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Aug 26, 2013 12:49 PM

Liquid diet for obstructed esophagus.

Yes, I know that sounds weird but my husband (after cervical spine surgery) has severe swallowing problems due to 2 osteophytes on his vertebra that press against the esophagus, sort of like a speed bump. Choking is a worry for us both. This has been going on for 4 months and creamed soups and smoothies are getting old. I've seen a few recipes and tried liquifying several recipes but it's a challenge to find new things. Oh, and he hates fish and sweet potatoes.

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  1. Its time for squash, and cooked winter squash is very soft. Use it in soups or just halve and roast. If your DH does not like the regular orange sweets, it is possible he would like a Japanese sweet potato which is almost like a white, but with a slight sweetness. These are a little more starchy, in terms of mouthfeel.

    You could cook small pasta until quite soft. You could make mac and cheese with pasta you have cooked longer than normal. I'd find a creamy recipe. (for inspiration, try the mac and cheese at Panera.)

    Quiches are soft. There are several possibilities. Pureed spinach, melted cheese, finely chopped tomatoes and/or herbs are some possible combinations. These can be baked without a bottom crust.

    Omelets and souffles.

    Hope some of this helps! Good luck.

    Edited to add: Oh I saw again the title. I realized I had simply suggested really soft food, not liquid. I suppose a quiche filling could be made softer than the norm. I am not sure if a soft, creamy mac and cheese would be liquid enough. Of course, you could get the squash quite thin by adding liquid.

    5 Replies
    1. re: sueatmo

      Great suggestions! I had actually thought about quiches and may give that a try. Mac and cheese worked the first time we tried it but not the second. Last night's tuna salad, really pureed and thinned worked quite well. Also made him a "nacho" by thinning refried beans, cheese and topping then topping it with canned chopped green chiles. He can actually eat "Bugles" corn snacks, Cheetoes and very thin potato chips if he does it slowly.

      1. re: HungryinCharleston

        I make a low-carb mac and cheese by substituting firm tofu for the noodles - it is definitely softer than pasta, and you can cut the tofu as small as you like. That would be a good way to get some protein into him as well.

        Does he like hummus? You can thin it out with water or broth. Baba ganoush made in a blender can also be thinned out and is very smooth and creamy. Indian dals are often cooked until the lentils disintegrate completely, and can be eaten as a sort of soup (actually, any lentil soup would work if you puree it). Saag paneer might also work, if you cut the cheese pieces very small (or left them out altogether), since the spinach is cooked until it's a very fine mash.

        Can he handle texture at all? Ground beef cooked in water, mashed well to break it up, develops a very fine texture - you can make chili that way, or maybe even use the super fine meat to make mapo tofu if the silken tofu is swallowable.

        1. re: biondanonima

          Good ideas about the lentils. Very nutritious and fairly quick to prepare. I use chicken broth in my hummus instead of olive oil.

          And I also think that tofu might be a godsend in this case.

          1. re: sueatmo

            My daughter cooks with tofu very often. I'll talk to her. All you guys are a godsend.

          2. re: biondanonima

            Very good ideas! Will try these recipes. Thank you so much!

        1. re: johnseberg

          No, I had not but I just finished reading it. Thanks for the recommendation. Much appreciated. Last night I made tuna salad that was very thin but he was able to eat that.

          1. re: HungryinCharleston

            Since he was okay with the tuna, try the same thing with salmon, really soft flaked whitefish, minced chicken or medium-cooked egg just to give him some variety.

            Other options I don't think anyone has suggested yet:
            - soft polenta - with cheese, tomato sauce, blended gravy...
            - savory or sweet oatmeal or farina
            - cottage cheese with any seasoning he likes - there's a *gargantuan* thread about it if you need ideas:
            - soufflé
            - baba ghannouj

            1. re: goodhealthgourmet

              Thank you, all, for your many suggestions. Having spoken to or therapist today, we will be continuing on a liquid diet for some extended period of time. Of course I have saved all of your excellent replies and will use them when we are able. In the meantime, thank you.