Having food intolerances to gluten and dairy have made traveling and living in Spain challenging and an adventure in itself. There is bread and cheese everywhere! Bread is served with tapas and dinner and can be found on all menu’s. I’ve indulged on more then one occasion and not just bread and cheese. Foods like ice cream and pastries, gelato and wine. I have felt terrible after as my body works to digest the heavy and rich food.
The traditional breakfast here, is a ham and cheese sandwich on a roll. Always served with butter or olive oil and sometimes, it will come with tomato or a fried egg. The beverage of choice is coffee with milk.
Breakfast is around 10 or 11 am, lunch, the main meal of the day is between 2:00 and 3:00 pm and businesses close during this time followed by Siesta. Pastry shops and cafés open their doors around 5:30 and by 8;30 pm tapas bars begun to get busy. Sometimes, you can find dinner served around 6:00 pm but mostly dinner is served between 9:00pm and 10:00 pm. I’ve eaten late, anywhere from 10:00 pm to 11:30 pm. When eating this late, my stomach really hates me. Then comes the bloat and heavy feeling from eating carbs and cheese. Beware when ordering food in a foreign country, especially when you can’t understand the menu. Last week I thought that I was ordering Green Peppers and instead I ordered Liver and Onions. Yuck!
When I eat out, I try and choose the vegetable option if one is available. The only way that I can maintain my health and feel better is to cook at home. I shop often at the Mercadona which is a supermarket in town. I can find fresh and local vegetables, fruit, fish, and meats. Below is a broccoli, potato, and spinach soup I made recently. It was so good and nourishing. The recipe is below.
1/2 Onion chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 head of broccoli
1 cup of spinach
1 tsp chives
3 red or yellow potatoes
Chicken broth or water
- Chop all vegetables
- Heat olive oil, or oil of choice in a medium pot
- Finely chop herbs and set aside
- When oil is warm, add in the onion, carrots, and celery and sprinkle in a bit of salt
- Let this saute for a few minutes and then add in your garlic.
- When vegetables become translucent, throw in the broccoli and potatoes
- Cover vegetables with chicken broth and bring to a boil
- Turn heat down to low and simmer until the potatoes become soft
- Lastly, added in the chopped spinach until it begins to wilt and add in your herbs
- Remove from heat and blend with an immersion blender
- Serve with gluten free toast or crackers
Experiment with what herbs you like. I’ve found rosemary to be too over powering and sometimes I add a pinch of thyme.
If you don’t have an immersion blender, wait for the soup to cool and add it to a blender or food processor to mix, reheat and serve.
If you can tolerate dairy, I think adding in a bit of yogurt as a garnish before serving would be tasty.