Review: The Ketogenic Kitchen

book by:
Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly

Reviewed by:
On July 29, 2016
Last modified:August 1, 2016


THE must-have cookbook for people with cancer, written by a nutritionist and a chef who use low-carbohydrate diets to support their own recovery from cancer. A powerhouse of information and inspiration!

Ketogenic Kitchen

The Ketogenic Kitchen: A Cookbook for Cancer

The Ketogenic Kitchen is no ordinary cookbook.

Yes, it is bursting with creative recipes and beautiful photographs of delicious dishes, but these recipes are expertly crafted to help people fight CANCER.

Most other cookbooks are useless against the Big C…unless you drop them directly on top of your tumor from a great height. In fact, most conventional “healthy” cookbooks actually feed cancer cells, because they are based on high-carbohydrate ingredients like grains, beans, fruits, starchy vegetables and juices.

In sharp contrast, nestled between the covers of The Ketogenic Kitchen lies a powerful, science-based, dietary prescription for cancer written by two women who use low carbohydrate diets to support their own recovery from cancer. In addition to culinary inspiration, you will receive guidance, motivation, and hope from women who walk the walk.

Domini Kemp and Patricia Daly: Authors You Can Trust

These are no ordinary women. The Ireland-based authors are Domini Kemp, a professional chef and former food writer for The Irish Times, and Patricia Daly, a Swiss-born nutritionist who specializes in dietary counseling for cancer patients.

We’ve both had cancer twice, and when we found that conventional nutritional advice failed adequately to support our treatment via the usual means of radiation and chemotherapy, we both independently decided to look elsewhere for answers. 1)

Both women generously share their powerful personal stories with you to provide real life inspiration. In Patricia’s case, switching to a ketogenic diet tamed her aggressive eye cancer within only a few weeks, reversing vision loss and sparing her from radical eye removal surgery. Her cancer has thankfully been quiet for over five years now.

What is the Ketogenic Diet?

A ketogenic diet is a very low-carbohydrate, moderate-protein, high-fat diet that reduces blood sugar and insulin to healthy, stable, low levels. This forces the majority of your cells to burn fat (ketones) instead of sugar (glucose). Cancer cells LOVE glucose and most can’t make the switch to ketones. Without all that excess glucose around, cancer cells struggle to survive, while your healthy cells thrive.

Fortunately I haven’t personally dealt with cancer, but I follow a ketogenic diet myself. It is the only diet I have ever found that easily controls my appetite, weight and blood sugar, all while supporting a positive sense of well-being and providing excellent energy. [You can read more about my experiences with this diet in the posts listed at the end of this article.]

The Ketogenic Kitchen: What’s Inside

The vast majority of recipes are constructed entirely of whole food ingredients. That alone makes this cookbook a healthy kitchen companion, whether you have cancer or not. I would characterize most dishes in this book as “Paleo plus dairy”:  free of grains, legumes, processed foods, and refined carbohydrates. There are a few desserts in the book sweetened with yacon syrup, maca powder, or lucuma powder. Every recipe includes a diagram showing you how many fat, protein and carbohydrate grams are in each serving.

The 449-page cookbook is beautifully organized and divided into two halves.

Domini Kemp:Low-to-Moderate Carbohydrate Plan

The first half of the book, crafted by chef Domini Kemp, is intended for people who want to eat a healthy lower carbohydrate diet without having to commit to a ketogenic diet. Some recipes are ketogenic, while others are low to moderate in carbohydrate and protein. Carbohydrate content ranges from a few grams to about 40 grams per serving. Protein content ranges from a few grams to about 50 grams per serving.

Her recipes are creative and many have an international flair: lime mint chicken parcels, lamb and prune tagine, green tea poached salmon. She also dedicates an entire chapter to vegetarian main dishes, including aubergine dengaku, and tarts made with cauliflower, almond and goat cheese.

