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The Healthy Kitchen: Recipes for a Better Body, Life, and Spirit Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 2, 2002

94 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews Review

In Eating Well for Optimum Health, one of Amazon's bestselling health books of 2000, alternative-medicine maverick Andrew Weil revealed his version of the ideal diet (and backed it up with scientific proof): a variety of unprocessed, or "whole" foods; just-picked, organic vegetables; whole grains; "good" fats, such as the omega-3 fatty acids found in fish and nuts; fresh herbs and spices instead of heavy sauces; and a minimum of meat and dairy products. Eating this responsibly is certainly an admirable pursuit, but home cooking of this caliber can be intimidating, requiring much more energy than it would to pull up to the drive-through and order a burger and fries. In The Healthy Kitchen, Weil successfully teams up with Rosie Daley, formerly chef at the ritzy Cal-a-Vie Spa, to show how to cook with confidence within these dietary guidelines, creating dishes that are not only good for you, but are also fun to prepare, beautiful to look at, and delectable.

For those of you predicting a tofu-fest, have no fear: Weil stresses he's "unwilling to eat food that is boring, artless, and devoid of pleasure even if it's somebody else's idea of healthful." Indeed, the gorgeous color photography in The Healthy Kitchen will get you drooling over healthy entrées like Warm Chicken and Asparagus Salad and desserts like Lemon Yogurt Sorbet. You can be proud to serve these recipes to your family and friends--many of the appetizers and entrées are perfect party foods, sized to feed a dozen. Some recipes are notably more complicated than others--Cold Vegetable Pasta Primavera involves grilling five different veggies; baked Vegetable Wontons are time-consuming if you're not familiar with the folding process. However, Daley and Weil advise working your way up to these more complex dishes.

Sprinkled throughout the book are witty and wise health tips from Weil and cooking shortcuts from Daley. The two admit they don't agree on all cooking matters; Weil would substitute cashew milk for coconut milk and adds his two cents on making the Thai Shrimp and Papaya Salad spicier, for example. The Healthy Kitchen seems to be influenced a bit by Martha Stewart's Healthy Quick Cook, with Weil's text shaded in that unmistakably Martha sage-green, and Daley's in what Stewart might call bisque. Both books emphasize seasonal fresh foods and boast sumptuous photography and tempting menu suggestions. However, Weil and Daley outdo her with calorie and nutritional breakdowns for each dish, shopping guides for easy meal planning, and tips on encouraging children to help out in the kitchen (and develop lifelong healthy eating habits in the process). --Erica Jorgensen

From Publishers Weekly

What might at first seem a jumble of nutrition facts and recipes turns out to be a stimulating invitation to healthy, pleasurable eating. Well-known for his holistic approaches to physical and mental health, physician Weil (Eating Well for Optimum Health) loves good food. Not one to settle for bland albeit health-promoting fare, Weil insists that not only are low-fuss, delicious meals and good health more easily attainable than most Americans imagine, they actually go hand in hand. Coauthor and former Oprah Winfrey chef Daley (In the Kitchen with Rosie), provides recipes that, for the most part, reflect Weil's conception of the optimum diet. (Where they differ, Weil offers options.) Weil's introduction is a concise version of his dietary philosophy, with more advice scattered throughout the book. All of the 135 recipes include nutrition counts (calories, fat, cholesterol, etc.). According to Weil, eating has become yet another stressful activity that must be fit into jam-packed days. To remedy this, Weil and Daley not only offer satisfying recipes that make use of nourishing, readily available ingredients, they give tips on stocking the pantry, preparation, reading food labels and daily menu planning. Recipes include tempting twists on classics (eggs, grilled fish, pasta), to more adventurous items (broccoli pancakes). While miso, tofu and yogurt may not be appetizing to the meat-and-potatoes crowd, others willing to spread their culinary wings will find in these recipes and the authors' enthusiasm for good food a serious incentive to get their daily requirements of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants.

