Sunday, October 7, 2007


This week, my children ate sweet potatoes, carrots, white beans, wheat germ, cauliflower and zucchini. And they loved it!!!

I assure you my children are normal, red-blooded American children whose diets primarily consist of chicken fingers, mac and cheese and pizza. And I am a normal, American mom whose concept of "making dinner" is popping something in the microwave or ordering from the Chick-Fil-A drive-thru window.

But that's all behind us. We've discovered the joy of being a sneaky chef!

The Sneaky Chef is an ingenious cookbook full of standard kid fare recipes with a boost of nutrition snuck in. The sneakiness starts with a variety of veggie purees mixed into the recipes. You add just enough puree for your kid to get some honest to goodness vitamins, but the veggies themselves go completely undetected. This week, we loved the cheese quesadillas, pizza bagels and peanut butter mini muffins all made with the sneaky orange (carrots and sweet potato) and/or white (cauliflower, zucchini or white bean) purees. But the biggest hit of the week was the chicken fingers made with the orange puree and the wheat bread crumb, almond and wheat germ breading ("MMMmmm!!!" said the four year old; the seven year old asked for seconds.) Even moms like me can handle these recipes. Although the purees forced me to get reacquainted with my food processor, they're easy enough to make and can be frozen for future use.

God bless the original Sneaky Chef, Missy Chase Lapine, for spending hours on end with her girlfriend testing tons of sneaky recipes that our children would love. The sneaky chef concept is now a hot new trend. Jessica Seinfeld (Jerry's wife) has come out with her own cookbook (watch Oprah tomorrow) which offers more sneaky recipes and ingredients to choose from. As loathe as I am to buy Seinfeld's book (ok, I admit I'm anti-celebrity. She may be a very nice person and I realize it's not her fault, but I'm a bit bitter that the doctor that cured me of cancer and my mom who taught inner city kids each made a teeny tiny fraction of the fortune that her husband did for what -- pretending to be himself on TV??? But I digress...), I'm now a sneaky chef convert and am anxious to find some other recipes to add to the repertoire.

These books kill two birds with one stone answering the dilemma of what to make for dinner while minimizing the food wars with the kids. The sneaky chef concept is a great example of the kind of balance I seek -- making things better for my kids, yet making life (so much) easier for me.


Anonymous said...

Dear Amy,

I can't tell you how much your blog means to me, especially today in light of the Oprah appearance. Thank you so much for your review.

Missy Chase Lapine

Amy@UWM said...

Wow!!! I'm so glad that you found my post and that it made your day. Thanks for commenting and thanks for your wonderful cookbook!!!

Mom2Amara said...

OMG, your post is my first run-in with Missy Chase Lapine. And I am ubber impressed she commented on your post! How cool!

And sneaky or not, I think my daughter has a sixth sense about veggies. Oh wait, it's not that. She just refuses to eat anything that's not chicken nuggets. Grrrr.

Thanks for visiting my place!