Latest recipes

Sneaky Chef White Purée

Sneaky Chef White Purée

To prepare White Purée on the stovetop, pour about 2 inches of water into a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Put a vegetable steamer basket into the pot, add the cauliflower, and steam for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Drain.

To prepare in microwave, place the cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl, cover it with water, and microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes (frozen florets take only 1 to 2 minutes), or until very tender. Drain.

Meanwhile, place the raw peeled zucchini in your food processor and pulse a few times. Next add the cooked cauliflower and 1 tablespoon of water to the food processor (work in batches if necessary) and purée on high until smooth. Stop occasionally to push the contents to the bottom. If necessary, use another tablespoon of water make a smooth purée, but the less water, the better.

This recipe makes about 2 cups of purée; double it if you want to store more. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or you can freeze 1⁄4-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.


Cold Sneaky Sesame Noodles

Making sure your kids eat a nutritious dinner is all about keeping them happy, and this recipe will help you do it for lunch, Even after-school snacks need a lot of special attention, because there are sports, tutoring, and activities that your kids need to be well fed for, whether it's to fuel up for a big test or a game school. In the end, they'll make you happy, too. Want a slick way to sneak cauliflower and zucchini into your kids meal? Purée them together and work it into the meal another way. (See directions below)

1 Picture

Slip healthy ingredients into favorite foods

Children aren&rsquot the only picky eaters. About 90% of adults don&rsquot eat the recommended five daily servings of fruits and vegetables.

The solution: &ldquoSneaky&rdquo cooking. You can sneak produce and other healthy ingredients into foods that everyone enjoys. One great way to do this is with purées — cooked or raw vegetables, fruits and beans that are mixed with a little water and processed in a blender or a food processor.

GARLIC MASHED POTATOES

You don&rsquot need butter and milk for great mashed potatoes.

Healthier: Assuming that you&rsquore using about two pounds of potatoes, replace the butter with two tablespoons of olive oil, and add about one cup of puréed cauliflower and zucchini. Steam the cauliflower until very tender (about 10 to 12 minutes) before puréeing. The zucchini is peeled and puréed raw, then blended with the cauliflower purée. Instead of milk, add one-half cup of plain, low-fat yogurt. Then add three heads of roasted garlic. Most people like garlic — and it provides a &ldquodecoy&rdquo flavor that masks the taste of the vegetables.

TUNA SWAP

Sardines are rich in omega-3 fatty acids, important for cardiovascular and neurological health. Many people prefer the milder taste of tuna, which is high in omega-3s but also may have toxic mercury. Sardines are smaller than tuna and are less likely to accumulate mercury.

Healthier: Make a traditional tuna salad, but replace some of the tuna with mashed skinless, boneless sardines. My husband can&rsquot stand sardines, but he likes my tuna salad. At first, I replaced just a little bit of the tuna with sardines. Now I&rsquom at a 50-50 ratio.

A tomato-based red sauce — for meat loaf, pasta, etc. — is the ideal hiding place for sneaky additions. Vegetable purées reduce the natural acidity of tomatoes, helping to prevent heartburn, and the strong flavor of the sauce makes the vegetable flavors disappear.

Healthier: Replace about one-third of your sauce with either a carrot&ndashsweet potato purée (cook the vegetables until soft before puréeing) or the purée made with cauliflower and zucchini.

BEANS &rsquoN&rsquo MUFFINS

Traditional muffins are high in fat. You can make a leaner version with a white bean purée. Beans are an excellent source of protein, and they also are high in fiber and antioxidants.

Healthier: Add one-half cup of white bean purée in place of about half the fat. A 15-ounce can of white beans, rinsed, makes about one cup of purée. Store the rest in the refrigerator for up to three days, or freeze.

BETTER BROWNIES

Traditional brownie recipes contain a lot of butter and sugar.

Healthier: Substitute one-half cup of &ldquopurple purée,&rdquo made with wild, frozen blueberries, organic raw baby spinach and lemon juice, for up to half the butter or oil and half the sugar. Baby spinach has a milder flavor than the mature leaves.

CHILIS AND SOUPS

Chilis and soups are among the best foods for substitutions because you can add healthy ingredients without significantly changing the flavor.

Healthier: Add two tablespoons of oat bran or wheat germ. You also can add purées, such as white bean or &ldquogreen purée&rdquo made with raw baby spinach and steamed broccoli and peas.


I'd love to know how it turned out! Please let me know by leaving a review below. Or snap a photo and share it on Instagram be sure to tag me @onceuponachef.

Gorgeously (or shockingly?) green, this broccoli purée is a welcome change from the usual steamed or roasted broccoli. It’s also a great low-carb alternative to mashed potatoes.

