New Series: Neurodivergent-Friendly Recipes
Wonton Wrapper Mini Lasagnas
Food can be a difficult area for neurodivergent people which is why I’ll be sharing neurodivergent-friendly recipes in this new series. People with ADHD or autism tend to have strong texture, smell, and taste preferences that can make eating more of a chore than a pleasure. I have frequently wished there was some sort of pill I could take that provided all the nutrition I need without being a smoothie that causes bubble gut.
Every neurodivergent person is different but for many of us, our brain chemistry can lead to disordered eating and even lead to some people developing eating disorders. I’m mostly a texture-based eater where I am willing to try new things but if I don’t like it, I won’t be able to chew the next bite without gagging. It’s not me being dramatic or trying to be rude, in fact, I’ve usually tried something I don’t like in a desperate attempt to not be rude.
Too Many Things
On top of the smells, textures, and taste issues there are also The Steps. If I want to eat well and provide my body with the nutrients it needs, it requires some food prep at some level. A grocery list needs to be made and shopped for and then put away in our tiny Yafo kitchen. Produce needs to be washed, dried, and stored in a way that best prevents it from rotting before I remember to eat it.
I tend to get hyper-focused while working and often don’t have an appetite until sometime in the middle of the day. The last thing I want to do when I’ve just hit my stride working is to stop and go prepare food. I also hate when I have managed to cook a healthy meal, only for us to finish it all in one night and then I have to do it all again the next day. This is why I bring you: neurodivergent-friendly recipes!
Wonton Wrapper Mini Lasagnas
I love this recipe. I originally made it with kids I used to nanny over a decade ago and recently hunted it back out. These wonton mini lasagnas are vegetarian with high-protein cheeses and spinach to get in an easy vegetable. I love that it’s a really simple one that you can easily double and freeze the leftovers. I usually heat mine up in the air fryer because, unlike my oven, it beeps at me when it’s done.
Here are some tips and pictures from when I made them last:
- 24 Wonton Wrappers
- 1 1/2 cups Marinara Sauce
- 1 1/2 cups Ricotta Cheese
- 1 1/2 cups Shredded Mozzarella Cheese
- 1 Egg
- 3 Garlic Cloves, Chopped
- 1 tsp Basil
- 1 tsp Italian Seasoning
- 1 Tbsp Olive Oil
- 1 cup Frozen Spinach
How to Make:
- Warm up oil in a cooking pan and add frozen spinach. Stir occasionally until thawed.
- While spinach is thawing, dice garlic. Add to spinach and stir for about 1 minute.
- When spinach is done, turn off heat and lay the spinach out on a dry dish towel (or cheesecloth if you’re a cheesecloth person) to soak up the extra moisture.
- In a bowl, whisk the egg with a fork.
- Add the ricotta, basil, and Italian seasoning and mix. Add in spinach and mix until combined.
- Setting the bowl aside, preheat the oven to 375F; use olive oil to grease a cupcake tin.
- Put 1 wonton wrapper at the bottom of each cupcake base. Be gentle so the wonton doesn’t tear but try to press it down into the corners to give more room for the filling.
- On each wonton wrapper, put 1 Tbsp of Ricotta mixture, 1 Tbsp of marinara sauce, and 1 Tbsp of shredded mozzarella.
- Put another layer of wonton wrappers on each one. Again, be gentle but you can use the wonton wrapper to help push the filling down and fill out more of the mold.
- Repeat the layers of 1 Tbsp ricotta mixture, 1 Tbsp marinara sauce, and 1 tbsp of mozzarella
- Bake in the oven for 15 minutes
Neurodivergent Recipe Variations:
- less sauce/more sauce
- swap cheeses based on texture preferences
- leave out the spinach if it’s a texture issue
- put less filling so they’re less messy
- more oil in the pan will lead to softer wontons, can use a bit less oil and have them be crispier
What are some of your favorite neurodivergent-friendly recipes? Tell me in the comments or send me an email with a link to your favorite recipe!