When we first started biomed, I altered Martin’s diet to remove grains, fruits (except avocado and limited tomato), starchy vegetables, dairy, soy, corn, refined sugar (actually, at that time, almost all sugar), and additives. Like any biomed newbie, I had my moment of standing in a Whole Foods Market trying not to cry because I couldn’t find anything my son could eat. I muddled though with elaborate concoctions. Dehydrated flax-seed crackers. Green purée. Spinach pie. When Martin started eating meat, chicken-and-egg bread.
With hindsight I realize that feeding Martin felt so complicated because I was trapped by my prior notions of diet. How could I replace bread to make his sandwiches? What crackers would he use for snacks? Pizza? Pancakes? How could I create a mini-gourmand with few of the ingredients associated with gourmet cooking? Could I invite friends over and offer them a dish of flax seeds?
Labor Day weekend we had three houseguests: my father, my niece (Martin’s buddy, Mandy), and my mother-in-law. In addition, we entertained friends for lunch on Saturday afternoon and Sunday afternoon. In our early biomed days, this might have created a meltdown scenario. (Mine, not Martin’s.) Not so today. Not so with my new mentality: simple meals, few ingredients of high quality.
Saturday morning, Adrian took Martin and Mandy to the gym so that I could prepare. On the counter I had two bags of baby Brussels sprouts; teardrop tomatoes, basil, and two cucumbers from my patio garden; avocados; red onions; garlic; an orange; and three pounds of potatoes. (I don’t do much with potatoes, usually. Organic potatoes are a once-in-a-while treat that Martin loves.)
The Brussels sprouts I washed and trimmed, then stirred with olive oil and ginger-orange salt and placed in a glass pan. The potatoes I washed and quartered, then stirred with olive oil and rosemary salt and placed in a glass pan. Side dishes—done except for baking.
Next I halved the teardrop tomatoes, sliced one cucumber and the basil thinly, and combined them with red onions, olives, capers, fresh lemon juice, crushed garlic, and olive oil. Salad—done.
Before our friends arrived, I made guacamole, which I set on the patio table next to a tray of raw vegetables. I also filled a dish with peanuts (no peanut allergies present that day). Snacks—done. I also sliced an orange and the other cucumber and put them in a glass jug with filtered water and lots of ice. Non-alcoholic beverage—done. Then I turned on the oven and set the Brussels sprouts and potatoes to bake.
Later, while guests were present, I brushed a large piece of salmon with olive oil, then added salt and capers. Main course for non-vegetarians—ready to grill.
The day before I had prepared a quinoa chocolate cake. To compliment the cake, I put coconut milk, vanilla extract, a dash of sea salt, and coconut crystals into my ice cream maker and set it to churn. When the ice cream was almost firm, I added fresh raspberries. Dessert—done.
That was the food I served: peanuts, and veggies with guac; grilled salmon, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, and tomato salad; cake and ice cream.
Everything was homemade and permissible for Martin to eat. Apart from the cake, preparing the entire afternoon’s menu took about 90 minutes. If our Saturday guests realized they were eating “recovery” food, they made no mention.
For our Sunday guests, the main course comprised burgers and vegetable burgers (no buns), sweet potatoes with coconut oil and cinnamon, garlic green beans, and more salad (the garden won’t quit).
When the time is right, I still enjoy making more complicated dishes; yesterday for dinner I fashioned “nutty patties” out of cashews, walnuts, tahini, onion, parsley, flax seeds (in a yummy way, seriously), and spices. But I’ve realized that life is easier when most meals comprise few ingredients simply prepared. I don’t need “replacements” for bread, crackers, pretzels, and other processed foods. No one misses them, anyway.