Eun Jeong has always had these bouts of weakness, especially in the past couple of years. We had researched it before, and I had come to the conclusion that she had iron poor blood. Her temperature has been fluctuating, mostly on the cold side, since she got pregnant. Some research online, and all signs repeatedly pointed to anemia. Iron poor blood.

Well, I had had enough. I’m going to kick this thing once and for all. I made a list of iron rich foods and talked to EJ about them. I then hit the local market this morning and bought items for her lunch. I made enough for both of us, and even though it all was totally vegan, it was all tasty and filled me for the rest of the day.

First, I made a chilled pasta with fresh spinach for iron and fresh tomatoes for vitamin C, which helps iron absorption. I started by heating some garlic in a lot of olive oil. When the garlic started to sizzle, I turned off the heat and let them steep. After a few minutes, I turned the heat back on and added the spinach, then the tomatoes. Seasoned. A dash of balsamic. Turned off the heat. I prepped the pasta and ran it under cold water when it was done. I tossed it all together and chilled it in the refrigerator.

Next I made a stir-fried broccoli with green and red peppers. Heated some vegetable oil in a very hot pan. Threw in some garlic, then peppers then broccoli. Stir-fried it very quickly. I then finished it with a mixture of oyster sauce and mirin.

While all this was going, I had some eggplants roasting in the oven. When they were soft, I split them and removed the skins. In the mini food processor attachment of my stick blender, I combined the eggplants with fresh lemon juice, salt and lots of olive oil. Blended it into a paste and served it with cucumbers and saltines as a snack.

For another snack, I made a little baggie of raisins and dried bananas. Dried fruit has good iron, as do bananas. So I may have hit a double punch there.

I packed everything in the lunchbox that EJ had usually used for me.

EJ said she enjoyed the lunch. She unfortunately ate the pasta late in the afternoon, and it had turned soggy. But she did get to have some earlier when it was good. I brought the leftovers to work, and man, it was good. Gotta do that again.

I’ve also gotten hooked on egg burritos. I suck at frying eggs, but I’m good at scrambling them. I made them very custardy. Just cook them with some onions, garlic and jalapenos, pack them in tortillas and top with pineapple salsa—it’s a simple treat that also is fairly healthy.

I’m feeling so much better, too.

I did break my meat-free days tonight with a nice cheeseburger and a couple Alley Kat draft beers at the new pub next to Jen Flinn’s place. We were both meeting a friend in town to show him around north Seoul. My feet are a little blistered.

Spring weather is finally showing its timid self. I can tell it’s trying to hold off the claws of winter and the aggressive punches of summer.

Don't make mistakes other travelers have made!

Get regular emails with insider tips on how to maximize your visit to Korea. Sign up now!

Tour Tips Newsletter

You have Successfully Subscribed!