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Autism: Not Exactly Picky

20 May

As I consider this post, I think it is likely true that I am writing too much on food lately. After all, this is not a food blog. However, my Autistic brain fixates on things. That is the truth of it. And when I am in the middle of a… what do I call them anyway? Fixation. Perseveration. Idea… whether it be gardens, or housing (as it was for quite a long time last fall) or food, it is very difficult for me to talk about something else.

At least this idea that has captured me has been productive this time. I may not be losing weight – but that has more to do with the amount I want to cook right now, than how healthy the food is. I won’t say that all the food I am making is especially healthy – I mean, the mayonnaise took a cup of oil. Plus it used soy milk. So did the vegan butter. But then I know what went into each of these foods, and the ingredients list was not long. It has to be better for me than the store stuff, doesn’t it?

Today I made a mess of the kitchen. I admit it. I made both vegan butter, and McChicken style chickpea burgers. I don’t know how the butter turned out, as it needs to set – but the chickpea burgers? I had one after lunch (avocado and cucumber on homemade corn tortillas) because they took a while to cook, and coat, and bake… but I still really wanted to try one.

The rest of the tray, after baking for half an hour, will be frozen for future meals. I took one, and quickly fried it up. I ate it with my vegan mayo that I made a couple of days ago, with some mustard on top (no bun, I haven’t any gluten free buns at the moment, and I had such a strong reaction to wheat I ate on Sunday, that I didn’t want to chance that.)

Though it was a lot more work than I usually put into my meals, it did make 11 burgers, and I only eat one at a time. Plus it was so good! It was definitely worth the time (and mess – though my son, whose job it is to clean the kitchen, might not agree. I did clean up my mess, though.)

I changed the recipe that I used quite a bit, actually. Since it called for chicken flavoured seitan (made from vital wheat gluten – a definite ‘no’ for one avoiding wheat) covered in wheat based tempura batter. I think it even had eggs in the recipe, but since I have been allergic to eggs so long, I am used to just ‘translating’ that word in my head (often to tapioca starch, this time mixed with a bit of liquid from the can of chickpeas, and mixed with some turmeric for colour and added benefits.

In place of the seitan, I used canned chickpeas (I have dried ones at home, but rarely plan far enough ahead to use them) rolled oats, and a small amount of textured vegetable protein (not exactly healthy, but it helps with the texture.) I also added some vegan mozzarella (cashew) cheese to the burgers as I made them, as I had some in the fridge from a couple of days ago that I wanted to use up – and cheese on my burgers? It just made sense.

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Okay, so maybe I don’t need to share all of the details. The point is I can be both flexible and creative on my own terms, even when in the midst of perseverating on an idea. However, it has to mean something to me.

And so I continue on researching this topic – an unusual one, since I really don’t like food all that much, and mostly prefer just to get through my meals with as little thought or preparation as possible – and I am continuing to enjoy myself immensely.

You see? I am not picky. I just eat differently, and can’t stand the foods most people eat – but there is still a lot of variety to my diet.

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