If you follow me on Instagram, you'll have noticed an absurd amount of cooking photos lately. I've been cooking up a storm, and for good reason. Gwyneth Paltrow's new cookbook, It's All Easy, came out about two months ago.
GP is one of my favorite celebrities and has been since before Shakespeare In Love (a long time). I have all her cook books, even got her second one signed (I died from happiness the day I got that one in the mail), and I follow her website GOOP, probably since a week after it was launched. So naturally, I pre-ordered her cookbook and got it the day it came out - thank you Amazon Prime.
It wasn't my intention to make every recipe in the book, but I'm kind of on track to do that. Not a day has gone by that me or the whole family hasn't eaten something I made from the book. In fact, I'm snacking on veggies and the Cilantro Hummus as I write!
Not a single recipe has been bad, at all. But I have to admit, I am extremely glad for all of the amazing kitchen gadgets I got for my wedding. I haven't used my wok, immersion blender, micro-plane or food processor this much ever! If you have the right tools and ingredients, you're set. There are definitely some ingredients you won't find at Trader Joe's (miso paste, wasabi powder, Chinese 5 Spice...) - I don't think I've frequented Whole Foods this often since before having kids. But it's been so much fun and my husband actually looks forward to coming home to eat whatever crazy dish I've decided to make.
The cookbook has recipes marked that take 30 minutes or less. And I've found that they really do only take that long (maybe a few minutes longer with prep time). The ones that aren't marked as 30 minutes are mostly due to baking time, etc. The difficulty level of each has not been far off of "easy", either. Definitely a nice change from GP's previous cookbook, It's All Good. Those recipes were definitely a bit more challenging and time consuming. Consistent with both cookbooks, all the recipes are pretty healthy; that's a plus about her cookbooks, you never really have to alter them to make them good/better for you.
Here's the recipe rundown of what I've made so far:
- Grilled Chicken Chopped Salad - made it twice, plus it inspired me to be more creative and make my own version of the recipe a number of times
- Thai Curry Noodle Pot - took a fair amount of chopping prep-time, but I then had 3 days worth of lunches
- Beet Chips - I love root veggies, beets are one of my favorites and the rosemary flavors were great
- Black Bean Sup - the first recipe I made out of the book and the girls ate it up! G even said it was her favorite soup, ever (she made sure to stress the ever)
- Pita Bread Pizzas - made it twice (and more to come)! The girls really loved these, and you can pull it out of your hat in a pinch
- Sesame Noodles - twice! and probably every day if my husband had his way
- Chicken Enchiladas - advice from a good friend, use corn tortillas so it doesn't get too soggy
- Turkey Meatloaf - best meatloaf I've ever made, hands down
- Chicken Chow Mein - I added too many noodles, so the flavors weren't tremendously strong, but nothing a little sriracha couldn't fix
- BBQ Chicken Skewers - so easy and quick
- Spot Prawn Pasta - I used jumbo shrimp, which were awesome! Leftover shrimp were a great addition to the chopped salad lunch
- Soft Polenta with Roasted Cherry Tomatoes - so many leftover tomatoes I added them to the chopped salads, too
- Szechuan-Style Green Beans - good, but just a bit too oily for my taste
- Tikka Masala Roast Chicken - amazing chicken! The house smelled like an Indian restaurant until we painted the stripes on the living room wall, though, only draw-back
- Indian Creamed Spinach
- Miso Turnips - again, I love root veggies! A mix of sweet syrup and salty miso, can't go wrong
- Roasted Cauliflower with Curry and Lime - cauliflower is a big staple in this house, but I'd probably cut back on the creaminess for my family.
- Cauliflower Tabbouleh - OMG, YUM! But then again, I'm a sucker for tabbouleh.
- Crispy Potatoes with Lemon and Parsley
- Asian-Steamed Halibut with Scallions and Bok Choy
- Singapore Rice Noodles - great flavors, and I pulled this together a second time this past Sunday night when I had no idea what to cook for dinner and it was 5pm. I had to substitute kale for broccoli and snap peas for green beans, but it was still yummy!
- Zuni Sheet Pan Chicken
- Seared Scallops with Watercress and Asparagus - I'd never made scallops before and they turned out wonderfully. My husband ate 5 of them - he usually hates scallops. Oh, and my 2 year old ate 1 and a half, I couldn't believe it!
- Miso Clams - A-mazing! And so crazy easy to make, I was shocked.
- Cilantro Hummus - awesome! I ate this for lunch for almost 3 days in a row
- Furikake - basically seaweed/sesame seed flavoring. It was a little too sweet for my taste, but interesting.
On the menu this week - Chicken Wonton Soup, Black Bean Soup (again), Spicy Shrimp Ramen and 3 Mustard Chicken.
While it's not incredibly cheap buying all the different ingredients for these recipes, it has really cut down on our eating-out. We typically eat out as a family 3-4 times a week (lunch or dinner). Over the past few weeks we've only eaten out maybe once a week. This cookbook has us eating so well with so many varied flavors, that we haven't felt the desire to got out (and I haven't felt over burdened from the cooking). If the cost difference isn't a savings, its at least balanced out. And I dare say we're eating better and healthier.
All in all, BUY THIS COOKBOOK. I don't think I've ever made so many recipes from one cookbook that tasted as yummy and healthy as from this one. GP does it again, wonderfully!