recipe exactly but do not know where I went wrong. Any suggestions?
    Many thanks-

  • 62. missy  |  July 8th, 2007 at 6:18 pm

    Dear Cate,
    Thanks so much for writing. I’m very glad your family is enjoying the recipes. I’m sorry about the granola bars falling apart…perhaps you need to let them cool in the pan a bit longer before cutting? Also, try adding an egg white to the mixture before baking and see if it helps. I haven’t done this yet myself, so please let me know if it helps glue them together more. I think the problem is I tried to keep the amount of honey to a minimum. Of course, you can always enjoy it as clumps of granola!
    My best,

  • 63. finickysmom  |  July 9th, 2007 at 2:50 pm

    Dear Missy (and anyone else with advice)
    First off, love the book! I was introduced to it via a web mom’s group. I’ve made quite a few of the recipes and it seems my husband, friends, and friends’ kids all love the recipes. My problem is that I can’t get Mr. Picky and Mr. Stubborn to even try the creations. Any advice for intial tasting? Also, my oldest prefers cucumbers and carrots to sweets and hates chocolate. I know this sounds like I have a healthy eater, but when one is consistently underweight and needs a full wet suit for a 90 degree pool, cucs and carrots don’t do the job for keeping the weight on. He won’t try anything new- the dinner hour is one of tears (usually mine :) ) negotiating, arguing, cajoling, and bribing. Any advice? One note- He did love the sneaky pizza with orange puree especially since he made it with me (love Trader Joe’s almost whole wheat pizza dough and homemade sauce).
    I’m desperate!

  • 64. missy  |  July 9th, 2007 at 5:30 pm

    Dear Desperate,

    I certainly know how tough this stage can be. How old are your kids? Which other foods, besides pizza do they eat now? Mac n cheese? Spaghetti? Brownies? Look thru the recipes in the book to see which ones your kids are already eating, then try those with sneaky ingredients. If they aren’t eating ANY of the recipes in the book now, please let me know and we’ll think of something!

    My Best,


  • 65. finickysmom  |  July 10th, 2007 at 8:00 am

    Thanks Missy,

    Last night, they actually both ate the Mac and Cheese (Annie’s with orange puree and Amer. cheese) and a small piece of the pizza they made earlier. At this point, I’m happy to get them to eat, and not worried about overloading the carbs (next project). My oldest, 3 1/2, is most of the trouble. He doesn’t like peanut butter, chocolate, any cheese but parmesean, pasta with any sauce, bananas, berries (other than strawberries) most meat, and pretty much any other food that “normal” kids eat. When we do road trips and stop at IN and Out- I’ll order a cheeseburger for the little one, and tomatoes on the side for him. That’s his lunch. He doesn’t even eat more than two fries. I have been trying to expand his likes for years! Maybe this isn’t the forum for us, but I will definitely continue to make your recipes, if not for him then for the rest of us. I think they are great! I am going to bring the book to my Pediatrician this week so that she can use it as a reccomendation to other parents.

  • 66. elvis6676  |  July 10th, 2007 at 9:53 am

    hi desperate! i, like you, used the book and LOVE it. i got it for my 3 1/2 yo, but when i was able to fool my 13 yo, i knew i hit the big time - this is a kid who only eats carrots, steak and chicken and examines everything with a microscope- hes eaten at least six of the recipes ive prepared, and the only comment ive heard is, “this is good” my suggestions is not to introduce anything new. i am only using recipes that i know my guys will eat. chicken fingers, meatballs, mac n cheese, tacos and burgers. even if you can find one or two that you can serve each week youre still ahead of where you were yesterday - good luck

  • 67. sroginski  |  July 11th, 2007 at 4:38 am

    Dear finickysmom,

    If you kids loved the pizza, try making calzones out of the leftover chicken fingers and no harm chicken parm. I gave some directions on the story & recipe contest. It is entry #17. Calzones don’t have any sauce in them but your other kids can dip their pieces in the sauce for the extra boost. If you pickiest likes parmasan cheese, buy some fresh and grate it yourself. Let him watch you put it inside the calzone (along with the other sneaky stuff when he’s not watching). The nice thing about calzones is you can make them big or small. So if you must, use a white crust like Pillsbury and let him make a personal chicken and parmasan calzone. You may not be able to sneak in the pureed zucchini but if he eats his calzone the first time, maybe you can make it for him the next time and he’ll continue to eat them while you add a tablespoon here and there of the sneaky ingredients. Mozzarella is pretty mild so I would guess you could mix some moz to the parm and maintain the parm taste. That might help the moisture issue with the parm while introducing a new cheese in minute quantities. Check out some of the other recipes on that page as well. There might be something else you could adapt for your skeptics.

    If anyone has a heathier pizza crust recipe, let me know. Seems like the flour blend, having the whole wheat flour it in, makes it hard to make a light and fluffy crust. I’ve been working on one that has a good flavor but is too dense. Thanks.

  • 68. rowan25  |  July 12th, 2007 at 7:12 pm

    Dear Missy,

    Thank you so much for this book! I’m just starting out with my 3 year old daughter who eats nothing!! :) I tried the Extra Creamy Chocolate Ice Cream. She wouldn’t eat it!! I was so disappointed. You couldn’t taste the avocado at all, but the banana was pretty strong. Is there a way to cut back on the banana flavor and increase the chocolate flavor? If I freeze the avocados, could I eliminate the banana altogether? Anyone with thoughts or experience with this, PLEASE HELP!!!! :) Thanks,


  • 69. missy  |  July 13th, 2007 at 9:29 am

    Hi Rowan,

    Try one of the sorbet recipes from the book and add 1/4 ripe avocado to it. No banana there. Let me know how it goes!

    All the best,


  • 70. finickysmom  |  July 17th, 2007 at 8:55 pm

    I will try the calzone recipe next. Of course, once I wrote in, Mr. Picky has all of a sudden picked up the eating and is actually trying more and more things. Kids are so great like that!
    As to the whole wheat pizza crust- I don’t make one, but if you have a Trader Joe’s they make a good “Almost Whole Wheat” pizza dough that is good in a pinch. I buy a bag, separate it into smaller balls, and freeze in individual bags. I also buy their fresh sauce, sneakify it, and then freeze it as well. So far so good, we’re working on our third sneaky pizza!

  • 71. finickysmom  |  July 17th, 2007 at 9:01 pm

    Oh, I was so excited I almost forgot- Mr. Picky ate the baked ziti and leftovers (as long as I fed him and he pretended to be a shark; whatever) for three days. I put it on his plate, told him as soon as he sat down, that it looked a little different than his usual white noodles, butter and parm. but that he needed to try it. I also named it “Pizza Noodles”. He had “Fit” in his eyes, but he tried it anyway with no major tantrum. He said he didn’t like it at first, but then I told him I’d find a really cheesy bite and he tried it again and said it was good. HUGE!!!!!!
    Thank you!
    PS- I bring the book to all mom functions (They think I’m a little obsessed) and did share it with my kids’ ped. to pass on.

  • 72. missy  |  July 18th, 2007 at 9:03 am

    Dear Finckysmom,

    It sounds like you’re definitely making good progress there. Keep it up! And your “sneakify” word is really catchy-I’m going to start using it myself!


  • 73. kk  |  July 19th, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    I did remake the granola bars… I used a tad bit more honey and put the pan in the fridge to get cold.. then I could cut them into 1 inch or so bars. They stuck together much better.. they are very tasty… thank you for the great recipes!!!


  • 74. Laura  |  July 20th, 2007 at 11:42 am

    When you are ready to use a bit of frozen puree, do you thaw it first? If so, how (room temp, microwave)? Or do you proceed with the recipe using a frozen cube? Thanks!!!

  • 75. missy  |  July 22nd, 2007 at 9:46 am

    Hi Laura,

    I drop the frozen bag in a bowl of hot water until it thaws, or just until loose enough to remove from plastic bag and microwave in a bowl. If making a hot sauce, such as tomato sauce or mac 'n cheese, just drop the frozen cube in the sauce.

    Best Regards,

  • 76. Cathy  |  July 27th, 2007 at 4:45 am

    Missy, Love the book - have recommended it to anyone who will listen! My problem is that my kids are not toddlers - my 14-year-old decided to be a vegetarian last winter but will not try any new foods - no beans, etc. - to replace the meat! Sneaking beans into cookies and tofu into his mac ‘n cheese has been a great way to sneak in some protein.

    I wish you’d written your book when my kids were toddlers! Any plans for another book, maybe for teens/adults?

  • 77. buckeyepantherfan  |  July 28th, 2007 at 8:20 pm

    Hi Missy,

    On June 23rd, you asked for people to give their suggestions on a recipe they would like to see WW points. I don’t know if you got any responses, but I would love to see that posted. It’s hard to pick just one recipe, but I would choose the maxed out meatloaf or health-by-chocolate cookies.

  • 78. missy  |  July 29th, 2007 at 4:02 am

    Hi Cathy,
    I’m so glad the book is helping with your vegetarian teenager! The sneaky method #5 Method Five:Combine Foods that are a Specific Nutritional Complement for Each Other should be extra helpful for you since it shows what foods combine to form complete vegetarian proteins. Many of the sneaky chef recipes accomplish this. How about the Baked Ziti and Lasagna?

    The next book is Sneaky Chef for Men — due out spring 2008. I think you’ll enjoy these recipes too!

    My best,

  • 79. missy  |  July 29th, 2007 at 4:05 am

    Hi Buckeyepantherfan!

    Thanks for the suggestions. So far I’ve done Breakfast Cookies. They are 2 points each.

    I’ll post more as I do them.


  • 80. jillmom  |  July 30th, 2007 at 11:07 am

    Hi Missy and all,

    I jst recently purchased the book and made a double batch for freezing of several purees. While making the purees I used the cooking liquid as my thinning water. Is it better to cool this liquid before I add it to the food processor?
    I want to thank all for this book. I am going to have to try those cookies. My kids loved ice cream for breakfast the first morning I had the book. Thanks for all the tips.

  • 81. missy  |  July 31st, 2007 at 8:03 am

    Great idea to use the cooking liquid when making the purees! And, no, you don't have to cool it first. Keep up the healthy sneaking!
    My best,

  • 82. rfranceen  |  July 31st, 2007 at 11:52 am

    I am so excited to have your book! My family is much better off! My daughter even caught me making mac-n-cheese with orange puree today and said that she thinks it tastes more cheesy that way. The white puree or white bean puree in the mac-n-cheese didn’t go over as well, but I figure that we’ll go with what they will eat and try again later.

    My question is that I love your idea of adding sardines to tuna sandwiches, but I have not been able to find sardines canned without the skin or bones in any of our local grocery stores. Do you have any suggestions for where I might find them - whether on-line or in a store? Thanks!

  • 83. missy  |  August 1st, 2007 at 2:42 pm

    Dear Franceen,

    That's terrific that your daughter was so open-minded and loves the Orange Puree in her mac 'n cheese! The others are a little trickier and you have to start with smaller amounts.

    As for canned sardines, I like the skinless and boneless cans, and they are usually located near the canned tuna and salmon in the grocery store. They look like this below - you can also get them on Amazon at

  • 84. sroginski  |  August 5th, 2007 at 5:59 am

    I have discovered a new found trick to hiding the wheat germ texture in some baked goods.

    I use my Braun hand blender with the little chopper attachment. I grind the wheat germ (works on flax seed as well) until it has the consistency similar to flour. It is easier to hide from the skeptical eyes of the picky eater and is less noticable on the palate as well.

  • 85. sroginski  |  August 5th, 2007 at 6:04 am

    I too have had some difficulty with the granola bars. The first attempt ended with similar results as mentioned above AND my picky eater wrinkled her nose up at it. It didn’t look anything like Rice Crispy Treats which is what she thought I was making. So I set off to make a modified R.C.T. because I figured, if she was going to get a dessert, it might as well be one that was “better” for her. I started with Missy’s recipe and just tweaked it a bit. Here’s what I came up with, and SUCCESS…no more wrinkled up noses!

    S'more Rice Crispy Treats

    1 bag miniature marshmallows
    ~ 5 c. crispy rice cereal
    1 c. powdered milk
    ¼ c. wheat germ
    ¼ c. flax seed (omit if desired and replace with ¼ c. more wheat germ)
    2 t. vanilla extract
    4 T. butter/margarine
    ½ t. salt
    1 t. cinnamon
    ½ bag dark chocolate chips (or equivalent amount of chocolate covered raisins)

    Using a hand blender with the chopper attachment, powderize the wheat germ, flax seed and milk together. Add the cinnamon. Mix well. Add enough rice cereal to make a total of 6 cups of dry mixture. Pour in the chocolate chips or raisins. The chocolate from the chips or raisins helps to mask the brown color from the wheat germ, flax seed, and cinnamon. I put my chips in the freezer the night before so as to slow down the melting process. If you really want to hide the good stuff in the treats, melt the chocolate chips with the marshmallow mixture (see below).

    On the stove, melt the butter and marshmallows together. Add the vanilla at any point. Once all of the lumps are gone, add the dry mix. Stir quickly until well blended and pour into greased 9×13 pan. Press with an oiled/buttered spatula. Let cool and cut into squares or bars. I like to cut mine into bars and wrap them in freezer paper and tape shut. Place in the freezer for a quick candy bar treat on the go.

  • 86. sroginski  |  August 5th, 2007 at 1:30 pm

    Opps… Forgot an ingredient in the S’more Rice Crispy Treat.

    I forgot to list the 2/3 cup of rolled oats, ground to a powder as well and added to the dry mix.


  • 87. AArrieta  |  August 7th, 2007 at 4:20 pm

    Missy and everyone,

    I have enjoyed reading the blog. Its been very helpful and inspiring.

    I received the book last Thursday from a friend who has been using it and loves it. I read it Friday & Saturday, went shopping Sunday am, made my purees in afternoon, and starting “sneakifying” Monday.

    I have added the white puree to my daughters mac n cheese and the yougart to her ranch dip without any notice.

    The BIG surprise is that yeaterday was my husband’s birthday and I made him his favorite chocolate bundt cake substituting purple puree for the water and adding wheat germ. Risky, I know. Well, he said it was the BEST & richest cake I have made. So, I didn’t tell him what I did. I also made him a chicken casserole that he wanted and added more wheat germ to the stuffing and milk instead of water to the sauce. He didn’t even notice.

    I must admit its kind of FUN being sneaky! Tonight is baked spaghetti, which I nornally grate veggies into. But, I am going the extra step and adding orange puree and yougart too.

    I am excited to try all the recipes in the book, and to get the new cookbook for men next spring. I also look forward to seeing the recipes that others have submitted.

    Thanks for inspiring me and others to take our sneakiness up a notch! And thanks to my friend for the AWESOME gift!


  • 88. ajsgramma  |  August 8th, 2007 at 9:39 am

    Like Andrea, I bought the book this past weekend & started reading it immediately. It’s a work of genius. The added nutritional info inserted throughout is just great! I especially like the list of foods that are important to buy organic.
    I’ve taken care of my grandson weekdays since he was 2 months old. I feed him most of his weekly meals & since he turned 3 he’s been a lot more discriminating in his likes & dislikes. I was already sneaking some foods into sauces & luckily he loves “pickled” anything (beets, coleslaw, pickles). But I never felt I could get enough good nutrition into him before he was full. Adding more value into each bite will help a lot. Yesterday he helped me make the Purple Puree (I’d already placed the spinach under the blueberries in the blender & all he saw was blueberries.) He asked what we were making & all I could think to say was “Goop”. He laughed & after tasting it said, “Gramma I love this Goop Juice”.
    This week we’ve tried Quick Fix for Boxed Macaroni, Bonus Burgers -my husband loved these, & Breakfast Cookies - 3 batches. All were easy & very well liked.
    I have a suggestion for the Breakfast Cookies - I used a whole wheat cereal that had dried fruit included for one batch & it added another flavor. You could add dried cranberries or just about any dried fruit to the cookies to change them up.
    (((HUGS))) for such a great book - looking forward to the men’s book for some other members in my family.

