Gywneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen wrote a very yummy, good-for-you cookbook called It’s All Good, published in 2013. It was a follow up to their first smash hit, My Father’s Daughter. The central themes of My Father’s Daughter were family, tradition, and comfort. In It’s All Good Paltrow and Turshen focus on foods that will make you feel good and hopefully function better too.
The Intro is very personal, detailing Paltrow and Turshen’s individual journeys to better health and well-being by changing the way they approached cooking. This book really does have it ALL. The Contents are divided into: PANTRY, MORNING TIME, SALADS + DRESSINGS, SOUPS, BIRDS + SOME MEAT, FISH, VEGETABLES, GRAINS, DRINKS, KIDS’ MENU, SWEET TOOTH, BASIC RECIPES and WEEKLY MENUS. Recipes (and menus) are coded: E for Elimination diet (for the clean-eating cleansing kind), V (for Vegan-friendly), P for Protein-Packed (for the “fuel” conscious).
Fave Pro: Through this book I discovered favourite ways of preparing produce and incorporating new ingredients and flavours in unexpected but simple ways. What to do with all those divine purple eggplants that pop up every summer up at my local farmer’s market or those curious bunches of daikon radish that my acupuncturist told me to eat? Now I know!
Challenge: Certain ingredients are a cinch to find if you’re Gwyn and divide your time between L.A. and London. But they’re a little more challenging if you live on a wee island!
If you’re looking for a breadth of good basics, and are also up for tackling some new-to-you ingredients in the name of ALL that is healthy and TASTY – this book – well, it’s all good for you.
Here are my Favourite Recipes from It’s All Good (and the reasons why I love ’em):
- SEAWEED SESAME SPRINKLE (eat seaweed, it’s the island way).
- SPICY CASHEW MOMENT (cheesy, vegan nacho-dip magic)
- PUMPKIN SEED PESTO (now my go-to pesto, that is CHEAP compared to pinenuts)
- BEET GREENS SOUP (reminds me of my Great Aunt Adele who fed beet greens to all)
Salads n Sides
- KOREAN SLAW (on everythang)
- GRILLED EGGPLANT with GINGER, CHILI, & CILANTRO (eggplant got you all meh/yuck? think again with this MEATY dish)
- BRAISED DAIKON RADISH (just try it! umami yumminess)
- BROWN RICE PASTA with TUNA, OLIVES, FRIED CAPERS & PARSLEY (canned Tuna that tastes good is a miracle/time-saver)
- FLOURLESS ANYTHING CRUMBLE (perfectly acceptable for B’fast too 😉
- CANDY BARS (a chocolate bar that’s not bad for you? *SEE BELOW, and STAT!)
The book is full of other simple, helpful gems including; an arsenal or sauces, dressings and dips, 3 ways to cook an egg, perfectly cooked quinoa & brown rice, plain roast sweet potatoes, chicken burgers, salmon burgers, etc!
My take on Gwyneth’s “CANDY” BARS
1 1/2 Cups raw cashews
1 1/2 Cups pitted dates
1/2 Cup nut or seed butter
1/2 Cup Canadian maple syrup 😉
1/2 Cup coconut flour
1/2 Cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1/2 tsp almond extract
1 1/2 Cups dark chocolate chips
1 1/2 Tblsp coconut oil
-In a food processor finely grind cashews. then add dates, nut butter, maple syrup, coconut flour, shredded coconut and almond extract and pulse in processor until the mixture forms a dough.
-Line a baking sheet pan with parchment paper and press the dough onto the paper, making a rectangle 1 inch deep.
-Refrigerate for 6-8 hrs until firm.
-Combine chocolate chips and coconut oil in a stainless steel bowl set above a pot of simmering water (the water should not touch the bowl – this ensures the chocolate melts without burning)!
-Once chocolate mixture is melted pour over the chilled cashew mixture.
-Refrigerate for 1hr until chocolate is set.
-Use the parchment paper to carefully lift out of sheet pan. Cut into bars.