Full Disclosure: I like Gwyneth. I might even be a little obsessed. She's more or less my age and, for a very brief time in the mid 90s, I was told we looked alike. I'll take it. I was first aware of Gwyneth when we were in high school (not together, of course). I was once quoted anonymously in my school paper. She was in an Esprit ad next to it.
I followed her through the years — not literally, just in tabloids and on screen — and was kind of tickled when she had children and seemed to be making similar choices to ours. I'm pretty much just like Gywneth, except my husband is the lawyer kind of rock star. Not really. But I also have high ideals, ideals I fail to live up to, almost daily. I can believe a food is akin to poison, yet consume it far too often. (Looking at you, diet soda!) I feel great when I follow an intense yoga routine, but can easily take an accidental three month break. I believe in whole, natural foods, but I love Sun Chips slathered with pimento cheese. Gwyneth will always be cooler, prettier and wealthier than I am, and I'm okay with that.
All this to say: I like Gwyneth, imperfections and all. Her cookbooks intrigue me. It's All Good may not have any groundbreaking information for someone already on the whole food bandwagon, but the recipes are simple and flavorful and the book is inspiring. My copy is already full of folded down corners, because there are so many recipes we want to try. (My children sometimes go through new cookbooks with me, and we mark what we want to make. Family bonding!) This book will help me feed my family a little bit better, closer to my ideal, without adding extra work to my routine.
• Who wrote it: Gwyneth Paltrow with Julia Turschen
• Who published it: Grand Central Life & Style
• Recipes for right now: Pickled Jalapeños, Mustard + Old Bay Fish Fingers, Cucumber, Basil + Lime Juice, Carrots with Black Sesame + Ginger, Italian Tuna + Chickpea Salad, Mexican Chopped Salad with Mexican Green Goddess Dressing
• Other highlights: The photographs are really beautiful, and you should proceed with confidence. Be inspired, not bitter. Gwyneth wrote the book with Julia Turschen, a talented food writer with an eye for style. My youngest son (age 6) particularly enjoyed one section, "The Kids' Menu." He's requested one recipe already, MoMo's Special Turkey bacon, and it was a hit. We're looking forward to trying to make our own veggie dumplings from that same section, which includes a lot of recipes children can help prepare. This is whole food without deprivation; easy to prepare and delicious. Some of the recipes should not be good. The Broccoli + Arugula Soup, with broccoli, water, garlic, onion, arugula and lemon — should not be good. But it is, a hit with the whole family. And it takes one pot and about ten minutes to make.
• Who would enjoy this book? Cooks who like simple, nutritious recipes. Parents who are hoping to expand their children's palates and encourage them to really taste and enjoy food. Anyone who likes comfort food, but needs it to be healthy and clean. Any cook in a whole food rut, in need of a few new recipes and ideas.
Find the book at your local library, independent bookstore, or Amazon: It's All Good: Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great by Gwyneth Paltrow with Julia Turschen
• Visit the author's website: Goop
Apartment Therapy Media makes every effort to test and review products fairly and transparently. The views expressed in this review are the personal views of the reviewer and this particular product review was not sponsored or paid for in any way by the manufacturer or an agent working on their behalf. The writer purchased the book.
(Images: Anne Postic)