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Happy Earth Day! As a mom, I’ve always believed in the importance of teaching my children about the benefits and gifts we receive daily from our planet. Although Earth Day is an ideal time to recycle and make steps to take better care of the environment, it’s also a perfect opportunity to teach our kids the difference between real, whole foods from nature, and overly-processed foods that are often filled with chemicals and fake ingredients.

Taking the time to enjoy foods that are as close to their natural form like, fresh fruit, vegetables, legumes, grains and lean proteins, can be a delicious and eye-opening way to celebrate Earth Day with your children, and all the bounty our planet provides us.

One of the easiest ways I’ve found to teach my kids the difference between foods from the earth and heavily processed items is by taking them grocery shopping with me. It can be fun and educational to walk the perimeter of the store where the fresh produce is, and then show them a few examples of unhealthy packaged foods. I know how hard it can be to convince kids not to go for the super sugary cereals and fruit roll-ups, so here are a few different techniques to try:

sc3_Stovetop Lasagna web.jpg1. Read them the nutrition labels and ingredients list. I like going by the rule of “if you can’t pronounce it; you probably shouldn’t be eating it.” Let them give it a try too! Reading labels will help set healthy habits for the rest of their lives early on.
2. Try explaining how natural foods are changed by other ingredients to become something different that is less healthy for our bodies. Although some processed foods can be a part of a healthy diet, try to go for those that still have real ingredients in them (that you can pronounce).
3. If your kids aren't impressed by Earth's natural bounty, try this win-win approach: make them my Earth Day Milkshake (recipe below) but don't tell them what's in it. About an hour later, ask them how they're feeling: good? sleepy? sugary crash? Now tell them that you made it really easy for them to eat their veggies today by putting them in the milkshake. Point out that you balanced out the sugar with the high quality nutrition of spinach. This is the classic "sneak and teach" approach. Kids get to experience first hand the energy and mood benefits of the veggies in a way that's completely easy and delicious for them. What's not to love about spinach when it tastes so good? Try this and my other free recipes for kids' favorites including: Sneaky Chef mac n' cheese, Speedy Stovetop Lasagna, chicken nuggets, Brainy Brownies, spaghetti and meatballs, Power Pizza, etc!"

My Earth Day Milk Shake features one of my all-time favorite whole foods, spinach. This green superfood has countless nutritional benefits, and the green color makes it fun for the kids on Earth Day.
I hope these tips and recipe helps you celebrate Earth Day with your children in a fun and delicious way!

Earth Day Milk Shake
Yes, it’s bright green, but so are mint chocolate chip and pistachio ice creams and that never stood in anyone’s way. Tell the kids you’re celebrating Earth Day or just having fun. They will gobble it up and you’ll be amazed. The key is to start with a really good tasting vanilla frozen yogurt or light ice cream; the vanilla extract will help its flavor shine through. Each tablespoon of Spinach Juice is the equivalent of eating about 1/4 cup of spinach, so you can feel great about serving this delicious treat. Start with the lesser amount of juice called for, and work up to more over time.
Makes 2 servings
• 2 cups vanilla low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt
• 4 to 6 tablespoons Spinach Juice (See Make-Ahead Recipe below)
• 1/4 cup milk
• 1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Serve in tall glasses with a quick squirt of whipped cream and a straw.

The Sneaky Chef Green Juice
Makes about 1 cup of juice

• 3 cups raw baby spinach leaves
• 1 cup water
Directions:
• Thoroughly wash the spinach, even if the package says “prewashed.” In a medium-sized pot, heat the spinach and the water to a boil; reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into a fine mesh strainer over a container or bowl, pressing the green “pulp” with the back of a spoon until all the liquid is released.

• This recipe makes about 1 cup of juice; double it if you want to store another cup. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or you can freeze ¼ cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.

 

We all know that kids are picky eaters and some won't even eat certain colors, especially "yucky" colors like green. If you have a picky eater in the family who refuses to eat anything green, St. Patrick's Day is a great way to introduce the color into their diet! Your kids are sure to enjoy green-colored meals to celebrate St. Patrick's Day with their friends and family, so give them green food that they'll want to enjoy all year long!

