Note: this review is also posted on the Daz in the Kitchen blog.
I was very intrigued with this cookbook because it offered a couple of weekly meal plans along with simple, easy to cook recipes. It is also a ketogenic cookbook which offers low carb food choices for those who are conscious about their carb intake.
This cookbook not only offers recipes but also an introduction to the ketogenic diet, information about ketosis and ketones. It provides background on the reason for a ketogenic diet which I appreciate.
You may know The Boy and I have been on a paleo and gluten free diet for the last 5 months and have really enjoyed it. The Boy in particular has benefited a great deal from it (more on that later). I thought the ketogenic recipes would be interesting for us to try but also work in well with out paleo and gluten free diet. I was pleased to see that I did not need to make too many alterations or substitutions to the recipes in order for them to work for us.
The two weekly meal plans are simply and clearly laid out and provide a good variety of food choices so you don't get tired of what you're eating on a daily basis. One caveat to the meal plan is you do need to put in some effort planning and shopping for your recipes and meals. If you are a working person, then sitting down and working out the ingredients you need to purchase for your week would be useful.
Also, you'll notice the weekly meal plan provides choices for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Do not feel you need to follow it 100%. For us, we tend not to have a big lunch and usually have a snack late in the afternoon. As a result, we tended to skip the lunch options and depending on the day and the recipe used either the lunch or dinner recipe for our evening meal. It worked out well for us.
The weekly meal plans provide a good guide to someone new to meal planning and needing to get their planning game on. Be sure to work out your grocery list against your meal plan before going to the grocery store!!
As for the recipes themselves, they are simple and easy to follow. Each recipe provides you with clearly laid out prep and cooking times, along with ingredients and clear directions on how to cook the meal. Personally, I'm a bit of a hack and I tend to make adjustments as I go to ensure the food is to my taste. With experience, that's something you can do easily too. The recipes also provide nutritional information including a count for calories, protein, fat, carbs, fibre and sugar. All very useful information for the health conscious and particularly helpful if you are using the ketogenic diet due to some health issues you are treating or trying to keep under control.
This is the Honey Soy Sesame Chicken from the book. I didn't have any sesame on hand so I skipped the sesame seeds, but I also added garlic to the sauce because I like garlic. :-) It was delicious.
I would have liked to see pictures of the food for each recipe included in the book and perhaps that could come with the next edition? I am very visually driven when it comes to my food, so I like to see what I'm cooking to eat.
Overall, I would recommend this ketogenic cookbook to anyone who would like a simple cookbook with a decent amount of choices for food variety and are health and diet conscious.
One final note and this is my opinion on any diet or health plans - consistency is key. You may not follow it 100%, you don't need to, but you need to be consistent. Follow it 80% all the time, or 90% all the time. That's fine. Don't start and stop. You will not see the benefits of the diet if you do it for two weeks, stop completely, start up again for a few weeks and stop again. This continued cycle will not help your body to stabilise and get used to diet you are trying to follow. I have no scientific basis to back this up but we have been following the paleo / gluten free diet for five months at about a 90% level, perhaps a little more consistently the whole time. It is from this consistency that we are seeing benefits, particularly The Boy as he has chronic pain and inflammation, and we see almost immediate effects and benefits from the diet in helping him control that. Take from this what you will.
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If you do make any of the recipes from this cookbook be sure to post pictures for me to see either on Instagram - be sure to tag me with @langshipley or on my Daz In The Kitchen Facebook page.
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