So let’s get straight into things and talk about the fabulous opportunity I’ve had to be able to review a copy of Martina Slajerovas Ketogenic Cookbook (The KetoDiet Cookbook). Now for those who may be new to me, I started on a paleo diet back in October 2013 after my private specialist doctor recommended I change my diet in order to help manage my symptoms of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS) / Myalgic Encephalopathy (ME) (for more details see here). Later on in my journey I was also advised to follow a Ketogenic diet (see details here), which I did religiously for 9 months. Sadly the diet didn’t suit me and I had to make the tough decision to stop. However I do remain on a low carb – high fat diet and many of the recipes and foods I eat are taken from ketogenic websites. I am a big fan of Martina’s and have followed her work since May 2014.
For those who might not have yet come across Martina’s work (Oh dear – have you been living under a rock!!!) I’ll give you a brief background. Martina has a blog called the KetoDietApp as well as an android and Apple App which helps you to track your health, log your daily foods and recipes as well as the option to purchase recipe bundles through the app. Not only does Martina have literally hundreds of recipes she has just launched this cookbook. So Martina is by no means a newbie to the ketogenic diet and has been developing and writing recipes for her blog from as early as 2012. I will be reviewing the KetoDiet app at a later date and have in the past referred to her blog as it’s very useful; not only is it jam-packed full of recipes but it includes the science and facts behind the ketogenic diet, the how’s, what’s, whys and anything else you might want to know. When I found out about Martina’s book I was super excited. In order to give a detailed review I will start with a breakdown of the book and what to expect.
With 240 pages, this book has everything from easy to make snacks to tasty flavoursome meals. It starts off by giving a brief but clear introduction into the ketogenic diet, how it works, what the key components are, a breakdown of the types of foods to eat as well as those to avoid which is super helpful when you are starting out. It’s then broke down into the following chapters; Homemade basics, breakfast, savoury snacks, healthy lunch ideas, satisfying soups and salads, main meals, sides, drinks and desserts then to finish off the index and about the author.
So what can you expect from this book? I can honestly say that you won’t be disappointed; there are plenty of recipes that you are likely to make. I find that with some cook books you’ll only have a small handful of recipes that appeal to you and the rest get bypassed. Not with this book, for starters the ‘Basics’ section alone is packed full of the everyday things that you might have thought you would have to do without! Whether you are one of those people who couldn’t bear to give up your sandwiches and wraps or are a saucy person and like to have dressings and condiments with foods there will be something here that will satisfy you. To give you an idea, recipes in the basics section include breads and wraps, condiments such as ketchup and mayonnaise, bone broth which is useful to adding flavour to foods, cauli rice and spreads such as jam and nut butter.
The breakfast selection is also great as it has a wide variety of options (hot/ cold), including Keto Eggs Benedict, Eastern European Hash, Breakfast Frittata, Vanilla Protein Waffles, Chocolate and Orange Spiced Granola, Sweet Cinnamon Rolls and Hot Keto Porridge. I particularly like that there are options that can be made and kept for a few days so that you can have something for those days you are on the go.
The chapter I love the most has to be the main meals section because there are so many really great recipes. I am a big fan of eating food that’s full of flavour and I like any recipe where spices are used – and I don’t mean in the sense of being spicy hot; I mean having a good taste and range of natural seasoning’s rather than being boring or bland and there are plenty of recipes in this section to fulfil those requirements. I particularly like that there are a wide range of traditional home foods e.g. Paleo Chicken Kiev’s, (which were super tasty and the coating was the best bread crumb substitute I’ve come across!) Shepherd’s Pie and Slow Roast Pork Belly. I think it’s fantastic that there are a range of world-wide cuisines such as Buffalo Chicken Wings, Thai Style Chicken Stir Fry, Sweet and Sour Chilli Prawns (which have been officially stamped as my husband’s absolute favourite), Asian Fish Balls, Cuban Shredded Beef, Italian ‘Meatza’, Lamb Vindaloo and Danish Meatballs. There is literally something for everyone and those are just a few of what’s on offer.
Another section of this book that I was pleasantly surprised by is the sides section; although there are just a handful of recipes there are some really great ideas, things that I hadn’t considered before like the Broccoli Patties, Shaved Asparagus and Garlic and Herb Cauliflower.
Now if you are like me the section of a recipe book that I always head to first is the desserts section and this book doesn’t disappoint. There are a total of 15 sweet recipes in this section and it also contains a number of hot and cold drinks too which is perfect if you want something sweet but don’t want a dessert. They include Creamy Hot Chocolate, Refreshing Iced Tea and Egg Nog. From the sweets I have already tried the double chocolate muffins which had what can only be described as having a wonderful fudgy texture and you can’t even tell they have avocado in which is a bonus for those who want a way to get the benefits of avocado into their diet without having to taste them! From the drinks options I tested out the Creamy Keto Smoothie which would be perfect after a workout or as a lunchtime meal.
What I like
This book has everything you could need to make the change to a clean or low carb / ketogenic diet. Whether you are a sweet or savoury person there is plenty to satisfy both. What I also like is that it has dairy substitutes which are a big help for those who can’t have dairy. Many of the recipes will have added tips so that you understand the use of ingredients, such as why whole psyllium husk will work better than ground, which means you’re less likely to try and wing something with the wrong ingredients (YES I’ve been guilty of that and ended up with a disaster!!). It also has ALL of the nutritional information that you need for a ketogenic diet – it works out the fat, carbs, protein, calories and fibre per serving for you. I like the fact that it’s not just aimed at people following a ketogenic diet – if you picked it up and didn’t know what the ketogenic diet was, the recipes are all appealing, tasty and most are easy to make. There are plenty of photographs throughout the book to whet your appetite and a whole range of tastes from lightly seasoned to dishes with a little more spice.
Like with many cook books I’ve come across, some recipes will use sauces or sides that are a separate recipe, such as the burger recipe (Ultimate Guacburger on page 156) will require making the buns and BBQ sauce ahead of time – however you can just make the burgers and served with salad and they taste just as great (I know because I have tried them!). If a person was new to clean eating, paleo and the low carb world this book would be perfect for them as it explains a lot throughout the book about certain ingredients used (e.g. which protein powders to choose, what ingredients give crispier textures and other substitutes).
Although I received a copy of this book for free, I wanted to be as honest as possible when reviewing it. I approached the review with an open mind as I had to consider that it might not live up to my expectations (like some of the cookbooks I have purchased in the past). Luckily it turned out to be everything I was hoping and I can honestly say that it deserves a 5 out of 5 for ranking because ‘it ticks more boxes than it doesn’t’. And what I mean about that is that it’s low carb√, its grain free√, gluten-free√, dairy free√ and free from any processed ingredients√. This book will appeal to a whole range of people e.g. not only those following ketogenic diet but those who are paleo/ primal, those who are low carb, who have diet restrictions such as coeliac, those sensitive to gluten or intolerant to diary. It teaches you how to make recipes without adding in extra sugars and uses good old-fashioned cooking such as using real spices and flavours to make great tasting food. What’s more is that this book is really decently priced – especially as it has well over 150 recipes!!! If you are unsure what to think you only have to head over to Martina’s blog (here) and check out all her other recipes to see that this woman knows her stuff!!!!
You can purchase The Ketodiet Cookbook from Amazon for £10.47 (June 2016)
Other Cookbook Reviews
For more cookbook reviews take a look at the following posts….
**The above review is my own personal opinion; I was given a copy of the book for free in exchange for a review. I had been intending to purchase the book anyway**