The Sneaky Chef: How to Cheat on Your Man (in the Kitchen)
By Missy Chase Lapine Running Press (2008) Reviewed by: Bethany Thayer, MS, RD
"For parents of finicky eaters, The Sneaky Chef was the answer to their prayers, giving them solutions for hiding healthy food in the meals kids crave. But a woman knows there's often another picky eater in the family -- her man -- who dismisses healthy choices as unsatisfying 'rabbit food.' So The Sneaky Chef has now catered to the guys, creating delicious recipes that will appeal to the manly appetite -- while 'sneaking in' ingredients that specifically target men's health issues. These recipes pack a punch! They're low in fat, but loaded with vitamins, antioxidants, fiber and other things that will keep your man both happy and healthy."
Synopsis of the Diet Plan:
This book begins with several chapters discussing the male psyche, why men choose the foods they do and the author's personal experiences. But the majority of the book is a cookbook with recipes that includes one or more of several "make ahead" purees and juices made with vegetables and fruits such as cauliflower/zucchini to make a "white" puree, sweet potatoes/carrots to make an "orange" puree, peas/broccoli/spinach to make a "green" puree, blueberries/spinach to make a "purple" puree and white beans to make a "white bean" puree.
These purees plus others and juices are utilized in recipes considered "guy foods," such as Refried Bean Macho Nachos and Real Man Meatballs, in an effort to sneak healthy foods into men's traditional mainstays. The recipes are relatively low in saturated fat with other healthful substitutions and many sneaky tips throughout the book on how to strategically use spices and presentation to fool your man in to eating these healthy options. However, there isn't any specific nutrition information on any of the recipes other than icons identifying them as "low sugar," "healthy fats" or "whole grains."
Nutritional Pros and Cons:
The author has definitely found a way to make many traditional recipes healthier by using fruits, vegetables, nuts and beans. Now if we could just figure out a way to open up people's minds to how good these foods taste, we wouldn't have to worry about finding ways to hide them.
The recipes are creative, healthy and tasty. Making and storing the purees take a little extra time but once you've made the purees the recipes don't take any longer to make than other recipes. These recipes are worth trying whether you have a picky eater or not. Just don't give up on trying to get your family to appreciate the good taste of fruits and vegetables in their "non pureed" state, too.