Why We're Cooking From Gwyneth Paltrow's New Cookbook

Gwyneth Paltrow wows us with her new cookbook

When I think of Gwyneth Paltrow, my mind immediately jumps to the scene in Shallow Hal when her character, Rosemary, orders a double pizza burger, chili fries with cheese and a large chocolate milkshake right before the legs of her chair give out. Today, Paltrow is one of the foremost figures of healthy eating and lifestyle. So when we recently received her new cookbook, It's All Easy, at the TT office, I skeptically decided to have a look.

Already the author of two successful cookbooks, for her latest project, Paltrow teamed up with Thea Baumann, food editor of GOOP, the food and lifestyle website Paltrow founded. Their work shows a combination of beautifully styled food pictures side by side even more beautiful pictures of Paltrow and her children candidly cooking on one page, then galavanting through Paris on the next.

But it wasn't only pictures of Apple and Moses hanging in a tree that drew us in. Paltrow and Baumann have amassed recipes that, while simple, provide inspiration throughout—something I look for in a cookbook. Using unique ingredients like dashi in a series of ramen recipes or suggesting variations on socca pizzas, the book combines the perfect amount of no-fuss dishes and interesting ingredients and techniques that give it substance.

The one aspect I was personally impressed with was how on pulse the cookbook is with current food obsessions. Combining current trends like spiralized vegetables with cacio e pepe, Paltrow creates her own version of the dish with zucchini noodles. It was one of those "I wish I thought of that first" moments.

Photo: Ditte Isager

Yes, I know, it's not exactly cacio e pepe. But I tried out the recipe for myself and found it to be a perfectly light meal that still left me satiated and not raiding the fridge for leftovers, a common occurrence in the TT Test Kitchen. The tender noodles of zucchini are tossed in cracked black pepper, olive oil and grated Parmesan for a bright "no-cook" meal (note: The recipe comes accompanied by a picture of Apple spiralizing a zucchini).

And Paltrow doesn't stop at zucchini pasta when it comes to creative genius. Instead of cauliflower rice, she makes cauliflower bulgur in a take on tabbouleh tossed with herbs and a citrus vinaigrette. To top it all off, she even has a sheet-tray dinner and an avocado toast—which goes to show the power of a good food editor (hint, hint).

I can honestly say I was pleasantly surprised by the content of It's All Easy. While I don't expect to be eating halibut en papillote at her house anytime soon (Paltrow prepares it with bok choy and mirin, which we imagine is one of her good friend Beyoncé's favorites), I will be slowly buying lookalike props for photo shoots and testing outher carbonara I have high hopes, considering she is friends with Mario Batali. And I've already made her zucchini cacio e pepe. Twice.