Recipes that saved my sanity

Going through the GAPS diet, especially the Intro stages, made me feel like I was in the kitchen 24/7–either cooking or doing dishes. Some stage of broth was always in the works; the food processor was never put away; multiple jars of something were always fermenting on the counter. It was worth it to see positive physical and behavioral changes in my kids and knowing wonderful healing benefits were happening internally, too. But the always-in-the-kitchen feeling is draining.What about taking care of the kids’ other needs? What about laundry? What about the state of my house? What about fun? So here are some recipes I began to lean on because they’re either easy and quick or they’re easy and can be made in big batches.

Sausage patties

These can be made differently each time, depending on what vegetables you have on hand. We usually have these for breakfast, but they can work for any meal! They are a great way to start your day with protein, good fats (from the meat and eggs), and vegetables. Makes approximately 24.

2 pounds ground meat (I use grass-fed beef)

2 eggs

1 T sea salt

1 tsp cumin

½ tsp pepper

¼ tsp ground ginger

handful of greens like kale, spinach, chard

1-2 carrots

1 small onion

1 squash, zucchini, raw or cooked cauliflower, or whatever other vegetable you have on hand that you want to add

Preheat oven to 350. Combine all ingredients except meat in a food processor and process until smooth. Add mixture to ground meat in a large bowl, and mix together with your hands, a la meat loaf. Once incorporated, form patties and arrange on cookie sheets. Place in oven and cook for 30 minutes. Remove from oven, allow to cool, and store in the freezer. Each morning, pop a couple of these in your toaster oven and reheat at around 300 for 8-10 minutes.

(Note: I have used this exact recipe to make meat loaf, too! Follow all directions, except form one loaf instead of individual patties. Cook at 375 for 1 hour to 1 hour 15 minutes. Remove from oven and let sit 10 minutes before serving.)

Another sanity-saving thing I started doing more often is breakfast for dinner. Not only does brinner save money, but it also pleases the kids! During the intro stages of GAPS (especially stages 1 and 2), there were many days when the kids disliked everything we ate for the whole day. It was so nice to get to the stages where eggs were introduced–we rejoiced!

GAPS Stage 3 squash-walnut pancakes

1 small yellow squash, peeled and chopped

1 cup crispy walnuts (i.e., walnuts that have been soaked overnight, then dehydrated)

2 eggs

1 teaspoon tallow to fry in

In a blender or using a stick/immersion blender, blend squash, walnuts, and eggs until smooth. Heat a skillet on medium-low heat and melt lamb tallow. Make small pancakes with the batter, and carefully flip once set on one side, after 90 seconds or so.

Once onto full GAPS, we enjoyed brinner often! I loved doing egg scrambles with ground beef, vegetables, and herbs. We also enjoyed this waffle recipe:

GAPS waffles (from

4 T melted butter, ghee, or coconut oil

¼ cup coconut flour, sifted

6 eggs

2-4 T pureed apple, pumpkin, banana, pear, or other mix in (optional)

2 T raw honey

¼ tsp salt

Preheat waffle iron; grease generously with coconut oil or ghee. Mix all ingredients until smooth. Pour batter onto waffle iron, and using a butter knife or the back of a spoon, spread the batter to evenly distribute over the iron. Cook 3-4 minutes, or until golden brown. Repeat with the remaining batter.

Through our GAPS journey, the website/blog that was most helpful and sanity saving was Health, Home & Happiness. Cara’s intro e-book was a lifesaver. I followed it daily and recommend it to anyone about to start the GAPS diet.

This post is part of the 31 Days writing challenge, during which I’m detailing our family’s journey through autism as it relates to the one lifestyle change we made that had the greatest impact on our son’s recovery: nutrition. Click here for a list of all this month’s entries as they are posted.