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'Tenderheart': family, food, loss and joy

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There is evidence that suggests that people who know more ways to cook vegetables are more likely to eat a healthier diet. And many people today lack the information and experience to whip up a delicious veggie-based meal.

Knowing more cooking methods can make vegetables more appealing and enjoyable to eat. For example, roasting vegetables can bring out their sweetness, while sautéing them can give them a crispy texture. Additionally, knowing how to incorporate vegetables into a variety of dishes can make it easier to eat them on a regular basis.

A study published in the journal Appetite found that people who were more knowledgeable about cooking vegetables were more likely to report eating them regularly. Another study, published in the journal Public Health Nutrition, found that people who were taught how to cook vegetables were more likely to eat them and report enjoying them. The Journal of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, found that people who participated in a cooking intervention that focused on vegetables were more likely to increase their vegetable intake.

Increasing people's familiarity in cooking vegetables can be an effective way to promote healthier eating habits. In “Tenderheart: A Cookbook about Vegetables and Unbreakable Family Bonds” author Hetty Lui McKinnon teaches how greens, mushrooms, beans, veggies and more are easy to cook.

McKinnon is a passionate advocate for vegetables and believes that they can be the star of the show in every meal. Her recipes are packed with flavor and creativity, and she always encourages her readers to experiment and make the dishes their own.


Hetty Lui McKinnon is an award-winning Australian Chinese cookbook author, recipe developer, and Substack newsletter writer. She is known for her vibrant and flavorful vegetarian recipes that are inspired by her Chinese heritage and global travels. McKinnon has written five cookbooks, including the critically acclaimed "Community" and "To Asia, with Love". She is also a regular contributor to food publications such as The New York Times, The Washington Post, Bon Appetit, and Epicurious.

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This interview will be recorded Wednesday, November 29, 2023.


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David Martin Davies can be reached at dmdavies@tpr.org and on Twitter at @DavidMartinDavi