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Post-surgery food: Please help!

I'm going to be cooking for someone who is recovering from pretty big surgery. That means everything has to be clear: clear juices, jello, broths. I'm going to make a basic homemade chicken brother with carrots, celery, onions, herbs, etc. But I'd like to then divide that into smaller portions and flavor them differently so he doesn't get bored. I'm thinking one with garlic, one with ginger. Beyond that, I'm a bit uninspired. Rosemary? Help!

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  1. Bayleaf, basil and lemon. Ginger & lemongrass & hot pepper. Lime, cinnamon, thyme & hot pepper. Nutmeg, orange & tarragon.

    1. I'd also explore other clear soups. Pho broth and miso soup both make me feel better when I'm ill.

      3 Replies
      1. re: chloe103

        Be careful with miso, as it's not really "clear". Also, hot pepper may not be the best thing--it's apparently a blood thinner and for some people can cause problems.

        1. re: foodslut

          Thanks for the heads-up on the hot pepper. I wasn't even thinking about that part, just something to impart extra flavor.

          1. re: foodslut

            Tumeric is also supposed to have restorative agents. Perhaps season some chicken broth with some tumeric. Usually nutritionist will advise on do's and don'ts if blood thinners are used.

        2. cook some greens; (collards; turnips; mustards) strain and give him the broth from that..grandma called it "pot liquor". It's full of vitamins to help him get back on his feet.

          1. There's a great cookbook that I ordered off Amazon for my friend who has cancer. "Cooking well for the unwell". http://www.amazon.com/Cooking-Well-Un...

            Lots of great tips. Good luck.


            1. I don't know if they're clear, but 'bone broths' (soups made from roasted bones) are supposedly helpful for healing.

              1. A teaspoon each of sherry and soy sauce and a touch of ginger. Don't forget the many varieties of teas (jasmine, Earl Grey, Darjeeling) and herbal teas (peppermint, apple-cinnamon). BTW beware of green tea if there is any worry about bleeding or if he is on Coumadin (medicine to make your blood not clot---they use it after some bone surgeries). Green tea also makes your blood not clot as fast so it potentiates the Coumadin. Also, Mexican stores sell dried hibiscus flowers (aka roselle in English or jamaica in Spanish) that make a gorgeous red iced drink---google will tell you how---it comes out a clear drink a bit tart like lemonade but doesn't have the pulp of lemonade, which may not be allowed on a really clear diet. If sodium isn't a problem you can also get some canned beef consomme or bouillon, add a dash of Madeira, and let it jell in the refrigerator, to give him a different consistency that can be eaten rather than drunk. You might check with the doctor but I think popsicles are OK on a clear diet. Jellos in little shapes are more tempting than a blob. Unless alcohol interacts badly with medication, you might see a cookbook for a "wine jelly" recipe. If he isn't suffering from post-surgery gas he may be able to have carbonated beverages. You have an interesting challenge.

                1. There are a lot of suggestions here with supposed "curative" herbs and other veggies. I would strongly suggest talking to the doctor's office to find out if any of these will cause negative interactions with the medications your friend will need. Sometimes we forget that the natural substances in food can be harmful to those who are in a weakened or otherwise "off-normal" state.

                  1. With a huge surgery and the related post op meds you feel so yucky that taste variations are probably not an issue. A real standard comfort level of broth is probably going to be well received. If you want variation don't think flavoring agents, just maybe go for chicken and beef but try a roasted bone variation of each. Meds mess up your taste buds. Just my experience. Good luck.