About Mud & Love and the Fats of Life

The author of this blog is Monya Kilian Palmer, a chef and recipe developer based in Berkshire, UK. She is a passionate ambassador of the low-carb and ketogenic lifestyles and created this blog as a hobby to share the original recipes she makes at home. 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 bigger batches. You can also use the plugin to switch from METRIC to US IMPERIAL (for my US readers). I rarely use ‘cups’, as I believe in accuracy and precision and measuring anything in ‘cups’ is simply not accurate, unless its liquid – and even then, US cups and UK cups differ! I encourage you therefore to please invest in proper measuring spoons and a kitchen scale if you do not already have them. It should also be noted that a fan oven was used throughout the recipes of the site. 

Also for my US readers: Double cream = heavy cream; coriander = cilantro; spring onions = salad onions; rocket = arugula

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Monya and Funnyman started the ketogenic lifestyle in May 2018 with incredible weight loss results, increased energy and improvement on overall health and well-being. They limit their carb intake to no more than 20g carbs per day and enjoy a diet feasting on fatty biltong, salmon, steak, avocado, bacon, butter coffee and BBQ meats, along with plenty of high-fibre vegetables like broccoli, cauliflower and cabbage. Inflammatory foods (that may be very low in carbs) are still consumed in very small amounts and only occasionally. For example, strict ketoers may steer clear of soy sauce or store-bought reduced-sugar ketchup. We do too, but won’t kill ourselves if there is a trace amount of potato starch in our pork sausages. Get what I am saying? Some may call this dirty keto, we say DO WHAT WORKS FOR YOU.

Enjoy your journey!


More About the Author


“For as long as I can remember, I have had a love affair with food. Preparing, poaching, peppering, cooking, chopping, snipping, salting. It has always been about food. My very first love.

As a teenager, my friends spent their pocket money on clothes and music. I bought food magazines and recipe books. When we all started working and earning money, they bought beautiful clothes, while I spent my hard-earned moola planning and hosting dinner parties. Not much has changed over the years.

And just as our mothers warned us, sometime in my early thirties, I woke up one morning to find Santa never gave me Nigella’s latest cookbook for Christmas, instead he left a lard-ass in my stocking and another chin under my tree. And he never took the cookies and beer I left him – the bastard took my metabolism instead. (Oh how I miss her!)

And then I discovered keto.

The Ketogenic diet (high fat, low carb), also known as LCHF, or Banting (for my South African readers) is the only one that suits my lifestyle and – more importantly – is sustainable. And believe me, I have tried them all…


Why “Mud and Love”?

An odd name for a food blog I realise, but it has kind of stuck as this blog evolved. It has a nice ring to it, and an even nicer story behind it. This is my opportunity to name-drop a little, so please indulge me and read on.

After several years in graphic design, I enrolled in culinary school, but interestingly never with the intention of becoming an actual chef in a restaurant kitchen. 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.

A little while after graduating culinary school, and after a small stint at a great restaurant group in Cape Town, South Africa (where I am originally from), I worked for 3.5 years at Heston Blumenthal’s Fat Duck Experimental Kitchen in Bray, Berkshire. It was incredibly special time and was everything I ever dreamed of – I learned so much! My role in the beginning mostly lay in recipe testing, editing and styling, and then moved on to a project management role.

Most mornings, the development chef team would meet to have various brainstorm sessions to unleash creativity.

This was around the time the phrase “brainstorm” was frowned upon and soon became known as “mind-dumping” (< which then became my new favourite phrase.)

To cut a fat story thin, one morning we were discussing favourite smells. There were the usual ones: freshly-cut-grass; freshly-baked bread; freshly-bathed baby… etc, etc,. But I could only come up with “the underside of my dog’s paws!” When the chefs turned to me, I dreamily stated, “They smell wonderful! They smell like mud… and love!”
It stuck.

And I challenge any dog lover to disagree.

PS. Chef’s ass is a real thing – google it.”

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

All photographs and recipes on MUD AND LOVE are copyright © Monya Kilian Palmer


DISCLAIMER: Mud and Love is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon products. The author will only link to products she herself endorses and uses in the development of the dishes on this website.

Keto Pork Belly with Red Onions
Pork Belly with Keto Gravy & Relish
Keto Kale Chips
Best Ever Crispy Keto Kale ‘Chips’
Low carb Pho Bo
Quick-and-Easy Low-carb Phở Bo
Keto Prawn Curry
Low-carb Thai Prawn Curry with Cherry Tomatoes
Keto Nachos
Keto Nachos
Quick Guacamole
Keto Blueberry Cheesecake
Keto Blueberry Cheesecake
Keto Onion Rings
Keto Onion Rings
Smoked Paprika Chicken & Chorizo Bake
Keto Cauliflower Rice
Keto Cauliflower Rice
Keto Lime Cheesecake Tart
Keto Lime Cheesecake Tart
Keto Coconut Cauliflower
Keto Coconut-roasted Cauliflower
Baked Onions
Keto Baked Creamy Baby Onions with Crackling Crumb
Keto Seafood Bake
Low-carb Seafood Bake
Keto Creamy Cauliflower Mash
Keto Creamy Cauliflower Mash
Keto Buffalo Chicken Wings
Low-carb Buffalo Wings
Keto Cloud Bread
Keto Cloud Bread
Keto Chocolate Macadamia Cookies
Double-Chocolate Macadamia Cookies
Keto Grilled Brie Mushrooms
Keto Grilled Brie Mushrooms with Onion Chutney
Keto Berry Meringue Baskets
Berry Meringue Baskets
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