Having started eating the LCHF Banting way, I was very quickly confronted with the practical challenges of combining this way of eating with my lifestyle: I am a busy woman with a family to feed, a limited budget and limited time on my hands in which to get food on the table. I quite often have to cope with extras for dinner without much warning; we also travel a fair amount so I need easy lunch-box meals; I want food that can be pre-made for the freezer for those need-a-meal-in-a-hurry nights; and, above all, quick-to-prepare recipes that use simple, readily-available ingredients and which can be made in strange environments with limited resources.
Amongst those I feed often, I have to consider a vegetarian, someone allergic to nuts, and an alcoholic in recovery who can’t touch alcohol, as well as children and adolescents who want food they and their friends recognise, and an extended family who are not Banting-friendly. I also periodically need to cope with birthday parties where people expect cake with their tea. And, what’s more, I need to produce good-looking and tasty food for dinners and cocktail parties when entertaining for business, where Banting is not a suitable focus of attention.
But to live the Banting way every day requires real commitment, which is essential because it doesn’t work otherwise. Few would dispute that Banting works if you work it, but working it can be a challenge, as this way of eating removes most of the quick-and-easy staples, namely sugar and starch, especially bread and pasta. So, without replacements for convenient foods, I was starting to get bored and challenged, and miss my familiar favourites. I also soon realised that I did not want to feel like a weird food freak on some inconvenient, attention-seeking diet, nor did I want to force my extended family to feel any sense of deprivation so I could eat the way that works for me. And I still wanted to be able to eat sandwiches, hamburgers, pizzas and even the occasional piece of cake.
In essence, I wanted a repertoire of meals that were quick, inexpensive and simple to make, and that were tasty and familiar enough that my family would feel comfortable eating them. And I have heard many others express similar desires. I came to understand that what I wanted in a Banting cookbook was familiar dishes that have been reworked for this way of eating – ones that are in alignment with my food philosophy, as summed up abovee.
Because what I wanted wasn’t readily available, I set out to develop workable recipes that met my criteria. Fortunately, I have been cooking for almost fifty years, and having already learned to cope with various dietary restrictions, I had built up quite a lot of experience and a large collection of recipes I could draw on. As I began to experiment and build up my everyday Banting repertoire, my family, friends, and clients started asking for my recipes, until this book was born.