Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Deceptively Delicious

Several weeks ago I blogged a recipe for pancakes that our family enjoys often. I suggested adding 1/4 cup cooked and blended beets to the pancakes for added nutrition (that you really can't taste!). I wish I could claim this idea as my own, but it's not. It came from a great book by Jessica Seinfeld called Deceptively Delicious.
In this book, the famous Seinfeld's wife explains how to cook different vegetables in order to add them to all different kinds of food. She gives lots of great recipes in her book (including brownies with spinach and carrots) but the basic principle can be used with anything--from my home-made pancakes to a box mix of macaroni and cheese. Cook the vegetable, blend it up, and add a little bit of it to whatever you're cooking. I used this method to create my own baby food, and while my little one was eating blended food, the other members of my family (sometimes unbeknownst to them) ate it too!
My favorite easy added vegetable is cauliflower. It doesn't have all that much taste, and it's super easy to buy, wash, steam, and puree. According to Jessica Seinfeld it "is another member of the important cruciferous family of veggies that may help our bodies fight off certain types of cancers. [And it] may help kids resist infections (it's a good source of vitamin C)."
Of course our kids need to learn to eat veggies, but this book gives some good tips on adding MORE veggies in unexpected places. Check it out!
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  1. This is a great idea, especially for those of us whose families aren't big veggie fans. Can you really not taste the beets? Do they change the color of the pancakes?

  2. You really cannot taste the beets, but yes, they do turn the pancakes pink. When you mix the beets with the batter, it turns an alarming shade of bright pink (almost crimson!), but cooking softens the color to a nice pink.

  3. I think my family would be on to me with the whole beet thing because of the color. Pink doesn't go over well with boys!


    I am wondering about the cauliflower doesn't have a cabbagey taste when you add it?

  4. The cauliflower doesn't really have much of a taste either (in small quantities--say 1/4 cup puree to one box of mac and cheese) but it does change the texture a little. I told my daughter about it because I knew she would notice. She is okay with me doctoring her macaroni every once in a while, but not every time! What really doesn't change flavor is red sauce--you can add lots of things to spaghetti dishes without ANYONE (including the husband) being any wiser.

  5. Be sure to check out "The Sneaky Chef." It was out before the other, but the ideas are very similar. I like this one a little better because for the most part when you puree the veggies you do more than one. This is more nutrients per sneaky meal!