  • 89. CSteinke265  |  August 13th, 2007 at 6:59 am

    Awesome book! Well organized and very imformative! I’ll be trying the recipes for the first time this week. I have a kindergartener that needs to pack for a snack and a lunch break. There is no refrigeration or microwave available. Also, teacher requests nothing messy since they have carpet on the floor. Any recommendations?

  • 90. Jennifer  |  August 13th, 2007 at 10:08 am

    Dear Missy,

    With school starting this week, I was wondering what suggestions you had for sneaking more nutrition into our kids’ lunches, since we’re a little more limited on what we can send with them.

    Thanks so much!

  • 91. Candace  |  August 14th, 2007 at 8:01 am

    Dear Missy and everyone,

    My names Candace and well I have a problem… I can’t seem to get my 20yr old boyfriend to eat Healthy. So far the only food he eats is his meat and a few fruits ex> apples and bananas. Thats It. The major thing is that he’s really picky about texture. A couple of his favorites are Chicken Brest which has to have lots of FLAVOR and SPICE, poutine, and Grill Cheese Snd’s. I need help on how to get him to eat heathier without the texture. And some way’s to add to his favorits. And since he’s leting me cook for him I want him to eat healthy meals.

    Please let me know what I can do.
    Thanx Alot.

  • 92. SingOut  |  August 14th, 2007 at 8:10 am

    Dear Missy,
    I love your book, and I don’t even have children! I’m just trying to find ways to squeeze more veggies into my own diet. Since I’m not trying to fool anyone, would it work to leave the skins on the zucchini in the the white puree? I’m guessing that it would be healthier that way, but I’m a little afraid to try it. Does the zucchini skin have a very strong flavor? Would it change the texture?


  • 93. jennk12  |  August 15th, 2007 at 5:15 am

    My picky eater is actually my husband but with a 10 month old I have a freezer full of pureed veggie ice cubes so it was easy to get going. My husband loves banana chocolate chip muffins but I would like to sneak some veggies into my recipe, could you take a look at my usual recipe and help.

    3 very ripe bananas
    ½ cup honey
    3 tablespoons canola oil
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 ½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
    1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    1 cup chocolate chips

    I plan to try some wheat germ next time but wanted to give it to you like I usually make them.
    Can’t wait for your next book!!!
    Thank you

  • 94. elvis6676  |  August 16th, 2007 at 10:10 am

    sroginski - im just about to put your variation of the granola/rice krispie treats in the oven, how long and at what temp? for today ill assume to use missys recipe. thanks. im looking forward to them

  • 95. jennk12  |  August 17th, 2007 at 6:11 am

    Dear Missy,
    I am looking for some help creating sneaky banana chocolate chip muffins. This is the recipe I use:
    3 ripe bananas
    ½ cup honey
    3 tablespoons canola oil
    1 teaspoon vanilla extract
    1 ½ cups whole-wheat pastry flour
    1 ½ teaspoons baking soda
    ¼ teaspoon salt
    about 1 cup or less chocolate chips

    I plan on replacing some of the flour with wheat germ but I was wondering the best way to substitute in some veggies?

    My picky eater is my husband but my 10 month old daughter seems to be following in his foot steps. She spits out anything green I give her. Hopefully that will change.

    Looking forward to your new Book!

  • 96. missy  |  August 17th, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Hi Jennifer,

    Very creative idea! The Orange Puree will sneak right in with the bananas–you may have to add more flour (or wheat germ) to compensate. Make sure you end up with a similar texture to what you’re used to. Then you’ll have one healthy muffin on your hands : )

    All the best,


  • 97. missy  |  August 17th, 2007 at 10:37 am

    Hi Jen & CSteinke265,

    With school starting there are definitely some “neater” recipes which can easily be packed for snacks or lunches. Be sure to use the same common sense packaging (to keep as cool as possible) when sending these items as you do when you’re sending any sandwiches with lunch meats or other perishables:

    Here are some nutritious and relatively neat (depending on who’s eating them!) snacks and lunches to try from the book:

    Breakfast Cookies, Chicken Tenders, Cheesy Animal Crackers, Brainy Brownies, Choc-ful Donuts & Cupcakes, Covert Quesadillas, Guerilla Grilled Cheese, Packed Pizza Bagels, Complete Corn Muffins, Grilled Cheese Muffins, Health By Chocolate Cookies, PB&J Muffins, Thumbprint Peanut Butter Cookies, Unbelievable Chocolate Chip Cookies, Left Over Potato Cakes, Power Pizza, Quick Fixes for Tuna Fish Sandwiches.

    That should keep them going for a while : )

    Welcome back to school!

    All my best,


  • 98. missy  |  August 17th, 2007 at 11:39 am

    Hi Candace,
    20 year olds are tougher than men who are little older and have begun to realize that they need to pay more attention to what they eat. He probably still feels immune to the effects of poor eating because it hasn’t caught up with him yet. It won’t sink in until he begins to see a little bulge around the middle or he gets a high cholesterol report, or his energy begins to drop and he misses it, etc.

    So your task is a little tricky ; )  The main thing is NOT to nag. He’ll only resist all the more. And you’ll have to decide whether you want to tell him what you’re doing. Is he open to eating healthier if he can’t notice a difference? If so, you can start with some recipes from the book like a little orange puree in his grilled cheese (go gently at first), or try my chicken tenders recipe spiced up the way he likes it.

    But take heart-The Sneaky Chef Men’s Book will be coming out in April and it’s FULL of macho men’s meals that he’ll love! I designed it exactly for him. So in the worst case, you’ll have to take heart in knowing that help is just around the corner : )  Hang in there.

    All the best,


  • 99. missy  |  August 17th, 2007 at 2:01 pm

    Dear Sing Out,

    The zucchini skin is bland in flavor too, so don’t worry about it. You’ll still see flecks of green, though, and it’s little tiny bit coarser than the rest of the zucchini, but I’d go ahead and risk it ; ) Hey, we’ve all got to stretch a little once in a while or don’t grow, right?!

    Enjoy : )


  • 100. missy  |  August 21st, 2007 at 4:44 pm

    Dear Jennifer (JennK12),

    My sincerest apologies for taking so long to answer your blog. I’ve been traveling so much lately!

    You can cut out half the amount of bananas for an equal amt (per cup) of either Orange or White Puree mixed in with the bananas. The banana flavor will hide the veg flavor, and the sugar content overall will be less because of the veg substitute.

    Keep up the good work!

    With warmest regards,


  • 101. sroginski  |  September 1st, 2007 at 3:23 am

    Dear Elvis,

    Sorry I didn’t see your blog sooner (I went back to work). Since it is like the rice crispy treats, no need to bake. Just spread out in a lightly greased pan and your done! You said you were going to bake them…did that work?

    How did you picky eater like them? I keep candy bar sized pieces wrapped and taped in freezer paper in my freezer. On the way to work, I’ll grab one for the picky eaters morning snack. They actually taste kind-of like the store bought milk and cereral bars that General Mills is putting out. (Cheerios, Cinnamon Toast Crunch, etc…) That makes me think that I could try another cereal like cheerios too.

  • 102. kath  |  September 4th, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Hi Missy -

    I have a 6 year old child diagnosed with Autism. With issues concerning texture, colour and smell he is a fussy eater to say the least. My husband and I have been hiding stuff for years in spaghetti and lasagna as well as tacos and pizza sauce but other than that were doing a pretty poor job of it. We were down to the four meals above, fish sticks, bugers and dogs and the odd bit of restaurant food. My middle child is developing typically but was being held back by the few things my eldest would eat. Along comes my little one and I can see the same thing happening to her!

    Thanks to you and your great ideas we are having so much more success. While we’re still eating the same food but we have added a few more things to the repetoire: chicken nuggets, healthy snacks etc. and now everything is packed with power. What a relief. I have posted to other parents of children with Autism so that they can use your method too.

    One question though. I’m having real trouble with the granola bars. I am a true baker (terrible cook) and never usually have problems but I’ve tried this one several ways and it crumbles on me unless I bake the daylights out of it, in which case it turns to hard chunks and my kids won’t eat it. Any thoughts? I swear I’m following the recipe to the letter…

    With thanks again,


  • 103. missy  |  September 5th, 2007 at 1:29 pm

    Hi Kath,

    I’m certain you are following the recipe to the letter. And it’s not your fault! Several people have the same issue. I’ll reprint some earlier posts for you here so you can field some fixes.

    Sorry for the inconvenience!

    All the best,

    I did remake the granola bars... I used a tad bit more honey and put the pan in the fridge to get cold.. then I could cut them into 1 inch or so bars. They stuck together much better.. they are very tasty... thank you for the great recipes!!!

    Thank you for your ingenious method of getting good nutrition to our little ones. I really appreciate your tasty, healthy recipes.
    I have made the 'Grab and Go Granola Bars' twice now, and the flavour is outstanding. My problem is that they are very crumbly and are not bars, but are more like lumps of granola bars. I followed the recipe exactly but do not know where I went wrong. Any suggestions?
    Many thanks-

    Dear Cate,
    Thanks so much for writing. I'm very glad your family is enjoying the recipes. I'm sorry about the granola bars falling apart...perhaps you need to let them cool in the pan a bit longer before cutting? Also, try adding an egg white to the mixture before baking and see if it helps. I haven't done this yet myself, so please let me know if it helps glue them together more. I think the problem is I tried to keep the amount of honey to a minimum. Of course, you can always enjoy it as clumps of granola!
    My best,

    Dear Stacy,
    Wow, that's a first....something being too sweet in a kids' taste! You have a good point, given the honey is sort of the glue of the granola bars. about trying to cut out 1/2 the honey and use 3 egg whites. They get cooked, so no worries, and they are like glue too. Give it a try, and please let us know how it turns out. Thanks!

  • 104. julianeh  |  September 6th, 2007 at 11:54 am

    Hi Missy:

    What a great cookbook! I’ve only tried 2 recipes so far (breakfast cookies & cheesy animal crackers) and both were YUMMY! Quick question on measurements—For the crushed cereal in the cookies, do you measure before crushing or after? I measured before crushing but then added some more to the dough because it was too thin. Both the cookies and the crackers were a hit with my two year old—thank you!


  • 105. huntersmom  |  September 7th, 2007 at 8:05 am

    Hi Sneaky Chef and Thanks so much for this website! Hopefully, this will be the answer to my worries. My son is a VERY picky eater. He eats and loves hot dogs, pretty much any type of meat in a link (sausage, smoked sausage, polska kiebasa), mac n’ chz, chicken patties, fruit. This is not because I started him out on these non-nutritional food items and I always present him with veggies and whatever we are eating, but he is pretty much set in stone with the above items. I’m praying he will grow out of this (he’s 17 months old). His Daddy was a very picky eater and I’ve heard this “syndrome” is hereditary?!? So anyway, how can I sneak good stuff into hot dogs and chic patties? Thanks so much for any help.

  • 106. cobyhortgirl95  |  September 10th, 2007 at 9:36 am

    I have always been a picky eater myself. Now that I have a one year old I want to be a better food role model for her. I bought your book and I love it! So far we have tried the pasta sauce, meatloaf, mac and cheese and the chocolate chip pancakes. All are wonderful, I even sneak extra purees in. And take it from me, for a recipe to have spinach in it and still be something I like is amazing!!! Will you be coming out with a second book?

  • 107. elvis6676  |  September 10th, 2007 at 1:10 pm

    sroginski - no it didnt work - can you tell ive never made rice crispie treats b4? duh. ill try again, because it looked great prior to the oven! thanks

    and missy - ive done wonders with your cookbook! mt 3yo and soon to be 14 yo cant detect anything in the mac n cheese, chicken tenders, meatballs, milkshakes and I LOVE IT!

    I use the purple puree in tacos, just mix into the ground turkey and the gobble them down!!!

  • 108. missy  |  September 10th, 2007 at 7:41 pm

    Hi Cobyhortgirl,

    I’ve just finished “The Sneaky Chef for Men-How to Cheat on Your Man in the Kitchen.” It’s due out in April and It’ll be packed with over 100 sink-your-teeth-into recipes that men (and women) love.

    That should keep you in recipes for a while : )

    All the best,


  • 109. shakeykat  |  September 11th, 2007 at 9:08 am

    Dear sneaky chef,
    I love the book…. my husband seen you on the Today show and said that I had to get this cookbook, I was leary about my son like the food with hidden stuff in it. Well, I bought the book and made the puree’s. I made meatballs for dinner the one nite, I turned them into meatball hoagies. My son loved them, I never seen him eat so well. I am sold on this book now, I making the chicken tenders tonite, hopefully they are hit also.

  • 110. missy  |  September 11th, 2007 at 11:53 am

    Hi Julia,

    You’ll want to measure the crushed cereal after-good catch!

    With healthiest regards,


  • 111. missy  |  September 11th, 2007 at 11:56 am

    Dear Hunter’s Mom,

    We’ve got a study we just posted on our News Blog Page about picky eating being genetic-guess you know that first hand…

    As for hot dogs, check out my recipe for Pigs in Healthy Blankets in the book. And for chicken patties, you can sneak oat bran, wheat germ, or purees in if you make them from scratch.

    Good luck!

    Best regards,

  • 112. missy  |  September 11th, 2007 at 8:27 pm

    Dear ShakeyKat,

    That is so sweet of you to say such kind things. It warms my heart and I appreciate it so much.

    I wish you and your family the best of health and happiness, now and always.


  • 113. sroginski  |  September 17th, 2007 at 4:08 pm

    For the first time since I’ve had your book, my husband cooked a dinner using your technique. He snuck 2 jars of baby carrot food into the spaghetti sauce tonight! And he so matter-of-factly said, “so, how do you like the c-a-r-r-o-t-s for dinner tonight.” I looked around the dinner table a little puzzled, then to him. He had a silly look on his face. My response, “You…? Put…?” and then it dawned on me the look on his face was the same one I’ve been donning since my May indoctrination into the Society for Sneaky Parentage. This is the same man who said I was over-doing it by sneaking veggies in for every meal I cooked. HA! The seed has finally germinated!!!!

  • 114. sharon  |  September 24th, 2007 at 9:25 am

    Hi Missy. I can’t tell you how much I love your book. I finally have a little stress relief. My 3 year old daughter won’t eat any veggies, fruit, or juice and hasn’t for about 1 1/2 years. The only thing resembling the above that she will eat is a little corn on the cob (once per week, part of a cob) and tomato soup. This has been very stressful. I have been quite worried about her. I have tried all of the many strategies out there and she doesn’t budge. She happily shops for fruit and veggies with me, likes to name them, carry them around the store, put them on the conveyer belt, cook with me, but will not eat them. On top of worrying about vitamins she isn’t getting, she has now been found to be low in iron stores (ferratin).

    Anyway your book has been incredibly helpful!!! She won’t eat everything I’ve tried. She has detected the sneak ingredient once. Almost everything has been successful though and I have tried several of your recipes and continue to do so. I wanted to do a spinach and blueberrie dance after the choc chip cocoa pancakes!

