Keto

Book Review: The Dirty, Lazy Keto 5-Ingredient Cookbook

The 2021 addition to the “Dirty, Lazy, Keto cookbook series, The DIRTY, LAZY, KETO 5-Ingredient Cookbook: 100 Easy-Peasy Recipes Low in Carbs, Big on Flavor by Stephanie Laska and William Laska (Adams Media) strikes keto-cooking gold again, this time with a proposition no one can refuse: recipes that fit your macros and require just five ingredients!

Does the keto cookbook deliver on its promise? And what can you possibly make with five ingredients? Read on and all your questions will be answered, and you’ll get a few sample recipes to try, too!

About the Authors

Authors Stephanie and William Laska are the duo behind the ever-popular “Dirty, Lazy Keto” cookbook series. Stephanie’s story is hardly a secret; with appearances on “The Today Show” and beyond, she’s told the world how she lost 140 pounds with her “dirty” version of the ketogenic diet, which promotes a relaxed attitude and eating a low-carb diet that allows for some “dirty” keto foods and is only strict in regards to sticking with proper macros. The team continues to create reliable books that help you follow Stephanie’s laid-back, successful perspective on the dirty, lazy keto lifestyle.  

What’s Inside

If you’ve seen any of the “Dirty, Lazy, Keto” cookbooks, this one will look familiar; it’s a softcover and about 226 pages. It features 100 recipes, many with cutesy names. It has images for some, but not nearly all of the recipes, and it’s easy to read with a voice that seems to be speaking to the keto newbie. 

The preface and introduction share Stephanie’s (and her husband William’s) before-and-after photo and an honest pep talk about what it takes to stay in ketosis on a low-carb keto diet and how you can do it without getting too uptight about it. While there’s a lot of mention and anecdotes for losing weight, the book remains focused on easy keto cooking and recipes loaded with healthy fats. 

Chapter 1: An Easier Way to Keto

Before getting to recipes, chapter 1 talks about “An easier way to keto,” which is essentially Stephanie’s beliefs on how to follow the keto diet, including how imperfect is perfect and you don’t need to buy all organic ingredients to be successful. It’s real talk for real people, and it’s refreshing. It also includes basic primers, like how to calculate net carbs and how to factor in sugar alcohols when calculating your macros. 

Chapter 2: Get Your Kitchen Keto-Ready

This includes lists of useful tools and gadgets, pantry staples (specifically salt, pepper, almond flour, baking powder, garlic powder, olive oil, vanilla, 0g net carb sweetener, vegetable broth, and sugar-free chocolate chips), and ingredients to buy when you head to the grocery store. 

Chapter 3: Carefree Cookin’ 

Stephanie discusses how she’s formatted the recipes and how to approach them. It’s pretty standard stuff, much of which is most useful to kitchen newbies (“turn pot handles in,”  “let cooked meat stew in its juices for a few minutes,” etcetera). But in between are a few gems everyday cooks may appreciate, such as tips for how to dial back the dilemma when you’ve overspiced or oversalted. 

Chapter 4: Breakfast Recipes

Right out of the gate, there’s an eyebrow-raiser; the first recipe, “Chocolate Chip Muffins in a Jiffy,” requires seven ingredients. But, as the author explains in Chapter 2, she doesn’t count the pantry staples she instructs you to buy (the aforementioned salt, vanilla, olive oil, etc.). So, by her standards, since this seven-ingredient recipe contains two pantry staples, it is, in fact, a five-ingredient endeavor. 

In any case, the 13 breakfast recipes are compelling and familiar: scrambles, waffles, chaffles (“Punk Peanut Butter Chaffles” to be precise), avocado toast…you get the idea. One zinger you’ll appreciate is the Runner-up Strawberry Syrup (included in the Stuffed Birthday Cake Surprise recipe, featured below). 

Chapter 5: Soups & Salads

Here there are 16 recipes for soups and salads, some of which are sides and others easily main courses. Expect tomato bisque, “Scrimpin’ Shrimp Salad,” and “Naked Tuna Salad” (tuna, celery, red onion, avocado, mayo, garlic powder, salt, pepper).

Chapter 6: Keto Snacks

The 10 options include wings, radish chips, kale chips, and “Movie Poppin’ Corn” (a clever air-fryer treatment of cauliflower florets). 

Chapter 7: Keto Bread & Pizza

Seven recipes used for a variety of other recipes. Interesting explorations include a pizza crust made from ground chicken and mozzarella cheese and “Minute Bread,” which is made in the microwave in 60 seconds. 

