Fast Food, Good Food
By Andrew Weil, MD
(Little Brown, $30)
Dr. Andrew Weil’s newest cookbook Fast Food, Good Food is beautifully illustrated with collections of things like deviled eggs, cucumbers, and fish. Full of inviting and unfussy recipes that highlight delicious, healthy ingredients, Fast Food, Good Food emphasizes having fun in the kitchen. Weil, founder and director of the University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and author of over a dozen cookbooks, lives in Tucson. His experience cooking as a med student years ago was “practical magic” that helped balance his mind and body. Weil’s interests have evolved to good nutrition and health care practices that encompass body, mind and spirit. In Fast Food, Good Food, Weil uses practices from the Mediterranean’s anti-inflammatory diet to promote optimum health and longevity. Check out this readable, doable cookbook to discover your inner nutritionist.
Discover over nine chapters and 150 simple and quick recipes that can be made in under 30 minutes. Each recipe is marked vegan, vegetarian, or gluten-free and comes with clear numerical instructions. Tips include Weil’s recommendation to expose mashed garlic to air for at least ten minutes to allow it to form allicin, a compound responsible for garlic’s many health benefits. The book is also full of interesting health information. For example, Weil explains that the peppery “bite” in extra virgin olive oil comes from oleocanthal, a potent anti-inflammatory compound that is easily destroyed by exposure to air, light, or heat. Weil recommends storing extra virgin olive oil in a dark bottle in the fridge, along with toasted sesame oil and smoked paprika. Weil’s other recommendations? Lick your fingers, use only 100% agave tequila, and remember that raw Jerusalem artichokes (also known as sun chokes) can cause flatulence and gastrointestinal upset, so peel and cook quickly!
Years ago for a very brief period I volunteered at Weil’s newly formed Office of Integrated Medicine, where I visited with people involved in the program and met some of the young docs studying this unique discipline and was impressed by all!
For over thirty years, Lois Friedman has been immersed in food culture and cookbooks. She has written “Read It And Eat” previews of cookbooks for The Desert Leaf and other local publications, done guest presentations at Canyon Ranch, hosted the Omaha Library Read It And Eat Culinary Conference, taught cooking classes and demonstrations, and now brings her expertise to her Read It And Eat blog for Edible Baja Arizona.