Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

Gwyneth Paltrow

When I sat down to start my new book, I had been polling my friends and colleagues on what sort of cookbook they were looking for. These friends all seemed to have a common culinary yearning: they wanted a collection of recipes that they could prepare easily. They wanted to find themselves in the kitchen at the end of their over-extended days and be able to prepare something delicious and quick, something wholesome and simple. Essentially, they yearned for the antidote to all their busyness. A simple reset of the compass towards wholeness and quality at the end of the day.

Food doesn’t need to be complicated to be good. You don’t need to work for days to create that feeling of wholeness. There has been many a night when I have stood in front of the open pantry, totally at a loss for what to throw together, and settled on pasta with butter and cheese, or a can of organic tomato soup and grilled cheese, or frozen pizza bites. Meaning I’ve done the best I can on that particular day and gone really easy on myself…with a large glass of wine on the side and no guilt.

It’s All Easy (written with Thea Baumann; we’re pictured together at the end of article) is meant to be a road map: a self-help book for the chronically busy cook. Although our food tends to be on the healthier side (see the gluten-free, dairy-free dessert section), we have also included recipes with more standard ingredients (some cheese, some regular flour) because, well, it’s just easier. A friend of mine signs off her emails with: ‘Keep easy’. It’s a phrase that instantly gives comfort and takes the pressure off. That’s the idea here. Because even if life isn’t all easy – far from it – sitting down and enjoying a good meal with people you really like can be. It should be.

A note for good measure

All my recipes are designed to be simple and healthy, and that approach is the same irrespective of which side of the Atlantic you’re on. We use US cups and imperial quantities for the ingredients. Measuring cups are widely available and are very easy to use. They measure by volume (you could also use a measuring jug). As a guide:

1 cup = 240ml (8fl oz); ¾ cup = 180ml (6fl oz);

½ cup = 120ml (4fl oz) = 8 tablespoons;

¼ cup = 60ml (2fl oz) = 4 tablespoons.

For solid ingredients such as flour or nuts, simply scoop, pour or pack the cup according to the ingredient – it’s a bit like using big tablespoons. Measuring vegetables or herbs this way may seem a little unfamiliar but remember this is all good stuff so throwing in a little bit more or less isn’t going to be a problem.

Food: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

BLACK BEAN SOUP

The kids absolutely love this soup, and I love it because it’s so quick and simple to make. Use low-sodium stock if you can. All chilli powders are a little different, so we recommend starting with ¼ teaspoon of each unless you like things spicy.

SERVES 4

1 cup = 240ml (8fl oz)

 

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, cut in half and thinly sliced

1½ teaspoons sea salt

3 large garlic cloves, sliced

12 sprigs fresh coriander, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

¼-½ teaspoon chilli powder

¼-½ teaspoon chipotle chilli powder

2 x 400g-425g cans black beans,

drained and rinsed

3 cups chicken stock

TO GARNISH

grated cheese, sour cream, crispy tortilla strips, diced avocado, fresh coriander and fresh limes

Method

1 Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pot or casserole dish over medium-high heat. Add the onion and salt and sauté for 5 minutes, stirring often and lowering the heat if the onion starts to brown too much. Add the garlic, coriander and spices. Cover and cook for 5 minutes more, checking every minute or so to make sure everything is gently sautéing and not burning.

2 Add the black beans and chicken stock, bring the mixture to a boil and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.

3 Using an immersion blender, blend the soup directly in the pot until almost completely smooth. Adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve with cheese, sour cream, tortilla strips, avocado, fresh coriander and fresh limes.

Food: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

EASY TOMATO SOUP AND GRILLED CHEESE

I haven’t met a kid (or grown-up, for that matter) who doesn’t love the classic combo of grilled cheese and tomato soup. I love making soup with garden tomatoes I’ve slow-roasted all day and homemade chicken stock that has been simmering on the stove for hours. But as a busy mum, it’s hard to find the time (especially during the week), which is why I came up with this quick and easy recipe. Ready in under 30 minutes and very popular with the kids, this is in steady rotation at my house. I like cheese on toast the UK way, cooked open-faced under the grill. Serve it with this soup or your favourite canned version (shhh, we won’t tell anyone).

