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Aug 31, 2007 08:34 PM

broken jaw / soft foods

`my best friend has a broken jaw and i want to make him some new foods. he can do some chewing but he's better with soft, small foods. his mother has been stuffing him on soups and refried beans, instant potatoes and smoothies, which get old - fast! i've made him a few things, like diced mushrooms and eggplant in a red sauce served over orzo pasta, various rice and tofu dishes etc etc.

i'd love to have some more HEALTHY and preferably organic recipe ideas for soft foods, and hopefully this topic can help others with jaw problems / teeth problems / recent mouth surgeries etc.

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  1. what about polenta? you can make it with a tomato sauce (i'm making it tomorrow with Patricia Well's tomato, fennel, and orange sauce - blend a 28 oz can of tomatoes then cook the tomatoes with the zest from an orange, an onion, and some fennel seed for about 15 min, or until it thickens)

    1. How about grits and oatmeal? If possible you can make some savory flans / custurd like aspasgus or corn sformato. Really soft scrambled eggs or omelette may work as well.

      For desserts you can for sure do ice cream, mousse, and rice pudding.

      1. Egg salad

        I make a great easy broccoli or spinach souffle

        Coucous salads, or barley, lentil or other grains salads

        Mashed yams or butternut squash or turnips as a twist on tomatoes

        Is fish too dangerous b/c of the potential bones? Cod flakes easily as does sole and mahi mahi and halibut...

        Ratatouille might be another nice option and tofu can be added to amp up the protein

        Bean based chili

        1 Reply
        1. re: Emme

          mmm all those sound great! thanks for all the suggestions

        2. Silken tofu.

          It's still very hot where I am and a lunch of silken tofu just drizzle with soy sauce and sesame oil sounds great (for the non-teeth challenged I'd add some diced scallions and flaked roasted seaweed).

          1 Reply
          1. re: Jennalynn

            So sorry to hear about that broken jaw. Ouch!

            How about taking a dish of pasta cooked slightly beyond al dente, dressed with sauce and cheese, that could be reheated in a microwave or oven? How about substantial soups, like lentil, split pea, black bean, white bean and escarole, or broccoli and cheese?

            Here are two recipes that don't require much chewing, if any.

            Wendy's Spinach Quiche

            1 10 oz. package frozen chopped spinach
            3 large eggs
            1 cup milk (I use 2 percent)
            1 cup part-skim ricotta cheese (about half of a 15-oz. tub)
            2 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese (8 oz.)
            Pinch of salt
            A generous sprinkle of nutmeg
            A generous sprinkle of ground black pepper
            Optional: one shake of cayenne pepper
            Unbaked crust for 9 inch pie (see note below)

            Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
            Heat spinach just until thawed, drain in colander. Squeeze to remove as much liquid as possible. Set aside.
            In a large mixing bowl, beat eggs with a whisk. Add milk, cheeses and seasonings. Stir in chopped spinach.
            Pour mixture into unbaked pie shell(s). (See note below.)
            Place quiche on rack in center of oven. Bake 5 minutes at 425 degrees, then reduce heat to 350 degrees.
            Bake until quiche is rounded and golden on top, 30-40 more minutes, depending on your oven.
            Remove quiche from oven and let cool about 10 minutes before slicing. (Top will sink back down.)
            Serve warm.

            Yield: 6 servings

            Note about pie crust: I like the Pillsbury pie crusts that come rolled, two to a red package in the refrigerator section of the supermarket, near the eggs and tubes of biscuits. When the crust reaches room temperature, unfold it and press it into a 9 inch pie plate. Use your thumbs and fingers to fold the extra crust under, and pinch it into a scalloped edge. If you prefer the convenience of frozen pie crusts already in aluminum tins, this recipe fills one *deep dish* crust, or two *regular 9 inch* crusts. If using the smaller crusts, reduce baking time.

            Golden Cheese Strata

            6 slices bread
            1 cup (4 oz.) shredded cheddar
            2 eggs
            1 1/4 cups low-fat milk
            1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
            1/2 tsp. hot or sweet paprika
            Pinch of salt
            Generous sprinkle of pepper
            Dusting of nutmeg

            Butter for greasing baking dish

            Hot water bath for the strata

            Trim crusts from bread, and cut into 1/2 inch cubes. Place cubes in a buttered 8 x 8 or 9 x 9 inch oven-safe dish.
            Top with the cheese.
            In a mixing bowl, whisk the eggs, and add milk and seasonings. Mix thoroughly. Pour liquid over bread and cheese.
            Cover and refrigerate the dish for 30 minutes to overnight.
            Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
            Now heat some water, in a teakettle, saucepan, or a bowl in the microwave.
            Stir the strata ingredients. Set the baking dish in a larger roasting pan, and pour hot water into the large pan so it comes up at least 1/2 inch around the strata. (This prevents the edges from burning.)
            Bake 8 x 8 dish for 35 minutes, 9 x 9 dish for 30 minutes, until strata is golden brown.
            Lift baking dish out of the water bath. Let the strata sit for at least 5 minutes before serving. Serve warm.
            This recipe can be doubled and baked in a 9 x 13 inch pan for 45 minutes.

            Yield: 4 generous or 6 smallish servings

          2. I have had 3 jaw surgeries in the last few years, so I have plenty of experience with the soft food thing. Although the suggestions to eat polenta and grits make sense, my experience was that it was hard to get your mouth clean afterward. I liked things like salmon that was easy to flake with green peas mashed like potatoes. a nice treat would be souffled dishes

            1 Reply
            1. re: WCchopper

              I'm having a little trouble with my replying, so I'll add this to my last reply.Souffles are good because everything has to be pretty smooth. I really liked very baked soft sweet potatoes. I liked to roast vegetables, then puree them (like cauliflower with cumin, garlic, ginger) to make them more flavorful. Right now, you can roast squash and poblanos and make soup! I ate lots of soup! But at the end of the day, no matter how good the food is, you really just want to crunch something between your teeth, so don't feel bad if you begin to get a tepid response despite all of you care and efforts!