This was one of the first meals I made after I was allowed to eat again coming out of the hospital.
A few weeks ago, I got a bad case of Salmonella poisoning. It started as just chills and achiness all over when I woke up on Sunday morning. I thought it was just Lyme disease hitting because sometimes that happens when the temperature drops, I get achy muscles and it hurts. But this was far worse pain than the usual symptoms. I pushed through it, until I took a mid day nap and knew I must be sick (I hate naps in the middle of the day!). So I drank some green juice and went home to sleep some more. I only had chills, body pain, and gargling down there with a little bit of nausea, no cough or sore throat. That night I had a mild fever, and the next day it jumped to 102.6. Mind you, my normal body temperature after getting Lyme disease has hovered around 96.5-97.5, not a normal 98.6F like it once was. I’ve even seen it get as low as 95.5F, so it runs low. Anyways, I continued sleeping and lost my appetite. That night my aunt pushed me to do a garlic enema to bring the fever down. Well it did bring it down 1F, but it also, for lack of a better term, ‘opened the flood gates’ with my bowels, which were not moving previous to this. The next morning I was stuck on the toilet from 7am-12pm until I finally took 3 anti-diahreal medicines and slept again. I woke up with a 103.8 fever, and started to get scared. I told my husband and mother, and they both left work and came down to see me. My husband brought me to urgent care, and they confirmed that I did not have the flu, but guessed that it could be Lyme disease again. I went back home, slept under the covers (mind you it was 70F out, and I was freezing), and woke up again with a 104.5 fever (I don’t have a picture of that one because I was freaking out). I was done. I took a Tylenol for the first time in 7 years, and we rushed to the hospital.
They brought me straight into the ER and ran all sorts of tests on me, blood tests, EKGs (especially after they saw my HR at 140 bpm), chest X-rays, urine and stool samples, as well as a cat scan. Finally they found out my entire large intestine was very inflamed, and that I had a severe bacterial infection. So I was admitted and stayed in the hospital with IV fluids and antibiotics for days, half of the time exhausted in bed, the other half the time exhausted on the toilet. Then the stool culture came back and confirmed it was Salmonella poisoning. I’m not sure how though! Perhaps from the raw spinach I ate that week, or eggs or from feeding my pet snake. All I know was it was miserable! I had 0 appetite for the first time in many many years. I did not want to eat anything, or even drink. But as the bowel movements slowed thanks to the antibiotics, my appetite came back bit by bit, and by the 5th day I was released from the hospital with no more fever and a bland low oil low fiber 2 week diet regiment. I was weak, but very happy to be back in my own home, with my dog and out in nature and fresh air. I was very grateful that my family could be with me during that time, and for the flowers my aunts and Tim’s parents got me 🙂
So now that that is out in the open, back to the food. This is a really great and easy recipe, thanks to my Aunty Pia for providing it! It is a great way to get in some veggies but also enjoying a mac and cheese type of dish. It is creamy and thick, and very tasty too. I also enjoy adding nutritional yeast when I can do a meal, because 1 Tbsp provides enough Vitamin Bs for the entire day. And I decided to try some new pasta this time, so this dish is featuring gluten free buckwheat pasta, that is why it is dark greenish instead of normal off white looking. Still just as good though! I topped this dish with roasted spiced chickpea for added crunch, totally optional! But added roasted nuts would be a good addition too.
Cheesy Broccoli Pasta SaucePrint Recipe
- BROCCOLI CHEESE SAUCE:
- 1 Head - Broccoli
- 1 Can - Coconut Milk
- 1.5 Cups - Water
- 3 Tbsp - Nutritional Yeast
- 1 Tbsp - Vegan Butter
- 1/2 Package - Daiya/Vegan Cheese Slices (your choice of cheese/flavor)
- 6-8oz - Cashew or Almond Nut Cheese
- Sea Salt and Black Pepper to taste
- Pasta of your choice
Wash your broccoli, cut the stems off and cut the head into smaller pieces.
Fill a pot with about 2" high of water, and place a pasta strainer inside (be careful not to let the bottom of it touch your water). Add your broccoli and bring to a boil. Cover and let steam until the broccoli is tender to a forks touch, maybe about 20 minutes or so (make sure your water does not completely dry up or you could damage your pot).
Once the broccoli is soft, drain and transfer to your Vitamix or high powered blender and add the coconut milk and water. Blend everything together on high until it is all liquid and no chunks are remaining.
Transfer everything to a small pot and add the remaining cheese sauce ingredients. Cook on medium and continue stirring for 10-15 minutes or until everything has melted together into a creamy sauce. It might appear too liquidy at the end, but don't worry, it will thicken as it cools down.
While the sauce is cooking together, start following the instructions on your pasta box and begin cooking your pasta separately.
Once your sauce and your pasta have finished cooking, combine the two on a plate and enjoy while warm.