SERVES 4

1 cup = 240ml (8fl oz)

FOR THE SOUP

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 large onion, thinly sliced

½ teaspoon salt flakes, plus more to taste

3 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons tomato purée

5 large fresh basil leaves

2 x 400g cans whole tomatoes with their juice (or one equivalent large can)

2 cups chicken stock

freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons cream (optional)

FOR THE GRILLED CHEESE

4 slices of the bread of your choice

2 cups grated Gruyère or other cheese of your choice

OPTIONAL TOPPINGS

ham and mustard, rocket leaves, Cheddar cheese, truffle oil

Method

1 For the soup, heat the oil and butter in a heavy-bottomed saucepan or casserole dish over medium heat. Add the onion and salt, cover the pot and cook for 10 minutes. Add the garlic, tomato purée and basil leaves and sauté for 2 minutes.

2 Add the tomatoes and juice, breaking the tomatoes up with a wooden spoon, and the chicken stock. Bring the mixture to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook for 20 minutes. Using an immersion blender, blend the soup in the pot (alternatively, carefully transfer the soup in batches to a blender).

3 Season with salt and pepper and stir in the cream, if desired.

4 For the grilled cheese, pop the bread in the toaster while you grate the cheese and preheat the grill. Top the toasted bread with the cheese (and whatever other toppings you like – put them on the toast before you add the cheese) and grill until the cheese has melted and is starting to brown.

 

Food: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

CARBONARA

 

Carbonara is the perfect lazy dinner – it’s cosy, comforting and shockingly easy to make. Not to mention the fact that everyone almost always has the ingredients on hand. Keep some cubed bacon or pancetta in the freezer so you can make this any time in just minutes.

 

SERVES 4

1 cup = 240ml (8fl oz)

 

Ingredients

salt

110g (4oz) pancetta or bacon, cut into small dice

1 large egg, plus 2 egg yolks (or 3 to make it extra creamy)

1½ cups finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more as needed

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more as needed

350g (12oz) bucatini or other long pasta of your choice

 

Method

1 Bring a large pot of heavily salted water to a boil over high heat for the pasta.

2 In a 20cm (8in) sauté pan, cook the pancetta over medium heat until crispy, about 5-7 minutes. Combine the egg, egg yolks, Parmesan and pepper in a large bowl.

3 Cook the pasta according to the package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of the hot pasta-cooking water (the temperature is important because you are going to use it to cook the egg) and set aside. Next, drain the pasta and add it to the bowl with the cheese and eggs, tossing immediately to mix everything together.

4 Add the pancetta and any rendered fat from the pan to the bowl, toss to coat, and add the pasta water 1 tablespoon at a time until the sauce reaches a creamy consistency (this usually takes about 4 tablespoons).

5 Adjust with extra cheese, pepper and salt to taste.

 

Food: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

CHICKEN WONTON SOUP

 

Everyone loves wonton soup, but who has time to fold up individual dumplings for a midweek dinner? In this deconstructed recipe, we keep the wrappers and the filling, but ditch the arduous dumpling assembly step. The result? All the flavour of a good wonton soup without all the fuss. These chicken meatballs are addictive. We sometimes skip the soup part, bake or pan-fry the meatballs and serve them with the Sesame Noodles or Cauliflower and Kimchi ‘Fried Rice’ from the book.

 

SERVES 4

1 cup = 240ml (8fl oz)

 

Ingredients

 

FOR THE SOUP

8 cups chicken stock

2 large spring onions, cut into 5cm (2in) pieces

2 garlic cloves, smashed

1 x 7.5cm (3in) piece fresh ginger, cut into 5mm (¼ in) slices

a pinch of salt

4 baby pak choi, cut into quarters

110g (4oz) mangetout, strings removed

20 square wonton wrappers, cut into 1cm (½ in) strips

FOR THE MEATBALLS

450g (1lb) ground or minced dark meat chicken

4 small spring onions, minced or finely chopped

2 heaped tablespoons finely chopped

fresh coriander

2 teaspoons very finely grated or minced

fresh ginger

1 teaspoon toasted sesame oil

4 teaspoons tamari

½ teaspoon salt flakes

 

Method

1 To make the soup, combine the chicken stock, spring onions, garlic, ginger and salt in a pot or casserole dish. Bring the mixture to a boil, then reduce the heat to maintain a low simmer, cover and allow the flavours to infuse while you prepare the meatballs.

