In the endless pursuit for healthy foods that Monkey will eat I have come to possess a cookbook by Jessica Seinfeld, wife of comedian Jerry Seinfeld, which is called Deceptively Delicious. The principle is that each recipe has a hidden ingredient, most commonly a vegetable or two that fussy children want to avoid. For the child whose preferred vegetables are cucumbers, peas and french fries (not just any potatoes, just the fried ones) this book is a VERY good idea.
The first recipe we wanted to try was "Pink Pancakes." This recipe really messes with assumptions. It contains beets so right away you know they are going to be a funny color but just how funny is a wonder. And man, are they tasty! We have decided they will likely be called "Princess Pancakes" or "Pancakes From the Red Planet" around our house but it falls to Monkey to make the final decision. They will become a regular dish, that is certain.
The original recipe called for pancake mix, which I don't use-preferring to make mine from scratch-and only made a small amount compared what we usually eat. So I modified the recipe and am so in love with the result that I don't think Mrs Seinfeld will mind a little free promotion going her way as I share my modified version with you. If you like this recipe and want to try more "sneaky veggies" recipes (they don't have to be just for kids, you know) run out and pick up her book.
Here is my version:
1 1/4 C milk
1 C cottage cheese or ricotta
1/2 C beet puree (best if you puree cooked beets ahead of time)
1/2 C grated apple
1/4 C oil
1 tsp vanilla
If you want a smoother batter you can put the wet ingredients in the blender but as you can see from the first picture, the "unblendered" version works just fine, if a little lumpy.
1 1/2 C whole wheat flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
Mix all ingredients in a big bowl and cook like one does pancakes. If you need help figuring that step out call your mom (or mom equivilant), she probably knows. And voila, red pancakes. Serve with butter and syrup (maple syrup, if you've got it) or omit the vanilla and cinnamon and go savory for lunch or dinner with a spaghetti-like sauce and grated cheese (seriously, try it-remember what I was saying about assumptions). Enjoy!