Mireille Guiliano is one of those French Women who oozes style, class, joie de vivre and a certain je ne sais quoi. She is not one of those French women who won’t tell anyone how she does it.
One of the most common questions people ask about French women is “how come they’ve got all this wonderful food, cheese, pastries, cakes, bread, foie gras and yet they don’t get fat”. Well clearly not all French women are skinny but research shows that compared to their British or American counterparts, French women actually are less fat. Mireille says that it’s all about having a healthy relationship with your food and she wrote the best-seller French Women Don’t Get Fat which to explain how it works. Then, to help women (and men) everywhere on a practical level she wrote The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook.
Stuffed full of anecdotes, advice and tips, it’s a fun read. It is also filled with very French, absolutely scrumptious recipes. Some of them are based on food Mireille ate as a child such as her Magical Breakfast Cream, a cereal based, yogurt-y breakfast with nuts that her aunt used to make when she wanted to lose a few pounds – and still enjoy her food.
This is definitely not a cabbage soup style diet book to beat yourself up with, nor is it remotely faddy. It’s a cook book to be enjoyed, with lush dishes like “Sea Scallop and Fleur de Sel Tartines” or “Raspberry-Blackberry Rice Pudding Verrines”. This is about enjoying your food and making it so tasty that you don’t need to eat a whole load of it, and that is one of the secrets of French women who don’t get fat. Research has shown that food that tastes good satisfies us more than food that is bland and generally we eat less of it.
Take this recipe for Confiture de lait (also known as dulche de leche or Milk Jam). Normally made with condensed milk, it’s packed full of sugar. But far from saying you must never eat such things, Mireille acknowledges, we all crave something sweet and naughty at times. She advises that this is eaten as an indulgence and gives a simple and less wicked recipe of 1 cup of 2% milk, ¼ cup plus 1 tablespoon of sugar. They’re boiled together and simmered gently until the liquid is a light caramel colour. Drizzled over crepes, toast or ice-cream – utterly lip-smackingly delectable. A treat to look forward to at the weekend so you keep to a sensible routine during the week.
All though the book Mireille gives explanations, ideas, her philosophy on food and cooking.
“Cooking is nourishment of the body and soul” she says and the delicious recipes in this book will certainly help with that.
Chicken en Croute Fiona Style a simple and easy to prepare chicken dish full of citrus flavour with Parmesan cheese and herbs – oh la la!
Author of French Women Don’t Get Fat: The Secret of Eating for Pleasure, French Women for All Seasons: A Year of Secrets, Recipes and Pleasure., Women, Work & the Art of Savoie Faire: Business Sense and Sensibility, The French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook, French Women Don’t Get Facelifts: The Secret of Aging with Style and Attitude and Meet Paris Oyster: A Love Affair with the Perfect Food.