food & drink

Exploring Keto with The Big 15 Ketogenic Diet Cookbook

November 15, 2017

The Big 15 Ketogenic Diet Cookbook, the newest cookbook from Megan Flynn Peterson, provides over 150 high fat, low carb recipes that highlight 15 key ingredients with 300 recipe variations. I was so excited to get a copy of the cookbook (now available for preorder here), and have truly enjoyed cooking my way through it.

Recently, I had lunch with a friend of mine (Megan of Freckled Italian). Megan and I spoke about her and her husband’s experience with the Ketogenic diet (or ‘Keto’), the cookbooks she’s written (including her newest cookbook—The Big 15 Ketogenic Diet Cookbook) and some of our favorite Instagram foodies. I had been intrigued by Keto—which is a high fat, low carb diet—for awhile, but was honestly pretty intimidated by it all and I had some questions. Just how low carb is Keto? What kind of fats am I eating? What the heck is ketosis??

Linda Schneider for The Big 15 Ketogenic Diet Cookbook

The Ketogenic diet is a high fat, very low carb diet. This diet rejects the Standard American Diet, and fights the antiquated mentality that all fats are bad. The science behind that is our bodies burn the most fat when we are in ‘ketosis’, a state that has our bodies using fat as the main energy source, thus burning fat (traditionally, we burn our stored glucose for energy, which comes from the carbs we eat). By limiting daily carbohydrate intake to about 20-40 grams a day and increasing fat intake, our body is able to burn fat more quickly which some have reported leading to an increase in energy, better moods, better blood sugar levels, and weight loss. In Keto, keep protein moderate.

The Big 15 Ketogenic Diet Cookbook outlines the fundamentals of Keto and getting into ketosis and features 150+ high fat, low carb diets. The cookbook starts with an informative but concise introduction that fully outlines the ‘why’ behind Keto, what to eat and what to avoid to get into ketosis, and some practical advice, including a sample meal plan, information about water intake (hint: drink lots of water) and a list of Keto pantry must haves. The book is filled with tips and resources to set you up for success on your journey. I also love that Megan is able to share her story with how she found this way of eating. She’s followed a Paleo diet since 2012, and has written two cookbooks on Paleo cooking, which I own and also enjoy: The Big 15 Paleo Cookbook, and The Big 10 Paleo Spiralizer Cookbook.

The Big 15 Ketogenic Diet Cookbook highlights 15 key ingredients for Keto cooking, including avocado, cauliflower, zucchini, dairy, and bacon (drool). Each of the recipes in the cookbook are simple and easy to follow and won’t have you on a hunt for crazy ingredients.  Many of the recipes can be cooked in 30 minutes or less (as they are in Megan’s other cookbooks), and she’s marked these recipes in order to find them quickly. Each recipe also has two variations, and many recipes will have some suggestions to make the dish Paleo-friendly. I found this extremely helpful as I was making decisions about what to substitute. The dishes in the book that do not contain gluten, dairy, and nuts are also clearly pointed out.

Linda Schneider for The Big 15 Ketogenic Diet Cookbook

I’ve loved the food that I’ve made in all of Megan’s cookbooks, but I absolutely love how easy and accessible she’s made Keto, which was really important for me as I’ve been kind of intimidated by it for quite some time. The recipes are also really easy to throw together for a full meal, or you can use a side in the book on it’s own for a meal you’re already cooking. A lot of recipes have recommendations of what other dish in the book to pair them with, but you can also make your own pairings.

My favorite meal from the cookbook to date came from three separate recipes: the Soy-Lime Flank Steak, the Brussels Sprouts with Bacon, and the Mashed Cauliflower (I used coconut cream instead of dairy, which was the suggested substitution in the cookbook). I also love the Easy Marinated Chicken Thighs—these could go with literally any other side recipe in the cookbook, but I enjoyed mine with some cauliflower rice and kale. I also really enjoyed the Fat Balls—they are a perfect source of fat between meals. 

I also have a running list of recipes I can’t wait to try, including the Santa Fe Frittata, the Chicken Salad Stuffed Avocados, Almond Sesame Crackers, and the Bacon Wrapped Cheese Bites (again, drool). That’s really only a small taste of what is in the cookbook,. I’m also really intrigued by something called ‘Marinated Cheese’, and through finding Keto I’ve been experimenting with how I tolerate dairy in this low carb capacity (and if all goes well, I have plans to try the Buffalo Chicken Dip, Keto Jalepeno Poppers, and Cheesy Zucchini Gratin). And I can’t forget about my dessert lovers: this cookbook has something for you too, whether it’s the Chocolate Avocado Pudding, Keto Peanut Butter Fudge, Keto Cheesecake with Hazelnut Crust, and Lemon Bars with Cashew Crust.

Linda Schneider for The Big 15 Ketogenic Diet Cookbook

The Big 15 Ketogenic Diet Cookbook is currently available for pre-order and will be released December 5th. The Big 15 Paleo Cookbook and The Big 10 Paleo Spiralizer Cookbook can both be ordered now, while you wait. I highly recommend these cookbooks for home cooks at all levels, whether you cook all your meals from home and are just looking for some more Keto/Paleo ideas or if you are just intrigued by Keto/Paleo but have no idea where to start.

In celebration of the launch of The Big 15 Ketogenic Diet Cookbook, I’ve partnered with Megan for a GIVEAWAY copy of her new cookbook! Head to Instagram to enter, and while you’re here let me know in the comments below why you’re excited to try her cookbook (for two extra entries)!

To learn more about Megan, her cookbooks, and her blog:

The Freckled Italian Blog | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

While I received all three cookbooks for review, the views are my own. This post contains affiliate links.



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