Patricia Daly: The Ketogenic Plan

The second half was designed by Patricia Daly, whose recipes are strictly ketogenic. Protein content ranges from a few grams to about 25 grams per serving, and most dishes contain fewer than 10 grams of carbohydrate per serving. Many of her recipes rely on seeds, nuts, and high-fat dairy, which is a common pattern for ketogenic cooks, since those foods are often lower in protein and higher in fat than many types of meat, seafood, or poultry.

It can be challenging to make ketogenic recipes exciting, but Patricia has risen to the challenge: prawn-filled avocado, vegetable muffins, lamb pizza, sea bass with celeriac and chorizo puree, chicken with walnut sauce. She organizes her section of the book into weekly meal plans, which busy folks will find incredibly helpful.

Valuable Extras

Patricia Daly is an expert among experts. She has been following a ketogenic diet for more than five years, professionally counsels clients with cancer, knows the science of the ketogenic diet inside and out, and has a firm grasp on nutrition research. She includes 30 pages of information about ketogenic diets written in a way that everyone can understand. What does the science say about ketosis and cancer? Which foods are allowed and forbidden? How and when should you test your ketones and blood sugar? What should you do if you’re having difficulty transitioning into ketosis? It’s all in there.

Kemp and Daly also offer down-to-earth advice about eating a low-carbohydrate diet in the real world, such as cooking for a family and modifying recipes for children.

Wish List

I think this cookbook is a must-have for people with cancer, so I only have a few minor criticisms.

The authors are based in Europe and therefore many of the measurements are metric: grams, milliliters, etc. For my U.S.-based readers, please enjoy this handy one-page conversion table in PDF form that you can download or print.

As many of you may know, I believe that “post-agricultural” foods (grains, legumes, processed foods and dairy) are best avoided for optimum health. There are only a few recipes in this book that call for beans, soy, quinoa, or rice, and some that call for dairy. Dairy foods can stimulate our hormonal systems, including insulin and growth hormone pathways. This means that dairy products could theoretically support the survival and spread of cancer cells. However, I believe that refined carbohydrates like sugar, flour, and juice are FAR more powerful in this regard.

The Ketogenic Kitchen is actually two cookbooks in one, and I love that Domini Kemp offers options for people who want a less strict approach to a healthier diet. Just keep in mind that, while her section is entitled “The Low-Carb Way”, some recipes contain as many as 50 grams of carbohydrate per serving, which I think of as “moderate” in carbohydrate. People with insulin resistance should take care not to partake of those recipes too often.

The Bottom Line: I Highly Recommend The Ketogenic Kitchen

You don’t have to have cancer to benefit from this beautiful cookbook. The first half of the book is essentially a healthy, lower-carbohydrate, whole foods cookbook. All of us should be eating this way. The second half of the book is an expert guide to the ketogenic diet, which can be used not just to treat cancer but also to treat numerous neuropsychiatric and metabolic diseases, from Alzheimer’s disease to heart disease.

If you or a loved one has been diagnosed with cancer and want to know more about the potentially healing power of the ketogenic diet, this book is the only one I know of that can give you everything you need all in one place: scientific theory (explained in a way that is easy to understand), practical advice, gorgeous recipes, hard-earned wisdom, and real life inspiration.

Full disclosure: I am a huge fan of Patricia Daly’s pioneering work. I not only enthusiastically agreed to review her new book here, but also contributed to the collection of expert opinions published in the book.

Curious to Learn More about Ketogenic Diets or Cancer?

You may also find the following resources useful:

Tripping Over The Truththe very readable story of cancer’s true origins. It is your diet, not your DNA, that largely determines your destiny!

What Causes Cancer? My summary of cancer researcher Prof Thomas Seyfried’s groundbreaking book Cancer as a Metabolic DiseaseThis science-rich book convinced me that most cancer is not caused by genetic defects. Prof Seyfried views cancer as a mitochondrial disease that can be helped by ketogenic diets.

Ketosis for Cancer: a 5-week detailed account of my attempt to follow Prof Seyfried’s dietary recommendations for cancer, including a 3-day fasting jump-start.

