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Gwyneth Paltrow is an Oscar winner and author of the New York Times bestselling cookbook, My Father's Daughter. She is a mother and an actress, splitting her time between London and New York. Her website, www.goop.com, covers food, crafts, fashion and fitness.
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I'm torn on how to write this review. On one hand, no one can argue the benefits of a clean diet, both physically and mentally, and the recipes in this book are overall healthful. On the other hand, it briefly made me wonder if we colinized Mars while I was asleep and made Gwyneth Paltrow the Planetary President... I'll explain.
I eat a clean diet and have to cook without gluten, tree nuts, and soy due to varying dietary issues in my family. So, I'm always looking for new recipes and I was excited for this book's release. But for disclosure, I admit to rolling my eyes when I saw the author was GP. Isn't this the same person who has sworn by macrobiotic diets, then raw diets, then juicing fasts, and those acupuncture and cupping procedures? And didn't she just write a different clean diet cookbook recently? But, I figured maybe she learned a few things and if the book provided some good recipes, then why not try it? So, I did. I will try to keep my eye rolls separate from the contents of the book, but it may get tricky. And with 35 of 80some photos in this COOKbook being of her and not food (that's nearly half, math wizard!), Ms. Paltrow doesn't make it easy.
First, the misinformation/contradictions: Gwyneth decided that her kids, husband, and herself are intolerant to gluten, dairy, and chicken when her doctor put her on an elimination diet to clear out her system after she mistook a migraine for dying. (No, really.) I thought she was already eating this way, according to her past diets, but she calls her "overindulgence" a "lapse" in her healthy lifestyle sparking health problems that made her adopt this new diet. Call me skeptical, but it just comes across as someone just riding the newest diet wave.Read more ›
This review is based on having made 7 recipes (so far) from her book. All of them were delicious and I plan on cooking them again soon-- signs of successful recipes.
Lentil Salad with Mustard + Tomatoes: Grade: A+. This took about 30 mins in total to make and it tasted fantastic. My husband and I ate this as the main entree with a side of sage-chicken sausage. We were in heaven. (Omitted: italian parsley, because I didn't have any on hand. Also, used less oil than written but I do this with all recipes). UPDATE: Served this at a group bbq and it was hit--lots of compliments on how delicious it was, several wanted a copy of the recipe from me. :)
Black rice with fresh coconut: Grade: A. This took about an hour to make-- the bulk of that was waiting for the black rice to cook (it does need an hour!) and then stirring everything else in. I used canned young coconut juice-- it really is delicious with the nutty flavors of the black rice. I'm never cooking black rice with plain water again. The lime added a refreshing quality. I wasn't 100% sold on the peas with these flavors, I think I'll try steamed carrots instead next time. Note: 2 cups of coconut juice wasn't enough liquid, I did need to add about 1 cup more water during the cooking process. This might vary per stove-top setup, just make sure to keep an eye on it and if the water has evaporated too early keep adding the water. The final texture should be slightly chewy (al dente) and not crunchy (this means you didn't use enough water).
White Bean Puree with Turnip + Roasted Garlic: Grade: A+ (with modifications). I have an allergy to potatoes and have been missing mashed potatoes so I was really happy to see this in the book.Read more ›
I am so not generally a fan of Gwyneth Paltrow (I often think of her as Her Royal Smugness after seeing an appearance she made on the David Letterman show, and believe the only movie she was any good in [and she was] was The Talented Mr. Ripley); but since I don't read Goop, or even the parts of this book that she wrote that open each chapter (none of which interests me in the least) I don't feel the absolute vitriol that so many of these reviewers do here.
The poor woman's taking an absolute beating for her new It's All Good, but I'm smart enough to know that Ms. Paltrow has had a lot of high-priced help and access to chefs and kitchen secrets and paid a fortune for that over the years, and by buying this book I was able to benefit from all that for a tiny fraction of the price she paid.
Gotta like that.
Some of these reviewers came here with a snarky, Mean Girls-like agenda and rated this book one star ON THE SAME DAY (OR WEEK) IT WAS RELEASED. One star? For this? Seriously? WHEN THEY DIDN'T EVEN HAVE TIME TO TRY A SINGLE RECIPE? How very mature of them. That's not a review, and they need to get over it and just focus on the actual content and what one can learn from it.
I knocked off a star for the Paltrow musings (don't care about her pontificating on any subject), but as far as the rest of the content, I was impressed. The pictures and recipes LOOK delicious. The few (vegan) recipes I tried WERE delicious, and I'm looking forward to cooking more through this.
The pantry section was good and introduced me to a few new things, the recipes look good, I learned about some products I didn't know about, and there's a great section at the back on condiment- and snack-type things you can make yourself.Read more ›