Cookbook Review: It’s All Good

Gwyenth Paltrow’s new cookbook with Julia Turshen, It’s All Good is subtitled, “Delicious, Easy Recipes That Will Make You Look Good and Feel Great.” Amagansett’s Paltrow surely knows something about this. Earlier this year, at age 40, Paltrow was named the World’s Most Beautiful Woman by People magazine. But, according to the author, just last year she was a mess—fatigued, faint, anemic, vitamin D deficient, stressed, suffering from allergies and toxins. This book is a guide to the good life through eating healthfully,, offering 180 recipes.

The introduction by Dr. Habib Sadeghi of the Be Hive of Healing Center for Integrative Medicine in Los Angeles will really get you thinking about improving your diet and lifestyle. As he writes,                             “For thousands of years, Ayurveda, the ancient system of Hindu medicine has used the energetics of different foods to engage the mind/body connection and facilitate healing. Food isn’t an inanimate object. It’s part of us.”

This cookbook came out in April; I saved this review until you really needed it. Now is The Season of Houseguests. You may have some buzzing around. You have to feed them and going out for every meal just doesn’t cut it. Though this cookbook is “all good,” it’s not all vegan—or even vegetarian. On page 120 you’ll find a great recipe for Grilled Steak with Melted Anchovies and Rosemary.

Best part—there are weeklong menus to follow for different diets, namely, “Protein-Packed,” Vegan and Elimination. And the recipes are simple and no-nonsense. You are advised to get a Vitamix blender and to stock up your pantry. Do so.

Also, take my advice and leave this lovely volume casually strewn over a coffee table—I bet your guests will pick it up and be inspired to help out in the kitchen.

Significantly, this cookbook will not inspire houseguests to utter East End homeowners’ most dreaded phrase: “Hey kids, let’s do an old-fashioned lobster bake! It’s easy!”

I made Paltrow’s “Classic Pesto” with good results—although the total lack of cheese scared me—so I threw in some Go Veggie Grated Parmesan Style Topping for body. I also replaced the basil with a mix of carrot greens and parsley. This cookbook encourages experimentation and a relaxed attitude in the kitchen. Love that.

But for all that this healthy cookbook offers, there’s one glaring omission: no nutritional information is included with the recipes, not even calories. This is something I’d like to know about before I whip up a smoothie chocked full of whey. Maybe I could find such information on Paltrow’s über popular lifestyle blog, Goop.com.

I’m not clear who Lee Gross is; a good number of recipes are attributed to “Lee,” including Lee’s Ponzu and Lee’s Sriracha. If the recipes are as good as they look, I suppose I don’t much care who Lee is. (I looked him up; he’s a well-known macrobiotic chef. I have a lot to learn, I’m okay with that. Healthy baby steps…)

In 2008 Paltrow first worked with her co-author Turshen when Paltrow co-hosted PBS’s series Spain: On the Road Again with Mario Batali and Mark Bittman. Her first cookbook, My Father’s Daughter: Delicious, Easy Recipes Celebrating Family & Togetherness, was released in 2011 and became a New York Times bestseller.

Do pick up at least one copy (it makes a great hostess gift) of these easy, beachy recipes. It’s beautifully photographed and styled. Look for some East End sites. There’s the fresh-faced, All-American Paltrow on the front and there she is slurping a popsicle on the back, plus her adorable children Apple and Moses are feautured. It’s all good.

 

 

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