Ingredients

  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided, plus more for serving if desired
  • 1/2 cup chopped yellow onion, from 1 small onion
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon salt, plus more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 pounds broccoli crowns, cut into florets, tough stems thinly sliced (see note)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
  • 1 tablespoon finely chopped chives, for serving

Instructions

  1. In a pot large enough to hold all of the broccoli, melt half of the butter over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring frequently, until soft, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the water, salt, and pepper and stir with a wooden spoon to combine. Add the broccoli and bring the liquid to a boil cover the pot tightly and reduce the heat to low. Cook until the broccoli is tender, about 15 minutes.
  2. Transfer all of the contents of the pot, including the liquid, to a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Add the remaining butter and the thyme and process until broken down but not completely smooth. Add the sour cream and process again until smooth. Taste and adjust the salt, if necessary (I usually add up to 3/4 teaspoon more salt). Transfer to a serving bowl, and top with a pad of butter, if using, and chives. (Note: if your food processor is small, you may need to work in batches.)
  3. Note: Be sure to slice the tough stems very thinly, otherwise they won't cook through.
  4. Make-Ahead Instructions: The purée can be made up to 3 days ahead of time and refrigerated. Reheat in the microwave or on the stovetop.

Nutrition Information

Powered by

  • Per serving (8 servings)
  • Calories: 109
  • Fat: 8 g
  • Saturated fat: 5 g
  • Carbohydrates: 9 g
  • Sugar: 3 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 4 g
  • Sodium: 324 mg
  • Cholesterol: 19 mg

This website is written and produced for informational purposes only. I am not a certified nutritionist and the nutritional data on this site has not been evaluated or approved by a nutritionist or the Food and Drug Administration. Nutritional information is offered as a courtesy and should not be construed as a guarantee. The data is calculated through an online nutritional calculator, Edamam.com. Although I do my best to provide accurate nutritional information, these figures should be considered estimates only. Varying factors such as product types or brands purchased, natural fluctuations in fresh produce, and the way ingredients are processed change the effective nutritional information in any given recipe. Furthermore, different online calculators provide different results depending on their own nutrition fact sources and algorithms. To obtain the most accurate nutritional information in a given recipe, you should calculate the nutritional information with the actual ingredients used in your recipe, using your preferred nutrition calculator.

See more recipes:


Sneaky Chef: Cheat On Your Husband Cook Book

But it turns out the kids aren't the only ones not eating their veggies. Author Missy Chase Lapine has gone back to the kitchen and created a whole new batch of recipes for the other picky eaters in the family – the men in the house! The Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man (In the Kitchen) (Running Press, April 2008) features recipes that cloak healthy ingredients, ingredients that specifically target men's health issues, in the manliest of foods, foods every guy is sure to love. Healthy, hearty recipes include "Doctor's Choice Chili" with spinach, broccoli and peas to protect against cancer, and "Refried Bean Macho Nachos" with zucchini and cauliflower to maintain a healthy cholesterol level.

THE SNEAKY CHEF: HOW TO CHEAT ON YOUR MAN (IN THE KITCHEN)

It'll take a top-ranking detective to identify the healthy ingredients in this seemingly sinful breakfast favorite.

Makes 12 donuts or 6 large muffins

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons Flour Blend (see Make-Ahead Recipe #13)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons walnut, almond, or canola oil

3/4 cup Purple Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #1)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Powdered sugar, for dusting

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. If you are making donuts, spray a donut pan or a mini Bundt pan with oil (they come in 6- or 12-mold sizes—use two 6-mold pans if you don't have the 12-mold size). If you are making muffins, line a muffin tin with paper liners. In a large bowl, whisk together the Flour Blend, baking powder, salt, coffee granules, cinnamon, and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together the egg and sugar until well combined, then whisk in the oil, Purple Puree, and vanilla. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until the flour is just moistened. Don't overmix.

Divide the batter evenly among the 12 mini Bundt or donut molds or fill 6 muffin cups to the top.

For donuts: Bake 12 to 14 minutes, until the tops spring back when pressed lightly. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn the donuts out over a plate to cool. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

For muffins: Bake 23 to 25 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn the muffins out of the tins to cool. Dust tops with powdered sugar before serving.

Make-Ahead Recipe #13: Flour Blend

1 cup all-purpose, unbleached white flour

1 cup wheat germ, unsweetened

Makes 3 cups of flour blend

Combine the flours and wheat germ in a large bowl. This blend can be stored in a sealed, labeled plastic bag or container in the refrigerator for up to 3 months.

A quick replacement for my Flour Blend is Eagle Mills All-Purpose Flour made with Ultragrain®. It's already blended for you! Cup for cup, you'll get more whole grain nutrition than in white flour—with the great taste, color, and texture you expect.

Make-Ahead Recipe #1: Purple Puree

3 cups raw baby spinach leaves

11/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, no syrup or sugar added

Makes about 1 cup of puree

Eating wings is one of the ultimate guy rituals. Men love to one-up each other on how fiery they can stand them and how messy they can get. Let the men in your life occasionally enjoy this sneaky treat, while we enjoy watching them unknowingly lick cauliflower and zucchini puree off their sticky fingers! These wings go great with the not-so-classic Bountiful Blue Cheese Dressing (page 239), which is loaded with White Puree and low-fat ricotta.