Adding green to food is easy, especially with my Sneaky Chef Green Juice made with spinach. The green juice can be added to almost any light-colored foods, like eggs, vanilla yogurt, ice cream, and even icing, while boosting the nutritional value since it's packed with spinach. The sneakiest trick is that baby spinach has almost no taste in this juice-form, so your family won't even notice a difference in taste! You can find The Sneaky Chef Green Juice recipe below, along with a few of our favorite green-colored recipes. If your family has a favorite St. Patrick's Day recipe, then just add a few drops of the Sneaky Chef Green Juice and enjoy!
spinach photo.jpgThe Sneaky Chef Green Juice
Makes about 1 cup of juice

Ingredients:
• 3 cups raw baby spinach leaves
• 1 cup water

Directions:
• Thoroughly wash the spinach, even if the package says “prewashed.” In a medium-sized pot, heat the spinach and the water to a boil; reduce the heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes. Pour into a fine mesh strainer over a container or bowl, pressing the green “pulp” with the back of a spoon until all the liquid is released.

• This recipe makes about 1 cup of juice; double it if you want to store another cup. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or you can freeze ¼ cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.
green smoothie 200 wide.jpeg"St. Sneaky Day" Green Milkshake
Makes 2 servings

Ingredients:
• 2 cups vanilla low-fat ice cream or frozen yogurt
• ¼ cup Sneaky Chef Green Juice (recipe above)
• ¼ cup milk
• 1/2 ripe avocado
• ½ teaspoon pure vanilla extract
• ice, if needed

Directions
• Blend all ingredients together in a blender until smooth. Serve in tall glasses with a quick squirt of whipped cream and a straw.

Green Eggs and Ham

Ingredients:
• ¼ cup Sneaky Chef Green Juice
• 2 eggs
• Options: light-colored cheese and ham

Directions:
• Add the Sneaky Chef Green Juice and eggs into a bowl and mix until smooth. If desired, add cheese and ham into mixture. Scramble mixture on stovetop or make into an omelet.



 

These fun pink popcorn ball treats are so cute that my daughter, Sammy, is bringing them to school for the other kids on Valentine’s Day. They are a nice change from the heart-shaped lollipops and chocolates that the other kids share.

Enjoy in good health!

Missy

PINK POPCORN BALLS
Make 6 balls

6 cups popped popcorn
4 ounces regular marshmallows (a little less than half of a 10-ounce package)
1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Cherry Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe below)
3 tablespoons oat bran
6 craft sticks

Place popcorn in a large bowl; set aside. In a saucepan, melt marshmallows and canola or vegetable oil over low heat. Stir in Cherry Puree and oat bran. Pour over popcorn and toss to coat. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then spray your hands with oil and shape mixture into 6 baseball-sized balls. Re-spray hands with oil as needed.

Insert a craft stick into the end of each ball and place on wax or parchment paper to harden.

Make-Ahead Recipe #7: Cherry Puree

2 ½ cups fresh or frozen cherries,* no syrup or sugar added
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons water

Makes about 1 cup of puree

Fill the bowl of your food processor with the cherries, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of water; puree on high until as smooth as possible. Stop occasionally to push the contents to the bottom. If necessary, use another tablespoon of water to smooth-out the puree.

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

*Try to use organic cherries, since they rank high on the “dirty dozen” list of produce most contaminated with pesticide residues.

For more Valentine’s Day ideas, try my new Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter, delicious peanut butter alternative that is so good everyone will love it, allergies or not!
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These fun pink popcorn ball treats are so cute that my daughter, Sammy, is bringing them to school for the other kids on Valentine’s Day. They are a nice change from the heart-shaped lollipops and chocolates that the other kids share. 

Enjoy in good health!

Missy

Make 6 balls

6 cups popped popcorn 
4 ounces regular marshmallows (a little less than half of a 10-ounce package)
1 teaspoon canola or vegetable oil
2 tablespoons Cherry Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe below)
3 tablespoons oat bran
6 craft sticks

Place popcorn in a large bowl; set aside. In a saucepan, melt marshmallows and canola or vegetable oil over low heat. Stir in Cherry Puree and oat bran. Pour over popcorn and toss to coat. Allow to cool for 5 to 10 minutes, then spray your hands with oil and shape mixture into 6 baseball-sized balls. Re-spray hands with oil as needed.

Insert a craft stick into the end of each ball and place on wax or parchment paper to harden. 

