My Week Eating like Gwyneth Paltrow

Eating like Gwyneth Paltrow for week

It’s fair to say then when I told colleagues that I would be eating like Gwyneth for a week, the response was less than supportive.

The phrase “open derision” springs to mind.

Gwyneth has a reputation for being a bit kooky when it comes to food. But what the heck? I found her latest book on sale in Waterstone’s, and I was sorely in need of motivation to cook more.

It’s All Easy” promises delicious weekday recipes for the super-busy home cook. It had to be worth a try, right?

Shopping Tips

Step one in Eating Like Gwyneth is a terrifying level of shopping. I planned out a week’s meals, looking for recipes with common ingredients. With a small household like ours, I didn’t want to end up with lots of waste.

shopping food eating like gwyneth

Everything you need to Eat Like Gwyneth (for a week)

Some of the ingredients were very familiar – chicken, eggs, cheese, vegetables, spices, noodles. Others were a bit more specialist. I wasn’t sure what Tamari and Kimchi even were. I had to invest in various vinegars, oils, sauces and mixes that weren’t already in my store cupboard.

The only store that sold everything I needed was Waitrose (and even that didn’t stock Kimchi, which I bought from a Korean food store online). The cost for a week’s food was £80, but it would have been £40 without all the store cupboard buys.

First Impressions

Eating like Gwyneth is all very well if you’re a grown-up 20-something like me (go with it) – but what about Flea?

I decided to break her into our new routine with this fried egg sandwich.

IMG_3456

Possibly my favourite fried egg sandwich EVER.

The recipe involves topping a slice of toasted bread with aioli (garlic mayo, to all intents and purposes), then adding rocket leaves, a rasher of bacon, then a fried egg. In what is surely a MASTER STROKE of cooking genius, Gwyneth recommends frying your egg in a hot pan, directly on top of a small pile of grated gruyere cheese, which melts and turns delicious and crispy.

The recipe was a triumph, and kid-approved to boot. Bravo, Gwyneth. Bravo.

Breakfast

A lot of the breakfast recipes in It’s All Easy involve acai or overnight oats, neither of which I consider to be fit for human consumption.

I usually eat porridge or toast with Marmite for breakfast, but decided to try the Blueberry Granola Parfait – in a glass, layer yoghurt (I used 0% Greek) with low-sugar organic (naturally) granola, fresh berries and honey. I cheated a bit here using frozen berries that I zapped in the microwave for 20 seconds, and it seemed to work perfectly well.

blueberry parfait

My take on Gwyneth’s Blueberry parfait

I loved this breakfast so much that it’s my go-to option when I can’t be bothered to make porridge (so, about three times a week). It honestly is delicious enough that you could easily serve it as dessert, or a snack.

Lunch

During my week of Gwyneth-ness, I alternated between the Moroccan chicken wraps and Gwyneth’s chicken salad for lunch, with leftovers from dinner on the other days.

moroccan chicken wrap

Chicken wraps, Gwyneth style.

Eating like Gwyneth is a lot easier if you pop a couple of chicken breasts into the oven while you’re preparing dinner. Lunch prep is a lot quicker if your meat is already cooked and prepped. And using frozen packets of ready-chopped herbs from Waitrose really cuts down on prep time (as well as saving waste).

To make the wraps, I mixed chopped chicken with celery, spring onions, coriander, cumin, cinnamon and yoghurt. Gwyneth uses Vegenaise and something called agave nectar rather than yoghurt, but Ocado doesn’t stock either of those things, so I had to improvise.

The chicken mix is spooned into a lettuce leaf and rolled into a wrap. I know Gwyneth is smart because I never tried this before, but it TOTALLY stops a soggy wrap lunchtime tragedy. Thanks, G.

chicken salad

Stripy salad.

The salad is simple – scatter chopped lettuce on the bottom of your take-away container, then add strips of peppers, chick peas, chicken, tomatoes (scattered with basil and salt), green beans and red onion. I skipped the anchovies (ugh) but used the recipe for a red wine and mustard dressing, which you drizzle over at the last moment. It’s really fresh, and looks pretty to boot. Flea loved this one, and you can switch the chicken for tuna or feta cheese, if you prefer.

Dinner

Gwyneth’s book has a chapter on comfort food and we couldn’t decide which to try.

The chicken enchilada recipe looks AMAZING, but we tried the Cauliflower Mac and Cheese to start with. Actually this recipe will be familiar if you regularly make mac and cheese or cauliflower and cheese, it’s just a combo of them both. It’s not Insta-pretty, but it’s pretty good.

On evenings where Flea had eaten early, I cooked Gwyneth’s piccata chicken served with one of the cauliflower recipes as a side (the kimchi cauliflower fried rice is awesome if you like spicy). It’s fairly simple, just cooking chicken breast with parsley, lemon and capers – and can be done and dusted in 20 minutes.

When I hit my weekly limit of cauliflower, I added some oven chips. I know. I suspect Eating Like Gwyneth does not involve McCain Crinkle Cut Home Fries.

chicken pho

Chicken and Zucchini Noodle Pho. Pho-nomenal.

For me, though, the best recipe – worth the price of the book by itself – is Gwyneth’s chicken and zucchini noodle pho. It’s a pho that uses spiralised courgette in place of rice noodles. Buy your courgette ready noodled from the supermarket, and this dish takes 25 minutes to make, with very little prep.

The pho broth is chicken stock cooked with a chicken breast, garlic, ginger and coriander. Once cooked through, remove the chicken, and shred it. Add maple syrup, tamari (it’s a variety of soy sauce, so use whatever you have to hand) and sliced onion to the broth, then pour over the chicken and ‘noodles’ with a sprinkle of sliced jalapeños to serve.

It’s fresh and healthy but still really comforting – and if you cook a big pan, the broth can be used up for lunch the next day without the chicken.

The Verdict

Whatever you think about Gwyneth, It’s All Easy is a fantastic cook book.

It’s always good to try a bunch of new recipes. I found the idea of having a week of cooking from one book was a good way of getting myself to try things I wouldn’t normally eat.

cacio e pepe

Flea took one look at this and asked for a sandwich.

Not all the recipes were winners. Gwyneth’s version of pasta Cacio e Pepe using courgette noodles with parmesan is tasty but looked enough like cat sick for Flea to turn her nose up. And I’m not sure the 30 minutes it took to make whipped cream out of coconut milk were quite justified by the results.

Some of the ingredients are quite specific but if you’re flexible and happy to make substitutions where needed, I don’t think that’s a big problem.

The key to success in eating like Gwyneth Paltrow, I think, is judicious cheating. I used frozen herbs and ready-made mayo, noodles and the like. But there was enough fresh food and everything felt really nutritious that I still got that glow of smugness that comes from knowing you’re not eating trash food.

After a week of Eating Like Gwyneth, I’m not sure I had quite achieved the Gwyneth glow (although I did lose 4lb). But I DID discover some new recipes that I now eat regularly. I liked that having an ‘experiment’ encouraged Flea to try foods that were completely new to her – no easy feat, usually.

Would you ever be tempted to eat like Gwyneth? Or do you have a top tip for getting out of a cooking rut? 

 

 

About 

Sally is a full-time blogger and founder of the Tots100, Trips100, Foodies100 and HIBS100 communities, along with the MAD Blog Awards. She spends a bit too much time on the Internet. She’s also a very happy Mum to Flea, the world’s coolest ten year old.

17 Comments

    • 19th July 2016 / 6:18 pm

      I think it’s nice because often you intend to make something healthy but everything you think of is so … uninspiring.