    My question is how can I substitute my purple puree into other chocolate recipes I find? I think you say this in the book, but I can’t find it now.

    Thank you so much!

  • 115. AArrieta  |  September 26th, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    Dear Missy,

    I need help with a recipe for pumpkin bread. I have remade my mother-in-laws recipe so its healthier by using the flour blend and replacing the water and most of the oil with applesauce. However, I am not sure what to do about the sugar. The recipe calls for 3 cups, which is a lot. I haven’t tried cutting back on it yet b/c I wasn’t sure what it would do to the baking process. Any suggestions would be helpful. By the way my husband said that with the changes I have made as is the bread is even mositer than my mother-in-laws. But, we won’t tell her that :o )

    Thanks for the help,

    Healthier Pumpkin Bread


    1 15 oz. can Pumpkin (approx. 2 c.)
    1 c. All purpose unbleached flour
    1 c. Whole Wheat Flour
    1 c. Wheat germ
    3 c. sugar
    ½ c. Canola oil
    4 Eggs
    1 ¼ c. Applesauce
    2 t. Baking Soda
    1 ½ t. Salt
    1 t. Allspice
    2 t. Cinnamon
    2 t. Nutmeg


    Mix all ingredients. Place in greased loaf pans. Bake at 350 for 1 hour. Let cool completely before removing from loaf pan.

  • 116. missy  |  September 28th, 2007 at 12:07 pm

    Dear Sharon,

    First of all, fantastic job! You’re doing everything right. Don’t give up.

    I’m not a professional baker, but in my experience I can always replace up to half the fat in any baked recipe with purple puree. The same goes for meat recipes, tacos, hamburgers, meatballs, etc.-even chocolate french toast with eggs and milk!

    That should take care of the situation!

    WIth healthiest regards,


  • 117. missy  |  September 28th, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Dear Aarrieta,

    Good idea not to gloat to your mother in law ; )

    Apple sauce, while it is a good fat replacement, is not so high in nurtient value. So rather than using applesauce, try substituting orange puree (swet potatoes and carrots) at the same ratio as the apple sauce you’re subbing in right now. The orange puree hides well in pumpkin bread (and banana bread).

    As for sugar, try cutting out half of it and you shouldn’t have any problem, the veggie puree will add back some sweetness. If everyone is used to super sweet, you may have to cut back more gradually. But if you haven’t baked anything really sweet in a while, you should be able to get away with this healthier version just fine.

    All the best,


  • 118. sroginski  |  October 1st, 2007 at 3:03 pm

    Oooh! Can’t wait to try to pumpkin bread. Thanks AArrieta!

  • 119. Stephanie M.  |  October 3rd, 2007 at 10:44 pm

    Dear Missy,

    Do you have a whole grain recipe to use in place of Bisquick? I have been using Whole Wheat Pastry flour in place of regular flour with great success, my family does not notice a thing.

    I have made your Chocolate Chip Pancakes with WW Pastry Flour in place of the flour blend and Oat Flour in place of the ground almonds, I also substituted Agave Necter in place of the honey, they were wonderful and so moist, my kids told me to make them every morning for the rest of the week! I also made your Brainy Brownies, they were so good, I had to refrain from laughing while my watching my children scarf down spinach without even knowing it! I would bake them in a smaller pan next time, the 9 x 13 made them too thin ( for my taste at least).

    Anyway, I just wanted to thank you for your cookbook, it’s really helping me get those healthy veggies into my children! I look forward to your other cookbooks!

  • 120. dmb94  |  October 4th, 2007 at 1:04 pm

    I have a question about using the baby food in place of the actual ingredients. For example I wanted to make the Organe puree but was out of carrots. How much of the baby food carrots should I add? I love this book! My daughter and husband are intensely picky eaters and so far no complaints about these receipes! I can’t wait for the husband version to come out!

  • 121. Linn  |  October 4th, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    I have had your book for about 1 month and am enjoying “sneaking” around my kitchen. Is there a place on the web site that the nutrition information is listed for the recipes in the book? I like to know the dietary fiber grams, the calories, the fat grams and protein for diet purposes (for the adults in the family), and knowing the vitamins and minerals would just make me feel good about the way I am cooking!
    Thank you

  • 122. sroginski  |  October 8th, 2007 at 4:33 pm

    Pastry flour…having a hard time finding it. I’d like to give it a try. Is it in with all of the other flours?

    What is your take on using flax seed oil? How does it compare to olive or canola oil?

  • 123. missy  |  October 10th, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    As you may have noticed, there's been a lively dialogue going on about The Sneaky Chef in the media over the past few days. As this discussion has unfolded, I have been truly overwhelmed by the outpouring of support I have received from Sneaky Chef fans worldwide, who have made their passionate, articulate opinions known across the Internet! It is a pleasure and a privilege to be connected to parents who are so deeply committed to their children's health and well-being.

    I am extraordinarily moved by everyone's kind words, and more grateful than I can say for all of your help in making The Sneaky Chef a household name.

    My Best to You and to Your Families,

  • 124. cblanton  |  October 15th, 2007 at 10:53 am

    Dear Missy,
    My picky eater (picky doesn’t begin to cover it!) also has ADHD. I’ve read that Omega 3 is really good for him and to use flaxseed in food. Can I substitute ground flaxseed for the wheat germ or the flour? What are some other ways I can sneak the Omega 3s and Flaxseed into the recipes?

  • 125. AArrieta  |  October 16th, 2007 at 7:29 am


    Thanks for the suggestions on the pumpkin bread. A friend also said to try adding a banana if my family wanted more sweetness when I cut back on the sugar. I can’t wait to try it and report back on the results.

    I also wanted to let you know I made the grab n go granola bars and the smore krispie treats that sroginski posted and they were big hits. My granola bars did fall apart. So, I will try the changes you mentioned about cutting the oil in half and baking at 350 next time. I also plan to use a 9 in. square pan because using the 9 x 13 made them a bit thin. I used the new dark m & m’s instead of chocolate chips b/c I had those on hand for halloween instead and they worked great. They might not be has healthy but they did intice my picky eaters to try them b/c they had m & m’s in them.

    Thanks Again for inspiring us all to try new healthier things for our family.


  • 126. missy  |  October 19th, 2007 at 10:26 am

    Hi Everyone,

    Thanks for your patience. With all the media attention this week, I’m behind on answering blogs (and the rest of my life!). Please resubmit your blog request if you still need an answer and haven’t found the solution to your recipe questions by trial and error by this point.

    Be sure to check out the New York Times and New York Daily News stories at:


    With healthiest regards,


  • 127. Stephanie M.  |  October 19th, 2007 at 5:55 pm

    Hi Missy, I was wondering if you had a recipe with Whole Wheat Pastry flour to replace mixes like Bisquick?

    I have used your Chocolate Chip Pancake recipe in my cast iron Pancake Puff pan (which is an aebleskiver) and they came out great, the kids loved them. I”m gonna try the Cocoa ones next!

    Thanks again for your terrific cookbook!


  • 128. Leigh Anne  |  October 19th, 2007 at 7:10 pm


    I just made your chicken nuggets, and I do have to say your recipe was much better than “someone elses”. I do have a question….can you freeze the nuggets. I was just curious as if you could freeze the nuggets after you prepare them and cook later, or if you would need to cook and then freeze? Not sure if either are a possibility, but wanted your insight. Thanks!

    Leigh Anne

  • 129. M2WANDC  |  October 20th, 2007 at 8:07 pm

    Just purchased your book (was reading reviews on amazon between Jessica’s and yours and yours seems to have the better reviews) so I haven’t yet tried your recipes, but will give the sample recipes a try this week while I wait for your book to arrive.

    My2.5 year old son will eat veggies and fruits when he wants to, key, if it’s HIS idea…but is very certain about what he eats, when he eats, etc…and if I don’t offer something he wants, he doesn’t eat it…(I don’t offer anything else, he can just wait until the next meal if he’s not that hungry IMHO) but he will go DAYS without a veggie…infact, one day he had very little to eat at all…a dixie cup of fish crackers at the gym while I was working out & some juice. I think he knows it bothers me and does it on purpose…but then I realize hunger has got to take over! Right?He refused everything I offered that day…his own personal food strike…I used to be able to get baby food (pureed) into him while he took a bath (pre-occupied with splashing) but now I can’t even do that…so he hasn’t seen a green in weeks! :( I’m hoping this will help me get some healthy foods in him…because in my case, it’s not that I offer junk, he is only offered healthy…he’s just opinionated and has a determined will…

    another issue I deal with is his ability to puke on demand! It’s rather sick!!! I’m not sure if he has a sensitive gag reflex of just does it to make me worry? But if he eats something that he doesn’t like…for example…if I make him taste something he said he didn’t want…(you know the old “just try it” routine)…he will put it in his mouth and then gag…and gag and gag…until he pukes up everything he already ate…

    He is NOT under wieght in the slightest…he’s in the 90% for weight…but never eats…most of my friends that see him eat are in awwwww because he’s not small…but apparently has the world’s slowest metabolism.

    I have HIGH HOPES that your recipes will help me get more greens in my kiddo! And I’m about to start his sister on solids, so I’m hoping he gets more interested as she is eating (and getting the attention)

    Good luck with all the media…I did not see Oprah…but was told by a friend…went to the Oprah web site, got the book title, looked it up on amazon, saw your book as another option…checked it out, read the reviews, bought your book…so I think you’ll come out ahead ;) Maybe Oprah would like to have you on her show now??? ;)

  • 130. sheena  |  October 21st, 2007 at 7:05 am

    Hello Missy, my name is Sheena and I live in Cape Breton, Nova Scotia. I have two girls Mairi age 4 and Kaylei age 19 months. I have been doing some “sneaky” cooking and baking of my own not only for the girls but for my husband. I am excited about getting your books but have been unsuccessful as of yet in stores or online. I found out about you after watching Jessica Seinfeld on Oprah and doing subsequent research. One of my tricks, which may be in your book, involves making “cream cheese” from organic whole milk yogurt. My youngest daughter loves it! We strain it overnight through a sieve lined with cheesecloth. My question is can I use this as a substitute for cream cheese in baking. I think it would work well in a chocolate cream cheese icing

  • 131. hspark  |  October 21st, 2007 at 9:47 am

    I have question for Missy or anyone who may be able to help. My youngest son has a peanut allergy, but I am wanting to make the Peanut butter and jelly muffins (love the idea of jam in muffiin, reminds me of jelly filled doughnuts, but healthier). I was wondering how they would turn out if I omitted the peanut butter. Can I just leave it out or should I put something in its place?
    Thanks so much for reading.


  • 132. kathalina  |  October 21st, 2007 at 9:31 pm

    Hi Missy,
    Just wanted to tell you how thrilled I am to have found your book. Went on Amazon to buy the “other” book but found so many rave reviews about yours I purchased it instead.

    Spent yesterday making purees and today I made the chicken parmesan. Needless to say it was a BIG HIT!! I can’t believe I got my kids to eat carrots, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, spinach, wheat germ and wheat bread in ONE meal without a fuss!! I even screwed up and couldn’t find the tomato paste in my pantry so the sauce was orange but the kids never asked why and it tasted like regular pasta sauce it didn’t occur to them to ask I guess.

    I’ve been reading thru this blog so if someone else has mentioned this I apologize but I found a really easy way to store the purees in the freezer was to pour/freeze them in regular ice trays, then put the cubes in labeled baggies in the freezer. When you need to use them you just have to grab a baggie, take out 2 cubes (1/4 cup of puree) and thaw.

    Thanks again, I’ll be telling all my freinds about your book.

  • 133. cmkania  |  October 22nd, 2007 at 6:09 pm

    My brownies didn’t come out so well-I need help.

    I’m not sure what I did wrong or if my taste is off. I made the Brainy Brownies two times & both times the taste of blueberries was strong and the texture was too pastey. On my second batch, I did reduce the amount of blueberry in my purple puree & used a little less. Missy do you or your fans have any ideas on how I can correct my blicky brownies.

    Also, I’m thrilled to hear you have another book coming out. I don’t know if you are able to disclose some of the funny recipe names but if you are-we’d love to hear a few. My husband was not thrilled about the whole idea of sneaking healthy stuff in food. Until he tried a couple of things (with the exception of my bad news brownies), he really enjoyed them. He admitted he really liked the new recipes but just does not want to know whats in them. Yet my 4 year old is thrilled to find out the healthy items. He thinks it is great.

    Thanks for your help. I wish you continued success.

  • 134. jennk12  |  October 24th, 2007 at 5:57 am

    I have been using whole wheat pastry flour in place of white for a while and have always had to get it at a health food store. They usually sell it in bags and bulk. If you live in New England I did find it along with other Bob’s Red Mill products at believe it or not Ocean State Job Lot. They had great prices on the flour and the wheat germ. Hope that helps, I just saw your post and I had the same problem before.

  • 135. lostinthelakes  |  October 24th, 2007 at 11:10 am

    I noticed a while back someone asked about the Chocolate Chip cookies being too crumbly. I made them today and mine also turned out extremely crumbly. They would never survive a lunch box. I saw you recommended to measure the oats after being ground, I measured first then ground them. Would it also help to add another egg, or egg white to help bind the ingredients?? They taste fabulous, just hard to pick up and eat.

  • 136. missy  |  October 24th, 2007 at 4:25 pm

    Hi Again Everyone,

    First, I want to tell each one of you how much I appreciate all of your support. It means SO much to me : )

    Now I must also beg your forgiveness for not being able to answer your questions, yet again. The media has been relentless. I would ask you to please wait a few days to post your questions again if you haven’t discovered answers through alternate means. I would also ask other readers of this blog to offer any answers that they might have. That would help a lot!

    Things should settle down in a few days. I will be on the TODAY SHOW tomorrow morning, and then the weekend should bring some down time when I can re-focus on the important business of tending to questions from readers.

    Thanks for your understanding and help : )



  • 137. Jennifer  |  October 24th, 2007 at 5:53 pm


    I am mildly allergic to peanuts. I haven’t made the muffins yet, but when I do I will try them with soy butter instead of peanut butter. I really like the Great Value brand (Wal-mart store brand) of soy butter. I’ve made “peanut butter” cookies with them and they turned out fine. You might want to think about trying the recipe with your favorite PB alternative. Health food stores should also have a good selection of alternatives.


  • 138. debbie26111  |  October 25th, 2007 at 7:27 am

    Hi Missy saw you on the today show. I do have your cookbook and love the website, help us help each other in troubles or sub. ingredients. I have a question I grow kale, can I sub. that for spinach or colards, and my son is allergic to soy, peas and dairy, what could I sub. the peas with? Thanks again and keep up the great work. Debbie in Nebr.

  • 139. sroginski  |  October 26th, 2007 at 3:24 am

    Brownies and Chocolate Chip Cookies

    I make brownies on a regular basis and freeze them along with the CCCookies. I haven’t had a problem with either recipe. Here’s what I do…

    Make sure to use fresh young baby spinach. The frozen variety is much stronger and can be detected slightly. The young spinach really is tasteless. Make sure you wash it well before steaming though. Oats…I start with 1/4 cup oats and grind them up. I don’t remeasure after grinding. I use the flour blend, not pastry flour although I have finally found some P. flour that I will try next time. But the blend has always worked for me. When making the purple puree, I use fresh 1 1/2 cu, unsweetened blueberries measured the same way as the oats. I don’t remeasure the blended amount. I have noticed that the purple puree can get gelatinous and runny. I just pour off the extra liquid before using.

    Same thing with the oats…measure 1/4 cup, blend, but don’t remeasure. Same with chick peas. I use flour blend (haven’t tried pastry flour yet). Now I tend to like my cookies on the chewy side so I bake them mine between 11-12 minutes. Then I pull them out, cool for a couple of minutes, then press down with a plastic spatula. My cookies are always ultra-moist.

    Hope that helps some of you. Keep trying…they do work and are YUMMY!

    A side note: On the nights I offer beans as a side dish for dinner, it’s a given that my picky eater won’t eat them. She will protest to the very end. So I keep the cookies in the freezer, offer other healthy choices for dinner (veggies and another protein). If she eats one of her veggies instead of the beans, then I give her the cookies as a treat. She will opt to eat her beans, peas, carrots, or corn (the only ones she will consider eating) if she knows there is a cookie looming in her dessert future. She’s still getting the beans and I’ve managed to get a veggie in too.

  • 140. Rachael  |  October 28th, 2007 at 1:49 pm

    Hello! I have 14 month old twin boys and I just bought the Sneaky Chef today. One of them is allergic to cow’s milk, peanuts, and eggs; he also happens to be the more picky eater. I was wondering if you knew of an egg substitute for some of these recipes. I know I can use soy milk instead of cow’s milk. I would hate for him to miss out on these meals! I would appreciate any help you could give me!

  • 141. cshepan  |  October 28th, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    I tried making the brownies today. They taste fine but they are very thin. I used a 9×13 pan and the brownies are about half-inch! Did I do something wrong or are they supposed to be this thin?

  • 142. married2blue280  |  October 29th, 2007 at 6:16 pm

    Dear Sneaky Chef,
    My 14 month old son is anemic, but he won’t eat most of the iron-rich foods I try to give him. Plus, to be perfectly honest, I’m not that good of a chef myself. Can you please help me with a recipe that is rich in iron and taste? Thanks


  • 143. hspark  |  November 1st, 2007 at 9:37 am


    Thanks for the idea of soy butter. I will pick some up the next time I go to the store. I thought about trying another nut butter, but so many things with other nuts mention the fact that they are also processed in a facility that handles peanuts. I can’t risk the chance of cross contamantion. My son is severly allergic and I have to carry an Epi-pen with me at all times.
    I didn’t even know such a thing as soy butter existed.
    Thanks again for the suggestion will definately give it a shot.


  • 144. missy  |  November 1st, 2007 at 11:44 am

    Hi Meghan,

    There’s a great list of iron rich foods available on pediatrics page. Here’s the link:

    Amaranth is high in iron content and is delicious when you add a little maple syrup to it, and maybe even a little cinamon. It’s 3 to 1 water to grain, and cook it until develops a thick gel like substance around the grain. Then add the syrup and a touch of cinamon if you like. Warm and delicious comfort food for kids and adults alike.

    Quinoa and millet also have high iron content. All of these grains will absorb whatever flavors you put into them, so you can be as creative as you like to suit the needs and desires of your child.

    Hope this helps!

    All the best,


  • 145. missy  |  November 1st, 2007 at 11:47 am

    Hi Debbie,

    You can sub kale for spinach, but it has a stronger flavor so watch the quantity you start out with. Definitely work your way up. Also, since you’re growing it yourself, harvest the youngest leaves for use in recipes for your son’s recipes-they’ll have a milder flavor.

    As for the peas, you can just leave them out of the green puree.

    Best regards,


  • 146. missy  |  November 1st, 2007 at 11:49 am

    Hi Rachael,

    The egg substition is easier than you migh think. I’ll reprint some of the best ideas here.



    A product called “Egg Replacer” by Ener-G Foods Inc. is available in all health food stores in the baking section, as well as in many regular supermarkets. It comes in a box, like a cake mix, and you use something like one tablespoon with a little water per egg. Directions are on the box. Works great.

    There are actually a number of egg replacers that work very well depending on what you’re cooking. Tofu, for example, works very well where a lot of eggs are involved, like in quiches, or even tofu omlettes!

    Flax seeds also work, as well as various vegetable oils. I suggest you do a quick Google search on “Egg Replacers” and you’ll find recipes for exactly what you’re doing. In the meantime, here are some others that work:

    2 tbsp corn starch = 1 egg
    2 tbsp arrowroot flour = 1 egg
    2 tbsp potato starch = 1 egg
    1 heaping tbsp soy powder + 2 tbsp water = 1 egg
    1 tbsp soy milk powder + 1 tbsp cornstarch + 2 tbsp water = 1 egg.
    1 banana = 1 egg in cakes.

  • 147. missy  |  November 1st, 2007 at 11:53 am

    Dear Cshepan,

    Try using a 9×9 or 8×8 pan instead. That will give you the thickness you’re looking for : )

    Best regards,


  • 148. chrianna  |  November 4th, 2007 at 9:47 pm

    aloha missy,

    we’ve been enjoying trying out the sneaky chef recipes at our house. my family has decided that i can’t sneak any more orange puree into their grilled cheese but we’ve loved every other recipe. our big favorite is the tuna IQ patties.

    i have a question. i’m planning to give out an assortment of christmas cookies to our neighbors and friends this year. i’d like to use the flour blend (make ahead recipe #13) as a substitute for the flour called for recipes. can i do that?


  • 149. missy  |  November 5th, 2007 at 5:28 pm

    Hi Anna,

    The flour blend can be substitued into most baked goods, but Christmas cookies might be trickier. The reason is that Christmas cookies are sometimes meant to be “snow white” and you’ll see some specks with the flour blend. I recommend trying one batch first, and seeing how that goes.

    Happy, Healthy Holidays : )


  • 150. tdietrich  |  November 7th, 2007 at 5:40 pm

    Hi I just recently bought your book and have been trying out the wonderful recipes. I wanted to know how long could I freeze the purees for? You are doing an excellent job and I am so happy that myself and my family are finally getting some nutrition in our meals Thank You.

  • 151. tdietrich  |  November 7th, 2007 at 5:43 pm

    How long can you freeze the purees for? We LOVE your recipes!

  • 152. Jana  |  November 8th, 2007 at 9:31 am

    I’m trying to sneak more protein into my 16-year-old’s breakfast. I wish you’d give carb and protein info for all your recipes somewhere on the site, but especially for the Breakfast Cookies and PBJ Muffins.


  • 153. kirsten  |  November 8th, 2007 at 2:07 pm

    I love your book, my kids are definately getting more nutrients than there were before. Now I say, sure have another cookie!
    I saw a couple of postings about nutritional values for your recipes and / or ww points. I saw the points for the Breakfast Cookies, thank you. I was wondering if you even have had the chance to come up with the nutritional values (or points) for any other recipes. I didn’t see any other ones.
    Thank you so much!

  • 154. missy  |  November 9th, 2007 at 8:50 pm

    Hi Tdietrich,

    You should be able to keep frozen purees for about 3 months. But remember, when freezing anything, HOW you freeze it is vitally important. Be sure to use tightly sealed containers or double zippered bags. Then you’ll have fresh purees when you need them : )

    Best regards,


  • 155. KristenE  |  November 13th, 2007 at 10:06 am

    Just wanted to leave a quick note. I have been cooking out of the cookbook for about 3 weeks now and it is fast becoming a hit! Today I made the choc chip cookies with a few adjustments and just wanted to share…
    I replace half of the butter with unsweetened organic applesauce and the brown sugar with 2 T of Splenda blend brown sugar. I am not a huge fan of sugar substitutes, but I do like the blends as they can cut calories (for ME ;) ). The butter, sugar and applesauce will not beat up and become creamy like usual, but it is OK! I also measured my oats after processing and decresed my baking time to 10 min. They are soft and chewy and don’t fall apart! And this cut about 500 calories and 44 grams of fat (28 saturated) and the mix made made 56 cookies! Each cookie is about 32 calories based on my calculations and around 46 if made the traditional way. Just wanted to share. I know that I am always looking for ways to cut calories and still have a great taste. If I weren’t eating these I probably wouldn’t care, but who can resist?! Keep up the great work Missy. Can’t wait for the next book!

  • 156. enedeliaamy  |  November 14th, 2007 at 8:54 am

    I love your book! Last night I made Maxed Out Meatloaf and No Doc Guac… I got rave reviews! I would like to make Grab ‘n’ Go Crispy Granola Bars. However, my children are allergic to dairy. Is there a good way to substitute out the nonfat dry milk? I tried two batches last night, trying to adjust the amount of oats to compensate for the milk, but it didn’t work. If I had any on hand, I would use Vance’s Dari-free Potato Milk… Do you have any ideas?

  • 157. missy  |  November 14th, 2007 at 10:18 am

    Hi Amy,

    Some other moms asked this question just the other day. Take a look at the posts under the “Granola Bar fix” on the Sneaky Chef Home Blog page.

    So I haven't tried this yet, but I would suggest replacing the milk with 1/2 cup finely ground oats. Use your food processor here.

    Alternatively, you could use dried soy milk, available in your healfood store.

    Let me know how these work-I'll be very interested.

    Best regards,


  • 158. KristenE  |  November 14th, 2007 at 6:24 pm

    BTW… the caloric values I posted on the cookies do not include the almonds. We just chose not to use them.

    Missy- I made the Gotta Lotta Lasagna and the family loved it. Great recipe! My nephew will not eat anything that isn’t fried, served with gravy or somehow completely processed into some strange log (e.g. summer sausage, those weird hotdogs with “cheese”) and he is eating absolutely everything I make. Hahaha…..if he only knew.

  • 159. enedeliaamy  |  November 15th, 2007 at 6:56 am

    Thank you for your swift reply! I’m so impressed. I will try your suggestions along with the “granola bar fix” ideas!


  • 160. SylviaWiginton  |  November 16th, 2007 at 7:40 am

    Dear Sneaky Chef,
    I haven’t had the opportunity to read your book but I do receive the e-mails from your website and I received an e-mail today with your Corn Muffin recipe. Sounds like something my whole family will enjoy. My question though was I am also a follower of Weight Watchers and was wondering if your recipes offer the nutritional information (calories, fat grams, fiber grams, etc.) for the recipes that you’ve created? I’ve gotten used to reading all the labels of what my family eats, and this info for your recipes would be very welcome. Thanks so much. I think your sneaky cooking techniques are great!

  • 161. missy  |  November 17th, 2007 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Sylvia (and others who have asked this question recently),

    I only have weight watchers points for the cookies (2). Sorry!

    As for nutritional info, I certainly understand the need, but I didn’t supply nutritional info in the book because of the basic philosophy that The Sneaky Chef is a nutrition enhancement approach to kids’ eating. It’s about using the foods they love and enhancing them with the best nutrients on Earth.

    The book does highlight the key nutrients and features of each recipe (e.g. high fiber, calcium, protein; high in omega-3’s, vitamins,minerals, antioxidants, etc.). The recipes were all designed to be lower in fat, sugar and calories than traditional recipes.

    Hope this helps to some extent…

    With warmest regards,


  • 162. tglees  |  November 19th, 2007 at 12:31 pm

    I have baked your brownies and there are terrific. My daughter will not eat them cold out of the fridge. What is the best way to warm them up?

  • 163. missy  |  November 22nd, 2007 at 2:46 am

    Hi Tglees,

    Your daughter has good taste-the flavors of chocolate brownies definitely come out more when they are room temperature or even a little warmer. But watch out for too warm, as any hot breads or pastries can result in tummy upsets.

    As for the best way to warm the brownies, a quick shot in the microwave works fine, though I am not a big fan of microwaves in general when other traditional ovens are available. The toaster oven works best, 250-300 for 5-10 minutes depending on your oven and the thickness of the pan you’re reheating in. Again, don’t let them get too hot. Just to take the chill off. And if you then let them sit for 3-5 minutes on the counter or in the toaster oven after turning it off, the warmth will spread evenly through the brownies. If you’ve stored them in the fridge in a toaster oven safe container, you can put them straight into the oven from the fridge.

    Enjoy your warm brownies : )

    Happy Holidays,


  • 164. lostinthelakes  |  November 26th, 2007 at 6:05 am


    I’ve had great success with the recipes in your book. My kids have even asked if they can take the leftovers in their lunches. I noticed you commented on not using plastic to reheat food in. Any other suggestion on what I can use to send leftovers in a lunch box? The kids have access to a microwave at lunch. Is it just the disposable plastic containers that are of concern or do you also stay away from higher quality plastic like tupperware??

  • 165. Avabella  |  November 27th, 2007 at 6:24 am

    Just wanted to say I LOVE your book, all the recipes are great (breakfast ice cream, anyone?) and just tried the peanut butter cookies.
    The problem I had was that the bottoms burnt way before the time was up and even when I tried less time, the bottom was burnt and the cookie was still raw in the middle.
    Any ideas what I am doing wrong?
    I love to cook but baking is new for me!

  • 166. sroginski  |  December 2nd, 2007 at 4:45 pm

    Holiday Brownie Alteration

    Add 1/2 tsp of pure mint extract. If your kids like mint, that is. If your family could tell something “was up” with the brownies, the mint helps to mask a little more. Every once in a while I see mint chocolate chips in the store. That would work too. I’ve been known to drizzle a little bit of melted chocolate chips over the tops as well.

    My personal opinion on making the brownies…use the fresh spinach. Frozen has a much stronger taste. I made them with the pastry flour for the first time this weekend too. Worked like a charm.

  • 167. twinmomred2  |  December 3rd, 2007 at 5:06 am

    I would like to replace the tofu in the Sneaky Baked Ziti with lowfat ricotta cheese but not sure how much to use (I tried it with the Tofu and my kids and husband would not eat it). Please help. I love all the recipes in the book and wish to thank you so much for your great work! Keep it up!

  • 168. missy  |  December 3rd, 2007 at 5:43 pm

    Dear Lost in the Lakes,

    This is a tough one. Plastic is great to transport food in because it doesn’t break, and yet it’s just not good to heat food in. Porcelain and glass are best for that, but again, the breakage issue.

    The best solution I can think of is to use a thermos to send hot foods in. They come in various shapes and sizes. That way, no reheating will be necessary.

    Check out this website for more info:

    All the best for the holidays,


  • 169. missy  |  December 3rd, 2007 at 5:48 pm

    Dear AvaBella,

    A few things could be happening here. First, flatten the cookie ball before baking. That will ensure a cooked middle. Next, make sure you’ve pre-heated your oven before putting in the cookie tray and place the tray on a higher rack level, away from the bottom heating element. Also, you may want to try a double lined cookie sheet if the problem persists.

    Once you’ve done all this, I would be surprised if you still had burnt bottoms or raw middles. Keep me posted!

    Happy and Healthy Holidays,


  • 170. missy  |  December 4th, 2007 at 9:14 am

    Hi Twin Mom,

    If you'd like to replace the tofu with ricotta, I would go for a lowfat ricotta and use exactly the same amount that the recipe calls for tofu. It's an exact one to one substitution. Enjoy!

  • 171. susanmoreno  |  December 6th, 2007 at 7:58 am

    I don’t have children but, I have a hard time eating my vegetables like I should. And, like hundreds of people I have to watch my calories. I was wondering if you had any suggestions as far as
    preparing meals that address these concerns more focused
    on the types of food adults who are counting calories would eat.


