The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook
This week, my husband Jean and I attended a dinner and book signing by Mireille Guiliano, the author of Why French Women don’t Get Fat and The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook.
In a small intimate gathering at Moussy’s restaurant in San Francisco we were served a menu (taken from her book) that melted in your mouth. The appetizer was enough to make me swoon with flavors bursting with mixtures of prosciutto and blackberries and d’anjou pears and blue cheese topped with walnuts on toasted baguette.
Being a “when I have time to cook, cook” I have experimented over the last 5 years with a few of what I call my signature dishes. After talking with her I am determined to expand my repertoire and try what she suggested were some easy, fast, and flavorful dishes.
But first back to the menu. The first course was roasted gulf prawns with a citrus and fennel salad. I don’t know about you, but I love prawns but have never figured out how to cook them unless they are part of a shrimp cocktail. Grilled shrimp here we come! The entrée, a delicious grilled hanger steak with the long stemmed flowering broccolini was amazing. Most importantly we were reminded of the portions being small (why French women don’t get fat) and yet so flavorful that every bite was a trip to heaven. Okay, there was a superb chef cooking for us, but still anything is possible.
Conversing with Mireille over desert we discussed the Vanilla Panna Cotta with organic strawberries, candied pinenuts and Mint. The chef told me later he added his own ingredient of fennel pollen honey imported from Italy. Take away the amazing honey flavor Mireille attested that it would take 3 minutes to make the desert (albeit it does need to be prepared ahead of time to gel) and is both brilliant and healthy.
I shared with Mireille that we sit down at the table every night (I got ten points for that one) but our daughter was complaining that we ate too much chicken. She loved my lamb chops too, but I needed something else easy that wasn’t chicken.
She kindly pointed out her scallop “ceviche” with mango and parmesan. Glancing at the recipe I had to agree with her that it did look super easy and tonight I shall dazzle our daughter with something other than chicken and lamb chops.
She then recommended making her “magical breakfast,” a mixture of yogurt, flaxseed oil, lemon juice, honey, finely ground cereal such as post shredded wheat, and walnuts. Asking why she calls it her magical breakfast, she answers, “It is a combination of tasty, easy and so good for your well-being and melts away pounds. However, she adds, cut back on the bread and wine and eat a modest lunch and dinner.” So for those of you wanted to try this, here it is.
4-6 tblsp yogurt (about ½ cup)
1 tsp flaxseed oil
1-2 tbls lemon juice (preferable Meyer or organic)
1 tsp honey
1 tbls finely ground cereal with zero sugar (post shredded wheat)
2 tbls finely ground walnuts.
- Put the yogurt in a bowl and add the oil. Mix well. Add the lemon juice and mix well. Add the honey and mix. (Note: It is important to add ingredients one at a time)
- Finely grind the cereal and walnuts (use a small food processor) and add to yogurt. Serve at once.
Time saver: - Grind a week’s worth of cereal and nuts and keep it refrigerated.
I am re-inspired to spread my wings and cook some different dishes. It reinforces a variety of pleasures and goals in life all in one great meal:
- focusing on food as a creative pursuit not just a comfort
- a special family activity that also helps our daughter to become independent and healthy in her food choicescontinuous learning which helps the brain to grow (and avoid dementia)
- keeps us healthy and happy
- a wonderful way to share with friends.
As I continue to try some recipes I will let you know how they work.