Jessica Seinfeld talks about her new cookbook.

At dinner tables across America, fed up parents and finicky children face off over a silent enemy...vegetables.

These nightly battles have been fought since spinach, peas and other good-for-you foods first found their way onto plates. Many parents try every trick in the book—from bribery and bargaining to begging—but nothing seems to work.

Thanks to a new cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld, wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld and mother of three young children, parents can stop fighting and start savoring dinnertime!

Jessica's cookbook, Deceptively Delicious(SM), was inspired by her own family's veggie wars. Before discovering the secret to delicious, nutritious meals, she says she dreaded dinnertime. "The last thing you want to do is come home and make dinner and have people spit it out or say, "Ew! This is disgusting,'" she says.

Rather than giving up on healthy eating all together, Jessica figured out a way to get her kids to eat everything from beets to broccoli...without any whining!
Jessica Seinfeld shares her cooking secret.

Don't surrender the veggie war just yet! Jessica's cooking secret is simple...and a little sneaky.

"The trick to all of this is hiding vegetable purees in your children's foods," she says. "You can match the color of the puree to the color of the food that your kid is used to eating."

Jessica came up with this strategy while cooking for her family. She gives macaroni and cheese—one of her kids' favorite foods—a healthy spin by stirring in some butternut squash or cauliflower puree. The best part? Children can't taste a difference! "This was a big hit with my family," she says. "But it wasn't until I started inviting friends and family over that I realized that I had really hit on something big."

Go inside the Seinfeld home!

After many hours in the kitchen, Jessica came up with a variety of low-fat recipes for her cookbook. Each recipe was then tested by Joy Bauer, a nutritionist who gave Jessica her stamp of approval.

Now, every family in America can put Jessica's recipes to the test. Even Oprah, who doesn't have to hide veggies from anyone, says she's been experimenting with the purees. "It's so fun!" she says.
Jessica Seinfeld's kitchen basics

To transform your kitchen into the perfect place to puree, Jessica says you'll need to get organized and stock up on a few kitchen basics.

First, you'll need a mini food processor, kitchen timer and a rice steamer. "If you don't have a rice steamer, you can use a pot with a steamer basket, which works just as well," she says.

Jessica also uses a half-cup measuring cup to measure out her purees, plastic bags for storage and a pen to label the bags. A cutting board and sharp knife are the only other items you'll need to start sneaking nutrition into your kids' favorite foods!
Jessica purees carrots for her children.

Making purees from scratch may seem like a lot of work, but Jessica says busy moms and dads can find a way to fit it into their schedules.

Jessica says she sets aside one hour every Sunday to make her purees for the week. "My children go to bed, [and] Jerry and I sit in our kitchen and I make purees," she says. "We talk about everything that we sort of never make time for otherwise."

The pureeing process is simple, she says. First, you peel and chop your vegetable. Then, you toss it into the steamer. Once it's steamed and softened, you throw it in the food processor to puree.

Get directions for pureeing beets, carrots, squash and more!

Jessica stocks her refrigerator with the purees. Then, when she's ready to cook, she snips off a corner of the plastic bag and adds some into everything she makes. "I am not a professional chef, and I certainly am not a nutritionist, but I am a busy mother who is looking for simple, fast solutions to feed her family well," she says.

Jessica's passion for pureeing inspires Oprah to reveal a secret about herself. "This is a secret that most people don't know about me...I love pureeing and packaging," she says. "I used to just have like one or two purees, but this has changed my puree paradigm."
Jerry Seinfeld loves his wife's brownies.

To prove that good purees can go into almost any recipe, Jessica asks Oprah to try her chocolate brownies, which have spinach and carrot puree hidden inside.

"Those are really, really good," Oprah says.

Get Jessica's brownie recipe!

Even Jerry, Jessica's Hollywood husband, loves these sweet treats. "I think [this brownie] would be great for death row," he jokes. "You get one bite of this, and then they throw the switch and you go, 'Fantastic. One bite of this, that's it, my life's complete.'"
Jessica Seinfeld's tacos

Purees work in both sweet and savory recipes. Tacos, a Seinfeld family favorite, got a healthy makeover after Jessica says she noticed her children were skipping over the healthy toppings.

"It was just the meat and the cheese," she says. "We love tacos at our house, so I had to come up with a way to get some vegetables in there."

To incorporate tomatoes—which her son Julian says he hates—Jessica cooks the ground turkey or beef in tomatoes first. Then, she adds sweet potato puree and lets the ingredients cook together. Sweet potatoes are rich in beta-carotene and other antioxidants.

One night, Jessica says Julian was eating a taco while telling her about his hatred of tomatoes. "I just see this tinge of red, [and I said], 'I know you hate tomatoes, don't you?'" she says.
Jessica Seinfeld's chicken nuggets

There was very little nutrition in a chicken nugget...until now! Jessica transforms this childhood favorite by coating the chicken pieces with a puree before cooking.

To make these crowd pleasers, Jessica dips boneless, skinless chicken in a mixture of egg and veggie puree. "Any puree works. They're just so delicious and really crispy—all kids love them," she says. "[Kids] never have said to me, 'Ew, there's a vegetable in here.'"

