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She’s got a smash-hit film franchise, a best-actress Oscar, a top-selling cookbook, a can’t-take-your-eyes-off-it body and a wish-I-had-one-like-him husband. Oh, and she’s the World’s Most Beautiful Woman. If there’s an area of life where Gwyneth Paltrow can’t fly high—really high—we sure don’t know what it is.

Gwyneth Paltrow, People magazine’s World’s Most Beautiful.

 

Avocado Toast

 

• Toast a piece of your favorite healthy, preferably gluten-free bread.
• Spread it generously with Vegenaise and top with a few slices of perfectly ripe avocado, ever so gently pressing the avocado into the bread.
• Hit it with a nice pinch of Maldon salt or Vege-Sal and a few grinds of black pepper. That’s it. Sometimes we squeeze a tiny bit of lemon over it or add some zip with fruity red chili flakes (like Aleppo pepper or gochugaru, coarse Korean red chili flakes), but really it’s the holy trinity of Vegenaise, avocado and salt that makes this like a favorite pair of jeans—so reliable and easy and always just what you want.

 

 

Fish Roasted in Salt, Thai Style
Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

To prepare the fish:
3 pounds coarse sea salt
A 2-pound whole sea bass
(or 2 smaller ones),scaled and gutted
A small handful of cilantro
A couple of sprigs of Italian parsley
4 big leaves of basil
1 fresh red chili, very thinly sliced
1 lime, ½ of it thinly sliced
2 scallions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced lengthwise
1 teaspoon soy sauce
 

To serve:
1 tablespoon soy sauce or
wheat-free tamari
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed
lime juice
1 tablespoon roughly chopped cilantro leaves
1 teaspoon finely sliced red chili

 

DIRECTIONS
• Preheat the oven to 400ºF.
• Mix the salt in a large bowl with enough water to give it the consistency of sand castle-worthy sand. Place of the salt on the bottom of a roasting pan and spread it out so it’s just slightly larger than the fish.
• Pack the cilantro, parsley, basil, red chili, sliced lime and scallions into the cavity of the sea bass. Place the stuffed fish on the bed of salt.
• Squeeze the juice from the remaining ½ lime over the fish and drizzle with the soy sauce.
• Pack the remaining salt over and around the fish so it’s totally enclosed.
• Bake the fish for 35 minutes. The salt should be totally dry and hard.

 

• Insert a metal skewer or a paring knife through the salt into the fish.
• Test the temperature of the metal on the backside of your thumb or on your chin—it should be nice and hot, an indication that the fish is cooked through.
• Let the fish rest in the salt for 10 minutes before breaking it open with a heavy spoon or knife, or even a mallet if you want to be a little over-the-top.
• Remove as much of the salt as possible from the top and sides of the fish and peel off the top layer of skin.
• Remove the top fillet of fish and move to a warm serving platter.
• Pull the bones off in one piece and discard.
• Put all the lovely cooked aromatics and the bottom fillet of fish on the platter.
• Mix together the soy sauce or tamari, lime juice, cilantro and red chili.

Evenly pour the mixture over the fish and serve immediately!

Instant Berry + Coconut Sherbet
Makes 1 pint

INGREDIENTS
2 cups frozen berries (whatever type you like; we like a mix of blueberries, blackberries and raspberries)
½ cup coconut milk
2 tablespoons good-quality
maple syrup

DIRECTIONS
• Combine everything in a food processor and pulse until completely smooth.
• Eat immediately—at this point it’s got the perfect soft texture. Or freeze and then let it sit at room temperature for about 10 minutes to soften a bit before serving.

For Frozen Pops:
• Use the same ratios as above, but substitute fresh berries for frozen ones and pour the puree into frozen-pop molds.
• If you’ve got time, make batches of individual berry flavors (strawberry, blackberry, raspberry, etc.) and freeze them in stripes, using a bit of plain coconut milk between the layers if you like.

Kids go crazy for these! 

Until now, the idea of a 40-year-old woman being named People magazine’s World’s Most Beautiful seemed unlikely at best and crazy talk at worst. Until, of course, Gwyneth Paltrow came along and got it done.

One of our generation’s most celebrated actresses and multifaceted personalities, Paltrow has worked hard for the life she has. The trained thespian started summer stock at age 5 alongside her actress mother, Blythe Danner; by the time she was 26, she’d won an Academy Award for Shakespeare in Love. Today, at 40, she’s still box-office gold, starring in Marvel’s mega powerhouse Iron Man series, for which she works out three hours a day with fitness guru Tracy Anderson to stay fit—and that’s on top of the healthy eating and cleansing regimen she committed herself to a decade ago. She also runs and writes her own blog, Goop, where she shares life lessons and posts recipes as well as diaries of her discoveries from around the globe. She even sings, taking on every genre from country to hip-hop, her favorite—clearly marriage to Coldplay frontman Chris Martin hasn’t changed her taste in music. Today, at an age that often pushes an actress’ career from the mountaintop to the sharp downward slope, Paltrow is enjoying more success than ever. Granted, being named People’s prettiest came with some censure—but Sunset Boulevard’s nostalgia-mired Norma Desmond, Paltrow will never be.

