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Seen on Saturday morning: May 17th

May 16, 2008 9:00:00 PM PDT
THE SNEAKY CHEF, PROTECTING YOUR PETS and SPRING CAR CARE-----THE SNEAKY CHEF, MISSY CHASE LAPINE-----

Hiding healthy foods in hearty meals any guy with love, tat's what's behind the new book "The Sneaky Chef, How to Cheat on Your Man - in the Kitchen."

Joining us this morning once again is the author, the sneaky chef, missy Chase Lapine.

One-and-Only Guacamole

Guacamole is one of the few green health foods that most guys will gladly dip into. In this recipe, the addition of broccoli, spinach, and peas in the Green Puree increases volume while simultaneously turning this snack into a superfood. Feel free to add one or all of the optional extra boosts, which are not only traditional for guacamole, but also add another important layer of nutrients.

Makes about 6 appetizer servings

  • 2 ripe avocados
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 cup Green Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #3)
  • Optional extra boost: 1/2 cup chopped red onion, chopped tomatoes, handful of chopped cilantro (or fresh basil), and/or chopped jalapeños, to taste

    Halve the avocados lengthwise, remove the pit, and scoop out the flesh. In a small bowl, combine the avocado with the lime juice, salt, Green Puree, and the optional extras, if using. Blend lightly with a fork.

    Sneaky Chef Make-Ahead Recipe #3: Green Puree

  • 2 cups raw baby spinach leaves
  • 2 cups broccoli florets, fresh or frozen
  • 1 cup sweet green peas, frozen
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons water

    Makes about 2 cups of puree

    If using raw spinach, thoroughly wash it, even if the package says "prewashed."

    To prepare on the stovetop, pour about 2 inches of water into a pot with a tight-fitting lid. Put a vegetable steamer basket into the pot, add the spinach and broccoli, and steam for about 10 minutes, until very tender. Add the frozen peas to the basket for the last 2 minutes of steaming. Drain.

    To prepare in the microwave, place the broccoli and spinach in a microwave-safe bowl, cover with water, and microwave on high for 8 to 10 minutes, until very tender. Add peas for last 2 minutes of cooking. Drain. Place the vegetables in the bowl of your food processor along with 2 tablespoons of water. Puree on high until as smooth as possible. Stop occasionally to push the contents to the bottom. If necessary, use another tablespoon of water to smooth out the puree.

    This recipe makes about 2 cups of puree; double it if you want to store another 2 cups. It will keep in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, or you can freeze 1/4-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.

    Hail Caesar Salad

    Sardines are incredibly heart-healthy, but my husband Rick claims to detest the little fishes so much that he'll leave the house if I as much set a can on the counter! Yet every time I manage to sneak sardines into a dish, as in Tricky Tuna Sandwiches, page 172, or Manhattan Clam Chowder, page 198, Rick proclaims it's the best he's ever tasted. In this recipe, I seized the opportunity to hide sardines behind the decoy anchovy flavor customarily found in Caesar dressing, and he's never suspected a thing! Better still, I use green tea to help cut the fat to less than a third of traditional Caesar recipes, and I leave out the raw egg.

    Makes 4 servings
    For the dressing:

  • 1 green tea bag
  • 4 anchovy filets
  • 1 (3- to 4-ounce) can skinless and boneless sardines, packed in water, drained
  • 1/2 cup freshly squeezed lemon juice (from about 3 lemons)
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

    For the Parmesan croutons:

  • 3 slices whole grain bread, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste

    For the salad:

  • 2 large heads romaine lettuce, washed and chopped
  • Grated Parmesan or Romano cheese, for garnish

    To make the dressing:

    Steep the tea bags in 1/2 cup boiling water for 2 minutes (no longer or it will taste bitter). Allow the tea to cool, then place 1/4 cup of the tea in the bowl of your food processor, along with the anchovies, sardines, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, mustard, and garlic. Puree on high until smooth. With the processor running, slowly stream the oil through the processor's feed tube. Add the cheese and puree for another few seconds. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Use immediately, or store dressing in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.

    To make the croutons:

    Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Spray a baking sheet with oil.

    Spread the bread cubes on the prepared baking sheet. Spray the tops of the bread with oil, and sprinkle evenly with the Parmesan or Romano cheese. Season with salt and freshly ground pepper and bake for 15 to 17 minutes, until toasted and golden brown. Cool before tossing into salad.

