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preparing for a real dietary challenge

jujuthomas Nov 23, 2013 02:03 PM

This late winter or early spring I expect to have surgery on my jaw that will leave me wired shut and eating through a straw for 4-6 weeks. Great diet plan, huh? I'm starting to plan for this now, because I want to have on hand a good group of straw-able recipes that I know taste good! They also have to be dairy, tree nut and mushroom free. One of my big concerns is getting enough protein, since I can't do dairy in my protein shakes. I AM planning to meet with a nutritionist before the surgery to ensure I get enough nutrients each day.
I've made a ginger carrot soup (YUM) and a coconut curry butternut squash soup. I'm learning to make smoothies since my earlier post about diary free protein shakes revealed a definite lack in that area.
I figure black bean or split pea/ham soup can be thinned down with broth and blended, what else? any sites you can suggest? thanks! :)

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  1. b
    barberinibee RE: jujuthomas Nov 23, 2013 05:16 PM

    Do you like the taste of mussels? They pack an incredible amount of protein and B12 per ounce. If you do a google search for "mussel soup recipe blender", you will come up with a lot of recipes for pureed mussel soups. Most of them will include a finish of cream, but you can eliminate that without sacrificing anything.

    Other seafoods are great sources of protein. I'm pretty sure any blended chowder will taste just as good as an unblended one. You can freeze what you don't immediately eat.

    Also, if you can eat eggs, that is a good way to get plenty of protein into a liquid meal. If you like the taste of garlic, a hearty garlic soup made with chicken broth with an egg blended into it is good and healthy. That is a very typical recipe in Spain. You can sneak a raw egg into a mango-banana-orange smoothie and not taste it.

    If you make soups with legumes, lentils have the most protein. You might want to look up some recipes for Indian dal, which is easily made thin and soupy.

    In springtime, you might want to treat yourself to a soup of fresh peas rather than dried ones. Add mint!

    Best wishes for a speedy recovery.

    1. m
      Miri1 RE: jujuthomas Nov 23, 2013 05:31 PM

      When my dad was sick and could only swallow liquids, I learnedi just how many great things can be blended to go through a straw <thoufh he used a spoon or cup>.

      Soups. You can blend any soup. Mybfpdad was fond of my vegetable soup so I made tons of it and blended it till creamy. He liked matza balls so I made them very soft by beatingnthe egg iwhites, butnwhen that became too hard for him to eat, I either tossed them in the blender with the soup, or blended them on their own. They still tastes good, just soupy.

      We did butternut squash soup, bean soup, broccoli soup. You ca do beet borschtntono, and fruit soupsnwith either raw or cooked fruit. The cooked fruit soups are my favorites. Cook fruits wit a it of sugar or favorite sweetnernand blend. We added yogurt but yiu can skip it or use a nin dairy version.

      Rice. Cook till softer than usual and blend it with Earth Balance and salt and pepper, or add veggies like spinach, broccoli etc. I liked it with cinnamon and sugar and almond milk. It was like porridge. Bu get creative and add fruit or other flavors thst you like. You can do pasta too.

      Make friends with silken tofu. Its wonderful stuff. Toss nto smoothies, soups, anything. Lots of protein and blends like a dream. I like it blended with canned pumpkin and sugar and spices for a mousse. Add a little almond milk to hin it to smoothie consistency.

      My dad loced his salads blended. Hello? Gazspacho! We used all sorts of various veggies in his salad soup. Use what you like. It was very refreshing.

      We also used a lot of sweet potatoes and winter squashes. Cooked, either baked, or boiled, sometims simmered in orange juice. They are yummy blended.

      Desserts are easy. But once again, use soft tofu and nkn dairy yogurt where you can. Also almond milk anx veggie broth and juices are good for thinning things. Don't be afraid to try andnblend things. You never know what will be good. I tried hot oatmeal with brown sugar and butter and a little almond milk. Loved it. So get creative. Time will pass quickly.and some of your favorite blended foods may turn out to be foods yo make again and again, even once you are back on solids because they are so good.

