Tuesday, May 31, 2011

I ate this weekend

I ate this weekend.
After what I feared would be never-ending torment of liquid diet options, I ate.

It was wonderful.

And, of course, even the small meals I make for myself make me feel very heavy and gross.

It’s been a week since I posted. Part of that was the fall out from disappointment. I went to the dentist Thursday and she reconstructed my one tooth in only a few moments. The second tooth refused to numb. I received so many chemical shots that my mouth wouldn’t open for two days. Yet, the tooth was not numb. So, I left the dentist with only one tooth repaired.

And that night while eating a french fry, a chunk of filling (I think) came out of my mouth.

I almost wept.

But once that jaw eased open again, I had a salad of iceberg lettuce. And thin sliced radishes. Then a small plate of pancakes.

Which reminds me: my husband, at my request, substituted peach yogurt for the milk in the pancakes. Yum.

Had dinner at the Mexican restaurant. Burritoes con mole.

And then last night, I ate a hamburger with a fork. My husband, again at my suggestion, got basil and sorrel from the backyard herb garden and added them to the meat. Turned out very nice.

I meant to take pictures, but every time I had a meal in front of me, I forgot. I was too intent on eating!

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Mango cherry smoothie

I'm addicted to those Bolthouse Farms Immunity Boost Mango smoothies. At Target, they are $3.99 for 32 ounces (which after my employee discount and red card savings drops to $3.41) while the same bottle at Giant is $4.29.

So, I decided to try and make my own.

- I started with organic frozen mango chunks because I couldn't find any other frozen mango and wasn't sure when I was shopping when I would attempt this and didn't want fresh mangoes to rot. I used about 2 cups.
- I added about 5 ounces of that nasty Bolthouse Farms mango protein smoothie
And grated, blended to a fine pulp
- I added about 3 teaspoons frozen orange juice concentrate
- 15 or so fresh cherries
And grated, blended to a fine pulp
- then I added a mango Greek yogurt

Monday, May 23, 2011

My birthday dinner

For my birthday, I wanted pancakes. I chose Perkins for two reasons: 1. They have several flavors of syrup to liven up my soft food diet and 2. My husband and I hung out at Perkins a lot when we were dating in college. Not much else was open in the middle of the night.

I ordered a ham and bacon omelette, knowing they diced their ham tiny. The bacon was rather large and caused issues. Even though my extraction has healed nicely, I keep forgetting I have broken teeth yet and every time I try to chew I hit one of them. Argh!

The pancakes very much hit the spot and I washed it down with Cherry Coke. It was my birthday after all. Just having plates in front of me was sooooo emotionally soothing.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Vegan Blueberry Steusel Muffins

This is based on the recipe from the Betty Crocker 25th anniversary cookbook.

I love muffins. They freeze easily, transport easily and feed an empty belly in a hurry. I normally add nuts for protein but this time I didn't because of my broken teeth.

Heat oven to 400.

Make streusel topping.

Streusel topping:
- 1/4 cup flour (I used a hair more)
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar (as if I measured)
- 2 tablespoons firm margarine
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon (I used more)
Mix in bowl until crumbly. Now, I always overmix my crumbs and they get soft so then I mix in oats to fix the texture.

For the muffins:

- I cup 'milk' (I used plain soy today. I would also use vanilla soy or almond or rice)
- 1/4 cup canola oil
- 1/2 teaspoon vanilla (I didn't measure, and I always use real vanilla. You could also use lemon or almond extract to give the batter more flavor. Putting half lemon and half almond _if I remember correctly_ will replicate a coffee cake flavor)
- instead of 1 egg use 4 tablespoons applesauce. Normally I use natural, unsweetened. Those single serve packs = 1 egg (especially good if you bought a flavor for packed lunches and it was deemed gross) This time I used cinnamon.


