ASD Recovery Recipe: Mustard Mushroom Boats

“Mustard Mushroom.” Say that ten times, fast.

Let me begin with full disclosure: Martin ate these mushrooms begrudgingly, and did not like them. C’est la vie. Mushrooms seem to have some beneficial effects for ASD kids. (Again this year, Autism One has a seminar on the topic.) Unfortunately, Martin doesn’t like to eat mushrooms. My go-to method is mincing mushrooms and cooking them with lentils, which are GAPS-legal. Also on the lookout for new ideas, I found a recipe on-line for stuffed mushrooms with mustard (his fave) and altered it to include the base ingredients I had.

 12 crimini mushrooms

one apple or pear

¼-½ cup leftover meat

½ cup mustard

Dice the fruit, and the leftover meat. (I used turkey bacon.) Remove the mushroom stems from the caps, and dice the stems, too. I diced everything to about ¼-inch cubes. If I make this recipe again, I will dice smaller, which may make the “stuffing” more palatable. Sauté the mushroom stems in a bit of olive oil, and if the leftover meat isn’t already cooked, sauté that too.

Mix the stems, fruit, meat, and mustard, and fill the crimini caps with that mixture. I also sprayed the caps with olive oil, to give them a sheen.

Spray a baking sheet lightly with olive oil, and set the caps on that. Bake 15 minutes at 350 degrees.

Some pictures are below. I’m thinking I could really use a “food stylist,” or at least a better camera.

This is the way the mushroom boats looked when Martin's meal started.

This is the way the mushroom boats looked when Martin’s meal started.

Before long the boats became more of a casserole, as I cajoled Martin to eat what were clearly mushrooms.

Before long the boats became more of a casserole, as I cajoled Martin to eat what were clearly mushrooms.

I’ll Have What He’s Having

Well, this was bound to happen sooner or later.

Sunday afternoon Adrian and Martin sat at our kitchen counter, awaiting their respective lunches.

I served Martin’s plate first: cold chai rooibus tea, Raghoo Farms duck breast, and green beans sautéed in the duck fat. Martin picked up his fork to stab some duck.

Adrian’s plate arrived next: filtered water, one ounce of Hemlock Hill cheddar, “exotic rice toast” with Thai red rice and flaxseeds, pecan halves, and a peeled Satsuma orange divided by sections.

Martin took one look at Adrian’s more colorful meal, set down his fork, and said, “I want that.”

“That’s Daddy’s lunch, Sweetheart,” I said. “Your lunch is over here.”

“I want Daddy’s lunch.”

We’ve witnessed harbingers, over the past few weeks, of Martin’s nascent interest in food other than his own: longing stares at the fruit bowl, requests for “cookie crackers with crunchies” (a/k/a flour-free seed crackers, nut butter, and bee pollen) instead of parsley-tarragon-and-quail-egg frittata.  The signs, however, were few and easily covered by distraction, and Martin’s teacher tells us that he still never reaches for his classmate’s lunches.

Sunday was the first time Martin made a direct request for someone else’s food. I’m happy for the developmental milestone—the interest in what others are doing, and the desire to break routine. But the trend, if it continues, will pose new challenges for me. Up until now, Martin has been satisfied with what I put in front of him, and only that.

As for Sunday, it was mustard to the rescue. Martin is in a mustard phase; anything with mustard becomes instantly more appealing. (This includes delights like mustard on turkey bacon or mustard in buckwheat cereal.) After he requested Daddy’s lunch, I slapped my forehead, exclaimed, “Oh my gosh, I forgot the most important part!”, and made a big show of squirting stone-ground mustard onto the duck breast. This demonstration held Martin’s attention while Adrian quietly picked up his own plate and slipped away to his desk to eat, removing the temptation.

One incident managed.

Many more to come.