      4 Replies
      1. re: Miri1
        Maggiethecat RE: Miri1 Nov 23, 2013 07:55 PM

        The OP did say no tree nuts, so I do not think almond milk is going to work. I would recommend thinning/blending with either chicken/beef broth (for savory items such as soup, it will also add a little bit of protein), or coconut milk (for sweeter or creamy items.) Coconut milk is also very calorie-dense so may help you get enough calories per day, which can be very difficult when on a liquid diet.

        1. re: Maggiethecat
          westsidegal RE: Maggiethecat Nov 27, 2013 09:09 PM

          maggiethecat: chicken/beef broth contain practically no protein.
          soy milk would be the most protein-rich substitute for almond milk.
          i once ran a blind taste test for soy milks.
          this is what we found:
          1) the winner was the 365 brand of soy milk sold at Whole Foods. get the stuff sold in the REFRIGERATED section.
          get the stuff that they call their ORIGINAL flavor (NOT the lite original which comes in practically identical packaging)
          2) skip the TJ's brands, they were all judged to be too watery
          3) skip the shelf-stable brands. as a general rule only the refrigerated brands tasted good.

          1. re: westsidegal
            Ttrockwood RE: westsidegal Dec 7, 2013 04:06 PM

            The unsweetened so delicious almond milk plus has 5g of vegan protein, not as thick and viscous as soy milk but a good alternative for those who can't have dairy and need to minimize soy intake.

            1. re: Ttrockwood
              westsidegal RE: Ttrockwood Mar 5, 2014 10:42 PM

              Ttrockwood: the OP specified no tree nuts. almonds are tree nuts.

      2. Gio RE: jujuthomas Nov 23, 2013 05:57 PM

        Years ago I had a type of dental surgery that made me unable to eat solid foods for several weeks. Among the many things my Mother prepared for me was a simple roast chicken and broccoli dinner. She cooked that as if she were feeding anyone only she processed the cooked chopped well seasoned chicken and chopped cooked broccoli in a blender with warmed chicken stock til very liquid. I can't tell you how wonderful that was to sip. It was an instant energizer.

        I wish you all the best with your surgery and a speedy recovery.

        1. j
          jujuthomas RE: jujuthomas Nov 23, 2013 06:19 PM

          great suggestions everyone thanks! You've given me some real *ahem* food for thought! :-D

          26 Replies
          1. re: jujuthomas
            johnseberg RE: jujuthomas Nov 23, 2013 07:51 PM

            I would "stock" up on homemade bone broth. Having a freezer full, will make soup preparation easy. Avocado soup is a favorite of mine.

            In addition to the change in diet, I assume your surgery will come with a course of antibiotics. Both of these factors will disrupt your gut. I would figure out a strategy for getting a steady dose of probiotics.

            1. re: johnseberg
              Querencia RE: johnseberg Dec 21, 2013 06:27 PM

              A very good point. Yogurt comes in yogurt drinks and will replace the antibiotic-killed intestinal bacteria---most useful advice I ever had from a doctor.

              1. re: Querencia
                johnseberg RE: Querencia Dec 21, 2013 06:50 PM

                Since I posted that, my Dr. put me on a probiotic powder from Klaire that is taken dispersed in a few ounces of water. She thinks the powder is more effective than the capsules.

            2. re: jujuthomas
              barberinibee RE: jujuthomas Nov 24, 2013 02:44 AM

              Wanted to add that if your recuperation period also means spending more time indoors, make sure to take enough time each day to sit at a sunny window to get vitamin D, especially since you aren't taking in any dairy or mushrooms. Should help with the bone healing.

              1. re: barberinibee
                hotoynoodle RE: barberinibee Nov 24, 2013 05:54 AM

                you're not getting much vitamin d through a window, unless we are talking about equatorial july. :)

                op may want to get d levels checked now and start supplementing accordingly. (there are liquid d3 supplements to be had so you can continue taking it post-surgery.) ditto magnesium and k2. start taking probiotics now too.

                have you looked at lactose-free protein powders? mixed with coconut milk or coconut cream this would be a great nutritional boost.

                1. re: hotoynoodle
                  barberinibee RE: hotoynoodle Nov 24, 2013 08:12 AM

                  Good point! You need to open the window! Considering starting the liquid supplement in advance is a good idea, under the advice of a nutritionist or knowledgeable physician because there is such a thing as vitamin D overdosing, with serious health consequences.