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Knopf; 1 edition (April 2, 2002)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0375413065
  • ASIN: B0001FZGR6
  • Product Dimensions: 7.7 x 1 x 9.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (94 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,231,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

253 of 257 people found the following review helpful By "tkp-b" on April 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I have made quite a few recipes from this book, and have found mistakes in almost all of them. It's as if nobody tested the recipes before the book was published. In one recipe the cooking time had to be almost doubled, in a recipe for muffins there was no mention of using any liquid (juice, milk, oil, etc.) to bind the ingredients together, and a recipe that was supposed to serve 6 people called for using 12 avocados. I have had to adapt most of the recipes because of this problem. I also found that the directions for preparation were sometimes vague. For example, the recipe would say to broil something for 3 minutes, but not tell you if that was total time or on each side. I would have given this book 5 stars if it weren't for the errors. Most of the recipes appealed to me and the commentary by Rosie and Dr. Weil was interesting to read. I suggest that they make corrections and reprint this book.
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89 of 91 people found the following review helpful By David J. Gannon on July 7, 2002
Format: Hardcover
This is not your standard cookbook and if it's bought with that expectation, the buyer will no doubt be disappointed in it. The book serves as much as a philosophical treatise on healthy eating as a cookbook, and from that standpoint it's interesting and successful as both a resource and motivational statement. However, the philosophizing takes up quite a bit of space and that results in a surprisingly small number of actual recopies.
That scarcity would be a problem if there were a lot of stinkers in the mix, but that is definitely not the case--this is very definitely a "quality over quantity" effort. I gave this to my wife for her birthday early this year and we've tried quite a lot of the recipes, and all have been delicious.
Some caveats: These are by and large recipes for the more sophisticated palate--don't expect to find a lot of things that children will like very much. Quite a few of the recipes are time intensive. Planning is essential. One the more intricate offerings, plan to do them on the weekend or when you can take the time to do it right. My personal advice is, when the authors have different visions of how to proceed (a common event here) go with Dr. Weil--Rosie tends to like thing on the blander side. Finally, this isn't really constructed to be a "full meal" cookbook. While there are sections for all major meal sections, there isn't often tremendous harmony on a "whole meal" basis. In other words, pick what of this work you want to use and work around it.
This is, essentially, a specialty cookbook. Use it that way and you'll find it's a gem.
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58 of 60 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 18, 2002
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
This is an excellent book -- full of great information ... the only problem is that all of the recipes I have tried so far are lacking something or have an error in the measurements. I am shocked that none of the other reviews have mentioned this. I have always found Dr. Weil's books to be interesting and informative and this book is no exception. Rosie Daley adds a delightful and educational point of view as well. This could be a great cookbook but I am frustrated with having to scrutinize each recipe. I would like to see this book reprinted with the correct recipes.
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47 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on June 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
I was excited at the prospect of this cookbook because I really admire Dr. Weil, his philosophies and his books. Unfortuately the book was a disappointment in many ways.
Many of the recipes are complicated and time consuming. I am the mother of four children and don't have the time that's necessary for many of these recipes. Some examples include; Baked Wontons, Vegetable Nori Rolls, Vegetable Lasagna and Savory Lobster-Mushroom Crepe. These were all multi-stepped recipes.
You've probably guessed something else at this point, many of the recipes are not little child/family friendly. The thought of Lobster-Mushroom Crepes is enough to send my five, eight and eleven year old to get the cereal. My sixteen year old may appreciate it.
The biggest disappointment to me was that some of the recipes didn't taste good. I made Apple Cake Squares and they were so dry not even a dog would eat them. I made the Eggplant Rollatini with Spinach and Cheese Filling and although the eggplant part was great the Tomatoe Mushroom Sauce it called for was only passable.
What I did enjoy was the health tips interspersed throughout the book and the narratives by Dr. Weil and Rosie Daley. I would say again, that this book is not for people who are feeding young children or who are pressed for time at the dinner hour. The recipes are inventive, original, healthy and different but for me it wasn't the best choice.
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35 of 36 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 30, 2002
Format: Hardcover
After reading Andrew Weil's Eating for Optimum Health, I was very excited that he was coming out with a cookbook. I thought the recipes in Eating for Optimum health were very flavorful. I bought The Healthy Kitchen the week it came out and have tried about half the recipes. My overall reaction is disappointment. Andrew Weil only contributed a small number of recipes (his greens with Tangy Dressing is fantastic) and they are as excellent as the recipes in Eating for Optimum Health. The problem is with Rosie Daley's recipes. First of all, she doesn't always use healthy ingredients (some recipes include butter, large amounts of sugar, sour cream, etc.) By far my biggest complaint is how careless her recipes are. The measurements are frequently inacurate. Some recipes are so spicey they are inedible and others so bland they need a lot a doctoring. The fish tacos is the only recipe of Rosie's that I haven't had to alter in some way. That being said, I would still recommend this book if you are trying to cook in a healthier way. Just approach Rosie's recipe's with a dose of skepticism and your intincts intact.
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