***I received an all-expense paid trip from Disney/Marvel to cover the Iron Man 3 premiere. I also received a complimentary cookbook from Gwyneth Paltrow. As always, all opinions are 100% honest and have not been influenced in any way.***
Chatting with Gwyneth was a lot of fun, and she was very down to earth and easy to relate to. She was also very enthusiastic, not only about her acting career, but about an even more important role she plays...her role as a mother! (And let's face it...While the pay for this particular role may be low, the rewards are endless!)
Gwyneth is the mom to 2 amazing kids, her daughter Apple and her son, Moses. Like many moms out there, she has had to learn to create menu plans that not only offer the best nutrition, but are also in sync with her kids' food allergies and sensitivities. In Gwyneth's home, there are several factors to consider, including dairy and gluten allergies. Luckily, she is a whiz in the kitchen and a self-proclaimed foodie, so finding meals that her kids could safely eat that taste amazing was a challenge she happily took on.
Recently, Gwyneth Paltrow released a brand new cookbook called "It's All Good" that have loads of healthy, tasty recipes that are easy to make and a pleasure to eat. The recipes in the cookbook also fit seamlessly into many different diets, including the elimination diet, gluten-free diets, and even vegan diets.
Gwyneth generously gave us each a copy of the book, and she personalized them for us while we chatted. She talked to us candidly about her love for food and family, and even shared some very personal struggles she has dealt with when it comes to her own health and dietary needs.
Here are some of the highlights from this interview.
Chatting With Gwyneth About All Things Food
Gwyneth Paltrow: Basically, I just started writing down my recipes because I was always a cook and a foodie, and my friends would call me and ask for advice. There’s Julia, my best friend since
seventh grade...She called me once and she said, "I have a guy coming over and I have no idea what to make- I have to make dinner." Or friends would ask, "What temperature do I roast this at?" So I started writing them all down. And then when my dad died. He was the one taught me how to cook. We learned together and our connection to food was such a part of our relationship, When I cook, I sort of feel him in the kitchen, and I thought writing cookbooks would be a nice way to kind of pay homage to him and our relationship at the same time, and it was cathartic. It was really sweet.
This book I did basically because my son has really bad eczema. So I did his food allergy tests and stuff, and he’s really allergic to gluten and cow’s milk. And I felt so bad for him, like, not having regular ice cream and meat balls and stuff. So I said to myself, "I’m gonna just make him basically a mini-encyclopedia of totally yummy comfort food that’s on his diet." And it’s been incredible because so many people are trying to avoid gluten either for weight or, you know, they’re allergic to it. So yeah, that’s sort of how it all happened.
Gwyneth Paltrow : Two years ago, I had this really insane period where I had this movie, Country Strong coming out; I was filming Glee, and I was having to sing live. I had never even done this. My husband said "Most people start in a bar with their uncle. You're starting at the Grammy’s." It was really hard on me. I was so nervous taking beta blockers and, like, drinking a beer before I would perform. It was really bad.
And then, of course, because I’m a mom, I would never be like, you know what? Let me get to LA early one day so I can actually sleep and, like, take a walk...It’s like, no, I have to get there the day of and I’ll just shower and do it, and I’ll go home right away. I was steadily wearing myself down and I think there was some emotional stuff, too. I also had this weird, um, episode where I was making lunch, and the right side of my body went numb, and it was so terrifying, I thought I was having a stroke. And then because I thought I was having a stroke, I started having an anxiety attack on top of what was this migraine that was making my whole right side numb, and I really freaked out. I went to bed; I took a nap, and I remember hearing my kids playing in the garden. I was thinking, I can’t believe I’m here. I can't go play with my kids. What’s happening?