1/2 cup White Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #4)

1 cup store-bought barbecue sauce or 11/2 cups Homemade BBQ Sauce*, page 226

4 pounds buffalo chicken wings (about 32 pieces)

Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

Celery Ribs, cut into sticks

1 cup Bountiful Blue Cheese Dressing, page 239

*If you are using Homemade BBQ Sauce, omit the White Puree called for in this recipe. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with oil.

In a large bowl, mix the White Puree with the barbecue sauce (omit this step if using Homemade BBQ Sauce). Add the hot sauce to taste and set sauce aside. Spread wings on prepared baking sheet and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 30 minutes, then remove from oven and brush on the sauce. Continue cooking for another 5 to 10 minutes, until nicely browned.

Serve with celery sticks and Bountiful Blue Cheese Dressing.

Make-Ahead Recipe #4: White Puree

2 cups cauliflower florets (about 1/2 a small head)

2 small to medium zucchini, peeled and coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

1 to 2 tablespoons water, if necessary

Makes about 2 cups of puree

Pour about 2 inches of water into a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Put a vegetable steamer basket into the pot, add the cauliflower, and steam for 10 to 12 minutes or until very tender. Drain. Alternatively, place the cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl, cover the cauliflower with water, and microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes or until very tender. Drain. While cauliflower steams, pulse the raw peeled zucchini with the lemon juice (no water at this point) in your food processor. Once the cauliflower is cooked and tender, working in batches if necessary, add 1 tablespoon of water and some of the cauliflower to the food processor with the pulsed zucchini. Puree on high until smooth. Stop occasionally to push the contents to the bottom. If necessary, use another tablespoon of water to smooth out the puree, but the less water, the better.

This recipe makes about 2 cups of puree double it if you want to store another 2 cups. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or you can freeze 1/4-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.

Barbecue sauce is such a manly staple that it begs to be used as a carrier for some healthy ingredients! This quick and versatile sauce can be made as spicy as desired.

Makes almost 2 cups of sauce

Taking fat, juicy burgers away from our men isn't an option, but we can help minimize the damage from the saturated fat in the beef with a healthy hidden dose of oat bran fiber, spinach, blueberries, and tomato paste. Secretly pump-up the burgers at your next backyard cookout and enjoy the rave reviews!

If time allows, make the burger patties ahead of time and chill them for an hour before grilling so they're firmer and easier to handle.

1/4 cup Purple Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #1)

1/4 cup oat bran, plus additional as needed

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

4 hamburger buns or English muffins, preferably whole grain

Optional extra boost: lettuce, tomato slices, or grilled onions and mushrooms

Preheat an outdoor grill to medium-high, or heat an indoor grill pan to medium-high and spray with oil.

In a large bowl, mix tomato paste, Purple Puree, oat bran, Worcestershire sauce, and salt. Add the ground beef, mixing with your hands until well combined. If the mixture is too sticky, add a bit more oat bran.

Using damp hands, shape mixture into four 1/4-pound patties. At this point, the burgers may be prepared a day ahead and kept covered in the refrigerator or frozen. If you are not freezing for future use, proceed to the next steps.

Spray both sides of the burgers with oil and place them on the prepared grill. Cook for 4 to 7 minutes on each side, or to desired doneness.

Serve on whole grain buns slathered with Perfect Pesto, page 223, or One-and-Only Guacamole, page 300, and optional extras.

Eat pesto to soothe joint pain. In a recent study, basil exhibited the same anti-inflammatory effect as aspirin, but without its harmful side effects. Basil's medicinal properties are tied to the eugenol oil found in the plant.

Make-Ahead Recipe #1: Purple Puree

3 cups raw baby spinach leaves

11/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, no syrup or sugar added

Makes about 1 cup of puree

Thoroughly wash the spinach, even if the package says "prewashed." 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 spinach, blueberries, 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.


Sneaky Chef Recipes Get Your Kids to Eat Healthy Foods

Spinach and blueberries in brownies and donuts? Who'd a thunk it?! Being "sneaky" isn't such a bad thing!

The Sneaky Chef provides simple strategies for hiding healthy foods in kid's favorite meals such as mac-n-cheese, pizza, cupcakes, pancakes, brownies, muffins, etc.

Dust off your food processor

  • Purple Puree: a blend of spinach and blueberries
  • Orange Puree: a blend of sweet potatoes and carrots
  • Green Puree: a blend of spinach, broccoli, and peas
  • White Puree: a blend of cauliflower and zucchini
  • Bean Purees: white bean and garbanzo bean

The Sneaky Chef's bag of tricks also includes these sneaky cooking methods:

I love, love, love the recipes from the Sneaky Chef and I think you'll love, love, love being a sneaky cook! The pureeing is certainly work, but if you set aside 1 day a month to make lots of purees, weekday sneaky cooking will go quickly.


