In Need of Some Delicious Food Inspiration? Check Out Ingvild Hulløen, Writer & Foodie Behind "OMG, digg!"
We had a chat with the lovely, smart and talented Ingvild Hulløen, the face behind Instagram account OMG, digg! (OMG, yummy!). A quick scroll through her Instagram and we promise you’re already hungry or drooling for some tasteful food. With us, she shares her favourite recipes, her tips for those of us who don’t find cooking that enjoyable, and where she goes when eating out!
Firstly, we would love to get to know you more!
I’m a caffeine addicted girl living in Torshov with my boyfriend and two cats. I’m an amateur cook, and started the instagram account @omgdigg to have an excuse to cook and bake even more. Oh, and as an excuse to spend even more time on the internet. I love reading, running and drinking wine - but none of those at the same time. I’ve listened to every podcast there is. I love the norwegian winters, but only for the first half of it. I'll watch any tv show that’s a cooking, sewing or hiking competition, but absolutely no other reality tv. I’m a rabid feminist. (Haha. Leave that in, it’s true - and I truly don’t get why men have been considered great for thousands of years when they’ve objectively been awful.) I love to read cookbooks, but I almost never follow a recipe from any of them. I could sleep thirteen hours straight, as long as someone feeds the noisiest of my cats. I buy too many single plates and serving utensils just to use them as props for food photos. My favourite colour truly is pink, even if it’s a cliche.
And I’m dreading the inevitable return of the low-rise jeans
Have you always been interested in making food?
Yes, I think I have! But that interest has taken different forms over the years. When I was a kid, it was mostly about making milkshakes or grilled cheese sandwiches while watching tv after school. When I moved away from home, I soon realised how much cheaper it was to cook from scratch, so I cooked simple, basic dinners for myself with what I had.
I have always loved reading about food; reading cookbooks and food magazines and articles and restaurant reviews. And because I’m notoriously curious, I always want to try new food I hear or read about. Whether that’s just cooking with a vegetable that’s new to me, or eating at a new restaurant, or trying a weird taste combination that I think of out of the blue. So, organically and over time my interest in food and cooking grew, and I found myself being more creative – first by changing recipes, and then more and more creating my own recipes.
What are your tips for those who find cooking not that enjoyable?
First of all: Accept yourself! If you don’t like cooking now, that’s okay! I know so many people who feel shameful for not enjoying cooking, or feel they have to excuse not being a great cook - but not everything is for everyone. I love cooking and baking, I do it a lot, and over time I hope I get better at it. But if you never come to enjoy it - that’s fine too.
Okay. So if you want to cook more, or want to like it better, start with trying to identify what you don’t like about cooking. Are there aspects of it you do enjoy? I get overly impatient If I have to finely chop anything for more than a few minutes, so I find ways to work around that. (Mainly, I just stay away from classic french cooking, or call my dishes ‘rustic’ - that way I can get away with a more uneven and coarse look...) Work with what you like to do, and avoid the things you don’t. There’s no need for you to be able to handle everything. So if you find cooking a whole turkey terrifying - just cook something else!
And then - just try! And google any word you don’t completely understand. I have google image searched the weirdest things while reading recipes - and I always find answers! How to best chop a fennel, what does a perfectly cooked chicken breast look like, what are the exact measurements of a julienne, when is the meringue done; someone has always found these answers before me.
My last tip, when you're trying to improve your cooking, is to write down what you do. That way you will actually know what worked and don't, and don't just forget before next time. The salsa didn't come out spicy enough? You know how much chili you used, and can go from there. Was ¾ tsp of cinnamon too much? Use half next time.
Can you share with us a delicious recipe for…
For weekend breakfasts I love to bake scones. It's much simpler than it seems, and because all ingredients have to be chilled, you can just get right out of bed and bake without waiting for anything to come to room temperature.
For 8 scones you need:
125 g (cold!) butter, cubed
85 g sugar
350 g flour ( I usually use white flour for these, but you could use 50/50 white/wholegrain)
2½ tsp baking powder
1,8 dl (180g) cold (! Keep it in the fridge until you’re going to use it!) dairy. I use a mix of whatever I have on hand - sour cream, crème fraîche (both low fat and regular works) and Greek yogurt are all great. If you don't have any of those, milk will do.
50 g raisins + 50 g dried cranberries (these can be swapped with nuts, or with chocolate - whatever you’re in the mood for)
Set your oven to 210°C, and take out the baking sheet you're going to use, so that it stays cold.
Put the raisins and cranberries in a small bowl and cover with hot water.