2 To make the meatballs, in a medium bowl, mix together all the meatball ingredients, making sure everything is evenly combined. Wet your hands so the mixture doesn’t stick, and roll into 24 small meatballs.

3 To finish the soup, remove the aromatics from the broth (either by straining or pulling them out with tongs), add the meatballs and simmer for 5 minutes, or until cooked through.

4 Add the pak choi, mangetout and wonton wrappers and simmer for 1 minute more before serving.

 

Food: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

TIKKA MASALA ROAST CHICKEN

 

For this fun twist on a classic, a simple roast chicken is amped up with the complex Indian flavours of chicken tikka masala. The yoghurt helps keep the chicken moist, and the natural sugar in the tomato paste creates a beautifully burnished, crispy skin. I like to serve this with the Indian Creamed Spinach and Roasted Cauliflower with Curry and Lime from the book.

 

SERVES 4

 

Ingredients

2 garlic cloves, very finely grated or minced

1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled

and very finely grated or minced

1 tablespoon tomato purée

4 tablespoons whole milk yoghurt

1 teaspoon garam masala

1 teaspoon tandoori spice

1½ teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 whole chicken weighing about 1.6kg-1.8kg (roughly 3½ lb-4lb), spatchcocked or butterflied (ask the butcher to prepare this for you if necessary)

 

Method

1 Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. In a medium bowl, whisk together the garlic, ginger, tomato purée, yoghurt, garam masala, tandoori spice, salt and olive oil. Rub the marinade all over the chicken, making sure to get as much as possible underneath the skin.

2 Place the chicken on a wire rack positioned over an aluminium foil-lined baking sheet (or in a roasting pan or baking dish) and roast for 1 hour 15 minutes. Check after 40 minutes and if the chicken is browning too much, cover with foil.

3 Let rest for at least 10 minutes before carving.

Food: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

SINGAPORE RICE NOODLES

These pan-fried noodles are gluten free, full of veggies, and child-approved (my kids inhale this dish). Many of our recipes contain no gluten but always be sure to check product labels, particularly when buying condiments. We suggest Eden Foods bifun rice noodles here if available, or substitute your favourite brand. The prep does take some time, but once you’re cooking, the dish comes together quickly, so be ready with all the ingredients. Add chicken, prawns or beef for a little extra protein, and if you don’t have a wok or a really big nonstick pan, use two smaller pans – these noodles don’t like to be crowded. Pan-frying noodles is not an exact science, so trust your instincts and add a couple more glugs of oil if things are looking dry or starting to stick.

SERVES 4

1 cup = 240ml (8fl oz)

 

Ingredients

100g (3½ oz) thin rice noodles

4 tablespoons peanut oil

2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil

1 medium onion, thinly sliced

½ cup finely chopped broccoli

½ cup chopped green beans, pieces about 1cm (½ in) long

½ cup fresh or frozen peas

200g (7oz) firm tofu, cut into 1 cm (½ in) pieces

1 teaspoon madras curry powder, or more to taste

1 large egg 4 tablespoons tamari

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

4 tablespoons chopped fresh coriander salt, if desired

 

Method

1 Soak the rice noodles in hot water for 10 minutes or according to the package instructions.

2 Meanwhile, heat a wok or large nonstick sauté pan over medium-high heat and add 1 tablespoon each of the peanut and sesame oils. When the oils are hot but not smoking, add the onion and cook, untouched, for 1 minute to sear. Reduce the heat to medium and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 4 minutes more. Transfer the onion to a bowl.

3 Add the broccoli, green beans, peas, tofu and another tablespoon of peanut oil to the pan. Sauté over high heat until the veggies are just cooked through and the tofu is beginning to brown (about 2 minutes). Transfer to the bowl with the onion.

4 Add 1 tablespoon of the peanut oil, the remaining 1 tablespoon of sesame oil, the soaked and drained noodles, curry powder and 2 tablespoons water to the pan and stir to combine.

