Last night I came home and I was starving. Literally on the verge of lunacy. I had taken Glee’na to her rehab swimming (she had knee surgery back in June) and as I was barreling down the highway, I realized that I had somehow forgotten to eat lunch before I left. To do the math, the pool is a 1.5 min drive (round trip), plus an hour swim, so for almost 3 hours, I was flying light. To put this in perspective, generally my tolerance for hunger is maximum 20 minutes. No joke.

I’m one of those people who gets completely bowled-over when I’m famished. I can’t think, I can’t concentrate, my stomach hurts and I feel totally desperate. It’s a very real and emotional experience for me, so I am usually very careful to avoid it and I’m always prepared for when hunger strikes. And no, I’m not diabetic (I’ve been checked). So on my drive, I inhaled my protein bar, but blaspheme!… all it did was throw a driblet to the swine.

So cool, I’m finally home and who do I see awaiting, but my elderly neighbour (she’s the Matriarch of the hood). Now she’s a talker and I’m not in the mood for talking. In fact, I’m not in the mood for anything. All I want to do is get THE F*CK INSIDE and consume. Fortunately, I notice that she is tied into her apron and this means she is in the middle of cooking dinner. Lucky break. She hands me a couple of gossips rags (which she has been saving for me… awww) and off she goes inside to tend to her stove. I’ll catch up with her later, when I’m normal. I really enjoy her company, I do, just not right now.

I went for lunch yesterday (in Victoria) with my friend Nicole and one of the specials was Spaghetti with Italian Sausage and Fresh Fennel. I didn’t end up ordering that, but the idea stuck with me. I have a food sensitivity to fennel, so I didn’t crave that, but I did have two locally made Italian sausages in my fridge. Walking through the door this evening, I was hell-bent on making spaghetti for dinner.

While boiling the water, I liberated the sausage from their casings. I just pushed the meat out the ends into small portions and fried them with red onion and garlic. I added some red pepper and chopped Swiss chard stalks. After that, I poured in a small can of tomatoes and squeezed in a bit of tomato paste. I pitted several kalamata olives and added them to my sauce. Finally, I added chopped Swiss chard (of course, as it goes into pretty much everything) and removed the pan from heat.

For the topping, I shredded a beet and a huge hunk of zucchini (I decided a while ago that raw shredded beets taste good on pasta). To that, I added fresh chopped basil and oregano, and mixed it all together. It’s true that I try to top most of my pasta dishes with a raw, fresh topping like this, as it’s so tasty and healthy. Also, it’s a good way to sneak in raw vegetables, especially if you find it challenging to eat raw foods.  Then, chik chika chika… atop of all of that, a brilliant spot of goat feta and blue cheese.

The moment I had been dying for…