Make-Ahead Recipe #7: Cherry Puree

2 ½ cups fresh or frozen cherries,* no syrup or sugar added
½ teaspoon lemon juice
1 to 2 tablespoons water

Makes about 1 cup of puree

Fill the bowl of your food processor with the cherries, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of water; puree on high until as smooth as possible. Stop occasionally to push the contents to the bottom. If necessary, use another tablespoon of water to smooth-out the puree.

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

*Try to use organic cherries, since they rank high on the “dirty dozen” list of produce most contaminated with pesticide residues.

For more Valentine’s Day ideas, try my new Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter, delicious peanut butter alternative that is so good everyone will love it, allergies or not!
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Sneaky Dipping Sauce!

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Happy Kids = Happy Mom! Sneaky Dipping Sauce with 8 hidden super veggies & no added sugar goes well with chicken fingers, pita triangles, even mozzarella sticks! 
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Parmesan Chicken Fries
Makes 4 Servings

2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
2 tablespoons wheat germ
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 cup breadcrumbs, ideally whole grain
12 ounces uncooked boneless, skinless, thinly sliced chicken breasts
Cooking spray oil

Dip:
1⁄2 cup Sneaky Chef Pasta Sauce (or other pasta sauce)
1/4 cup Orange Puree or carrot baby food puree

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

CLICK HERE TO SEE MY NEW SNEAKY CHEF FOOD LINE COMING TO A GROCERY STORE NEAR YOU!  Sneaky Chef Sauces are now on shelves at many Stop&Shop stores (natural section) in NY area! Coupon $1 off here.

 

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It’s a funny thing about making homemade waffles—they’re actually quicker than homemade pancakes! So long as you have a decent waffle iron, they cook themselves with less effort than standing at a griddle waiting and flipping flapjacks. I make several batches and freeze them in zip-top plastic bags, then presto, toaster waffles any weekday morning!

Makes 4 waffles

3 tablespoons liquid egg white or 1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1⁄4 teaspoon salt
1⁄2 cup applesauce
1⁄2 cup Sneaky Chef Orange Puree (sweet potato/carrot)
1 cup packaged whole-grain pancake mix 
3⁄4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries, optional
Low-fat milk, as needed
Maple syrup

Preheat a waffle iron to medium high and spray with oil.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the eggs, vanilla, salt, applesauce and Puree. Mix in the blueberries, if using, and pancake mix, adding milk, as needed, to make a fairly thick batter.

Spoon 1⁄3 to 1⁄2 cup batter onto the center of the prepared waffle iron (the amount of batter needed will vary according to the size and type of the waffle iron you’re using). Close the top and cook until the waffle is lightly browned, crisp, and lifts easily off the grids, about 3 minutes (or until the indicator light shows ready). Repeat with the remaining batter, spraying the waffle iron with more oil if needed.

Serve immediately as the waffles come off the iron, or keep them warm on a plate, covered with aluminum foil. Serve drizzled with maple syrup.
orange puree new copysm.jpgCARROTS & SWEET POTATOES IN HERE!
Why bother? Here's why!

Top reasons to eat sweet potatoes

  • These bright veggies contain twice as much fiber as white potatoes, causing it to rank lower on the glycemic index.
  • They stabilize blood sugar.
  • Sweet potatoes’ vivid orange color indicates significant amount of the plant pigment beta-carotene, which reduces the risk of lung cancer by protecting against secondhand smoke and pollution and also converts to
  • vitamin A in the body in order to help skin stay clear and smooth.
  • They’re one of the best sources of “feel-better,” mood-lifting complex carbs

    Top reasons to eat carrots
  • They’re a rich source of beta-carotene and carotenoids, which protect vision, especially night blindness.
  • Studies suggest that as little as one carrot per day could cut your risk of lung cancer in half, especially for children who are around second-hand smoke.
  • Carrots are a good source of fiber, which helps with digestion and lowering cholesterol.
  • They’re also a great source of vitamin A and beta-carotene, which are important for healthy skin, eyes, hair, growth, and resisting infections.
  • Tip: Cook them with a little fat to help absorption of their carotenoids.

    INSTANT SUBSTITUTES FOR ORANGE PUREE:  Carrot and/or sweet potato baby food, stage 1 or 2
     

Check out new Sneaky Chef Pasta Sauces & No-Nut Butters! 

