Anyway, with spine force cracked open, there was quite a lot to tempt me to cook. The food, of course, is incredibly attractive. An attempt has been made in a teeny section for "everyday cooking" but nothing in here is the sort of thing you can slap on a plate in 15 minutes after work. Plus, I know it is low calorie, but the portions are small and calorie count incredibly low, mostly around 100-250 per dish. And if you have a hearty appetite like me you would starve!
As with most working mothers, I am short on time and, if I'm honest, patience, so I really did struggle to find something I could realistically cook either in the evening when I'm shattered or with a 2 year old hanging off my leg. I opted for the former, so chose a dessert to have after our evening meal.
Desserts tend to be meringues, jellies, sorbets and mousse, luckily all of which I like, I don't go in for rich, chocolaty puddings. I chose the Tropical Meringue Floating Islands which were a little fiddly, just for the amount of components, but relatively easy to prepare. The result was light and refreshing, putting the effort in gave a few textures to the dessert and I loved the custard. I wouldn't say it was the best dessert of my life, it certainly didn't feel indulgent but did look quite nice. I enjoyed making the dish more than eating it, purely because this isn't my style of cooking in the slightest and did challenge my skills which I like. I think if you cooked a few of the recipes, particularly in the savoury section, you would learn some refined techniques and skills.
Probably the most useful section of the book is the toolkit of stocks, oils, vinaigrettes, sauces and purees which you can maybe use to lighten your normal dishes with. There is also information on ingredients and techniques to aid in creating slimmer recipes.
This is also a well written book that is easy to follow with a lot of information in the introductions. Each recipe is given the preparation time and level of difficulty which I think has been realistically calculated.
Eat Well and Stay Slim would be a good book for discerning dinner parties, probably leaning toward having the girls over for a stylish supper that is reasonably guilt free, (which you then obliterate with copious glasses of wine). Despite being described as a diet book "to live by", this is not going to end up as one of my dog-eared, well used books but certainly one I'll pull out every now and again for something special.
Eat Well and Stay Slim (The Essential Cuisine Minceur), Michel Guérard is published by Francis Lincon and costs £25
I received this copy for review.