It’s been a good 2 weeks (or, you know, 4) cooking recipes from It’s All Good. We’ve laughed (over delicious chicken soup), we’ve cried (over dry and bland fruit crumble), we had fun (shopping at the healthy section of the supermarket). After cooking a handful of recipes, I feel confident enough to give my final thoughts on the cookbook that’s meant to be a magical portal to Goop health.
Is Gwyneth Paltrow and Julia Turshen’s book worth purchasing?
Like with everything in life, the answer depends on what you’re looking for in a book.
This Book Is For You If:
1. You want an easy introduction to healthy food
This book takes several steps into making the cooking healthy food process as easy as it possibly can for readers. It starts with a section on the pantry (where Gwyneth and Julia explain all their cooking staples), it includes recipes about all sorts of food (including meat, fish, and sweets), and the recipes are all beginner easy.
If you’re a novice cook who wants to cook healthy It’s All Good is definitely an option you should consider.
2. You live in North America and have access to Whole Foods
They say every book should have a target audience and the audience of this book was clearly North Americans, which the ingredients reflect. Kale, xylitol, shallots, vegenaise, maple syrup, kimchi, chipotles… Almost every recipe includes an ingredient that does not exist in my country, and while I adapt and substitute, I do always wonder if I’m missing something, if the recipe would be a lot different if I followed it strictly.
If you’re in North America, though, this book is for you.
3. You like the Goop aesthetic
This book is as much about Gwyneth Paltrow’s lifestyle as it is about the food she eats. Every other picture includes her or her children looking healthy and earthy and at one with the universe, which makes reading through the book a lovely experience. It’s meant to be aspirational: eat like Gwyneth and you’ll look like Gwyneth.
You won’t, of course, but the dream is nicely presented.
This cookbook is not for you if:
1. You like nutritional information in your recipes
That’s right, this book offers no nutritional information about its recipes. None whatsoever. There’s also no servings, or timings, or any of those things modern cookbooks and online recipe websites have gotten me used to. Some recipes are for one person, some will feed an army, and you have to figure out which is which from context because the book doesn’t tell you.
It’s messy and for a book that was so extensively planned out, it reeks of laziness.
2. You need pictures to accompany every recipe
Half the fun of leafing through a cookbook is drooling at the pictures of yummy food and while this book does include gorgeous pictures, they don’t accompany every recipe. Or even most of them. There are long stretches of pages that don’t include pictures and it’s a little disappointing, especially since they’re foods a lot of people have never seen before. Also, who isn’t more likely to make a recipe if the illustration looks extra yummy?
3. You are allergic to nuts
This is a personal one because nut allergies are rampant in my family and so, so, so many vegetarian and vegan based recipes in this book are nut based. Sometimes it’s easy to replace nuts with other ingredients, but other times they’re the base of a recipe and it’s impossible to even attempt it.
So if nuts are not your thing be warned you’ll skip a lot of this book.
Was It’s All Good For Me?
When all is said and done, yes.
There’s a lot I don’t like about It’s All Good (the lack of nutritional information, the lack of pictures, the abundance of very specific ingredients), but there’s simply a lot more that I do enjoy (the simpleness of the recipes, the deliciousness of some recipes, the way it showed me that healthy food can be great food).
We’ve had our ups and downs, but ultimately this book has given me recipes that are already family favorites (the salt roasted fish and the chicken soup) and many more I still want to try (the banana ice-cream, the veggie dumplings, the kiddy fish sticks). This cookbook is a delight to leaf through and I know I’ll be perusing it for healthy Sunday lunch ideas for years to come.
No regrets, would purchase again.
Just do me a favor, dear reader. If you ever do end up buying this book, you won’t make the Quinoa Crumble. Trust me, no amount of healthiness is worth that bland monstrosity.
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I’ll see you next week with a brand new 2 Weeks Of. Want to know what I’m going to be trying?
I’ll leave you a hint, dear reader. It involves elaborate food and shiny crowns 😉