Indy Power is a name you can’t fail to recognise if you have even a passing interest in food. Having propelled herself into the industry via her blog The Little Green Spoon, what began as a food lover’s Instagram account showcasing wholesome creations steadily gained traction, appealing to the masses looking to embrace more natural whole foods in a delicious way.
The popularity of the Little Green Spoon blog led to the release of Indy’s first cookbook of the same name last year, as well as TV and festival appearances and a weekly food column. With her fingers in so many pies, you would forgive 24 year old Indy for wanting to take a step back, but there seems to be no stopping the buoyant beauty with big plans.
We caught up with Indy to chat about her latest project, the #TastyEasyLamb campaign and get an insight into her foodie world, from recipe development to pet hates and of course, tips for those looking to emulate her success.
You’ve teamed up as a ‘Lambassador’ for this year’s Lamb – Tasty, Easy, Fun campaign. What is it you love about cooking with lamb?
What I love about lamb is that it has the most incredible natural flavour. Because of this it’s so easy to make an amazing meal with really little effort. It’s also really versatile so there’s loads of ways to enjoy it – roasted, slow cooked, grilled, in curries etc.
With your sweet tooth in mind, what is your favourite sweet and savoury lamb pairing?
I love raisins with lamb. I always add them to lamb stews and tagines for a little sweetness and texture. I also make the Moroccan quinoa pilaf from my book as a side dish whenever I barbeque lamb- it has roasted nuts and raisins in it and it’s the best combination with a grilled lamb cutlet.
What is the most popular Little Green Spoon lamb recipe?
The pistachio and rosemary crusted lamb cutlets from my book is definitely the most popular- it’s my favourite lamb recipe too!
What’s your go-to easy midweek meal?
I make the pistachio lamb cutlets all the time, they’re so easy to prep, but I also love a good curry. I like that you can leave it to simmer while you do other things and then you suddenly have an amazing dinner with so much flavour. Great leftovers too!
Why are lamb cutlets your favourite cut of meat?
I think they have the most flavour and they’re so quick to cook. I always get them with the bone in for extra flavour and they look gorgeous too.
Where do you get inspiration for your recipes?
My recipes are inspired by my daily life- things I’m craving, what’s in season at the time. They’re also really influenced by my travels. I love trying as many different dishes and ingredients as I can when I’m away and I always come back with a long list of ideas.
How did you learn how to cook?
I’m self-taught. Or ‘mom taught’ I guess. I haven’t done any formal training it’s just skills I’ve built up from cooking at home from a young age. I think anyone who really loves and appreciates food can be a good cook.
Who do you admire most in the food industry?
It’s a boring answer but definitely Jamie Oliver. I love how his recipes are approachable and his food revolution work is so inspiring. I love seeing someone with such a big platform using it for good.
Does your mother’s Japanese heritage influence your recipe development and the way you cook?
Definitely! Japanese food is my favourite cuisine and even if a recipe of mine isn’t necessarily Japenese themed there’s often influences and flavours that come from it. My most used pantry ingredients are all weird and wonderful things from the Asian market.
What advice do you have for foodies looking to improve their Instagram feed with food photography, as you are self-taught?
Practice, practice, practice. I’m still a total beginner and I feel like I learn every time I take a shot. A good lens is a must and it’s so important to do lots of research before investing in one. Props make a huge difference too, there’s a great place called The Props Library that I rent props from- they can really make or break a picture.
Who is your local butcher?
I go to James Whelan in Dunnes in Cornelscourt, they’re so helpful and they always have everything.
What food can’t you live without?
Nuts! I’m allergic to peanuts but I’m obsessed with all other nuts and eat them in one form or another every single day. They’re so versatile.
What is your nightmare food?
Processed chicken – it really grosses me out!
What is the strangest ingredient in your fridge/pantry?
I’m sure there’s a few! I love these yellow Japanese pickles called Takuan. I had them as a kid and they have this unusual but really addictive flavour (at least to me!) and such a good crunch. My fiancé hates them.
As someone with such influence in the food community, how do you choose which brands are a good fit for you to work with?
I only work with brands that I really believe in and genuinely use. They have to have a similar food ethos to me and if I don’t love the product I won’t endorse it. It’s really important to me that anyone following me can really trust what I’m saying. I love helping out smaller Irish brands too, there’s so many great companies at the moment.
What is your death row meal, and who would you share it with?
My death row meal would be sushi from Hamasaku in LA followed by the cheesecake from Honey & Co. in London (the best dessert I’ve EVER had). I’d share it with my fiancé, provided we each had our own!
You’ve been studying at the Irish Institute of Nutrition & Health, what are the main nutritional benefits of lamb?
Lamb is really high in protein and it’s an excellent source of B12, which is essential for overall health. It’s also a good source of selenium, niacin, zinc and phosphorus.
What’s next for the Little Green Spoon – Do you have any plans to emulate Deliciously Ella by opening a deli?
I’ve always dreamed of opening my own deli/shop. I’m searching for the right premises at the moment and hoping to open this year!
Growing up with the name Darina, I was constantly asked if I could cook like my namesake. With that(and greed) as the ultimate motivator, I realised that baked goods make excellent bribes and an obsession was born! I am the only person to have contested both Masterchef and the Great Irish Bake off, fuelling my desire to focus on food in a serious way. Working with TheTaste allows me to satisfy this craving and marries my food fascination with my love of writing and ranting.