  1. 19th July 2016 / 8:26 am

    I have another of Gwyneth’s book. There are some really tasty recipes in it but you definitely need to beef up your kitchen cupboard. I’m with you on acai though. It’s time for that trendy ingredient to go the way of bell-bottoms.
    Jennifer Howze recently posted..A mother-daughter holiday challenge in Moliets, FranceMy Profile

    • 19th July 2016 / 6:17 pm

      When we were in California last summer there was an entire restaurant devoted to acai. We didn’t go in.

    • 19th July 2016 / 6:16 pm

      Ha. Spookily close, Gwyneth does have pizza recipes but using socca (chickpea flour) to make the base rather than wheat 😉

  2. 19th July 2016 / 6:08 pm

    Ooh. I think I might give it a go (even if I’m with Flea on the cat sick noodlevegetablething). Anything has to be better than my current book-editing last minute “you mean you want food AGAIN?” repertoire. (Pizza.)

    • 19th July 2016 / 6:17 pm

      Ha! As a diversionary activity, I thoroughly recommend it. Next week? Hairy fat bikers.

  3. 19th July 2016 / 9:05 pm

    The salad looks nice, and the granola is definitely my kind of breakfast. The lettuce leaf in the wraps is genius. I’m not sure I could eat regularly like G but it looks good for a bit of variety x
    Donna recently posted..Pink Parcel Review and Giveaway!My Profile

  4. 19th July 2016 / 9:27 pm

    Can’t say I’ve ever fancied eating like Gwyneth, or even given much thought to how she might eat. Surprisingly it all looks pretty tasty, except maybe the cat sick noodles. Love the sound of cauliflower mac n cheese, two of my favourite dinners but I’ve never thought to combine them. I might have to check the book out!
    BloggerMummyLauren recently posted..Summer Sandals from Jones BootmakerMy Profile

  5. 19th July 2016 / 11:07 pm

    I didn’t think I’d like overnight oats until I tried them, with lots of fruit and yoghurt they really are yummy and fill me up so much that I could probably miss lunch and not notice. I love the look of the stripy salad and the chicken and courgette pho. We are always trying new stuff, some goes into my little pink book of happy recipes and others are never to be spoken of again.
    Anne recently posted..What’s in Your Box This Week?My Profile

  6. 20th July 2016 / 3:49 pm

    This is interesting as I would never have thought to buy one of her books, yet a lot of the recipes sounds like meals I would enjoy. Thanks for the honest and open review. Well done on the 4lb loss too! x
    Becky gwynne recently posted..Quick & Easy Olive Soda Bread RollsMy Profile

  7. 22nd July 2016 / 10:39 am

    Now this is an interesting post. I’ve been considering getting this book but thought it would be all strange organic ingredients that you can’t get in the UK. Lots of the recipes you list sound and look delicious so I’m off to Amazon to get my Gwyn On! #picknmix

  8. 26th July 2016 / 10:24 pm

    Oh my word that fried egg sandwich…. garlic mayo? Sounds amazing to me, I might need to try that one out. Looking at this I think I could eat like Gwyneth… but since everyone else in the house are fussy eaters it would involve a lot of making two different meals.

    Stevie x
    A Cornish Mum recently posted..Ten Things and Liked/Loved Linky – July 2016My Profile

  9. 27th July 2016 / 11:19 am

    Ooh these look way better than I thought they would. I like simple and the chicken Noodle one looks fab. Might give this a go. Way to go for giving it a go x

  10. 28th July 2016 / 8:03 pm

    My tummy is rumbling now looking at all the food. I’m not a huge fan of cauliflower though, totally agree with you on the anchovies, yuck! I love trying out new recipes it’s so easy to get stuck in a rut with the meals you eat.
    Eilidh x

  11. 29th July 2016 / 8:25 pm

    applauds sally for very cool experimental cooking skills and losing 4lbs is yay! The breakfast looked very nice – have never heard of a pho? But it looks v sophisticated
    Becky recently posted..Super simple banana muffin recipeMy Profile

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