My French Salads Diet

My French Salads Diet

French Tabbouli, olives, cheese, and prosciutto (or other charcuterie) = a fresh and light meal (provided you don’t eat too much!). Photo by my good buddy Richard Swearinger.

Current goal: Take off the five pounds I gained in Ireland, ASAP. How will I do it? My summertime version of losing weight the French way—by enjoying these great French salads during the height of the growing season.

I loved you, Ireland, but I came back five pounds heavier. It wasn’t your fault. I just couldn’t stay away from all those potatoes, in all forms. And let’s face it, you have the best crisps (potato chips) on the planet. They went great with all that Guinness.

Fortunately, I’m back here in Amerique profonde just in time for the peak of our growing season. Yesterday, still on Ireland time, I awoke at 3 a.m. and immediately started cooking up some salads to have in the fridge for the coming days. The rest of the summer, my plan is to keep the fridge continually stocked with some great all-purpose salads, to which I’ll add a small amount of whatever meat, egg, fish, or cheese is looking great at the market.

I’ll try to watch the carbs, but make no mistake, my plan isn’t low-carb….it’s “smart carb.” That is, I seek to make every carb count, chocking each one with a good amount of whole grains and/or nutrients.

Here’s a look at the way I’ll be eating. The plan is simple: Just get a few of these “anchor salads” in the fridge. You’ll be surprised at how quickly a fresh, healthful mealtime will come together. For recipes that are on this site (or elsewhere on the internet), I’ve given a link; for all others, I give you the page number in my book, The Bonne Femme Cookbook: Simple, Splendid Food That French Women Cook Every Day.

Summer French Salads Platter #1: 

Keep cured meats on hand (such as prosciutto) and serve with a hunk of cheese and those salads you have in your fridge. Pictured here:

Keep cured meats on hand (such as prosciutto) and serve with a hunk of cheese and those salads you have in your fridge. Pictured here: Tarragon-White Bean Salad (page 52), French Tabbouli (my BonjourParis version), and French Green Lentil Salad (page 51—I added sweet red pepper and omitted the cream). A few little chévre-tapenade toasts complete the plate.

Summer French Salads Platter #2:

This is my version of the "Salade Americaine"—the French version of the Chef's Salad. It looks like a lot of food, I know. But this was for quite a few people. Omit the bread if you're trying to shed the poids.

This is my version of the “Salade Americaine”—the French version of the Chef’s Salad. It looks like a lot of food, I know. But this was for quite a few people. Omit the bread if you’re trying to shed the poids.

Summer French Salads Platter #3:

Here's that French Green Lentil Salad again, and yes the Tabbouleh. This time, the "main" salad is my Roasted Chicken--Fennel Seed Salad, page 60.

Here’s that French Green Lentil Salad again, and yes the Tabbouleh. This time, the “main” salad is my Roasted Chicken–Fennel Seed Salad, page 60 of The Bonne Femme Cookbook.

Summer French Salads Platter #4:

Yes! French Tabbouli is the gift that keeps on giving! I wrote about this great salad platter for my friend Richard Nahem at EyePreferParis.com

Yes! French Tabbouli is the gift that keeps on giving! I wrote about this great salad platter for my friend Richard Nahem at EyePreferParis.com

Summer French Salads Platter #5:

I saved the best for last. Ratatouille, a poached egg salad, and just a little cheese. Ranks as one of the best ways to serve ratatouille ever!

I saved the best for last. Ratatouille (page 262), a poached egg salad, and just a little cheese. Ranks as one of the best ways to serve ratatouille ever!

So–that’s my eating plan for the next few weeks. I’ll also exercise regularly….and I’ll let you know if those five “Irish potato pounds” come off!

PS: If you have a hard time finding French Green Lentils, find them on the link below (this is a great price on them, by the way). Hmmm…come to think of it, these little lentils might just be a great add-on when you purchase The Bonne Femme Cookbook. Thanks for your consideration!

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