Reader, I am so tired of diabetes. I’ve been desperately needing to shake up my game. That’s why today is a glorious day: Carolyn Ketchum’s cookbook is here! I have been a fan of her web site All Day I Dream About Food for years, and have come to rely on it for its low carb, gluten free wonders like flourless chocolate avocado mini muffins and twix thumbprint cookies. The site has become a trusted resource as my family has lived with diabetes, and learned the benefits of avoiding carbs. Like many Carolyn fans, I’ve often wished I could hold her brilliance and enthusiasm in a book. Now that book, The Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen, is in my lap, and it goes beyond what I anticipated.
The first thing I noticed is its heft. This book is nearly four hundred pages long, and includes a photo of every recipe. This makes it perfect for those of us who read cookbooks as bedtime literature—you can sink in and luxuriate. Although it’s huge, it is easy to navigate. Introductory information about the ketogenic diet, and ingredients that might be new to some readers (like xanthan gum, erythritol blends, and pork dust) kicks things off. At the end of the book is a thumbnail photo recipe index, making it easy to spot every delicious possibility. Recipes, of course, make up the heart of the book. Each recipe is marked with icons for those with allergy concerns (dairy, egg, and nut), and for vegetarians and paleo-dieters. These icons make it easy to see at a glance if a particular recipe will work for you. There’s no icon for gluten free recipes. This is not an oversight. No icon for gluten is needed in this book, because everything (everything!) is gluten free.
The Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen includes options for every meal of the day, and every kind of day, from casual munchies to shmancy party foods to snug family dinners. All of the recipes are grain free, low carb, and high fat. Most are new. So if you are a fan of All Day I Dream About Food, don’t think you will have seen them all before: only a handful of the book’s recipes have appeared on the web site.
Most of my experience with Carolyn’s web site was with sweets. Any combination of the factors chocolate, peanut butter, cream cheese, and low carb is irresistible Facebook clickbait for me. Her book does not skimp on sweets, chocolate, peanut butter, or otherwise. Its cinnamon and butter enrobed Apple Cider Donut Bites landed a love note in my (by then empty) muffin box during church coffee hour. The note writer may never know that what tasted like an ethereal sugar bomb had just 2 g CHO.
When pondering new recipes to try, in addition to “Yes, please, now, sweets,” I also tend to think, “I already know how to make low carb meat and vegetables.” But this book has me climbing out of my grilled meat and salad rut. At the top of the list: Cheesy Broccoli Tots, Roasted Tomato Cream Sauce, and BBQ Pulled Pork. Yes, please, now, to all of that. I’m also becoming obsessed with the recipe for Magic Mozzarella Dough, which can be made into pizza, Spanikopita Hand Pies, and—no lie—cinnamon rolls.
Speaking of cinnamon, and of ruts, reminds me of the rest of my diabetes life. Carolyn’s creative enthusiasm for food we can all eat—without feeling blah or spiky, or guilty, or deprived—is apparently bottomless. Her attitude is infectious; her voice, empathetic and friendly. She shares just enough nutrition science to make me curious how much butter I would enjoy on my steak, and her recipes are so appealing, manageable, and enticingly photographed that any reader will feel some curiosity, or shift in attitude, or twinkling of hope. It’s small steps, like trying new recipes and observing how we feel, that, in my limited experience, change a life. I can’t imagine a person with diabetes who would not benefit from this book. Whether you adhere to a ketogenic diet, or eat low carb most of the time, or are toying with the idea of eating a low carb meal some day, The Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen has the recipes you need.
Grab your own copy of The Everyday Ketogenic Kitchen on Amazon.