The Sneaky Chef’s Trick to Stretch Your Food Dollars

Missy Chase Lapine, New York Times best-selling author, who has written a series of healthy cookbooks, including The Sneaky Chef. Her latest, Sneaky Blends, features more than 100 all-new healthy recipes. TheSneakyChef.com

Published Date: August 15, 2009

Be An Insider

Get the best of Bottom Line delivered right to your in-box

How many times have you bought vegetables and salad greens, only to throw them out because they wilted before you could use them? Or maybe your garden is brimming with produce that you don&rsquot know what to do with?

Instead of throwing away produce, turn it into purées that you freeze in small freezer bags and later add to meals. You will save money and make your meals more nutritious. Plus, it&rsquos a great way to “sneak” healthy ingredients into meals for picky eaters.

GREEN PURÉE

You can use other greens in this recipe if you choose. Kale or collard greens work well (steamed until tender). Do not use stringy vegetables, such as arugula, asparagus and green beans.

2 cups broccoli florets
1 cup sweet green peas
2 cups raw baby spinach
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Steam the broccoli for about 10 minutes, or until very tender. Add the peas for the last two minutes of cooking. Drain.

Put the spinach in a food processor or blender, and pulse a few times. Add the cooked broccoli and peas, along with two tablespoons of water and the lemon juice. Use the high setting until you have a smooth purée. Add more water as necessary. Makes two cups.

To use: Add to full-flavored (and richly colored) dishes that will hide the “sneaky” ingredient. When making enchiladas, for example, add one-quarter cup of green purée to two cups of tomato sauce. When making lasagna, add three-quarters of a cup to a 24-ounce jar of tomato sauce. This purée also works well in soups, stews and chili.

WHITE PURÉE

You can add white beans to the following. Use them straight out of the can, rinsed and drained.

2 cups cauliflower florets
2 small-to-medium zucchini or yellow summer squash, peeled and coarsely chopped
1 teaspoon lemon juice

Steam the cauliflower for about 10 minutes, or until very tender. Drain.

Put the raw peeled, chopped zucchini or summer squash with the lemon juice in a food processor or blender. Pulse a few times. Add the cooked cauliflower and one tablespoon of water. Use the high setting until you have a smooth purée. Add more water as necessary. Makes two cups.

To use: I like to add one-half cup to macaroni and cheese, mashed potatoes or tuna casserole. It&rsquos also great in soups, stews and chili.


The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue

Missy Chase Lapine, author of "The Sneaky Chef to the Rescue," drops by "FOX & Friends" with these healthy meals your kids will love:

• Sneaky Chef's Quick Fixes For Boxed Pancake Mix

You do it, I do it, we all do it. You know what I'm talking about. Dare I say out loud that we use boxed pancake mix instead of making pancakes from scratch! C'mon, we live in the real world where convenience is a must. Here are several ways to add a nutritious home-made touch to your favorite boxed mix (I tested these with Aunt Jemima's Original):

— Banana Pancakes

1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

¼ cup Orange Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe below)

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, oil, mashed banana and Orange Puree.

Add boxed pancake mix and wheat germ, mixing just until combined (don't over mix — leave small lumps). If the batter is too thick, add a little more milk.

— Chocolate Pancakes

1 tablespoon canola or vegetable oil

½ cup Purple Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe below)

1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder

¼ cup semi-sweet chocolate chips, optional

In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the egg, milk, oil and Purple Puree.

Add boxed pancake mix, cocoa powder, oat bran and chocolate chips, if using, mixing just until combined (don't over mix — leave small lumps). If the batter is too thick, add a little more milk.

• Sneaky Chef Make-Ahead Recipe No. 1: Purple Puree

3 cups raw baby spinach leaves*

1 ½ cups fresh or frozen blueberries, no syrup or sugar added

*Note: I prefer raw baby spinach to frozen spinach for this recipe (more mild flavor) if you must use frozen spinach, only use 1 cup of it.

Raw baby spinach should be well rinsed, even if the package says "prewashed." If you're using frozen blueberries, give them a quick rinse them under cold water to thaw a little, and then drain.

Place the spinach in the food processor first and pulse a few times. This will reduce the spinach significantly. Next add the blueberries 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 create a smooth 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.

• Sneaky Chef Portable Pizza Muffins

These are great for the lunch box, especially for kids who are tired and bored with sandwiches. They get three top-notch veggies, three whole grains, calcium and protein all in a portable package of a muffin. Kids love anything called "pizza." They are also a great after school snack.

