The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook

Earlier this week I had the pleasure of attending a coffee talk with the very charming Mireille Guiliano, author of the hugely successful French Women Don't Get Fat, and the newly released The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook.The event was organized by the amazing Keren Brown of Frantic Foodie, and held at Muse, a great little coffee shop on Queen Anne Hill in Seattle.

Mireille dishes sensible dining advice, like eating in moderation, cooking with fresh ingredients, and drinking lots of water. Her main message is "get in the kitchen and cook!" 

In our fast-paced society our connection with food has faded, and our consumption of processed food has grown. Mirielle stresses that we need to re-gain that connection with our food, enjoy preparing it, enjoy eating it, allowing it to nourish our body and souls. We need to follow dining rituals and learn to enjoy our meals leisurely without racing to the finish line.

I have been cooking out of this book for the last few days, and the recipes are simple and good. (I am now addicted to Magical Breakfast Cream, a combination of plain yogurt, lemon juice, honey, flax oil, nuts and cereal.) Converting her recipes to gluten and diary free is easy. Where she uses butter, use Earth Balance Vegan Spread, where she uses pasta, substitute quinoa pasta (or your favorite GF pasta). Where she uses wheat flour, just substitute your favorite GF flour blend.

This is a great cookbook, not only for the recipes but for the advice on eating well without gaining weight. Here's what the jacket says, and I can't say it better: 

"Filled with stories from Mireille's childhood in France, her life in Paris, Provence, and New York, and her extensive travels and meals for business and enjoyment, The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook is a beautiful, practical lifestyle guide to living well, eating wonderfully, and getting the most out of life with the least amount of stress."

Sounds good to me.

Here are three of the recipes I tried from the cookbook this week:

Apple Compote with Pistachios
The pistachios are wonderful with the apples. I can think of so many ways to use this.

Quinoa with Almonds, Hazelnuts, and Apricots
This is a delicious breakfast. I sort of added extra nuts and apricots, so you can't really see the quinoa, but it's there.

Madeleines au Chocolat
I will tell you why French women don't get fat. They don't eat cookies! Seriously, there are no cookie recipes in this book. This is close. Madeleines are scrumptious little cookie/cakes, and this one in particular is wonderful. So soft and chocolately, and it must be eaten warm.


  1. I read her original book and was charmed by it. Glad to know the cookbook is good too! Those recipes look delicious! The madeleine is gluten free? Impressive!

  2. Thanks Iris! Yes, the madeleine is gluten free. I followed Mireille's recipe, using Earth Balance instead of butter, and instead of the 1/2 cup plus 3 tbsp wheat flour I used 1/4 cup millet flour, 1/4 cup sorghum flour and 3 tbsp potato starch. I also added 1/2 tsp xanthan gum and a touch more baking powder.

  3. Dorothy, thanks for this review. I have been considering this book. Now I am convinced it needs to be added to my library :)


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