Thursday, August 16, 2012

Deceptively Delicious-My Take

The above photo is some of the purees I made on Monday in preparation of opening my own daycare and wanting to serve some healthy food.  A couple years back, I bought the cook book Deceptively Delicious, the bestseller by Jerry Seinfeld's wife Jessica that teaches moms (and dads) how to hide veggies in your kids fave foods.  I had made a couple things when I first got it and looked at all the beautiful pictures a million times it but then the book was kind of stuffed away.
I made the cauliflower, carrot and sweet potato purees as the recipes for the looked the best to me.
 Here is a photo of some of my baked sweet potato.  It is the easiest puree to make, I learned having to feed my kids when they were babies, as you just have to throw the potato in the oven for an hour or so and then mash up with a fork and serve.  For the puree I also put it in the blender to be smoother (and less noticeable mixed into recipes?).  I did find that the blender kind of sucked for this job and a food processor (like what I had when they were babies) would have been easier and done a better job.  But you gotta use what you've got!
 Here is the blender in action.  As you can see you can only put a bit of cooked veggie in at a time as the blades won't reach it otherwise.  And I found that I had to add water that was not called for in the puree instructions, as the food wouldn't move around at all in the blender otherwise.
So then you are supposed to measure it out in 1/2 cup scoops and put in tupperware or ziplocks.  I put mine in ziplocks and most of the purees went right into the freezer for later dates.  It's easy enough to pull out a bag and "defrost" it in a bowl of hot water.
Here is Ava and the soup I made.  It's chicken alphabet soup with cauliflower and sweet potato puree.  It looks a little blander then picture in book as I used whole wheat farfale and in the book they used cute coloured alphabet noodles that I couldn't find in real life.  Jack liked it.  Ava wasn't super keen on the chicken in there but one of Jessica's suggestions is blending the cooked chicken up too and hiding it in there as well. (Recipe below)

Jackie and the soup.
For lunch the next day I made the kids "mini pizzas" using english muffins that I had in the freezer and a can of tomato sauce and a slice of mozzarella.  The "trick" is that there is supposed to be hidden spinach puree in the sauce but I hid 1/2 cup of carrot puree and the kids liked it fine.  I hoted them up in the oven and they turned out pretty darn tasty for the kiddies.
 Ava was very happy to help me cook the meal and it gave her a sense of accomplishment. Who doesn't like that feeling?
I made the mac and cheese 1 receipe (there are two) in the book.  The 1 calls for cauliflower puree and it turned out so thick and creamy and good.  And I was proud that I made mac and cheese from scratch, instead of using some powdered crap from a box.  I will be making this again and again as Jack and Dallas loved it.
Two days later, at a loss as to what to serve kids at lunch, I made a box of Kraft Dinner (with vegetables) mac and cheese and added some warm cauliflower puree to the margarine and milk and it was soooo good.  Ava didn't like it but Jack and I went to town.  I love that the cauliflower adds a thickness to the sauce that is not normally there.  Plus, you can pat yourself on the back for serving kids veggies (and yourself too!)

Deceptively Delicious Alphabet Chicken Soup


3 quarts Chicken broth-low sodium
1 Chicken breast (bone in)
1/2 tsp Salt
1/2 cup Alphabet pasta
1/4 cup Cauliflower puree
1/4 cup Sweet potato puree


1. Bring the broth to a boil in a pot. Sprinkle chicken (skinned and rinsed) with the salt, then put it in the broth. Immediately turn off the heat, cover the pot and allow to rest off the heat until the chicken is cooked through, 25 to 30 minutes.
2. Remove the chicken with a slotted spoon and let it cool on a plate for 3 to 4 minutes, until it's cool enough to handle easily. Pull the meat off the bone, cut into bite sized pieces (or puree for kids who don't like chicken), set aside.
3. Bring the broth back to a simmer and add the pasta. Stir in the cauliflower and sweet potato purees and simmer for 5 to 6 minutes, or until the pasta is cooked. Stir in the chicken and serve hot.

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