1 cup Flour Blend (equal parts whole grain flour and all-purpose white flour)

2 teaspoons baking powder

½ teaspoon each salt and dried oregano and/or basil

2 tablespoons brown sugar, packed

3 tablespoons canola or vegetable oil

¼ cup tomato paste plus 3 tablespoons tomato paste (for the tops)

½ cup Orange Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe below)

½ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Optional extra boost: 1 cup chopped mushrooms, onions and/or olives

Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 12-muffin pan or line with paper muffin cups.

In a large bowl, whisk together the Flour Blend, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and oregano (and/or basil). In another large bowl, whisk together the eggs, brown sugar, canola or vegetable oil, ¼ cup of the tomato paste, Orange Puree, and grated Parmesan cheese until well combined. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until the flour is just moistened. Stir in optional extras, if using. Don't over mix.

Divide the batter evenly among the 8 muffin cups. Top each muffin with a dollop (teaspoon) of tomato paste and about one tablespoon of grated mozzarella.

Bake 25 to 30 minutes, until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. Turn the muffins out of the tins to cool or serve warm.

• Sneaky Chef Monkey Bars

I can't get most of my taste testers to eat banana bread (maybe it seems too healthy), but they gobble up these banana bars because they're more like a soft square cookie. They especially love it when I drizzle melted white chocolate in thin stripes across the top. When decorated with sprinkles and candles, these bars make a great alternative to birthday cake, plus kids can hold them in their hands.

½ cup Orange Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe below)

2 large bananas, mashed with the back of a fork (about 1 cup)

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

½ cup rolled oats, old-fashioned, not quick cooking

¾ cup Flour Blend (equal parts whole grain flour and all-purpose white flour)

Optional Decoration: ½ cup white chocolate chips, melted in microwave

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.

Butter or spray only the bottom, not the sides, of an 11-by- 7-inch or 9-inch square baking pan.

In a saucepan over medium low heat, melt the butter, sugar, and salt. Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool a bit. Once cool, whisk in the Orange Puree, bananas, vanilla, and egg yolks. Add the oats and Flour Blend and mix until just combined. Pour the entire mixture into the prepared baking pan and bake for 37 to 39 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in pan before cutting the bars. If desired, dust with powdered sugar when cool, or drizzle melted white chocolate in a striped pattern across the tops of the bars.

Keeps for a week in the refrigerator, covered tightly.

• Pomegranate Soda

Mix one part pomegranate juice to two parts seltzer water. Serve over ice with a straw.

• Sneaky Chef Make-Ahead Recipe No. 2: Orange Puree

1 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and coarsely chopped

3 medium to large carrots, peeled and sliced into thick chunks

Place the carrots and sweet potatoes in a medium-sized pot and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil and cook for about 20 minutes, until carrots are very tender. Careful: If the carrots aren't tender enough, they may leave telltale little nuggets of vegetables in recipes, which will reveal their presence to your kids — a gigantic no-no for The Sneaky Chef.

Drain the carrots and sweet potatoes and put them in the food processor with two tablespoons of water. Puree on high until smooth – no pieces of vegetables showing. Stop occasionally to push the contents to the bottom. If necessary, use another tablespoon of water to smooth out the puree, but the less water, the better.

This recipe makes about 2 cups of puree double it if you want to store more. Orange Puree will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or you can freeze 1⁄4-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.


Healthier Carnival Foods at Home

The arrival of summer means state fairs and carnivals are just around the corner, and so are all the classic eats they feature. We've asked a few foodies to share their fair faves—only with a healthy twist you can serve up at home.

Coconut-Ginger Corn on the Cob

Move over, butter and salt. This corn on the cob is infused with coconut milk and ginger—and truly fine flavor.

Makes 6 ears

Prep Time 10 minutes

Cook Time 30 minutes

1 (15 ounce) can reduced-fat coconut milk

1 (2-inch) piece fresh ginger, thinly sliced

6 hot boiled sweet corn ears

1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro

**1. **Place coconut milk and ginger in a medium saucepan and bring to a simmer. Lower heat and cook at a bare simmer until milk is reduced by half, 25 to 30 minutes. Strain milk into a cup and stir in lime juice.

3. Pour a few tablespoons of the milk mixture onto a plate and roll hot corn in it to coat. Serve garnished with cilantro. Leftover coconut sauce will keep refrigerated 3 to 4 days.

Stovetop Cocoa Kettle Corn

All the butter and sugar in kettle corn can really pop your healthy-eating bubble. This recipe swaps them out for flaxseed and coconut oil, so you can indulge guilt-free.

Makes 2 servings

Prep Time 5 minutes

Cook Time 5 minutes

1–2 tablespoons hot cocoa powder, sweetened

1 tablespoon ground flaxseed

1 tablespoon coconut or canola oil

1⁄4 cup unpopped popcorn kernels

**1. **In a small bowl, combine cocoa powder, flax and salt.

**2. **In a large pot with a lid, heat oil over medium heat. Stir in popcorn to coat with oil. Reduce heat to medium low, cover the pot and cook, shaking occasionally, until the continuous popping sound ends.

