not so fast, sneaky chef


I bought a copy of The Sneaky Chef yesterday at a bookstore. Since its author, Missy Chase Lapine, got kind of screwed when Jessica Seinfeld basically published the exact same book and got to go on Oprah, I figured I was supporting the underdog.

The book gives you all sorts of clever ways to sneak fruit and vegetable purees, baby food, mushed avocado, etc, into all kinds of foods kids love, like cookies and pasta and meatballs. Now, if you’re shaking your head and saying “kids should eat vegetables as they are, it shouldn’t be about hiding them,” then I send Earthling greetings to you and you should go back to Planet Vegan now. My kids *do* eat vegetables, but could always eat more, and having two picky eaters out of three, I can tell you: that whole canard about serving a food 10 to 15 times before your child will eat it is bullshit, unless it’s really 10 to 15 thousand times and that was just a typo.

So I was most anxious to try Ms. Lapine’s recipes, and being up before 2 out of 3 children this morning, I was delighted to find one called “Extra Sneaky Chocolate Breakfast Ice Cream,” for which I had all the ingredients already in hand:

1 frozen banana, cut in pieces (about 1 cup)
1/2 ripe avocado
2 tablespoons plain yogurt
1 tablespoon honey or sugar
1/2 teaspoon unsweetened cocoa powder

Put all ingredients in food processor and puree on high. Makes about 1 1/2 cups of ice cream.

I only had Ovaltine, so I used that instead of the cocoa and the honey. Girl, I am telling you, this stuff is GOOD. Maddie wolfed hers down in her highchair, and wanted more, but I saved the rest for the boys and had to content myself with licking the food processor blade.

I couldn’t wait for the boys to wake up so they could see this wonderful treat their selfless mother had prepared for them.

“Surprise!” I said. “It’s special chocolate breakfast ice cream!”

Cooper, my pickiest eater, took a bite. “Blech,” he said. “What is in this?”

“Oh, come ON,” I said, not mentioning the avocado, “it’s delicious.”

Fergus, my child who will eat anything, said, “I don’t wike it,” and tearfully challenged my admonition that he couldn’t SAY he didn’t like it if he didn’t TRY it by saying, “I know I don’t wike it because I don’t wike the wooking of it.”

“Can I please have Raisin Bran for breakfast instead of ice cream?” Cooper asked, gently, seeing that I was about to lose it.

So the boys had Raisin Bran, as usual, and I ate both of their bowls of chocolate breakfast ice cream, and I think next time I’ll try it as an after-school treat. Or maybe I’ll just stop trying so hard.