Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Notes From My Kitchen Table: Delicious Recipes for Healthy, Happy Living by Gwyneth Paltrow


I'm sure you've all heard by now that Gwyneth Paltrow has a second cookbook called It's All Good. By sheer coincidence, before I heard the news of her newest culinary offering, I had started to make use of her first cookbook Notes From My Kitchen Table, which I purchased in the sales after Christmas.

Notes From My Kitchen Table is the first cookbook I've ever sat down and read straight through. I now realize that all the others that have come and gone through my kitchen were slightly wasted because the beauty in a good cookbook lies in all the good tips and tricks to be learned from the author. Gwyneth Paltrow also offers lots of personal stories about learning to cook with her father, what certain foods mean to her, when she first tried them and why it's important to her to cook food that's delicious and healthy. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book from the forward by Mario Batali to the very last recipe and I've loved cooking from it even more. The beautiful photos are inspiring and every recipe I've chosen to make so far has been more delicious than the last!

If you are vegetarian, vegan or gluten-free, this is definitely a cookbook you can use. Gwyneth gives alternatives for pork and beef as well though it's perfectly fine to use them if that's what you like. There's a lot of wiggle room and encouragement for innovation using these recipes, which I absolutely love since I normally change up every recipe I come in contact with in some way or another. I haven't even begun to make a dent in this book, but I wanted to share photos of some of the recipes I have tried with a bit of feedback - each and every one has been a delicious treat.

1. Spaghetti Limone Parmeggiano / 2. Blythe's Blueberry Muffins / 3. Vegetable Stock 

Spaghetti Limone Parmeggiano is now a favorite at my dinner table. It requires very little in the way of ingredients, it's delicious and it takes about 10 minutes to throw together. Everyone needs a recipe like that handy and who doesn't have spaghetti in their cupboards or a lemon in the fridge? We all do most of the time, which makes this recipe super easy and convenient!

Blythe's Blueberry Muffins were delicious - nuff said. If you have some left over, which you probably won't, you can reheat them by wrapping them loosely in foil and popping in the oven at medium-low heat for about 15 minutes since it's recommended to enjoy them warm.

I have never made my own homemade stock until this week - I have made soup, but never stock to put in the freezer for cooking with later. This is something I'm very excited about and proud of because I probably consume WAY too much sodium on a regular basis from stock cubes. This veggie stock is loud, proud and full of flavor without being overly salty. I added Rosemary because I had some I needed to get rid of - I don't think the rules are hard and fast when it comes to herbs in a stock recipe. I will feel happy pulling this out of my freezer knowing there's nothing processed or disgusting in it!

 Cheesy Stuffed Burgers & No Fry Fries

Eating well and healthy doesn't necessarily mean grass feeding and I love that GP has recognized that. This was the most unhealthy tasting healthy meal I've ever had. The fries aren't fried, the burgers aren't either and the buns are wholemeal. Yes there's cheese, but I chose high quality British cheddar - it's not the end of the world. I am not one of those people who will ever give up cheese. I just can't. This meal was delicious - I loved it, though I will admit while my husband loved the burger, I think he really missed the fried in fries... Hopefully he'll get used to it.

 Basic Tomato Sauce

I have not yet had the sauce I made yesterday on pasta, but I taste tested it... It's delicious and super easy to make! It yields just a little over a litre and ends up being cheaper for me than buying the processed stuff. I don't like a chunky sauce so after it cooled, I put mine through the blender. It worked a treat!

Chicken Stock

I have never until reading this book heard of anyone making chicken stock with actual chicken other than my mother (and now me) when she makes homemade chicken noodle soup. Even then, we only use the breast meat. This is a whole new way of doing it and I could literally kiss GP for offering this amazing recipe! I made the recipe for chicken stock, which requires a whole chicken, some herbs and some veg - simple stuff. I then used a portion of the stock to make soup to which I added some diced carrots, some broken linguine noodles and some of the chicken shredded and served it with bread and brie for dinner. I then shredded the remaining chicken meat (which was so tender and delicious by the way!) and made a light chicken salad using extra virgin olive oil, fresh parsley, fresh basil, pepper, sea salt, lemon juice, lemon zest and a bit of parmesan cheese - we ate that for lunch for two days. The rest of the stock is happily keeping in my freezer where it will be good to use for 6 months. 3 meals and enough stock for several other recipes, all from one kitchen session! It's absolutely brilliant! The stock was the best I've ever tasted, the soup was even better and the chicken salad was amazing as well!

I'm very much looking forward to trying more of the recipes in Notes From My Kitchen Table and I highly recommend it for anyone who loves to cook and eat fresh, healthy meals. Also, if you have children, GP offers tips for how they can be involved in the food prep and more child-friendly substitutions. Great book all around - I can't wait to see what Gwyneth Paltrow is serving up in her new cookbook!
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2 comments

  1. I have both of GP's cookbooks and they are just wonderful! She's put so much thought and effort into creating these recipes and her hard work definitely pays off, I haven't found a recipe that I don't like!

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    1. I completely agree! What's your favorite recipe so far?

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