The Ketogenic Diet – A Festive Feast

28 Dec

With the Happy Season upon us and me mentioning the Ketogenic Diet so much, I thought it was time for some practical information on my “daily bread”. Well, bread is something that hasn’t passed my lips since January – nor have any other carbohydrates (pasta, potato, rice, etc for the uninitiated).

Nor have I eaten fruit, nor anything with sugar – no cakes or biscuits!

Here’s a suggested menu for the day:


A two egg omelet to your taste – add tomatoes or mushrooms. In true Israeli style you can always add a salad – tomatoes, cucumbers, peppers, olives.

If I’m out for breakfast, then I’ll always go for “Shakshuka”. But beware. I ask the chef whether he adds any sugar – including tomato puree or ketcthup which invariably include sugar and/or carbs! If there’s sugar I need to order something else.


Try my winter fish soup[8]:


Half a cup olive oil, 1 onion, 1 head of garlic, 3 courgettes,1 red pepper, 1 tomato, 600gms of your favorite (white) fish. Feeds 4 comfortably – or myself for a week.

This is what you do: Heat the olive oil (in a heavy “Le Creuset” type pot). Not too hot a temperature. Add sliced onion, about 10 cloves of garlic, sliced red pepper, pieces of courgette in rings and lastly cubed tomato – don’t chop the courgette and tomato too small. When they’re all softening up – less than ten minutes – add just less than a litre of boiling water. Put in your fish in nice sized pieces and let the lot simmer for about 15 minutes. Simple and delicious.

 Alternatively – Pam’s mean minestrone:

Fry onions in butter or olive oil and then add your favourite veggies – fry till soft, cover with water and boil.  Pam uses cauliflower, courgette, leeks, onions, red peppers and tomatoes – as much as you want.  Salt, pepper, curcum (tumeric) and curry powder to taste. Big pieces, small pieces or through a mixer.  


Chocolate Swiss Roll[9]


150 gms butter, 3 slabs sugarless chocolate (85% min cocoa low carb), 150 ml sugarless cream, 1 tbl spoon cocoa powder, 3 eggs, substitute for sugar (stivia) to taste – we don’t bother with any sweetener.

This is what you do:

Make the sponge – separating the egg whites and the yolks.

Beat the yolks with a fork vigorously for about half a minute.

Beat the whites in a blender/mixer till stiff.

Fold the yolks into the whites – add  cocoa powder and sweetener if you must.

Melt the butter and chocolate together.

Spread the mix not too thinly on baking paper in an oblong baking tray – about 30cms x 12cms.

Bake in pre-heated oven at 170c for about 15 minutes. The secret is to have the “dough” at the right texture – something I can’t explain. Soft yet rollable.

Let the “dough” cool down.

Spread the chocolate mix and the whipped cream over the dough and carefully roll it up.

Refrigerate for an hour or so.


Alternative/additional desert – full fat cheeses.



Hors D’oeuvres

Smoked salmon with asparagus or guacamole

Main Dish

Stew[10] – best to prepare a day before giving time to absorb all the juices from the vegetables.


A cut of stewing meat, seasoning. aubergine, courgettes, leek, mushrooms, onions and tomatoes. Quantities depend on how many servings you want. 

This is what you do:

Fry meat joint or slice it first, just to seal in juices.

Slice all the vegetables. Fry half of them (separately) until they are lightly browned and half stewed. Place some in the bottom of a pot. Add the meat and the rest of the vegetables on top.

Stew slowly in the oven at 150c until the meat is soft. Can take 3 hours or more, depending on the size of the joint.

Slice the meat when cold and put back in the oven with the veg and reheat before serving.  


A few berries– blackberries, blueberries, raspberries and strawberries are allowed in small quantities (three or four of each). They contain fructose not sucrose. One or two small pieces of melon are also okay. I limit myself to berries or melon twice or maximum three times a week. 


[8]  Variation of a Chaim Cohen recipe from his TV programme “Garlic, Pepper and Olive Oil”.

[9]  By courtesy of my amazing daughters.

[10]  By courtesy of my sister Rosalind, who keeps me constantly supplied with all sorts of frozen goodies that I can just take out the freezer before the pangs of hunger set in.

My sister-in-law, Fiona, on the other hand, just invites us round all the time and always comes up with gourmet meals. No words of sufficient thanks to either of you. Long may it continue.  

3 Responses to “The Ketogenic Diet – A Festive Feast”

  1. mike attinson December 28, 2011 at 1:57 pm #

    I think you should open up a restaurant. With you and pam in the kitchen it can’t miss!!!

  2. Micha December 28, 2011 at 6:19 pm #

    Hi Martin, I have been following your blog for quite some time now and I am quite fascinated by the way you describe your daily activities/encounters. I am pretty much convinced that you chose the correct path by adhering to the particular diet you have been writing about. Two friends of mine, both physicians who mainly work in non-conventional medicin, read your blog and were not only satisfied with the ingredients of your diet but also liked the idea of the blog itself and will recommend this type of interaction to their patients. Should you have any interest in asking any questions or be in touch with them, please let me know.
    Meanwhile, stay as positive as you possibly can. All the best – Micha (Norman&Renee’s friend from Kochav Yair)

    Hi Micha & Suzie,
    As you know my intention was, and still is, to help fellow suffers – so your passing on the blog is particularly satisfying. Thank you so much for helping reach more people – and of course, for the compliments in your comment.

  3. Tzippi Sha-ked December 31, 2011 at 7:01 pm #

    Hi Martin,
    Don’t forget Blueberry ice cream….
    Frozen berries, full cream, a squeeze of lemon – food processor (1minute) – freeze and enjoy….
    I have forwarded your blog to many people around the world. You are truly giving encouragement to others!
    -Shavua Tov!!
    Tzippi Sha-ked

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