  • 172. ckz3boyz  |  December 6th, 2007 at 11:31 am

    Hi Missy,

    I just got your book and I can’t wait to try your recipes. I do have one problem though. My youngest son has allergies to milk, cheese, and oats (to name a few). He didn’t show a reaction to wheat or soy. I can figure out the substitutes for milk and cheese, but I’m not sure what would be a good substitute for oats. From what I’ve read so far, oat allergies appear to be rare. Do you have any suggestions on what I could substitute oats for in your recipes? Thank you, Cindy

  • 173. missy  |  December 7th, 2007 at 7:32 am

    Dear Susan,

    You’re right on time with your question: I am publishing my second book which is full of men’s recipes, and many, many of them are of course perfectly suitable for grown women as well.

    It’s called, “The Sneaky Chef for Men: How to Cheat on Your Man in the Kitchen!” You’ll be able to sneak in all the vegetables you want into over 100 delicious adult recipes. And I mean DELICIOUS. All of my friends and family LOVE these recipes for themselves and their husbands. I don’t mean to toot my own horn here, but they really did turn out well : )

    You can pre-order it on Amazon.

    Have a great holiday!


  • 174. missy  |  December 11th, 2007 at 7:57 pm

    Dear 3 Boyz (wow!),

    I haven’t needed to experiment with replacements for oats yet, but I would try ground wheat germ. Grind it up finely in the food processor, then replace it one for one. This may take some trial and error on your part, but it sounds like you’re used to that… Make sure to grind the wheat germ well in the food processor to get rid of the darker flecks that would be a give away. Let me know how this works.

    Healthy Holidays : )


  • 175. Alli  |  December 13th, 2007 at 10:05 am

    Wow, this website is a GREAT resource! I’ve just ordered your book,a and am anxiously awaiting the new one for adult meals.

    My dear hubby, though a great guy, really won’t eat fruits, veggies, or any “good for you” foods. I’d love to hear from your nutritionist what the risks really are of not eating these foods. The few fruit/veggies that he will eat are: orange juice (and maybe apple or grape juice a couple times a year), tomato sauce (if no chunks), salsa (to dip chips in if no chunks), sweetened apple sauce, white potatoes, pumpkin pie , garlic & onion as spices, and maybe the occasional carrot in a stew. He eats most meats, fish, & poultry, white rice, breads (has taken 10 years to SLOWLY shift him to some whole wheat), chips & pretzels, pasta, cheese, milk, frosted flakes, cream cheese, and sweets. Definitely a carnivore. No grains other than rice, no fruits or veggies raw or cooked other than what’s above, dislikes new foods or ones with a wide combination of flavors and textures. Even prefers vanilla ice cream!

    This has been SUCH a source of contention in our marriage, since I have very broad eating habits and love to experiment with new foods and flavors, not to mention that I’m really concerned about his health: high blood pressure, overweight, seems to catch every bug that comes through. I really struggle with my weight as well, so having the A-list of foods to avoid around makes it really tough for me.

    Any chance for him to actually eat and enjoy some of these foods?

  • 176. missy  |  December 13th, 2007 at 12:36 pm

    Dear Alli,

    It sounds like you’ve come to the right place! You’ll be able to sneak a host of great nutrition in using the recipes in The Sneaky Chef. Then in April, when the new book comes out, you’ll have tons of manly recipes packed with hidden veggies that fit his tastes. He’ll never suspect a thing ; )

    Good luck!


  • 177. happysue  |  December 21st, 2007 at 8:13 am

    Thank you for the book !
    1.Perhaps this is covered in the next book-
    I am definitely going to try the tuna recipe- can you add more
    recipes for those of us that don't like the taste of fish
    2. I can't eat beans because of the gas, but can I use the whitebean puree without having a problem?

  • 178. missy  |  December 22nd, 2007 at 7:56 am

    Hi Sue,

    You’ll find more fish and seafood recipes coming in the men’s book!

    Regarding the beans, I would anticipate that the bean puree will behave like any other bean. However, I have heard of anecdotal evidence which suggests that the method of preparation of beans can be a helpful factor in how they react with an individual. You might do a Google search for helping factors like soaking overnight, rinsing well, the use of certain herbs… all have been reported on the web to decrease the production of gas.



  • 179. Moodmachine  |  December 23rd, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    Hi Missy,
    First, a giant THANK YOU for your book and recipes. My son is almost 12 years old and has been extremely picky for years. It has long been a cause of anxiety for the whole family. Your book and recipes have been a godsend. My child is eating fruit and veggies for the first time in YEARS! I bake muffins and brownies on the weekend and freeze them in individual plastic baggies for him to take to school during the week. For dinners, lots of mac cheese is consumed (as it has been for years) but now it is enhanced with the orange puree. I also appreciate your advice on the food processor. I purchased the one you recommended and as you noted, it’s easy to use, and is simple to put together/dismantle/clean.

    Second, MIssy, I have a question for you. I have made the chocolate frosting but the taste of powedered milk is overpowering. Can you suggest a way to make it with regular milk? (I’m not a very imaginative cook/baker, so am hoping you can give me an idea here.)

    Thank you again, and happy new year!


  • 180. abbyn  |  December 27th, 2007 at 11:06 am

    Hi, Missy. I just got your book for christmas and am SO excited! My husband and I have no children right now, but need to up OUR intake of veggies in a sneaky way! I just saw today that you will be coming out with a new book…which I can’t even wait for! Will this first book be appropriate for adults to tide us over until april? I know it’s geared towards kids, but I want to make sure it will benefit us in the same way. Thanks!

  • 181. missy  |  December 28th, 2007 at 1:19 pm

    Dear Abbyn,

    You’ll find lots of recipes in the kid’s book that you’ll love-I know because of all the emails I get from people just like you! Plus, you’ll be getting a great introduction to all of the sneaky techniques, so you’ll be ready for action when book 2 comes out in April : )

    All the best for the holidays,


  • 182. angiew  |  December 29th, 2007 at 10:38 am

    Hi Missy,

    My sister and I were very picky while growing up and this book would have been a lifesaver for my mom! (My Dad still is picky too, eating only pizza, toast, meatloaf, Arby’s and McDonald’s. Oh, and the occasional lasagna and beer. That’s about it.)
    My mom learned to sneak items in my and my sister’s foods out of desperation. Diagnosed with ulcerative colitis at age 12, I didn’t want to eat anything but oatmeal because it seemed like everything else I ate aggravated my condition. I didn’t want to take the big horse pills, either. Mom used to grind up Flintstones vitamins, pears/applesauce/bananas, and even cut up some of my medicines to mix in the oatmeal (probably not the best idea because of the stomach-safe coating), without my knowing (she simply said “it must be the color of the cinnamon”). Once I caught her, it took a long time before I could trust her - or eat oatmeal - again. Now, twenty years later, I understand exactly what she was going through.

    I applaud you for putting a book like this together and have recommended it to my sister (who’s raising a 3-yr-old finicky sugar-lover). I can’t wait for the new book in April (just in time for my B-day!!) for both myself - and my finicky husband. It’s not that either of us hate vegetables, we just seem to choose the quick and easy way out most of the time.

    Happy New Year!

  • 183. missy  |  December 29th, 2007 at 5:54 pm

    Hi Kathleen,

    I am so happy that your child is finally eating some healthy foods again. This is what The Sneaky Chef is all about : )

    As for the powdered milk taste, just use less of it, and increase the amount of powdered sugar. Simple as that!

    Have a great holiday,


  • 184. stephanie  |  December 30th, 2007 at 10:09 am

    Happy Holidays Missy,

    I was given your book for Christmas and have already made the Unbelievable Choc Cookies for a dinner party. What a huge success. I asked for this book b/c my fiancee is a very picky eater. His main problem is texture and he hates things mixed together. I’m looking forward to creating more of your recipes. But imagine my delight when I read online that you are currently writing another Sneaky Chef book exactly for picky men: “How to Cheat on Your Man in the Kitchen” — it’s just what I need.

    Thanks so much and best wishes,

    Oh, just noticed Abbyn wrote about the same thing. I can’t wait for April.

  • 185. lisab3  |  December 30th, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    Dear Missy,

    Not sure if this is the place to leave “rave reviews” of your book…but I couldn’t find a better spot.

    I am typing away with a sly smirk on my face as my 3 children just finished up Grilled Cheese Sandwiches and Brainy Brownies!!!! These are the first vegetables that have entered my 3 1/2 year old son’s body since he was 6 months old!!!! And the first green veggies to enter the tummy of my 5 year old son! I was so skeptical after trying every trick in the “old” book. I can never thank you enough!

    I had pretty much given up trying to get healthy foods into the bodies of my sons. The older one has sensory issues and manages to gag until he throws up when I try to get him to eat veggies. As a result of these two living on chicken nuggets, hot dogs and poptarts, they are sick ALL the time. I have all the confidence in the world that incorporating your recipes into their diets, will raise their immunity.


    I just want to say to everyone who has given up…..DON’T!!!!! THERE IS A BETTER WAY!……THE SNEAKY WAY!!!!!


  • 186. momto3  |  January 3rd, 2008 at 1:40 am

    Hello Missy,
    We had our first “sneaky dinner” tonight - went over without a hitch. I’m just as picky (or maybe even more so) than at least one of our kids, so this book (and the next one) are just what I need!

    Regarding kid’s lunches- my picky and “routine oriented” son will ONLY allow PB&J (along with crackers and fruit) in his packed school lunch. Which puree can I add to the peanut butter and what changes can I make to the Jelly to add some nutritional (but undetectable) benefit?

    Thanks for your help (and the wonderful recipes).

  • 187. Shae73  |  January 3rd, 2008 at 7:28 pm

    Hi Missy… just wanted to let you know how much I’m enjoying trying the recipes in your book. I have a 2 1/2 year old who used to eat everything, and now refuses just about everything. I tried the granola bars, and while he refused it the first time I offered, after he finally tried one, he decided he wanted 2 more! We had meatloaf tonight, and I even added the white puree to instant mashed potatoes - he gobbled everything up! Can’t wait to try more recipes!
    Will the recipes in your new book appeal to my picky son?

  • 188. Stephanie M.  |  January 4th, 2008 at 11:13 pm

    Hi, I love your cookbook and am anxiously awaiting your new one. I am wondering if you have a recipe that is the whole grain equivalent to bisquick? I would love to have a multi purpose flour mix for many baking needs.

    Thank you so much!

  • 189. JenniferJ  |  January 5th, 2008 at 1:38 pm

    I just have to write and thank you. I had some Christmas $ and was browsing on Amazon when I came across the “other” book, which lead me to YOUR book, which I purchased!

    I am a picky eater and I cannot be surprised that my 4 kids are too! Also, one of my kiddos has some sensory issues and that leads him to be picky about textures and smells,etc.

    Before I received your book in the mail, I would search the internet for articles and videos and stray recipes here and there to hold me over.

    It has been several days now since I have had the book and so far so good. My mindset has really changed. I once thought of preparing meals as a necessary evil, but now I see it as an opportunity for nutrition!

    I tell the kids I am trying a new recipe and to let me know what they like or don’t like. The next time, I change it if I have to, to suit our tastes. It seems to be less threatening for them that way and it doesn’t hurt my feelings if they don’t like it because I didn’t make it up, it was the recipe that needs to change if we don’t like it.

    Thank you so much for this book and I am highly anticipating the next one!!

    Sincerely, Jennifer

    PS~ As I said before, I only just recently found out about your book.How disappointed I was to read on your site you had a book signing here in my area when your book first came out!! :(

  • 190. Laurie  |  January 6th, 2008 at 2:33 pm

    I am very excited about your book. It was a Christmas gift and it looks great! I have a question about the Orange Puree. Is there a way to make it with out the sweet potato? Is there something else I can use? Maybe Butternut or Acorn squash? I really want to try some of these recipes but, one family member can not eat any sweet potatoes. Please help me.

  • 191. momof3  |  January 6th, 2008 at 6:45 pm

    I have loved your book! I had my mom get if for me for Christmas, but brought it home sometime in Nov.

    When I first checked your book out from the library I like the idea of doing the purees because I could do something for the whole family. At the time I had a 5 month old I was getting ready to start feeding solids to. I have always made my own baby food so this fit right in. I doubled most of the recipes knowing that they would get eaten by somebody.

    I have been modifiying my own recipes but have had some problems with simply using a 1 to 1 ratio with the Flour Blend. My husband loves the blend flavor as do I, but most things end up a little flatter and drier with it. I have tried making cornbread with it, and it was dry, however the one I added white puree to was better. I have also made a dutch baby with it and it was about half the size as usual.

    One of my familys favorite foods is biscuits. I use the flour blend and they are very crumbly. Any suggestions to this and also any thing else to add to them to make them a little more healthy, since they are the most healthy thing to eat.


  • 192. elvis6676  |  January 7th, 2008 at 5:36 am

    i love your book and use it several times a week. i made the pb&j muffins the other day and i was disappointed. they are very salty tasting and im wondering if the measurements for the baking soda, baking powder, salt and peanut butter are correct, they are all quite salty unto themselves. thanks

  • 193. missy  |  January 7th, 2008 at 9:32 am

    Hi Laurie,

    No problem on making the orange puree without the sweet potato. Just increase the amount of carrots (in less sweet recipes) or substitute a sweet squash. The sweet potatoes add a lot of naturally sweet flavor, so I’d try replacing them with a sweet squash in recipes where you want that sweetness to shine through.

    Happy cooking!


  • 194. kaylarose  |  January 7th, 2008 at 11:50 am

    Hi Missy,

    I getting all geared up to start sneaking. I was wondering if there is a makeover for store bought cornbread mix. I am going to try purreed corn. Would applesause or something else reduce the fat and not change the texture?


  • 195. missy  |  January 7th, 2008 at 2:57 pm

    Dear Elvis,

    Something is going wrong somewhere in the recipe. I would leave out the salt entirely to start. If they’re still salty after that, we have a little detective work to do…

    I would have a good look at your baking powder and baking soda containers to make sure they are what they say they are-if it were my kitchen, it wouldn’t be first time baking ingredients switched places on me in the middle of the night!

    Also, taste your peanut butter and other ingredients before using them. I’ve restocked with the wrong ingredient more than once before, and my daughter and her friends have mixed a few things up in the pantry for me after a baking party as well ; )

    In short, do a quick taste test on everything you’re using before it goes in.

    I’ll be curious to learn which was the culprit…

    With best regards,


  • 196. newmom@40  |  January 7th, 2008 at 3:12 pm

    Hi, Missy! I’m so glad you spent the time to figure these recipes out! BRAVO.
    My question is regarding the use of white puree and tofu in the Gotta Lotta Lasagna. I will be using organic Newmans Sockarooni tomato sauce but forgot the tofu when I was at the store this afternoon and cauliflower is difficult to find in my area, so I cannot make the white puree .
    I was wondering if I could substitute the puree with avocado?
    I would have to leave out the tofu but the creaminess of the avocado might make up for the loss?

    On a side-note, I tried the creamy chocolate shake, (using Rice Devine Chocolate Peanutbutter instead of ice cream and hemp milk instead of cow’s milk) and thought it was fantastic; my four-year-old son and my husband thought it was out-of- this world!

  • 197. Melissa Anderson  |  January 8th, 2008 at 12:41 pm

    I love your book, and have made so many great things for my children. I find myself adding something healthy to almost everything. I have one problem with a recipe I have made twice, the granola bars. My kids love the flavor and the texture, but I can’t keep them from falling apart. For my most recent attempt, I added extra oil and extra honey in hopes it would glue it a little, but they were more crumbly than the previous attempt. We actually used it for granola yogurt topping, whcih was good, but not the school snack I want them to be. Please help and thanks for helping me help my kids!

