11th Jun 2014
What’s the background to The Little Green Spoon? I started baking in secondary school and the baking led to cooking and then I started trying out healthy recipes. Once I started making up my own recipes my family suggested I started a blog. That was about a year ago. At first I was a bit hesitant and I actually kept it secret for a few months before telling anyone! There are so many food and healthy eating blogs out there so I really try and set myself apart by making up all of my own recipes. At first, I was a little worried I wouldn’t be able to come up with enough. Thankfully, the more I do it, the more ideas I get so that hasn’t been a problem at all. I have a list on my phone where I jot down ideas as they come to me, so I constantly have about 50 things that I’m working on or want to try out!
How long have you been a foodie? I’ve always loved food (my Japanese great granny used to feed me sushi when I was a toddler) but I’m allergic to peanuts so that made me really cautious about knowing exactly what’s in my food. My mum is a great cook so I’ve always been exposed to loads of different tastes and flavours. Now I love trying everything- eating out is definitely my favorite activity. ?I’m usually planning my next meal while I’m eating!
What other blogs have influenced you? Surprisingly, I don’t follow that many food blogs. I mostly look at them for styling and photography inspiration- two of my favourites at the moment are Finger, Fork & Knife and Eye Swoon.
Who would be your favourite chef/foodie? To watch- the Barefoot Contessa, Ina Garten- her pantry is amazing. But Ottolenghi’s my favourite for recipes and I love eating in Nopi in London. I wish I’d seen him at Ballymaloe Litfest.
Where would you like to take the blog (books, brands, media, TV)? I’m not sure what the end goal is yet. I still have one year left in college and I can’t wait to be finished with it! I’d love to write a book and a lot of people have been asking me to do one recently so hopefully that’s the next step!
What has been the most popular recipe on LGS? Definitely one of the most popular was my baked eggs and sweet potato hash. It’s been pinned a few thousand times, which is great because Pinterest drives a lot of traffic for me! People also love when I do healthy versions of classics- the chicken and broccoli bake was a huge hit! And then there’s all the chocolatey stuff, which is always popular, virtually and at home.
What are your key ingredients? My key ingredient is probably coconut oil – it’s in most of my recipes whether sweet or savoury. It’s got so many amazing health benefits and I love the taste. After that I’d probably say eggs, almonds, cashews? lots of nuts!
What is a typical day’s menu for you? I pretty much always have eggs for breakfast. I love porridge, a little too much, so I find it hard to control myself portion-wise. I usually have eggs and avocado for breakfast and then some type of salad or an omelette for lunch. For dinner I usually have chicken but I also love steak and fish so I just pair one of them with whatever veg is in season (or in my fridge!). I always experiment with loads of different sauces and seasonings and then I post the ones that work out. I also like to have a protein shake after the gym and I can’t go to bed without (at least) a square of dark chocolate.
So do you live by the sugar free/dairy free principle? For the most part, yes but it wasn’t a conscious decision I made overnight. It kind of just happened and I do feel better for it. Tea used to be my downfall- I’d have 3-4 teaspoons in each cup- the tea was just a carrier for sugar.? Once I switched to herbal tea, I didn’t need that fix any more.? I opt for honey, dates and agave as sweeteners when I’m baking instead. Even though I try to make the sweet recipes as healthy as possible, they’re still treats so they should only be eaten in moderation. I’ve also almost entirely cut out dairy – I started substituting almond milk in everything gradually and before I knew it, I’d dropped cow’s milk completely. The only dairy I consume now is feta or goat’s cheese occasionally, and I can never turn down halloumi!
What is your favourite recipe? It’s so hard to choose! I’m a dark chocolate fiend so some of my favorites are the caramel squares, clean snickers and banana butter squares. Savoury-wise I love all the egg recipes like the baked eggs and asparagus Benedict.
What do you cook for friends? Since I still live at home I actually don’t really cook for my friends that much but I cook for my family and boyfriend a lot – he’s my main taste tester. I do like to make huge batches of granola and put them in pretty bags and jars for friends and family, though!
Do you take all the pictures yourself? Yep! All the photos are just me and my iPhone! I’d love to get a proper camera and get more into the photography side but for now it’s handy to have everything on my phone, especially for all the social media.
Your Instagram is so pretty, do you get lots of traffic from it? Instagram is definitely my favorite way to promote and let people know when I’ve put up a new post. I love the way all the photos look together. My favorite thing about it is getting to see when people have made my recipes; it’s so nice to see so many people actually making everything and enjoying the food like I do.
PHOTOGRAPHS BY AILBHE O’DONNELL @AilbheODonnell
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