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Have you tried any of the recipes in Gwyneth Paltro's cookbooks?

I try my best to remain open-minded. Have any of you tried recipes from the Gwyneth Paltro cookbooks? If so, how did you like them? Are there any you would highly recommend?

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  1. Being that I like fat, alcohol, red meat and dairy I can't see myself ever reading her newest cookbook. But my (now) vegan co worker loves her spicy sweet potato soup and the chocolate almond cupcakes. She brought in the leftover soup and it did smell amazing but I don't think Gwyn would have approved of her reheating in the microwave inside a plastic container.

    And this article says her spin on "Huevos Rancheros" holds some creative promise. :)

    http://www.hollyscoop.com/gwyneth-pal...

    1 Reply
    1. re: foodieX2

      "Being that I like fat, alcohol, red meat and dairy," I guess I'd rather eat at your house than hers!

    2. I haven't opened the cookbook but during a brief fundraising commitment I did visit her blog several times and the recipe didn't appear to be super complex or necessarily her original composition of a recipe. More like what she enjoyed eating.

      I recall a Chinese chicken salad and some pancakes her father was fond of making. Is the cookbook the same style as her recipe blog?

      7 Replies
      1. re: HillJ

        My understanding is that she spent quite a bit of time with a food chef or coach of some sort who taught her methods to make gluten free or less refined baking moist and appetizing. She uses vegan products, vegenaise instead of mayonaise for example. She gives substitutes for simple sugars that are more on the organic side. I did not find her to be lightweight in her approach, she lives and eats quite healthy. I did learn about different foods and think her first book is quite informative.

        1. re: Ruthie789

          Okay, then you've answered my ?, her cookbook is similar to the food section of her blog which features much of what you've described.

          1. re: Ruthie789

            Depends on how you define healthy. She has osteopenia, which is probably caused by her diet.

            1. re: LMAshton

              She is now a flexatarian and her first book is a reflection of that. I know she was on a rigid diet pre-children perhaps that may be a contributing factor.

              1. re: Ruthie789

                Ruthie, after reading your response I thought about asking the question and then I told myself not to because I would just look like some out of date old person that is not hip to what is going on with the Hollywood types these days.

                But then I thought...why not ask the question and learn something from these hipsters?

                Ok, Ruthie. What is a "flexatarian"?

                1. re: Fowler

                  I think it's a newly coined term for a vegetarian that cheats sometimes. :-)

                  1. re: Fowler

                    It`s ok Fowler I didn`t know the term either. She eats numerous vegetarian meals a week but does allow herself to have fish, chicken and eggs sometimes. Previously my understanding was that she was on some kind of very restrictive macrobiotic diet and did not eat any meat and dairy at all.

          2. The WaPo had a good article on her newest book last week. It's a funny read.
            "It’s only noon, and I’m almost done cooking my first meal of the day."
            I recall the author made muffins that were a major fail, but other recipes were OK.
            The author tells of spending $80 for ONE days' worth of food. Seriously?

            http://www.washingtonpost.com/lifesty...&

            1 Reply
            1. re: monavano

              I could see that groceries would be expensive Gwyneth style, she seems to use the best, and unrefined and some unusual ingredients that you have to buy at a health food store,it all adds up.

            2. Yes I made the muffins from Gwyneth Paltrow's first book. I think what is good about the first book is she introduces you to different types of flours for baking and non dairy mixtures (soy instead of milk). She uses maple syrup as a source of sugar in some recipes. I have made the spiced apple crumb muffins and got many compliments on them. I think she has researched her baking and has done some testing on it and for those who want to get away from refined foods this cookbook is a must. Or at least go the library and check it out.

              1. I'm with the fat, dairy and red meat group. I have enough trouble finding time to read the dozens of cookbooks written by chefs and cooks, much less a Hollywood celeb.

                3 Replies
                1. re: ItalianNana

                  I love celebrity cookbooks - especially the oddball ones. I think Gwyneth's cookbook is a sincere effort and judging by other posts, many of the recipes are good.

                  I used to have Vincent and Mary Price's A Treasury of Great Recipes - which it was, but not very vegetarian friendly so it made it's way to Half Price Books. I still have Someone's in the Kitchen with Dinah - Dinah Shore's cookbook, and I had to keep Dom Deluise's Eat This...It'll Make You Feel Better! because it makes me smile.

