Iron [Wo]Man

24 Feb

I donated blood several weeks ago after a two year hiatus. But my low iron levels just barely made the cut. Though the nurse strongly discouraged me from returning in the near future (and she must have meant it too, considering I have a rare blood type, O negative!), I fully intend to return soon, and with restored iron levels. How? By eating iron-rich foods, of course. A quick google search yielded some foods I can happily stomach: red meat, dried fruit, green, leafy vegetables. But it also yielded some “only if I am forced to give blood because I am the last O negative donor on the Earth and all other iron-rich foods have been wiped out will I eat this” options: chicken giblets, mollusks, lentils, liver…nothing that screams, or even whispers, “delectable.”

Well, thank goodness for the palatable items on the list! For the time being, I’m exploring the green, leafy vegetable subcategory, starting with the Popeye classic: spinach. That’s right – I ate spinach every single day last week! And it was delicious, really, in the context of my low calorie version of warm spinach salad. See for yourself:

WARM SPINACH SALAD (Makes 3 Servings)


– 6 cups raw spinach

– Egg whites from 4 hardboiled eggs, sliced

– 1/2 red onion, sliced

– 9 white mushrooms, sliced

– 2 pieces turkey bacon, cooked in microwave and crumbled.

Toss the salad ingredients together.


– 1/4 cup sugar

– 2 Tbs. vegetable oil

– 2 Tbs. water

– 2 Tbs. ketchup

– 1 Tbs. Worcestershire sauce

– 2 Tbs. red wine vinegar

Combine salad dressing ingredients. Warm in microwave and stir vigorously before serving.

CALORIES (per serving of salad + 3 Tbs. dressing): 200

On a more serious note: every 2 seconds someone in the U.S. needs blood. That’s enough to make me regret my blood-donating hiatus, and to encourage any borderline anemics out there to join me in boosting our iron levels!! Have a better way to do so than my recipe? Tweak it!

One Response to “Iron [Wo]Man”

  1. katie February 25, 2012 at 3:50 pm #

    dear heather,

    as a fellow anemic, i think i will be making some of this salad for my next week noshing. it reminds me of holiday meals back at my parents house. *nostalgia*

    thank you for this,

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