Dump in dry ingredients:
- 2 cups flour (normally I do half unbleached white and half whole wheat but I ran out of wheat)
- 1/3 cup sugar (I used 1/4)
- 3 teaspoons baking powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt


Fold in blueberries. I used 1.25 cups frozen, not even thawed.

Scoop into tins. Top with crumbs. Bake 20 minutes.

I made 16 small muffins and could have doubled the crumb recipe.

Lunch for breakfast

The non-dairy options in this house looked bleak. I offered my daughter homemade granola, eggs or, if school lunch wasn't going to be PB&J, PB&J. She wanted PB&J but the school lunch options were hot dog (which she doesn't like) or cheesesteak (dairy) so it's a PB&J day.

For breakfast, I made her raw broccoli with Newman's Own Sesame Ginger dressing, some of the Bolthouse Immunity-C boost (mango/cherry, I'm an addict-- tried the mango 21 protein by the same company and it had to be one of the nastiest things I've ever tasted) and a Boca chk*n patty on soft wheat bread (yes, the store-bought kind).

Maybe today I will make bread... Or biscuits.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Red Robin

Last night, I had an overwhelming craving for French fries. So the family took me to Red Robin.

I ordered what they call a BLTA. It's bacon-lettuce-tomato-avocado and turkey on a croissant. My daughter ordered the cod fish and chips dinner. My husband got some burger with bleu cheese.

Mine came with a side of cantaloupe that my daughter devoured.

I quickly discovered that I can't mix hot and cold. The broken molar in the rear of the left side of my mouth screams severely when I attempt it. The slightest cold bothers it-- yogurt, sandwiches, pudding-- and to combine that with hot does not work. At all. So I opted for the hot fries instead of the cold sandwich.

What I wanted
And this suited me. Because those fries tasted incredible. That's the real beauty in this whole dental injury mess. I am rediscovering food. Slowly. One tiny bite or one flavor at a time. And it's a euphoric adventure. Don't get me wrong-- I'd rather have my teeth. But this recovery... each step toward being able to eat comfortably, I can't help but savor everything.

Today, I took the half sandwich in the picture here and I sliced it into tiny pieces and ate it like a salad. Two pieces would equal the size of my finger nail. And I ate it, slowly, with a fork. It was laborious, but I enjoyed every mouthful.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Lemonade Smoothie

Are you sick of smoothies yet?

This morning:
- 1 Chobani lemon yogurt
- about 1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon juice
- about 1/4 cup very vanilla soy milk
- about 1/4 cup seltzer
- one heaping teaspoon orange juice concentrate
- pinch of [food grade] lavender

Sunday, May 15, 2011

Creamsicle Smoothie II

This is what I had for dinner last night. It's a variation of Nava Atlas' recipe from the 5 Ingedient Vegetarian Gourmet:

In the blender
- 1 packet vanilla carnation instant breakfast
- 3 tablespoons frozen orange juice concentrate
- 1/2 cup vanilla yogurt
- 1/4 cup seltzer
- 3/4 cup very vanilla soymilk

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Simply Asia Sesame Noodles

We're having a processed but augmented vegan lunch. Simply Asia Sesame Noodles with broccoli (tiny cut) and pineapple added. Daughter has an ear infection again, so we're getting her off dairy again.

Picked these mixes up at Target since after the burn incident (second degree burn on my hip from boiling water), my husband would like to handle the cooking.

These were fantastic and the pineapple and broccoli were so welcome in my belly.

Update on dairy-free, chewing optional meals

I have been pleased with my progress, though the damage to the bottom left molar has made cold and intense chewing a problem. I ate half a tuna sandwich on super soft bread, pound cake, thin sliced roast beef (on clearance from Target) on super soft bread, and (uggh) the super processed white meat chicken nuggets from the Target café-- they're the size of quarters. With each of these tiny meals, I felt sooooo stuffed. And it looks like my progressed will remain here until my dentist appointment on the 26th.

I cleaned the freezer today and made room for all my soups. Pork veg. Beef veg. Cheesesteak.

