I checked out my copy of It’s All Good from the library just three weeks ago, and so far I’ve already cooked over 25 of the recipes from her book. From a simple agua fresca to veggie dumplings made from scratch, I’ve made the sweet and savory, the simple and the complicated — most yielding quite good results. (I’ve only had one true kitchen disaster, which deserves its own post.) On my Instagram account I’ve been getting lots of questions from people buying the book and wondering what they should make first, how complicated are the recipes, and can clean eating really taste good. I thought I’d share my 10 favorite recipes so far, that I’ve tried from the book, and give some detail about the results.
1. Watermelon & Mint Agua Fresca
Let’s start off with a truly simple and refreshing recipe. Gwyneth has an entire section dedicated to various agua fresca recipes, using the same simple syrup base and mixing it up with several different flavor combinations. I made this one first because we had a watermelon hanging around, and have more mint growing than we know what to do with. While refreshing – and the perfect base to take this from healthy to naughty, by adding your favorite liquor – these drinks are pricey to make because of the use of raw honey. Not the drink you want to make for a crowd, unless you’re rich that is! Quite simple and delicious though!
2. Fried Egg On Toast
Gwynnie gets some slack in several book reviews for some recipes being too basic, and posting “recipes” that are not really recipes at all. But she sideswipes naysayers by noting in several of her favorite “non-recipe” instructions, that these are not technically even recipes, just suggestions of how to make the common dish even better. I love a good fried egg, but here she gets me to switch up my routine with the addition of some garlicky sauteed spinach, topped on sprouted grain, gluten free bread, smeared with a bit of Vegenaise. Healthy fats, protein packed, green veggies, and gluten free — I had never had my fried egg like this before, and it’s now become a breakfast staple.
3. Quinoa Granola With Olive Oil + Maple Syrup
Homemade granola is a food you can take some liberties with, and so when I couldn’t at first find quinoa flakes, which is what the recipe calls for, I used Coach’s Oats, which are similar to Irish Steel Cut Oats. It was an instant hit in our house, my daughter and son eating it every morning as a cereal (minus the dates and nuts), and I eating it almost nightly as a dessert replacement. I recently found the flakes though and made it as suggested, and while I love it just as much, if not more, my daughter who eats anything hated the strong taste of the quinoa. I can’t blame her, it definitely is a more earthy flavor using the quinoa versus the oats, but feel free to try it either way. A friend couldn’t find quinoa flakes so she just pulsed whole quinoa in her food processor and it worked well too. A batch lasts a whole week or more, depending how often you nibble on it!
4. Sweet Potato And Five Spice Muffins
Okay, to be honest here: I love these muffins more for the fact that it was my first gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan baking success story than I love the actual taste. These muffins are good, nice and moist with a strong flavor, but they definitely taste like a “healthy” muffin! There’s really no way you could tell that they are missing the usual ingredients that go into muffin making. Would I make them again? Not necessarily, but I love them so, because they have given me confidence to try more GF baking recipes!
5. Mexican Green Goddess Dressing
This is another recipe that got me excited for the simple fact that I successfully made dressing from scratch that was vegan! Believe me, it tastes yummy and is almost as good as that Green Goddess Dressing from Trader Joe’s, but again, it was exciting for me to get over the mindset that for a dressing to be creamy good, it had to be loaded with actual cream.
6. Risotto With Peas + Greens
I love risotto but had never made it from scratch. Don’t worry, this recipe is a pain because you still have to do all that laborious stirring, but the result is a creamy, tangy, and rich risotto that is vegan! No cheese, no guilt, no problem. Served alongside some of her crispy chicken, it’s a comforting meal that will have you rethinking your view of clean eating.
7. Steamed Fish With Soy + Spicy Sesame Oil
I used cod as my fish of choice here, and although I don’t think it was swimming in the water close to where I live, as GP suggested I buy, it was wild caught. Maybe from Alaska? Who knows. Anyhow, I had never ever steamed my fish before, preferring to pan fry it, bake it, grill it, or broil it, and I was HIGHLY skeptical that the family would even eat it. Believe me, this dish screams clean and healthy. But with the addition of the toasted sesame oil and soy, it unearths a flavor that I didn’t think was possible and the entire family gobbled 2 pounds of cod up! Not one bite for leftovers!
8. Veggie Dumplings
While I’ll admit that the thought of making dumplings at home from scratch was not ideal, my daughter saw the pictures of Apple and Moses making theirs in the cookbook, and it looked so fun she begged me to make them next. Made with tofu, quinoa, cabbage, and peas, they are healthy and affordable, and when you get your sous chef’s help in the dumpling assembly line, not that laborious to make! We had these whipped up in about 30 minutes from start to finish, and we all gobbled them up. Except my older son. He doesn’t love much of anything and is a very picky eater so this didn’t surprise me. A fun family activity to do together. Oh, and Gwynnie suggests making your own gluten free dumpling wrappers from scratch, but who has time for that? Just buy some pre-made ones at the grocery store!