 

 

I think I've gained and lost those same 5 or 6 pounds a hundred times over the years. Not one for deprivation (being a foodie and cookbook author!), I came up with 6 simple and painless (aka "sneaky") ways to lose those 6 pounds for good...you won't even know you're dieting, cause you're not!  Just remember the simple rule of "6-S"

Six Simple “S” Strategies for Staying Slim
💦 😴 🕙 🍭 🍹

1. Sit down when you eat anything
2. Soup or salad to start the meal
3. Slow down by putting your fork down between bites
4. See if a craving will pass by waiting 10 minutes before indulging
5. Sleep more! Lack of sleep leads to cravings.
6. Sip eight ounces of room-temperature water fifteen minutes before each meal (flavor water with cucumber, mint, basil or fresh fruit)

SNEAKY ALERT! CHOCOLATE NO-NUT BUTTER COMING SOON - BE THE FIRST TO GET A JAR HERE!!
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Want to drink more fresh water with no calories or sweetener? Try simple and delicious infusions at home - today I tossed a few leaves of fresh basil and slices of cucumber into my glass. Add a straw for the fun factor - and you'll drink more - you'll never need to buy another flavored water again!

Other delicious infusions - use fresh or frozen fruit all year long:

-strawberry + lime

-cucumber + mint

-raspberry + lime

-watermelon

-watermelon + basil

-mango

Pretty much any fruit or veggie works well for an infusion!

colander01.jpg Don't forget to subscribe to my tips & recipes and a chance to win cool stuff like food processors, my cookbooks, aprons etc! click here to enter

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Happy Labor Day Weekend Sneaky Chefs!

Grilling this weekend? This easy, fast recipe for grilled chicken drumsticks offer more meat, less fat and all the fun of finger-licking Buffalo wings. Pair with my cool and creamy blue cheese dip, and with a few of my Sneaky Swaps like yogurt for sour cream, you can happily eat them without the guilt.

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BBQ CHICKEN DRUMSTICKS WITH BLUE CHEESE SNEAKY DIPPING SAUCE

Makes 4 servings
8 chicken drumsticks, rinsed and patted dry
3 tablespoons olive oil
Approximately 1 teaspoon Tabasco or hot sauce
2 tablespoons reduced fat mayonnaise
2 tablespoons plain low fat Greek yogurt
2 tablespoons Sneaky Chef White Puree 
2 tablespoons white or champagne vinegar
¼ cup crumbled blue cheese (about 1 ounce)
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
6 ribs of celery, sliced into sticks

Preheat an outdoor grill (or indoor grill pan) to medium-high and brush or wipe the grill with oil.

In a small mixing bowl, combine the olive oil and hot sauce, to taste. Brush the chicken with the hot sauce mixture and place on heated grill. Cook, covered, turning occasionally to evenly brown, for about 30 to 35 minutes or until internal temperature reaches a minimum of 170 degrees Farenheit.

For the blue cheese dipping sauce:
Combine the mayonnaise, Greek yogurt, White Puree, vinegar, blue cheese and salt and pepper in a serving bowl (for a smoother sauce, place ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth).
Serve drumsticks with celery and dipping sauce.

HAVE A SAFE AND HAPPY HOLIDAY!!

Don’t forget to make back-to-school super simple and successful with my new Sneaky Chef Smooth Red Sauce & No-Nut Butter (delicious peanut butter alternative) – find a store near you here  
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Nutrition Highlights: Fruit, calcium, and probiotics
The name alone makes kids giggle and school mornings go a bit smoother. Your kids will think you’re the best when you call them into the kitchen for their morning “ ice cream” ! These two-minute recipes are fun enough to entice even the grumpiest kids. This is the only way I get my youngest daughter, Samantha, to eat anything in the morning!

Your food processor is the only way to puree the frozen fruit without having to add a lot of liquid — and for these small quantities, a three-cup mini food processor works best. These recipes can be quickly converted to a thinner smoothie by adding an extra ½ cup of milk to all the variations below and then mixing them in the blender:

Each variation below serves 2 children

Chocolate Banana Breakfast Ice Cream
1 frozen banana, cut in pieces (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons plain yogurt (use Greek yogurt if you want extra protein)
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder


No-Nut Butter n Banana Breakfast Ice Cream

1 frozen banana, cut in pieces (about 1 cup)
1-2 tablespoons Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter (new! check it out here) or use peanut butter, optional
1 - 2 tablespoon milk
 