                  1. re: barberinibee
                    hotoynoodle RE: barberinibee Nov 24, 2013 08:38 AM

                    you don't need a doctor or nutritionist to be taking any of the supps i mentioned. in fact, i've never had a doctor recommend any of them. when i asked my doctor to check my d levels he looked at me like i had 3 heads. in fact, i was dangerously low.

                    1. re: hotoynoodle
                      barberinibee RE: hotoynoodle Nov 24, 2013 10:45 AM

                      My own view is that it is not a good idea not introduce new supplements, foods etc into your diet on a daily basis and all at once, based on what you read on the internet, especially on your way to surgery, without consulting a knowledgeable (emphasis on knowledgeable) health care provider, in a position to pay attention to your individuality, your regular diet and lifestyle, and what medical issues you are dealing with.

                      1. re: barberinibee
                        jujuthomas RE: barberinibee Nov 24, 2013 10:57 AM

                        i plan to discuss this all in detail with my GP at my physical in a couple months. :)

                        1. re: jujuthomas
                          hotoynoodle RE: jujuthomas Nov 24, 2013 11:12 AM

                          please don't wait until right before your surgery. get your d tested NOW. it's a simple blood draw. you want to be in the best possible health pre-op.




                          vitamin k2:



                        2. re: barberinibee
                          hotoynoodle RE: barberinibee Nov 24, 2013 11:03 AM

                          as i mentioned, i was seriously depleted on vitamin d stores, and although suffering from all sorts of health issues (hence the reason i was at a doctor at all), it was not anything anybody EVER suggested checking.

                          if you live in the northern hemisphere and spend most of the week indoors, chances are you are low in vitamin d. it's a vital precursor hormone that many traditional health care providers overlook.

                          if you eat western food, you are low on magnesium stores and supplementing with it can do no harm -- only help. this is a vital mineral to help so many bodily functions work at peak capacity.

                          k2 helps calcium navigate to its proper destination within the body. critical for somebody having bone surgery. again, not something that will harm.

                          has a doctor ever prescribed a course of probiotics to you when giving you antibiotics? in europe this is standard, but not in the states and it is vital to better healing and good health down the road. antibiotics work under a scorched earth policy, destroying ALL bacteria in the gut, not just the bad guys.

                          my doctors made me worse, not better. all they do is treat symptoms by writing scripts. few seek to cure or prevent.

                          the op is free to do research on rec's received from anybody.

                          1. re: hotoynoodle
                            juliemoose RE: hotoynoodle Jan 4, 2014 03:33 PM

                            Everybody I know who lives in the Northeast, and has had their Vitamin D level checked, is deficient in Vitamin D. I wonder why your doctor wasn't the one to suggest to you, that it should be checked? I would bet that the original poster is deficient, too-while I don't actually suggest that OP start the supplements without a blood test first, it wouldn't likely hurt!

                            1. re: juliemoose
                              hotoynoodle RE: juliemoose Jan 4, 2014 03:55 PM

                              he looked at me like i was a crazy person when i asked for the test too.

                              1. re: hotoynoodle
                                johnseberg RE: hotoynoodle Jan 4, 2014 04:09 PM

                                I'm pretty sure my D level has never been checked. I just ran out of my supplement, and I'm thinking I should get it checked, rather than continue blindly. Looks like it's going to be about $70 at my local grocery store.

                                1. re: johnseberg
                                  mcf RE: johnseberg Jan 5, 2014 08:14 AM

                                  That's crazy! The best form of vit D for deficiency is D3 gel caps, super cheap! Get my MILs from Costco. My endocrinologist (full time researcher) recommends 50,000 IU of it once weekly for folks who test deficient. MIL ws deficient and 80 y.o. and 1000 IU per day from Costco has her levels normal. The rx stuff is less effective.

                                  1. re: mcf
                                    hotoynoodle RE: mcf Jan 5, 2014 08:19 AM

                                    yeah, i thought i was misreading that and he meant $70 for the test?

                                    i buy olive-oil-based caplets for pretty cheap money and getting my d within "normal" levels has improved my health dramatically.