    Melissa Anderson

  • 198. elvis6676  |  January 8th, 2008 at 2:17 pm

    excellent point, my baking soda and or powder were borrowed from a neighbor and are in zip lock bags, time to run to the market and purchase my own so i know what im using - many thanks, love your work

  • 199. saharadog  |  January 8th, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Hi, Missy. I was always a fan of Eating Well magazine and when I found out you published a cookbook geared towards sneaking extra nutritious foods into recipes I knew I had to try it. I am writing to you today to offer you support in your legal endeavors. I don’t expect you to comment but I saw the DL show on tv and was mortified when I heard the plaintiff’s comments regarding you. Best of luck to you and thank you for indirectly making my kids (ages 2 & 4) eat healthier.


  • 200. Momoftwo  |  January 8th, 2008 at 7:11 pm

    Hi Missy,

    Happy New Year! Santa brought me your book for Christmas and I love it so far! I was disappointed to see that the nutrition information is not available. Although I understand your reasoning noted above and don’t expect something that contains hot dogs to qualify as a health food, I think that reading food labels is important. Would you reconsider your position? It will take me forever to calculate it myself. Thanks!

  • 201. missy  |  January 9th, 2008 at 3:28 pm

    Hi Melissa,

    Glad you like the recipes : )

    You can try mixing one part white bean puree to 3 parts peanut butter. Mix it well on a plate first before using it. Don’t put it back in the jar, though, as it will shorten the shelf life of the peanut butter.

    Enjoy in good health!


  • 202. missy  |  January 9th, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Dear Shae,

    I designed the recipes in the next book to be used for the entire family. All of the spices in each recipe can be adjusted to taste: more for men, less for kids. Plus, there’s fantastic meals kids will love, like Champion Chili with 6 hidden veggies, Bowling Night Bolognese, and Chocolate Cake with hidden spinach and blueberries. Your son will have no problem downing plate after plate of these healthy meals!

    With healthiest regards,


  • 203. missy  |  January 9th, 2008 at 3:35 pm

    Hi Stephanie,

    Bisquick is a convenience baking mix made from flour, shortening, baking powder and salt, so it’s tough to match it exactly. I would try taking my pancake recipe-just the dry ingredients- and put it in a bag in the fridge. Then pull from it like you would Bisquick. Let me know how that goes…

    Happy baking!


  • 204. missy  |  January 9th, 2008 at 3:39 pm

    Dear Mom of 3,

    You can modify the flour blend by simply omitting the wheat germ. That should fluff things up a bit. You could also adjust the remaining whole wheat/ white flour mix to 70%-30% if you want to go that far.

    One other option is to get Eagle Mills whole wheat pastry flour in the heath food store, and use it entirely in place of the flour blend.

    With warmest regards,


  • 205. missy  |  January 9th, 2008 at 3:42 pm

    Hi Kaylarose,

    As a replacement for store bought cornbread mix, you can use applesauce or white puree to replace 2/3 of the oil called for in the mix.

    Alternatively, you can always make (from scratch) my cornbread recipe which uses white puree and pureed corn. It’s really quite an easy recipe, requiring little more than a pre-made mix. Either way, you’ve got a winner!

    All the best,


  • 206. missy  |  January 9th, 2008 at 3:47 pm

    Dear New Mom@40,

    Regarding the avocado, I am worried that the green of the avo combined with the red of the sauce will make brown-not a good sneaky color in this case.

    I would either use sweet potato/ carrot puree instead of white puree, or omit the tofu and use part skim ricotta in its place.

    And don’t forget to check the freezer section of the supermarket for cauliflower, too. Not as great as fresh, but again, better than not!

    I love lasagna : )



  • 207. Bobbi B  |  January 11th, 2008 at 7:35 am

    HI Missy,

    I got your book a couple of weeks ago, and have tried a couple of recipes. So far the Packed Pizza Bagels are the STAR of the show! My daughter’s comments were “I LOVE these, I want these for dinner every night for the rest of my life!” Hehe. My husband even liked them, and I only changed it up a little for him. i put pepperoni in the mini food processor and chopped it up. I mixed it in the sauce so he had his pepperoni flavor like he likes. It was great.
    I also made Frozen Applesauce with Strawberry Juice. I loved the flavor, but my daughter said if had ‘funny feeling stuff in it’. she hates applesauce, so i’m wondering if putting the applesauce in a blender and pureeing it would help. Any other suggestions?

    Thanks so much for your book, and we will definitely be picking up your next book!

  • 208. tlay  |  January 12th, 2008 at 6:06 am

    I just started this technique and I love it of course. Thank you so much. One question what are the calories and fat in the receipes per serving?? The reason I ask is because I ate some of the chocolate chip pancakes this morning with my son. They are soooo yummy, but I have to watch what I am eating. I know I could go back and figure it out, but do you have that information posted anywhere?

  • 209. missy  |  January 13th, 2008 at 2:35 pm

    Hi Melissa,

    You’re not the first one to have this problem. Please go to my Blog Home Page and you’ll find a fix for the granola bars there.

    All the best,


  • 210. missy  |  January 13th, 2008 at 4:47 pm

    HI Bobby,

    Try blending/ pureeing the apple sauce with strawberry juice and then put it into a popsicle mold. You can also do a little texture decoy by dropping in a few sprinkles. That ought to work! Sprinkles have only one calorie or so each, and the trade off is that they eat all of the apple sauce and strawberry juice. Pretty sneaky ; )

    All the best for the New Year,


  • 211. Sabena  |  January 14th, 2008 at 9:00 am

    I’m new to this business having picked up the book just after the holidays. I made Bonus Burgers last night and they were gobbled up quickly and without a comment that they were the least bit different from any other burger they’d ever eaten! I’m so tickled I just had to thank you for your work. We’ll be trying Covert Quesadillas tonight! I have to admit that I was a picky eater too and while I’m much better as an adult than I was “back when”, this is appealing to me too and I like getting my veggies without seeing them.

    Many thanks!


  • 212. ballerinarose  |  January 14th, 2008 at 11:18 am

    I LOVE your book. It has completely changed the way we look at food in my home. Is there any benefit to using evaporated cane sugar in place of granulated sugar when baking? Just curious… And just a little story of triumph… My family loves beef stroganoff in the winter.So I replaced the ground beef with turkey and ditched the full cup of sour cream that the recipe calls for. I used 1/4 cup white puree, 1/4 cup plain lowfat yogurt, and 1/2 cup lowfat sour cream. Nobody complained and I felt less guilty about our favorite comfort food! Thank you!!!

  • 213. missy  |  January 16th, 2008 at 7:58 pm

    Dear Momof2 and TLay,

    This question does come up from time to time, as you’ve seen in previous posts. The reason for not including the information with the recipes is that The Sneaky Chef was not meant to be a diet book for kids-it’s not about counting calories, etc., for kids. Rather, it's a nutrition enhancement book, with a very positive approach to kids' eating. Rest assured I intentionally decreased the fat, sugar and calories in many recipes, often by half.

    One general guide you can use is the “Nutrition Highlights” included with each recipe. However, if there is a specific recipe that you'd like analyzed, we can do it for you.

    I hope this helps!

    Happy Cooking,


  • 214. missy  |  January 17th, 2008 at 10:17 am

    Dear Ballerina,

    I feel it is always preferable to use less refined sugar (or less refined anything for that matter). White sugar is bleached and highly processed. Evaporated cane juice contains all of the nutrients and minerals found in the original cane. I definitely prefer it, and it bakes just like white.

    Happy Baking!


  • 215. newmom@40  |  January 18th, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Missy, I have to say I love your book. However, I have a problem with one thing; too much wheat! What about wheat intolerance?
    I can not eat wheat and try not to feed it to my son

    Your Make-Ahead Recipe #13: Flour Blend contains two wheat flours and wheat germ.
    I have no problem replacing the flours, but what can I use in place of the wheat germ?

    Thanks for your help!

  • 216. mamageorge  |  January 18th, 2008 at 1:40 pm

    Hi, I just wanted to tell you that I’ve bought and recommended your cookbook to everyone I know that has children. All the recipes I’ve made so far have been delicious. My husband, who is a very picky eater, hasn’t disliked anything I’ve made. He just tells me not to tell him what’s in it. I’ve started using you sneaky purees in my own recipes as well, you can’t even taste the difference.

    The only recipe that I thought was a little odd tasting was the icing. It might have been the juice I used, but it just wasn’t sweet enough for me. The kids seemed to like it though.

    Thanks again for your great cookbook and I am looking forward to seeing a new one soon, I hope.

  • 217. whiskerscataz  |  January 19th, 2008 at 9:26 am

    As someone who is on a tight budget, I wanted to share what I discovered. I was at the grocery store and fresh blueberries where on sale, Buy One Get One Free. This made the blueberries about 55 cents per ounce. I then checked the freezer section and found that frozen, organic blueberries (not on sale) were only 33 cents per ounce. They had no suger added either. Considering that I use alot of blueberries now, it makes a big difference and I get to go organic, too.
    Got the book for christmas and am still trying the recipies. I am also finding new places to put purees. My two sons eat a certain flavor of instant oatmeal every morning for breakfast. I have added wheat germ, white puree, and cooked it with whole milk. One of my boys has a heart condition so needs extra calories so I add honey and butter to it as well.
    I am already seeing a difference in how my family is feeling after a couple weeks of eating sneaky food. Thank You.


  • 218. grantsmom  |  January 21st, 2008 at 6:36 pm

    First i have to say i really love your book. THANK YOU. I have made a bunch of your receipes and they’ve been a big success. (The chocolate chip cookies, the brownies, the breakfast cookies etc..) However, my 2.5 year old suffers from silent acid reflux and is horribly picky. He doesn’t like all those foods normal kids like to eat: hamburgers, hotdogs, mac and cheese, fish sticks, most meat dishes. He likes Mexican food, but with his reflux i’m not sure how to make the stuff without causing him pain. Do you have any advice on how to get him interested in those blander kid foods? (Strangely enough he WILL eat a whole Chipotle burrito, refried beans, cous cous and broccoli till the cows come home, sigh…)

  • 219. missy  |  January 22nd, 2008 at 4:30 pm

    Dear NewMom@40,

    The easiest thing to do is get alternative flours from the health food store. There are rice, gluten free and wheat free varieties available, such as rice, chickpea and tapioca. Bob’s Red Mill makes a nice blend which is also available on

    Happy baking!


  • 220. missy  |  January 22nd, 2008 at 4:50 pm

    Hi Grantsmom,

    This is a very interesting eater you’ve got there ; )

    But there’s great news: if your son likes bean dishes, you can easily slip orange or white purees into beans and this will reduce the acidity. Sweet potatoes are one of the most soothing foods for acid reflux.

    The trick for getting him to eat the blander kids’ foods is to ever so slightly spice them up with mexican style seasonings. Of course, with the acid reflux, moderation is the key here. It takes nearly miniscule amounts of mexican seasoning to impart their flavors. Try adding mexican taco seasoning to home made hamburgers or crunchy chicken tenders (breading). You can even add chipotle to mac and cheese while you also slip in the yams and carrot puree.

    I’ll be interested to know how this worked out.

    Best of luck,


  • 221. vonhahmann  |  January 23rd, 2008 at 3:40 pm

    I absolutely love your book and it has been working miracles in our household. I had one question concerning your granola bar recipe.
    I just got finished baking the granola bars and they did not firm up at all. Did I not bake them long enough? How do I know when they are done? They are still very crumbly and are more like a granola trail mix right now than bar itself.

    They taste awesome but I just need to know how to get them to stick together better. Thanks in advance for you response.

    Kindest Regards,

  • 222. missy  |  January 24th, 2008 at 7:49 am

    Dear Vonhahmann,

    You’re not the first one to have an issue with the granola bars holding together. Please go to my home blog page to find a simple fix. You’ll need to scroll down a bit to see it.

    That should solve your problem!

    Warmest regards,

  • 223. BriansLovie  |  January 24th, 2008 at 1:27 pm

    I only have a minute to post, but I just want to say that I love your book! That purple puree really makes for some interesting diaper changes tho!!!! :-D Will post more later! Thanks!

  • 224. acdmiamom  |  January 25th, 2008 at 8:56 am

    I am looking forward to Missy’s new book for getting men to eat healthy.
    The problem in our household (kids are grown and gone) is not my husband but ME!
    I truly HATE vegetables! Yuck! Gross disgusting things! I’m not much on fresh fruits either.
    If Missy’s recipes for “guys” work as well as her Mac And Cheese concept (which I did try and liked), she’ll be a miracle worker! I’ll eat a veggie if you disguise it enough. I am a meat. pasta, bread and dairy girl!
    Question: Do other adults feel the same way as I do?
    And a question about the Orange puree? Doesn’t boiling the yams and carrots remove any nutrients they might have had? I heard boiling basically destroys any value veggies have?
    Thank you!

  • 225. A_kid_  |  January 27th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Dear Sneaky Chef,

    My user name is not a lie. I am just A KID!
    I (like many kids are) over weight. When I saw an add for your book on T.V, I was very excited. For once I saw something that could help me loose weight. I eat a lot, and although I like fruits, I don’t like veggie's and would much rather eat a bag of chip’s. I told my mother about your book and the next day it was in my hands. I read the whole book in a 2 days, I loved it. Especially the TRIPEL STUFFED PATATO’S, potatoes is one of my very many weaknesses. I am on a diet now, and I will make sure to blog again to state my progress on the diet.

    Thank you sneaky chef

    P.S unfortunately I can not tell you my name for safety purposes.

  • 226. missy  |  January 28th, 2008 at 5:27 pm

    Dear ACDMiaMom,

    I can’t say that I’ve had a lot of first hand reports from adults that they feel personally about veggies as you do, but interestingly, I have had a lot of input from women that their men feel as you do ; )

    As for the effect that boiling has on veggies, you are generally correct that cooking any food usually decreases its nutritional value, and there is a growing movement among the healthiest of us out there towards eating as much fresh, raw food as possible as a result. However, for some veggies, cooking actually enhances their nutritional value by breaking down the otherwise tough individual cell walls to release the nutrition contained inside. This is one reason why people with weak digestive systems, like many older people, need to have their food well cooked for them to easily digest it.

    Glad to hear from you!


  • 227. missy  |  January 28th, 2008 at 5:30 pm

    Dear A Kid,

    I applaud the positive step you have taken, and I very much look forward to hearing from you on a regular basis. The fact that you are taking this on at this early point in your life almost guarantees your success. Way to go!

    Write back to me regularly : )


  • 228. JenniferJ  |  January 29th, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    My mom has already pre ordered your next book for me! Will it be book bound like Sneaky Chef or will it be spiral bound like a cookbook? (I would love spiral bound!)

    Also, I think it would be great if the book had a pull off jacket so no one can see that we are reading a recipe book about sneaky vegetables in food. Actually, my kids know I do it, but I sill don’t let them see me do it as it seems to make them biased about the food.

    One last question: if I use white wheat flour, I don’t need to make the flour blend, is that correct? I do add a little bit of wheat germ, but I personally don’t like the taste of it…


  • 229. MF  |  January 29th, 2008 at 5:38 pm

    Hello everyone,

    I have been doing the grab ‘n’ go crispy granola bar - actually doubled the recipe and found out quickly that I needed to double cooking time! Sorry to hear that people found them crumbly - on the other hand, I used spelt flour instead of the blended flour mix, which might have had the same long-term effect as reducing the oil. Anyway, mine turned out great and must have sold half a dozen books!

