Cooking while Autistic: Wilted Garden Salad

BIG part of this disabled, retired autist’s life? Foodbanks. Farmers Markets…

And what to do with an embarrassment of fresh veggies come every July.

Wilted Garden Salad…

Finished salad in skillet.

About 10 minutes. Tops! Massive Nutrition! Vegan! (Or Not!)

Have everything ready, cleaned, chopped, measured cuz this goes as fast as you can move after step #3.

Serves you and a friend for dinner salad. Or if you’re hungry…

Just you.


1 T butter (or olive oil, NOT extra virgin)
1/2 cup diced onion
1/2 cup fresh beet root, diced or julienned thin (or mix with carrots, turnips, sweet potato)
Sprinkle Mrs Dash or similar mix (Taijin ain’t half bad)
1/4 cup seeds & nuts (sunflowers & walnuts in pic, pecans, almonds, pepitas, etc.)
1/4 cup raisins, cranberries or other dried fruit
1/2 to 1 T sugar, to taste
1 cup, packed fresh spinach, kale, or mustard greens (remove stems if you like, but they’re nutritious)

Squirt of lemon juice or splash of apple cider vinegar


  1. Turn burner to Med, place 1 T butter (or olive oil) cold in cast iron skillet, place on burner.
  2. When butter largely melted, throw in onions. Because you start cold, you will be gradually “sweating” the onions so they become sweet. Stir occasionally about 3 mins… Do not brown.
  3. When onions turn translucent, up the burner to Med High, throw in the beets (or other sweet root veggies). Sprinkle Mrs Dash to taste (lightly). Stir til everything is coated and beets just barely sizzle.
  4. Toss in nuts. Stir til coated.
  5. Toss in fruit. Stir til coated.
  6. Toss in sugar. Stir quickly til sugar grains disappear.
  7. Toss in spinach. Stir briefly. Greens should be coated & glossy. I like about half to wilt, about half the leaves bright green, but not wilted. Add lemon juice or vinegar & toss.
  8. Plate and eat immediately.
Whimsically colored illustration of Wilted Garden Salad… In mid-meal.

Best thing about a seasoned iron skillet? There is no mess to clean up. Just rinse and dry.


Skillet immediately after serving. Just rinse & dry!
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