The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook And Quinoa For Breakfast

Quinoa With Almonds, Hazelnuts, And Apple Chunks

I was sent a review copy of Mireille Guiliano's The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook from Atria Books eons ago, and I am just getting around to reviewing it. It's kind of weird that it's taken me this long to write about it because I really do like the book.

I've never read the French Women Don't Get Fat books, and while I would like to check them out, I don't think it's necessary to have read them to appreciate the cookbook. Giuliano is an informative, lighthearted storyteller. You learn about why she suggests the recipes she does as well as about her own life. While I am not the healthiest eater, I did find myself nodding along as I read and being inspired to try some less calorie-rich dishes. I also found Giuliano to have a fun attitude about food in general. I like best how she describes her own cookbook and cooking:
"In the end, this is a cookbook, after all; this is a recipe book. So, head to the kitchen and cook a few things. It is the best way to understand what you put into your body and is an act filled with pleasures."
I did want to try the magical breakfast cream, a recipe which Giuliano devotes three pages to describing and then provides two versions of, before reviewing the book, but I haven't been able to get my hands on some flaxseed oil. (Does anyone know where to find this?) The magical breakfast cream is a family recipe for weight loss, which Giuliano learned from her aunt. I am a little skeptical of the weight-loss benefits of the magical breakfast cream, but it is merely a mixture of yogurt, flaxseed oil, lemon juice, honey, sugar-free cereal, and walnuts, so I could see how eating it every morning for a week could cause someone to drop a few pounds when also eating a sensible lunch and dinner. It seems very low in calories and very high in fiber.

Because I couldn't try the magical breakfast cream, I decided to try another breakfast recipe: quinoa with almonds, hazelnuts, and apricots (except I left out the dried apricots and added some chopped apple instead).

Before making this breakfast, which Giuliano aptly classifies as comfort food, I had only ever had quinoa in savory dishes. But it's not too far-fetched to think of protein-rich quinoa as a good substitute for oatmeal. Usually, we eat oatmeal in the morning to help us stay full until lunch time, and quinoa also has the ability to keep one full for hours.

Quinoa With Almonds, Hazelnuts, And Apple Chunks

Quinoa With Almonds, Hazelnuts, And Apple Chunks (adapted from The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook)

The recipe makes 4 servings, so I suggest making it and dividing it up to eat throughout the week, adding fresh apple chunks (or any fruit you like) each day.


1 cup quinoa
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon butter
1/3 cup milk
Pinch of salt
1 tablespoon finely chopped almonds
1 tablespoon finely chopped hazelnuts
1 to 4 apples, cut in chunks (depending if you're serving 4 or portioning to eat throughout the week)


Rinse quinoa in a fine-mesh sieve, drain, and transfer to a medium pot. Add 2 cups of water and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat to medium-low, and simmer until water is absorbed, 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside, covered, for 5 minutes. Uncover, and fluff  with a fork.

Stir honey, lemon juice, butter, milk, and salt into the cooked quinoa, and place over medium-low heat and cook for another minute.

Divide the quinoa between bowls, and garnish with nuts and apples.

Quinoa With Almonds, Hazelnuts, And Apple Chunks

I definitely agree with Giuliano that this is comfort food, and yet, at the same time I felt I was eating something good for me. I really think the honey is the key ingredient here. It sweetens the quinoa just enough, making it the perfect breakfast dish.

Be sure to stop back because I'll be featuring more recipes from the cookbook.

Have you ever had a breakfast quinoa dish? Have you checked out The French Women Don't Get Fat Cookbook?

"Cooking is respecting the seasons and appreciating the fleeting moment of the short availability of cherries, apricots, asparagus, clementines, and much more." -Mireille Guiliano


The Small Boston Kitchen said...

I have been meaning to try quinoa for breakfast, this recipe looks great. I actually read the French Women Don't Get Fat book a while back and although I don't agree with everything (she suggests a leek broth detox..yeck) the overall premise is exactly how I approach dieting. Everything in balance and moderation and don't ever miss out on anything that you really want. This recipe looks great, thanks for sharing!

Blog is the New Black said...

I love quinoa and somehow I never thik to make it for bfast.

Jordan said...

I look forward to checking out the book. Thanks for the recommendation!

Lauren said...

Check out Whole Foods for flaxseed oil... I've spotted it on the shelves in multiple locations :).

The quinoa looks delicious! I love it in both savory and sweet dishes. If you're a fan of pumpkin, the girls at We Are Not Martha made a fabulous pumpkin quinoa parfait a few months ago (http://tinyurl.com/4g6e5ap) which I think originally came from How Sweet It Is (http://tinyurl.com/2g68zmy). Highly recommended!

Elizabeth said...