                                    1. re: mcf
                                      johnseberg RE: mcf Jan 5, 2014 08:21 AM

                                      Sorry, the $70 is for a test of my levels. I'm assuming it's a 25(OH)D blood test.

                                2. re: juliemoose
                                  mcf RE: juliemoose Jan 5, 2014 08:31 AM

                                  A large group practice I know of in RI tested their entire practice for D deficiency and 68% were deficient, with pretty much all of the older patients in that group.

                            2. re: hotoynoodle
                              magiesmom RE: hotoynoodle Nov 24, 2013 04:56 PM

                              Really? I guess I am lucky mine are checked semi annually.
                              And it is standard practice with every doc I know to prescribe probiotics with antibiotics.
                              Not all doctors are ignorant of such things, luckily.

                        3. re: barberinibee
                          jimrothstein RE: barberinibee Nov 26, 2013 10:55 AM

                          On vitamin D supplements, I'm confused by all the *other* ingredients (oils etc.) in OTC vitamin D supplements.

                          Sure, vitamin D needs some kind of oil (to be soluable) but there is large variety/quality among products.

                          Can someone suggest good, affordable vitamin D supplement brand with minimal other stuff (and with UPS logo)?


                          1. re: jimrothstein
                            hotoynoodle RE: jimrothstein Nov 26, 2013 04:10 PM


                            i use these. they are in olive oil, not junk seed oil.

                            not sure what you mean about ups logo?

                            1. re: hotoynoodle
                              johnseberg RE: hotoynoodle Nov 26, 2013 04:33 PM

                              The Now Foods brand seems like they keep the ingredients simple and avoid junk and allergens. I have seen where they use Rice Bran Oil instead of EVOO in the D3 softgel. I'm not sure what that variation is about, maybe they're transitioning from one formula to another.


                              1. re: johnseberg
                                hotoynoodle RE: johnseberg Nov 26, 2013 06:53 PM

                                i usually buy them through swanson or amazon websites, so dunno.

                              2. re: hotoynoodle
                                sr44 RE: hotoynoodle Dec 5, 2013 10:35 AM

                                I think it's USP, not UPS.

                                1. re: sr44
                                  johnseberg RE: sr44 Dec 5, 2013 10:43 AM

                                  From http://www.usp.org/about-usp:

                                  The U.S. Pharmacopeial Convention (USP) is a scientific nonprofit organization that sets standards for the identity, strength, quality, and purity of medicines, food ingredients, and dietary supplements manufactured, distributed and consumed worldwide.

                              3. re: jimrothstein
                                jimrothstein RE: jimrothstein Nov 27, 2013 09:32 AM

                                Thanks for tips.

                                Here's a bit a background on UPS standards and actual Vitamin D in the pills - not all labels are true!



                          2. b
                            betsydiver RE: jujuthomas Nov 24, 2013 11:04 AM

                            inspired by another post: adding tofu in a smoothie would definitely up the protein factor, although i don't know about texture!

                            1. Ttrockwood RE: jujuthomas Nov 24, 2013 10:20 PM

                              For non dairy smoothies there are a number of protein powders on the market. I love the vanilla chai "amazing meal"- amazon has the best price:

                              This unflavored dairy free (vegan) protein powder is great to add to anything and also mixes well, no grittiness:

                              Also buy peanut flour. It is a great source of protein and a great addition to a smoothie or soup. Also found on amazon.

                              Avocado is an amazing addition to blended salads or to smoothies as well. A blended mix of spinach, tomato, onion, avocado, salt, and cucumber with lemon is really delicious.

                              Sunflower seed butter, soynut butter, coconut butter, and tahini will be good to keep on hand as ways to add flavor, plant based fats and calories to your blended meals as well.

                              1. v
                                Violatp RE: jujuthomas Nov 26, 2013 04:13 PM

                                Try coconut milk for your smoothies, either the canned kind (use a few spoonfuls and then add extra water) or the already diluted kind.

