There are a lot of things that Gwyneth Paltrow, an actress, singer and food writer has done right. Creating a healthy food recipe book is one of them. Her recipe book titled “It’s All Good” is a #1 New York Times Bestseller with the hopes of providing easy and delicious recipes that aim to keep you healthy, as well as make you look and feel great. After reviewing the recipe book, it is indeed a great buy with very delicious recipes. However, a lot of the recipes have food lists that are simply expensive for an average North American cook. Some food items are only for those that have advanced food palettes and are willing to splurge on groceries in order to buy international and advanced food items that will only be used once to make one special meal and not an everyday meal. Nonetheless, the book is a great healthy recipe book that has recipes for all types of diets and nutrition (vegan, gluten-free, vegetarian etc). I’ve decided to share my three favourite recipes (including their page numbers) from the book and they may just pass for a three-course meal on any day of the week.
AVOCADO TOAST (Pg. 34-35)
– Sliced bread of your choice (toasted)
– Ripe avocados
– Salt & Black pepper
– Fruity red chili flakes (Aleppo pepper, korean and chilli flakes etc)
Toast any slice bread of your choice, spread it generously with Vegenaise and top it with a few slices of ripe avocados, ever so gently pressing the avocado into the bread. Then, sprinkle some salt and black pepper. You may decide to squeeze a bit of fresh lemon juice and add a few fruity red chili flakes. In the words of Paltrow “…but really it’s the holy trinity of Vegenaise, avocado, and salt that makes this like a favourite pair of jeans”
QUINOA WITH MUSHROOMS + ARUGULA (Pg. 200)
¼ cup extra virgin oil
2 garlic cloves
2 tsps fresh thyme
1 pound crimini mushrooms
2 cups perfectly cooked quinoa
2 large handfuls of arugula
Freshly ground black pepper
Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick skillet set over high heat. Add the garlic and thyme to the pan and cook until they just begin to bloom and get fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the mushrooms to the pan along with a pinch of salt and cook, stirring occasionally until they’ve softended and browned. Transfer the mushroom mixture to a large mixing bowl along with the quinoa and arugula and stir to combine. Season to taste with a bit more salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper.
* Serves 4
BASIC BROWNIE RECIPE (Pg. 252)
I can honestly swear by this recipe. It makes the absolute best brownies that are sure to be a hit amongst family, friends, co-workers etc.
2 cups flour (any flour of choice; spelt, all purpose, spelt, gluten free etc)
1 cup cocoa powder
1.5 Tbsp baking powder
A pinch of salt
½ cup Vegenaise or vegetable oil
1 cup maple syrup
½ cup brown rice syrup
½ cup strong brewed coffee
½ cup soy milk (or rice milk, almond milk, coconut milk etc)
1 Tbsp pure vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Line a baking dish (9X11) with parchment paper and lightly oil the parchment.
Sift the flour, cocoa, baking powder, and salt together in a large mixing bowl. In a separate bowl, whisk together the Vegenaise or oil, the syrups, the coffee, the milk and the vanilla. Mix the wet ingredients into the dry ones, being careful not to overbeat. Pour the batter into the prepared baking dish. Bake for 30 minutes or until toothpick comes out with just a bit of chocolate on it. Let the brownies cool before cutting into squares.
* Makes 12 to 18 brownies.