    These croutons can be made 1 day ahead and stored in an airtight container.

    To make the salad:

    In a large serving bowl, toss the romaine and the croutons with enough dressing to coat all pieces. Garnish with a bit more grated cheese on top.

    Bowling-Night Bolognese

    Lure any man home early for dinner with this traditional meat sauce for pasta or lasagna, doctored up with seven sneaky veggies, whole grains, and calcium. And forget simmering for three hours-this sauce tastes just great after just thirty minutes. To make it ultra lean, use ground turkey breast.

    Makes 6 servings

  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium-size onion, finely chopped (about 11/2 cup)
  • 1 ounce turkey bacon, finely chopped
  • 1 pound lean ground beef or turkey (or mix both), crumbled
  • 3 to 4 garlic cloves, finely minced
  • 3/4 cup Green Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #3)
  • 1 (6-ounce) can tomato paste
  • 1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with juice
  • 1 cup evaporated skim milk
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • Optional extra boost: 1 carrot or celery rib, finely chopped

    Heat the oil over medium heat in a deep skillet or earthenware pot. Add the onions and cook until they are slightly translucent, about 10 minutes; add the carrot and celery (if using) and sauté for another 5 minutes. Add the turkey bacon and beef (or turkey), stirring to break it up, and cook for about 5 minutes, until the meat is no longer red. Stir in the garlic, Green or Orange Puree, tomato paste, diced tomatoes, evaporated milk, oat bran, salt, and a few grinds of pepper. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to low and simmer for 30 to 45 minutes.

    To serve, add cooked pasta of any shape to the pot of sauce and toss to coat every piece well. Top with grated Parmesan or Romano cheese.

    Brawny Brownies

    When The Sneaky Chef first came out, one of the most talked-about recipes was the brownie recipe. Everyone was amazed that no one-neither kids nor adults-could detect the hidden spinach, blueberries, oats, wheat germ, or the missing fat and sugar.

    Here, I've slightly modified my signature recipe by adding a bit more sophisticated flavoring for the adult palate (although that didn't stop my kids from devouring them again!). You can also savor the fact that dark chocolate is the new health food, loaded with antioxidants and credited with the ability to lower blood pressure. Add that to the spinach, blueberries, and whole grains, and you'll see why I call these Brawny Brownies!

    Makes about 16 brownies

  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 5 ounces good-quality dark chocolate (not unsweetened), coarsely chopped (or use 3/4 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup Purple Puree (see Make-Ahead Recipe #1)
  • 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons Flour Blend (equal parts white flour, whole wheat flour, and wheat germ)
  • 1/4 cup oat bran
  • One-half teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
  • 1 tablespoon unsweetened cocoa powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • Butter or non-stick cooking spray
  • Optional extra boost: 1 cup chopped walnuts

    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 dark chocolate 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. Combine this purple egg mixture with the cooled chocolate mixture.

    In a mixing bowl, stir together Flour Blend, oat bran, cinnamon, coffee powder, cocoa powder, 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.

    Sneaky Chef Make-Ahead Recipe #1: Purple Puree

  • 3 cups raw baby spinach leaves
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries, no syrup or sugar added
  • 1/2 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 to 2 tablespoons water

    Makes about 1 cup of puree

    Thoroughly wash the spinach, even if the package says "prewashed." 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 spinach, blueberries, lemon juice, and 1 tablespoon of water; puree on high until as smooth as possible. Stop occasionally to push the contents to the bottom. If necessary, use another tablespoon of water to smooth-out the puree.

    This recipe makes about 1 cup of puree; double it if you want to store another cup. It will keep in the refrigerator up to 3 days, or you can freeze 1/4-cup portions in sealed plastic bags or small plastic containers.

    For more, visist TheSneakyChef.com.

    -----PROTECTING YOUR PETS-----

    Protect You Precious Pooch or Fabulous Feline from 'The Silent Killer' This Spring
    -What Every Pet Owner Must Know to Save their Pet's Dental Health - And Extend their Lives-

    Did you know that proactive dental care could extend the life of your dog or cat by up to five years?

    According to the American Veterinary Dental Association, 80% of dogs and cats suffer some form of dental disease before they reach two years of age. If it gets particularly bad, our furry friends suffer 'silently' and let us know by some of the following signs:

    * Tired and listless
    * Swollen, Bleeding Gums
    * Loss of appetite
    * Tartar in the gum line
    * Broken Teeth
    * Foul Breath If your pet has any of these symptoms, chances are it is suffering from dental disease and should be checked immediately by your local vet. The local vet we will provide will to discuss what you can do at home to prevent dental disease from taking its devastating effects on your precious pooch or fabulous feline. He/she will do an examination and also recommend various products that you can use in the home for better dental health of your pet.

    Regular brushing of dogs teeth to prevent plaque and tartar build-up which can often lead to dental/gum disease (on display, Vet can demo how to properly clean dogs/cats teeth.

    Also, try a dental care water.

    1. healthyMOUTH? (available online and through Vets)

    healthyMOUTH? dental care water is the first of its kind on the market. Its patented formula is clinically proven to significantly reduce plaque that leads to gingivitis, gum disease and bacterial infection by a remarkable 80% without chemicals.

    For more information, visit www.healthymouth.com

    2. OraVet (available online and through Vets)

    Reduces plaque and tartar formation by creating an invisible barrier that prevents bacteria from attaching to your pet's teeth. Drug-free product that adheres to teeth even through brushing. Begins in the clinic with your veterinarian and continues at home with you.

    For more information, visit www.oravet.us.merial.com.

    3. Four Paws Petdental Natural Dental Care Kit (available at Petco and most Pet supply stores)

    Recommended by veterinarians for daily dental care, to clean teeth, especially at the gumline. This kit includes one tube of Four Paws Petdental Natural Toothpaste, toothbrush and finger toothbrush.

    For more information, go to www.petco.com

    Dr. Alison J. Abramson, a native New Yorker who grew up in Westchester, attended Duke University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in biological anthropology and anatomy, with a certificate in primatology. While pursuing further studies at Columbia University, she worked as a veterinary assistant at Park East Animal Hospital. Dr. Abramson received her degree in veterinary medicine from the University of Pennsylvania, where she was also instrumental in organizing a business certificate program for veterinary students through the Wharton School of Business. After completing an internship at the Animal Medical Center in New York City, where she concentrated on surgery, ophthalmology, oncology and exotics, she rejoined Park East as an associate veterinarian. Dr. Abramson is fluent in German, and enjoys skiing and tennis. She lives in the Gramercy Park area, where she enjoys walking her family Afghan Hound, Redfjord.

    ParkEastAnimalHospital.com

    -----SPRING CAR CARE-----

    Check your tire pressure and keep your tires properly inflated?Tires play a vital role in how your vehicle performs as they are the only part that actually touches the road. If your tires are not properly inflated, you could be spending more on gas than you should and be prematurely wearing down your tires.

    Change your wiper blades every 6 months for the best performance? Check your wipers. They are one of the most neglected components on vehicles. And 90 percent of all driving decisions are based on a clear, unobstructed view of the road, which means good visibility is absolutely essential. You should be replacing your wiper blades every 6 months for optimum performance. The innovative curved design provides constant, even pressure for a more consistent wipe across the entire blade and windshield.

    Add coolant to your engine to prevent from overheating? Overheating is one of the most common causes of breakdowns that you'll encounter this summer. Adding a coolant can significantly extend the life of your engine and lower the temperature of your engine by 30 degrees. This will also increase your torque and horsepower.

    Get a diagnostic tool to help you determine why your check engine light is on?The new PocketScan Plus from Actron lets you be your own mechanic. In addition to reading and displaying problem codes so you can have a better understanding of why the check engine light may be on, you can also determine whether you should stop or can continue to drive.

    Get yourself a navigational device to keep you on the right track. If you're planning on taking a road trip, chances are you don't really know exactly where you are going. So pick up a new navigation system and save some time getting from point A to point B. The prices are really coming down on these devices, and it is worth it when you think about how much time you can save.

    Lauren Fix, "The Car Coach," is a nationally recognized TV Automotive Expert, an award winning author and an authority on consumer issues. She is the host and automotive expert for Talk 2 DIY Automotive; a TV show providing in-depth demonstrations and tips for auto repair. She has a regular guest expert on Oprah, TODAY, The View, CNN, and FOX News and can be seen from coast-to-coast. She is a former racecar driver, too. Look for Lauren's third book: "Lauren Fix's Guide to Loving Your Car!" available May 2008 from St. Martin's Press.

    LaurenFix.com

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