Really Easy Strawberry Breakfast Ice Cream 
1 1/2 cups frozen strawberries, without syrup or added sweeteners
1/2 cup milk
1 tablespoon honey or sugar

Extra Sneaky Strawberry Breakfast Ice Cream
1/4 ripe avocado
1/2 cup frozen strawberries, without syrup or added sweeteners
2 tablespoons plain yogurt (use Greek yogurt if you want extra protein)
1 tablespoon honey or sugar

Banana Breakfast Ice Cream
1 frozen banana, cut in pieces (about 1 cup)
2 tablespoons plain yogurt (use Greek yogurt if you want extra protein)
1 tablespoon honey or sugar

Note: If you prefer to use sweetened yogurt (the vanilla flavored yogurt works well with all of the above), you probably won’t need the extra sugar or honey.

 

 

Eating low carb, gluten free or low calorie and want a simple "pasta" dish? This zucchini pasta with fresh ripe tomatoes, mozzarella and basil does the trick!

zucchini at market.pngI've been using a "Vegetti" to get the long spiral strands, but a regular carrot peeler will also make wider ribbons, more like pappardelle.


zucchini pasta raw.JPGSimply blanch the strands for 2 minutes in salted boiling water, drain well.

zucchini pasta boiling.JPGToss as you would any pasta. I added olive oil, mozzarella, tomatoes and fresh basil. Also works well with red sauce (try my Sneaky Chef Smooth Red Sauce with 8 more "hidden" veggies).
zucchini pasta mozz tom.JPGTop reasons to eat zucchini:
• One cup of zucchini has 36 calories and 10 percent of the recommended daily amount of dietary fiber, which aids in digestion, prevents constipation, maintains low blood sugar, and curbs overeating.
• Zucchini contains Vitamin C, which helps the immune system and reduces such conditions as asthma and bruising.
• It’s Mother Nature’s gift to dieters: very low in calories and no fat.
• This veggie is a good source of energy-boosting potassium, which is also a heart-friendly electrolyte that helps regulate blood pressure and counters the effects of sodium.
ENJOY IN GOOD HEALTH!!

 

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Intro to Hummus

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As our kids grow, their palate grows too—though some kids need to be introduced to stronger flavors more slowly than others. My Intro to Hummus recipe uses kid-friendly taste of my new No-Nut Butter(or peanut butter) in place of the stronger flavors of sesame paste and garlic traditionally used in more sophisticated hummus. Kids of all ages love to dip, so surround the hummus bowl with your child’s favorite dippers like whole-grain pita chips, crunchy cucumber rounds, or carrots. The combination of whole grains, protein from the beans, veggies, and good fats make this a substantial after-school mini-meal.

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Intro to hummus

Makes 4 servings

1/2 cup Sneaky Chef Creamy No-Nut Butter*

1 cup canned chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 teaspoons honey

4 teaspoons water (a little more if needed to make smooth)

Dippers: Toasted whole-grain pita triangles or chips, cucumber rounds, and/or carrot sticks or homemade tortilla chips (below).

 

*my delicious new No-Nut Butter (peanut butter alternative made from golden peas can be found here or feel free to substitute peanut butter or other PB alternative)

 

Place all the ingredients in the bowl of a food processor and puree on high, stopping occasionally to scrape the sides of the bowl until mixture is a very smooth dip.

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Having a party this July 4th? One of my favorite party appetizers is Crab Cakes, but traditional recipes can be high in fat and calories. So this year, I'm getting sneaky with my Crab Cakes and replacing high fat mayo with my simple puree of white beans. I also snuck in some amazingly healthy wheat germ instead of empty white bread crumbs. My family loves these, especially my husband Rick! When I eat them, I feel like I'm on a romantic tropical getaway in Key West. 

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CONCEALED CRAB CAKES

Makes 8 crab cakes

1 tablespoon light mayonnaise 

1 egg white

1⁄4 cup White Bean Puree

1 tablespoon Dijon or coarse-grain mustard

1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon hot sauce

1 teaspoon Old Bay Seasoning

1⁄3 plus 1⁄3 cup wheat germ

Freshly ground pepper

1⁄2 pound fresh lump crabmeat (about 2 cups), drained

Optional extra boost: handful of chopped green onions, celery, and/or bell peppers 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with oil.