**3. **Transfer popcorn to a large bowl, mist evenly with oil, and sprinkle on tcocoa mixture. Serve hot.

Recipe courtesy of Melissa Chase Lapine, creator of Sneaky Chef Foods.

If you have a soft spot for soft pretzels, try a batch of these yummy Bavarian bites, which feature Greek yogurt in the batter.

Makes 24 pretzels

Prep time 1 hour

Cook time 15 minutes

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon ground allspice

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1. Cream sugar and butter together in a large bowl until smooth. Separate two egg yolks, reserving whites for later. Mix in yogurt, 1 whole egg, the two egg yolks and vanilla. Add flour, cinnamon, allspice, baking soda and baking powder. Mix well. (Dough will be thick.) Cover and refrigerate dough overnight.

2. Preheat oven to 400F. Divide the dough into 24 equal portions. On a lightly floured surface, roll each piece into a rope about 12- to 18-inches long and 1/4-inch wide. On a baking sheet, shape each rope into a palm sized heart by curling the ends into "ram's horns" and gently forming the bottom of a heart into a "v." Beat reserved egg whites with 1 teaspoon water and brush a bit of the egg white mixture over the tops of the pretzels. Bake 13 to 15 minutes, then cool thorougly.

Lemonade Ice with Whipped Yogurt

Using organic lemonade, this recipe offers a creative play on your favorite citrusy libation by turning it into a slushy dessert.

Makes 6 servings

Cook Time none** **

4 cups 365 Everyday Value organic lemonade

1 (6 ounce) tub plain nonfat Greek yogurt

**1. **Pour lemonade into a 9- x13-inch glass baking pan and freeze until edges become icy and center is slushy, about 1 hour. Using a fork, stir the icy edges into the middle of the pan, repeating this step every 30 minutes until lemonade is completely frozen, 3 to 3 1/2 hours.

**2. **Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine yogurt and honey and beat with an electric mixer or whisk until soft peaks form. Chill until ready to serve.

**3. **Using a fork, scrape frozen lemonade down the length of the pan, forming flaky ice crystals. Spoon into bowls or cups and top with whipped yogurt and berries.

Franks on a stick are fun, but so are our healthier, muffin-y versions. Nix the deep fryer, add in whole grains, veggies and calcium, and help yourself to a corn dog (or two).

Makes 8 muffins

Prep time 30 minutes

Cook time 22 minutes

1 cup cauliflower florets

2 tablespoons butter, melted

6 tablespoons low-fat milk

1⁄2 cup grated low-fat cheddar cheese

2 hot dogs, cut in half lengthwise and chopped into small pieces

1⁄2 cup all-purpose flour (or mix evenly with whole grain flour)

2 teaspoons baking powder

1. Preheat oven to 375F. Line a muffin tin with paper liners sprayed lightly with cooking oil.

**2. **Steam cauliflower for 10 minutes, then puree on high to make a smooth Sneaky Chef white puree.

**3. **In a large mixing bowl, whisk together egg and sugar until well combined. Then whisk in melted butter, Sneaky Chef white puree, milk, cheese and hot dog pieces. In another mixing bowl, whisk together cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt and baking soda. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until flour is just moistened (don’t over-mix or the muffins will be dense).

**4. **Scoop the batter into muffin tins, filling just to the top. Bake 22 to 24 minutes, until tops are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean.

Recipe courtesy of Missy Chase Lapine, creator of Sneaky Chef Foods.

Candy and caramel apples have a tendency to put your sweet tooth in overdrive (hello, cavities!). This healthier version uses peanut butter to add a bit of nutrition to this classic carnival treat.

Makes 8 pops

1 cup creamy peanut butter

**1. **Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or foil. Place graham crackers in a plastic bag and using a rolling pin, gently crush into course crumbs. Pour onto a plate and set aside.

**2. **Place peanut butter on another plate. Insert an ice cream stick into each apple half. Dip apple halves into peanut butter until evenly coated, then roll in graham crumb mixture.

3. Place each apple pop on the prepared baking sheet and freeze at least 30 minutes, then transfer to an airtight container.

Chef's note: If your child has an allergy to peanut butter, use Sneaky Chef No-Nut Butter.

Recipe courtesy of Missy Chase Lapine, creator of Sneaky Chef Foods.

They look like your typical donut—round, fluffy and delicious. The kids'll never guess that buried inside are spinach and blueberries. They definitely make the winner's circle.

Makes 12 donuts

2 cups raw baby spinach leaves

1 1/4 cup fresh or frozen blueberries

1 cup plus 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon instant coffee granules

3 tablespoons unsweetened cocoa powder

3 tablespoons walnut, almond, or canola oil

1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract

Powdered sugar for dusting

**1. **Preheat oven to 350F. Spray a donut pan or a mini Bundt pan with oil (they come in 6- or 12-mold sizes—use two 6-mold pans if you don’t have the 12-mold size).