5 Make a hole in the middle of the noodles, add the remaining 1 tablespoon peanut oil and crack in the egg. Stir vigorously with a wooden spoon and let scramble until almost cooked through, then mix in with the noodles.

6 Add the tamari, spring onions and coriander followed by the reserved vegetables and tofu and stir everything to combine. Taste for seasoning, add salt if necessary and serve.

Food: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

FRIED EGG SANDWICH

I am so obsessed with the fried egg sandwich at Huckleberry Bakery & Café in Los Angeles that I made my own one-pan version. Be sure to use a nonstick skillet and a good sturdy spatula when you make this, and don’t panic if your cheese sticks to the pan – we had some messy sandwiches and some broken yolks while testing, but the end result was always super tasty. I couldn’t live without my favourite vegan mayo (Vegenaise) and always keep a jar of it in the fridge. For the Cheat’s Aioli used in the recipe, I dress it up simply with lemon, garlic and salt. It takes 2 minutes, tastes amazing and has multiple uses.

 

SERVES 4

1 cup = 240ml (8fl oz)

Ingredients

6 slices bacon

1 cup finely grated Gruyère cheese

4 large eggs

salt and freshly ground black pepper

4 thick slices country bread

about 4-8 tablespoons Cheat’s Aioli (see below)

4 small handfuls of rocket

 

Method

1 Arrange the bacon in a single layer in a large nonstick sauté pan and set over medium-high heat. Cook the bacon until it reaches the desired crispiness, then transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.

2 Wipe out almost all the bacon fat from the pan and make four ¼-cup piles of cheese in the pan (they will begin to crisp up and sizzle immediately). Crack one egg directly over each pile of cheese, season generously with salt and pepper, and fry until the whites are set and the yolks are still runny (cover the pan with a lid if you like your yolks a bit more cooked).

3 While the eggs fry, toast the bread in a toaster.

4 To assemble, spread each piece of toast with 1-2 tablespoons of the aioli, top with a small handful of rocket and 1½ pieces of the bacon, and finish with the crispy Gruyère fried egg combo.

FOR THE CHEAT’S AIOLI In a bowl, combine ½ cup your preferred vegan or organic mayo with ½ teaspoon very finely grated or minced lemon zest, 1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice, 1 small garlic clove (peeled and finely grated or minced) and a pinch of sea salt. Whisk until smooth.

 

Food: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

SEARED SCALLOPS WITH WATERCRESS AND ASPARAGUS

 

We know scallops intimidate a lot of cooks, but they’re actually one of the easiest and quickest types of seafood to prepare. The most important things to remember are to get the skillet (or sauté or grill pan) nice and hot, to make sure the scallops are dry so they sear rather than steam, and to not touch them until they’ve developed a nice crust on one side and are almost cooked through. Here, we pair them with a warm spring salad and a quick brown-butter pan sauce. Make this for someone you’re trying to impress, or quarter the recipe and treat yourself to a restaurant-quality week-night feast. You deserve it – you made perfectly cooked scallops!

SERVES 4

1 cup = 240ml (8fl oz)

 

Ingredients

16 diver scallops (meats trimmed and prepared without corals)

salt and freshly ground black pepper

juice of 1 small lemon

a splash of champagne vinegar

1 tablespoon finely diced shallot

4 tablespoons olive oil

12 asparagus spears, tough ends removed

1 bunch of watercress, cleaned and dried

about 1 cup (or a large handful) of sugar snap peas, cut into 1cm (½ in) slices

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

coarse or flaked sea salt

lemon wedges, for serving (optional)

 

Method

1 Remove the scallops from the fridge, use a paper towel to dry them very well and season generously with salt and pepper.

2 Mix the lemon juice, vinegar, shallot and 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in the bottom of a large bowl.

3 Use a peeler to shave 4 of the asparagus spears and add them to the bowl along with the watercress. Cut the remaining 8 asparagus spears into 1cm (½ in) pieces and set aside.

4 Heat a large sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the olive oil, the sugar snap peas and asparagus pieces, season with salt and pepper, and sauté for 1-2 minutes, or until just barely cooked. Add to the bowl with the watercress and shaved asparagus.

