Top critical review
Promising Dairy & Nut-Free Recipes in an IMPRACTICAL daily plan.
Reviewed in the United States on April 28, 2017
I bought this book digitally last night for a few important reasons. 1) I respect Maria Emmerich. I have been doing keto for a number of months and have a few of her books. She is very informed, and does a lot of recipe experimentation that busy people don't have the time/inclination to do. 2) The recipes in this book are nut and dairy free. Having been eating A LOT of dairy on a standard keto diet, I've become very inflamed and realized that I actually have a dairy intolerance...mainly, rheumatoid arthritis has flared up, something I did not know I even had. I chose this book because I thought it would help me learn a lot of non-dairy options...I think it WILL do that.
So, I have not made anything in this book yet (full disclosure). The reason I'm already rating this book a THREE already is because I work from home and have a flexible schedule, yet even I cannot imagine cooking everything needed on this 30 day plan. I have spent the last hour and a half looking at the recipes and figuring out what I might do. It's just overwhelming! To illustrate my point...to eat on the very first day you will have be making a fried shredded cabbage & bacon "rosti" for your first meal, then make an umami burger for your 2nd meal which INCLUDES roasting bones for bone marrow, AND ALSO fry 1 lb chicken wings in 2 cup of coconut oil/healthy paleo fat...for ONE MEAL! I cook all the time, and complicated meals, at that...yet I cannot imagine for ONE meal, making deep fried chicken wings...just to eat 2 in that meal, roasted bones for marrow and pan fry a burger. Don't misunderstand me, it's not about all the fat, the FAT is good and helps you get into ketosis...but the TIME COST and the MONETARY Cost...2 cups of coconut oil is expensive to just fry 1 lb of chicken wings. And I forgot to mention, you also have to bake keto buns for that DAY 1 burger...yet I did not even SEE keto buns anywhere else in the first week's menu. NOT REALISTIC!
To be fair, many of these cooked items are then rotated into the subsequent days' menus...however, she often waits up 4 days to rotate a cooked protein back into the menu. (You eat the left over day one burger on day 5, and the left over chicken wings on day 6.) That is just too long. I do not like to eat cooked meats that have been sitting in the fridge more than 1-2 days after being cooked...they lose a lot of quality/taste after the 3rd day in my fridge, especially chicken. I don't mind eating the next day, but as it is written, it means that I really cannot follow her menu plans at all...because on day 6, you might be eating something prepared from day 1, day 3 and day 5....meaning you HAVE to have cooked all of those items and been willing to save them for that long.
For me, I am disappointed that I can't just follow a more simple plan. It's just TOO MUCH cooking to make it practical. I fully understand that being successful on keto is a lifestyle change, and I am living that lifestyle already. I can't imagine following this if you do not already have some paleo/keto ingredients under your belt...and a lot of time for cooking.
I am hoping that I will find at least 10 recipes in this book that are non-dairy and delicious to incorporate into a more simple routine. I don't need to add such great stress to my life. I do appreciate the work put into this, but I feel like she had a collection of recipes and "forced" them into strange combinations for a day. Another example of this is that for ONE DINNER you make a slow-cooked Cuban stew that makes 6 servings....but you eat a rather small serving so that WITH IT, you have to prepare and eat a lump crab salad with homemade mayonnaise on lettuce... that is almost identical in calorie/fat/protein/carb to one of the stew servings. So, why not just eat an add'l serving of stew for that dinner? Who eats cold crab salad with a meaty stew? Why not a nice side dish of cauliflower rice to soak up the delicious liquid from the stew? These are the things that I just think are wildly impractical. Not to mention expensive...beef brisket AND lump crab in one dinner? Come on!
Finally, if you want to have a million keto recipes for eggs, great book! The first week shopping requires 4 dozen eggs! (I think 1/2 doz go straight into that keto bread.)
If I do find a lot of wonderful recipes, I may feel better about this book. I will update in a few months.