**2. **Place spinach and blueberries in a food processor and puree on high until as smooth as possible. Add 1 to 2 tablespoons water, if necessary, to smooth out the consistency. This will be your Sneaky Chef purple puree.

**3. **In a large bowl, whisk together flour, baking powder, salt, coffee granules, cinnamon and cocoa powder. In another large bowl, whisk together egg and sugar until well combined, then whisk in oil, Sneaky Chef purple puree and vanilla. Fold the wet ingredients into the dry and mix until the flour mixture is just moistened. Don’t overmix.

**4. **Divide the batter evenly among the 12 mini Bundt or donut molds or fill 6 muffin cups to the top.

**5. **Bake 12 to 14 minutes, until the tops spring back when pressed lightly. Loosen the edges with a knife and turn the donuts out over a plate to cool. Dust with powdered sugar before serving.

Recipe courtesy of Missy Chase Lapine, creator of Sneaky Chef Foods.

Saddling up to the fudge stand is practically a state fair rite of passage. These fudge bites with dates hidden inside are a sweet-tasting swap for the traditional chocolate squares and the walnuts give them a boost of protein.

Makes 12 bites

Prep Time 15 minutes

Cook Time none

½ cup Medjool dates, pits removed

3 tablespoons cacao powder

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

**1. **Place dates, walnuts, cacao powder, vanilla and salt in a food processor, and pulse on high speed until smooth.

**2. **Remove mixture from food processor and roll into little balls. Serve.

Recipe courtesy of Elana Amsterdam, founder of Elana's Pantry.

Mexican Chocolate Ice Cream

Enjoy a double-scoop of ice cream sans guilt with this updated recipe that uses unsweetened coconut milk and agave syrup instead of extra sugar.

Makes one batch of ice cream

Cook Time follow directions per your ice cream machine

2 (13.5-ounce) cans coconut milk, unsweetened

1/4 cup agave nectar or honey

1 tablespoon cinnamon, ground

¼ teaspoon cayenne (if you don’t want a super spicy ice cream, just use a pinch)

1 teaspoon decaf espresso, ground

1 tablespoon vanilla extract

**1. **In a medium saucepan, heat coconut milk and agave to a boil. Reduce immediately to a simmer, then remove from heat. Mix in chocolate, stirring constantly until chips are completely melted.

**2. **Cool mixture in pan on counter 1 hour. Stir in cinnamon, salt, cayenne, espresso and vanilla until thoroughly combined. Add mixture to your ice cream maker, following directions per your machine.


&ldquoShe only eats the 3 Ps: pizza, pasta and pop tarts.&rdquo

&ldquoThe only vegetables she&rsquoll touch are French fries and ketchup.&rdquo

Get a group of parents together and sentiments similar to the above statements are what you&rsquore likely to hear when the subject turns to their children&rsquos diets.

Yes, as parents, we know our children should be eating better. We&rsquore acutely aware of the rising number of diet and weight-related problems our children now face. But, how do we get little Johnny to eat his peas? We&rsquove tried bribing, cajoling, pleading, educating and threatening our little ones. None of these strategies work. Actually, recent studies show that the billions of dollars our schools spend on educating children about good nutrition is a nearly complete waste of money. However, there is one way that&rsquos been proven to get our kids to eat better: sneaking in the good stuff.

I stumbled onto the sneaky method while trying to get my daughter Emily to take some liquid penicillin. Like Mary Poppins, I found that just a spoonful of chocolate pudding and the medicine went down! The ramifications of my success hit me: If the sneaky approach worked in getting healthy medicine down, why couldn&rsquot it work in getting healthy food into my daughters?

I put my idea and my culinary expertise to work in my kitchen, hiding the foods kids should eat in the foods they would eat. I compiled List A, a list of children&rsquos favorite foods&mdash the ones they would eat without resistance&mdash such as spaghetti and meatballs, macaroni and cheese, chicken tenders and pizza. I then created List B, composed of &ldquosuper foods,&rdquo the world&rsquos healthiest ingredients, including spinach, broccoli, cauliflower, yams and whole grains. And finally, I found ways to invisibly hide the items on List B in List A. I reasoned, as long as my kids couldn&rsquot see, smell or taste anything too different, they would eat what was placed in front of them without a fight.

The magic lies in pureeing cooked vegetables and then mixing them into foods&mdash I call these Sneaky Chef &ldquoMake-Ahead&rdquo Purees. Following are recipes for a simple White Puree of cauliflower and zucchini and an Orange Puree of sweet potatoes and carrots that slip undetectably into mac and cheese as well as tomato sauce for pizza and pasta. And, if you want a really quick version of these nutritious purees, just use baby food carrots and sweet potatoes in the same way!

Of course sneaking healthy foods into kid-favored meals is not a substitute for teaching good nutrition. And, you should continue to offer straight-up vegetables. But, with the sneaky method, you&rsquoll be able to gently guide kids into healthful eating rather than force new and nutritious foods on them.

