cover image The MediterrAsian Way

The MediterrAsian Way

Ric Watson, Trudy Thelander, . . Wiley, $27.50 (314pp) ISBN 978-0-470-04558-9

Watson and Thelander, creators of, combine the sensible, down-to-earth principles of the Mediterranean diet with those of south and east Asia to create a blend that is about lifestyle as much as cuisine. Their concept is appealing, but the book is more wishful than convincing in delivery. It begins by "unlocking the secrets" of the two diets, examining both regions' nutritional pyramids and citing much research to bolster claims for their superiority, but many subsequent parts emphasize exercise, of both mind and body, with overly obvious suggestions like "dance to the beat" and "go for a scenic walk" for burning calories and "get a pet" and "visit the library" for combating stress. An outline of two weeks on the diet demonstrates Watson and Thelander's "MediterrAsian" balanced meals, heavy on grains and vegetables and sparing with meat and fats. This philosophy lends itself to one-dish meals, which many of the recipes are, from Lemony Tuna, Olive and Vegetable Pasta to Fragrant Chicken Curry. Unfortunately, few rise above their appearance of being stylistic approximations of such dishes as Grilled "Tuscan" Chicken or the inevitable "Greek" salad; the fused cuisine feels both more familiar and homogenous and less lively and life-changing in the way a new diet must be to achieve great results. B&w and color photos not seen by PW . (Mar.)