5 Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil to the sauté pan, then add the scallops, leaving them to sear on one side, undisturbed, until very crispy and almost cooked through, about 3-5 minutes. Flip the scallops, then reduce the heat to low and add the butter. The butter will immediately sizzle and start to turn brown. Turn off the heat (the residual heat will finish cooking the scallops).

6 Toss the watercress and asparagus salad to combine well. Divide the salad among four plates (or arrange it on one platter), arrange the cooked scallops on top of the salad and pour the brown butter over. Garnish with a little sea salt and serve with lemon wedges on the side, if desired.

Food: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

SALMON SKEWERS WITH CHERMOULA

 

Chermoula is a wonderfully complex North African sauce made with toasted cumin seeds, fresh parsley and coriander, and lots of lemon and garlic. Delicious poured over any grilled meat, fish or veggies, I find it complements salmon particularly well. In this recipe, it does double-duty as both marinade and sauce. Ask for a centre-cut piece of salmon – you want the whole piece to be about 2.5cm (1in) thick.

 

SERVES 4

1 cup = 240ml (8fl oz)

 

Ingredients

900g (2lb) salmon, skin and bones removed

1 teaspoon cumin seeds, quickly toasted in a dry sauté pan until fragrant

1 cup roughly chopped fresh parsley leaves

1 cup roughly chopped fresh coriander leaves

1 garlic clove, very finely minced

zest and juice of ½ lemon

a pinch of chilli flakes

⅓ cup olive oil

3 tablespoons whole-milk yoghurt

a pinch of salt.

KITCHEN KIT

8 wooden skewers, soaked in water for 20 minutes before grilling, see method

Method

1 Cut the salmon into generous 2.5cm (1in) pieces and place in a bowl or baking dish.

2 To make the chermoula, in a blender combine all the remaining ingredients except the yoghurt and blend for 1 minute, or until smooth. Pour half the chermoula over the salmon, add a generous pinch of salt and mix well. Allow the mixture to marinate for at least 10 minutes or up to overnight in the fridge.

3 Combine the remaining chermoula with the yoghurt and store in the fridge until ready to serve.

4 When ready to cook, divide the salmon pieces evenly among the soaked wooden skewers and heat a grill or grill pan over medium-high heat. Grill the salmon for 5 minutes on each side, or until the pieces are all nicely browned and cooked through. Serve the skewers with the chermoula yoghurt sauce.

 

Food: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

SPRING FATTOUSH SALAD

 

Fattoush is a popular Middle Eastern salad made up of assorted lettuces and vegetables, some sort of toasted flatbread and tons of fresh herbs. Add grilled chicken or fish to make this a main course or pair with our grilled Salmon Skewers with Chermoula (opposite). You may need to add more lemon juice, olive oil and sumac to get the right consistency and balance of flavours.

 

SERVES 4

1 cup = 240ml (8fl oz)

 

Ingredients

 

FOR THE DRESSING

1 large garlic clove, very finely grated or minced

juice of 1 large lemon

4 tablespoons olive oil salt

 

FOR THE SALAD

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 piece naan bread, torn into roughly 1cm (½ in) pieces

2 cups sugar snap peas, cut diagonally into 1cm (½ in) slices

1 cup cherry tomatoes, cut in half

1 cup chopped cucumber (about half a cucumber)

4 radishes, thinly sliced a large handful of rocket

1½ cups finely chopped romaine lettuce

½ cup roughly chopped fresh mint

½ cup roughly chopped fresh coriander

2 spring onions, thinly sliced a large pinch of sumac

110g (4oz) crumbled feta (optional)

 

Method

1 To make the dressing, whisk together the first three ingredients and season with salt to taste. Set aside.

2 To make the salad, in a medium sauté pan heat the olive oil over high heat. Toast the naan bread in the pan until lightly browned. Set aside to cool.