When I first met Paltrow, she was Brad Pitt’s sprightly 20-something live-in girlfriend. I was impressed by one story Pitt told me, about a time during the filming of the movie Seven, when she raced past him on a California highway in her Jeep, her blond hair blowing in the wind and a sparkle in her eye—her signal that the race was on. Pitt laughed out loud at her vim and vigor, a man in love with a woman in love with life.

Paltrow’s still in love with life—she just tempers her passion with a little more care and caution now that she’s the mother of two: Apple, 9, and Moses, 7.
Her steadfast drive—to achieve, to be happy, to live well—Paltrow attributes to the support she always got from her family; in fact, she’s still so close to her mom that she built her a house on her and Martin’s Amagansett property, which is lined with apple trees and has its own freestanding gym. Paltrow’s late father, director Bruce Paltrow, to whom she was extremely close, isn’t forgotten either—the actress carries the urn containing his ashes with her as she travels from home to home, from London to New York City to Amagansett to Spain.

It was her father’s illness that precipitated Paltrow’s interest in healthier eating, and led her to write her first cookbook, My Father’s Daughter. Her latest compilation, The New York Times best-seller It’s All Good, which she put together with foodie friend Julia Turshen and the help of several doctors, is full of healthy menu ideas, all sugar-free and low- or no-gluten, along with vegan, kid-friendly and elimination-diet recommendations. It’s a fresh and inspiring collection of recipes that are “delicious, but just that little bit healthier for those of us who want to feel better,” Paltrow tells me.

Herewith, some insight from the beauty behind the book, plus our Paltrow recipe picks for seasonal Hamptons summertime feasting—kids welcome.

What ignited your passion for healthy eating?
I began to consider the effects of food when my father was diagnosed with throat cancer in 1998. I started to research anti-cancer diets in hopes that he would try to hit it from all angles. I went totally macrobiotic for a couple of years to try to get him on board. He was more interested in hot dogs and Mallomars, so I never really got him on board. When I got pregnant with my daughter, I went back to ice cream and whatever I wanted. Now I’m all about balance. The impetus for the book was really getting my family a bit more healthy. My son has eczema and is allergic to gluten, so I really created this cookbook for him. I’m amazed by how many people have come up to me to thank me for the book. There are so many of us who are intolerant to gluten, and they should not have to compromise on flavor or comfort food!

What do you say to people who are hesitant, like your father was, to take specific foods out of their diet?
That it’s not about taking foods out. It’s about being mindful about what you are putting in. Good whole foods are the way we have eaten for generations. It’s amazing how good you feel when you just cut out the processed stuff.

Julia Turshen, your co-author, writes that she’s never met anyone who loves food as much as you. Where does that love come from?
I have always loved food, I was raised by a foodie. I love to cook and eat. My father was obsessed with good food and he passed it on to me.
Would you say you’re healthier now than you were in your 20s and 30s?
I have had swings into healthier periods and more pleasurable periods throughout my life. Now I try to have both at the same time.

What advice would you give the younger you?
Not to worry so much; to ease up on myself; that everything happened for a reason; to embrace the obstacles… it’s all part of the soul curriculum.

What’s the secret to balancing exercise, food and rest?
Find what works for you. I think it’s important to move a little every day. If you don’t have time for a full workout, do what you can—walk to work, take the stairs. Above all, don’t beat yourself up. We’re all trying to do so much. Ease up on yourself and do what’s in front of you to the best of your ability.

What food could you eat year-round?
Anything fried.

What are a few must-have dishes for the summer season?
For the summer I like lighter fare. The salads and aguas frescas from the book are perfect for a summer lunch.

Do you have any guilty pleasures?
Wine and cheese.

And what about your children, Apple and Moses? Do they eat as healthy as you do?
Kids are kids and I never want them to feel like they are missing out. I try to keep it clean for them at home, but we compromise. At least there is gluten-free mac and cheese.

You’ve now authored four cookbooks [the first, Spain… A Culinary Road Trip, was co-authored with Mario Batali] What are some of your personal favorite cookbooks?
Plenty and Jerusalem; all of the River Café books [by Ruth Rogers and Rose Gray]; all of Ina Garten’s of course.

The Hamptons has a bountiful selection of fresh food. Is your cooking style different here than it is in NYC?
We’re lucky to live during the summer in all of the abundance of an old farming community. I cook and eat out of my garden every day. There or the farm stand. It is my idea of heaven.

I know you love music, and of course are married to a music man. What are your favorite tunes to cook and dine to?
Hip-hop.

Complete this sentence: To me it isn’t summer without...
Tomatoes!

You’ve been coming to the Hamptons for years. What are some of your favorite memories?
My high school friends usually come out to Amagansett in the summer. We eat and laugh and drink too much and all end up in the hot tub. It’s the best.