                  If I come across used celebrity cookbooks I usually buy them - just because. That's not to say they won't wind up back at Half Price Books. They can be fun to read.

                  I realize hers are not cookbooks you find interesting. That's cool. To each their own.

                  1. re: MplsM ary

                    I've read great things about Vincent Price's cooking. And I've also heard raves about a cookbook Sophia Loren put out years ago.

                    1. re: LulusMom

                      Vincent Price was quite the cook. He was also rather imposing in terms of his view on food. He would not eat food that was not up to his standards and would not hesitate to say if the food was bad. I was a fan of his, and saw him talk about his food perspective on a talk show.

                2. I have tried a few recipes from her new book that are posted online. The Thai chicken burgers over baby bok choy, the ginger carrots and the hoisin sauce are all really great. I will make all of them again. I used the hoisin on grilled chicken.

                  I haven't had a chance to look through the new book yet.
                  The new book is based on an elimination and detox diet. I eat this way much of the time already so it's not new to me. I don't know if the recipes posted on the Internet are reflective of the book in its entirety or not, but if they are, I will buy the book.

                  1. I have made two things from "It's All Good". The Mexican Green Goddess Dressing was delicious on my own variation of a taco salad. I used a yogurt base rather than Veganese- it was really tangy and surprisingly spicy. Minutes ago I finished making her risotto with greens and peas, and I'm really impressed. There is no wine or cheese, but it's still rich, creamy and flavorful. I'm going to pack it for four days' worth of work lunches this week.

                    2 Replies
                    1. re: Jetgirly

                      Since I got the book I've made a few more things. The gluten-free Sweet Potato Five Spice muffins are really good. They smell amazing. I think this is one of those recipes where the texture will vary a lot depending on the type of gluten-free flour blend you use, so perhaps consider using one you've baked with before. I've also been eating the NY Street Vendor Salad, which is just a simple mixed salad, but the yogurt-tahini dressing here is a stand-out. I've made other dressings with lemon and tahini before and not been impressed; this one is really, really, really good. To make the salad more filling I've also been adding shredded savoy cabbage and a bit of sheep feta, and I always feel sad when I'm finished my lunchtime salad, knowing that none remains... I did try the sweet potato soup that is noted above and while I found it good, it wasn't as good as some other sweet potato soup recipes that I've made before. I added a bit of pumpkin-cilantro pesto (a Clean Eating recipe) to add both color and flavor to that particular recipe.

                      As for the costs, I think they're very reasonable. Sure, someone with NO FOOD at all in their home might have to spend eighty bucks to buy the ingredients for one day's worth of foods, but it's not like they would use up all of those ingredients in one day. I haven't found the cost of cooking these meals to move my weekly food budget up or down. Also, most people probably aren't eating three Gwyneth meals and two Gwyneth snacks a day (I assume?).

                      1. re: Jetgirly

                        Gwyneth has learnt her diet from chefs and nutrition specialists. Her first book was based on what she cooked and tested with a specialist in her type of diet. I found her first cookbook quite good and approachable in terms of recipe costs and ingredients.

                    2. I just bought her cook book two weeks ago, and I have made several things and they are all winners so far. While I am in the fat, dairy, red meat camp, I was looking for something different as I am trying to eat a little healthier and lose a couple of nagging pounds. I wasn't intending on buying her cookbook until I saw some of the pics for the salads, and fish. (Looked rather appealing.)

                      The recipes I have made so far include - Thai Chicken Burgers which are divine. Lots of umami from the fish sauce (sodium?) but nevertheless, delicious.
                      Quinoa with argula and roasted mushrooms - definitely eat again
                      Quinoa breakfast (simple almond milk, quinoa and fruits on hand) - not rocket science but not eliminated the thinking of what to do with the leftover quinoa.

                      There isn't anything crazy inventive or complicated. It is a straight forward and simple in some cases. The criticisms re: price of her food... I usually carry a pretty stocked fridge and perhaps outside of the xylitol (sugar substitute - did not buy) and veganaise (I used Hellman's half fat - I'm not vegan), I think the ingredients are generally pretty easy to source. I think it is easy to hate on her, but if you don't like her, you can just ignore her. Her cookbook isn't going to change the world, but it has introduced some tasty meals into our home. I am definitely a fan.

                      18 Replies
                      1. re: Apple

                        I don't understand why she is disliked, she is just a human being like the rest of us. Her cookbooks are interesting offering new ideas which one could take or leave. I purchased the veganaise and found it really rich. I have her first cookbook and have made a number of recipes which I enjoyed.

