Book Review: Is it Really “All Good” ?
Okay so Miss Thing dropped her new cookbook It’s All Good recently and the Gwyneth hate level increased tenfold on my Facebook timeline. To put it mildly, the mommies are up in arms.
Let me say this. Gwyneth Paltrow seems vapid when you read her interviews or see her talking on television talk shows BUT girlfriend does dispense good advice about healthy living in Goop. Now we all know she’s not doing her own cooking regularly and is probably personal assitant’d, nanny’d, housekeeper’d and private chef’d up the wazoo in her multiple residences on multiple continents. That’s why she irritates the f–k out of many moms who have to do everything themselves and don’t have patience for Gwyneth’s platitudes.
My motto is: “Don’t hate. Take notes.” So instead of being annoyed by Gwyneth, I focus on extracting the benefits of her staff-curated expertise about all sorts of things related to healthy living. Case in point: It’s All Good. Gwynnie’s new book that is supposed to contain recipes that will make you look and feel better. It’s a good concept and timely for me. For about three years I’ve been seriously focusing on eating clean and avoiding processed foods. So if she was truly delivering a book of delicious recipes with all fresh ingredients–I was all in. I bought a copy and read it with an open mind.
|Miles likes Gwyneth Paltrow’s Fish Finger recipe from “It’s All Good”.|
As a mom, I judge a cookbook on five main criteria:
1. Does my family enjoy the recipes in the cookbook?
2. Are the recipes healthy?
3. Are the recipes time-consuming?
4. Will the recipes require a lot of ingredients that I will only use once?
5. Can I make the recipes without messing up my kitchen too badly and dirtying too many cooking tools and/or kitchen machinery?
Based on those criteria, this is a good cookbook. It provides clean and healthy food that caters to adults and to young picky palettes. The four recipes I’ve tried so far were pretty easy to pull off and required minimal effort. My son Miles is 6 years old and picky. So far he co-signs on Gwyneth’s fish fingers and the Japanese chicken meatballs.
|Miles thinks the black sesame and ginger carrots from Paltrow’s It’s All Good are “yucky”.|
He wasn’t crazy about the carrots with black sesame and ginger (said they were “yucky”) and the Thai-style Turkey burgers (he didn’t didn’t like the taste and the fact there was” green stuff” a.k.a finely sliced cilantro in the burger.)
Personally, I enjoyed each dish I made from the book. They were packed with flavor, satisfying but not dense. The foods are easy to digest too. Nothing too rich, fatty or hard on the system. (Yes, I’m looking at you Paula Deen.) I loved that every ingredient was fresh, healthy and easily available at my Farmer’s Market and/or local chain-markets (I shop primarily at Ralphs and Trader Joe’s. I’ll go to Whole Foods if I can’t find something at the first two places.)
Don’t believe the hype in the Amazon reviews that says these recipes have expensive ingredients. I’m not sure where that comes from but nothing I made cost any more money to make than the things I normally make. Unless you are living on Hamburger Helper and Ramen you won’t see a price-jump in your grocery bill. I didn’t. The only thing that the average person may balk at is the Manuka honey used in a recipe. I have been buying Manuka honey for three years and it’s expensive so if you don’t want to pay for it, you can probably substitute organic honey for it. No reason to damn Gwyneth to hell over honey.
Okay, now here’s where the book fails… Gwyneth has stories and she will test your patience. These stories are lovely if you are a huge Gwyneth fan otherwise reading them is like committing an act of violence against yourself.
My take? Everything that isn’t a recipe in this book should be ignored (the celebrity name-dropping, her personal and often contradictory take on nutrition and the gratuitous pictures of herself) but the recipes are definitely All Good.