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Vietnamese Cooking, Evolving Cuisines & and the Diet Illusion

with Andrea Nguyen

Hello and welcome back to the podcast! I adore today’s guest, and I think you’re going to love this conversation, which explores a range of topics ranging from the evolution of Vietnamese cuisine, to vegetarian cooking, to the illusion of the Mediterranean diet. I speak with

, food writer, teacher and author of seven acclaimed books, including her latest, Ever-Green Vietnamese, which was named one of the best cookbooks of 2023 by The New York Times, San Francisco Chronicle, Food and Wine, and many others.

Andrea shares her background growing up in Vietnam and moving to the United States at the age of six, and how food became an important element of her cultural identity, even as the traditional Vietnamese foods they cooked evolved and changed to fit their American lifestyle. We talk about the evolution of food, how cuisines change, and how the point should never be perfectionism

Andrea also shares her journey to writing Ever-Green Vietnamese, which started with a health scare and ended up bringing her back to her cultural roots. We talk about what it means to live a healthy lifestyle, how this is unique for each person, and how it can be filled with joy and play instead of restriction or regimen. We also talk about the problems with the term, “Mediterranean Diet,” which dismisses global flavors and ingredients that contribute to a balanced, healthy lifestyle. 

Andrea’s joy is infectious, and I think you’re going to walk away not only inspired to try Vietnamese flavors in your own kitchen, but also to explore what “healthy” means to you and to your own unique body. 

You can listen to (or watch!) the episode right here, or, better yet, subscribe to the podcast in Apple PodcastsSpotify, or Pandora. You can also now watch the full episode videos on YouTube (if you haven’t subscribed to the channel yet, please do!).

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xo, Nicki

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