                        1. re: Ruthie789

                          "I don't understand why she is disliked"

                          Hi Ruthie, I do not know her personally or even much about her so I neither like or dislike her. But I suspect some people (I am not referring to anyone here) may dislike her because she is thin, beautiful and rich. I am sure there may be other reasons as well but I would put envy high on the list of why some dislike her.

                          1. re: Fowler

                            I tend to agree. She seemed to be America's sweetheart for awhile and could do no wrong. She has tried to be accessible to her fans through her blog, GOOP, but I think that it may have distanced her instead, as the items she likes are often very expensive and her lifestyle outside the home is rather jet-set. I like her blog, I think she's just trying to share what inspires her.

                            1. re: Fowler

                              I don't hate her either - that's a really strong feeling to have for a stranger - but she annoys a lot of people (myself included, sometimes) by presenting herself as just a "regular mom" and then recommending all these pricey and unattainable things that only rich people can afford. It's basically the running joke of her newsletter GOOP.

                              1. re: piccola

                                I love GOOP - her Mexican dinner was a knock out success - no weird, obscure ingredients unless cilantro stems are out there. :) Also I love her travel guides and I like looking at the clothes (I can't afford)

                                She had a recipe for simple avocado toast (sliced avocado on top of veganaise covered toast) - I've substituted PB - no Veganaise dealer near me - and eaten it three times this week for breakfast. It's fantastic.

                                1. re: Apple

                                  Veganaise is so similar to mayonnaise, I find it richer. I don't think that I would buy it again but it can be found in health food stores.

                                  1. re: Ruthie789

                                    Is it similar to mayonnaise in the way that say Miracle Whip is, or does it really taste like mayonnaise? I've often wondered about this product, but I *really* like mayo, and really dislike Miracle Whip, so I'm afraid of veganaise.

                                    1. re: LulusMom

                                      It is very similar to mayonnaise not sweet like Miracle Whip. It is quite thick and rich. It is very good, just found it so comparable to mayonnaise that it was not worth the expense. It is a great option for vegans and comes in various options.

                                      1. re: Ruthie789

                                        Thanks Ruthie. Aside from being vegan, is there any reason to eat it instead of mayonnaise? Is it less caloric or heavy on the sodium?

                                        1. re: LulusMom

                                          As I recall it is even more caloric than regular mayo. I don't think it is healthier. I have had an interest in vegan recipes but have noted that the replacements do not always reduce the calories.

                                          1. re: Ruthie789

                                            Thank you - very helpful answer. I'm not vegan, but am interested in trying to get my family to eat a vegan meal once or twice a week. But I'm not going to make choices that I don't think are less healthful (or delicious - I'm not giving up butter for margarine, for instance).

                                          2. re: LulusMom

                                            It doesn't have calcium disodium EDTA like regular mayo has.

                                            calcium disodium EDTA is made from formaldehyde, sodium cayanide, and Ethylenediamine. Yum.

                                            Although it is approved for use in some foods, it is on the FDA priority list for further study for problems with birth defects, cancer and reproductive problems.

                                    2. re: Apple

                                      Please tell me PB does not stand for peanut butter!

                                      1. re: stak

                                        yes. PB = peanut butter. I didn't have any mayo and actually it was delicious with the avocado and a sprinkle of fleur de sel. :)

                                      2. re: Apple

                                        I just find GOOP hilarious. There have been lots of articles about following her advice and they're pretty entertaining: http://nymag.com/thecut/2013/05/i-tri...

                                      3. re: piccola

                                        GOOP...strange name for a newsletter at least in my neck of the woods. GOOP is a product we use to clean our hands when they are really, really dirty.

                                        I can understand your point about the annoyance factor if she is trying to portray herself as just a regular ol' Mom. The "regular Mom" that comes to my mind is my Mom who made all of our clothes, did her best to make great meals for us each day and also did everything else on a razor thin budget.

                                        1. re: Fowler

                                          Perhaps behind the scenes are nannies, maids or cooks, but she seems to genuinely like cooking. Agreed she's not your regular Mom, mine had us eating hamburger meat 5 days a week, budget, was always her main concern. Gwyneth does not talk about budget does she?

                                          1. re: Fowler

                                            Yeah, I think it's the disconnect that people find irritating (or in my case, funny).