Mix flour, sugar, baking powder and butter cubes in a large bowl. Either use the paddle attachment for a stand mixer, or just your hands, and mix until you have a crumbly mixture and there are no large pieces of butter left. If you're using a stand mixer, you might have to use your hands a bit to make sure all the butter has been processed. This should take no more than a couple of minutes - too long and the ingredients will heat too much.
Add the dairy you’re using, and mix until it's just incorporated.
Squeeze all the water out of the raisins and cranberries, and add them to the dough. Or add in whatever you're using instead of raisins and cranberries. Mix again for a few seconds, until they're pretty evenly spread throughout the dough.
With your hands, press the dough together into a ball. It might look a bit loose at first, but it should come together and hold its shape.
Put the ball of dough onto a flat surface, and press it down into a flat circle. No need for a rolling pin, just press with your hands to get an even enough result.
Cut the circle in two, and cut each part into four equal triangles. Transfer them to your baking plate, and bake in the middle of the oven for approximately 20 minutes, until they're golden, but not too dark.
Transfer to a wire rack to cool down.
Eat with lemon curd, any other curd, or jam.
Lunch is a weird meal to me. During the weekend, I usually have breakfast really late, and for such a long time, that there’s not much need for lunch. My weekday lunches are often just leftovers from dinner, or yoghurt and granola, or crisp bread with mashed avocado.
I did use too large a part of last summer to make coconut granola, and since the sun is finally showing itself again, I thought I’d share that one. It’s great with any type of milk or yoghurt, but if you love coconut like I do, you’ll have to try it with coconut yoghurt and some fresh berries. You’ll need:
100 g large oats
100 g small oats
50 g shredded coconut
Two large pinches of coconut flakes (15-20 g)
¼ tsp salt
¼ tsp vanilla sugar (made from real vanilla), vanilla powder or vanilla extract
1 dl coconut milk
20 g butter
1 tbsp brown sugar
Set your oven to 160.
Mix all the dry ingredients in a heat proof bowl.
Put the coconut milk, butter and sugar in a small saucepan on low heat. Stir every once in a while, until everything has dissolved.
Pour the liquid over the dry ingredients, and use a spoon to stir until none of the oats are dry, and there is no visible liquids left.
Distribute the granola evenly on a baking sheet, and put in the middle of the oven for 40-45 minutes. Every 15 minutes turn the baking sheet around and fold the granola a bit so that none of it burns. (But don’t stir it too much - or it will end up too crumbly.)
Let the granola cool down on the baking sheet before transferring to an airtight container.
I can feel spring coming, so I’m going with more coconut! This chickpea, sweet potato and coconut milk curry is healthy, quick enough for a weekday night and delicious enough for a saturday dinner party. This will make two large portions.
(Oh, and whenever you’re cooking with canned chickpeas: keep the aquafaba (the water from the chickpea can), and make chocolate mousse)
Neutral cooking oil
½ large onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 (++) tbsp fresh ginger,
½ large sweet potato (around 200 g), cubed
1 large carrot (100 g), in 1 cm thick slices
100 g fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
2,5 dl coconut milk
1 large tomato
1 tsp cumin
1 tsp ground coriander
½ tsp turmeric
¼ tsp dried chili flakes
Salt and pepper to taste
Zest and juice of ½ lime
If you have time, drizzle the carrots with olive oil, some salt and pepper, and roast them on a baking sheet in the upper rack in the oven.
Cut a cross through the “stem” of the tomato, and drop it into a small pan of boiling water. When the skin starts to fall of, take the tomato out and pull off all of the skin.
Heat oil in a large iron pan. Add the onion, garlic and ginger, and let them soften on low heat for around 5 minutes.
Add the spices, stir well, and then add the cubed sweet potato. Let it sit for a minute or two until all the aromas from the spices appear.
Chop the tomato. Add all of the chopped tomato (make sure to get all the juice), the roasted carrot and coconut milk to the pan.
Bring it to a boil, and let simmer on low heat for 15-20 minutes with the lid on. The sweet potato should be soft, but not mushy.
Add the spinach and chickpeas, stir and put the lid back on for 2-3 more minutes, until the spinach has wilted.
Add lime zest and juice, salt and pepper to taste.
Serve with heaps of fresh cilantro, rice* and naan.
(*My last tip for this meal, is to add a few tbsp of shredded coconut and juice and zest of ½ of a lime to the rice when it’s done cooking - it will complement the curry perfectly.)
I live for dessert, and I’m always baking. But keeping with todays spring-is-coming-theme, I’m going with lemon bars. They’re both sweet and tangy, and if they weren’t made with an obscene amount of sugar, I would have eaten them for every meal.