                                1. t
                                  tacosandbeer RE: jujuthomas Nov 27, 2013 01:43 PM

                                  Not a 'what', but a 'how' suggestion: I have dealt with many post-op jaw surgery teenagers, and one of our tricks is to use non-see-through cups with lids - travel mugs work well and are usually insulated, so good for hot foods. It was amazing what they would drink when they could NOT see it. Some things just did not blend up in to the most appetizing appearances, so even though that lasagna tasted amazing, it didn't look so great!! Just a thought, and good luck with your surgery!

                                  3 Replies
                                  1. re: tacosandbeer
                                    jujuthomas RE: tacosandbeer Nov 27, 2013 05:04 PM

                                    thanks for that tip! I have a couple great travel mugs that I think my new "fatter" straws should work with. I've been trying to imagine some of my favorites blended up and... well... eeuw! :-D

                                    1. re: jujuthomas
                                      Jeri L RE: jujuthomas Nov 27, 2013 09:14 PM

                                      Desperate times, desperate measures! After my brother's jaw was broken in 5 places in an accident, he even had blended cheeseburgers! He used a big syringe rather than a straw. I think the wiring impeded suction.

                                      1. re: Jeri L
                                        jujuthomas RE: Jeri L Nov 28, 2013 06:01 PM

                                        oh the poor guy!

                                  2. westsidegal RE: jujuthomas Nov 27, 2013 09:03 PM

                                    soy and soy products are your friends.

                                    i put silken tofu in a blender and mix with savory spices and use it as a sauce. could just as easily be used as a "cream" soup base.

                                    edamame added to your pureed soups will add plenty of protein.

                                    for dessert, iced blended mochas made with soy milk and valrhona cocoa powder.

                                    5 Replies
                                    1. re: westsidegal
                                      hotoynoodle RE: westsidegal Nov 28, 2013 05:33 AM

                                      sorry, but many consider the phytoestrogens from soy to be very problematic. i only have fermented soy in very small amounts.

                                      1. re: hotoynoodle
                                        westsidegal RE: hotoynoodle Mar 5, 2014 10:47 PM

                                        hotoynoodle: my review of the literature does not cause me to believe that organic soy products are problematic.

                                        also, i've been consuming tremendous amounts of organic soy products for over a decade now, and in this time i've gone from being practically crippled with arthritis, having to take NSAIDs all day long just to get through the day, to going to the gym and taking exercise classes.

                                        of course the increase in plant-based protein from the soy has meant a profound reduction in animal-based protein.

                                        1. re: westsidegal
                                          mcf RE: westsidegal Mar 6, 2014 05:52 AM

                                          The problem has nothing to do with organic vs. non organic soy products. Whole soy and fermented soy products are not strongly associated with damage (like dementia in middle aged men as one possible concern) but ersatz food products containing isolated/altered soy proteins are.

                                          Additionally, soy is goitrogenic and damaging to thyroid function, so is inappropriate for folks experiencing thyroid disease or at high risk for that reason.

                                          1. re: mcf
                                            westsidegal RE: mcf Mar 20, 2014 12:09 AM

                                            can't comment on the isolated products because i found their taste and texture to be yuck.

                                      2. re: westsidegal
                                        jujuthomas RE: westsidegal Nov 28, 2013 06:01 PM

                                        soy IS my friend - I try not to use it too much, but it's a great sub in some baking and cooking. at the moment i have 5 or 6 soy products in my fridge. DH doesn't seem to notice the difference - or he's being a REALLY good sport. :)

                                      3. The Dairy Queen RE: jujuthomas Nov 27, 2013 09:59 PM

                                        Oh my, that does sound like a challenge. I wonder if you could do a pureed Finnish fish stew and use fish stock instead of milk? It already has potatoes in it, which seems like it would make it seem thickish, even without the milk. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/8973...

                                        How about corn soup, pureed with a little ham? Here's a corn soup that calls for bacon--just skip the optional dairy. Herehttp://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/simply-de...

                                        Could you puree a tom kha gai soup and just skip the mushrooms?

                                        Good luck!


