How exciting is it when you can have fabulous food that is healthy for you? VERY!
Recently True Food Kitchen, a seasonally inspired health-driven restaurant, opened in Bethesda at 7100 Wisconsin Ave. It was co-founded by the integrative medicine specialist Dr. Andrew Weil and Sam Fox, who is an eight-time James Beard Award nominee for Restaurateur of the Year. Everything on the menu is bursting with flavor and inspired by Dr. Weil’s anti-inflammatory food pyramid. Executive Chef Randall Matthews leads the Bethesda culinary and kitchen team, working closely with Dr. Weil to develop seasonal menu items with nutrient-rich ingredients, crafting naturally organic, wholesome, flavorful food prepared with the season’s ripest ingredients at the peak of their freshness.
There is something for everyone on the menu—vegans, vegetarians, meat-eaters, and those who are on a gluten-free diet. The flourless chocolate cake will have you wishing you could lick the bowl. Look for a variety of signature dishes like the Heirloom Tomato Pizza with grilled artichoke, roasted garlic, vegan almond ricotta and black truffles, and the Pan Roasted Chicken with corn, green garbanzo, Fresno chili, feta, cilantro and a pumpkin seed pesto. The restaurant’s scratch bar is brimming with freshly pressed juice, local beer, wine, and a seasonal selection of handcrafted cocktails like the Watermelon Mojito, made with rum, watermelon, mint, pineapple and lime. Visit www.truefoodkitchen.com for more information.
The following recipes are from “True Food: Seasonal, Sustainable, Simple, Pure,” a collection of more than 125 original recipes from Dr. Weil and chef Michael Stebner.
1/2 cup blanched and chopped kale
1/3 cup poblano peppers, roasted and peeled, seeds removed
1/8 cup cilantro, chopped
1/8 cup green onions, chopped
1/3 cup grapefruit segments
1/3 cup orange segments
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
4 avocados, lightly smashed
Remove stem from kale and blanch leaves in boiling, lightly salted water until tender (approx. 45 seconds). Shock in ice water until chilled, squeeze dry, finely mince and set aside. Roast poblano pepper until charred on all sides, peel skin, remove seeds, finely mince and set aside. In a large bowl, lightly smash avocado. Mix in blanched kale, poblano, cilantro, onions, citrus and salt until well incorporated. Serve with pita chips and enjoy!
Spaghetti Squash Casserole
1 large spaghetti squash (2 to 3 pounds)
2 teaspoons grapeseed oil
1 large zucchini, grated
1/2 cup caramelized onions (recipe follows)
1 cup tomato sauce (recipe follows)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 ounces mozzarella cheese, grated
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
Preheat the oven to 350°F.
Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Rub oil on inside of squash, season with salt and pepper and place cut side down on lined sheet pans. Roast in 350-degree oven for approx. 90 minutes, until squash is tender all the way through. Let the squash cool, then cut it in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds with a spoon. Scoop out the flesh into a large bowl. Add the grated zucchini, onions and tomato sauce. Season with salt and pepper. Spoon the mixture into a 3-quart shallow baking pan. Bake for 40 to 45 minutes.
Remove the baking pan from the oven and turn the oven to broil. Top the vegetables with the grated cheeses and place under the broiler until golden brown, about 5 minutes. Let sit for 5 to 10 minutes before serving.
Makes 2 cups
1 tablespoon expeller-pressed canola oil
3 large onions, thinly sliced
Heat the canola oil in a large, nonstick skillet over low heat. Add the onions and cook for 30 minutes, stirring often, until they are soft and brown. Let cool, and then store in a lidded container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
Makes 3 cups
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
3 garlic cloves, minced
1 28-ounce can San Marzano tomatoes, chopped, with juice
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon allspice
Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano leaves
Heat the oil in a sauce pan over medium heat. Add the garlic, reduce heat to low and cook for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the tomatoes, salt, allspice, pepper, basil and oregano. Bring to a simmer and simmer for 20 minutes.
Allow the sauce to cool for 20 minutes, then transfer to a blender. Hold the lid down firmly with a clean, folded towel over it. Start on low speed and blend until it is a smooth sauce.
Transfer to a lidded container and refrigerate for up to 5 days, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Editor’s Note: Find more of Sheilah’s culinary treats at www.cookingwithsheilah.com.