At some point in your life, you or someone you know will probably be on a liquid or soft food diet for a short period of time. Whether it’s a child who just got his braces, a teenager who had her tonsils removed, or in my case, a son who had four wisdom teeth extracted yesterday, coming up with healthy soft foods requires a little bit of thinking.
When I brought my son in to see the oral surgeon earlier this week, I had no intention of scheduling his surgery this week. But, once I realized the recovery period was going to be close to five days, we decided to book it for this week while my son is on winter break (I agree, not the most fun way to spend your vacation, but there’s never a good time to have your wisdom teeth pulled).
The nurse told me to stock up on yogurt, ice cream, Jell-O, pudding, and white bread since my son wouldn’t be able to eat anything for at least a few days. She also said I should feed him some “real food,” like overcooked pasta. You should have seen my son’s face and mind spinning as he absorbed what he had just heard…if I could read his mind, I’d bet he was thinking, “Wow, this is awesome, I actually get to eat junk for a few days and I’m being told I have to!”
Little did my son know what I had in mind for him. After all, when my youngest son got his braces a few months ago, I made soft foods for him like Apple Cinnamon Oatmeal , and when my oldest son’s friend had her tonsils removed last summer, I made some Creamless Cream of Mushroom Soup and Creamless Cream of Carrot Soup. I’ve also made a wide assortment of pureed soups, smoothies and frozen treats for friends who’ve undergone chemotherapy or had thyroid surgery. And, over the years, I gathered a nice collection of soft food diet ideas when I cooked for my father-in-law who had Parkinson’s disease.
Although I thought I was prepared for feeding and taking care of my 16-year-old after I brought him home after his procedure, I really wasn’t as prepared as I should have been. I gave him some pudding when he first got home, but I quickly realized that he was having a lot more trouble eating than I expected (try swallowing when you can’t feel anything in your mouth), so I started thinking of soft foods that I could make that packed more nutrients into each bite. All this to think about on top of the fact that my son was a little crabby (can you blame him?) and didn’t want to eat anything twice in the same day.
So, here’s what I made yesterday for my son:
- Banana smoothie – peaches and mangoes would be good too, but no berries because of the seeds
- Chinese steamed eggs (made with chicken broth)
- Mango ricotta pudding (1/2 cup low-fat ricotta, 1 cup mango, and honey to taste, blended until smooth)
- Chocolate tofu pudding
- Tuna fish sandwich (tuna, low-fat mayo, onion powder, salt and pepper, mixed until no lumps remain; spread on white whole wheat bread, crusts cut off)
Which brings me to today’s recipe. The only thing I made in advance was this Carrot and Coriander Soup and some plain congee. I had chosen this recipe to try for this week’s 50 Women Game Changers In Food event, even before I knew my son was having his wisdom teeth pulled this week. So, making this soup was very timely. I “veganized” this soup recipe by substituting coconut oil and coconut milk for the butter and creme fraiche called for in the original recipe. So, not only is this soup vegan, but it is also healthier since it has no cholesterol (plant-based foods are naturally cholesterol free).
So, will my son be getting his “junk fix” this week? Yes, to some extent, but I also will be making him fruit smoothies, pureed soups and other soft foods that I hope will keep him feeling satiated and well nourished.
Today, a group of bloggers are celebrating Delia Smith, one of the Top 50 Women Game Changers In Food. I had never heard of Delia Smith, but I should have, given that she is the UK’s best-selling cookery author (she has written over 20 cookbooks), with more than 21 million copies sold. Delia Smith is an English chef, author and TV personality, best known for her no-nonsense style of teaching people basic cookery skills.
She started working in a small restaurant at the age of 21 as a “washer-upper” before becoming a waitress, and eventually helping with the cooking. In 1969, Delia became the cookery writer for the Daily Mirror’s new magazine, and later, married their deputy editor. Starting in 1972, and for the next 12 years, she wrote a column in the Evening Standard. Delia’s cookery television show Family Fare (1973-1974) brought her fame, and lead to 14 additional television cooking series (1974- 2010). In 2001, Delia launched her website, Delia Online, which houses an incredible archive of her recipes and serves as a forum for contributors to share their recipes.
I will be serving this soup to my family today (with a swirl of coconut milk and sprinkling of ground coriander, but without the toppings for my son whose mouth is still extremely tender).
- 2 pounds carrots, about 14-16 whole carrots, peeled, trimmed and cut into 1" pieces
- 1 tablespoon coriander seeds
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 small clove garlic, crushed
- 6 cups vegetable stock
- salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- 3 tablespoons coconut milk
- fresh cilantro, for garnish, optional
- toasted pumpkin seeds, optional
- Dry roast coriander seeds in a small frying pan over medium heat until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Crush in a mortar and pestle.
- Heat coconut oil in a soup pot. Add carrots, garlic and 2 teaspoons crushed coriander seeds. Stir carrots well, then cover pot and let vegetables cook over medium-low heat until they begin to soften, about 10 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil; reduce heat to low and simmer 20 minutes, partially covered, or until vegetables are tender.
- Let soup cool slightly, then puree in blender or food processor.
- Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Ladle into bowls and garnish with a swirl of fresh coriander, coconut milk, pumpkin seeds, and remaining toasted coriander seeds.
If you’re interested in joining our group as we cook our way through this list of 50 influential women in food, just ask Mary from One Perfect Bite. Please stop by and take a look at what the rest of the group made this week in celebration of Delia Smith:
Annie from Most Lovely Things
Linda from There and Back Again
Val from More Than Burnt Toast
Taryn from Have Kitchen Will Feed
Susan from The Spice Garden
Heather from girlichef
Miranda from Mangoes and Chutney
Mary from One Perfect Bite
Sue from The View from The Great Island
Barbara from Movable Feasts
Nancy from Picadillo
Kathleen from Bake Away With Me
Veronica from My Catholic Kitchen
Mireya of My Healthy Eating Habits
Claudia – Journey of an Italian Cook
Alyce – More Time at the Table
Amrita – Beetle’s Kitchen Escapades
This post has been linked up to Beyond the Peel’s Whole Food Wednesday’s Round-Up and the SoupaPalooza event at TidyMom and Dine and Dish. Come join SoupaPalooza at TidyMom and Dine and Dish sponsored by KitchenAid, Red Star Yeast and Le Creuset.