Yesterday, I had a Chobani lemon Greek-style yogurt and I was totally impressed. Something like 18 g of protein, no fat, low sugar (compared to the blended yogurt I like), no artificial sweeteners, real lemon and great texture.

Thursday, May 12, 2011

More smoothies

I did eat half a tuna sandwich today on store-bought bread. It was fabulous. My mouth looks good.

For breakfast, we had scrambled eggs. For morning snack, I made another spectacular Smoothie:

Coffee chai peanut butter Smoothie
- about 1/2 to 2/3 cup coffee
- equal amount very vanilla soy milk
- equal amount Bolthouse Farm vanilla chai protein drink
- 1 cup peanut butter
- 1 vanilla carnation instant breakfast

Afternoon Smoothie was shared with child:
(2 servings)
- 1 Yo baby banana drinkable yogurt
- 1/4 cup vanilla yogurt
- 1 packet strawberry carnation instant breakfast
- 6 strawberries
- 1/2 cup very vanilla soy milk
- 2/3 cup fresh Pineapples
- 3 tablespoons caramel

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Pineapple Smoothie

The flavor on this one is incredible, but the mouth feel odd. I didn't want to blend the pudding to a liquid, so as a consequence, the tapioca provides chunks and the fresh pineapple provides strands.

In the blender:
- about 1/2 cup fresh pineapple
- 1/2 cup very vanilla soy milk
- 1 cup tapioca pudding

Mother's Day Crab Pasta

On Mother's Day, we visited my dad and stepmom and had dinner at the diner. The meal was the standard inoffensive, unexciting fare but to me it was very thrilling to eat. I started with cream of turkey soup, moved on to mashed potatoes and broiled crab cake with a side of applesauce. I ate the potatoes first, then about 1/2 of one of the crab cakes, then a few spoonfuls of applesauce. For dessert, cheesecake. It was heaven. Until my jaw protested with intense pain. But it was worth it.

I am unmedicated this morning. I lost the rest of my scabs and I swear my mouth did some serious healing last night as it looks different and the pain is minor.

This is good considering what happened last night...

Never cook alone when you're starving and wounded.

I started a pot of water to make angel hair pasta. While that came to a boil, I started the based for a non-dairy cream sauce in the Le Creuset skillet.Dairy is definitely making daughter congested.

- 2 tablespoons Earth Balance
- 1 teaspoon cold pressed extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 tablespoon fresh dill
- salt
- pepper
Heat over low, stirring constantly, slowly adding 2 tablespoons flour, stirring until bubbly. Remove from heat and add one cup soymilk. The recipe says remove from heat, but I have better luck turning the heat way down low. 

Now, I broke the remaining crab into tiny pieces. I shaved a head of broccoli into miniscule pieces and cooked them in the sauce.

I added the crab to warm it and went to add the pasta to the boiling water. Some bugs had made a nice little home in the spaghetti can and I dumped them into the pot.

So, I had to start over. New pot of water and standard spaghetti. 

By the time it finished, my broccoli and crab had absorbed all my sauce.

And I went to dump the spaghetti into the colander and I missed. Poured boiling water down my right side. I screamed, my almost seven year old kid screamed and I couldn't get my clothes off fast enough.

I have two burns on my hip. One healed decently over night. The larger of the two is still rather yucky but it looks clean and it doesn't hurt.

The meal-- husband finished preparing it. It was good.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Cheesesteak soup

Today, I will make the transition from chicken soup to beef soup.

I prepared a pound of chip steak in the Le Creuset skillet with extra virgin cold-pressed olive oil, garlic powder, oregano and a few tablespoons of Pacific Foods Organic Creamy tomato soup.

In the crockpot I mixed:
- a cheap can of condensed vegetable beef soup, with 1.5 cans water
- about 10 (?) ounces creamy tomato soup
- 32 ounces wegmans culinary beef stock
- 3/4 of the meat, with cooking juices, chopped ridiculously tiny
- 2 cups shredded mozzarella
- more than 1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar

I did it!!! It tastes like a cheesesteak!

