Dr. Weil Wants You To Eat Your Sardines

Yesterday we got you the lastest heathful food scoop from Dr. Andrew Weil and Chef Michael Stebner at the cooking demo/tasting/discussion about vegetarian/veganism (and such) at True Food Kitchen at Biltmore Fashion Park.

These True Food midday events happen periodically and they're pretty wonderful. The polished, educated crowd didn't hesitate for one second when directed to grab a bite to eat. We have to say it was quite hard to stop from stealing extra helpings of items on the new fall menu at True Food Kitchen. We sampled apple carrot ginger tonics, technicolor cruite bowls, dressed up Mediterranean hummus bowls, Asian lettuce cups, marinated roasted beet salad platters and slices of Dr. Weil's new unbelieveably creamy and sweet can't-believe-it's-vegan, pumpkin-pie-style, squash pie.

Chef Stebner went through stop by step how to prepare the roasted beet salad (everyone got to take home a recipe card) that got its lively kick from a dash of sambal. He shared his tip for barbecuing beets -- cool idea.

Then Dr. Weil went into a sweet and funny story about how he was introduced to vegetarian cooking from his health nut Aunt Rebecca in 1950s Philadelphia. He lovingly explained that she was one of those who "put the nut in health nut" and how she used to put the entire pineapple (tops, core and all) into the blender for a healthful prickly treat. Clearly it hasn't prevented him to continuing on his path to become the authority on heathful living.

The major points we took away from yesterday's dine and dish:

5. He's still rockin' the pescatarian/vegequarian title. Bringing the omega 3's to the plant based diet -- which we all know is good for our bodies and the planet.

4. Dr. Weil and Chef Stebner have been working on a True Food Kitchen cookbook that should be out in 9 months or so. We can't wait to get our hands on the little baby -- might be something fun for the Chow Bella Book Club. Fingers crossed that it includes that squash pie. Until then, you just need to head over for a nibble at any of their 3 locations (2 in AZ and the new one in Santa Monica).

3. All the cool kids are eating sardines. You don't have to fear mercury poisoning with these little vegetarian fish; they're highly sustainable, and there's an abundance of them available (we've overfished the rung above in food chain). He likes to get them packed in oil and prepares them by draining off the exess oil and mashing them with mustard, lemon and honey and eating them on crackers or romaine spears. Kind of a perfect "Andy Approved" pantry lunch for the office or at home.

2. People are still freaked out about soy. Stil think that drinking soy milk and eating tofu will make your sons grow boobs? Not so, says Dr. Weil. Whole soy (especially non-GMO) is absolutely good for you (like soy milk and tofu) and even consider getting your young daughters introduced to whole soy foods early to give them a boost at a long healthy life. Processed soy (soy isolates) are bad -- the stuff in many packaged "faux" meats and some protein powders.

1. An anti-inflammatory diet can make you happy. This is big news. Weil's got a new book coming out presenting studies that show a correlation between altered immunity/depression and inflammation, thus an anti-inflammatory diet makes you happy. We all could use some extra happiness in our lives.

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Jennifer Woods
Contact: Jennifer Woods