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True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure Hardcover – Abridged, October 9, 2012

4.3 out of 5 stars 349 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

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.)


"Andrew Weil is a rare member of a special class of diet gurus: he appreciates good food. This shows in his philosophy of healthy eating-if meals are delicious, people will eat them. It also shows in every recipe in this book. Weil and his colleagues encourage adventurous eating and some of the ingredients may be unfamiliar, but even the simplest recipe-tomato and watermelon salad, for example-will make mouths water."―Marion Nestle, professor of nutrition, food studies, and public health at New York University, and coauthor of Why Calories Count

"Andrew Weil knows how to bring people into a new relationship to food: If you eat simply and deliciously with family and friends, using local, organic ingredients in season, the natural outcome will be good health for the rest of your life."―Alice Waters, author of The Art of Simple Food

"No one may be more associated with an anti-inflammatory diet than integrative medicine guru Dr. Andrew Weil, creator of the Anti-Inflammatory Diet." --Dallas Morning News

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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 264 pages
  • Publisher: Little, Brown and Company; 1 edition (October 9, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0316129410
  • ISBN-13: 978-0316129411
  • Product Dimensions: 8.2 x 1 x 10.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 2.5 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (349 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #35,690 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

By P. Koskiniemi on January 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Andrew Weil is a healthy life-style guru, and I have purchased several of his books. It's clear to me that several of the reviewers have been given complimentary copies of the book to review and they simply proceeded to write a book report without having made any of the recipes. Often times, as in this case, the recipes for a restaurant quantities are not accurately translated for home use. For a seasoned pro, this may not be a problem. However, if you plan on giving this gift to a beginning cook, they may have problems with it. I have made 12 recipes so far, and the wonderful part about most of them is the abundant use of fresh whole foods, and the frugal use of fats, salt and sugar.

If I had edited the book in advance, I would have advised that a "crustless quiche" is more commonly known as frittata on page 25. I would suggest you omit the baking soda in the Carrot-Parsnip-Zucchini Bread on page 26,and add 1 Tablespoon of baking powder instead. One medium carrot and one medium parsnip and one small zucchini does not mean anything. I used 4 cups total shredded vegetables. That works. Also,you must line your bread pans with paper if you are using olive oil instead of butter to keep the bread from sticking. Or use non-stick pans.

The Fattoush Salad on page 70 is a winner and will appeal to almost everyone. The Moroccan Chicken Salad on page 87 is the best low fat version of chicken salad you will ever find. You will never guess that it has so little mayonnaise! The Sweet Potato-Poblano Soup is wonderful but 3 quarts of water to 5 vegetables has got to be an error. If you double the amount of vegetables you will be fine, otherwise you will end up with a lot of extra broth and nothing like the photograph!
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Format: Hardcover
When I was offered a copy of this cookbook, I jumped at the chance to review it. After all, I've been a Health Food Person since the 80s, when "eating healthy" meant carrot loaf and adding a tablespoon of brewer's yeast to everything. (Thankfully, we all got better at it.) True Food's goals of seasonable and sustainable align with my own, too.

Plus, the True Food restaurants are near me, here in Scottsdale. I've been to them several times, and would probably have said Yes to the cookbook just for the recipes for their drinks. (There's a nonalcoholic ginger-fizz drink sweetened with agave that I really like.) The problem is: I stopped going to the restaurant because they use olive oil a bit too much; since my husband is extremely allergic to it (not YOUR problem), we get tired of playing 20 Questions with the wait staff. But that made me more enthusiastic about the cookbook, since obviously at home I can use any oil I want.

I've spent several weeks with this cookbook and... I have mixed feelings. I really like the goals it sets, but too few of the recipes make me say, "Yum, let's make that for dinner tonight!" Either they are fussy, or they use ingredients that are hard to find even for this Scottsdale foodie. (Why yes, I *DO* do all my shopping at Whole Foods and gourmet markets.) I appreciate cookbooks that introduce me to new ingredients, such as sea buckthorn and samphire, but if *I* can't find them, they may be out of reach for you.

Plus, Dr. Weil, who inspired the restaurant, is well known for his own dietary recommendations, some of which don't match mine. Some do: smaller portions of seasonal, organic ingredients; less emphasis on a big slab of moo (more fish, heavy on the veggies and grain).
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Format: Hardcover
Sam Fox is a restaurateur. Michael Stebner is an executive chef and of course Andrew Weil is a legendary health guru with international tastes and a surprising expertise in the kitchen. What they've done together aside from writing this book is found and operate True Food Kitchens, a growing chain of restaurants where the emphasis is on food that is (as in the subtitle of this book) "Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure."

What this means can be discerned by going over the recipes in the book. This is not a vegan or even a vegetarian cuisine. This is an international cuisine fit for an epicurean flexitarian! The emphasis is on the fresh, bold, and organic with little meat, some chicken and a bit more fish. Many of the recipes are inspired by Weil's concept of the "Anti-Inflammatory Food Pyramid." There's a color photo of the "pyramid" in all its glory on page 46--no words, just the foods themselves. At the apex is chocolate (!) followed by red wine, food supplements, spices like ginger and chiles, and foods like fish, beans, avocados, mushrooms, veggies and fruits, etc. (You can see the labeled pyramid at Dr. Weil's website.) At the base of the pyramid which represents foods that should form the bulk of our diet are the veggies and fruits.

Weil says that he used the Mediterranean diet as a template in his design of the pyramid. He explains that these foods and not the highly processed foods found in the stores and in most restaurants lead to less inflammation in the body and to a healthy life style. The cuisine (I'd call it an international cuisine based on healthy food choices), Weil writes, "includes fewer foods of animal origin, except for fish and high-quality dairy products like yogurt and natural cheeses." (p.
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