French cuisine is one of the most famous cuisines in the world and is known for being rich and decadent. Though many books have been written claiming that the French—women in particular–are all fashionably slim, most people can’t subsist on a French diet without seeing the size of their clothes increase. You can, however, still indulge in some great French food with just a few modifications to make it more healthful. You’ll have to say “au revoir” to the fresh baguettes and “adieu” to the creamy cheeses, but fear not; you get to keep the wine!
French Cuisine: French Crepes
A popular treat in France is a crepe. To replicate the delicate pancake used in French crepes, beat 2 eggs with 2 tablespoons of milk. For a sweet crepe, add a few dashes of cinnamon and a drizzle of honey. Pour the eggs into a frying pan and spread the mixture so it looks very thin. When it’s cooked, add your toppings, such as sliced strawberries, blueberries, and bananas. A sprinkle of powdered sugar-replacement will complete this sweet treat. To make a savory crepe, leave the eggs and milk plain. Add your toppings, such as feta cheese, sundried tomatoes, olives, and pesto sauce. Use your imagination when choosing toppings, and there will be no limit to how many different types of crepes you can make.
French Cuisine: French Onion Soup
French onion soup is another fantastic French meal. The traditional recipe includes sugar, flour, bread, and cheese. A more healthful version of this soup can be made omitting these ingredients. To make 2 portions of onion soup, chop up 2 carrots, 2 large potatoes, and 2 stalks of celery. Boil the chopped vegetables in 4 cups of water until they are tender. Blend the vegetables and water using an immersion or countertop blender. Next, slice 4 onions and let them brown in 2 tablespoons of refined coconut oil. New cooks will often use high heat to quickly caramelize onions, but for best results, use low heat and cook them for around 20-30 minutes. Add the onions, ¼ cup of good red wine, and 1 or 2 beef stock cubes into the pot. Let the ingredients simmer together on low heat for at least 30 minutes. While the flavors are melding, you can prepare homemade croutons to put on top of your soup. Combine 2 tablespoons of freshly ground flax meal with 1 tablespoon almond flour. Add a few dashes of garlic powder and dried parsley. Sprinkle in 2 tablespoons of nutritional yeast, which will give the croutons a cheesy taste. Add 2 teaspoons of water and mix well. Flatten the dough and cut out crouton-sized cubes. Place them on a non-stick tray and bake for approximately 5-7 minutes at 300 degrees Fahrenheit. When serving the soup, top with the croutons and a tiny drizzle of heart-healthy extra virgin olive oil.
With these great French recipes (and a glass of leftover red wine!), your taste buds won’t even notice that you’re eating healthful versions of French cuisine. Your cravings will be satisfied and your body will thank you for the extra vitamins, antioxidants, and good fats. C’est la bonne vie!
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