A triple-threat in entertainment is an artist who acts, sings, and dances. At 38, Gwyneth does all that, and runs the website Goop, is the mom of two, a wife of a rock star, and now she's gone and turned her home recipes into a cookbook, My Father's Daughter. It is a little threatening, actually, until you talk to her.
Here she speaks with us about how hard it is to believe celebrities when they say they eat fattening foods, what her go-to detox plans are, the favorite recipe of her husband, Chris Martin, and more.
I was told you have some mac and cheese over there with you, and you said in your book it was one of your favorites growing up. Is it your kids' absolute favorite now?
I wouldn't say it's their absolute favorite, but they like the mac and cheese a lot. It's funny how kids change their pasta shape preference quite a lot, I've noticed. One day they like spaghetti, the next day they like macaroni, the next day they like fusilli, and they're very specific about it. As long as it's pasta. They love pasta. That's their main thing.
Is it still your favorite indulgence, or what is your favorite?
Pasta is my favorite. I love pasta, anything fried, and strong cheese. That's my weakness right there, those three.
I hear that. So, lately people have been talking about beautiful actors saying they eat these fattening things, which can be hard to believe. But you're a cook so I imagine you actually do eat them. How often do you let yourself indulge in these-your fries, mac and cheese?
I eat everyday. You know, I'm an eater I love food, but the way I do it is that I have to workout quite a lot. Because there's nothing for free in life, especially over 30. [laughs] So if I want to eat bread and French fries and pasta you know I've got to do cardio everyday, and so I do it. Because I don't want to give up the food.
And you do that seven days a week?
I do it 5 days a week-unless if I was going to do a photo shoot or something where I was wearing a bathing suit then the week before I would probably do it everyday, and I would try not to eat French fries that week, but there would be no guarantees.
What do you think might be the biggest mistake people might make when they're trying to cook more healthfully for their families?
Hm, I don't know about the health part but I think the mistake people make is a mistake I made a lot is that I lacked confidence when I was starting. I didn't necessarily know how, or feel comfortable, and I felt like 'Ah I didn't know how to do this' or 'I'm doing this at the wrong temperature,' but I think if you control your heat and taste as you go it's kind of foolproof. You can't mess it up that much. I would say that confidence is key to work in there.
That makes sense. It can be pretty anxiety-producing when you're doing something new, and there are so many moving parts. That's good advice. Is there a piece of advice that Jamie Oliver or Mario Batali gave you that changed your whole kitchen?
Jamie Oliver and Mario Batali, they both have a similar attitude, real insouciant, like casual, like 'We're going to throw it together it'll be great. Oh I lost a box of ingredients but whatever we'll make it work!' And they're the guys who really taught me to relax in the kitchen, and just to have fun with it, and that anyone can do it. They gave me that confidence. And Mario taught me you should definitely drink alcohol while you're cooking.
That was something your dad was keen on, too, right?
It does make cooking more fun.
He would get his vodka out, I'd have a glass of wine, and we'd be chopping away. It was great.
Is there anything in your book that your dad would be surprised to see in there?
[Pauses.] No. I don't think so. This food is so me in that there are things that are healthier, there are things that are not so healthy. It's quick, it's easy, it's rustic. You know it's the food I've been cooking for 20 years, so he will have eaten most of the food before he died.Back to more healthy talk. When you feel like it's time to detox, maybe you've eaten a lot of stinky cheese or too many fries, what's your go-to thing you do?
I try to do a detox every spring anyway because Chinese doctors say it's really important, your liver is regenerating in the spring, and spring is a really good time to detox. So I'll either do the Clean Program, which is Dr. Alejandro Junger. He has these powders and it's really easy to follow, and you feel amazing. But it's three weeks. Or I'll do maybe a three-day juice thing where I'll have just salads, and tons of greens, juices, and stuff like that just to flush out the system.
Do you have a suggestion for someone who's never done a detox before. What's one thing they might do that's really easy ?
I think the most important things to do if you're doing a detox is to cut out dairy, sugar, wheat, processed foods. You'll feel a really big difference just by eliminating those.
We don't see your husband in this book very much. Is there a recipe from here that he loves that you make for him?
The French toast is his favorite one. [laughs] But, you know, he likes all my food.
Is there a romantic go-to dinner you make on the rare occasions when it's just the two of you?
Roast chicken is a real favorite. I make a lot of roast chicken. There's a really nice garlic potato cake in there that's kind of elegant that I do on the side of roast chicken. Get a nice bottle of wine open.
What kind of wine do you drink with that?
It depends on my mood, like a nice red pinot noir or a white riesling.
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The rules and favorite recipes of Mario Batali's dinner table