Eating right doesn’t mean tasting wrong

Eating right doesn’t mean tasting wrong

Cynthia Taggart Staff writer

Finding the cookbook that promotes your style of eating, regardless of how bizarre your husband thinks it is, is almost as satisfying as hearing your mother say, “You did a better job raising your kids than I did.”

I never expected either to happen, so discovering a great cookbook is worth celebrating. “The Healthy Kitchen,” by Andrew Weil, M.D., and Rosie Daley, confirmed for me that carbohydrates aren’t poison, fat is necessary, fresh cilantro belongs in every refrigerator and red meat doesn’t.

The cookbook caught my attention because I’d once printed an Andrew Weil recipe off the Internet. My instinct to trust him was soundly rewarded. My taste buds, schedule and checkbook all thanked me.

Weil is a clinical professor of medicine at the University of Arizona in Tucson. Daley was Oprah Winfrey’s personal chef and wrote “In the Kitchen with Rosie.” They merged their skills in “The Healthy Kitchen” to show that healthy eating is possible without heavy, grainy ingredients or denial of taste and satisfaction.

The authors address the dietary issues of the day right at the book’s start: Are carbohydrates or fats killing us? Weil’s answer is as satisfying as the final bite of Grilled Ahi Tuna with Cilantro Ginger Sauce in the book’s chapter on fish.

“Telling people to avoid fat is as misguided as telling them to avoid carbohydrates,” he writes. “The problem is not to get the fat out but to avoid bad fat and get the good fat in.”

Weil offers short lists of good and bad fats and carbs, then recommends a daily diet with up to 50 to 60 percent carbohydrates, 30 percent fat, 10 to 20 percent protein and six to eight glasses of water. One-page essays sprinkled throughout the book answer lingering questions on wine, milk, eggs, cheese, soy sauce, herbs and more.

The book’s recipes are easy to follow. Each clearly divides ingredients into main dishes, marinades, fillings, etc., so it’s easy to decide if a disliked ingredient is dispensable. I found everything on local supermarket shelves but occasionally had to veer into organic produce or the health food sections.

Cooking directions were simple and didn’t include any foreign terms. I wish the recipes included an approximate preparation and cooking time at the top, but a quick read through them provides the information. All the recipes I tried were worth the time for the taste and festive colors.

I made the marinade for Santa Fe Chicken in 10 minutes before work. Mincing six garlic cloves was the most time-consuming task. The chicken marinated all day. While it broiled for 10 minutes, I mixed a papaya salsa. With green cilantro and jalapeno peppers, yellow papaya and red bell peppers and onions, it looked like party food. The meal delighted my taste buds, filled me up and contained only 212 calories, 4 grams of fat, 30 grams of protein, 13 grams of carbohydrates and 72 mg of cholesterol. A nutrition analysis is adjacent to each recipe.

I tried a dozen recipes in “The Healthy Kitchen” and can’t wait to try more. My husband, a meat and potatoes lover, was not as enthusiastic. The spice combinations I loved didn’t suit his taste, and the airy texture of the Roasted Winter Squash and Apple Soup was just what he’d expected from a book called “The Healthy Kitchen.”

We agreed to continue to disagree over what’s good to eat and that “The Healthy Kitchen” is for my eyes – or stomach – only.

Here are two recipes mentioned above:

Grilled Ahi Tuna with Cilantro Ginger Sauce

From “The Healthy Kitchen,” by Andrew Weil, M.D. and Rosie Daley

Two 4- to 6-ounce Ahi tuna steaks, about 1 inch thick

2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the sauce:

1 tablespoon canola or grapeseed oil

2 tablespoon peeled and finely chopped fresh ginger

1 cup chopped fresh clilantro

2 tablespoons shoyu or other natural soy sauce

1 tablespoon light brown or raw sugar

1/4 cup purified water

Rinse the tuna steaks under cold running water and pat them dry. Rub them with the olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

Preheat grill or broiler.

White the grill is heating, prepare the sauce.

Heat the canola or grapeseed oil in a small skillet over medium- high heat and add the ginger. Stir-fry for 1 minute, then add the cilantro and stir-fry for another minute, until the cilantro is bright green. Mix in the soy sauce, sugar and water and cook for 1 minute over high heat. Remove the skillet from heat.

Grill the tuna steaks on high heat or broil them until desired doneness; for medium-rare, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Spoon the sauce over the fish and serve immediately.

Yield: 2 servings

Nutrition per serving: 349.9 calories, 16.6 grams fat, (3 grams saturated fat, 43 percent fat calories), 41.3 grams protein, 7.6 grams carbohydrate, 65 milligrams cholesterol, less than 0.8 grams dietary fiber.

Santa Fe Chicken

From “The Healthy Kitchen,” by Andrew Weil, M.D. and Rosie Daley

For the Marinade:

Juice from 3 limes

1/4 cup low-sodium soy sauce

1-1/2 teaspoons olive oil

1-1/2 teaspoons chili powder

1-1/2 teaspoons cumin seed

1-1/2 teaspoons ground coriander

6 cloves garlic, minced

1-1/2 teaspoons honey

2 whole breasts, boneless and skinless chicken

1/4 cup white wine

3 tablespoons chopped cilantro leaves

For garnish:

Low-fat sour cream

1 lime, sliced

6 green onions

For the Papaya Salsa:

1/2 cup or 1 bunch cilantro

1 cup cubed papaya

1/4 cup cubed red bell pepper

1/4 diced red onion

1 small jalapeno pepper, seeded and minced (optional)

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice

Mix together marinade ingredients in a bowl, stirring thoroughly. Pour into a shallow baking pan and lay the chicken breasts in. Cover and refrigerate (see note).

Preheat broiler.

After 1 hour (or more), when the chicken has absorbed all the flavors of the marinade, pour in the white wine. Broil the chicken under a medium flame for 8-10 minutes, basting it with the juices to keep it moist.

To prepare the Papaya Salsa, mix ingredients together in a bowl.

Transfer the broiled chicken to a platter and slice it at an angle. Garnish each piece with a little of the pan juices, a dollop of sour cream, slices of lime, a green onion and some salsa.

Note: It is ideal if the meat can soak in the marinade for at least one hour before cooking. If you’re planning ahead, it can soak for up to two days.

Yield: 4 servings

Nutrition per serving: 212 calories, 4.4 grams fat, (.8 grams saturated, 19 percent fat calories), 30 grams protein, 13 grams carbohydrate, 72 milligrams cholesterol; 0.9 grams fiber.

Copyright 2004 Cowles Publishing Company

Provided by ProQuest Information and Learning Company. All rights Reserved.