Sunny day and I have just enjoyed a lovely and quite light lunch. I suppose that it is no secret anymore that I adore spinach and try to eat it as often as I possibly can. However, as most Hashimoto sufferers I have to be a tad careful since it may cause the thyroid to act up and that is definitely very bad. A much annoying thing about having an underactive thyroid (and Hashimotos) is that there seem to be one million different advice to be found, and not many are based on scientific evidence and as such it is impossible to know which ones to trust. Therefore I tend to pick and mix the information as I please, I love spinach and I eat it within moderation and most of the time I cook it (it is supposed to decrease the negative effect on the thyroid) instead of eating it raw. I do envy everyone that does not have to think about all these things when cooking and eating, but these are the cards I have been dealt and I have decided that I am going to beat this thing. And by beating it, I mean making my body work with me again instead of against me, and I believe the path to achieve this balance is by healthy and fabulous food.
Sometimes I eat this for breakfast as well as I quite enjoy warm lasting food in the morning. However, as most people know, when you base most part of your meal on vegetables and fruit the calorie numbers remain very low (I still count, since my thyroid isn’t under control yet) and you are free to indulge in food more often during the day and yet never get that ‘heavy’ feeling in your stomach. Saying this I also feel compelled to mention that ‘portion size’ of course need to be within reason no matter what. Because even if this kind of food isn’t calorie dense, the portion size still effects your physical body (stomach size) as well as psychological factors such as behavioural patterns and triggers to ‘over eat’. I believe that finding and remaining within the correct portion-size for yourself, is very much a modern day problem. Many people, including normal weight individuals, have lost much of the ability to recognise genuine feelings of hunger and the notion to stop eating when feeling sated and not full, i.e knowing your portion size.
Anyway, back to this gorgeous lunch of mine! So, I start with washing the fresh spinach (about 110 gram) thoroughly, this is important because even though I shop from a local fruit and vegetable shop that solely deal with local farmers, it is still safe to assume that the veggies I purchase have been handled by quite a few people before it ends up in my kitchen. Additionally, washing raw spinach is also recommended when you are dealing with fresh spinach because I guarantee that there will be a bit of gritty sand and occasionally some happy caterpillars, don’t fret this is a good sign really(!), but you may want to set the little beasties free instead of making them a part of your meal.
After I have washed the spinach I usually chop off the longer stems as I find that they tend to get a bit to stringy and I don’t enjoy that much. Personal preference, really – once that is done, I start frying the spinach and after a couple of minutes I add some fresh chunky chopped cherry tomatoes (about 40 gram). What is not shown in these photos is that I also add some raw broccoli (left over from yesterdays tea, about 60 gram) which have been lightly blended, heated and seasoned with half a lemon, gorgeous! And lastly I added two eggs for some protein, this can of course be exchanged for tofu or any other protein source if you would like to keep the meal vegan instead of vegetarian.
Lastly, the finished product, perhaps not the most lovely looking meal of them all – but to me, this tastes like a little bit of heaven. I love how the raw somewhat ‘harsh’ and fresh taste of the lemony broccoli beautifully complements the much sweeter taste of the cherry tomatoes. I usually add a few raw (cold) tomatoes too as they bring out the flavours even more. I don’t tend to use any additional spices or so for this meal as I like the raw taste, but I am sure that it could be tweaked in many ways. I am by no means a master chef, quite the opposite, I have only just begun my adventures in the kitchen. So feel free to leave a comment below if you have suggestions or ideas.