Surfer, coeliac, blogger, marine researcher and cookbook author Finn Ní Fhaoláin has teamed up with Camile Thai to develop a gluten-free wild prawn teriyaki stir fry that’s available until the end of November in all Camile Thai restaurants. We caught up with Finn to pick her brains on all things food related and see where she stands on the great clean eating debate.
How did you first get into surfing?
I got a week of surf lessons as a present from my dad, I think he was trying to find a way to occupy a bored teenager during Easter holidays. After the week I was hooked and spent the summer of that year saving for my first board. I’ve been surfing a long time, but my skill certainly doesn’t reflect that. I love all the spots locally around where I live in Donegal. There’s so much choice with different reefs and beaches that there’s usually a good chance of a wave breaking somewhere.
What ingredients could you not live without?
- Coconut oil, for frying, baking and using as a moisturiser
- Tinned coconut milk. I put it in porridge and chia pudding and use it for baking, curries and lots lots more
- Oats for porridge, making bread, making pancakes and as a breading for fish
- Ground almonds to replace oats in baking, to thicken soups, and for making sauces richer, like Italian Romesco or Mexican Mole. And for making almond milk
- Maldon sea salt because life is too short to use crumby table salt.
What’s your favourite five minute meal?
Courgetti topped with smoked salmon and spinach in homemade pesto
Do you believe in clean eating or are you more of an everything in moderation kinda person?
I don’t go in for the idea of clean eating as I feel it sets up a twisted mentality about food. What someone else might consider a dirty food I consider great, I’m thinking about butter here. As my Granddad used to say “moderation in moderation”. I believe that’s a much healthier approach, I eat really healthy the vast majority of the time, but if I want to eat chocolate, I eat chocolate.
What would people be surprised to see in your fridge?
I think people would be more surprised to see what’s in my freezer. My bold and lazy meal is gluten free fish fingers – pollock not cod – buttery peas and homemade potato wedges.
Why did you decide to collaborate with Camile Thai?
Firstly I absolutely love the mentality behind Camile. They’re providing people with a tasty treat but without that idea of guilt, as their dishes are so healthy and thoughtfully put together. I was impressed from the get go by the menu, it’s so refreshing as a coeliac to have so much choice! Plus the staff are such brilliant craic to work with. I’m always talking about how healthy eating should be accessible and easy and advocating making food from scratch with the best ingredients, so for me Camile ticked all these boxes 100%.