Fear not folks, my profound ramblings about my rock star life disguised as a running blog are not about to veer off into the culinary realm. I might start to post the occasional recipe because I want to seem like a grown-up lady, but I solemnly promise not to attempt to metamorphose into a food blogger. Although I eat food regularly, sometimes even six times a day, and I’ve even been known to write articles about it, I’m not going to pretend to know what the hell to do with it.
I like food. It tastes nice (sometimes), and I enjoy the sense of occasion associated with eating. I love lolling over dinner in dimly lit restaurants, slugging red wine and casting provocative eyes at my beloved (although that’s quite tricky in our local strip-lit Chinese). But if left to my own devices, I confess I will happily eat Tescos 24p bean soup, pitta bread and hummus, every single day. I’ve been known to survive off this very same meal contentedly every night for months. Sometimes I jazz it up with a raw carrot, but only on special occasions. This is not a sadistic weight-loss initiative; it’s because I’m lazy and joyless.
If the scientists invented a robot that could press a button and inject bean soup and hummus straight into my veins so I didn’t have to bother heating it up, I’d opt in. I’m not sure why I’m such a killjoy. I was raised on delicious vegetarian whole food by my mum and had a healthy attitude to eating as a kid. But when I’m on my own I really couldn’t give a toss about cooking. I’d rather stare at a wall than prepare a tasty feast for one. Conversely, give me some mouths to feed and I love nothing more than cooking up a (meat-free) storm in the kitchen. I will merrily spend hours baking pie, roasting vegetables, and concocting obscure frittata parodies, but only if there’s someone there to feed it to. Otherwise it’s ding dinners all the way. (Microwave. Ding!)
So anyway, since my recent exile to the Scottish wilderness, as I now share my life with a red-blooded male, I’ve taken up cooking again. Although he’s a big braw tattooed Scotsman who looks like he eats his meat straight off the bone, Ultraboy is for the most part vegetarian, which makes life a fuck of a lot easier. Any veggie who’s ever dated a hardcore carnivore will know that despite your best efforts, your relationship is doomed. If you favour plant-based food, you just can’t share your life with a man who considers meat and two meat a staple diet and refuses to accept any form of vegetable as a viable alternative. You’ll only succeed if you’re rich enough to employ two chefs and own a Smeg fridge big enough to fit all the opposing food in (I always wanted a red Smeg fridge).
Despite routinely pushing his body to its limits, Ultraboy thrives on a predominantly plant-based diet and makes really good curry and all sorts of cool strange things to do with celeriac. (A weird alien-like root vegetable that tastes a bit like parsnip, which for some reason unbeknownst to me Ultraboy is singularly obsessed with). So we share cooking and take it in turns to make big sexy meals for each other that we usually devour in front of True Blood, Walking Dead, or Falling Skies. Basically stick me in front of anything gruesome featuring supernatural beasts feasting on each other’s brains and I’m happy. This is probably weird behaviour for a vegetarian. Don’t judge me.
As we’re the proud parents of 10 eccentric fluffy chickens, you’d think more of our meals would involve eggs, but the ladies have been off the lay of late. Aside from the odd Chinese, all of our banquets are based on beans, pulses and happy green vegetables. (Except for when Ultraboy’s out of town that is. Then it’s cheap soup and bumper-sized hummus all the way baby). Not because we’re compulsive dieters. We both just prefer whole food. I was raised that way and Ultraboy swears by it for fuelling him up mountains. I’d secretly love to be whippet thin, but God built me this way and she knew what she was doing in the design room. I eat well and exercise shit loads and I still have a big round bum, so who am I to argue? In order to shave inches off that booty I’d need to live off air and then I’d be a grumpy bitch.
There is one exception to our healthy eating regime, and it comes in the form of what I like to call ‘stress baking’. Since moving to the country, when the pressure rises, in true farmer’s wife fashion I’ve started taking to the kitchen to ease the tension. Weirdly, if I’m in a hellabitch mood, a good hour of baking makes me feel infinitely better. Pretending to be Nigella by licking raw ingredients off my fingertips provocatively adds to the enjoyment. The woman is the essence of sexual Zen.
The problem with stress baking is the stress eating associated with all the sugary goods you’ve just produced. So to save my ass from getting any bigger (I get fat just sniffing muffins) I’ve been experimenting with healthy cakes. This is secretly bollocks, there’s no such thing as healthy cakes and anyone who says so is lying. But sprinkle a bit of hippy shit in your cake mix and it mysteriously removes all the guilt. So without further ado, I would like to introduce my first ‘healthy’ recipe to you…
Stick badass on the end of anything and it implies it will make you run like a wild cat. It really won’t. But the addition of flaxseed will make your eyes bright and your blood flow like a horny vampire. Honest.
2 large or 3 medium very ripe bananas that have been festering in your handbag/fruit bowl all week.
4oz Demerara sugar.
6oz self raising flour.
2 chicken eggs or one duck egg (sounds creepy, but duck eggs are creamy and fun).
2oz milled flaxseed (available in all good hairy hippy supermarkets).
2 handfuls of crushed nuts.
1 handful of mixed dried fruit.
Heat the oven to gas mark 4; 180C.
Grease a loaf tin.
Mash the bananas until they’re sort of mushy but still chunky.
Cream the butter and sugar together and mix in the eggs.
Mix in the bananas. Add the flour, oats and flaxseed, followed by nuts, fruit and anything else vaguely healthy looking lying around the kitchen.
Scrape into the loaf tin and bake for 40 minutes. Then lower the temperature to gas mark 2; 150C and cook for a further 30 minutes.
Eat hot or cold with big mugs of tea and experience an unparalleled running Zen that’ll make you praise the day you stumbled across my blog.
Please note: If your Banana Badass tastes disgusting, makes you ill, or provokes vampiric urges, The House of Rhalou accepts no responsibility.