The Deceptively Delicious program calls for cooks to create a store of fruit and vegetable purees, portioning them out so that they’re always on hand when you want to use them in a recipe. As author Seinfeld writes: “I encourage you to spend about an hour each week preparing the purees so that you’ll always have them on hand. You certainly won’t want to do it every week (how much do you really want to go to the gym?) but you’ll find that it’s worth it. As change begins to happen, you’ll hardly notice the extra 2-5 minutes it takes to puree, and you’ll increasingly find nooks of time to do it.”
Two to five minutes? Guess how long it took me to roast and puree two (only two!) vegetables yesterday? Two hours.
I prepared two sweet potatoes and one butternut squash. Granted, most of the time was spent with inactive oven roasting, but still, from start to finish the whole process took up most of the afternoon. (Actually, as a little experiment, I microwaved half the butternut squash. A quick seven minutes and it was done and I challenge anyone to tell the difference.) By the time I had pureed everything in the mini-prep, I was too tired (annoyed) to measure the purees into 1/4 cup portions. They’re currently sitting in my fridge in slightly overflowing tupperwares. And I still have two vegetables left to cook and puree: cauliflower and avocado.
Actually, the avocado doesn’t need cooking, just pureeing. But I hate the thought of grinding the buttery green flesh into mush, because I really just want to eat it (sliced on wasa crisp bread, another SSF). Which brings me to another Deceptively Delicious issue: expense.
A bag of baby spinach (which requires no preparation before cooking) makes only 1/2 cup of puree — that’s it! At $3.79 a bag, that’s some expensive deception. Here’s a little tally of this week’s vegetable bill — keep in mind, this is for raw, unprepared vegetables:
Baby spinach: $3.79
Butternut squash: $4.50
Avocados (two): $2.98
Sweet potatoes (two, on sale): $1.17
For busy parents on a budget, the Deceptively Delicious program seems, frankly, a bit impractical. But perhaps I’ll change my mind after making some more of the recipes. Anyone up for avocado-chocolate cupcakes frosted with cauliflower-enhanced cream cheese frosting?