For extra crispy nuggets, Jessica suggests using broccoli puree. These chicken nuggets are also coated with a breadcrumb mixture that includes flaxseed meal, a heart-healthy source of fiber.

Get the complete recipe for Jessica's chicken nuggets!

Even though Jessica's kids are getting the nutrients they need from hidden purees, she says she always serves meals with a side of veggies. "Not only do I add purees to everything that I now cook, I always, always, on the side of [the] plate, have fresh vegetables," she says. "I never want my children to think that eating vegetables is not important."
Jessica Seinfeld's mashed potatoes

Jessica's mashed potatoes are more than a side dish—they're the ultimate comfort food. With the addition of a few healthy toppings, they can even be the main event at mealtime!

These mashed potatoes are mixed with cauliflower puree, a great source of vitamin C. You can even top them with lean turkey meat and low-fat cheese.

Oprah has already used Jessica's cauliflower puree in other dishes. "You know what I tried this weekend for Stedman and myself which I really loved? I loved the cauliflower mixed in the scrambled eggs."
Jessica Seinfeld's deviled eggs

 Thanks to the color of egg yolks, Jessica says deviled eggs are a great place to hide cauliflower or carrot puree.

Oprah: How is it in there?

Jessica: Mother's magic.

Oprah: Mother's magic. So [the puree] is inside here?

Jessica: It's inside there. It looks like yolk, right?

Oprah: Yes. That's so hidden, I can't even find it!
Jessica Seinfeld's tortilla cigars

Tortilla cigars filled with butternut squash or cauliflower puree make great portable lunch snacks, Jessica says. Squash is rich in beta-carotene, which is great for keeping your child's eyes and skin healthy.

"All my friends and our kids love [them]," she says. "They take them to school all the time."

Jessica says it's important to remember that these vegetable purees are interchangeable. "You can really use so many different ones for every different recipe," she says.
Jessica Seinfeld's oatmeal raisin cookies

While Oprah enjoys all of Jessica's savory dishes, she says the best thing about the Deceptively Delicious(SM) cookbook is the recipes for sweet things!

One of Oprah's favorite sweets is the oatmeal raisin cookie. Jessica's version, which she says are also Jerry's favorite, include zucchini and banana puree. "They're really low-fat," she says.

These cookies are so good, Oprah passes them around so audience members can have a taste!
Jessica Seinfeld's doughnuts

Never thought you could eat doughnuts while dieting? Think again. Jessica's breakfast treats are made with pumpkin or sweet potato puree and sprinkled with powdered sugar.

"The only bad thing about these is that if you make them, five minutes later they're gone!" she says. "I never even get to try them."
Jessica Seinfeld's chocolate chip cookies

When you need breakfast on the go, take a tip from Jessica and treat yourself to a few chocolate chip cookies. These aren't your grandma's cookies...they're made with egg whites and whole chickpeas!

"These are the chocolate chip cookies I love most in the world—more than any other one I've ever had in my life," Jessica says.

Oprah can't believe her taste buds. "That is shocking," she says. "It's shocking that that's a chickpea!"
Jessica Seinfeld's chocolate cake with beets

 When Jessica's family and friends are celebrating special occasions, she says there's one cake she loves to make—chocolate cake with beets! Beets are chock-full of antioxidants and good for heart health.

"That is unbelievable, isn't it?" Oprah asks. "It is so moist and rich."

When Jessica cooks without purees, she says Jerry thinks there's something missing. "I made this amazing birthday cake for my father, and he's like, 'Did you buy this?' Because I left out the puree," she says.
Jessica Seinfeld's banana bread with cauliflower puree and peanut butter

One of Jessica's recipes keeps Jerry up at night...because he can't stop eating it! Jessica says her banana bread with cauliflower puree and peanut butter is her husband's favorite snack.

If it's in the house, Jessica says Jerry will get up in the middle of the night to have a slice. "He says that this is a beacon in the house," she says. "He can't control himself."
Ali Wentworth tests first and second graders.

Oprah and Jerry love Jessica's recipes, but the true test is yet to come.

Ali Wentworth, an actress, mom and Jessica's close friend, takes the Deceptively Delicious(SM) recipes to a panel of picky eaters—a classroom full of first and second graders!

Find out how kids really feel about Jessica's recipes.

When Ali asks the students if they like vegetables, she's met with a resounding "No!" Broccoli, spinach and cauliflower top the most-hated list.

One boy even says he'd rather lick the bottom of his classmate's shoe than eat broccoli.

Little does he know, the brownies Ali shares with the class have spinach and carrots in them. One student says the brownies are the best thing she's ever tasted!
Jessica Seinfeld and Oprah

Jessica says this cookbook was her way of coping with a difficult situation. "Every mother needs strategies to cope. Every mother knows how crazy her life is—you've got kids pulling at you in every different way," she says. "I had to come up with a strategy, because I was having a miserable time at my house."

Now, Jessica hopes her cooking strategies and healthy recipes inspire other families to come together at dinnertime.

"It's so important to eat with your family and to do it in a way that's peaceful and happy," she says. "That's what happened to me. ... My mind was full of peace because I knew I was doing really well by my family. I felt like a better mom."

Dr. Oz's wake-up call for parents
FROM: Jessica Seinfeld's Delicious Secret with Dr. Oz
Published on October 08, 2007


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