Crafted by a team of culinary, medical, and science professionals, the 206-page The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook: The Optimal Keto-Friendly Diet That Burns Fat, Promotes Longevity, and Prevents Chronic Disease by Martina Slajerova, Dr. Nicholas Norwitz, Thomas DeLauer, and Rohan Kashid (2021 Quarto Publishing Group USA Inc.) is more than a collection of ketogenic recipes. It’s a vibrant bounty of insight, tips, tricks, and flavors to enhance your health and wellbeing through a flavorful, well-balanced keto diet. How is it different from the myriad other keto cookbooks on the market? Read on to find out!
About the Authors
Unlike many cookbooks, which have one or two authors who are focused on cooking or keto or both, this book has four authors, and each brings his or her expertise to the pages.
Martina Slajerova is a prolific cookbook author, health and food blogger, and keto app creator (she’s behind the KetoDiet app). A self-professed science geek, she also has Hashimoto’s, which inspired her to pursue and master a low-carb keto lifestyle and share it with millions of followers.
Dr. Nicholas Norwitz specializes in nutritional science, specifically ketosis and brain aging. After garnering a Ph.D. from Oxford in two short years, he’s pursuing his M.D. at Harvard Medical School. Like Martina, his own personal circumstance inspired his work; he developed severe osteoporosis and ulcerative colitis as a young man, and cured himself through a ketogenic diet.
Thomas DeLauer is a known health, fitness, and keto expert with a focus on combining optimized nutrition and exercise to enhance personal and professional performance. You can find him on YouTube, where his channel attracts more than 5 million viewers monthly. His inspiration came from his journey of transforming himself from a 280-pound corporate executive to becoming a cover model for health and fitness magazines.
Rohan Kashid is a professional chef with Indian heritage and global culinary pedigree. After decades working in the restaurant industry, he found himself pre-diabetic and obese. But a chance meeting with Dr. Norwitz inspired him to reverse his health status, dropped more than 40 pounds, and began developing ketogenic recipes.
Yes, this is a cookbook. But it’s also much more. Along with recipes is important, easy-to-digest scientific and nutritional information that helps you better understand what nutrients your body needs and how to optimize them through ingredients and recipes. And of course, there are recipes. Loads of them. And they’re easy to prepare and delicious.
Better still, many of them are 3:1 recipes or 4:1 recipes. What are those? They’re recipes that have extremely high ratios of fat to protein plus carbs. In the case of a 3:1 recipe, there’s three times as much fat as protein plus carbs. 4:1 recipes contain four times as much fat as protein plus carbs. These extra-fatty ketogenic diet ratio recipes are very important for people using keto for therapeutic purposes because they help to ensure high levels of ketosis through diet. They’re also great for the rest of us!
Chapters are traditional and intuitive cookbook-style:
- Mediterranean Meets Keto: This section explains the philosophy behind the recipes. The concept is simple: increase the health and longevity benefits that come with the Mediterranean diet by layering it with a low-carb, high-fat keto diet. There’s some light science talk, mostly explaining scientific/medical terms like antioxidants, inflammation, and oxidative stress, so you can easily understand topics and effects discussed in the book. This section also includes a primer on “New Mediterranean Staple Foods,” or the seven high-fat superfoods that are cornerstones to the diet and 11 “foundational veggies.”
- Breakfasts: Far from the expected yet still familiar and approachable, this section celebrates energy-packing day-starters like low-carb avocado toast (you make a 2-minute keto bread in the microwave), a veggie-heavy Golden
Egg Skillet, Crunchy Vanilla Protein Bars, and Creamy Cinnamon Porridge.
- Snacks: This concise collection of recipes for items you can make and keep around for quick energy boost, includes crackers, dips (including an awesome hummus; see the recipe link below), chicken liver pate, and “upgraded” baba ghanoush.
- Salads & Soups: Greens combined with healthy fats are one of the focuses of this section. Expect gorgeous, vibrant dishes, including simple, delicious Taverna-Style Greek Salad (see the link to the recipe below); Upgraded Shrimp Cocktail Salad; Steak Salad Bowl with Asparagus, Avocado, and Gremolata. The rest of the chapter is dedicated to soups, which range from Chilled Avocado Pesto Soup to Creamy Wild Mushroom Soup.
- Lunches: What’s the difference between lunch and dinner? The answer is here, where nutritious quick-to-prepare dishes include Salmon Poke Bowls, Chard Wraps, Turkey Meatballs with Salsa Verde, and more.
- Dinners: With a landslide of options here (more than any other chapter), you’ll never have to rely on the same-old, same-old dinner. And why should you when you can choose from the likes of eggplant manicotti, salmon ratatouille skillet, chile-lime mackerel with cilantro slaw, and wild mushroom chicken risotto?
- Sides: Yes this section includes the keto staple cauliflower rice (with three ways to make it), but it also celebrates “superflax” tortillas, focaccia (!), roasted eggplant with tahini dressing, and braised fennel.
- Desserts: You can count the number of recipes here with two hands. But the Chocolate Hazelnut “Powerhouse” Truffles alone are worth the price of the book (see a recipe link below). Still, there’s seductive blueberry panna cotta, lemon coconut cake, almond-pistachio biscotti, and more.
- Basics: The six recipes here are for foods you’ll likely use again and again: harissa spice mix, blender marinara, pesto, blender Mayo, tahini dressing, and sauerkraut.
- Further Reading: So modern! Come to this section and you’ll see a QR code, because, according to the authors, “there was too much we wanted to fit into this book to include it all in the printed version.”
Try Some Recipes From the Book
3:1 Taverna-Style Greek Salad
4:1 Chocolate Hazelnut “Powerhouse” Truffles
3:1 On-the-Go Savory Granola Bars
What We Like
There’s a lot to like about this book. We’ll start where it’s most important: flavor! The recipes are very tasty and diverse. They showcase wonderful ways to integrate healthful greens into your diet. They also skip the usual keto suspects and offer a variety of unexpected, doable alternatives, especially for breakfast.
We’re also fans of their frequent “practical tip” and “key point” boxes, which offer important facts and valuable insight into how to get the most out of the foods you put in your body (e.g. adding turmeric and black pepper to eggs boosts your omega-3 absorption; who knew?!).
Essential for anyone following a strict keto diet, recipes include extensive macros for every recipe, including total carbs, fiber, net carbs, protein, fat, calories, macronutrient ratios (percentage of carbs, protein, and fat per dish), percentage of SAT/MUFA/PUFA (saturated fat, monounsaturated fats, and polyunsaturated fat), and the Omega-6/3 ratio.
Another perk: icons that indicate whether a recipe is dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free, nightshade-free, and vegetarian.
What You’ll Learn
Of course you’ll get great new recipes you’ll want to make on repeat. But there is also insight into why the Mediterranean diet is widely regarded for its health- and anti-aging properties, how layering the ketogenic diet on top of it provides you maximum health benefit, and how focusing on a wide but specific list of ingredients can help you bio-hack your way to optimal nutrition and health.
Room for Improvement
The images are mouthwatering. We wish every recipe included one (most, but not all, do).
The Final Word
Even if it weren’t loaded with useful, easy-to-digest scientific information and guidance on the ingredients to eat for optimal health, we would recommend The New Mediterranean Diet Cookbook. As with all the best cookbooks, the photos entice us to get into the kitchen to try new things and the recipes are creative, approachable, and delicious.