This blog is a way of sharing the information and resources that have helped me to recover my son Roo from an Autism Spectrum Disorder. What I have learned is to view our symptoms as the results of underlying biological cause, which can be identified and healed. I say "our symptoms" because I also have a neuro-immune disorder called Myalgic Encephalomyelitis.

And, of course, I am not a doctor (although I have been known to impersonate one while doing imaginative play with my son)- this is just our story and information that has been helpful or interesting to us. I hope it is helpful and interesting to you!

Saturday, December 8, 2018

Simple Vegetable Sides and Salads

Below are some simple recipes and techniques for coking vegetables.

Baked potatoes- are done when the internal temp reaches 205 degrees.

Spaghetti squash- Cook by cutting the squash in half, placing it cut side down on a rimmed baking sheet, and baking for 45-50 minutes at 350 degrees.  Alternatively it can be baked whole, just prick the skin with a fork.  The squash is done when it is tender and a fork goes into the flesh easily.  Scoop out the seeds and stringy parts that are with them.  The remaining "noodles" can be scooped out onto a plate or eaten out of the shell.

Oven Roasted Veggies- Preheat the oven to 500 degrees, move the oven rack to the bottom 1/3 of the oven, and put the pan into it to preheat as well.  Cut a variety of root vegetables such as potatoes, parsnips, carrots, beets, and radishes Into chunks all roughly the same size.  Drizzle them with olive oil (and other things as well, such as balsamic vinegar) and salt and pepper.  Spread them out in one layer on the preheated pan leaving space between them (if they are too crowded they will steam and not be crispy).  Bake 20 to 25 minutes.

Oven Roasted Onions-  Bake whole onions in their skins in an oven according to the equivalent time and temperature for a potato of the same size.  

Fall Rice Pilaf- Cook 1 cup of a mix of brown and wild rice in broth (turkey or chicken works well).  Saute 1 sliced large leek, several diced ribs of celery, about 1/3 cup of diced parsnip, about a 1/4 cup of dried cranberries, a generous amount of rubbed sage, and chopped chestnuts if you can eat them.  Let cook for 5 to 10 minutes to allow the flavors to meld.

Russian Tomato Salad- In a medium bowl, combine 1 thinly-sliced sweet onion, 2 to 3 chopped large tomatoes, sour cream or yogurt, salt and pepper to taste, and chopped dill if you want.  

Cole Slaw Variations- for the base, finely slice or shred (or spiralize) a combination of cabbage (green, red, or napa all work well), carrot, beet, radish or daikon radish, other greens such as parilla leaves or tender collard leaves, jicama, or other vegetables.  Add additional thinly sliced veggies such as red onion, shallot, celery, cucumber, bell pepper, or spicy peppers such as jalepeno.  Depending on the flavors you are working with here or some ideas for additional things to add- toasted seeds (such as sesame, sunflower, pumpkin, or poppy), toasted shredded coconut, chopped or sliced fruit (such as apple, pineapple, mango, or pomegranate jewels), fresh herbs (such as cilantro, dill, chives, parsley, basil, Thai basil, or mint), green onion, lemon or lime zest, olives, green chiles, mung bean sprouts (or other sprouts such as broccoli or radish), chopped dried fruit (such as raisins, golden raisins, dates, or currants), or dried seaweed.  Dress with either mayonnaise based dressing or oil and vinegar dressing with any of the following- chile paste, toasted sesame oil, miso paste (can get soy-free), pomegranate molasses, adobo, lemon or lime juice, smoked salt and/or smoked peppercorns, umeboshi paste, fish sauce, maple syrup, grated palm sugar, balsamic vinegar, seasoned rice vinegar, tahini, mustard, wasabi, turmeric (fresh or powdered), ginger (grated or juice), minced garlic, tomato paste, Thai curry paste, harissa sauce, or other dried spices.

French Potato and Green Bean Salad- (with Salad Nicoise variations)
Combine cooked new potatoes and green beans (cut into bite size pieces) in a salad bowl and dress with a caesar or anchovy dressing.  Sprinkle on chopped fresh herbs such as chives, parsley, dill, thyme, and basil.  To make it more of a salad nicoise, you can serve the salad with any of the following; salad greens (such as arugula or spinach), sliced hard-boiled eggs or hard boiled quail eggs, anchovy fillets, olives, baby artichokes, tomato wedges, lemon wedges, or cooked fish such as tuna or smoked salmon.  Sandwich variations- tuna salad, egg salad, or potato salad can be made by making as you would with basic mayonnaise dressing and then include ingredients from above such as chopped olives, anchovies, or green beans.