This book is as cute (or cutesy, however you see it) as Seinfeld’s first book, Deceptively Delicious. I think I actually prefer this one, however. Aside from being full of “cute” picture and comments and advice, it is full of recipes that sound tasty and seem surprisingly easy to adjust to a low fat vegan and gluten free diet. I’ve tried several recipes from her first cookbook, and never been disappointed, so I copied out a few more to try later. Then I picked up this cookbook, and found a much higher percentage of recipes I could or would try. I’ve copied down quite a few, and am looking forward to trying them: recipes like Butternut Tomato Soup, Cinnamon-Maple Quinoa, Carrot Orange Pops, Watermelon Punch, Summer Corn Fritters, Cherries Jubilee Brownies, Maple Peanut Butter Fondue, and Creamy Whole Grain Risotto, among others.
I know some people have a problem with the concept of “hiding” vegetables and fruit in foods to make kids eat them. I agree in theory that children should be taught (by example) from an early age to love all fruits and veggies and whole grains. However, for many reasons, there are parents that haven’t done so yet. Also, there are especially sensitive children who have issues with specific textures, tastes, and colors (like how my brothers still can’t stand raw tomatoes or apples–only cooked.), and for them this approach might be one way to incorporate foods the children otherwise just won’t eat.
Frankly, however, I think instead of marketing this to moms, it ought to be marketed to wives/ girlfriends/ fiances. Seriously. Many men that I know are much pickier about what they eat than any children I know. Okay, maybe some women too–but in all the couples I know, it’s the men who insist that something bled and died for every single meal they eat, slathered in more animal products for flavor and fat. I’ve had countless friends say to me, “I’d make more vegetables (meatless meals, healthier foods, etc), but my husband just won’t eat them, and I don’t want to cook two separate meals every time.” I had a coworker who incorporated pureed pumpkin and shredded carrot into her chili just to get her husband to eat vegetables other than pizza sauce, and this concept is very similar.
The other bonus to this practice of incorporating fruit and veggie purees is that it leaves foods feeling rich, sweet, creamy, and moist, without as much added fat, starch, sugar, etc. It’s the same way that you can replace butter in most baking recipes with applesauce or mashed banana, and end up with an equally moist cookie or cake, with a fraction of the fat (and often better taste than the original). If you’re trying to eliminate fat entirely, many of these recipes could simply have the oil/ margarine omitted entirely and replaced with extra puree. At least that’s my hope, and why I copied down so many recipes. Once I’ve tried making several of the ones I copied, I’ll try to come back and post some updates.
For now, I do recommend this cookbook, if you’re looking for a healthier way to eat. There are ideas for everyone in here, including many meat recipes that I won’t be making, but which sound tasty. A large portion of this book is devoted to desserts too, and they sound great. All in all, worth checking out, at least from a local library, and giving it a try. Happy Eating!