Food bloggers Marrekus and Krysten Wilkes show home cooks how to prepare soul food staples using the “Keto Soul Food Cookbook: Homestyle Favorites to Enjoy on the Ketogenic Diet.” The definition states, “The ketogenic diet is a low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein diet that incorporates healthy sources of fat.” It’s also known as “keto.” The Wilkes live this lifestyle because it allows them to eat delicious fare, feel satisfied and lose weight.
This quaint cookbook features over 60 recipes divided into six colorful chapters. I like that they include the nutritional information for each one. Helpful. I’m also happy to see the Wilkes dispel the myth that soul food is unhealthy.
The ingredient lists contain nutritious items found in local supermarkets. Get your cauliflower ready; it shows up in lieu of pasta. The instructions seem straightforward. However, I wish the paperback had more images other than at the section breaks. The masterful styling and vibrant photos make the meals look appetizing.
Still, the authors do a good job explaining how keto works in layman terms and how to incorporate it into cooking. I’m ready to try their version of eggs benedict from the Breakfast and Brunch segment; the Southern-style cornbread from Snacks and Bread; the “Mac” and Cheese from Vegetables and Sides; the barbecue shrimp from the Mains; the pound cake from the Desserts; and the sweet tea from the Staples.
The husband and wife team experienced southern foods at an early age. Raised in Memphis, Tennessee, Marrekus spent summers on his grandfather’s farm in Northern Mississippi, where fresh produce, eggs and protein graced his table. He remembers watching his grandmother cook collard greens with ham hocks and fry chicken in a cast-iron skillet. He learned cooking techniques from his mother who worked in the food industry.
Krysten, a daughter of a chef, grew up in Denver, Colorado, eating fish and crab and other foods influenced by her Louisiana and Oklahoma roots.
The Wilkes are recipe developers and food photographers. They also maintain a blog, Cooks with Soul. It features their recipes and custom spices. Marrekus is on active duty in the United States Air Force and Krysten is a doctoral student. They live in Maryland with their six children.
The “Keto Soul Food Cookbook” is a simple and informative read that ends in 100 pages. It brings me joy to reimagine dishes that I adore while honoring my ancestors. The matte cover design is a great reminder to do it more often.
It now sits facing forward on my bookshelf. Order your copy on Amazon so that you can do that same after making several of these mouth-watering recipes.
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