Gisele Bündchen Reveals the Key Ingredient in Her “Perfect” Salad Dressing [Exclusive]

published Apr 22, 2024
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graphic collage of Gisele Bündchen surrounded by olive oil, cucumbers, cherry gelatin, and mixed nuts
Credit: Photos: John Russo, Shutterstock

Gisele Bündchen is in her cooking era. The Brazilian supermodel and self-described meal planner believes the key to maintaining a healthy lifestyle as a busy mom of two starts in the kitchen. She recently released her cookbook, Nourish: Simple Recipes to Empower Your Body and Feed Your Soul. The inspiration for Nourish — “a collection of family favorites” — came from her mother who instilled in her the importance of meal planning.

“I wanted to create a cookbook that focused on simple, quick, healthy recipes that are packed with flavor,” Gisele tells The Kitchn. “It is also easy to create a weekly meal plan using the recipes and that helps when shopping so no food goes to waste. I came from a big family and meal planning was key to my mom’s success in feeding us nutritious meals. She worked full time — organization was her secret weapon. I learned the benefits of having an organized kitchen from her.”

When it comes to what Gisele puts in her body, it’s no surprise that she sticks to whole foods like vegetables and fruits. But that doesn’t mean she sacrifices taste for health. In fact, the model says she’s “all about creating flavor” when it comes to cooking.  

For this edition of Cooking Diary, Gisele walks us through her favorite meals to make, the snack her kids love most, and the foods she stays away from.

Is there a dish you’re famous for with your family?

Everyone loves my Sunday barbecues. I make my favorite traditional Brazilian dishes. We have a churrasco, which is a mix of meats on the grill, homemade panne e queso, farofa, hearts of palm, avocado, and cucumber salad.

What’s a cooking rule you break?

Definitely measuring. While writing the recipes for my cookbook, I realized how often I just throw in a pinch of this or a pinch of that. For baking, I learned you cannot break the measuring rule.

What’s the best thing you eat or drink for clear skin? 

It is not one thing but many things that create clear skin. Hydration is the most important. I drink a lot of water and tea. It is important to not eat processed foods and to have a diet filled with healthy proteins and lots of veggies and fruits.

What does an average day of meals look like for you? What do you cook in a day? What do you snack on?

Each day is different depending on what I have on my schedule. On workout days I need more protein and some days I like a smoothie. I truly eat many of the recipes in my book. I make a meal plan for the week to stay on track and prevent waste. Snacks I love are nuts, fruit, sometimes granola — it depends on the day.

You need to make dinner with three ingredients or fewer (not including salt, pepper, or oil). What do you cook? 

That is impossible. I am all about creating flavor and three ingredients is too limiting. I do have a delicious smoothie that has three ingredients: coconut water, frozen banana, and almond cream. It is so easy and tasty.

Credit: Photos (clockwise from top left): Getty Images, Shutterstock, Joe Lingeman

Do you have a secret ingredient when it comes to cooking? 

Dates are my secret weapon. They are perfect for adding a little sweetness to most dishes. They are also great as a snack or dessert on their own because they’re filled with so many great ingredients like magnesium, calcium, and potassium.

What’s your go-to salad dressing?

My favorite is a very good olive oil. Right now, I am using this delicious Brazilian one that my sister gave me for Christmas. After the drizzled oil, I use a sprinkle of Celtic salt. It creates the perfect dressing for almost any salad.

What are your favorite snacks to make for your kids?

Right now, my kids are into my version of a healthy Jell-O that we make from scratch with tart cherry unsweetened juice, Gaia Herbs-Elderberry Syrup, and organic gelatin. It is a quick simple recipe, and the kids love it. We are also big granola eaters. I always have it around for them to take on the go. It’s quick to make and the kids love it. The recipes are in Nourish.

Do you still eat 80 percent vegetables and 20 percent animal protein? If not, do you follow any specific diet?

My diet isn’t one size fits all. I am flexible, but I do love vegetables and they are always on my plate. I believe you must listen to your body and eat a variety of foods. I stay away from processed foods and sugar. They do not provide me with energy.