True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure

Andrew Weil and Sam Fox with Michael Stebner. Little, Brown, $29.99 (264p) ISBN 978-0-316-12941-1
For those who believe that “health food” will never be as satisfying as gourmet food laden with cream, butter, sugar, and salt, holistic wellness pioneer Weil (Spontaneous Happiness), restaurateur Fox, and chef Stebner have created a chain of eateries, True Food Kitchen, to prove them wrong. This title gathers more than 125 recipes from Weil’s personal collection and others he developed with Stebner, the chain’s executive chef, that conform to Weil’s Anti-inflammatory Diet Food Pyramid—diners at True Food Kitchen are handed a copy before they peruse the menu—and incorporate cooking methods and ingredients from Mediterranean and traditional Asian cuisines. There are many options for vegetarians of all stripes, low-carb and low-fat eaters, paleo dieters, and the gluten-sensitive, and discussions of healthy eating practices (seasonal produce, portion sizes, whole grains, etc.). An entertaining chat between the authors gives insight into the difficulty of making unfamiliar items like sea buckthorn juice (better known as a component in natural beauty products but used here in sorbet, a muffin glaze, and drinks), sambal oelek (a spicy chile paste), and astragalus root (a Chinese medicinal herb) palatable to mainstream Americans, while adapting to popular demands for red meat, coffee, and alcohol. Ethnically inspired choices include breakfast tabbouleh with kiwi, strawberry, and lime juice; Gado-Gado, an Indonesian salad dressed with peanut sauce; a soup made with immunity-boosting astragalus root, garlic, and shiitake mushrooms; and salmon sauced with a kasu paste derived from sake. The brief dessert section reflects Weil’s philosophy that Americans consume too many sweets; but on special occasions, readers can indulge without guilt in a nondairy Middle Eastern pistachio confection or a vegan, gluten-free chocolate pudding. Agent: Richard Pine. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 10/01/2012
Release date: 10/01/2012
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