3 Combine the toasted naan and remaining salad ingredients in a large bowl. Add the dressing and toss to combine.

Food: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

 

CAULIFLOWER TABBOULEH

 

My co-author Thea developed a couple of cauliflower ‘couscous’ recipes while working on the annual Goop detox this year, and I was instantly hooked. Pulse your cauliflower right before serving and eat it soon after – raw cauliflower is delicious and nutritious, but the sulphur compounds can let off an unpleasant odour if left for too long. If you can find purple, yellow or green cauliflower, they make for an especially stunning presentation.

SERVES 4-6 AS A SIDE DISH

1 cup = 240ml (8fl oz)

Ingredients

½ medium head of cauliflower

1 small garlic clove, very finely grated or minced

juice of 1 small lemon, plus more to taste

4 tablespoons olive oil, plus more to taste

a pinch of Aleppo pepper (if available, or use sweet paprika combined with a little cayenne)

a pinch of salt, plus more to taste

about ½ a cucumber, seeded and cut into 1cm (½ in) pieces (about 1 cup prepared)

⅓ cup chopped fresh parsley

⅓ cup chopped fresh mint

⅓ cup chopped fresh coriander

2 spring onions, thinly sliced

 

Method

1 To make the cauliflower couscous, break the cauliflower into florets, then pulse in a food processor 10-15 times for 1-2 seconds each time. Stop when the cauliflower has been broken down into pieces the size of quinoa or couscous.

2 In the bottom of your serving bowl, whisk together the garlic, lemon juice, olive oil, Aleppo pepper (or substitute) and a pinch of salt. Add the cauliflower, cucumber, herbs and spring onions and toss to combine. Season with salt, more lemon juice and olive oil to taste.

Food: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

ROASTED BEET AND BLUE CHEESE SALAD

Much to my children’s chagrin, our house is always stocked with an impressive assortment of stinky cheeses, at least one of which is blue. I’d eat blue cheese on almost anything, but its tangy flavour is particularly well balanced by the earthy sweetness of roasted beets and slightly bitter radicchio and endive in this salad. Use red beets if you can’t find golden, but be warned: their gorgeous magenta hue will dye the entire salad a shocking shade of pink.

SERVES 4

Ingredients

 

FOR THE DRESSING

2 tablespoons finely diced shallot

3 tablespoons champagne vinegar

2 teaspoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon hazelnut oil

4 tablespoons olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

 

FOR THE SALAD

110g (4oz) crumbled blue cheese, such as Roquefort

8 small golden or other beets, cooked, peeled, and cut into roughly 1 cm (½ in) pieces (and see Beet Note, below)

4 handfuls of thinly sliced radicchio (from about ½ medium head)

2 heads of chicory, thinly sliced

2 tablespoons finely diced shallot

4 x 9-minute eggs (see Egg Note, below), peeled and cut into roughly 1cm (½ in) pieces

Method

1 To make the dressing, whisk together the first 5 dressing ingredients and season to taste with salt and pepper.

2 To make the salad, combine all the salad ingredients in a large bowl and toss with half the dressing. Taste for seasoning, transfer to plates or a large platter, and serve with the remaining dressing on the side.

BEET NOTE I think roasted beets taste best; wrap them in aluminium foil with salt, pepper, a little olive oil and a splash of vinegar, place on a baking sheet and roast in a preheated 200C/400F/gas 6 oven for 1 hour. However, if you’re short on time, you can also boil them in lightly salted water until tender, or you can buy them cooked at many grocery stores, which makes this salad a breeze to throw together.

EGG NOTE Bring a small saucepan of water to a boil. Add your eggs, making sure they are completely submerged in water, and keep the water at a steady boil over medium-high heat for the required number of minutes – 9 for this recipe (we highly recommend setting a timer). When the timer goes off, remove the eggs and run under cold water to stop the cooking. Use immediately or let cool and store in the fridge for up to 1 week.

Food: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

 

SOFT POLENTA WITH ROASTED CHERRY TOMATOES

 

Creamy polenta and sweet blistered cherry tomatoes make an irresistible combination; add some good-quality burrata or mozzarella to the mix and you’d be a fool to say no. This goes incredibly well with simply grilled meat and a green salad, but it is substantial and satisfying enough to be dinner on its own. The sugar in the cherry tomatoes makes them super sweet and caramelised when roasted – great for flavour, less great for clean-up, so line the baking sheet with parchment paper or aluminium foil to cut down on scrub time.

