Monday, March 3, 2008

Deceptively Delicious

I don't really like to cook; in fact, I'm really bad at it, but I was recently intrigued by Jessica Seinfeld's cookbook-Deceptively Delicious. The idea behind this book is to mix in fruits and vegetables purees into meals. Some kids aren't so fond of eating fruits & vegetables, and this leads to a power struggle which is no fun at dinner time. Mine do pretty well with things they like--carrots, apples, grapes, pineapple, corn, etc. But they don't like to try new ones. So, I thought I would give this idea a try. I made a few recipes recently and thought I would share.

Pancakes (with sweet potato)
Click on the title and it will take you to the recipe.
I made these simple pancakes for my 2 year old. At first, he protested because he's used to frozen waffles which he calls toast. So, he pushed his plate away, and said. "No. Toast!" I pushed the plate back to him, loaded it with syrup and he happily ate all of it. He likes anything with syrup. I liked them too. They didn't taste like sweet potato, and I don't like sweet potato.
I also tried french toast with sweet potato for the entire family. The sweet potato just gets mixed in with the egg batter. Everyone liked those as well, except for my 5 year old who doesn't like french toast. He just wanted regular toast which he calls toast. Again, it didn't taste like sweet potato. Another hit. And the sweet potato puree was so easy to make. I just roasted the sweet potato in the oven for an hour, scooped it out and pureed it.
We also tried:
Pita Pizzas
8 (4 in) whole-wheat pita pockets
1/2 cup spinach puree
2 cups bottled tomato sauce
2 cups thinly sliced part-skim mozzarella

(First of all. I have to say it takes a lot of spinach to make 1/2 cup of puree. I used almost the entire bag of baby spinach. To make the puree, strip stems off leaves, steam for 30-40 seconds or cook in a skillet with 1 tbspoon of water for about 90 seconds or until wilted. In a food processor blend for 2 minutes until smooth & creamy)
Preheat oven to 400, spread spinach puree on each pita, spread sauce over spinach covering it any place where green shows. Place pizza on foil-lined baking sheet, and bake 5-10 minutes. Let cool 5 mins.

They were really good. You couldn't taste the spinach at all. My oldest really loved it. He loves Italian. There was nothing said about the green stuff. So I think I was able to deceive them on that one.

The next one I tried was mashed potatoes with cauliflower puree and banana bread with cauliflower puree, both hits with my 8 year old. So far, he's loved all the recipes. We even went through the book together and he pointed out some other ones he wants me to try. He was just so impressed that it was the food Jerry Seinfeld 's wife makes. He likes Jerry Seinfeld from Bee Movie.
My 5 year old hasn't been impressed. He's hard to please. Today, I'll make him a grilled cheese sandwich with sweet potato puree. He loves grilled cheese sandwiches, and he dips them in ketchup. Maybe the ketchup with disguise the sweet potato. I'll be holding my breath on that one.
Many of the recipes are simple. I'm only trying the simple ones. If a recipe has more than 6 or so ingredients, I don't do it.

Next, I'm trying these chicken nuggets with spinach puree!


Holly said...

I've seen this and been curious about it. It's good to see it get a good review!

Amanda said...

Wow, this is really cool! I definitely want to try some of these out, especially some of the sweet potato stuff. I hate sweet potatoes, but any added nutrition hidden in there is good.

Ambrose is extremely picky about food, too. He doesn't fall for anything, but thankfully he has a couple veggies he'll eat. Now if only I can figure out a way to get him to eat meat also...

Tamster said...

That sounds pretty cool; I'm not sure I'd want to have to do all of that pureeing though. Maybe if there was a way to buy it already pureed, but that would probably be really expensive. Great idea, though. I just might have to try some. :-)