This Week's Book: It's All Good

Second cookbook of spring is a bit more springy, and I think you'll agree just by checking out the cover. It's All Good, by Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen. Admittedly, I've long had a thing for Gwyneth. I think it has been ever since she played in Great Expectations...so lovely, so desirable. She's not that "one person" on my freebie list or anything, though...instead, I think that part of me wants to be Gwyneth. It is so lame. So sick. The good news is, this is pretty much my only celebrity fascination. But still. Am I a teenager? No. But I might have liked GP even then...who knows.

Anyhow, in this book she approaches a limited diet with the same ease and loveliness that she seems to approach everything else she does in public. The book is beautifully designed, with photos and layout that are great for working in the kitchen. What does that mean? The pages are clean, clear and have lots of white space, never more than two recipes on a page, and the instructions are simple and to the point. They don't require rereading. 

The same could be said about the foods in this book. Everything is kept streamlined, which makes sense for an elimination and whole foods diet. While little of what is offered in this book is "new," it does put a somewhat sexy face on minimizing wheat and dairy, and eating more whole foods (and I don't mean GP's face). 

Some of the recipes I will likely never try. This is the first cookbook I've bought in 3 years that includes recipes for meat dishes, and there are 50 pages of those in this book. While there are days that I consider adding fish back into my diet, I'm definitely not there, and it's usually just a fleeting thought (one knows too much...). In any case, the bulk of the book is actually great for vegetarians and vegans. Since the diet supported here cuts out all dairy along with gluten and most eggs, the only thing to watch out for is the rogue egg in a breakfast muffin, but most of the eggs in this book are front and center (like in the "perfect fried egg" or the "egg white omelette"). 

So far I've found a couple things super delicious in this book. The Green Goddess dressing is great. While I usually do not use much fat in my dressings, I splurged on this one, which is Veganaise based (yes, the book uses veganaise). It's so good. I don't know if I can go back...so far, its my most consistently used recipe in this book. 

I also had good luck with the non-recipe that is Avocado on Toast. It has always been a favorite of mine, but this book suggests adding a swipe of Veganaise underneath the avocado. I do not object. I have had this 3 times in the last 2 days. Do not judge me. I could eat this for every meal for a month and still enjoy it. Ripe avocado, red pepper flakes, Ezekiel bread (don't judge me, Drew). Yes please.

A couple other recipes bear mentioning: The quinoa mixed with browned cremini mushrooms and arugula (another simple delight) was an excellent quick dinner. If you get in the habit of keeping cooked quinoa around, a habit necessitated by my kale salad adventures, it's even quicker, as in 10 minutes. This was an excellent meal that might have been fine on its own, but I added the Spicy Brussels Sprouts to the meal and it was so great. Two greens on a plate seems like excess for some, but for me...it can make up for a happy hour when my greens intake was overrun by a caramelized onion quiche. These were shredded sprouts tossed with sriracha, lemon, and a bit of fish sauce. Very tasty and a bit crispy, which is always good.  (I also posted about a quinoa based breakfast dish from this book here).

Another recipe I mentioned in a previous post, the sweet potato 5-spice muffins, is completely necessary for GF vegans. This was my first baking endeavor with a GF flour mix (I've cooked with a blend before, but not pre-mixed). It was so delicious. The sweet potato was still slightly chunky in the batter, which created these additional pockets of moisture/joy. I ate my first while still warm with a little earth balance (margarine), and couldn't help but go back for a second for an afternoon snack. Very simple, very easy, very tasty. 

One oddly confusing recipe was the shepherd's pie, included in the kids' food section. Perhaps in some far corner of London where GP lives there is a shepherd's pie that is SUPER tomatoey, but in my world shepherd's pie is a nice brown gravy with mushrooms, carrots and celery. Also in that section is a fine idea that I shared with friends to great acclaim, black beans and guacamole tacos. Granted, I stuck with my recipe for black beans, which adds a little cumin, shallot, and jalapeno to the book's version. I've been making these beans for myself for a couple years, and I couldn't see changing my staple. In any case, topping them with a simple guac and serving it up in a tortilla (or mini tortilla bowl!) is a great idea. 

I also plan to try the following recipes: 
  • Pasole
  • Salt Crusted Fish (for company)
  • Frankie's-esque Beet Salad
  • Grilled Corn, Korean Style
  • Millet Falafel with Avocado and Tomato Relish
  • Polenta with shitakes and leeks
  • Banana Date Muffins
Look for posts that feature them in the future! 

No comments:

Post a Comment