                                        1 Reply
                                        1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                          jujuthomas RE: The Dairy Queen Nov 28, 2013 05:57 PM

                                          TDQ, I think fish soups sound like a great idea!
                                          I am kind of excited to start experimenting now, to see what I think will taste good when I'm all wired up. who knows, I may even add some things to my long term recipe collection! :)

                                        2. rmarisco RE: jujuthomas Dec 5, 2013 10:15 AM

                                          i looked through the replies and didn't see this clearly stated so am posting: (sorry if it's repeating something i missed)

                                          get a vitamix or blendtec. (i think i saw some kind of reconditioned units on sale from one of their websites this week) I think if you are going to have to blend every meal, a high speed blender will be well worth your investment. and, if you're sick of it by the end of the month, i'm sure you can easily sell them on craigslist for a discount. both those companies put out pretty comprehensive cookbooks with their blenders, they will be filled with ideas. i think the most difficult part will be to get warm food, since so many blender recipes are not cooked, but both of those blenders can warm anything.

                                          brewers yeast might end up being your friend. along with garabanzo beans and other beans. indian cuisine has a lot of dal (bean) dishes - maybe familiarize yourself with different dals prior to the surgery so you have some confidence cooking and blending with them when you're wired up. best of luck!

                                          5 Replies
                                          1. re: rmarisco
                                            autumm RE: rmarisco Dec 6, 2013 05:58 PM

                                            I work in a nursing home, and it's pretty amazing what they blend up in those high speed models for people who can only have liquid diets. I've watched them puree spaghetti and meatballs. That was a bit much but blend baby blend. . .

                                            1. re: autumm
                                              The Dairy Queen RE: autumm Dec 7, 2013 02:31 AM

                                              Can you puree then thin it? Even strain it?


                                              1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                rmarisco RE: The Dairy Queen Dec 17, 2013 09:28 PM

                                                why strain it? if it's done in a vitamix, the mixture will be totally smooth - it'll be a meatball smoothie!!

                                                1. re: rmarisco
                                                  The Dairy Queen RE: rmarisco Dec 18, 2013 02:01 AM

                                                  Sorry, confusing I know, but I posted this a couple of weeks ago, and I posted my reply to you right after Sherri said that people who had not gone through this could not possibly understand what a challenge it was to suck anything much thicker than a broth through a straw... She said even v-8 juice was difficult. http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/9254...

                                                  So, I was trying to see if it would work to take something that was smoothie texture, and make it as thin as broth...


                                                  1. re: The Dairy Queen
                                                    Alan408 RE: The Dairy Queen Dec 28, 2013 10:49 AM

                                                    Instead of straws; syringes, turkey basters, squeeze bottles, and the fill your own backpacking toothpaste like tubes are recommended

                                          2. s
                                            Sherri RE: jujuthomas Dec 6, 2013 11:41 AM

                                            Oh, but I can relate to your surgery, jujuthomas! I was wired shut for six weeks (jaw surgery) many years ago. I borrowed a juicer and practically lived on carrot juice for the first weeks. Those who have not been through this really cannot understand how much effort it takes to suck anything much thicker than broth through the almost non-existent openings that are available. I found V-8 juice to be difficult - too thick. Whatever you decide to do, make your first efforts very thin so you have success. I also found that I was happier if I "ate" small amounts throughout the day instead of trying to eat three regular meals with the family. About 20 pounds fell off with no effort on my part. When the wires were removed, I was surprised at how difficult it was to open my mouth. That passed quickly and I was back to normal within the week.

                                            NB: my surgeon recommended that I wear scissors around my neck in case of nausea -- cut the wires, etc.

                                            You might ask your surgeon for other patients who have also had this procedure and talk to them about their experiences. Good luck!

                                            5 Replies
                                            1. re: Sherri
                                              jujuthomas RE: Sherri Dec 6, 2013 05:45 PM

                                              Thank you for the insight Sherri! I haven't talked to many people yet who have actually had their jaw wired shut... good to know that things must be really thin to work.

                                              1. re: jujuthomas
                                                Sherri RE: jujuthomas Dec 6, 2013 05:55 PM

                                                Through trial and error, you will find a comfortable level so don't be discouraged. Many people, trying to be helpful, will recommend pureeing 'normal' food. I found this was simply impossible for me. Likely I expended more energy trying to suck it in than it provided. Something that I forgot to mention -- my surgeon prescribed liquid vitamins which I squirted into my mouth. Keep a great attitude and your eye on the ultimate goal.

