There are many reasons why I love this book. First of all, she provides an introduction that gives step by step directions for cutting, steaming and pureeing the vegetables. It actually says: "cut the red bell pepper down the center, remove the seeds and the white stem", "steam for ____ minutes", "puree for ____ minutes"...BRILLIANT! She also lists the benefits of the vegetables, just in case you had forgotten how healthy broccoli could be. The recipes are geared towards kids, but kids aren't the only crowd needing to eat their vegetables!!
The one draw back to her method... it can take a super long time to steam and then puree the veggies. After steaming the veggies, I throw them in a bowl and toss them in the freezer to aid in the cooling off time. DON'T put pippin' hot veggies in the food processor. If you are up for the challenge, heed my warning: make sure you read ahead to see how long the selected veggie will take to steam. For example, the sweet potato (used in the sloppy joe recipe) takes 45 minutes to steam! Prepare them ahead of time and freeze it. This is what Jessica suggests for busy moms and dads.
So the two recipes I took on for tonight's dinner: Sloppy Joes and Spinach Brownies. The Sloppy Joes have sweet potatoes and red pepper (you can use butternut squash instead and she also suggests carrots, but those are optional). I was frankly too tired to cut the darn carrots!! The recipe calls for 1 lb. of ground sirloin, I used 1.25. Even with the quarter extra, I have very little for left overs. I also used tomato paste flavored with Italian herbs. I used 1/2 cup, instead of 1/4 like the recipe says.
It really helps to move things along if you keep all the ingredients conveniently next to the stove. This is a recipe that you must stay on top of and constantly stir and add to the mix. This was AMAZING! I added some shredded cheddar and I'm tempted to have seconds?!
And for a special treat after dinner...I took on her spinach and carrot brownies. Let me just say, when you puree the spinach, try not to let it deter you from enjoying the fruits of your labor. I won't even say what I thought pureed spinach resembled!!!
My mother reported, "They're not sweet, but you do taste the coco." I think they're very tasty, but she's right they are not sweet. One brownie bite and I'm left satisfied and I don't want to eat the entire batch. This is a step in the right direction! The book also lists the benefits of eating spinach and carrots. These are wonderful!
I cut them fairly small so it's more like a brownie bite. My father is always a veggie critic and he didn't mention a vegetable after taste with these. Yeah!!!
Please allow for a lot of time to prepare her dishes. I have dish pan hands and a sore back, but it's worth it to know that my family is eating a healthy dish!