Thursday, June 14, 2007

Picky Eater: The Sneaky Chef - Part 1

Recently on the The Today Show, I saw a chef who was preparing some recipes from her cookbook titled The Sneaky Chef. Missy Chase Lapine hides healthy foods in kids' favorite meals. I was so excited to buy the cookbook, but when I actually flipped through it, I realized that these recipes are great if your kids actually eat mac n' cheese, pizza, hamburgers, spaghetti. But, like I said, Jack is VERY picky. He doesn't eat any of that!

I tried a couple of recipes (including the Triple-Stuffed Potatoes below) that I thought had the best chance of success and other than making a huge mess in my kitchen, I would have to say that it was fairly successful. I'm going to continue experimenting with more as he starts to eat the things that all kids like...mac n' cheese for one.
Make-Ahead Recipe #4: White Puree

2 cups cauliflower, cut into florets
2 small to medium zucchini, peeled and rough chopped
1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
1-2 tablespoons water, if necessary

Steam cauliflower in a vegetable steamer over 2 inches of water, using a tightly-covered pot, 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 8 to 10 minutes until very tender.

While waiting for the cauliflower to finish steaming, start to 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 necessary, use the second tablespoon of water to make a smooth (but not wet) puree.

Makes about 2 cups of puree. Double recipe if you want to store even more, which can be done in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze 1/4 cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.
Triple-Stuffed Potatoes

3 large russet potatoes, scrubbed
1/4 to 1/2 cup White Puree (see make-ahead recipe above)
3/4 cup grated low-fat cheddar cheese, divided
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons low-fat sour cream
1/2 teaspoon salt
Optional extra boost: mix in 1/2 cup chopped broccoli or peas

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Prick potatoes several times with a fork and place them directly on oven rack. Bake for 50 to 60 minutes until tender. Remove potatoes from the oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Turn oven to high broil.

Cut potatoes in half lengthwise and carefully scoop out the flesh into a mixing bowl, leaving some potato in the skin to keep sheels intact. Mash potatoes lightly with a fork, adding the White Puree, 1/2 cup of the cheddar cheese, butter, sour cream and salt. Refill the shells with the potato mixture, mounding slightly. Divide the remaining 1/2 cup of cheddar among the potatoes and top each potato half with aobut 1 tablespoon of the grated cheddar. Place on a cookie sheet and broil, about 6 inches from the heat, for 8 to 10 minutes until bubbly brown. Serve immediately.


Here are my results. Jack will sometimes eat baked potato with cheese, so I figured he might like these. He didn't eat them for dinner that night, but I'm not giving up. I thought it was delicious! If I would not have known what was in it, I would have thought it was just a regular potato.

TIP: I scooped the leftover white puree into an ice tray (2 cubes=1/4 cup), covered it with saran wrap and put it in the freezer. When it was frozen, I removed the cubes from the tray and put them in a freezer bag for use later. Now, I can just pull out what I need for the next recipe that uses the white puree.

Stay tuned for Store-Bought Chocolate Pudding with Green Juice (yep, that's spinach) in it.

See our other Picky Eater posts: V8 Splash, Chocolate Pudding, Blueberry Muffins, Pumpkin Pancakes.

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