The Fats of Life is a recipe blog created to offer readers exciting, delicious and interesting low-carb and keto recipes – with the added value of carefully-calculated macros per serving.
The author of this blog is Monya Kilian Palmer, a chef and culinary consultant based in Berkshire, UK. She is a passionate ambassador of the low-carb and ketogenic lifestyles and created this blog to share the original recipes she makes at home. Monya is also a LCHF Coach, having completed the training via the Prof Tim Noakes’ Nutrition Network.
Monya and her husband (referred to as Funnyman throughout the site) started the ketogenic lifestyle in May 2018 with incredible weight loss results, increased energy and improvement of overall health and well-being. This success fuelled her desire to share the recipes she makes at home by starting this blog (originally called Mud & Love). Scroll further down to read more about Monya and her professional background.
Using the Website
Starting the keto lifestyle means being vigilant about reading food labels and carefully measuring while you cook. The recipes on this website have been carefully developed to allow you to stay within your daily macro goals.
There is a facility on all the recipes to automatically increase the ingredients quantities if you wish to make a larger yield. This will not affect the macro-calculations, which have all been calculated and displayed per serving – assuming the dish is divided into equal serving sizes. (Remember, if you increase a yield, you may need to increase cooking time too.) The CARB COUNTS displayed are the NET carbs (the carbs we monitor on keto).
Please ensure you are using the correct oven temperatures for your specific oven. I have displayed them all.
‘Cups’ are never used because I believe in accuracy and precision, and ‘cups’ are… simply put: grossly inaccurate! It is therefore encouraged that you invest in a simple kitchen scale to weigh your ingredients and get your hands on some universal measuring spoons if you do not already have them (always level the ingredients when using them).
Unless otherwise indicated, the ingredients listed (especially the vegetables) are shown as the trimmed weight – and the macros are calculated on the trimmed weight. Its more accurate this way and it’s another reason why your kitchen scale is so important. In other words, if 100g / 3.5oz courgette is listed to be used in a recipe, it means that the recipes calls for 100g / 3.5oz of courgette after you have trimmed the ends, or if I call for a chopped onion, the macros are calculated on the weight yield after peeling and trimming. Pretty obvious, but it had to be mentioned…
Don’t skip the head notes (recipe intro paragraph). I have kept them short and to-the-point, and they usually include some handy information.
We all commonly use olive oil when cooking, but I want to encourage you to rather use one of the more stable fats, like coconut oil, (grass-fed) butter, ghee or lard. I prefer lard (it’s inexpensive and can be found right there in the butter aisle) but that is my personal choice. Coconut oil is an excellent option, but if the flavour isn’t quite to your taste, unflavoured / odourless coconut oil is also available. Regular coconut oil should be used in the recipes – and not the fractionated liquid kind. While you will still get excellent results in cooking using olive oil, please bear in mind that heating olive oil makes it unstable. If this is important to you (and it should be), please opt for my suggestion of lard or any other stable fat of your choice and leave the olive oil for finishing dishes or salad dressings. (And since you will be using less olive oil in your home, you may as well invest in an excellent quality one, like Brindisa.)
Also, I am sure by now you are all well aware that the ketogenic lifestyle is an anti-inflammatory lifestyle, so vegetable oils like canola oil, sunflower oil, canola oil etc should be thrown away and never used again.
Eggs, Fish and Meat
Where eggs are featured, I use free-range, large eggs. Sizes differ from store to store, though. If it helps, the whole eggs I used weighed around 57g (2oz) each.
Fish and seafood: opt for wild-caught and sustainable; Meat, eggs and offal: opt for pasture-raised, free-range and organic.
About me, the Author
“For as long as I can remember, I have had a love affair with food. Prepping, poaching, peppering, cooking, chopping, snipping, salting. It has always been about food: my very first love.
As a teenager, I watched my friends spend their pocket money on clothes and CD’s, while I bought food magazines and saved up for recipe books. When we all started working and earning money, they bought beautiful shoes, while I spent my hard-earned moolah hosting dinner parties.
In my early thirties, and after many years in graphic design, I bravely switched careers and enrolled in culinary school. I never did so with the intention of becoming a chef in a restaurant (I still can’t be sure if it was because I cry if people shout at me, the infamous chef’s-ass, or simply the lousy hours) – I did it to learn more and get better. After graduating culinary school, I landed a great role as a development chef at the central test kitchen of a fantastic restaurant group in Cape Town (where I am originally from).
It was a short stint, because a little while later our lives changed completely… Funnyman, the dogs and I left South Africa and moved to the UK…
After qualifying as a chef and moving to the UK, I worked at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen in Bray. I spent 3.5 years there, working with such a talented team – my words to describe the special experience over those years would not give it any justice. My role in the early days involved dish development (I fondly recall a project where I had to make bubblegum from scratch. It had to look like spaghetti and taste like apples!) and recipe testing & styling. Over the years, it evolved into a recipe editing and media project management role. Now, as a self-employed consultant, I am very fortunate because I still get to see my homies at the Duck several times a month as I consult as the Group’s content editor (non-Keto related). You can read a bit more about my professional career since then here.”
Some exciting news from Monya, chef & author of Fats of Life:
Monya’s first cookbook KETO KITCHEN (published by Kyle Books, London 2020) is coming to the market this summer.
Its currently available to pre-order on Amazon.
Monya lives with her husband, comedian Mark Palmer and their two beautiful pooches in Berkshire, England. She founded SOIGNÉ Consulting in early 2017 – mainly focussing on recipe development and is kept very busy providing original content (recipes, food styling and photography) for clients all over the world.
She also fills the role as private chef to an international athlete several times a year. Monya rejoined The Fat Duck Group as Content Editor on a part-time basis and is thrilled to be back in Bray working on exciting projects. View Monya’s portfolio and read client testimonials at www.MonyaKilianPalmer.com
When she isn’t pottering around in the kitchen or hard at work being her husband’s comedic muse, she can be found in front of her easel where she satisfies her other passion – but that’s a whole other website…
To collaborate, email Monya here (spam will be automatically blocked).
All photographs and recipes on FATS OF LIFE are copyright © Monya Kilian Palmer
DISCLOSURE: Like many blogs, I am part of the Affiliates Program on Amazon. The links to the products I recommend on this page are affiliate links, meaning – at no additional cost to you – I will earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase.