Thursday, November 1, 2007

Deceptively Delicious Lives Up To The Hype

Never mind my kids, my husband won't touch vegetables. At all. Ever. Well, occasionally I can get him to eat a small salad, but it's usually drenched in some yummy-yet-fat-laden dressing. When we order Chinese food, he makes me request it 'without vegetables.' As if it wasn't bad enough already! So when the Parent Bloggers Network offered me a copy of Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld (yes, Jerry's wife), I enthusiastically offered to do some experimenting. The idea of getting him to eat some roughage in the form of trickery was very appealing to me

First things first, I read the book. I wanted to know what I was getting into. Mrs. Seinfeld talks about her motivation for writing the book, and introduces the cast of characters, including Joy Bauer, nutritionist extraordinaire. She also gives a good rundown on kitchen equipment and pantry staples that are helpful to have on hand. It doesn't hurt that these sections are well written and easy to read. Plus, the book itself is delightful to look at. The photos are scrumptious looking and the illustrations are colorful and adorable!

The key to the book is the purees. By adding pureed vegetables and fruits to everyday meals, you can boost nutritional value. I know there has been some debate about the effectiveness of this technique, but I think that you have to pick you battles. Both the author and the nutritionist recommend serving visable veggies along with the invisible ones, and I agree. And that's all I'm going to say about that.

Some people might be scared off by the thought that pureeing all those veggies is going to be a pain. Honestly, it's pretty simple, and once you get the hang of things it's pretty quick work. I had some practice when I made baby food, and if you've ever done that, well, it's basically the same idea. Steam or roast the food, then puree. Clean-up is pretty simple as well. One pot and a blender. Mrs. Seinfeld recommends making purees once a week, which helped me with meal planning as well.

On to the recipes!

The first few dishes I made were all things that we usually eat around here, and instead of following the recipes to the letter, I simply made them our regular way and then added veggies. My first experiment was pasta with bolognese sauce, which gets a nurtition boost from sweet potatoes. Since we usually use a little sugar to cut the acidity of our bolognese sauce, no one noticed the sweet potatoes, and the dish was a hit.

Next I tried adding some butternut squash puree to our mac n' cheese. I served this to some guests and everyone cleaned their plates. Including Sam and SOB.

As a final test, I decided to serve a few dishes from the book at a party. I decided to keep it simple and make chocolate chip cookies, salsa dip and deviled eggs.

The cookies have chickpeas in them! In the past I had read other recipes that added chickpeas to cookies, and they always recommended pureeing them whereas Mrs. Seinfeld suggests adding them whole, like the chips. I decided to go the puree route, however, and I'm kind of glad I did. I've read a few other reviews of this recipe that said the whole chickpeas didn't go over so well. Either way, the cookies came out great, especially if you like your cookies on the cake-y side.

Both the deviled eggs and salsa dip contained carrot puree. And by the end of the night all three dishes had been devoured. A true testament, indeed.

Even more surprising to me was that the next day, SOB asked for more cookies, even though he knew what was in them!


Interested in hearing more about Deceptively Delicious by Jessica Seinfeld? Click over to the Parent Bloggers Network to read all the other reviews!

1 comment:

Arizaphale said...

WOW I am impressed. Small Boy eats broccoli and broccoli....and raw carrot. In minute portions. In fact he eats everything in minute proportions,which is why he is stick thin and small for his age. The puree idea is a winner it seems. Perhaps I should purchase this book, although my cooking skills are pretty scarce...hmmmm.I'll think about it.