Saturday, May 7, 2011

Soup, Smoothie & Mac and cheese

Today was an exciting food day!
Breakfast was a banana-chocolate-peanut butter Smoothie my husband made, lunch was a small dish of ice cream and leftover cauliflower, and then and then I had boxed macaroni and cheese for dinner (which left me sooooo full and feeling like I had chewed on beef jerky for an hour) and then I took the yogurt strawberry coffee Smoothie to work and bought a Bolthouse farms immunity boost mango Smoothie for the drive home and now tapioca pudding.

I picked up a few items at Target tonight:
- the Bolthouse immunity boost Smoothie (mangos, cherries and apples--yum!), $3.99
- another Bolthouse Smoothie, this one chai vanilla protein, $3.99
(I can splurge on froo-froo drinks since I don't get to eat)
- 4 cans of Campbell's soup, 2 broccoli cheese and 2 vegetarian vegetable, $1.37 each
- 3 containers of Pacific Foods soup, one carrot ginger cashew and 2 creamy tomato, $3.24 each
- 8 ounces shredded extra sharp cheddar, $2.59
- naproxen, 200 tablets, $7.69

Total: $33.46
Team member discount: - $3.35
Redcard discount: - 1.52
New total: $28.59

Strawberry chocolate coffee smoothie

I'm not fond of this one. I put in too much liquid and it's runny. But I gave half of it to my husband and then reblended my half with yogurt. Now, it will be my dinner at work!

The original runny Smoothie:
- 5 small strawberry cream eggs
- 5 fresh strawberries
- 1 strawberry carnation instant breakfast
- 3 tablespoons chocolate syrup
- 2 cups coffee (too much)
-1/2 cup vanilla soy milk


Remove half.

Add to remaining half: 6 ounces Greek style strawberry yogurt.

With addition of yogurt, it's perfect

Beginnings of a garden

Last weekend I weeded. Yesterday I planted seeds. Today I planted herbs. I'm excited about this year's garden, and I think daughter is too.

In the perennial department, the oregano, lavender, chives, mint, catmint and lemon thyme are off to a good start. For seeds, we planted some of mom's marigolds, violets, wildflowers, bush green beans, and salad greens. Today we added basil, dill, French sorrel (the salesman said it was the best for cooking) and cilantro.

All in my tiny flower bed and postage stamp backyard. Tomatoes and more herbs later this week...

Today's herbs courtesy of the Easton Farmer's Market.

Dirt and worm pie

My husband and daughter, when they went to the store Monday night after my accident, bought lots of instant pudding (and no milk!). They picked out chocolate, butterscotch, and Oreo creme. Oh, and vanilla, since I'm a vanilla girl. Except they accidentally bought sugar-free, fat fat free.

My husband LOVES chocolate pudding, especially the kind that comes in a can. He does not share my gourmet tendencies.

My daughter likes to go to a certain franchise restaurant not because she likes the food, but because they have a "dirt and worms" dessert. She finds the food at this chain mediocre and never eats the pudding, but crush some Oreos and add gummy worms and she's thrilled.

So my husband made her a pie with a store-bought Graham cracker crust (which he lamented was nowhere near as tasty as his own), instant chocolate pudding, crushed berry Oreos (the ones I bought for $2 at Target), and gummy worms (from someone's Easter basket).

Friday, May 6, 2011

A weird little dinner

I asked my mother-in-law for one of her sweet potato casseroles. She usually makes it with raisins, walnuts and roasted marshmallow.

Unfortunately for me, nuts were out of the question. So I asked for one without. I thought I could handle the marshmallows and raisins but I could only make it through two of each. I ended up picking the others out.

But I still enjoyed it.

To accompany this, my husband chopped and cooked an aging head of cauliflower. He whipped up a cheese sauce, which he lamented came out runny but I think it fabulously came out like soup! He chopped a chik*n patty for protein and everyone in our house loved it! It had a fantastic, smooth flavor.