SERVES 4

1 cup = 240ml (8fl oz)

Ingredients

FOR THE TOMATOES

8 cups or handfuls cherry tomatoes

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 large garlic clove, very finely grated or minced

6 large fresh basil leaves, thinly sliced

 

FOR THE POLENTA

1 teaspoon salt 1 cup instant polenta

⅓ cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

225g (8oz) burrata or mozzarella cheese, for serving

 

Method

1 To make the tomatoes, preheat the oven to 230C/450F/gas 8. Arrange the cherry tomatoes in an even layer on a large baking sheet. Toss with the olive oil and a couple of generous pinches of salt and pepper. Roast for 10 minutes, or until burnished and starting to pop. Remove from the oven and toss with the garlic and basil.

2 Meanwhile, make the polenta. In a medium saucepan, bring 3 cups of water plus the salt to a boil. Add the polenta and cook according to the package instructions. Add the Parmesan and butter and transfer to a serving platter or bowl. Top with the roasted tomatoes and torn burrata or mozzarella cheese.

 

Food: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

LEMONGRASS AND MINT TISANE

Lemongrass is largely used in savoury dishes, but its unique flavour adds lovely citrus notes to teas and sweet dishes as well. This lemongrass and mint infusion makes a soothing afternoon treat, but I especially love serving it at the end of a meal.

SERVES 1

1 cup = 240ml (8fl oz)

 

Ingredients

1 x 10cm (4in) piece fresh lemongrass, tough outer layer removed 2 cups filtered water leaves from 6 large sprigs fresh mint, plus extra for garnish 5 drops liquid stevia (optional)

 

Method

1 Cut the lemongrass into two 5cm (2in) pieces and bash them with the side of a knife.

2 Combine the lemongrass and filtered water in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Add the mint leaves, turn off the heat, cover and infuse for 10 minutes. Strain into a mug and add the stevia, if desired.

3 Garnish with mint leaves and serve.

 

Food: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

BALSAMIC-MACERATED BERRIES WITH CASHEW CREAM

 

Syrupy balsamic vinegar, usually associated with savoury dishes and salads, is actually the perfect complement to sweet summer berries. Toss them together with a pinch of coconut sugar and serve with cashew cream and freshly grated lemon zest; an elegant, foolproof vegan dessert in minutes. If you don’t have time to make cashew cream and can tolerate dairy, this is just as good with whipped cream or lightly sweetened crème fraîche.

SERVES 4

1 cup = 240ml (8fl oz)

Ingredients

2 cups halved strawberries

2 teaspoons thick balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon coconut sugar

½-1 cup Cashew Cream (see method)

lemon zest, for garnish

 

Method

1 Combine the berries, vinegar and sugar in a large bowl and gently stir to combine. Divide the berries and cream among four bowls or glasses, and grate a little fresh lemon zest over.

FOR CASHEW CREAM If you’re vegan (or even if you’re not), you’ll love this cashew whipped ‘cream’. A high-powered blender is essential to get the right texture (we love our Vitamix). Soak 1 cup organic raw cashews in water to cover for at least 2 hours. Drain the cashews, then transfer them to a powerful blender, add ½ cup filtered water, 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon maple syrup, a pinch of salt and ¼ teaspoon vanilla powder or vanilla extract. Blend until smooth, about 2 minutes.

Food: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

CHOCOLATE MOUSSE

Even the ice cream-eating, chocolate-loving men in our lives agree that this super-sneaky healthy recipe is ace, especially with a dollop of cashew cream and some flaky sea salt to finish. We find that the flavour improves with time, so make it at least 1 hour, and preferably a day, before you want to serve it.

SERVES 4

1 cup = 240ml (8fl oz)

Ingredients

1 large avocado, pitted and peeled

2 tablespoons almond butter

sea salt

¼ teaspoon vanilla powder or vanilla extract

4 tablespoons brown rice syrup

4 tablespoons maple syrup

4 tablespoons raw cacao powder or unsweetened cocoa powder

4 tablespoons almond milk

¼ teaspoon liquid stevia

2 tablespoons coconut oil

½-1 cup Cashew Cream (see above)

 

Method

1 In a blender or food processor, combine the avocado, almond butter, a large pinch of salt, vanilla powder, brown rice syrup, maple syrup, cacao, almond milk, stevia and coconut oil and blend for 2 minutes, or until very smooth. Divide among four ramekins. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour.

