Low-Carb Spinach Protein Bread: A Tribute to Clyde


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This low-carb and low-fat recipe is a tribute to Clyde, my sweet old childhood friend. I made it as a tribute to him because he too loved spinach and because his hue was just as green as this bread was. Let me tell you about him; let me tell you about Clyde:

Clyde was my first pet. He was a Chilean iguana – and I loved him dearly. We got him when I was in second grade and we were living in Santiago, Chile. I had never had a pet before, not one I could actually call mine and keep in my room (we did have a dog once, a Weimaraner called Linda but she was a family dog and we didn’t really get along – she bit my foot once and I remember crying a lot).

Anyways, Clyde was a dear. He lived in a heated terrarium next to my bed and every day I fed him carrots, spinach, and lettuce.

On the other side of my bed I had a ‘secreter.’ You know, a desk that opened and closed. It looked a bit like this.

Every evening, I’d open my secreter, take Clyde out of his terrarium, close my door (so Clyde wouldn’t escape), and do my homework while Clyde climbed up and down the curtains, ran around on the floor, and eventually landed on my head. I don’t know why he liked to sit on my head so much but he did. It’s one of my fondest memories when I was a kid: just sitting there – with my homework on the ‘secreter’ and Clyde on my head.

I was six when we moved to Chile and as soon as I got there I knew one day we’d have to leave. My parents made this very clear to me.

“It could be two years or it could be six,” dad said.

And I kind of understood that but at the same time… I didn’t know. I mean, I KNEW we would leave but I spent my days as if we never would. As a kid you kind of have to, I think. Because how else can you grow if you never throw down any roots?

Plus, I think kids have a different way of seeing time. At least I did. A year was eternal. I remember writing 1992 on my notepads for what seemed like a lifetime!

Back to Clyde though. I got Clyde in 1995 and I watched him grow into quite a handsome devil. He went through a lot of skins! And I loved him profoundly.

He was born with his mouth ‘set’ into a smile. You know, because iguanas can’t really move their mouth – the shape or their mouths is just ‘set’ at birth. And my Clyde’s mouth was always smiling. He was the nicest color green too, almost bright green! This meant I could spot him really quickly, even when he ‘hid’ in my closet between my clothes during his ‘outings’.

As you can probably imagine though, my relationship with Clyde came to an end. It was 1998 and the time had come for us to leave Chile. We were moving to Chicago and I remember thinking my GOD! What am I going to DO in Chicago!? My imaginary of Chicago – and the US in general – was full of bubblegum and ‘exotic’ candy (because that’s what the kids who went to the US on holiday brought back with them), The Backstreet Boys, high-school locker rooms packed full of ‘cool kids,’ and a whole lot of fries and burgers. I honestly don’t remember envisioning anything else.

I was fourteen at the time and that’s when I experienced my first heart-break. Because I couldn’t take Clyde with me. I never thought I would to be honest. I knew from the beginning one day I’d have to let him go. But I never really faced that fact and when the movers had taken all our stuff and my room lay empty, I remember looking at Clyde and thinking, “this is it, buddy… this is goodbye.”

On a Sunday morning, a few days before we were set to go, a friend of mine came to my house to pick up Clyde. He also had an iguana so I felt Clyde would at least be in good hands. I handed him over, chatted with my friend, he left, I shut the door, and I cried… a little (I was never one of these over-dramatic crying-my-head-off-while-screaming kids. Well… not when I was a teenager at least).

In the years that followed, from 1998 to 2003 when I visited Chile again, my friend and I exchanged a lot of letters. I’d always ask about Clyde and he always wrote to say he was fine, he was fine, he was fine… until I got a strange letter that said he’d given Clyde to a zoo.

Now, looking back on this I’m pretty sure it was either a lie or a wacked-out shorthand for Death. But back then I believed him and this fact laid my worries at ease. I thought it was wonderful. Clyde  at a zoo! He would get so much attention, so many new iguana friends!

In 2003 I visited Chile again. A LOT had happened since (as you can imagine given our pretty extreme relocation) and I was eager to see all my friends. Everyone looked so ridiculously different. Their voices had changed, their bodies had changed, and my school suddenly seemed so… small. The second day I was in Santiago I saw the friend I’d given my iguana to and I asked him how Clyde was, how the zoo was treating him and all. And you know what he said to me? He said, “huh? the zoo?”

Unbelievable. To this day I don’t know what happened to Clyde. Did he run away? Did he go kaput? I didn’t ask my friend what happened (though maybe I should quote unquote the word friend there because what the hell, right?) Or, if I did, I don’t remember his answer. It was a long time ago.

But, to this day, I remember Clyde dearly. And this recipe is a tribute to him, my sweet old Clyde. Wherever you went… wherever you might be.

Ingredients:

2.5 cups fresh green spinach
3/4 cups liquid egg whites
3/8 cups pea protein powder

Directions:

1. Blend all ingredients together and fry the mix up on a nonstick pan further non-sticked with some coconut oil, low-cal spray or PAM.

2. Fry the mix up as four fat pancakes. You can make them round or, if you want them more ‘bread-like’, give them a square shape.

3. Make sure that, as soon as your batter hits the pan, you turn the heat down to medium. That’s because you want to ensure the pancakes cook though.

4. Once they’re done on one side, flip them to cook the other side.

5. Then, fill them up with whatever you want! Here, I filled mine up with some smoked mackerel and a bit of mayo but lots of things work. Turkey and avocado, for example, are fantastic! As is plain old tuna or even some roast beef ;-)

Macros per pancake (out of 4):

77kcals
15g protein
1g carbs (which is pretty much all fiber)
1g fat

To turn the pancakes into a sandwich, you’ll need to use two of them so, per sandwich, 154kcals, 30g protein, 2g carbs and 2g fat!

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