Why did I choose Sneaky Chef over the other same-but-different cookbook? One, this author (Missy Chase Lapine) is not a foofy celebrity's wife. I feel like I can relate to her...she's a regular old Mom who wanted to prepare more healthy food for her children. Period. That was her motivation for her recipes, & after time she set out to assemble the recipes into a cookbook. I like that pipe dream sort of woman. And two, after reading lots & lots of reviews of both books before I sent Santa a link for which one I wanted, I found out that Sneaky Chef's recipes turned out better tasting (on average) than the other book.
I set out Wednesday morning to stock up on all my ingredients for the "purees" which you sneak into all sorts of food.
After I had cooked, pureed, & measured out more purees & juices than I can even count, I started thinking about what I could cook that day with my new ingredients!
After Reese woke up from his nap, he asked for cookies. Quick flip through Sneaky Chef and sure enough...there's two recipes for chocolate chip cookies! We chose the Health-By-Chocolate cookies (which include the sneaky ingredients of spinach, blueberries, wheat germ, whole wheat flour, & lots of cocoa powder) & were SO amazed at how they turned out. I wasn't sure...I mean...spinach in cookies? I was sure Reese would tase that "something was different."
I didn't have any chocolate chips, but I did have semi-sweet baking squares. Same stuff, differnt shape. Reese had to take a taste of his own baking square just to make sure...
Yep! Same stuff! It's a good thing my knives aren't super sharp. See that little flap of skin on the end of my thumb? That's from trying to chop the chocolate & putting my fat thumb in the way. If the knife were super sharp, I would have sliced the end of my thumb off...then you'd never know how much I love the Sneaky Chef cookbook!
So we mixed & mixed the ingredients...and one taste of the batter led me to believe that these cookies might just pass as the less-healthy kind. I had to take a picture of the dough on the cookie sheet though. It made me think of my Bloggy-Friend Sarcastic Mom. She's got a little toddler that loves to leave "presents"...
So what was the end result? The Spinach/Blueberry/Wheat Germ/Whole Wheat cookies rocked! The real name is Health-By-Chocolate cookies & you would never, in a bazillion years, guess they had spinach or blueberries. The wheat germ gives them a slightly more "whole" texture, but nothing that my son (or my neighbor's sons who I pawned some of them off on) batted an eye at. The texture is a bit more crumbly than a regular cookie too. But her suggestion of making them into bite-sized cookies made that not an issue!
I was so excited after this first recipe that I couldn't wait to make another. I thought for dinner I'd try her "doctored store-bought spaghetti sauce" suggestion because Reese LOVES spaghetti! To 1 cup of spaghetti sauce, I added 1/4 cup of Orange Puree (carrots & sweet potatoes). I also added some ham cubes like normal. Another home run! You'd never guess that there was anything even remotely different than normal!
So I was on a roll! For breakfast this morning, I tried her doctored applesauce suggestion. Use 1 cup of unsweetened applesauce & add 1/4 cup Blueberry Juice. I was worried about the consistency. But I should have never doubted! Reese gobbled up his applesauce with no questions asked! He loves the strawberry applesauce I find at the store, so the pinkish color was nothing new for him. And I felt much better knowing the awesome nutrients that went into it!
I cannot wait to use the other purees for the recipes. Three out of three recipes we tried worked really well...and I had the lowest expectations for the cookies! My next attempt will be her brownies. They're full of spinach, blueberries, wheat germ, whole wheat flour, oats....I can't wait to see how they turn out!