The Healthy Kitchen

(Critical Survey of Contemporary Fiction)

Dr. Andrew Weil, the well-known advocate of Integrative Medicine, which synthesizes ancient and modern medical practices, has teamed with Rosie Daley, cookbook author and former personal chef of Oprah Winfrey, to create one of the most exciting healthy eating cookbooks in recent years. Those expecting the same old tired variations on veggie burgers and vegetable casseroles will be pleasantly surprised by the creative recipes presented here. While there are many delights for vegetarians, including the luscious Baked Spicy Tofu with Bean Thread Noodles, Corn, and Mango, neither Weil nor Daley are strict vegetarians, so there are numerous fish and chicken dishes as well, such as Savory Lobster and Mushroom Crepe. Enhanced by glossy illustrations of the various dishes, these culinary feats are anything but drab. A breakfast of Eggs Florentine with Orange and Dill Sauce is a far cry from a dull bowl of bran flakes. And there are choices, such as the Cobb Salad, which can be made with a base of cubed chicken breast or cubed tofu.

The healthy living philosophy of Weil and Daley nicely compliments the recipes. There is a whole page on the virtues of garlic, as well as discussions of the pros and cons of salt, the value of organic ingredients, and whether “We never outgrow our need for milk.” Nutritionally, the advice is very much on the cutting edge of the consensus of current opinion about a healthy diet, and is substantially in harmony with the highly publicized updated version of the Food Pyramid, as redesigned by Dr. Walter Willett and his Harvard colleagues. “Fat” is no longer a dirty word. There are good fats (in nuts, olive oil, fish,) and bad fats (red meat), whole grain breads are preferable over processed carbohydrates, and the importance of the Omega-3 oils in eggs, soy foods, and walnuts is explored.

There is an enthusiasm and joy of living which fills this wonderful book, from the colorful full-page photo of Weil and Daley picking vegetables in his sunny Arizona garden, to their encouragement of shopping in farmer’s markets and involving children in cooking. A clear choice for those already devoted to healthy food preparation, but those considering taking the plunge will find this an appealing introduction.