A very handy selection of simple meals for those wanting to explore a tasty, fulfilling Keto diet.
The first thing to impress me about Martina Slajerova’s newest cookbook is one of her opening statements: “There is no one dietary approach that fits all. Different activity levels, health conditions, gender, age and lifestyle all play a significant role. Simply put, you have to find what works best for you and your specific needs.”
By promoting the benefits of a Keto diet rather than blindly pushing an agenda, she instils trust in what is to follow. What does follow is a fantastic Simple Keto 101 guide that lists what to eat, what to avoid, hacks to save time and money, dining out suggestions and low-carb swaps for common foods. Each checklist has explanatory information but is a wonderful quick reference to help dieters keep on track.
A breakdown of pantry basics completes the introductory section before diving into around a hundred recipes that are grouped into Breakfasts, Snacks, Sides, Soups & Salads, Lunch Box, Dinners, and Desserts. Slajerova aims to keep things simple and inexpensive, including how to use leftovers in tomorrow’s meals.
There are a large number of recipes in this book that immediately caught my eye, including Mexican Meatballs, Skillet Shepherd’s Pie, Blueberry Cheesecake Jars, along with dips, soups, salads and simple Bagel Eggs. Each comes with detailed nutritional information along with icons that flag recipes which are dairy-free, nut-free, egg-free, nightshade-free, vegetarian or high in electrolytes.
Despite the tiny font size, the colour contract is good, making the text in Keto Simple relatively sharp, if not so easy to follow. The long paragraphs used in the cooking methods are not user friendly, particularly when combined with the miniature font. The selection of recipes however, is stellar, so if you’re able to read the recipes, the poor formatting is worth persisting with. Those with access to a photocopier may want to consider enlarging a recipe and highlighting the salient points to make it easier to follow in the kitchen.
Sheet-Pan Herbed Lamb Chops (page 141)
It’s not often I cook lamb chops, other than on a BBQ in summer. This is a tray-baked dish combining the chops with vegetables and marinating the lot in a combination of ghee, herbs, lemon juice and other seasoning. The marinate made the vegetables pop. They were absolutely delicious. For the chops however, the flavour was minimal. The meat would have benefited by a much longer marinating time, if not a stronger brew of the marinade. This is a recipe I would use again for roasted vegetables, but perhaps experiment with a bit more to make the meat just as tasty.
Ginger Lemonade (page 167)
Since my days of growing up with Charlie Brown and the gang, I’ve loved the idea of making my own lemonade but never gotten around to it. Now that I have, I’m hanging for summer to make the most of this scrumalicious concentrate that you can store in the fridge until you’re read to use. Just add a dose of the concentrate to your glass of sparkling water and you have a very tasty, refreshing, healthy drink that’s only 19 calories. It doesn’t take much effort to make the ginger lemonade concentrate, and when served with a slice of lemon and some fresh mint, you are bound to impress any guest.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Distributed by: Murdoch Books
Released: January 2020