I used to eat quinoa for breakfast and all my friends thought it was strange. Now everyone's doing it it seems. I love it with chopped nuts and a drizzle of maple syrup.

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

Lucky! I love the French Women Don't Get Fat book series! This looks like a great breakfast for a day like today!

Fun and Fearless in Beantown said...

I adore quinoa and while I've seen some great breakfast and dessert quinoa dishes, I haven't tried them myself!

Megan said...

Katie - Ha ha. I actually thought the leek broth detox sounded interesting.

Blog is the New Black - I never thought to either. It's so good with honey!

Jordan - You're welcome. Hope you like it!

Lauren - Thanks. I swear I've scoured WF for it. Maybe I'm not looking in the right place!

Elizabeth - Ooh. Maple syrup would be really good too. I have two jugs and a jar of it right now too!

Thanks, Meghan! I actually made this a long time ago, but I do wish I had some this morning too!

Michelle - dessert quinoa? I need to find some of those recipes next!

Meghan@travelwinedine said...

Also, you can get flax oil in the supplements aisle at Trader Joe's. I put it in smoothies and things and this week discovered an article about putting it on skin for moisture. It is magical!

Jen said...

I just started cooking with quinoa and I'd love to try it for breakfast. I *think* my stop and shop has flax seed oil... I'll check next time I'm there and grab some for you if they do have it.

brandi said...

Strangely enough, I've found flaxseed oil at both Walmart and Kroger before. In Kroger and a smaller health food store here, it's always in the refrigerated section (has to be kept cold so it doesn't go rancid - and you also can't cook with it!). I love it - very nutty.

I haven't looked at the cookbook, but I do love the actual book.

Emily @ A Cambridge Story said...

I'm on a total quinoa kick so this is timely! Actually I just saw a morning quinoa recipe on Karen Covey's blog (Gourmet Dishes for One) that looks really yummy. I think my oatmeal is going to be hitting the road :)

Erin said...

Thanks for the review! I've been wanting to check out French Women Don't Get Fat, but haven't gotten around to it yet. Now, I'm definitely going to have to check it out!

Lara @ GoodCookDoris said...

I decided to try out quinoa for breakfast over the summer. I had made a big pot for dinner and had it leftover in the fridge. I added a little milk, brown sugar and cinnamon and microwaved for a minute or two (like instant oatmeal). It was surprisingly delicious and really filling.

Your pictures look delicious!

Bianca @ Confessions of a Chocoholic said...

Never had a breakfast dish with quinoa but I can imagine it being good, and never read the French Women book/cookbook either - but I want to!

That breakfast cream sounds intriguing...

Daisy said...

I have never even had quinoa period. I think I'm probably missing out because this breakfast looks mighty tasty.

Jennifurla said...

Is it a sin to not like quinoa...I swear I have tried it so many times but I just cant wrap my head around it. This does look very refreshing though.

Shannon said...

i've had quinoa for breakfast, but not for awhile... need to get on that :) this looks delicious!

Stephanie @ The Cookie Battle said...

I haven't read it but plan to. I didn't know there was a cookbook for it though, I will have to check it out.

Natalie said...

I like quinoa and have been meaning to try a breakfast version. Yours looks so good!

Juliana said...

Oh! What a great way to start the day...I bought quinoa from Costco, therefore have lots of it...will have to try it for breakfast :-) Thanks for sharing it!

MelissaNibbles said...

I love the French Women series. It makes a lot of sense. I need to try this breakfast!

Lizzy said...

I love quinoa, but like you I've never tried it in sweet dishes. This one looks delicious! I will have to try it. And Daisy - you are missing it. Its just like cous cous only with a laundry list of better benefits. I don't buy cous cous anymore- just quinoa!

Olga @ MangoTomato said...

I've actually made quinoa for breakfast last year with nuts, apples, orange juice and cranberries: really good and filling.

Fresh Local and Best said...

This looks delicious! It never occurred to me to incorporate quinoa into sweeter dishes. I'll definitely be experimenting with this recipe.

Jenna said...

I tried quinoa for breakfast this morning -- thanks for the inspiration!

Alicia said...

At WF's the flax seed oil isn't always with the regular oils - like olive and canola. It's often in the 'whole body' section in a refrigerated case. Raw flax oil can go rancid easily if not refrigerated.

I recently started eating quinoa for breakfast on occasion -- it is a nice alternative to traditional hot cereals!

kitchenmisfit said...

I have has quinoa for dinner but only once for breakfast! This looks like a fabulous recipe and I'm going to need to have it!

Whole Foods has flaxseed oil - Check in the whole body section b/c that is where they usually keep it.

Kerstin said...

I keep seeing quinoa breakfast dishes and definitely want to try one - love the apples in yours!