It’s hard to believe it’s taken this long, but Oprah Winfrey has finally published a cookbook and we are beyond excited. It’s called “Food, Health and Happiness: 115 On-Point Recipes for Great Meals and a Better Life,” and we can’t wait to get our hands on this gem.
The book chronicles Oprah’s weight-loss journey (she’s down 42 pounds!) and her experiences with learning to love healthy food. Though she is a Weight Watchers spokesperson (Cue the “I love bread!” commercial), the book is more about a sensible approach to healthful eating. It does, however, include Weight Watchers “Points” values for every recipe.
“Now that I’ve finally internalized the rules of clean eating (food that’s minimally processed), I let myself break those rules!” Winfrey writes in the book. “I don’t do it often, and I never do it mindlessly; the goal is to make my indulgences intentional. I aim for deliberate. I plan for decadence.”
The recipes do, indeed, sound decadent: lavender shortbread and uber-trendy cacio e pepe pasta made with truffle zest? Yes please. The book is filled with inspiration from Oprah’s own personal chef and the chefs she’s worked with over the years, so the food has to be good.
The testers from USA Today served up some of Winfrey’s offerings, including a “Basic Tomato Soup,” “Unfried Chicken” and the aforementioned lavender shortbread—a difficult recipe to write, since too much of the herb can leave a dish tasting like soap.
Overall, the reviews were mostly positive. Of the soup, the testers write, “We love the creamy texture (thanks to a blender) without any cream included.” They also caution to use good-quality tomatoes, which of course makes sense; in a simple recipe, high-quality ingredients are key.
The “Unfried Chicken” also yielded good responses, thanks to an overnight soak in buttermilk and hot sauce to keep it from becoming dry. “Everything about this chicken is perfection,” USA Today raves.
Unfortunately, the lavender shortbread is a miss for them. While they describe the actual shortbread cookie as simple and sweet, the addition of flavorful flowers turned out not to be to their taste. “The lavender is interesting, but we think the vanilla and orange zest would suffice,” the testers write. Lavender is definitely an acquired taste, so we still recommend you try the recipe out.
We don’t know about you, but we’ll be picking up a copy ASAP.