Sophie Crowe:‘The Hungry Girl’

Meet Sophie Crowe, the girl behind the blog that everyone should be reading. Packed with nutritious recipes and food advice, Her Campus asked her a few questions about her sources of inspiration.

What made you want to start blogging?

Weirdly, it was an Apple notification. You know the one where it’s like ‘Storage almost full’? I went through my camera roll and realised that pretty much every photo was of food. I didn’t want to delete anything, I couldn’t! That’s where the Hungry Girl started really, I wanted to write about each and every photo. But I’ve always loved food, I wake up in the morning thinking about banana pancakes drizzled with honey and topped with raspberries, and go to sleep dreaming of antipasto and hot focaccia bread. It’s fair to say it’s an obsession.

What is the aim for your blog?

I’m not sure the blog has an aim as such. I want people to read it and feel unashamedly hungry. In my teenage years I abused my relationship with food, and I was very unhappy. It seems unbelievable now, but I lost all interest in food and I’m sad to say that’s the case for a lot of young women. For me cooking is therapeutic, and so the blog is my way of reclaiming my love for food, and hopefully it can inspire others to do the same.

Where do you get inspiration for your blog posts?

Everywhere! I love Instagram, there are so many cool accounts that post the most incredible dishes (I love CravingsinAmsterdam, http://cravingsinamsterdam.com/). I love to eat out, I’ve mentioned the Crocus Café many a time on the blog and recently discovered Comptoir Lebanese, which is dreamy (see picture below). I also love to trawl Charity shops for cookbooks. I love Gizzie Erksine, Jamie Oliver, Yotam Ottolenghi, and Aine Carlin’s cookbooks. But I have to say my main inspiration is my mum, Sally Crowe. She has a kind of Midas touch with food, she looks at some salad leaves, some old slightly gross looking cheese and a radish and boom, she’s creates this crazy good Mediterranean salad. We’re very similar when it comes to cooking, we both go into this kind of meditative state, our eyes glaze over, put on some old school funk and soul and that’s it, we’re happy.

What’s your favourite thing to blog about?

Oooh I’m not sure! I love talking about salads, they’re so colourful and contrary to popular opinion, they taste awesome. I love starting with a grain base, and adding a whole random mixture of ingredients on top, and kind of seeing what happens. I’ve been testing out a new winter recipe which involves roasted butternut squash, toasted pine nuts, and homemade pesto, and it is so good. If you’re still stuck in the salad stone age, check out Leon’s ‘Happy Salad’s’ it's a bit of a game changer when it comes to the old salad.

What’s your favourite food?!

I knew this would be a question! Oh god, I don’t know?! That’s a lie, yes I do. I’m obsessed with antipasto. Every Christmas eve, I take charge of the dinner. Last year I made bruschetta, so I toasted the ciabatta in olive oil, salt and pepper until golden brown. On top, I added sliced avocado, semi dried tomato, artichoke, salt and pepper and a balsamic glaze. It was like a taste of Italy in the middle of winter! It remains my favourite recipe, partly because it’s so simple to make and tastes so luxurious.

What is your number one piece of advice when it comes to food?

Season your food! If you are looking for a cheap way to enhance your dishes invest in some herbs and spices. My friend recently introduced me to (as she calls it) ‘seasoning your hummus’. I buy a Sainsbury’s basics pot of hummus and sprinkle over cumin or sumac (a smoky Lebanese spice) and dip in strips of toasted pitta bread or chopped up carrots for a cheap and easy snack.

Do you have any money saving tips when it comes to food?

I hoard food. I don’t allow myself to buy food until I have used pretty much used up everything in my cupboard and fridge. I’m not mad, I don’t eat things that are ten days out of date, but I do think we have got so used to chucking food out when it can be used to make a cheapo and nutritious meal. For example if you’ve got some potatoes and few funny looking vegetables lying around, sautee them in some oil on a medium heat with some herbs and spices (you can even use curry spices if you want to make a curry spiced soup) and after they’ve all softened, blend them with some stock and you’ve got soup that can last you to up to two/three days. I’m also a massive fan of the Tupperware trend, bulk cooking dishes and decanting them into Tupperware boxes makes for a super cheap and tasty meal!

Sneak peek at a soon to be published recipe…

Coconut dhal with mushrooms and homemade Sag aloo

  1. Sautee mushrooms and whatever veg you have lying around in oil with turmeric, salt and pepper and curry powder (if you don’t have turmeric not to worry, just use curry powder). Once fried, add red lentils, a can of coconut milk, half a litre of vegetable stock and leave to simmer for half an hour.

  2. Fry whatever potatoes you’ve got lying around (ooh it would be really good with some sweet potato actually! In some oil, with salt and pepper, turmeric and mustard seeds and a sprinkle of chilli flakes/powder (the turmeric and chilli can be left out but the mustard seeds really make the dish so do try and get your hands on some). Fry off until they’re starting to brown then add some water and cover them for 15-20 minutes (until softened). Once the potatoes are cooked, take the pan off the heat and add some spinach and mix that in so the spinach wilts. Serve it all up with rice, and a Naan bread!

Edited by Nicole Swain