In a medium-size bowl, whisk the egg white, then mix in the White Bean Puree, mustard, hot sauce, Old Bay, 1⁄3 cup of the wheat germ, a few grinds of pepper, and the crabmeat. 

Pour the remaining 1⁄3 cup of wheat germ on a plate. Scoop about 1⁄3 cup of crab mixture and form it into a fairly thick cake. Dredge the cakes in the wheat germ, fully covering all sides of the cake, and place the crab cake on the prepared baking sheet. Repeat with remaining crab mixture. Spray the top side of the cakes with oil and bake for 10 minutes. Flip once, spray oil on the tops of the cakes, and bake for another 8 to 10 minutes, until golden brown.

 Wake Dad this Father’s Day with a warm homemade Breakfast Cookies ’n milk!  So quick and easy, even the kids can make – with a little help from mom. 

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BREAKFAST COOKIES

Makes 16 to 18 cookies

2 cups whole grain cereal flakes

3/4 cup Flour Blend (equal parts all-purpose flour and whole grain flour)

1/2 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 large egg

1/2 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup canola oil

2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract

3/4 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

Cinnamon sugar for dusting

 

Preheat oven to 400 degrees and line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or spray with oil).

Using a rolling pin, gently crush the cereal (in a sealed plastic bag) into coarsely crushed flakes. Alternatively, you can quickly pulse the cereal in a food processor.

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together Flour Blend, crushed cereal, baking soda, salt and cinnamon. In another bowl, whisk together egg, sugar, oil, vanilla, and ricotta cheese. Add the dry ingredients to the wet and mix just enough to moisten dry ingredients. Drop single tablespoonfuls onto the baking sheets, leaving about an inch between cookies. Flatten cookies with the back of a fork and then sprinkle tops generously with cinnamon sugar (or just sugar if your kids don’t like the cinnamon flavor). Bake about 18 to 20 minutes, or until nicely browned and crispy around the edges.

 

Sneaky Tip: Cinnamon has been found to help stabilize blood-glucose levels, thereby preventing the usual “ crash and burn” feeling we all get after eating sweets.


What better way to kick off summer than with berries? Here are three deliciously healthy ways to enjoy the freshest produce of the season, from my BBQ E-book. Enjoy your weekend! 

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 STRAWBERRY LIME SLUSHY

Makes 3 servings

2 tablespoons pomegranate or cranberry juice

Juice of one lime (about 2 tablespoons fresh squeezed lime juice)

2 tablespoons sugar, ideally raw

2 cups fresh, sliced strawberries

3 to 4 cups ice cubes

Fill blender or food processor with pomegranate (or cranberry) and lime juices, first, then sugar, strawberries, and ice. Blend or puree until thick and smooth, stopping to mix contents and push ice to bottom, if needed.

Serve in a tall glass with a straw.

  

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FOUR BERRY ICE CUBES

These berry ice cubes instantly convert plain water or seltzer into a naturally low sugar sports drink. As these purple cubes melt, they release a sweet burst of berry flavor.

Makes about 20 standard size ice cubes

1 cup fresh or frozen mixed berries, such as strawberries, blueberries, raspberries and blackberries

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 1Ž2 cups coconut water, berry or any flavor

1 to 2 tablespoons honey, to taste

 

Combine berries, lemon juice, coconut water, and honey in a blender and puree until smooth.

Pour the mixture (over a bowl) through a fine mesh stainless steel strainer to remove the seeds and pulp (you can save the strained pulp and add it to smoothies within next few days).

Pour into ice cube trays and freeze until solid. Add two or three cubes per glass of cold water or seltzer.

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BBQ Sneaky Turkey Burgers

Makes 4 burgers 

¼ cup Sneaky Chef Purple Puree 

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1 teaspoon chili each chili powder and onion powder

½ teaspoon salt and a few turns of freshly ground pepper

½ cup ground oats (ground in a food processor or blender) or ground flaxseed

1 pound ground turkey (ideally white meat, or a mix of light and dark meat)

4 whole grain English Muffins

Optional topping ideas: tomato slices, pickles, cheese, onions, mustard, ketchup

In a mixing bowl, whisk together the Purple Puree, tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, chili powder, onion powder, salt, and pepper. Add in the oats and ground turkey, mixing until combined (easiest to mix using your hands). Dampen hands and form into 4 equal sized balls, then gently press into patties, about ½ to ¾-inch thick.

