For Alba, co-founder of The Honest Company, when it comes to her kids, food isn’t just food; it’s medicine. We love her wholesome outlook on everything food — something her new book The Honest Life covers extensively. The book touches on all aspects of healthy, stylish living — eating included, of course.
Donning a pair of Jenni Kayne floral pants and on-trend white stilettos, the beautiful Alba sat with us at the Crosby Street Hotel to give us all of the details on The Honest Life. She also let us in on a few things we couldn’t help but be curious about: her daily breakfast, her ideal dinner party, and even the message she’d like to get across to every mom in America. Personally, we’re not sure of the one thing we’d want to get across to America, but one thing is for sure: Our homepage is looking ten times better this week with Jessica Alba on the cover.
The New Potato: What would be your ideal food day?
Jessica Alba: "Breakfast tacos. I like egg tacos with corn tortillas, salsa and hot sauce. Maybe some soy chorizo in there. We have them almost everyday. Lunch would be some kind of hearty salad. Then for dinner, maybe sushi…it just depends what the weather is! It could be a hearty stew or Cornish game hen — which is my favorite — or maybe lasagna."
How does food play into your new book?
"I love to cook. [The book] gives information about the GMOs, pesticides and the industrialization of food and how that has affected our health. It’s also about how to make simple choices. The food industry got complicated, you know? We should just get back to the basics. So farm-to-table; support your local farms as much as possible and eat as seasonally as you can. You don’t have to be a nut about it. If you have the choice, get that certain thing that you wouldn’t normally get, or that you don’t cook that much. Try it. Who knows? You may like artichoke! Just be open.
"I‘m also about convenience, so the book is all about those 20-minute meals. That’s my thing — being able to throw together whatever is in your pantry. Also, certainly for my kids' meals, being able to reuse [leftovers] and turn them into something else is key."
If you could get one thing across to moms in America, what would it be?
"Try to eliminate packaged food and have as many whole foods as possible. For little kids, think of their food as their medicine. They’re growing; their brains are developing. If you just give them processed, fake food or food-like substances, you’re not really giving them anything to hold onto or to really thrive on. So as much as you can, giving them whole foods is just better."
How do you eat out smart?
"We try to do as much farm-to-table as possible or eat the organic choices at restaurants if they’re available. We don’t eat at a lot of chains. We try to go as local as possible. Usually when it’s a chain, it’s not the best quality. Not all the time — we have Urth Caffe at home [in Los Angeles] and Le Pain Quotidien, and both have really nice, high-quality food — but much of the time it’s mass produced."
What’s a food trend that’s starting to grow on you? What’s one that you don’t get?
"Gluten-free pasta [is starting to grow on me]. I didn’t really know about it. I’ve had rice noodles in Asian dishes, and that was kind of it. It’s a great way to add protein to a more traditionally starchy dish for my kids. I like having more gluten-free options and more organic options. It seems like even in the last five years there are so many more options, so that’s great.
"And what food trend am I not jumping on board with? The whole 100 calorie pack thing. It’s just like, 'Oh I’m just eating a bunch of chemicals.' I’m not into those."
What’s your go-to breakfast? How do you start your day?
"I don’t always eat breakfast; I should. I always have coffee, but I try to have yogurt and fruit or yogurt and granola — or breakfast tacos. This morning I had some fruit because I had a really late night last night with the homies and we ate a lot! We ate a lot..."
Did you go anywhere good last night [in NYC]?
"The Smile. It was awesome. So cozy."
Do you have other restaurants in New York that you really like?
"Yes, so many! There’s this Japanese restaurant I’m obsessed with in the West Village. EN Brasserie. I love that place! There are a lot of beautiful restaurants here in New York. You guys are so lucky."
In Los Angeles, what are your favorite spots?
"We do have our usual suspects. I’m really liking Spago right now; it just reopened. It’s a lot of farm-to-table stuff; it’s seasonal, smaller portions and always changing, so you can try different things. I love trying as many things as humanly possible. I don’t like getting a giant dish but rather a bunch of little ones to share.
Animal is really fun. And, the other restaurant that the Animal owners have, Son of a Gun. There’s this chicken sandwich there that is out of this world. It’s so good."
If you could host a dinner party, with any five guests, living or dead, who would be there and what would you cook?
"Bill Clinton, Michelle Obama, Oprah, Diane Sawyer (because I feel like she would ask really good questions), and Bono!
"I would cook whatever they wanted me to! Maybe I would do a good rib dish, hot wings, and then I would have some nice veggies and vegan alternatives — you never know. I don’t usually have a lot of gluten, but I’d probably have to have cheese and bread out. French bread would be perfect."
To see Jessica’s recipe for Homemade Ice Pops, click here
On a quest for the next big thing in the food industry, sisters Danielle and Laura Kosann have begun the journey with The New Potato. Profiling chefs, restauranteurs, and celebrities alike with cuisine questionnaires, the world of dining has reached a whole new level of delish.