                                                1. re: Sherri
                                                  The Dairy Queen RE: Sherri Dec 7, 2013 02:33 AM

                                                  The OP is so lucky to have someone who has BTDT to chime in here (though, to be fair to the people trying to be helpful in this thread, it was the OP really who started down of pureeing "normal" food in this thread.)

                                                  Still trying to be helpful, sorry, I can't help it, but would it work to puree normal food in a high speed blender, then thin and strain it?


                                                2. re: jujuthomas
                                                  rmarisco RE: jujuthomas Dec 6, 2013 08:17 PM

                                                  oh! also this might help - look online for glass straws, or get boba (milk tea) straws.. they are bigger and you can suck down more, more easily.

                                                3. re: Sherri
                                                  Querencia RE: Sherri Dec 21, 2013 06:34 PM

                                                  Try Asian household goods stores for straws that are HUGE. I think they make them for bubble tea. I got mine at a store in Chinatown.

                                                4. q
                                                  Querencia RE: jujuthomas Dec 21, 2013 06:24 PM

                                                  I have used shrimp to make a high-protein soup that requires no chewing. Bring a quart of water to a boil, dump in a pound of shrimp in the shell, bring it to a boil again, remove from burner, let shrimp cool in the water. Shell shrimp, saving water. Puree it in Cuisinart using shrimp water as necessary. Now I've been adding that to a cream sauce but you could skip the dairy by staying just with the shrimp water and thickening that with flour and oil. Add a glop of ketchup for color and season to taste with onion, garlic, Old Bay, whatever. This would freeze, if you are planning in advance.

                                                  Also, do you have a Trader Joe's? They have a Latin black bean soup (in cartons) that is perfectly smooth in texture and very savory and substantial. And don't forget good old reliable V-8. Best of luck with the surgery.

                                                  PS A good strong chicken broth with mashed potato added to thicken it is good. The Polish version uses chopped fresh dill but that would get stuck in your wiring. Can you think of a flavoring alternative?

                                                  1. q
                                                    Querencia RE: jujuthomas Dec 21, 2013 06:31 PM

                                                    This thread gets into some detailed discussion of nutrients so I just wanted to post this for any who may not already know of it: google "USDA Nutrients Database". You can search it by individual food and it is VERY detailed---doesn't just have the usual fat-carb-sodium but includes minerals and vitamins. Who knew that chili has more potassium than bananas??

                                                    1. a
                                                      autumm RE: jujuthomas Dec 21, 2013 06:38 PM

                                                      I know dairy doesn't work, what about soy kefir. I've ordered grains online, and while I've only cultured dairy milk, the website claimed they could culture anything. It's really easy to do, I just dump my grains (stored in an oz or 2 of whatever you are going to culture) into a half full container of milk. Let it sit on the counter for a day or 3 depending on your home's temp, and then strain out the grains, and yummy probiotic goodness. I like to blend half frozen fruit and half kefir for a morning easy smoothie.

                                                      1. q
                                                        Querencia RE: jujuthomas Dec 21, 2013 06:38 PM

                                                        Addendum to post about fat drinking straws: I just looked, at they are available online. I googled "big drinking straws bubble tea".

                                                        1 Reply
                                                        1. re: Querencia
                                                          jujuthomas RE: Querencia Dec 22, 2013 03:03 PM

                                                          i have a great asian market near me that I love to browse through - looking for bubble tea straws is a great excuse! ;)

                                                        2. chartreauxx RE: jujuthomas Dec 27, 2013 07:31 PM

                                                          peanut butter can be blended into shakes or smoothies. ensure or boost are dairy-free. breeze, the clear liquid version, is disgusting, but tastes ok when you cut it with sprite. my boyfriend just had oral surgery today, and i am considering making japanese (or thai!) curry for him and just blending it down. he was also able to eat the very soft chicken in jewish style chicken noodle soup, which i should imagine would be straw-able. soy milk would also be a non-dairy smoothie-friendly protein source.

