An F&W editor shares the low calorie meals that allow her to eat, and drink, the French way.

By Kristin Donnelly
Updated March 31, 2015


While living in Paris, I performed an unintentional experiment with the French paradox: I ate cheese, pâté and bread almost daily but still lost 10 pounds. Walking miles along the Seine helped, but I'd also started eating the French way: smaller portions of better-tasting food, often with wine. Drinking wine isn't necessarily the key to losing weight, but as countless studies have shown, a glass-a-day habit can increase your life span. Now I live in New York City but still eat the French way, with low calorie, wine-friendly dishes like the ones here—runny eggs baked over mushrooms and spinach, for instance, and a root-vegetable salad with sliced beef. Add a five-ounce glass of wine (at 110 to 130 calories) and the total calorie count is still under 600. And sometimes, there's enough wiggle room for cheese.

© Johnny Valiant

Low-Calorie Meals:

Roasted Fish with an Unoaked, Lemony White

"Roasted fish recipes as simple as this one can showcase crisp whites with some complexity. I go for a Sancerre."View Recipe: Whole Fish Roasted with Potatoes and Thyme

© Johnny Valiant

Low-Calorie Meals:

Eggs with a Light, Fruity Red

"When I studied in France, Beaujolais was often the cheapest red wine, so I drank it a lot with eggs for lunch."View Recipe: Eggs Baked Over Sautéed Mushrooms and Spinach

© Johnny Valiant

Low Calorie Meals:

Shrimp with a Minerally Rosé

"I like pink wine with pink shellfish. Minerally Provençal rosés are especially good with my tarragon-scented shrimp."View Recipe: Warm Shrimp Salad with Kamut, Red Chile and Tarragon

Video: Healthy Recipes and Cooking Tips

Low-Calorie Meals & Healthy Dishes:

Low-Calorie Dishes

Healthy Main Dishes


Healthy Pairings