    I have been hiding vegetables in entrees for years now but was very happy to learn I could do so in desserts!!! Thus, I started the new year in initiating my guests to healthy sinful food!

    Thanks again for your work


  • 230. belljoyce  |  February 2nd, 2008 at 6:21 am

    Hello Sneaky Chef - I have a question that piggy backs onto some other questions that have been raised before…my son has a mild dairy allergy so we substitute soy products for milk or cheese. I have 2 questions - I tried finding dry soy milk at my local Whole Foods and they said they have never carried it. I did a google search and didn’t find anything either. Can I just eliminate the dry milk in the breakfast bars or is there another substitute I can make or suggestions on where to find the dry soy milk (by the way, I tried making the bars by adding 1/4 cup soy milk and I reduced the honey…they came out okay but alittle on the soft side).

    Okay, and my other question, do you have suggestions on a substitute for the ricotta cheese in the breakfast cookie recipe?

    Oh, and by the way, I added the Purple puree to my standard chili recipe and my husband never noticed. He would applaud adding healthy stuff but I wanted to see if he even noticed and it worked….thanks for such a great idea.


  • 231. carla johnson  |  February 3rd, 2008 at 2:14 pm

    I own your book as well as ” the copy ” and I much prefer the set up and recipes in yours, the original.
    My question for you- can you substitute your flour mix cup for cup in other baking recipes, or do you need to adjust it?

    Carla J.
    Calgary, Alberta

  • 232. Doni  |  February 4th, 2008 at 9:56 am

    I just wanted to thank you for this book. I picked it up this weekend, and have been reading it like crazy. I can’t wait to try some of the recipes.

    But I didn’t buy this book to feed children… I bought it for myself!

    I have rather deep texture issues, and literally gag when I try to eat salads, celery, onions… anything that has particular textures is subject to rejection. Even my favorite fruits and veggies have to be prepared the right way, or I can’t eat them. (Can’t eat pears because of the texture, though I love the taste!)

    I have found that drinking the V8 Fusion gives me a lot more energy than just my regular diet, but had despaired of ever being able to eat ‘healthy’. When my husband and I found this book, we were ecstatic! Finally, something that will help me, a 37 year old woman, get the nutrition I’ve been wanting for years. :)

    I’m excited about the new book coming out. I don’t think you should limit this technique to just kids, since I know many adults with the same issues. It runs in my family, actually, and there are a number of us who’ve had health issues for years, because we honestly can’t eat the stuff that’s good for us.

    I can’t wait to try these recipes, and incorporate your technique into our every day meals! And I’m definitely going to buy the next book for more ‘grown up’ options!

    Thanks again, and keep ‘em coming!

  • 233. LICHELLE  |  February 4th, 2008 at 9:47 pm

    I have recently finished your book and am very excited about trying the recipes. I have a 6 yr old son who is very picky, he is also super skinny. He was recently diagnosed w/ ADHD & has been on medication for a couple of months. The medicine decreases his already low appetite so I need to make every little bit count. This afternoon I tried to make the Cinnamon Sugar Rattle Snacks and all I got was burnt tasting beans. I baked them for 60 min @350 but I used parchment paper on the pan (laziness on my part - less to wash b/c I also have a son who is 10 mos old today!!) Should I try less time and no parchment? Also, on the menu for this week is the IQ Tuna Patties. I bought all ingredients, or so I thought!! My Sardines are in water, but not boneless or skinless. If I can’t find them w/o ordering a lifetime supply online can I omit them completely or do I need to add something else in place? I am also planning to make the Sneaky Baked Ziti, but am now worried because I saw another message that said kids & husband didn’t like the tofu. I really hope this works for my son and myself because, like another person said, I am not fond of many veggies either and prefer they be very well disguised if I am to eat them. Thank you so much for the book, if this works for me, I want to try the new book, too.

  • 234. LICHELLE  |  February 6th, 2008 at 8:44 am

    On Monday, I tried the Cinnamon Sugar Rattle Snacks for the full 60 min bake time, resulting in burnt beans!! No cinnamon sugar there! They were crunchy enough to rattle your brain!! I’m not sure if just five min less would have made much difference. What is the min amt of time to try and how will I know that they have reached the proper stage of crunchiness? Also, do I store them at room temp?

  • 235. angelaw  |  February 8th, 2008 at 9:53 pm

    You are my hero…Several months ago I transcribed an interview you did and thought, hey, this is a cool idea, and I put it on my to do list of when I could afford it…Then my son was prescribed the Gluten Free/Casein Free diet and was found to have intolerances to oat, soy, cane sugar, tomato, etc… I was trying to figure out how on earth to get him to eat. Your book has been a lifesaver!! I was excited to find him raiding the cookie jar the other day. My hubby and I are also eating more vegetables, munching on the corn muffins as I write this. I have such a sweet tooth, so It’s nice to be able to eat this stuff and not feel guilty about it.

    I’m sure it’s been addressed already, but I have been able to substitute for nearly everything..I use the Bob’s Red Mill All Purpose…throw in a little almond meal for the oat, rice milk, ghee, etc. I also sneak in flax seed meal as well. I am also using Xylitol in place of the sugar it is working out great. I used orange puree in place of the tomato sauce in the tacos and meatballs.

    I found that the pureed veggies make the organic/fake mac n’ cheese look more like the real thing too. I did finally find a substitute for nonfat dry milk (DariFree) so I’m going to try the icing too! My next goal is to find a good substitute for cheese, which unfortunately is one of his favorite foods.

    Your book has done so much for us. Now, if you can come up with GF/CF Goldfish Crackers, I’ll nominate you for the Nobel Prize. :)

  • 236. missy  |  February 10th, 2008 at 3:37 pm

    Hi Jennifer,

    The next book will be bound just like the first, but you’re welcome to modify it any way you like! Some people have blogged that they’ve taken it to Office Depot/ Staples, etc. to have it spiral bound and that it’s turned out well.

    As for the flour, white wheat wouldn’t be quite as good as the flour blend, but if it works for you, it’s a great step in the right direction and I’d recommend it.

    With healthiest regards,


  • 237. missy  |  February 10th, 2008 at 5:40 pm

    Hi Joyce,

    Soy Good and Now Foods are two manufacturers of powdered soy milk that I know of. You’ll probably have to go a more specialized health food store to find them, though. Sometimes it is located in the bulk section with the other bulk baking products.

    Regarding a substitute for the ricotta cheese, you could try equal amounts of my white bean puree or whipped cottage cheese (I think Friendship brand makes one).

    Best regards,


  • 238. missy  |  February 10th, 2008 at 5:49 pm

    Dear Lichelle,

    Sardines are optional--feel free to use all tuna (chunk light has less mercury than chunk white); maybe try canned salmon too, but it has a stronger flavor.

    As for cinnamon rattles, sorry....try adding cinnamon sugar at end of cooking not at beginning. They won't get as crisp on parchment.

    And for tofu, if you use firm or extra firm (NOT silken), it has no taste at all; or substitute part skim ricotta for tofu.

    Keep up the good work!


  • 239. missy  |  February 10th, 2008 at 5:50 pm

    Dear Angelaw,

    Try pureed tofu as a replacement for ricotta/mozzarella in pasta dishes.... it’s dairy free. And I'll work on the goldfish-I want that prize!!

    All the best,


  • 240. missy  |  February 10th, 2008 at 5:55 pm

    Hi Carla,

    You usually can just substitute cup for cup. But if you’re baking fine items, you may need to adjust the proportions so that you don’t end up with too much or the coarser flour. And take things in steps in order to transition your family from being used to all white flour. An abrupt transition from white flour in fine baked goods to healthier flours will not work as well as transitioning over some weeks.

    Happy Baking : )


  • 241. mamaamy  |  February 11th, 2008 at 8:08 am

    Hi Missy,
    I am enjoying your book. I never realized how sneaky I already was until I read it!! I have always sneaked flax seed, wheat germ, and veggies into stuff, so I am enjoying all the new recipes and ideas! My one year old is happily eating plain yogurt mixed with purple puree! :)

    I do have a question - I tried making the pancakes, following the recipe exactly. For the life of me, I could not get the pancakes to cook inside!! I tried higher heat (they burned and weren’t cooked), lower heat (after MANY minutes, still not cooked inside), thinning the batter quite a bit,etc, etc - I do a lot of baking so I was confused as to why I was having so much trouble! Do you have any suggestions, and have you had anyone else have these issues? Thanks for you help!

  • 242. momof2boys  |  February 11th, 2008 at 8:10 am

    Hello - I am looking for a popsicle mold to make the Royal Ice Pops and am having some trouble finding a popsicle mold that looks like the one used in the book. I really want one that uses wooded sticks. Any suggestions on where to purchase would be appreciated. Thanks!

  • 243. missy  |  February 11th, 2008 at 11:42 am

    Hi Lichelle,

    Try less time; they’re done when they "rattle" on the baking sheet; add cinnamon sugar at the end. You’ll have to check them periodically as every oven is different, and sometimes they’re VERY different!

    After they cool, you can store them in an airtight container to maintain their crunchiness. But don’t put them in hot as they may condense.

    Good luck!


  • 244. missy  |  February 11th, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Dear Amy,

    That makes two of us-I can’t for the life of me imagine what is going wrong either! This is a pretty straight forward recipe and no one has reported issues with it before. My intuition says that we will discover something that is responsible for this peculiarity soon, but in the meantime, let me verify a few things with you and make some suggestions.

    First, what kind of fry pan are you using? If it’s cast iron, make sure it’s hot through and through before cooking. Second, be sure to use a high heat oil. You can also try grating the apples instead of using apple sauce-that will reduce the moisture content. Finally, I would say not to make them too thick, but it sounds like you’ve already experimented with that.

    I’ll be curious to find out what was ultimately the culprit!

    Good luck!


  • 245. missy  |  February 11th, 2008 at 12:18 pm

    Dear Mom of 2 Boys,

    Amazon doesn’t sell popsicle molds that use wooden sticks, but you can just insert your own wooden craft sticks into a variety of plastic or Dixie Cup molds when they’re half way frozen. Google “homemade popsicles” and you’ll come up with a host of recipes.

    Looking forward to hot summer days filled with healthy popsicles : )-


  • 246. susiev  |  February 12th, 2008 at 4:07 am

    Sneaky Chef,
    I was wondering if you could tell me the nutrional content of the granola bars. More specifically the calorie, protein, and fat content. Thanks!

  • 247. callmethekimster  |  February 12th, 2008 at 8:33 am

    Hi Missy,

    I was browsing the bookstore and happened upon your book and I feel as though I’ve found the Holy Grail. I was one of those persistanly picky eaters myself as a child and have been blessed with carbon copies of myself in terms of eating habits. I suppose that’s the “Parent’s Curse” working full force there, but with gleeful joy I’m proud to say that my kids ate some “sneaky” meatloaf last night. I’ve been calling all my friends with children and can’t wait to show them how well it works. Thank you so much for sharing your “sneaky” strategies with moms like me!

  • 248. jessicabh  |  February 12th, 2008 at 4:58 pm

    Dear Missy,

    I just want to say how much I LOVE your book! I am working my way through the book and I love watching the reactions on my three kids’ faces, as well as my husband’s. There have only been a couple of crinkled noses, which in my family, is amazing. I bring the Brainy Brownies to every function I go to, and only once people try them do I reveal the sneaky ingredients.

    The one question I have for you is for the mac ‘n cheese. I have tried the white beans, the cheese, and the tofu in them in different variations, and the kids all can detect a change in texture. (They’re very much “texture” people.) I’m curious as to if the silken tofu would make it more smooth. I haven’t had a chance to try it yet, but was wondering if you have any suggestions. We eat mac ‘n cheese so often for lunch, so I really don’t want to give up on making it healthier.

    Also, I want to thank you for helping me rethink almost everything I make, creating my own sneaky versions of things my family already loves. I am thrilled at the raves I get at the dinner table. Trust me, those are hard to come by at my house. I can’t wait to get the next book!


  • 249. ahorne  |  February 13th, 2008 at 5:58 am

    Like many others, I have been ’sneaking’ - along with teaching good nutrition - for a long time. I’ve been experimenting with some of your recipes, and they are WONDERFUL! I have a household of boys, and they have gobbled up the chocolate cookies with the bean puree, and the brownies as well. My unsuspecting husband has partaken too! And I just love it. I can’t wait for the new book to come out!

  • 250. Momoftwo  |  February 13th, 2008 at 7:09 pm

    Hi Missy,

    I just made the choc-ful cupcakes to decorate with my daughter for Valentine’s Day tomorrow. I sampled one tonight and it was very yummy!! I also made the incredibly improved icing to go with them. It came out quite runny. This is the second time that this has happened. Both times I’ve made the icing thicker by adding more icing sugar, but I was wondering if I could add more dry milk to start with or will there be a problem dissolving the milk powder if the ratio of milk to water is different from what you have in the recipe? Thanks for all the great ideas!

  • 251. MomOfTwins  |  February 13th, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    Thank you for your first book and I am anxiously awaiting your second this year and your third next year.

  • 252. coryandloralie  |  February 14th, 2008 at 12:04 pm

    Dear Sneaky Chef,
    I made the Peanut Butter Thumbprint cookies today and the dough turned out really sticky, so that there was no way I could handle it to roll it into balls. I just kind of flopped it on the baking sheet. Any ideas what went wrong?

  • 253. kmentink  |  February 14th, 2008 at 12:21 pm

    If I can substitute baby food for the purees, can I go the other way and use the purees as baby food? I have a 7 month old and have been making single ingredient veggies for her. I would like to start doing some multi ingredient foods and thought the purees might be a good way to do this.

  • 254. missy  |  February 20th, 2008 at 10:16 am

    Hi Susie,

    This question does come up from time to time, as you've seen in previous posts (which I’m reprinting below). But I’ve had enough requests now for certain recipes that I’m actually going to do the research and post the nutritional content on the granola bars and a dozen or so other recipes. So check back in about a week. I’ll probably post them on the Blog Home Page with the other recipe information there.

    The reason for not including the information with the recipes originally is that The Sneaky Chef was not meant to be a diet book for kids-it's not about counting calories, etc., for kids. Rather, it's a nutrition enhancement book, with a very positive approach to kids' eating. Rest assured I intentionally decreased the fat, sugar and calories in many recipes, often by half.

    One general guide you can use is the "Nutrition Highlights" included with each recipe. But stay tuned for the granola bar nutritional analysis…

    With healthiest regards,


  • 255. missy  |  February 20th, 2008 at 10:19 am

    Hi Jessica,

    Silken tofu would probably make things that much smoother, so give it a try (if you haven’t already!). Be sure to puree all the hidden ingredients extremely well since texture is a potential issue in your family. Also, you may want to introduce the changes a little more gradually to transition your kids.

    Keep up the good work!

    All the best,


  • 256. missy  |  February 20th, 2008 at 4:17 pm

    Hi Mom of Two,

    The icing is meant to be more of a glaze than a thick butter cream. You could up the sugar or add a little corn starch to thicken it up. That ought to do it : )

    Warmest regards,


  • 257. missy  |  February 20th, 2008 at 4:20 pm

    Dear Cory,

    Sounds like you need a little flour on your hands for starters, and then add a little more flour blend (approx. 1T) to the mix.

    Enjoy : )


  • 258. missy  |  February 20th, 2008 at 4:23 pm

    Hi Katy,

    The purees can absolutely be used as baby food. But as with all new foods that you’re introducing to your baby, be sure to
    always test new foods by themselves, in small quantities, and one at a time.