Preheat an outdoor grill (or indoor grill pan) to medium-high and brush or wipe both the grill and both sides of the burgers generously with oil.

Grill burgers for 7 to 8 minutes on each side until cooked through and no longer pink inside (or until burgers reach internal temp of 160 degrees Fahrenheit). 

Serve on warmed English Muffins (or hamburger buns) with optional toppings. 

My Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter (made from golden peas) works as a great substitute for peanut butter in Asian sauces like in my these Cold Sesame Noodles. But instead of using soy sauce in my recipe, I often use tamari if I'm cooking gluten-free. This sauce is great for a variety of asian recipes, from noodles to stir-frys. 

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Gluten-Free No-Nut Asian Sauce

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

 3 tablespoons tamari sauce

1⁄3 cup Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter

1⁄4 cup apple cider vinegar

 1⁄4 to 1⁄2 teaspoon dried red pepper flakes, to taste

In a medium-size bowl, whisk together the sesame oil, tamari sauce, No-Nut Butter, and vinegar. Add red pepper flakes to taste.

It's officially Allergy Awareness Week, so I'm putting the spotlight on allergy-free recipes. I've found that many granola bar recipes contain dairy products, like milk or butter. That's why I created this recipe that's kind of like a cross between a granola bar and a Rice Crispy Treat that's dairy-free, as well as egg and gluten-free too. 

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Dairy-Free, Egg-Free, Gluten-Free Granola Bars

(Makes 24 bars)
2 cups cornflakes, crushed to about 1 cup
1/2 cup Ground Almonds 

2 cups crispy brown rice cereal (or Rice Krispies)

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup canola or vegetable oil
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Optional extra boost: 1/4 cup raisins or dried blueberries

Sneaky tip: Measure the oil first, then the honey. This way the honey won’t stick and will slide right out of the measuring cup.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a 9-inch square or 7-by-11 inch baking pan completely with parchment paper or foil and butter the foil (or spray with oil).

In a medium bowl, combine crushed cornflakes, almonds, rice cereal, cinnamon, and salt. Mix in the canola or vegetable oil, honey, vanilla extract, and chocolate chips (and/or dried fruit, optional). Mix well, then pour into the prepared baking pan. Press down with palm of hand, evenly distributing the mixture into the corners of the dish and bake for 15 to 18 minutes. Check occasionally to prevent burning.
Remove from the oven and using the foil to help you, lift the entire bar out of pan. Place on a flat surface and while still warm, cut into small bars.

Store in an airtight container for up to a week, or freeze in plastic bags.

This week is Allergy Awareness Week, and today I want to focus on Egg Allergies.   I love this recipe for Eggless Pancakes because I know that getting any rise out of a pancake without eggs is a true feat of nature. 

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 EGGLESS PANCAKES

Makes about 18 pancakes

1 cup Gluten-Free Flour Blend 

½ teaspoon baking soda

¼ teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

1 tablespoon sugar

1 cup low-fat buttermilk*

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Optional extras: one-half cup fresh or frozen blueberries or chocolate chips

*if you don’t have buttermilk on hand, you can make your own by mixing 1 cup of low-fat milk with 1 tablespoon lemon juice; let stand 5 minutes

Mix together Flour Blend, baking soda, and salt. Set aside, if using immediately. (To store for later use, triple the dry ingredients and keep in a sealed, labeled plastic bag. You’ll have instant pancake mix anytime you want it.)

In another bowl, whisk together the oil, sugar, buttermilk, and vanilla. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ones until just blended. If the batter is too thick, add a little more buttermilk. Add the optional blueberries or chocolate chips, if desired. (If using frozen berries, don’t thaw them before adding; this will prevent bleeding) and mix lightly.

Butter or spray a large skillet over medium heat. Test the pan to see if it’s hot enough by tossing a few drops of water in — it should sizzle. The skillet will grow hotter over time, so turn it down if it starts to smoke.

Drop tablespoons or small ladles of batter onto the skillet in batches. When bubbles begin to set around the edges of the pancake and the skillet-side is golden (peek under), gently flip them over. Continue to cook 2 to 3 minutes or until the pancake is set.

Serve stacked high drizzled with warm maple syrup. 

The Sneaky Chef is available at fine booksellers everywhere: