Deceptively Delicious!

By: Shannon Shull

Greetings Everyone! Well, I sincerely hope you enjoyed my last blog about becoming a modern day hunter-gatherer and I REALLY hope you took the time to watch the eye opening video that was included with it. I tell ya, having seen that video really hit home for me and in turn, it has affected my little family in a very positive way.

I want to first point out though that it certainly is not easy always eating super healthy and I’ve in no way been perfect about it. I’ve had a few sneaks of fast food french fries and a couple of Chic-fil-A visits among other treats, but I believe it’s ok to indulge once in a while. They key is to keep the fast food and processed food from being a daily habit!

Collards from our Garden - Great New Year Food That Looks Like a Stack of Money!

Thankfully my husband’s mid-life crisis has not taken him on any crazy buying sprees or anything scary – not yet at least! – instead, he has become obsessed with his garden. He takes great solace in spending time in his garden. It’s a huge stress relief for him. The man literally was giddy the other day as he was buying seeds and planning his new crop for Spring. I cannot even begin to tell you what a wonderful thing this is because yours truly here DOES NOT have a green thumb at all!  Breaking my back, working in a garden is NOT my idea of stress relief. To each his own right? But I tell ya this, I do love to cook, so this whole garden thing works out really well for our family. We have been enjoying collards and broccoli that are out of this world yummy! And I just cannot wait for the abundance of goodies we’ll get out of our garden this Spring. And what we can’t get from our own garden, we get from our local friend’s amazing farm, Big Moon Farm. We also get all our meat from them too!

Now all that being said, after seeing the video that was in my last blog, we’ve recently committed to cooking and eating healthier on a daily basis …and that’s all great and dandy, but when you have KIDS – especially one that is an incredibly picky eater, then you have to get witty, even downright deceptive! That’s where the fabulous cookbook Deceptively Delicious has come into play. My wonderful mother-in-law gave me this cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld back in 2007.  Jessica is comic genius Jerry Seinfeld’s lovely wife and as she waged her own personal war against sugars, packaged foods, and other nutritional saboteurs, she decided to offer appetizing alternatives for parents who find themselves succumbing to the fastest and easiest (and least healthy) choices available to them.

Meatball Soup

Her modus operandi? Her book is filled with traditional recipes that kids love, except they’re stealthily packed with veggies hidden in them so kids don’t even know! It’s pure genius. When I first got a hold of this book, my kids were both toddlers and attempting to get them to eat vegetables was such a battle! I became obsessed with pureeing. I dove right into that cookbook and literally tried out almost every single recipe. I was a pureeing queen! Over the years, I go through phases where I get back into the book and go wild with my deceptively delicious puree cooking.  It’s become a brilliant trick to use on my son, Sawyer, who could literally live off of mac and cheese. I just about have to hold the kid down to get him to eat a veggie.  Of course I’ve learned to improvise too – that art of pureeing can be incorporated into any and all meals pretty much.

My late Night Snack ; )

Since learning about the great benefits of certain foods, I try to incorporate them in some way on a daily basis. I can tell you, coming from one incredibly busy mother/teacher/business owner, yes, I recognize that healthy eating can seem a bit daunting. But the truth is, if you commit to it, it really can be a simple life style change. I took one hour over the weekend to steam carrots and bake a butternut squash, puree them both and tuck their pureed goodness into the fridge. Then during the week, on my busiest days, in which it’s a wonder my eyes don’t cross because I’m in such a multi-tasking frenzy, I throw together some whole wheat mac and cheese, mix in some of my veggie purees, maybe even throw in some chopped up spinach or bits of broccoli and viola! In less time and much less money than it would take to drive thru a fast food restaurant, I feed my children something healthy and they don’t even question it. It pays to prepare deceptively delicious foods! Not to mention, it can be addictive and in time, foods just won’t taste the same unless they’re actually filled with proper fuel goodness!

I’ve shared a bunch of pictures here to show you some fabulous examples of the healthy eating we’ve been enjoying lately.  The best part is, we all feel better! We’ve all stayed well, we’re all sleeping better and just overall feel better …I think it’s safe to say, that when you fuel your body correctly, your body will indeed thank you, in more ways than one. 😉

One of my salad creations packed with green goodness

One of my mid morning little meals

Very simple salad

Chili

5 thoughts on “Deceptively Delicious!

  1. Wow!! Your salad looks delish Shannon!! It is very important to utilize all the great goodies God has given us in our gardens.
    That cookbook looks interesting and I will definitely check it out. You can stop by my place to offer cooking tips anytime dear.
    Thanks for all the great info!

  2. I need some of those collards out of the garden. And I do appreciate you giving me that same cookbook as a gift Shannon! Thanks much! Sandra

  3. You are a superwoman! The stack o’money collards we had for New Years this year were the best! Don’t forget to tell everybody about the composter you have. I want that book!

  4. Another great blog!! Thanks Shannon, those salads got me lickin’ my chops, and the collards look delish as well..I’m so excited that Lancer is excited about his garden, but i’m like you, i can’t see me out there breaking my back and call it fun..I love the harvest that it reaps but gardening just isnt for me:-)

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