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Why don’t I want to like Gwyneth Paltrow? Maybe it’s something about feeling inadequate in nearly every category of human function. It’s like Gwyneth can’t just act in a few roles, she has to win an Academy Award. She can’t just socialize, she has to hangout with the likes of Stella McCartney, Jerry Seinfeld,and Cameron Diaz. She can’t just do a few sit ups in her living room, she has to have a personal trainer at her home Pilates studio. She can’t just sing in the shower, she has to have a plum role on Glee. She can’t just be a wife, she has to marry a gifted rock star. She can’t just cook, she has to cook with Mario Batali in Spain. She can’t just write a blog, she has to dominate the blogosphere with her GOOP (literally and figuratively). She can’t just post a few recipes like the rest of us, she has to publish a cookbook. No,US Magazine, Gwyneth Paltrow is not Just Like US. And that’s why I want to hate her. But I can’t because, if for no other reason, her cookbook, which was a Mother’s Day gift from my sister, is on the money. Healthy, smart, approachable.

By the way, don’t you love the support that moms give to each other on Mother’s Day. My Facebook was aflutter with mom-on-mom well wishing. Texts, cards, viral emails, hugs, winks, nods; we all took time to appreciate each other like members of a secret society who knew that as delightful as our mornings appeared at Mother’s Day brunch, it took begging, yelling, bribes, dressing kids while in heels that no longer accommodate our tennis shoe wide feet, putting on makeup in the car while the husband turns a corner to make the light sending the concealer flying (oh god anything but the concealer), and the kids are playing a game of “who’s a bigger jerk” in the backseat. Then again, the amazing Maria Shriver and her family were also at brunch, so I suppose that lost concealer of mine isn’t so bad.

My sister and I chuckled that men would never wish each other happy father’s day, much less send a gift. Do you get the feeling that men think that if they were to even exploit Father’s Day for a second, the jig might be up? Like when your parents would forget you were in the room watching television way past your bedtime and you said something by mistake, “time for bed, Sherri.”

I must have been a very good mother, or maybe I was a very good sister, because she also gave me the Sheryl Crow cookbook (I would have named Crow’s Feat) along with the fabulous GP tome. I’ve been eager to try out many recipes from both books, but turkey bolognese caught my eye at the first glance.

I’ve modified this one a tad, but held true to the method, which is slow cooked requiring even four hours of simmering time. Don’t despair, I too was in a hurry, so I prepared it two ways. First, I cooked the sauce in about twenty minutes, combined it with cooked rigatoni and served. Kids loved it. Then, I simmered the remaining sauce per the recipe, and it too was de-lísh (from the Paltrow book meaning even though I’m prep-school educated, I can communicate with peasants).

As with most pasta dishes, you will use a few decent prepackaged foods.

Canned tomatoes without additives are nearly as nutritious as fresh tomatoes because cooking doesn’t reduce tomatoes’ special component lycopene. Pasta, right, who in crunchtime can make their own pasta? Okay, Gwyneth has a page on that too. And our longtime secret ingredient – sausage. We love that sausage (and you gotta be picky here) is packed with flavor and seasonings so you don’t need to use much. We’ve discovered a new porksausage producer offered at Whole Foods whose meat products are clean, lean, gluten-free, and delish. GP’s recipe called for turkey sausage and ground turkey, but we opted for half the meat she suggested and used pork to try out the new product. Prepare it the way you like best

I’ll hand it to Mrs. Chris Martin. The cookbook is another accomplishment in the overflowing Paltrow trophy case. But, there’s one thing she can never have on me – a sister.


italian sausage bolognese

preptime 20 minutes serves 4+

cooktime 20 minutes to 4 hours

3-4 T olive oil

1 lb Italian sausage (pork or turkey, loose meat or links cut up)

2 onions chopped

3 cloves minced garlic

2 28 oz cans of whole tomatoes or crushed in their juices

1/3 c tomato paste

pinch of red pepper flakes (optional)

1 lb cooked rigatoni (al dente, the sauce will further cook the pasta)

  1. Cook pasta in salted (not oiled) water according to package directions. Set aside.
  2. Heat 1-2 tablespoons oil in a heavy pot. Add sausage and cook.
  3. Remove cooked sausage from the pan and wipe out pan. Add remaining oil and heat.
  4. Add onions to pan and cook a few minutes, add garlic and then cook a few minutes longer being careful to not brown either.
  5. Add in canned tomatoes and tomato paste and seasonings. Add sausage.
  6. Bring to a boil then turn down to a simmer. Cover, but allow steam to escape.
  7. Simmer up to four hours, adding small amounts of water if necessary.
  8. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add rigatoni into pot and mix to cover all of the pasta with sauce.
  9. Serve.

Cook’s notes: If you’re in a hurry, cook the onion and garlic in a separate pan from the sausage and then serve after all of the ingredients have been able to cook together. If you have the time, cook for the four hours and save adding the tomato paste to the end of the cooking.

recipe inspired from My Father’s Daughter cookbook and provided by your friends at crunchtimefood.com


  1. Julie says May 18th 2011 5:12 pm

    Sherri or Dr. April,

    I have a question for you that’s been burning in the back of my mind. I heard that 40% of our meals should consist of fruits and vegetables. I am a little low on eating vegetables, and I’ve elected to buy Naked Juice’s “Green Machine”. I drink it on a daily basis (about 6 oz) and try to supplement my daily intake with one serving of fresh veggies and/or fruit. Are pureed and pasteurized veggies the way to go for those in a hurry? What do you suggest?

    Your newest fan,


    • Dr. April says May 18th 2011 10:16 pm

      If you are having a stretch of days when it is tough to get any fruits or veggies in, then a serving of a veggie/fruit blend juice is a great way to keep up your intake of all the mysterious goodness that veggies have. However, I suggest you look at the ingredients in these juices carefully. Most are heavy up front with fruit juices that are high in sucrose. Green Machine has 28 grams of sugar, most probably from the number one ingredient: apple juice. Two thirds of the sugars in apple juice are sucrose which may promote blood vessel disease. An interesting article on the different types of sugars is here: Is Sugar Toxic .
      In general most commercial “vegetable juices” have lots of sugar and the lack of the fiber associated with the whole fruit or vegetable makes you more likely to imbibe more calories than if you ate the original fruit of the vine. That said if you can limit your serving size, and you are choosing it over a croissant, then go ahead and drink your veggies-in moderation!

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