I was super freaked out, so I went to the doctor and I got tested for everything. Basically, I had run myself into the ground; I had really, really high stress hormones- they were killing my adrenals. I had really low Vitamin D, Vitamin B. My estrogen was messed up...Everything was just off. They said I had a cyst on my parathyroid, I had a cyst on my ovary....They found a million things wrong. Some of the doctors wanted me to get on medication or have surgery. My doctor suggested an elimination diet, just for 3 weeks. I had to eat super clean, just how our ancestors would’ve eaten... lots of things like chicken, figs, vegetables. No coffee, no alcohol, no sugar or Velveeta cheese. And in three weeks, my blood work had changed so much. My parathyroid nodule went away over time which is amazing. I did have to get my ovarian cyst out with surgery, but other than that, I fixed everything with the food. And I thought, this is incredible. Food really is medicine. It's amazing. I had done this damage to myself, and then I undid it.
Gwyneth Paltrow : A nutritionist once told me that the way that we’ve changed our diet in the last fifty years is crazy. Like is we showed our grandmothers or great grandmothers the way we were eating, they’d say, "What are you doing? This isn’t even food." We’ve just gotten used to the convenience. And I’m the same. I buy turkey jerky and horrible things that I shouldn’t buy, too. My nutritionist said to me, when you’re at the supermarket, shop the periphery. That's where all the fresh foods are. All of the chicken, fish, beef, whatever....Everything fresh is on the periphery. Just avoid the aisles, because that's where all the processed foods are. All of the preservatives and additives preserving this "food product" that's not really even food. Try and find a balance. When I am home, I try and cook healthy. When I'm out, I eat what I want. But as far as advice for your readers, think about it...All of the sudden, we have skyrocketing obesity, type 2 diabetes and heart disease. There's a reason it's happening. You can literally see when plastic came and it all changed. That's my input, anyway.
Gwyneth Paltrow : [LAUGHS] Do you have a hidden camera in my kitchen? That is so crazy. How do you know that? Yes, we are a hip-hop household, a hundred percent. My son, especially. He said the best thing the other day because he’s loves hip hop. He’s obsessed...And you know, Jay-Z’s a really close friend of ours and that was his sort of gateway into hip hop. And now he’s branched out...And the other day he was, like, "Mom, I think that Jay is story rapper and Kid Cudi is a feelings rapper." And I was like, "You’re totally right." This is so weird! Yeah, so yeah, the answer is yes.
Experimenting With It's All Good :
Last night, I made a couple of amazing recipes from Gwyneth's cookbook, "It's All Good". I chose a delicious, herbed chicken breast entree (page 100) paired with a fantastic side of roasted cauliflower and chickpeas with a tangy mustard dressing. (page 173) Are you drooling yet?
Luckily, I didn't even have to go to the store, since I already had all of the ingredients on hand. This was a HUGE plus, because dragging 2 toddlers to the supermarket isn't always the most pleasant of activities!
The chicken dish was very simple. It requires an assortment of fresh herbs, some extra virgin olive oil, sea salt, black pepper, fresh garlic, lemon, and of course, some high-quality chicken breasts, preferably organic.
The chicken will need to be pounded out to about 1/4 inch thick, and then it's added to the marinade. You can let it sit overnight, or for as little as 30 minutes if you're in a hurry to get dinner on the table. I personally recommend longer marination because it allows all of these beautiful, bright flavors to marry and infuse themselves into the chicken breast.
Once the chicken is done marinating, it's time to fire up the grill. Or you can use a grill pan on the stove, of course. We love cooking out in our household, and I just bought my husband a brand new grill for our anniversary, so naturally we took the cooking outdoors for this meal.
Since the chicken is pounded very thin, it doesn't take long to cook at all. Only a couple of minutes per side. This quick cook time is awesome, especially because once you smell this flavorful dish cooking, you're not going to want to wait very long. It smells mouth-wateringly amazing!
While the cauliflower and chickpeas are roasting, you'll want to make the dressing. It's very simple, and just has some Dijon mustard, some brown seeded mustard, white wine vinegar, olive oil, and a nice dose of salt and freshly ground black pepper. I actually added a touch of Xylitol to cut the tanginess to make it more palatable for my picky toddlers. This is not part of the original recipe, but it worked very well.
Once the veggies are done cooking, just toss them with the dressing and add some freshly chopped Italian Parsley. Serve either warm or at room temperature. Trust me, this is delicious!