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Please note that after 30 days, Dr. Ede may not personally respond to comments, however comments shall remain open to encourage community discussion.
















References   [ + ]

  • Christine

    Dr EdeI have been slowly buying in Keto foods. There is something I really would like and that would be a recipe for a coating to go on chicken to taste as much like KFC but not to hot. I don’t know if this is possible or not. Even a coating thats quite plain is ok as well. I am not hooked to KFC I could count on one hand the amount of times that I have been in their to eat it. I find that the real KFC is so greasy it’s not funny. I have been looking at the keto way on a facebook group. If this is not possible please just say so.

    • Hi Christine

      Growing up, I used to love KFC battered chicken, so I feel your pain! There is a fantastic low-carb website,, that has a low-carb KFC chicken recipe that looks really good. It’s made with almond flour and numerous spices: Only 3.5 carbs per drumstick–see what you think!

  • Juliet Matthews

    Hello Dr Ede. Thank you for your website – so nice to find a female keto/paleo author rather than a male, body builder, tri athlete which seems to be the majority of paleo / keto authors. Thank you too for this review. I am on a ketogenic diet for migraine prevention with some success, but find if I eat more than around 20g carb per day I am no longer in ketosis. I was surprised to read that the strict ketogenic recipe section has meals that have 10-25g carb per serving. Are some people able to eat more than 20g carb per day and still be in ketosis ? I eat an ancestral + dairy diet with 60g protein per day based on approximately 1g/kg of ideal body weight. Thank you

    • Hi Juliet,

      I’m glad you find my site helpful! Everyone’s carbohydrate threshold is different. Carbohydrate threshold depends on age, gender, degree of insulin resistance, activity level, muscle mass, and many other factors. I personally have to keep my carbs below 30 grams unless I’m exercising strenuously. During periods of higher exercise intensity, I can get away with a little bit more, but I try to keep them below 30 every day and instead increase protein a smidgen during periods of higher exercise intensity.

      There are some people who can get away with up to 50 carbs per day, and some athletes who can even get away with up to 100 carbs per day, according to Phinney and Volek in their indispensable book The Art and Science of Low-Carbohydrate Living:

      I also find that my limits are lower if I include dairy, but that is also not true for everyone.

      I’ll be posting a detailed article about ketogenic diets that will include answers to questions like this in the next month or so, along with a review of Patricia’s new online keto courses.

      • Juliet Matthews

        Dr Ede Thank you very much for your response. The effect of dairy is very interesting as I find I eat a fair bit – and think I shouldn’t… The point re effect of exercise is also a good one as I find exercise triggers migraine, so unfortunately I do not do much. Thank you for your help – so refreshing to find a blog with a real person answering and responding to comments in a meaningful way. I will certainly look at the book Phinney and Volek.
        I am really looking forward to your post on ketogenic diets and the online course you mention.
        Do you know of any other books re ketogenic diet and any other cookbooks.that you would recommend please?
        Many thanks

  • Stephen T

    I hope the book does well, particularly in Ireland. My Irish friends regard my low-carb diet as very odd.

    • Hi Stephen,

      I understand–most people here in the U.S. think my diet is bizarre, too! But it works for me, which is the most important thing, of course. I hope her book does well too, mostly because I know so many people with cancer who are given useless, even dangerous, nutrition advice. Thanks for writing in!

      • Stephen T

        Thank you, Dr Ede.

        I hear stories of cancer patients sitting in waiting rooms filled with bowls of sweets (candy). Radiation and chemotheraphy for the patient and glucose for the cancer. I’m not sure if any part of that makes sense, and certainly not feeding sweets to cancer patients. Have any oncologists heard of Otto Warburg?

  • carlito

    My sister is diagnosed with colon cancer. It is on stage four. She was operated on last april,2016. She started chemotherapy last June. After one session, she stopped it and instead preferred to go on ketogenic diet. Thanks that i was able to go to your website and shared it with her.

