I've decided to add cookbook reviews to this blog. Especially since lately I've acquired about 10 for birthday's and other gifts.
The Healthy Kitchen: recipes for a better body, life and spirit. by Andrew Weil, MD and Rosie Daley
Spoiler: This is actually not a bad cookbook if you can get past all the annoying 'health' chatter.
Layout: The book has a lot of nice color photos and is set up into easy to search sections. I'm super curious about the relationship between the two authors, there are numerous pictures of her feeding him and them standing very very close. They seem awfully intimate for a book that doesn't mention the relationship. His recipes and health screeds are in blue sections and her 'Tips' are in yellow. He spends an awful lot of time discussing 'best quality' ingredients in a health context and I wish they had included a section on where to acquire some of the more morally elevated foodstuffs...
Recipes: In general, if their recipe seems too healthy to be good, it is. Multi-Grain Scones are completely gross, made with canola oil rather than butter, they have a greasy, nasty consistency. I'm not even sure I could coat these with borax and use them as ant-bait. Entrees like Grilled Ahi Tuna with Cilantro Ginger Sauce, however, are yummy. As long as what they are making is what it is, not a lame attempt a healthy imitation of something more delicious, the recipes are quite serviceable.
I also really enjoyed reading all of the fresh salsas and relishes they use throughout. These are definitely worth trying.
Other info: Dr. Weil sprinkles a lot of 'health' information in one-page essays throughout the book. I personally found his advice contradictory and sort of annoying a lot of the time. He is definitely a 'nutritionist' in Michael Pollan's worst sense of the word. There's way too much time spent on substitution and way too little spent on talking about balance in the diet. The 'Tips from Rosie's Kitchen' sections are annoying and really a little too obvious; i.e. "When you have more bananas than you know what to do with, don't throw them away!" Seriously, thanks....
I wish the authors of books like this would admit you CAN'T have your cake and eat it too, if you are focusing on the health qualities of food, anyway. On balance, not really worth owning. Get it from the library, it does have some utility.