I think it’s about time that I confess one of my biggest food secrets. Here it goes:- “I was once a fussy eater”. A few years ago I would be your worst nightmare of a houseguest! Seriously over the years I’m not sure how some people have put up with me. One of my lowest food points was when I was at a sleepover at 8 years old. For my friends birthday she had about 7 girls from my class around to stay the night. It was all going so well… until breakfast. This is where it all went wrong. Now before I go into the details of the breakfast disaster please let me remind you I was 8 years old and correct dinner etiquette was not on my radar. Obviously if this happened now I would never behave like this, but I feel it’s important I tell you this story for you to understand just how bad I was at one point.
So breakfast… we all sat down to a lovingly cooked breakfast of Bacon sandwiches with lovely fresh bread. 1st issue I don’t like bacon. As an alternative my lovely host bent over backwards to offer me a sausage sandwich, eggs on toast, an omelette or a full breakfast. Cue problem 2 and 3. I also don’t eat sausages and at the time hated eggs (Don’t even get me started on the full English, mushrooms, grilled tomato, hashbrowns, yuch!).
Finally we settled on beans on toast. They came… I hated it, the beans were not the make I was used to and I didn’t like the taste, and that breakfast got fed to the dogs. Next we tried cereal, I know what you’re thinking this is full proof, who doesn’t like cereal? I did like the cereal… but I didn’t like the milk, and by the time I realised it had already been put on my cereal. Farm-house fresh milk to 8 year old me was simply disgusting! (And I’d just used the last of the cereal so I couldn’t even eat a bowl of dry cereal).
Now 10 points for anyone who has been keeping track and can tell me how many breakfasts I’d been through this point? Extra bonus points available for anyone who can guess what my final breakfast was (Seriously if you guess correctly you get 50 bonus points).
My final breakfast of the morning… pasta. That’s right a bowl of plain pasta. That was the only other thing I liked. So at 9 o’clock in the morning and over half an hour after everyone else had finished breakfast I sat down to a bowl of dry pasta. And just to make this story even more embarrassing I ate about 4 bites before deciding I was too full and went outside to play with everyone else.
This was officially the ‘rock bottom’ of being a picky eater. But here is where I intervene in this story to tell you just how far I’ve come since this day! Especially in the last couple of years. And I know what you’re thinking, most people grow out of being fussy eaters as children but I remained a fussy eater until I was 23 (Even now I am fussy, but now I’m fussy about only eating healthy food as opposed to just not liking anything).
Here is a list of everything I have trained myself to like (and some I now LOVE!) since I started clean eating (all of which were an absolute NO go before):-
- Sweet Potato
- Soy Sauce
- Green Tea
- Almond milk
- Pak Choi
- Butternut Squash
- Brown Rice
- Cold Beef (Before it could only be eaten warm and with gravy)
- Plain tuna (before it had to have mayonnaise)
- Pumpkin Seeds
- Sea bass
(I know what you’re thinking – what the hell did I eat before?)
The foods which still need to be conquered are:-
- Mushrooms (although slowly getting there)
- Lemon grass
My point is, it is important to try new foods, and it is possible to ‘train’ yourself to like foods (It took me 3 months of persevering with green tea, and now I love my 2 cups a day). If you are a fussy eater, life doesn’t always need to be this way! Start small, add 2 broccoli florets to your usual veg, add ½ a teaspoon of ginger to a recipe instead of a whole one, of try cooking eggs different ways until you find a way you like. What ever your food fussiness is, try and battle it. The more you eat it the more you’ll learn to enjoy it.
A year ago, this stir-fry recipe would have been a no-go for me. It includes broccoli, ginger, soy sauce, and scallions all of which were on my non-edible list. Now I LOVE this stir-fry. It’s my go to on any evening where I only have about 20 minutes to cook a meal. From taking the ingredients out the fridge to sitting down and eating it takes about 25 minutes.
It also contains some brilliant ingredients. Ginger is a super spice, it’s a proven anti-inflammatory, can reduce muscle pain, can treat indigestion or nausea, and for all the females out there can even help with menstrual pain. Sesame seeds are a good source of copper, which is important in keeping nerve cells healthy. Sugar snap peas a high in vitamin C which helps protect cells.
So all-round this is a pretty impressive dish, and it tastes good too. It has a real kick of warmth to it, but all the veg makes it really refreshing which means it’s enjoyable all year round.
One last message to all my fussy friends out there – Be Brave! Try new foods, try new ways of cooking, add a little bit at a time and be patient. There are so many incredible foods out there and if you don’t even give them a go then you are missing out. This stir-fry is a very good place to start. You can adapt it to suit you, as long as you follow the steps you can pretty much add what every you like (or are learning to like)!
Good Luck and Happy Cooking!
Serves: 2 Time: 25 minutes Difficulty: Easy
- 1 tsp of coconut oil
- 2 Chicken Breasts (Chopped)
- 1 Red onion (Diced)
- 3 Cloves of Garlic (Crushed)
- 1 tsp of Fresh Ginger (Grated)
- 1 Chilli (Chopped)(this may be a bit hot for some peoples taste so if you don’t like your food hot add only half a chilli or deseed it)
- 300g of stir fry veg*
- 2 tbsp of Sesame seeds
- 2 tbsp of Soy Sauce
- 50g of Whole Wheat Noodles or Soba Noodles
*You can pick up fresh stir-fry veg packs in most supermarkets, which is a brilliant choice for busy people. It also gives you an opportunity to have a different variety of vegetables every time. You can also buy all the veg separately. Some of my favourite stir-fry vegetables include; baby corn, sugar snap peas, scallions, broccoli, carrots, pak choi, bell peppers & Spinach.
- Heat the olive oil in a large, deep frying pan (or ideally a wok if you have one)
- Place the red onion and chicken in the pan and cook until chicken is just cooked through
- Add the chilli, garlic and ginger. Stir and cook for a further minute.
- Cook the noodles in boiling water as instructed on the packaging (usually 3-4 minutes in boiling water)
- Add the veg to the chicken and onion mixture and cook for around 4 minutes, stirring frequently until the chicken starts to turn golden.
- Add the sesame seeds and soy sauce and cook for a further minute stirring the mixture frequently.
- Finally stir in the cooked noodles and ensure they are coated in the soy sauce and sesame seeds before serving.