Today, we’re kicking off our book tour with Giada de Laurentiis! The author and Food Network star just released her new cookbook Giada’s Feel Good Food, and she’ll be coming to select Williams-Sonoma stores to meet fans and sign your copies. Scroll to the bottom of this post for dates and locations! As a bonus, Feel Good Food is also our pick for the November Cookbook Club — find more details below.
In Feel Good Food, Giada answers the question her fans have been asking for ages: How does she balance eating for pleasure and maintaining a healthy lifestyle? The new book is full of her best recipes for wellness for every time of day, starring healthy whole grains, lean proteins and fresh fruits and vegetables. She also shares personal lifestyle tips on everything from yoga and skincare to applying makeup.
Here, Giada tells us all about balancing good food and healthy living, along with some of her new favorite ingredients and entertaining staples for the holidays. Read on for her responses and a sweet new recipe from Feel Good Food.
What was the inspiration behind this book? What prompted you to write it?
My fans. They’ve been asking me for years how I do it… how I cook so much food and manage to stay fit. Much like my approach to the kitchen, I wanted to give them something tangible, easy to conquer, to get fit. Being healthy doesn’t have to be a drag or super complicated. It is literally about moving from moment to moment with more awareness — making small adjustments will make all the difference!
Is it challenging to maintain a healthy lifestyle with a cooking career? How have you found balance over the years?
Sure. I have to eat multiple meals a day, tasting things that aren’t necessarily meant to be ingested together. It’s all about portion control… and giving a lot of food to the neighbors! Just because I make two dozen muffins while testing a recipe, doesn’t mean I have to eat them all!
How has your healthy lifestyle inspired you?
I’ve found that my readers are interested in not just food but also health, beauty and family. I’ve put that all into Feel Good Food and also into my digital weekly, Giada, which you can find on iTunes.
What new foods have you discovered as you’ve incorporated healthier ingredients into your diet?
Agave, quinoa, almond flour, coconut flour, cashew cream, vegan chocolate chips.. and so many more!!
What tips do you have for people who are passionate about food but want to eat healthily?
It’s all about portion control and fresh ingredients. Try to steer clear of processed foods!! I love getting creative about what’s in season and making that the centerpiece of the dinner table!
You have a young daughter; how did having a family change your approach to food?
Having Jade changed my approach to food completely! Once I found out I was pregnant and “eating for two,” it was so easy for me to kick all the junk food to the curb and get excited about eating for my health! I still indulge now and then but my approach to food is totally, happily, different!
Has Jade inspired any new projects for you?
Yes. I think Jade inspires all of my projects, but I specifically wrote my new kid’s book series “Recipe for Adventure” just for her. She’s not quite old enough to read yet, but when she is, I have a whole collection of stories for her to read based on me and my brother’s adventures together!
Which recipes from Feel Good Food do you go to most often?
Chocolate fig bites get made a lot for parties. My oatmeal is a daily staple. Buckwheat pancakes are one of Jade’s favorites. And I’d have to say the pork loin!
We’re entering the holiday season. How do you maintain a nutritious diet with all the festivities going on?
I think my overall approach is this: Just because it is the holiday season, it doesn’t mean it’s time to throw your entire healthy lifestyle out into the snow. You take it a meal at a time, making the healthiest choice available on the table each time, keeping portion control in mind. And, if you eat a sugar cookie here or there, enjoy it!
What are some of your favorite recipes for holiday entertaining?
Baked mashed potatoes with parmesan cheese and breadcrumbs, my Christmas Seafood Salad (Cappon Magro), Cioppino, struffoli, and Panettone french toast are all classics at my table at some point in the holiday season!
How will you be celebrating the holidays this year?
At home with the family. No better way! After Christmas, we are heading to the mountains and Todd is going to teach Jade to ski for the first time! Todd is an excellent skier, but Jade is a little trepidatious. At the end of the day, she loves to do what her daddy does so I expect she’ll be a natural snow bunny! Talk about photo-op time!!
