Great for ketogenic folks
Good information on eating keto
Paperback is less durable
Photos are sparse
Recipe names not always accurate
It’s no surprise The Keto Instant Pot Cookbook exists; it makes cooking for a ketogenic, or low-carb and high-fat diet, fast and easy. In fact, that’s exactly what the tagline promises. But how does Urvashi Pitre’s collection of recipes stack up to the plethora of other Instant Pot cookbooks available? We made a variety of recipes, using different sizes and models of Instant Pots as well as electric pressure cookers made by other companies, just to make sure we covered all of the options.
Audience: Keto all the way
While some of the recipes in this book would be just fine for folks who aren’t following the ketogenic diet, it really is written for those who are. The front of the book includes information about the keto diet for anyone who is just starting out, or for anyone who is cooking for someone on that diet.
Production Quality: Paperback saves costs
This is a paperback book, making it less expensive but also a bit less durable. The first time we opened the book on the kitchen counter, we broke the spine, making it easy to get the book to stay somewhat flat, but in the long run, that’s not good for the book and may lead to the loss of pages.
While the recipe design looks attractive, the recipe ingredients are printed in a light bluish-green color that made them a little more difficult to read. Photos are a bit sparse in this book, which is understandable at this price point.
Recipe Results: Some highs and lows
Hands down, our favorite recipe was the Turkish Kebab Gyros. We’ve made our own gyro meat before, and it can take up to three days, with processing and chilling the meat before cooking it on a spit. This book gave us perfectly acceptable gyro meat in much less time, although we did quibble a bit with the use of both a food processor and a stand mixer. Next time—and there will be a next time—we will modify that process to streamline it.
The Ground Beef Shawarma was flavorful, but we have to wonder if anyone would call it shawarma if they didn’t know the name of the dish ahead of time. Still, the flavor was good, and we’d make this again.
This book gave us perfectly acceptable gyro meat in much less time.
We were quite curious about the Poblano and Cheese Frittata since it used just about equal amounts of eggs and half-and-half. We wondered if it would even set up and whether the cooking time was a typo, but we were pleasantly surprised that it worked. However, if we were looking for a frittata, this wasn’t it. It really was more like a crustless quiche, which might have been a better name for the recipe.
The Creamy Poblano Peppers and Sweet Corn was another interesting dish. It called for charring the sliced peppers in the Instant Pot, but not peeling the skins. We wondered if the tough skins would soften under pressure. Unfortunately, the skins came off on their own during cooking, leaving curled ribbons of pepper skin throughout the dish. While the flavor was good, the texture was unpleasant. Next time we’d opt to peel the peppers.
The ingredients in the Creamy Shrimp Scampi ventured pretty far from traditional scampi, so we’re not sure how it got that name. The bigger problem, however, was that although we cooked the shrimp from frozen, they were still overcooked at the end of their two minutes under pressure, and then they were cooked longer after the cream and parmesan cheese were added. The book touts that most recipes are done in 45 minutes or less, and for the most part, we found that to be true, but it might depend on how quick the cook is with the prep. Most recipes list prep time as 5 or 10 minutes, which is easily achievable if the cook is quick with a knife for chopping vegetables and if they have the canned or frozen items standing by. There were a few, however, that called for things like cooked chicken breasts, which would take longer if the cook didn’t have them ready ahead of time. Even with those outliers, there were plenty of quick recipes that could be on the table quickly.
Overall, the recipes in this book skew towards Asian and Mexican recipes, which is great for folks who like those flavors, but it might be off-putting for folks who are looking for more traditional American fare.
Instructions: Clear enough for good results
The instructions in the book were mostly clear, although we did get a slight giggle over the instruction to use a “stand blender” which we decided was just a regular blender as opposed to a hand blender. We spotted a few editorial glitches as well, but none affected the outcome of the recipes.
While the recipe design looks attractive, the recipe ingredients are printed in a light bluish-green color that made them a little more difficult to read.
For some of the recipes, we would have appreciated serving suggestions. While we liked the ingredients in the Creamy Poblano Peppers and Sweet Corn, we weren’t quite sure if it was supposed to be a side dish, a relish, or something else.
Ingredient Availability: Mostly easy, with a few exceptions
Since this is a keto cookbook, sugar isn’t used for the dessert recipes. Instead, a product called Swerve was required. We couldn’t find it at any of our local stores, although it was available online. Although the front of the book notes that Truvia can also be used, it would have been great to include that option in the recipes themselves. Since both Swerve and Truvia are brand names, it could make those recipes less useful if those products are discontinued in the future.
Xanthan gum was also called for in one recipe as a thickener. While it’s not a common ingredient on everyone’s shelf, since it’s used in gluten-free baking, it has become much easier to find in regular grocery stores.
The rest of the ingredients were easy enough to find at our local grocer, although we opted to use actual chicken stock rather than the “powdered chicken broth base” that was required in a soup recipe.
Nutritional Values: They’re listed
For each recipe, percentages of fat, carbs, and protein are listed, which will be a handy guide for anyone following the keto diet. It also notes whether the recipes are free of dairy, gluten, or soy. The majority of the recipes in the book have a fat content of over 60 percent (based on calories per serving), with carbs generally in the low teens or less, and protein making up the remaining calories.
For those committed to following a ketogenic diet and looking to enlist their pressure cookers for fast, healthy meals, a $15 investment is quite reasonable.
This is a very affordable book, so price should not be a deterrent. Particularly for those committed to following a ketogenic diet and looking to enlist their pressure cookers for fast, healthy meals, a $15 investment is quite reasonable and gets you 75 dishes total. However, we would be willing to pay more for a hardcover cookbook or one with more recipes.
The Keto Instant Pot Cookbook vs. The Easy 5-Ingredient Ketogenic Diet Cookbook
If the point is quick, easy, and keto, then The Easy 5-Ingredient Ketogenic Diet Cookbook might be worth a look. While that isn’t an Instant Pot-specific book, it does offer to get dinner on the table in no time, and the ingredient list is super-short, so that means that prep time is also minimized. As much as we love cooking in an Instant Pot, we have to admit that sometimes we want to grill, fry, or roast, too. We can’t give a clear nod to either of these, but they could be good bookshelf buddies for someone who is looking for a variety of cooking methods for keto meals.
Yes for keto!
For someone who is following a ketogenic diet and prefers to eat Indian, Chinese, Thai, and Mexican, The Keto Instant Pot Cookbook: Ketogenic Diet Pressure Cooker Recipes Made Easy and Fast will come in handy. While we did have a few recipes we didn’t like, that could come down to personal taste.
- Product Name The Keto Instant Pot Cookbook: Ketogenic Diet Pressure Cooker Recipes Made Easy and Fast
- Product Brand Rockridge Press
- ISBN 1641520434
- Price $14.99
- Author Urvashi Pitre
- Material Paperback
- ISBN-13 978-1641520430