5 Things You Should Have in Your Pantry for National Eating Healthy Day (and Every Day)

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In honor of National Eating Healthy Day, designated by the American Heart Association, we were inspired to spend some time perusing Fast Food, Good Food ($19; amazon.com), a collection of healthy recipes from Andrew Weil, MD, author, celebrated leader in the world of integrative medicine, and co-founder of the eatery True Food Kitchen. Weil’s pantry tips, heavily influenced by Japanese cooking, will set you up for nutritious meals well past this wholesome day -- all ingredients can be found in supermarkets, specialty stores, or online. Below, a list of our favorites. Print it out and start shopping.

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Pantry Essentials

1. Fish Sauce

A staple of Southeast Asian cooking, fish sauce is an intensely flavored condiment made from fermented fish (anchovies especially), salt, and water. Weil uses it in a dipping sauce for Shrimp Summer Rolls with Spearmint and Basil.

2. Grapeseed Oil

When you want a neutral flavor, grapeseed oil is best for sautéing. Buy expeller-pressed grapeseed oil -- because it can withstand a higher cooking temperature, Weil uses it to coat fish before roasting.

3. Kasha

Also known as buckwheat groats, this cracked grain comes raw or toasted. Buy the toasted variety and mix it with sautéed veggies for a hearty cold-weather dinner.

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4. Maple Syrup

This is Weil’s preferred sweetener, for its flavor and low fructose content. Many recipes in this book call for grade B maple syrup, which is best for cooking since it has a more intense flavor.

5. Mirin

A naturally sweet, traditional rice wine used in Japanese cooking. Look for hon-mirin (“true mirin”) with an alcohol content of 12 percent. Mirin is great in fish marinades, dipping sauces, and Japanese-style soups and broths.

From FAST FOOD, GOOD FOOD. Copyright © 2015 by Andrew Weil, MD. Reprinted by permission of Little, Brown and Company.

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