Had gum surgery two days ago -- what healthy foods to eat?
I've read a couple of the threads on this topic here, but haven't come up with much in the way of healthy options. Not so keen on munching vienna sausages and other highly processed foods, granted, those have their time and place . . .
Yesterday, I made myself a great smoothie with 1 banana, 1 C. light chocolate soymilk, and 1 package mori-nu light silken tofu. I hope I don't get sick of that over the next couple weeks!
Today, I had some mashed potatoes (added butter, skim milk, salt and pepper), mashed summer squash (salt and pepper), and mashed baked beans (homemade and pretty tasty if I do say so myself).
SO and I subscribe to a CSA that gives us lots of beautiful veggies each week. We've got beets, baby turnips, tomatoes, chard, sweet peppers, tomatillos, strawberries, summer squash, and basil. Also romaine lettuce, but I don't think I'm going to put that in the blender . . .
Anyway, does anyone have any ideas about what to do with all the pretty veggies? I know that basically, whatever cooking/seasoning treatment they get, they're going to be pulverized afterwards so I can eat them easily. But I'd love to get a little creative with seasonings. I'm looking for recipes that are low in fat, high on nutrients, as I'm not doing a whole lot of moving around!
Thanks in advance.
I'm not vegetarian, I just like my vegetables.
If you've got a little time on your hands (not much needed, but more than the time it'd take to make a smoothie, I think): lentil soup. Lots of veg potential -- usually I throw in whatever looks like it's about to go, plus the standard diced carrots/celery/onion, some tomatoes if you can have 'em. Then purée the heck out of it.
I had my wisdom teeth out last December and this was the one thing I ate that vaguely resembled real food. Lots of rice pudding, too, but that was harder to explain for nutritional content...
You have ALL my sympathy; I've had three gum grafts (I'm out of teeth for any more) plus five root canals...bad dental genetics, although on both sides of the fam, everyone lives to mid-80's to mid-90's.
Basically, for the first few days, I didn't want anything that required chewing, as I didn't even want the friction of jaws and cheeks and lips moving over my gums. I, too, like my veggies, and cooked them more than usual, so that it took no effort to chew them (both b/c of the graft site and because of the roof of the mouth thing). Slightly overcooked pasta worked well, too.
I also ate scrambled eggs. One trick is to nuke some sort of veggie burger (e.g., Garden Burger) till thawed, then put it into a frying pan and break it into chunks with the spatula as it's heating. Add a scrambled egg or two and cook till it's done to your liking. I like it with a little salsa on top, when I'm not recuping from dental surgery. Lots of protein and you dirtied only one pan.
Hang in there! The surgery will make it so that you can eat foods with flavor and texture for many years to come!
I'm am so sorry and I know just how awful it is. The poster above stating avoid the acids and heat is 100% accurate - but you probably already know that by now!
Protein is important - I found it in pureed beans with cheese and protein powder drinks. Mashed potatoes became a frequent meal but I added different finely grated cheeses to change it up. I did not use pepper or other herbs/spices or small grains because I was told it might lodge in the . . . well, you know.
My first offical meal was salad - so exicting since it had texture! What are you dreaming of?
The meals I enjoyed the most after my wisdom tooth surgery were simple ones: potato leek soup was absolutely heavenly, and I also really enjoyed pancakes because they didn't hurt to eat but you feel like you're still chewing something.
You could also make veggie chilaquiles with some of your CSA stuff, served with tomatillo salsa.
Since you're not going to be able to eat much meat while healing, try adding mushroom powder to your purees for some umami. Dried mushrooms, available in Asian markets, Trader Joe's, and some supermarkets, can be ground in a processor, blender, or coffee grinder. By the way, the powder is a nice addition to hamburger meat and to the breading for fried eggplant, cutlets, etc. If your appliances won't grind fine enough, soak the mushrooms first, then drain and puree. Strain the liquid through a coffee filter to remove any grit, then add the liquid to what you're cooking, or freeze for later use in sauces and stocks.
Soy and fish sauces will also add a hearty dimension to mostly-veggie dishes.
Since you've made tomato sauce, use couscous instead of regular pasta. A 5-minute soak in boiling water, no chewing. Use broth or stock rather than water, if desired.
just be careful with the tomatoes, peppers, tomatillos, etc. they're very acidic and you may find that they burn the heck out of your gums if you have any tender, exposed tissue. i should know - i had gum surgery this week as well, and made the mistake of eating a tomato...
anyway, i roasted several large baking dishes worth of veggies the other day to prepare for my post-op mush diet...
the zucchini actually wound up being soft enough to eat without pureeing, so you could really just roast your summer squash with whatever herbs you like.
cauliflower got pureed into two batches - one with roasted garlic, bragg's aminos, pepper & paprika; the other with buttermilk, salt, pepper & snipped chives [think pseudo-mashed potatoes]. your turnips could definitely work with the same treatment.
carrots got pureed with a little roasted garlic, roasted red onion, wheat-free tamari, pepper, cumin & smoked paprika.
i'd normally amp up the flavor with some acid - either vinegar or citrus depending on the dish - and i also typically love heat in my food. but as with the acidic veggies, neither is a good idea until your mouth heals.
roasted butternut squash or pumpkin seasoned & pureed with traditional pumpkin pie spices is another good one.
i'm also eating a lot of hummus & baba ghannouj.
and as far as protein goes, there are a gazillion different ways to flavor your smoothies. but if you want a change, try various sweet or savory incarnations of cottage cheese and/or yogurt. and speaking of dairy, are you taking any medication [antibiotics or painkillers] for your recovery? if so, drink some kefir every day to help maintain the health of your digestive tract.
i hope some of this helps/inspires you. personally, i'm so over this "soft, bland food" deal. i miss crunchiness, heat, tanginess...you know, all the good stuff :)
get well soon!
Thanks, ghg! You too!
I tried out the 'spicy' bit today -- had some Cholula sauce on my mashed up marrow beans . . . and no ill effects to report, thank goodness. My periodontist had a retainer made though, so the roof of my mouth isn't exposed, and the stitches are covered in some sort of periodontal dressing that stays on for a week. I hope you got the same!
Thanks for the tip on staying away from acidic foods, too -- I'll save that tomato sauce for a couple weeks from now.
i had another thought - scrambled eggs.
and i noticed that someone suggested couscous, but i'd avoid any grains or seeds that are small enough to get lodged in places you can't clean out. same goes for fruits with seeds - be careful with those strawberries, you might want to strain them out if you use them in your smoothies.
you're lucky - they didn't put a dressing on mine because then i wouldn't be able to wear the guard that minimizes the damage from the way i gnash/grind my teeth in my sleep! it's never easy, is it? ;)