    Homemade baby food is definitely the healthiest way to go. Good job : )

    Warmest regards,


  • 259. pagescats  |  February 25th, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    I recently read your article in Family Fun and even though we are a vegan family I still have to work to get plenty of veggies in. Then comes my diagnosis of IBS which has seemed to eliminate a lot of foods because they aggravate my IBS. I decided to try a puree in our spaghetti sauce (carrots and cauliflower - that’s what I had on hand). Typically, I can’t eat cauliflower = I can eat it now in puree form. So I bought your book to not only help my kids but to help my IBS and get more veggies back in our diet.

  • 260. OHCheryl  |  February 27th, 2008 at 6:17 pm

    Hi Missy - I just purchased Sneaky Chef and was so intrigued I read it all in one sitting! I can’t wait to try the recipes - for myself and my husband as well as my toddler son. He’s not really a picky eater (he will gobble down steamed broccoli and carrots), but he does not like meat, so I’m very interested in adding more beans + doing the protein complimentarity thing. I did do a white bean puree and put it in his mac n cheese and he wolfed it down! Plus, I made myself a hummus-like dip by throwing garlic and spices in the food processor - DEE-licious!!!! About the only sneaky thing I do is add wheat germ to his yogurt, use wheat flour where I can and cut down on sugar - so your book has given me so many ideas - THANK YOU!!!!!!

    I was wondering about putting a few tablespoons of the white bean puree into a dish like Chicken Tetrazzini - it is one of the staples of my repertoire and I think it would improve the nutritional value without detracting from the taste too much. Or maybe the white (not bean) puree would work better? I wish I knew more about the food science end of it - like how the beans will interact with the cream and broth for the roux, etc. I’m a bit paranoid of making additions or substitutions to recipes b/c I’m afraid it will affect the flavor. Anyways, thank you in advance! Cheryl C. Akron, OH

  • 261. Millironscpa  |  February 29th, 2008 at 6:18 pm

    I bought your book and it has given me many ideas for me two kids. I even love the quick add-ins for the store bought brownie mix. I was wondering if you could tell me how to sneak veggies into a store bought cake mix? Thanks, Tammy

  • 262. yc920  |  March 1st, 2008 at 3:06 pm

    I have three questions regarding the recipes in the book.
    1. What method did do you use for measuring the flour in your recipes? (scoop & level, or spooning flour into the measuring cup then leveling).
    2. For the Purple Puree recipe I am using frozen chopped spinach. Do I use a 1 cup measure or do I go by weight 8 oz per cup. When I use the 1 cup measure for the 2 cups of frozen spinach in doesn’t equal 16 ounces, it is much less.
    3. Also for the Purple Puree recipe am I supposed to boil the spinach with only the 3-4 tablespoons of water listed? or am I supposed to cover the spinach completely with water and boil.

  • 263. Sonyahem  |  March 2nd, 2008 at 9:13 pm

    Hi, Missy. I love the book and the concept! And my family loves the doughnuts, burgers and other recipes I’ve tried so far! I have a question, and I tried looking back through the most recent comments to see whether anyone had already asked it, but I didn’t come across it. So I apologize if you’ve answered this before: I’m wondering how much of a food’s nutrients are lost and/or compromised when it is cooked, pureed, frozen, thawed and then cooked again? I’m sure it depends on the food and the recipe, but I can’t help but wonder how much of the good stuff remains intact through all of these processes.

  • 264. cbeach  |  March 5th, 2008 at 8:11 pm

    Dear Sneaky Chef,

    Is there something else I can use in place of blueberries in the purple puree? My kids have a medical condition that does not allow them to eat blueberries. Thank you, hope you have an answer for me. My 6 yr old is a great eater, but 5 yr old would live off chicken nuggets and cereal if we would let him. He is little enough to begin with. He needs all the nutrition he can get!

  • 265. missy  |  March 6th, 2008 at 12:19 pm

    Dear Millironscpa,

    Here’s a quick fix to try for chocolate cake mix, and as a rule of thumb for dark colored cake mixes in general: you can usually replace up to half the fat (butter or oil) with purple puree. Simple as that. You will normally add the purple puree to the recipe at the same time and in the same way as it call for the oil or butter.

    With healthiest regards!


  • 266. missy  |  March 6th, 2008 at 12:22 pm

    Dear Yuki,

    The answer to your first question is scoop and level.

    Regarding the spinach, I always prefer raw baby spinach over frozen chopped, and everything ends up getting cooked so it's safe (if you were having any concerns about spinach safety). The measure is by volume, not by weight. If you’re working with raw baby spinach, steam lightly for a couple of minutes. If you're working with frozen spinach, just barely cover with water. The “tablespoons of water” are used once you’ve placed the spinach (and blueberries for purple puree) in the food processor.



  • 267. missy  |  March 6th, 2008 at 12:30 pm

    Dear Cheryl,

    Putting white bean puree into chicken tetrazzini is a great idea! The beans should add richness and volume to the roux. However, if you make this dish often, which it sounds like you do, then your family probably expects it to turn out in a very particular way. So, not having perfected this recipe myself, I would council you to start with small amounts of puree and see how it goes. It often takes me a dozen or more attempts per recipe before I get it exactly right for publishing in my books. This is to be sure that no one can tell the difference. So take it slowly, and in no time you’ll have created a healthier new version of a family favorite!

    Carry on : )


  • 268. missy  |  March 6th, 2008 at 12:33 pm

    Dear CBeach,

    You can replace blueberries with frozen cherries (the kind without added sugar).

    The purple puree is used in a lot of chocolate baked goods and cherry is a great compliment to chocolate and equally undetectable. Cherries also compliment the burger and taco recipes in my books just as well.

    That should work for you : )

    Warmest regards,


  • 269. SarahE  |  March 8th, 2008 at 7:47 pm

    Hello! Afriend introduced me to this book after delivering me a fantastic brownie. I am hooked and she gave me a whole pan of brownies for my birthday, best present ever!

    My question involves food intolerances. My son and I do not consume dairy or wheat. For the recipes that call for wheat germ (e.g. better breading) what should I use instead?

    A substitute for powdered dry milk?

    You are doing a wonderful job, I am delighted to find a cookbook that combines healthy eating with time saving tips, and even natural food choices, wow!!

  • 270. grumpy  |  March 9th, 2008 at 3:39 pm


    I was wondering if you have any recipes that include vanialla cake or vanilla pudding? I have a vanilla family!

    Thanks so much!


  • 271. cjgrubbs  |  March 11th, 2008 at 3:19 pm

    I just recently got the book. LOVE it! My husband and kids are very picky and while they each have a few healthy things they like, the variety is not enough and no one likes the healthiest foods (spinach, broccoli, blueberries, cauliflower, etc)

    So…. tonight I added Green Juice to my homemade chicken broth and no one noticed. I made the Corn Muffins - I only used pureed cauliflower instead of White Puree. They loved them!

    I’ve also been using pureed cauliflower as the wet mixture when I bread fish or chicken. They can’t tell and I figure it’s better than eggs or mayo!

    I’ve also made Jello using the decaf green tea and they couldn’t tell!

    I love that I can make these small changes and know that it is benefitting them!

    Thanks for your work!

  • 272. missy  |  March 12th, 2008 at 6:59 am

    Hi Sonja,

    I agree that eating most veggies in their fresh, raw state is superior to cooking or processing them in any way. The Sneaky Chef is a solution for parents of kids who won’t eat them fresh and raw.

    Kids today are often consuming huge percentages of their diets as factory processed foods. It might be OK if these were occasional items, but what we’re seeing is a huge portion of the population consuming them as daily staples, leaving very little, if any, really nutritional foods in their diets-and this during a critical phase of their development. The Sneaky Chef brings some real nutrition back to even these processed store bought foods.

    Your question about cooking and pureeing refers to the affect that heat and oxidation have on the vitamins and other sensitive nutrients contained in the veggies. As we’ve said, fresh and raw is often best, but cooked still has plenty of nutrition in it, as we all know. But factory processed is absolutely the worst.

    Interestingly, the availability of some nutrients is actually enhanced by cooking as it breaks down the tough cell walls protecting the nutrients inside, which would otherwise be unavailable to our bodies for absorption. Here’s an interesting study on the subject:


    (PARMA, Italy, Dec. 24 Researchers in Italy report that cooking vegetables can preserve or even boost their nutritional value in comparison to their raw counterparts.)

    Again, I feel fresh and raw is best but only if you can get them to eat them that way. Otherwise, sneak ‘em in! I assure you there’s still plenty of nutrition in steamed and pureed broccoli, cauliflower, cooked beans, etc. Compare that to what you get in non-sneakily enhanced boxed processed foods!

    Keep up the good work : )


  • 273. snobster  |  March 12th, 2008 at 9:26 am

    Missy~~~Your book is wonderful. I have 6 children who already eat well, but I love to sneak in extra good stuff, too. I had been sneaky prior to buying your book, but am very impressed as you have really fine-tuned the art of being sneaky!

    Have you considered combining cook/bake ahead to your sneakiness? We love to make huges masses of whatever it is we are making (today it is brainy brownies) and freezing them in separate tiny bags all inside a freezer bag for freshness.

    Also…if you write another cookbook and include a recipe to beat the new Kashi dark chocolate/cherry granola bar, I will be your best publicity person!

    :) Patrice

  • 274. A2JC4life  |  March 13th, 2008 at 1:26 pm

    I have a question and a few answers.

    The question: Wheat germ is extremely gritty/grainy and brown. Why is it “sneakier” to use a mix of white flour and wheat germ with the wheat flour than to just use all wheat flour? (We use all freshly-ground whole wheat flour at my house, anyway, and that’s all my kids know, but I was curious.)

    The first answer: To the mom who asked about a substitute for the milk powder in the icing. You can’t leave it out. It’s what provides the “bulk” for the icing. Are you using instant milk powder? If you’re using instant, it will have a weird texture. Try non-instant. If it *tastes* funky, your milk powder might be stale. Or you can try whole milk powder. (Goat milk powder is also available if that is an option for the milk-allergic child.)

    The second answer: Evaporated cane juice has some trace minerals that white sugar doesn’t have. But it acts just like refined sugar in the body. Bottom line? If you’re going to use granulated sugar, it’s better to use the evaporated cane juice. (You can also put it in the blender to make powdered sugar. Add a little cornstarch if you’re going to store it.) But if you can use honey or something like that instead, then do.

    The third answer: Here’s a recipe for “Bisquick,” which can be made with wheat flour:

    8 c. flour
    1-1/4 c. noninstant dry milk powder
    1/4 c. baking powder
    1 Tbsp. salt
    2 c. shortening [Look for trans-fat free. Coconut oil would probably also work, but I haven’t made this in a while, so I haven’t tried it.]

    Combine flour, milk, baking powder, and salt in a very large bowl. Cut in shortening until it resembles coarse oatmeal. Store in tightly-covered container in a cool place.

    OR, what I do is add the following ingredients whenever a recipe calls for 1 c. Bisquick:

    1 c. flour
    1-1/2 tsp. baking powder
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1 Tbsp. butter or oil

    I have yet to have this not work.

  • 275. Lilypad  |  March 16th, 2008 at 12:16 pm

    I just fixed my first recipe, Maxed Out Meatloaf, and it was wonderful! My husband, daughter & I agree that it was the best we’ve ever tasted. My daughter (who is 5) even asked for it in her lunchbox tomorrow and told me to tell you that it was delicious! I can’t wait to try out the other recipes, thank you!!!!

  • 276. melr1  |  March 18th, 2008 at 5:48 pm

    Two questions. First, what’s the difference between “raw” and “toasted” wheat germ (except the price)? I can buy raw in bulk, but I haven’t found a place to buy it toasted except in the expensive, tiny bottles. Can I use either in your recipes?
    Second, my family won’t eat pancakes, but will eat waffles. Is there a way to modify the chocolate chip pancake recipe for a waffle iron? My waffles come out rubbery with the current recipe. (It could just be my cooking.)
    Thank you for your book.

  • 277. ssgilby  |  March 19th, 2008 at 3:09 pm

    Hi, Missy! Love your book! I’ve been using it for a few weeks now, and so far everything I’ve made has mostly been a hit! One question. I made the chocolate cupcakes with chocolate icing last night. Very tasty, but they turned out a bit dry. What can I do to make them a little more moist?

  • 278. OHCheryl  |  March 20th, 2008 at 12:50 pm

    Hi Missy - I added in about 1/4 cup of the white bean puree to the Chicken Tetrazzini and it did not affect the flavor at all! Like you said, I will just experiment, keeping in mind color and texture guidelines.

    I have been freezing the purees in ice cube trays, then transfering to freezer bag - works great as the cubes are about 2 TBS each, so makes it easy for measuring. I made the white puree and have been adding it to my stock when I make soups - they’ll never know!

    I made the chicken tenders from your book the other night - more for adults than kids though - I ground up some garlic bread into the breading mixture + added Romano cheese - they were delicious!! I

    Also, I wanted to ask about pureeing some frozen strawberries I have in my freezer from our garden. I froze them whole, on a cookie sheet, then transferred to a bag. Should I let them thaw out before putting them in the food processor? Do I need to add lemon juice? I would like to do this instead of the strawberry juice in case I want to add the berries to yogurt (my son doesn’t object to the texture).

    Thanks in advance and thank you for such an inspiring book!

  • 279. wiersmak  |  March 20th, 2008 at 5:09 pm

    Dear Sneaky Chef,

    I love both of your books! Your recipes are indeed a hit with my husband and son. :)

    My question concerns healthy substitutions for wheat and dairy as my son is gluten and casein intolerant. I have been able to substitute the whole wheat flour with a combination of rice, bean and other non-gluten flours and some cheese with soy/rice substitues, but Im stumped on when it comes to finding a healthy substitute for wheat germ and diary items like ricotta or cottage cheese. Do you have any suggestions?

  • 280. wiersmak  |  March 20th, 2008 at 7:05 pm

    Dear Sneaky Chef,

    What would be a good substitution for wheat germ? My son is casein and gluten intolerant, and while Ive found good replacements for most wheat and dairy products, but Im stumped when it comes to wheat germ.

    Thanks so much for the wonderful books. My family loves the recipes and we are all enjoying eating healthier!


  • 281. missy  |  March 27th, 2008 at 9:38 am

    Hi Everyone,

    I realize I owe a few of you some answers. Hang in there… we’re making some exciting changes to the site and I’ll have your answers shortly!


  • 282. missy  |  March 28th, 2008 at 3:31 pm

    Here is a great resource for those of you with gluten and wheat intolerance issues: It’s a page full of substitutions for wheat products including mild tasting barley, rice, quinoa and corn flours (some have gluten, some don’t).

    For casein intolerance, try almond or rice milks. Soy milk is suspect for lots of reasons.

    Hope this helps!


  • 283. missy  |  March 28th, 2008 at 3:34 pm

    Hi Cheryl,

    It’s definitely a good idea to thaw frozen items prior to pureeing as it’s easier on the blades. Berries thaw quickly, especially if you place the bag in a little warm water.

    All the best,


  • 284. missy  |  March 28th, 2008 at 3:44 pm

    Dear A2JC4life,

    It’s sneakier to use the wheat germ because it is a highly concentrated source of nutrition including vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber. Ounce for ounce, it has far more nutritional value than just whole wheat flour. Simple as that!

    With healthiest regards,


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