A few months ago our son was identified as having a neurological condition known as Sensory Processing Disorder. I had never even heard of this a few months ago and now it tends to occupy most of my time; whether I'm learning more about it, taking care of my son, or juggling speech and Occupational therapy appointments. We're dealing with a number of what most people would consider quirks in a two year old. With sensory processing disorder, funny things that my son does are not things he will outgrow, they are a part of who he is. A simplified explanation of kids with Sensory Processing Disorder, is that I like to think of them as superheroes. Absolutely every sensory kid is unique and different, as is how they feel things. These kids are amazing. They literally have super senses, which could be insanely hard and frustrating for them to cope and deal with, not just daily, but minute to minute.
In my son's case, his nerves don't feel it when he's exhausted, things such as textures or even if he's cold or overheated. His body craves stimulation and feedback. In the SPD community of parents, he is known as a "seeker". Its kind of like he has super strength because he just goes and goes. He also has insanely sensitive super hearing. People speaking loudly and crowded places with lots of background noises are completely overwhelming for him. Even things that I take for granted, such as my love of food, are extremely hard for him. Don't get me wrong, he's a great eater for a two and a half year old, but its the same things all the time because trying new foods are literally almost painful to him because he feels things so intensely. A new texture can make a favorite flavor taste disgusting to him so he spits it out. On days when his nerves are really seeking he only eats super crunchy or super smooth things. On these trying days, I end up cooking multiple meals. This is quite time consuming so I need something easy.
Here is a grilled sweet potato salad does double duty in our home. I grill a whole sweet potato for my son (so he can it eat it mashed), while I grill off slices for this yummy side dish that is ready in just a few short minutes. Its also gluten free and Vegan friendly for those of you living those kind of lifestyles or just a nice choice for a friendly potluck to share. It is a dish that is light and delicious on a hot day. I am quickly learning that this is the norm here in Florida, so we will be eating this A LOT. Hope you enjoy it as much as we do.
By the way, this post is a new feature I'm running on my Facebook page, (facebook.com/lifeinbalancewellness), I'm calling Tasty Tuesdays. Check back every week and you'll find a new recipe on Tuesdays by lunchtime. I will also post these on my Pinterest board the following day. Let me know what you think and if you're craving a certain type of recipe. I'll do my best to help.
Grilled Sweet Potato Salad with Basil Viniagrette
4 Sweet Potatoes ut in 1/2" slices
1/2 cup diced red pepper
1/4 cup sliced green onions
1/4 cup chopped parsely
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/2 cup avocado oil or olive oil
1 Tbsp chiffonade basil (fancy term for sliced into super thin ribbons)
2 tsp balsamic vinegar
salt & pepper to taste
dash of dry yellow mustard
1) lightly coat sweet potatoes with some avocado oil ( i find spraying them with a misto works best)
2) grill potato slices until they are tender. If you're like me, I love the smoky char taste using wood lump charcoal creates.
3) cut up the potatoes into small 1" cubes and then combine them with the bell pepper, onions and parsely.
4) whisk together dressing ingredients
5) toss the salad mixture with the dressing while the potatoes are still warm. this can be served warm or cold.