Chapter 8: Veggies & Sides

Dishes like  “Bamboozling Bacon Brussels Sprouts” and “Freedom Asparagus Fries” are bolstered by “Gold Star ‘Sushi’” (it’s turkey-bacon wrapped!) “Unwed Onion Rings” (onion strips cooked in bacon fat and served with ranch dressing), and more. The mostly keto vegetable-forward dishes in this section are creative, interesting, non-cauliflower ways to enjoy keto-friendly vegetables like green beans, mushrooms, cabbage, and asparagus.  

Chapter 9: Keto Mains

The most robust recipe section is dedicated to main dishes. There’s a lot to like here, starting with the fact that the recipes stray from the same-old, same-old, and are appetizing. Take “One Minute Man Enchiladas.” They call for cabbage, chicken breast, enchilada sauce, jack cheese, and olives. Totally doable and yummy! “Orange Crush Chicken” is another five-ingredient wonder of chicken, onion, sugar-free catsup, diet orange crush soda, keto sweetener, and bell pepper. When have you seen that on the blogs?! Ditto Simple Salami Skewers (see below) and her fresh take on cheeseburgers (also below). There’s no question the well-rounded selection of 22 recipes will give you plenty of new keto dinner ideas. 

Chapter 10: Keto Drinks & Desserts

The last chapter finishes strong with 20 recipes for drinks and desserts. Donuts, pumpkin pie, cheesecake bars (made using cream cheese), Stuffed Birthday Cake Surprise (see below), and even “Skinny Gummy Bears” make an appearance here.  

Try these recipes from Dirty, Lazy, Keto 5-Ingredient Cookbook right now:

Slip 'n' Slide Queso Burger Recipe

Slip ’n’ Slide Queso Burgers

 

Simple Salami Skewers Recipe

Simple Salami Skewers 

 

Stuffed Birthday Cake Surprise Recipe

Stuffed Birthday Cake Surprise
  

What You’ll Learn

While cooking with five ingredients (plus pantry staples) doesn’t conjure visions of creative or particularly exciting cooking, there are some great recipes and ideas here that you can use on their own or with other recipes. You’ll also get a lot of weight-loss and stick-to-it inspiration as well as a primer on tools and ingredients frequently used in keto cooking. 

What We Like

Stephanie talks a lot about her experience and adds a hefty side of humanity to the book. For example, she shares that she loves adding butter to her veggies to improve their taste, when needed, and also acknowledges that ongoing veggie consumption is one of the reasons she’s been able to lose weight. 

She also provides a lot of good information, including macros for every dish (calories, fat, protein, sodium, fiber, carbohydrates, net carbs, sugar, and sugar alcohol), prep times and cooking times, and many tips along the way. Plus, there are icons associated with the recipes that indicate whether a recipe is no-cook, less mess, super filling (“I’m Hangry!”), crowd-pleasers, fancy enough for guests, and vegetarian-ish. 

Room For Improvement

Aside from the misleading title (again, many recipes do call for more than five ingredients total), there’s an occasional requirement for special equipment like an Instant Pot or an air-fryer. If you’re deep into keto, you may already have the extras required. But newbies may want to sidestep those until they determine whether they want to invest; this is fine, since so many of the included keto recipes do not require special equipment. 

More noteworthy is sometimes the instructions aren’t detailed enough to provide complete confidence that you know what you’re doing while you’re doing it. On such occasions, a little improvisation may be required. But we found these occurrences to be less impacting on the final result than they are in creating moments of uncertainty as you’re cooking. 

We wish all the recipes had photos! Just less than half of them have corresponding images of the finished dish. 

Final Word

With an enthusiastic, friendly, encouraging, reassuring tone and lots of simple facts about how to navigate cooking keto, this paperback keto cookbook with 100 recipes seems geared toward people new to keto cooking. Additionally, the author’s discussions about her significant weight loss through low-carb recipes and supportive dirty keto diet tips makes the book a good primer for people who want to lose weight and eat yummy food along the way (but not necessarily spend big money on grass-fed and other “clean keto” ingredients). 

But if you’re not a newbie and don’t care about weight loss, yet want to cook keto comfort-food meals, you’ll find a number of solid recipes and tips in this book. 

Technically, many of the recipes require more than the five ingredients promised in the title, but the additional ingredients are excluded due to their “pantry staple” status. Sometimes the instructions are not detailed enough and you may need to make your best guess along the way. But still,  these “dirty, lazy, keto” recipes are accessible to pretty much anyone with basic cooking skills and a kitchen, and their included macronutrients breakdowns make it easier than ever to follow a keto diet plan. 

MORE: What’s the difference between dirty and clean keto?

 



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