Leading by example is another great way to get children emulating healthy habits. Along with eating a variety of healthy foods yourself, exercise and praise the great taste and benefits of eating whole grains, fruits and vegetables. Here are some other easy tips to get kids to eat their veggies.

  1. Don&rsquot plead, beg, threaten or bribe your kids to eat anything. This will only result in a power struggle. The less you show your children that you care about what they are eating, the more likely they are to try the healthy foods you secretly want them to eat.
  2. Shh! Don&rsquot tell them it&rsquos healthy! For reasons I cannot begin to understand, when children know something is good for them, they think it can&rsquot possibly taste good&mdash even if it truly does.
  3. Hide healthy foods in children&rsquos favorite meals. Your sneaky additions should be fairly bland tasting, preventing kids from detecting an off flavor. You can also mask the healthy addition with strong yet kid-favored &ldquotaste decoys&rdquo like cheese, ketchup and chocolate. Just ensure the sneaky cuisine is similar in color to the food in which it&rsquos hidden. For example, puree cauliflower and zucchini and mix into a cheese sauce for mac and cheese, or puree yams and carrots and mix into tomato sauce over pasta.
  4. Borrow smart packaging concepts from the food manufacturers. There&rsquos a reason children&rsquos favorite crackers are shaped like little fishes and breakfast cereals come in colorful letters of the alphabet. You, too, can &ldquopackage&rdquo a food for maximum kid appeal. Let kids make up a funny new name for a vegetable. Serve veggies on a skewer, in an ice cream cone or on toothpicks with fun dips. Make eating a new vegetable an adventure by serving a whole artichoke, and allowing kids to peel the leaves and scrape the flesh against their teeth. Serve fresh green peas in the shell and let kids pick the sweet peas out of the pods. Or, cut open a fresh pomegranate and let kids pick out each juicy seed. Hint: Always serve the new vegetable alone, with no competition from a cherished and less healthy food, and serve the new veggie to kids when they are hungriest.
  5. Use visual decoys to distract kids from the healthy foods underneath. For instance, make three-veggie mini corn muffins and dust them with a few harmless calories of powdered sugar. Make veggie-laden mini meatballs and smother them in kid-approved tomato sauce. Add cocoa powder to zucchini bread to make it look like chocolate.

Easy Recipes - Sneaky Chef Quick Fixes for Store-Bought Tomato Sauce

The healthful boosters below enhance the nutritional profile of your children&rsquos favorite bottled pasta sauce, as well as help cut the acidity of tomatoes, which may alleviate upset stomachs.

Each booster has proven to be undetectable in taste, and any slight change in color can quickly be reversed by adding a little canned tomato paste. Both of the following quick fixes is for one cup of bottled sauce. For starters, combine two to four tablespoons of White Puree or two to four tablespoons of Orange Puree with store-bought sauce, mixing until well blended.

White Puree

Ingredients:
&bull2 cups cauliflower, cut into florets &bull2 small to medium zucchinis, peeled and rough chopped &bull1 tsp. fresh lemon juice &bull1-2 Tbs. water, if necessary

Directions:
Using a tightly covered pot, steam cauliflower in a vegetable steamer over two inches of water, for about 10 to 12 minutes until very tender. Alternatively, place cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with water, and microwave on high for about 10 minutes until very tender.

While waiting for the cauliflower to finish steaming, pulse the raw peeled zucchini with the lemon juice only (no water at this point). Drain the cooked cauliflower. Working in batches if necessary, add it to the pulsed zucchini in the bowl of the food processor with one tablespoon of water. Puree on high until smooth. Stop occasionally and push contents from the top to the bottom. If needed, use the second tablespoon of water to make a smooth, but not wet, puree.

This makes about two cups of puree. Double recipe if you want to store White Puree in the refrigerator for up to three days, or freeze portions in sealed plastic bags or containers.

Orange Puree

Ingredients:
&bull1 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and rough chopped &bull3 medium to large carrots, peeled and sliced into thick chunks &bull2-3 Tbs. water

Directions:
In a medium pot, cover carrots and potatoes with cold water and boil for about 20 minutes until yams, and especially carrots, are very tender. If the carrots aren&rsquot thoroughly cooked, they&rsquoll leave telltale little nuggets of vegetables that reveal their presence&mdash a gigantic no-no for the Sneaky Chef.

Drain the potatoes and carrots and put them in the food processor with two tablespoons of water. Puree on high until smooth no pieces of carrots or potatoes should remain. Stop occasionally to push the contents from the top to the bottom. If necessary, use the third tablespoon of water to make a smooth puree, but the less water the better.

This makes about two cups of puree. Double the recipe if you want to store even more. Store in refrigerator up to three days, or freeze portions in sealed plastic bags or containers.


Watch the video: Sneaky Chef Prepares Back-to-School Recipes (December 2021).