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
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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.

Whole Fish Roasted with Potatoes and Thyme

© 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

Eggs Baked Over Sautéed Mushrooms and Spinach

© 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

Warm Shrimp Salad with Kamut, Red Chile and Tarragon. Photo © Johnny Valiant
Credit: © Johnny Valiant

© 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

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Video: Healthy Recipes and Cooking Tips

Low-Calorie Meals & Healthy Dishes:

Yogurt and Apricot Pie with Crunchy Granola Crust
Credit: © Yunhee Kim
Chicken Salad with Cumin-Scented Carrot Raita
Credit: © Deirdre Rooney
Grilled Salmon with Preserved Lemon and Green Olives
Credit: © Quentin Bacon