2 Serve topped with a dollop of cashew cream and a pinch of sea salt.

Food: Gwyneth Paltrow’s It’s All Easy Part One

COCONUT KEY LIME TARTS

Key lime pie is one of my daughter’s favourite desserts, so I’ve made a lot of them over the years. While I’m a big fan of the sweetened condensed milk and sugar bomb that is the traditional recipe, I wanted to make a raw, vegan dessert highlighting the bright, citrussy flavour I love so much in the original without all the butter, sugar and preservatives. Use the best ground almonds you can find and be sure to put your coconut milk in the fridge overnight so the solids and liquids separate.

MA KES 8 X 6CM (2½ IN) TARTS OR MORE IF USING MINI TINS

1 cup = 240ml (8fl oz)

 

Ingredients

 

FOR THE CRUST

1 cup ground almonds

3 tablespoons coconut oil

3 tablespoons brown rice syrup

a pinch of salt

 

FOR THE FILLING

1 x 400g can full-fat coconut milk, left in the fridge overnight (see method)

zest of 1 regular lime (or 5 key limes if these are available where you are), plus extra for garnish

juice of 1 regular lime (or 3 key limes)

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon coconut sugar

 

KITCHEN KIT

standard or mini muffin tins, see method

 

Method

1 To make the crust, place all the crust ingredients in a medium bowl and use your hands to mix thoroughly, making sure there are no lumps of coconut oil left. Divide the mixture into 8 (about 1 tablespoon each) balls if using a standard muffin tin or 24 (about 1 teaspoon each) balls if using a mini muffin tin. Place one ball of dough in each well of the muffin tin. Wet your fingers with water and press the dough up the sides to make little tart shells. Place the tart shells in the fridge to set while you make the filling.

2 To make the filling, scoop out the solid portion of the coconut milk only (leaving the tin in the fridge overnight allows the fat to separate from the liquid) and place it in a large bowl. Use a fork to break it up into an almost smooth consistency, then add the lime zest, lime juice and coconut sugar. Whisk until the mixture is super smooth and has the consistency of lightly whipped cream. Fill each tart shell with the coconut filling, garnish with extra lime zest and refrigerate until firm, at least 1 hour.

3 When ready to eat, use a butter knife to loosen the tarts from the pan, then pop them out. Eat immediately or store in the fridge so they keep their shape.

Extracted from It’s All Easy by Gwyneth Paltrow with Thea Baumann

Photographs Ditte Isager

 

Gwyneth Paltrow and Thea Baumann

GOOP VIBRATIONS

 

GWYNETH PALTROW is an Oscar-winning actress and author of the New York Times bestselling cookbooks My Father’s Daughter and It’s All Good. She is also the founder and CCO of Goop, a website dedicated to food, travel, fashion and wellness. She lives in Los Angeles with her two children.

THEA BAUMANN (co-author) is a Paris-trained chef, writer, food stylist and the food editor of Goop. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband. ‘Our aim here,’ she says, ‘was to make a book full of recipes that are beautiful and sometimes unexpected and realistic for everyone…a book that will live in your kitchen.’

 

COMING NEXT WEEK

A second helping of Gwyneth’s fabulous fuss-free food.

It's All Easy

PRE-ORDER GWYNETH’S NEW BOOK

Our recipes are from It’s All Easy: Delicious Weekday Recipes for the Super-Busy Home Cook by Gwyneth Paltrow with Thea Baumann, to be published by Sphere on 14 April, price £20. As well as Gwyneth’s advice on stocking the pantry and favourite basics, chapters include: First Thing; On the Go; In a Pinch; Cozy Evenings; Summer Nights and Something Sweet. To pre-order a copy for £16 (a 20 per cent discount) until 24 April visit you-bookshop.co.uk or call 0844 571 0640; p&p is free on orders over £12.