For the bottom layer:
225 g butter, room temperatured
250 g flour
60 g confectioners sugar
1 tsp lemon zest
Mix all the ingredients in the bowl of a stand mixer, with the paddle attachment.
Use a 20x30 cm sheet pan, covered with parchment paper, and press the dough onto the bottom of the pan.
Cook for about 25 minutes, with the oven on 175.
For the middle layer (you can make this while the bottom layer is baking):
400 g sugar
35 g flour
1 tsp baking powder
4 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp lemon zest
Whip the eggs lightly.
Add sugar, flour and baking powder. Whip until everything is well mixed.
Fold in lemon zest and juice.
Pour over the still hot bottom layer, put back in the oven and cook for 25-30 minutes, until the middle layer is set and lightly golden on top.
Put the pan on a wire rack, and let it cool completely (for at least an hour).
For the glaze:
160-200 g confectioners sugar
3-4 tbsp lemon juice
Mix the lemon juice into the sugar, one spoon at a time, until it’s liquid, but not too runny.
Pour the glaze on top of the lemon bars. You might have to use a spatula to make it cover everything.
Let the glaze set completely before cutting the bars.
During a chaotic and hectic day, what’s your easy, quick and tasteful go-to dinner?
What counts as quick, depends on the situation. If I’m really in a hurry, I usually go for pasta with whatever is in my fridge. I sautée garlic and onions while the pasta water is coming to a boil, and then add to the pan the vegetables I have on hand. Add in some meat if you want to, like bacon, chorizo or prosciutto. Depending on the meat and vegetable, I’ll add cream, crème fraîche, ricotta, or just butter or olive oil and parmesan to the cooked pasta. And then mix the pasta with the vegetables - and top the plate with pine nuts, some other roasted nut or just parmesan <3
If I’m at home, but I just don’t want to spend my time actually cooking, my best trick is to make a delicious soup by cutting vegetables in huge chunks, drizzle them with oil, salt and pepper, and just let them char in the oven for half an hour. Then, bring the vegetables to a boil in a pot with water or stock or coconut milk, and blend. This works great with all kinds of root vegetables, and always add at least one type of onion and garlic. Eat the soup with bread if you have, and top it with nuts or seeds that suits the vegetables you’ve used, or maybe some croutons. It takes a bit more time from start to finish, but the time spent actively chopping and blending is no more than five minutes.
Oh, and if I really don’t have any time, peanut noodles is the only way to go. Bring water to a boil, let the noodles rest in the water for 3-5 minutes depending on the noodles, and mix ingredients for the sauce at the same time. Dinner in less than 10 minutes. And it’s delicious!
When eating out, where do you like to go?
I love unpretentious places with great food, that also don't bankrupt me. Koie Ramen is a go-to, any one of Lofthus Samvirkelags locations for pizza, Vespa & Humla for weekend breakfast, Da Lat for phò. In the summer I can have Lille Saigon’s summer rolls for dinner four days in a row, and only break that strike to have mussels at Ostebutikken on the other side of Birkelunden.
Smalhans is always great, and I especially love their Husmann offer every afternoon - not having to choose, just get the one course they offer, truly is a blessing sometimes. Trattoria Popolare have fantastic pasta. Mangelsgaarden was last year’s best new friendship. And I’m also eating my way through the new Oslo Street Food market in Torggata Bad, one stall at a time.
What’s your best food-memory?
Honestly, all my strongest food-related memories are about eating the most basic food when I’m really hungry. After all, food is fuel. One particular instance that comes to mind, was when after hiking for maybe three days, me and my friends thought we were completely out of food. We only had half a day of hiking left before going home, so we didn’t think much of it at first. But then it started raining, and it took a bit more time than we thought it would, and we were all really hangry. Until one of my friends really casually mentioned that he had 200g of chocolate still in his backpack. Crouching together underneath a rock and sharing that bar of chocolate, and getting the energy needed for going on for that last hour, was truly magical.
Can you share with us your all-time favourite food?
There are a thousand answers to this question, and which one I’ll give you depends on the time of year, the time of the week and the time of the day you ask me. One of the answers is always anything-containing-chocolate. I do think I could live on cake alone for at least a couple of weeks.
I find that my favourites over time are the really simple meals - freshly baked crusty bread, good butter, heaps of thinly sliced prosciutto and a bottle of red wine will always make a fantastic dinner.
There are also some ingredients I always gravitate towards - pistachios, garlic, coconut, blueberries, almost every type of cheese, pomegranate, licorice, passionfruit - and chocolate, of course.
For more food-inspiration, you can follow Ingvild’s food-Instagram here!
All photos are Ingvild’s own, and published with her permission.
Written by Anine Netland Hulløen