Daily Meatballs

Most school days, I pack meatballs for Martin’s lunch. Specifically, spicy buffalo meatballs, which I make by combining bison chorizo with minced vegetables. I send spicy buffalo meatballs for four reasons. First, Martin finishes them. I don’t have to worry about lunch coming home half-uneaten. Second, they are easy, insofar as one package bison chorizo, plus vegetables, makes a three-day supply, which I prepare in advance, leaving only the cooking for the morning before school. Third, they keep well and are not a food that becomes soggy or unattractive in the hours before lunch break. Fourth, they fit well within the cycle of Martin’s diet. He eats meat no more than once per day; tucking the meat meal into the school day frees me to prepare a vegan dinner for the whole family.

Yesterday evening, I made sweet-potato-and-lentil shepherd’s pie, which was a triumph, unlike last week’s disastrous attempt at vegetable-and-white-potato shepherd’s pie. The triumph went quickly:


In sum: spicy buffalo meatballs. Lots of spicy buffalo meatballs.

Last night at dinner—the aforementioned shepherd’s pie—Martin said, “Mommy, would you stop sending meatballs to school all the time? Sometimes I want something different.”

Readers, what a moment! How much do I love that my son has the functional language to express his preferences and advocate for himself? How much do I love that he wants variation? Immediately I recalled a news piece I once about a young adult on the spectrum, living independently, who was anxious to date but impeded by, for example, the fact that he refused to eat anything but canned tuna for dinner.

“What would you like instead of meatballs?” I asked Martin.

“Rice,” he answered. Of course. I limit rice in Martin’s diet, and he schemes for any opportunity to get those little grains into his mouth.

I said, “Your point is well-taken. I’ll see what I can do.”

This morning we were late for the school bus. We were late because I needed some extra time to make Martin’s lunch:


Addendum on the topic of last week’s disastrous attempt at vegetable-and-white-potato shepherd’s pie. That recipe didn’t work at all, turned out bland, and my last-minute efforts were insufficient to inject any pizzazz. Plus, the recipe made too little potato topping and too much inside filling. I was, however, able to salvage a small victory. I removed the extra filling and processed it into a paste. The next morning, I spiced the vegetable paste, combined it with an egg, and fried the batter into savory pancakes. Martin loved the makeshift breakfast.



School Food

In the month since I put Martin on full GAPS diet, I think, the question I have heard most from parents is, “What food do you send for school?”

Martin’s school requires that each parent send lunch and two snacks. This morning, for Martin’s snacks, I packed (1) lime pudding, made from avocado, manuka honey, vanilla extract, and lime juice; and (2) half a pear, sliced and dredged with lemon juice. Last week I posted a picture of a dippin’ plate with carrots, peppers, and pear. The GAPS diet advises that fruit be eaten away from meals, because fruit enzymes work better alone. So, to the extent Martin eats fruit (I try to limit fruit, because he has so much trouble with yeast flares, which can be fed by sugar), I give it as a snack.

For Martin’s lunch, I packed his LunchBots container with (1) chicken breast with Himalayan pink salt; (2) avocado (I do a lot with avocado) mashed with cultured garlic, which you may remember from the “dippin’ plate”; (3) probiotic Zing! salad; and (4) raw cauliflower florets.


I have been trouble getting Martin to eat raw vegetables. That’s a shame. Raw veggies are full of good digestive enzymes, and they might help loosen his front-bottom baby teeth, which I want to do because the adult teeth already have broken through behind them. I predicted the LunchBot would come home with the chicken and avocado gone, the Zing! salad mostly eaten, and the cauliflower untouched.

Do I know my son, or what? I was wrong only insofar as he took, maybe, one or two pieces of the cauliflower.


Not a total success, but, hey.

Some other lunch combinations are bison jerky with homemade probiotic catsup and sauerkraut; chicken-and-egg bread with spread made from sprouted (i.e., soaked overnight before cooking) lima beans, olive oil, and garlic; or the ever-popular “meat and veggies,” i.e., whatever leftover meat is in my fridge paired with whatever fermented veggies are in my fridge.

Oh, yes. Before anyone writes it as a comment, I will address what all readers must be thinking right now: Martin’s mom has a real Gwyneth Paltrow thing going on here if she thinks any of this is reasonable.

Trust me—I know. I mean, “homemade probiotic catsup”? Who does that?

Autism-recovery folks do, I guess.