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Video: Chef sneaks in the veggies

updated 4/2/2007 4:09:24 PM ET 2007-04-02T20:09:24

Recipe: Orange Puree

  • 1 medium sweet potato or yam, peeled and rough chopped
  • 3 medium to large carrots, peeled and sliced into thick chunks
  • 2-3 tablespoons water

In a medium pot, cover carrots and potatoes with cold water and boil for about 20 minutes until yams, and especially carrots, are very tender. If the carrots aren’t thoroughly cooked, they’ll leave telltale little nuggets of vegetables, which will reveal their presence (a gigantic no-no for the sneaky chef).

Drain the potatoes and carrots and put them in the food processor with two tablespoons of water. Keep on high until the orange puree is smooth; no pieces of carrots or potatoes should remain. Stop occasionally to push the contents from the top to the bottom.

If necessary, use the third tablespoon of water to make a smoother puree, but the less water the better.This makes about 2 cups of orange puree.

Double the recipe if you want to store another cup of puree. Store in refrigerator up to three days, or freeze 1/4 cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.

Serving Size

Serves 8 to 10

Recipe: White Puree

  • 2 cups cauliflower, cut into florets
  • 2 small to medium zucchini, peeled and rough chopped
  • 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice
  • 1-2 tablespoons water, if necessary

Steam cauliflower in a vegetable steamer over 2 inches of water, using a tightly-covered pot, for about 10 to 12 minutes until very tender. Alternatively, place cauliflower in a microwave-safe bowl , cover with water, and microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes until very tender.

While waiting for the cauliflower to finish steaming, start to pulse the raw peeled zucchini with the lemon juice only (no water at this point). Drain the cooked cauliflower. Working in batches if necessary, add it to the pulsed zucchini in the bowl of the food processor with one tablespoon of water. Puree on high until smooth. Stop occasionally and push contents from the top to the bottom. If necessary, use the second tablespoon of water to make a smooth (but not wet) puree.

Makes about 2 cups of puree. Double recipe if you want to store even more, which can be done in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or freeze 1/4cup portions in sealed plastic bags or the small plastic containers.

Serving Size

Serves 8 to 10

Recipe: Brainy Brownies

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3/4 cup semisweet chocolate chips
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Purple Puree (see recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Flour Blend (see recipe below)
  • 1/4 cup rolled oats, ground in a food processor
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Butter or non-stick cooking spray

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.

Butter or spray only the bottom, not the sides, of a 13-by- 9-inch or 9-inch square baking pan.

Melt the butter and chocolate chips together in a double boiler or metal bowl over simmering water (or in a microwave, checking every 15 seconds). Remove from heat and allow mixture to cool a bit.

Meanwhile, in another bowl, stir together the eggs, vanilla, sugar, and Purple Puree.

In a mixing bowl, stir together Flour Blend, cocoa powder, oats, and salt. Add this to the chocolate mixture and blend thoroughly. Mix in the chopped walnuts, if using, then pour the entire mixture into the baking pan.

Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, until a toothpick comes out clean. Allow to cool completely in pan before cutting the brownies and use a plastic or butter knife. Dust with powdered sugar, if desired.

Keeps for a week in the refrigerator, covered tightly.

Serving Size

30 kid-sized

Recipe: Flour Blend

  • 1 cup all-purpose, unbleached white flour
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1 cup wheat germ, unsweetened

Combine the flours and wheat germ in a bowl. This blend can be stored in a sealed, labeled plastic bag for months.

Sneaky Tip: If you can find whole grain “pastry flour” in your market, use this in place of both the white and whole wheat flours. Then add the wheat germ to the pastry flour.

Serving Size

30 kid-sized

Recipe: Sneaky Baked Ziti

  • 1 pound ziti or rigatoni noodles (whole wheat preferred)
  • 1 cup firm tofu, mashed well or pureed in a food processor (1/2 of a 14 ounce block)
  • 2 1/2 cups store-bought tomato sauce
  • 1/2 cup Orange Puree (See recipe below)
  • 1/2 cup White Puree (See recipe below)
  • 1/3 cup grated parmesan cheese
  • 3 cups shredded part skim mozzarella cheese

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and spray a 13-by-9 glass baking dish with oil.

Cook pasta according to package directions or until slightly firm. Drain and place in the prepared baking dish. Before continuing with the baked ziti begin making the Orange and White Puree.

Mix tofu, tomato sauce, White and Orange Purees in a bowl. Toss pasta with the sauce mixture and 1 cup of the mozzarella cheese. Top the pasta with a combination of the parmesan and the remaining 2 cups of mozzarella cheese, sprinkling evenly over the top.

Cover ziti with foil. Bake 30 minutes. Uncover. Bake another 10 to 15 minutes or until the top is lightly browned.

Serving Size

Serves 8 to 10

Recipe: Purple Puree

  • 3 cups raw baby spinach leaves (or 2 cups frozen chopped spinach, or frozen chopped collard greens)
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries (no syrup or sugar added)
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 3-4 tablespoons water

If using raw spinach, thoroughly wash it, even if the package says “prewashed.” Bring spinach or collards and water to boil in a medium pot. Turn heat to low and allow to simmer for 10 minutes.

If using frozen blueberries, quickly rinse them under cold water to thaw a little, and then drain.

Fill the bowl of your food processor with the blueberries and cooked spinach, (or collards) along with the lemon juice and 2 tablespoons of water, and puree on high until as smooth as possible. Stop occasionally to push top contents to bottom. If necessary, add the rest of the water to make a fairly smooth puree.

This amount of spinach and blueberries makes only about 1 cup of puree. Double the recipe if you want to store another cup of the puree. It will store in the refrigerator up to 2 days, or you can freeze 1/4 cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.

Combine this purple egg mixture with the cooled chocolate mixture.

Serving Size

30 kid-sized


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