Norwegian foodie Therese Elstad
Nutritionist and food stylist Therese Elstad has a real passion for Nordic food, and the Nordic countries of course. She lives and works in Oslo, Norway, where she is also from, and from there run her food and lifestyle blog “My Nordic Kitchen”.
“I am not for labeling the way I eat- or the way anyone eats. I believe in eating food– good, pure, wholefoods. Balance and moderation is key as is everything else in life. By using natural ingredients, yet delicious and appetizing, it will make you feel more satisfied- and more happy, beautiful and fulfilled.”
When did you first find your interest in food?
I found an interest in food around eight years ago when I wanted to pursue a healthier lifestyle. My passion for food has slowly developed since then. My interest for Nordic- and New Nordic food however, increased after taking my bachelor in nutrition, food and culture from the University of Agder in Norway. A place where we learned a lot about the environment, new Nordic food and seasonal cooking.
How would you describe typical Nordic food?
Nordic cuisine is known to be simple and with only a few ingredients- ingredients from the areas where we live and the lands surrounding us- like the woods, the sea, the mountains and the fjords. A blend between fresh, seasonal and preserved flavors- often put in jars and stored away in a dark pantry somewhere on a farm- only to be enjoyed and devoured throughout the seasons.
Is there anything you eat particularly much of?
Anyone who knows me knows how head over heels I am for porridge- especially oatmeal porridge. I eat it for breakfast every day- and I have been doing that for so many years now. Even the year I spent abroad in Australia.
And is there anything you don´t eat at all?
I usually try and stay rather open minded about food and especially new foods to try out, but I won’t ever understand warm pineapple on pizza!
What are your five must-haves in the kitchen?
Oatmeal, obviously, oat milk, seasoning and spices, good quality oils and eggs! That stuff will basically give you a nutritious meal no matter how low on cash you are!
What's your ideal breakfast?
A good, warming bowl of oatmeal porridge topped with my delicious roasted pecan nut butter and honey!
How do you wish to inspire people?
I hope to reach out internationally and inspire other nations as well as my own to eat healthy with fresh and seasonal produce. Eat locally, more greens and organic meat! I also wish to be a part of the New Nordic Food movement where we aim to put the Nordic region on the food map together with all the other great food nations. I believe we have a lot to offer when it comes to the quality of food here in the North, which we should embrace and use.
Do you have any favorite restaurants?
I should probably say Maaemo or Kontrast, but I haven’t been there! I'm a casual gal who doesn't eat out often- and when I do I prefer down to earth restaurants with a proper amount of food. Smalhans is one of my favorites as they write their weekly menu by hand and serve amazing, Norwegian food we call "husmannskost". Their beef burger with kimchi, aioli and roasted bread is incredible!
Where are your local hangouts?
Smelteverket at Mathallen- Scandinavia’s longest bar! This is where my friends and I have our weekly quiz team. The rest of Grünerløkka is filled with good, local hangouts I like to go to. We're called hipster-Oslo for a reason!
What do you love the most about Norway?
Our seasons and our nature. The raw, unforgiving climate can be beautiful during winter with the northern lights and extraordinary during summer where we experience those late, bright evenings with the midnight sun.
What are your best Norwegian travel tips?
Make the most of it! Norway is quite expensive for many foreigners and I've heard stories of some who have made their own food during the entire trip. There are many things to do on a budget and your meals don’t have to cost you your entire salary.