The Ketogenic Cookbook: Nutritious Low-Carb, High-Fat Paleo Meals to Heal Your Body, by Jimmy Moore and Maria Emmerich

Quick & Easy Ketogenic Cooking: Time-Saving Paleo Recipes and Meal Plans to Improve Your Health and Help You Lose Weight, by Maria Emmerich

These are two extensive cookbooks on ketogenic/paleo cooking. In the first book, from 2015, Emmerich teams up with another writer/blogger Jimmy Moore. The books are similar in format so I want to cover the good and bad for both.

The good

Both books are beautiful and well-made. They have large format photos, which can be both inspirational (ooo, I want to make that) and help with training (why does my food not look like that?).

These are books for presentation items, to a great degree. Having non-keto friends over for dinner? You can whip up a main dish, side, drinks, and even sugar-free ice cream for dessert. You can make adjustments for friends who can’t tolerate wheat or milk products or for vegetarian friends. Both books run into the 300-400 page range with a recipe plastered on every other page (with a photo on the opposing page). They are divided into either recipe types (meats, poultry, appetizers, etc.) or meal types (breakfast, snacks, etc.) The recipes are detailed and methodical.

Both books also have helpful recipes for replacement salad dressings, sauces, and condiments. Miss ketchup but don’t want the commercial carbs, there’s a recipe. There are also handy tips on stocking your kitchen, baking with alternate flours, and kitchen gadget needs.

The recipes cover the keto quotients (you’re normally shooting for 80% of calories from fats), preparation and cooking time, and macronutrient levels so you can journal your meals with carb, fat, and protein grams and calories per serving.

Although both books carry a stiff retail price you can get either on Amazon for about half of retail.

The Not-So-Good

I’ll be fair and say that there aren’t any clunker recipes in the book but there are some problems that make them less useful than they could be. Here are a few:

  1. Does every keto cookbook have to retell the details of the eating plan? Quite a few pages are spent in both books going through the details of ketogenics.
  2. The recipes are frequently complicated. There are a lot of ingredients, sometimes unique ingredients that some stores don’t carry. Frankly I don’t always want to spend that much time shopping and preparing meals.
  3. Almost every recipe relies on sauces, broths, condiments, or other additions from another part of the book. This means even more planning as in: In two days I’d like to make X so today I’d better cook up Y and Z so that I’ll have everything I need. If I lived in a mountain cabin with no books or internet I might have time for this kind of cooking, but since I live alone it’s more of a burden than a blessing.
  4. Both books could use an ingredient index. Some days I get giddy at the store. I see some beautiful red and yellow bell peppers and buy them without a plan. Now they’re starting to shrivel and I want a recipe for something to use them up. Other than paging through each recipe the books aren’t helpful. This also speaks to the time issue again. Some days I just have a steak in the fridge and want a quick recipe for some sides. The most useful recipe I’ve found, in another book, was for sauteed asparagus … quick, easy, four ingredients, and off the pan about the same time as the meat. Easier and tastier than the boil/steam method I was raised with.
  5. The Quick and Easy book uses odd heading fonts that made paging through the book hard to do. I took a snap of one example below. If I’m paging through looking for ideas to use what’s in my kitchen the “strawberry” and “cheesecake” are difficult to read above PROTEIN BARS.

20170512_143944

 

If you’re looking for basic introductory cookbooks to dip your toe into ketogenics and begin converting your kitchen there are simpler books. If you want to show off something beautiful and extravagant for family or guests but keep your diet commitments, these are the books to which you move up.