A couple of weeks ago I started the self-titled “Gwyneth diet”. ‘Cause you know.. if I eat like her I’ll start to look like her, right?? For a while now, I’ve been a subscriber of Gwyneth Paltrow’s weekly lifestyle newsletter called GOOP where she often publishes her own favorite and her famous chef friends’ favorite recipes. Some of these recipes are complicated and include ingredients I’ve never heard of, while some are surprisingly simple. Truth is, I had never tried to make any of them until I got my hands on Paltrow’s latest cookbook titled “It’s All Good”.
I’d heard great things about the recipes but to be frank, I only half believed the hype. Immediately after getting the cookbook (cheaper at Costco, by the way!), I crawled into bed and read the entire book cover to cover. The photography is beautiful and hilariously features Gwynny and her kids, you know.. shopping at the market, picnic’ing on the beach and riding scooters. Just like you and I…
Ok, back to the cookbook. The single most impressive thing about it is that each recipe is simple: they require 5 or 6 ingredients, they use your basic kitchen tools and they don’t take too much time. There are a couple of less familiar ingredients used throughout the book (namely, chillies in adobo sauce and gochugaru, coarse Korean red chilli flakes), but they are used time and again and make it worth the trip to Kensington Market/Chinatown to hunt down to have on hand in your pantry. The recipes are all dairy-free, healthy and clean, and usually gluten-free with vegan substitute recommendations.
The book is divided into your breakfasts, lunches, dinners, snacks and sweets and features a kid-friendly section with recipes like gluten-free fish fingers, veggie dumplings and kid smoothies to help pack in those veggies. The juicing chapter offers some great sounding breakfasts and mid-day, energy-boosting drinks using ingredients like dates to sweeten and almond butter to help fill you up. The back of the book features week-long meal plans for plain, old healthy eating, one for a vegan week, a family-friendly week, a detox week, and a body-building week by upping your protein.
So a couple of weeks into my Gwyneth diet (and by Gwyneth diet, I just mean making a lot of her recipes), I’ve cooked about 15 recipes from her book and am pretty blown away by the simplicity and deliciousness of them all. By following her easy instructions, I have roasted my first ever chicken, I made a lamb tagine with squash and chickpeas, I’ve made her mushroom and leek soup THREE times (and adding a tad bit of truffle oil made me think it may even be better than O&B’s famous dairy-free mushroom soup), and my favorite so far has been the roasted cauliflower with chickpeas, mustard and parsley.
I’ve been slightly afraid to venture into her juicing without the all mighty Vitamix, but F it. I’m going to dedicate a morning sometime soon to blending some green goodness together. So for the record, the title of this book is entirely accurate: It’s All Good.