Chocolate Fig Bites
This is my favorite go-to dessert—it’s like a bonbon, but better! These bites are chewy, decadent, and sweet because of the figs. And, who doesn’t like something dipped in chocolate? The little hit of sea salt is the perfect contrast to the sweetness.
14 ounces dried Mission figs, stemmed and coarsely chopped (3 cups)
2 tablespoons unsalted creamy almond butter
1 cup (6 ounces) 41% cocoa vegan chocolate chips
2 teaspoons coconut, safflower, or grapeseed oil
¾ teaspoon flaky sea salt, such as Maldon
Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper. In a food processor, combine the figs, almond butter, and 2 tablespoons water. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed with a rubber spatula. Using a 1-teaspoon measure, scoop the fig mixture and roll with your hands into 1-inch balls. Put the fig balls on the prepared baking sheet.
Put the chocolate chips and oil in a heat-proof medium bowl. Set the bowl over a small saucepan of barely simmering water and stir until the chocolate is melted and smooth, 2 to 3 minutes.
Using a fork, dip the fig balls in the melted chocolate to coat evenly, allowing any excess chocolate to drip back into the bowl. Return the fig bites to the baking sheet and sprinkle with the salt. Refrigerate until the chocolate has set, about 30 minutes. Store covered in the refrigerator for up to a week. Makes 34 bites.
Per Bite: Calories 56; Protein 1g; Carbohydrates 10g; Dietary Fiber 2g; Sugar 6g; Total Fat 2g; Saturated Fat 1g; Sodium 53mg
Giada’s Book Signing Tour Schedule
Please note: Space is limited to the first 400 ticketed customers. Books will be on sale starting November 5, 2013; however, you may pre-order your books to secure a ticket now by calling or visiting the hosting location. Ask an associate for further details. Giada will only be personalizing copies of Giada’s Feel Good Food purchased at Williams-Sonoma. Proof of purchase required.
Tuesday, November 5, 2013 at 12:00pm
630 Old Country Rd., Garden City, NY 11530
Mall At Short Hills
Wednesday, November 6, 2013 at 1:30pm
1200 Morris Turnpike, Short Hills, NJ 07078
Thursday, November 7, 2013 at 12:00pm
1245 Worcester Street, Natick, MA 01760
King of Prussia
Friday, November 8, 2013 at 3:00pm
160 North Gulph Road, King of Prussia, PA 19406
Saturday, November 9, 2013 at 1:00pm
1705 Annapolis Mall, Annapolis, MD 21401
Sunday, November 10, 2013 at 4:00pm
3512 Galleria Edina, Edina, MN 55435
Monday, November 11, 2013 at 6:00pm
327 Northpark Center, Dallas, TX 75225
Tuesday, November 12, 2013 at 5:00pm
4060 Westheimer, Houston, TX 77027
Thursday, November 14, 2013 at 6:00pm
216 Bellevue Square, Bellevue, WA 98004
Stanford Shopping Center
Friday, November 15, 2013 at 4:00pm
180 El Camino Real, Palo Alto, CA, 94304
Saturday, November 16, 2013 at 12:00pm
340 Post St., San Francisco, CA 94108
South Coast Plaza
Sunday, November 17, 2013 at 1:00pm
3333 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
Love collecting cookbooks? Enjoy trying new recipes? Join us for a monthly Cookbook Club class. Led by our talented culinary experts, these exclusive cooking classes showcase recipes from a different cookbook each month.
- Each 1½ – to 2-hour class features cooking tips and techniques and a three-course tasting menu from the book’s best recipes, prepared while you watch.
- Class fee of $75 includes the cookbook with signed bookplate.
- Participants receive a 10% discount on store purchases the day of the class.
- Available monthly at select stores; class times vary by store location.
- Space is limited and reservations are required. Call a participating store to register.