I once went through a phase where I was obsessed with eating purple things. I think it was some kind of primal defence mechanism to ensure none of my family tried to pinch my food – because, let’s be honest, no respectable parent wants to be seen eating gooey blue-ish grey bubble-gum flavoured ice-cream.
My dearest ones were none the wiser of my little disability until my school nurse called them one day saying my face had ballooned due to eating copious grape-flavoured sweets the day before, and I would not be attending class. But this was nothing compared to when my mum caught me eating worms from the garden.
When I was around 10 or 11, I was completely infatuated with horses and would only listen to punk music. I would saddle up my broom horse and ride around the house listening to Green Day on my Walkman, before proceeding to cut all the hair off my Barbies.
My more recent fixations may be less controversial, but are certainly still unfavourable. I am currently going through a phase where I dye my hair pink and dress only in second-hand clothing that smells like mothballs. I also don’t eat the same food twice in the same day, because that is totally nutritionally superfluous, and I try to start each day with a piece of coconut cake. I am also vehemently straining to master a headstand.
But while I was home over Christmas, my dad actually asked if I was choosing these “most outlandish” affectations in some kind of attention-seeking cry for help.
I am not – but I do admit, it seems that in both a culinary and stylistic sense, I seem to favour things that most people find utterly disgusting – like wearing turtlenecks and eating Japanese wasabi mayonnaise on toast.
It will probably come as no surprise to you that I am also flicking through a bit of a broccoli chapter, whereby I will happily eat bowls of the stuff for breakfast, lunch OR (not and) dinner. I once smuggled a nice container of the green goodness – honey roasted – onto the bus on my way to work and my housemate refused to sit with me because she said I was making the whole bus “smell like a fart.”
But honestly, I don’t want your sympathy. This ability to seek out the seemingly undesirable, is in my opinion, an evolutionary advantage.
While everyone else is fighting to the death over a wildebeest in the forest, I will be nibbling moss off rocks in peace – or at least tucking into this simple wholemeal broccoli pasta.
- 100g dried wholemeal spaghetti, cooked
- 1 head of broccoli, chopped and steamed
- 1 teaspoon sambal oelek (chilli paste)
- Juice of half a lemon + about a heaped teaspoon rind
- 1 garlic clove, grated
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Himalayan pink salt + pepper
- Handful grated parmesan + 1 fried egg (to serve)
- Stir fry broccoli with chili, lemon + rind, garlic and olive oil.
- Add cooked spaghetti and continue to fry. Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover with copious amounts of Parmesan and fried egg before devouring.