My low carb kitchen
Vickie de Beer
Publisher: Quivertree Publications
This reader impression was written and sent to LitNet on the writer's own initiative.
I am truly delighted to have discovered Vickie de Beer’s My low carb kitchen! This easy step-by-step guide to living a healthy low carb lifestyle contains over 50 delicious recipes and includes weekly meal plans and shopping lists. This book is your action plan if you want to lose weight, fight inflammation and gain more energy. It will show you how to cut carbs and processed foods from your diet. Vickie, a food stylist, food writer and food enthusiast, writes in the introduction: “I promise you, living without these starchy, often nutritionally empty foods is easier than you think.” You will live a healthier life, feel full of energy, sleep better and improve your well-being by following the guidelines set out in the book.
It all began in 2008 when Lucca, Vickie’s then eight-year-old son, was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes – a potentially life-threatening condition. The family “stopped eating all starches and sugars, all processed and refined wheat and grain products, and all processed and pre-made foods”. They soon started to experience amazing results, such as stable blood sugar levels, better sleep and energy levels, sustained weight loss and reduced inflammation in joints and limbs, to name but a few.
It took the De Beer family almost a year to wean themselves off carbs. Vickie devised an easy-to-follow “Going low carb action plan” that really worked for them. They now eat mouth-watering food every day and do not feel cheated or that they are missing out. In fact, Vickie states, “The white starchy foods that have become your staples are actually quite bland and tasteless. Foods like pumpkin mash and cauliflower rice have far more flavour.” Going low carb is not just a fad diet – it is a lifestyle change with great long-term health benefits.
Vickie gives sound advice on shopping for healthy ingredients, as well as prepping and freezing meals. I found her ultimate low carb shopping list and tips on reading and understanding food labels very helpful. She provides great reasons to make meal plans, such as saving time and money as well as having less wastage, as one plans leftovers into the meal plan. She shares standby recipes in the chapter titled “Essentials” that will help one “survive” the first stages of a low carb lifestyle. These recipes include low carb buns, life-saving meaty broth, chicken broth and homemade yoghurt. Vickie is a firm believer in bulking up when cooking, and the section on “Doubling up” contains dishes such as loaded Bolognese, bobotie quiches and moussaka.
Here follows a list of the various chapters, and examples of the respective recipes featured.
Breakfasts – almond & yoghurt flapjacks, best ever breakfast tray bake, and superfast omelettes.
On the run – cheesy meatballs, sausage rolls, and lemon & poppy seed sweet muffins.
Quick meals – chicken tray bake, veggie tray bake, and lamb ribs with tomato salsa.
Everyday meals – chicken pie, lasagne, and whole roasted trout.
High days & holidays – tomato tartlets, steak with mushroom sauce & creamy pumpkin, and creamy cheesecake.
Sides – creamed spinach, buttered green beans with flaked almonds, and garlicky flatbread.
Sauces – basil pesto, chunky guacamole, and tzatziki.
My low carb kitchen also has a very interesting chapter on “New ingredients”, as it may take some time to get to know the ingredients one will be trying out as part of a low carb diet. These ingredients include psyllium husks, flaxseeds and coconut flour.
Paging through this book, I am struck by the huge variety of easy recipes that consist largely of everyday basics. The colour photographs by Craig Fraser do justice to the delectable food. I cannot wait to try out a few recipes! Vickie makes a low carb lifestyle seem quite possible, and I am willing to give it a try.
My low carb kitchen is published by Quivertree Publications and is available at www.quivertreepublications.com and other leading bookstores. It is available in Afrikaans as My low carb-kombuis. Vickie is the current food editor of Rooi Rose. Her previous book with Quivertree Publications, The low carb solutions for diabetics, earned her the Sunday Times Cookbook of the Year Award 2015.
Louise Viljoen is a freelance book reviewer from Jeffreys Bay.