(of course, I merely had tiny pieces of cauliflower and lots of cheese sauce. It was yummy to eat something NOT chicken soup.)

Easter Chocolate Smoothie

This is what happens when you finally crack and say "I don't care if I can chew I have to have some of my mother-in-law's Easter chocolate."

In the blender:
- 6 peanut butter eggs (small ones, I would say three if they're Reese's)
- 1 HUGE heaping tablespoon peanut butter
- 1 cup very vanilla silk soy milk
- 1.5 cups coffee
- 1 vanilla carnation instant breakfast
- 1 tablespoon caramel

Kid Smoothie

One of the neighbor children came to our house today and got excited by the prospect of a smoothie. The kids made all the choices-- it tastes like a chocolate covered cherry.

- one banana Yo-baby drinkable yogurt
- six strawberries
- two to three tablespoons chocolate syrup
- milk chocolate carnation instant breakfast

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Dental Diet update

Today's breakfast smoothie is shaping up to be:
- very vanilla silk
- peanut butter
- vanilla carnation instant breakfast
- banana
- banana yogurt
- caramel

Yesterday's meals included (for me):
- Coffee and my vegan sweet potato coconut milk soup

Beverage before walk to school
- Very Vanilla Silk

Morning snack
- Christina's lemon chicken Greek soup

- Greek yogurt with honey

Afternoon snack
- two bowls of my mother-in-law's chicken noodle soup made with veggie stock instead of chicken
- two goldfish crackers

- celestial seasonings green tea (with white) and raspberry

Early dinner
- apple butter (from a local artisan farm) and cottage cheese

- the last half of the malted vanilla milkshake from the Purple Cow
- another bowl of chicken soup

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Greek soup

My friend Christina made me Greek chicken soup which is very lemony and right now feels like the best thing I have ever tasted. When I get better, I'll have to investigate this as right now it is the thing that makes life worth living.

After three big bowls of this soup (straight out of the pot I reheated it in), I have determined WHY I love this soup. It's a liquid version of chicken with lemon-butter sauce/ chicken française. One of my favorite meals!

Preliminary internet search has revealed these recipes:



Hot Grape Nuts

A long time ago, maybe it was college, I discovered a recipe for hot Grape Nuts. Heating them and adding honey makes them soft and sweet, though not soft enough for me to eat in present circumstances. I made a bowl for daughter and she seemed to enjoy them. The trick is to determine how soupy you like them.

As a base:
-about 1/4 cups Grape Nuts or generic Nutty Nuggets cereal
- one teaspoon local honey
- soy milk

Heat in microwave until toasty warm.

Monday, May 2, 2011

Chocolate Peanut Butter Milk

Today was one of those hectic Monday mornings... And I had a quiet vision of how the morning would go. My homemade oatmeal bars for breakfast, a big mid-morning cup of tea. I had a sore throat and was worried I was getting sick. Maybe I am and that's why I fell...

I fell on the sidewalk and broke 4 teeth and needed three stitches in my chin. Oral surgeon tomorrow. Liquid diet for a while.

Lunch was Pacific Foods Cream of Tomato Soup. Snack was Stonyfield Yo Baby Banana drinkable yogurt.

Dinner made me drool with anticipation. My husband made tiny elbow noodles with tomato sauce and velveeta and browned hamburger in tiny pieces. Trying to eat it revealed 3 things:
- I can't chew. At all.
- I have limited range of motion in my jaw
- sucking on food hurts

I couldn't do it, as hungry as I am, I can't do it.

Complicating the issue is the fact that my daughter wants to share everything I can eat. Like a good mom, I share.

So, I made a carnation instant breakfast drink in the blender.

- about 8 ounces plain soy milk
- two heaping teaspoons peanut butter
- two heaping teaspoons almond butter
- 1 teaspoon Nutella
- 1 packet dark chocolate Carnation instant breakfast

We loved it