I love the fact that Carpender caters to the very basic cook as much as a more experienced cook.
I’m a lazy cook so when I get into the kitchen, I prefer to cook in bulk then freeze portions for future meals through the week. That said, it’s much more difficult to just cook for one or two, so a book like this is handy for anyone who just wants to whip up enough to eat over one or two meals.
Dana Carpender is a champion of the high-fat, low-carb school of though and has released numerous cookbooks relating to the paleo and keto diets, insulin resistance and more. She knows her stuff and that’s evident in the very informative introduction to The Keto for One Cookbook where she explains the keto diet, discusses the kinds of fats and carbs she believes we should be eating, and provides a passing acknowledgement to the growing movement of being a ‘straight carnivory’ (eating nothing but meat).
Her first chapter follows on from this with a practical guide to cooking for just one or two people. Carpender includes an extensive list of shopping tips before going on to explain some key ingredients to the keto diet. Her breakdown of sweeteners is particularly informative.
The gorgeous colour photos by Alison Bickel Photography complement this already-colourful book which is printed on glossy, easy-to-wipe pages. Not all recipes have an accompanying photo but many do have an additional note and all come with information on serving size, calorie count and a breakdown of the fats, carbs, fibre and protein.
I love the fact that Carpender assumes nothing, catering to the very basic cook as much as she does to a more experienced cook. Her ‘recipe’ for Cauli-Rice from Frozen Riced Cauliflower on page 53, for example, simply tells you what to do with that one ingredient!
If there’s one thing missing from this book, it’s a supplement of main dishes outside of salads. There’s the usual breakdown of soups, side dishes, snacks, entrees, condiments and drinks, but the only chapter on mains is comprised solely of salads. Filling as these are, not everyone favours a salad every day.
With easy instructions, a good page design, and lots of personal comments throughout the book, The Keto for One Cookbook is a useful concept with 100 easy-to-follow recipes for those on a high-fat, low-carb diet. Just don’t let the word ‘diet’ fool you into thinking all the dishes are low-calorie too.
Gruyère and Asparagus Omelet with Balsamic Reduction (page 28)
There are only 5 ingredients in this satisfying omelette although the Gruyère cheese was difficult to find. I eventually found it at the Cheesemonger shop. That said, any cheese would do. It is the balsamic reduction that gives the most of the flavour with the melted cheese just adding a creamy taste.
This is a dish for one but is not a one-dish wonder. There is a surprising amount of washing up to do for such a seemingly simple omelette. I loved the final result on my plate, but not the trail of so many pots/pans and dishes. If not for the amount of cleaning up afterwards, I would happily make this for breakfast again. It was fiddly but easy, and scrumptious to eat!
Chicken Asparagus and Bacon Salad (page 62)
This is a dish for two that doesn’t take long to make although it is fairly fiddley because it involves preparing various ingredients separately before combining them at the end. The taste is slightly zesty with a good combination of flavours that aren’t overpowering. I opted not to add salt to my recipe which was a good move because there is enough salt in the bacon. I could not find Miracle Rice or its suggested alternative, Shirataki Couscous, anywhere, so I opted for something similar: Slendier Calorie Clever rice from my local Coles supermarket. That worked fine and comes in a serving size for two, which was perfect for my needs.
I enjoyed this salad far more than I expect to and will definitely make it again for a quick meal.
Reviewed by Rod Lewis
Distributed by: Murdoch Books
Released: May 2019