Alexia Brue and Melise Gelula, co-founders of Well+Good, have released their first cookbook nearly ten years after the launch of their wellness website. Published today, it features 100 recipes from 100 wellness-minded contributors including Misty Copeland, Marie Kondo, Bobbi Brown, Padma Lakshmi, and Venus Williams.
“Everybody’s expecting their food to do more for them now,” Gelula said in an interview with the Cut. Grains are expected to be ancient, and berries are assumed to be a superfood. But Brue and Gelula say the recipes are backed by science. Each dish is listed with health benefits, whether it’s better skin, sleep, focus, digestion, energy, or sex. Of all the recipes they shared with the Cut, I wanted to taste-test the most intriguing one for afternoon chocolate cravings, at least in this office: sweet potato brownies. New York Magazine staffers review them below, followed by a family pizza recipe from Lea Michele.
Makes 16 brownies
What’s in a name, and can this be real? Alissa Vitti, a contributor to the cookbook and founder of the My Flo app, says the cacao and sweet potato in this recipe can increase progesterone, stabilize blood sugar, and balance estrogen levels — which help combat breast tenderness and bloating.
2 tablespoons ground flaxseed
1 medium Japanese sweet potato, finely grated (about 2½ cups)
¼ cup honey, coconut nectar, or pure maple syrup
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
½ cup coconut oil, melted
½ cup raw cacao powder
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons coconut flour, teff flour, buckwheat flour, or oat flour
2 tablespoons arrowroot powder
¼ teaspoon pink Himalayan salt
½ cup chocolate chips (optional)
Raspberries or strawberries and coconut yogurt, for serving
1. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a nine-inch square baking dish with parchment paper, leaving a two-inch overhang on two sides.
2. In a medium bowl, mix together the flaxseed and quarter cup water. Add the sweet potato, honey, vanilla, and coconut oil. Stir until well incorporated.
3. In a separate medium bowl, combine the cacao powder, cinnamon, baking powder, baking soda, flour, arrowroot, and salt.
4. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients and mix well. Fold in the chocolate chips. Pour the batter into the prepared pan and smooth the top with a spatula.
5. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until a tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let cool in the pan for ten minutes, then use the overhanging parchment as handles and remove the brownie block from the pan. Cut the block into 16 squares (four rows by four rows).
6. Serve with fruit and coconut yogurt for extra decadence. Store in an airtight container at room temperature for up to three days or wrapped in plastic wrap in the freezer for up to three months.
Kelsi Trinidad, producer: “It feels like a fork situation, almost like a lava cake but not the crusty encapsulated outside. I’d eat it again! It’s not too sweet. I feel like if you made it as a cake and sliced it, so it’s more fork friendly, that’d be the ticket right there.”
Nikita Richardson, Grub Street staff writer: “First off we need structure, that’s what’s in a brownie: structure. So these are not brownies! They’re like pudding. A brownie’s supposed to have a crispy side to it. This is too wet. Let the record show that I had no coffee yet today and will be more critical than usual.”
Sarah Spellings, the Cut fashion writer: “It doesn’t have the crunchiness and chewiness of a brownie, but it’s good. I totally could have believed it was a real brownie, but underbaked.”
Brittany Brown, copy editor: “It tastes like chocolate cake! Like a low sugar chocolate cake, but it’s not bad. If you want a regular brownie, it’s close enough to it, just less sugary.”
Are they the perfect, crunchy, chocolatey brownies you daydream of? No. But the recipe isn’t a shabby substitute — it transforms a sweet potato into something that’ll satisfy your sweet tooth.
Lea Michele’s Shaved Radicchio, Parmesan, and Truffle Pizza
Makes one 12-inch pizza; gluten-free, vegetarian, for better digestion and focus.
The actress, singer, and author remembers sitting down for Sunday dinners with her Italian family, in an interview featured in the cookbook: “Food always meant family, it meant laughter, it meant happiness.” For this (mostly) homemade pizza recipe, she added high-fiber radicchio, which boosts digestion. She says to choose any crust, from wheat to cauliflower.
1 medium head radicchio, finely shaved (about 1½ cups)
Juice of 1 lemon
1 teaspoon kosher salt
2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon olive oil, plus more for drizzling
1 premade 12-inch pizza crust (may be gluten-free), cooked
½ cup freshly shaved Parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper (optional)
1 large egg
1 teaspoon truffle oil (optional)Crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
2. In a medium bowl, combine the radicchio, lemon juice, kosher salt, and two tablespoons of the olive oil. Toss to coat the radicchio.
3. Place the pizza crust on a baking sheet, then layer the radicchio on top of the crust, leaving a one-inch border. Drizzle a bit of olive oil over the top and bake until the radicchio is crispy, about ten minutes.
4. Remove the pizza from the oven and sprinkle the Parmesan over the whole surface. Add a few cracks of black pepper, if desired, and bake for three minutes more, or until the cheese has melted.
5. Meanwhile, heat the remaining teaspoon of olive oil in a small skillet over medium heat. When it shimmers, crack the egg into the pan. Reduce the heat to low and cook until the egg white is completely set but the yolk is still runny, about three minutes. Use a spatula to slide the sunny-side-up egg on top of the pizza and bake for two minutes more (or turn on the broiler and broil to make the pizza extra crispy).
6. Before serving, drizzle with the truffle oil and sprinkle with red pepper flakes, if desired.
Check out more from the cookbook here.