                                                          5 Replies
                                                          1. re: chartreauxx
                                                            jujuthomas RE: chartreauxx Dec 28, 2013 09:51 AM

                                                            i have not found a dairy free version of Ensure or Boost. I'll have to check their websites for more options.

                                                            1. re: jujuthomas
                                                              chartreauxx RE: jujuthomas Dec 28, 2013 02:38 PM

                                                              the ensure version is called enlive; the boost one, is called breeze. they are clear liquid, dairy-free alternatives. a little less calorically dense than the "regular" drinks, and as i said NASTY if not cut with soda, but they do have all the nutrients.

                                                              1. re: jujuthomas
                                                                Ttrockwood RE: jujuthomas Jan 4, 2014 06:45 PM

                                                                Odwalla makes several excellent dairy free protein smoothies made from ingredients you can pronounce, like this one:

                                                                1. re: Ttrockwood
                                                                  mcf RE: Ttrockwood Jan 5, 2014 08:31 AM

                                                                  WOW, that's a crapload of sugar.

                                                                  1. re: mcf
                                                                    hotoynoodle RE: mcf Jan 6, 2014 08:47 AM

                                                                    and a ton of calories for the protein equivalent of 2 eggs.

                                                            2. rmarisco RE: jujuthomas Mar 6, 2014 11:17 AM

                                                              so juju...how did you do? what were your food successes? please update us!

                                                              6 Replies
                                                              1. re: rmarisco
                                                                jujuthomas RE: rmarisco Mar 6, 2014 11:32 AM

                                                                well, the braces aspect is "progressing nicely" and the surgery may not be necessary. We're going to have a consult in a month or two, to discuss where we've gotten and how the surgery will or will not be of further benefit. so right now it's a waiting game! I am eating more soft foods, because it hurts when I get into anything too crunchy. pureed soups are my favorite at the moment - last week our cafeteria did a vegetarian curried cauliflower soup - that I think I need the recipe for. it was really good.
                                                                I need to do some more experimenting, the last batch of ginger carrot soup was not a success but mostly because I forgot to remove the lemongrass before I started pureeing! ick.
                                                                the butternut squash soup I made was not good. I seem to have lost or forgotten the recipe I made that I did like.

                                                                1. re: jujuthomas
                                                                  herby RE: jujuthomas Mar 6, 2014 12:49 PM

                                                                  150 Best Recipes has the best carrot-ginger soup ever!

                                                                  1. re: jujuthomas
                                                                    johnseberg RE: jujuthomas Mar 6, 2014 02:40 PM

                                                                    I'm probably pretty easy to please when it comes to butternut squash soup. I like the simple version of the one posted on Whole Foods Market site. I made it with vegetable broth, since I don't eat much chicken.:


                                                                    1. re: johnseberg
                                                                      jujuthomas RE: johnseberg Mar 6, 2014 05:14 PM

                                                                      Johnseberg, thanks for posting that link, that's exactly the type of butternut squash soup I've been looking for. :)

                                                                      i emailed the executive chef of our cafeteria today and he's going to send the curried cauliflower soup recipe tomorrow!

                                                                      1. re: jujuthomas
                                                                        johnseberg RE: jujuthomas Mar 6, 2014 05:19 PM

                                                                        The basic version was quite sweet, to my taste. I can see where spicier variations would improve it.

                                                                    2. re: jujuthomas
                                                                      JudiAU RE: jujuthomas Mar 7, 2014 12:57 PM

                                                                      FYI- In college my mouth was wired shut for six weeks and I gained weight during that time. A hound will always find food.

                                                                  2. c
                                                                    Chefpaulo RE: jujuthomas Mar 7, 2014 01:07 PM

                                                                    I provided same for my friend, Sandra, about 15 years ago. I know you are close by so don't hesitate to call on me for consultation and home delivery..I have multiple soup recipes that can be made straw friendly. Also, I have a big Breville juicer you are welcome to borrow for fresh raw juices with every imaginable fruit and veg available up here on Ridge Pike at Jim and Ralph's. You have my email.

                                                                    1 Reply
                                                                    1. re: Chefpaulo
                                                                      jujuthomas RE: Chefpaulo Mar 8, 2014 09:28 AM

                                                                      thanks so much CP, I'll keep you posted. :)

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