HAWMC Day 10: Food, glorious Food!


Welcome to the Health Activist Writer’s Month Challenge brought together by WEGO Health – a social network for all health activists.  Again, I am participating in the annual Writer’s Month Challenge in which I will be writing about my health activism and health condition based upon given prompts.

Friday 10th April: Comfort Food

We’re not all 5 star chefs, but we all need to eat!  Tell your readers how to make your favourite dish.  Does the recipe hold a good memory for you?  Is it the act of cooking itself that brings you joy, or the people that come together to eat it?

Admittedly, because of my condition it is incredibly difficult for me to be able to cook – weakness in the legs and the potential for them to give way with no prior warning therefore makes it dangerous to be able to cook dinner for myself or others.

Consequently, I have to rely on my parents, particularly my lovely Mum to cook dinner in our household.  Not that I don’t do any cooking at all; in fact once a fortnight I help prepare the lasagna.  Usually on a Friday afternoon, ready for Saturday night.  And as the dish is for the next night, it means that I am able to take my time and do the preparation and cooking of the meat sauce in stages, taking breaks when I need them and relying on my perching stool when my legs are trembling badly.

The meat sauce prepared by myself
The meat sauce prepared by myself

After the meat sauce is cooked, my Mum makes the bechamel (white sauce) sauce before assembling all the layers in the dish, letting it rest and placing it in the fridge.  Even just preparing the meat sauce tires me and leaves me feeling weak so in some ways I am glad that I do not have to cook on a regular basis.  I do enjoy the process despite this however, and it makes me feel useful and that I am contributing a little to our household.

I love food, although for some quite time I have been experiencing a lot of nausea and as a result I am not always in the mood, or enthusiastic about mealtimes.  However, by living with parents, I am encouraged to eat even when I don’t want to!

However, the favourite dish that I am going to tell you all how to cook, is one that we first made recently, and is one that is special as it is a meal that my Mum and I cooked together, spending quality time with each other and is also a time that despite experiencing a lot of nausea, it was a meal that I thoroughly enjoyed and felt good after eating.

It is also a meal that is healthy and low in fat and as it is a dish that includes spinach it can help with symptoms including fatigue due to the iron!


Serves 4

300 g linguine (or spaghetti if you prefer)
salt and freshly ground black pepper for seasoning
4 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
1 garlic clove, sliced
150g spinach leaves
400g uncooked prawns, peeled
4 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
grated zest of 1 unwaxed lemon
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered

  1. Cook the pasta in a large saucepan with plenty of boiling salted water until al dente
  2. As the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry the garlic for 1 minute until golden.  Then add the spinach and cook for a further 2 minutes
  3. Add the prawns with the parsley and season with the salt and pepper.  Stir well and continue to cook for a further 2 minutes or until the prawns are pink
  4. Once the pasta is cooked, drain and add to the frying pan with the other ingredients, then lower the heat
  5. Add the lemon zest and cherry tomatoes and stir everything together
  6. Serve and enjoy!




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