    • Dear Carlito,

      I am sorry to hear about your sister’s diagnosis and sincerely hope she is improving and feeling well.

    • Kam

      Hi, I’m a Medical Herbalist in the UK and wonder if anyone has any thoughts re: ketogenic diet, for a patient also diagnosed with bowel cancer, but who has had a resection and now has colostomy bag. Is there any information about the implications of this diet for this patient? After operation and ongoing chemotherapy, cancer has now metastasised to liver. Any thoughts appreciated.

  • Victor Chan

    Dear Dr Ede, I’m Victor from Malaysia, currently my friend’s wife is being diagnosed with Klatskin cancer which is quite rare and a rather difficult cancer to deal with according to the doctor. As I’ve learned from my friend, his wife’s cancerous cells have spreaded to the liver area therefore a surgery to remove the cells is not doable. As from many videos that we can see through youtube, Ketogenic diet does provide a glimpse of hope for my friend and their family, may I have your opinion that whether this diet treatment are generally workable for most of cancer patient and are there any doctors that we can look for assistance in this topic as our local doctors are basically unable to advance any further. Kindly help. Thank you very much!

  • carlito

    Dear Dr. Ede,

    Thank you. I do hope and pray that she will be better. She’s feeling pain in the abdomen and back pain as the cancer has advanced in her liver.I have positive hope that this diet will help her.

  • silentwave

    After receiving this book today and flipping through it, I find extensive use of coconut or almond milk in the recipes. Technically, almond and coconut don’t produce milk. It’s a human invention. You’d find additives (with unpronounceable names) and thickening agent such as carrageenan, gellan gum, locust bean gum (or who know which brand of chewing gum might have been mixed in…). Is additive free heavy cream a butter substitute than this kind of man-kind vegetable “milk”? What are the health effect of these commonly used thickening agents and additives?

    I also find the use of butter to be low and mostly coconut oil.

    • therealjeaniebeanie

      It’s very easy to make almond milk, and thus avoid the additives, and fairly easy to make coconut milk as well.

  • John

    Hi, thanks for all your stuff. (I found your site from Ketoscience on reddit, where a discussion on Sulfurophane is in full flow, and your thoughts are a welcome counterbalance to Dr Rhonda Patrick’s views.)

    It’s interesting that you so frequently say that dairy is to be avoided, though far less powerful than refined carbs. But the problem seems to be with the milk, not the cream.

    I find keto (3+ years now, I feel great etc) very much easier if I can have cream (and its offshoots, butter and cheese). Otherwise, it seems near impossible to get the fat. Most oils seem to have problems. I’m not sure how much coconut oil I can take.

    The cream is of course subject to the point that we’re not baby cows. Maybe for whatever reason we’ve evolved better to consume cream than milk.

  • vlp

    Fasting regularly utilizes the ketone metabolic pathway that will starve cancer cells and keep them at bay WITHOUT eating animal protein whatsoever. Learn more from the True North clinic, based in Santa Rosa, California. There is absolutely no reason on earth to consume animal parts or glandular secretions (milk)!

    Georgia, you claim to use science as a measure of all of the papers you have scrutinized relative to meat consumption, yet you are not a scientist. Thousands of scientific papers have been published that support the case for limiting or eliminating animal-based diets, with very few that support your point of view. Why not be honest and say that the science is not 100 percent conclusive? You claim others are cherry picking the science to support their view, while that is exactly what you are doing!! Why not admit that you love to eat the flesh of other living beings, you love the taste and perhaps you get a psychological thrill from doing something that is cruel and shameful, something I believe is an aberration. Even if an animal based diet was found to be not implicated in disease, it is still wrong to slaughter innocent animals and to eat them–not when there are mountains of luscious plant foods to choose from that easily support a healthy lifespan. The evolution of human consciousness requires us to reject animal consumption, and until we all realize that fact we are on a trajectory to certain extinction.

    • tkent26

      Veganism is a religion. Off-topic.

      Enjoy your all-starch diet.