Tag Archives: no-chew diet

Culinary triumphs

12 May

I mentioned yesterday that I was making a No-Bake Black Bottom-Peanut Butter Silk Pie when my blender died last night. I had to adjust the recipe a little bit, mainly because I don’t have a pie dish. I just used a cake/brownie pan. I probably wouldn’t have tried this substitution if it required baking, but (as the name suggests) it didn’t. The dessert didn’t finish setting until early morning, so I went to bed without having tried my creation.

During the day I was able to confirm that my blender died for a noble cause. This pie was pretty amazing (and perfect for somebody who can’t chew). I don’t really know what else to say.

For dinner, I made a lasagna using the Cashew Ricotta from Veganomicon (and Follow Your Heart Mozzarella). The taste probably wasn’t exactly like diary-based ricotta, but the cheese was incredibly rich and delicious. I used the new blender to prepare the ricotta, and it seemed to work well, although I never made the recipe with the old blender, so I can’t compare. I was somewhat concerned that the lasagna noodles might require chewing, so I boiled them for a long time before using them, even though they supposedly didn’t need to be boiled at all. I also wanted to make sure that the top layer of noodles didn’t dry out in the oven, so I only baked the lasagna for as long as it took me to clean up the mess that I had made, which I’m going to guess took about 20 minutes. The result was a great meal (plus plenty of leftovers). It was rich, creamy, and delicious, and the noodles were soft enough to cut into smaller pieces and swallow without chewing.

I also wanted to get some vegetables in my diet, so I made a smoothie with some spinach (and frozen blueberries for flavor). I was impressed that the new blender tore the spinach to shreds in just a few seconds. There’s no way my old blender would have done that job so quickly.

Incidentally, I thought about posting pictures of my food. I decided against it because I don’t put much effort into making my food look good. Furthermore, my apartment has devolved into a cluttered mess since the accident, and I’d prefer not to be posting photographs of that mess. Anyway, this isn’t a food blog but a blog that sometimes mentions food, so I don’t see pictures being necessary.

Death comes for the blender

11 May

My SmartPower Duet Blender/Food Processor died less than an hour ago. It was less than three months old but had encountered heavy use over the course of the last five weeks. It served me well over that time. When it happened, I was in the middle of making a No-Bake Black Bottom-Peanut Butter Silk Pie from Vegan with a Vengeance to celebrate the end of classes. I hadn’t quite finished with the parts of the recipe that called for the blender, but all of what remained to do with the blender was just mixing, so I was able to finish with a spoon.

I’m very lucky that this didn’t happen until after I got my jaw unwired. On the liquid diet, I’d use the blender several times a day, but now I only need it occasionally.

I bought the blender at Costco, so I’m hoping that I’ll be able to exchange it for a functional blender. I might try to get a different model, since I never really found anything I wanted to do with the food processor.

Various updates

9 May

In no particular order, here are the latest pieces of news that relate to my jaw in some way:

  • I’m now able to open my mouth pretty far. I can get my fingers far enough into my mouth to floss normally. There isn’t quite enough space to brush the back teeth normally, but it’s getting close.
  • I made an appointment to see my dentist in a couple of weeks. I would have liked to do it sooner so I could get the chipped teeth repaired by the time I’m able to chew again, but the receptionist at the dentist’s office said I should wait until I can open my mouth further.
  • When I called the dentist’s office, the receptionist remembered me when I explained that I had chipped my teeth in an accident but had to wait to get them repaired because of a broken jaw. I guess this means my injuries are at least somewhat distinctive.
  • I gave somebody driving directions yesterday for the first time since the accident. I don’t know why, but I like giving directions, even though I dislike cars. This time, I shouted the directions halfway across the street. It was satisfying.
  • I’ve been able to incorporate some kiwis (the fruit, not the bird) and bananas into my diet.
  • I got another packet of rubber bands from the oral surgeon on Wednesday, but already, I’m running low. The quality of these rubber bands is inconsistent. It seems like at least two thirds of them break  the first time I try to put them in my mouth. Those that survive this initial hurdle may last for a day or more.


5 May

Lunch today consisted of couscous with hummus and couscous with peanut butter and jelly. The main reason for using couscous rather than shredded tortillas was that I needed to use up the couscous, which had been sitting in the refrigerator for almost two weeks. These combinations were unusual, but they weren’t bad, really.

Today ended up being another off day for the blender, but I’ll probably use it again tomorrow.

A well-deserved day of rest

5 May

Monday was the first day in more than four weeks that my blender has gone unused. It’ll likely be heading back to work tomorrow, since I’m likely to need to shred a tortilla or two.

Minor updates

4 May

Today was a relatively uneventful day. I can only really think of a few things to comment on:

  • I tried dunking some Joe Joe’s sandwich cookies in water, and was pleasantly surprised to find that they softened very quickly. I then proceeded to eat an inordinate number of the cookies.
  • My meals were almost exactly the same as yesterday’s. The only change was substituting hummus for refried beans at lunch. In the morning, I worried that I was packing too much food for my lunch in the office, but I ended up finishing it at 10:20AM and needing to have half a serving of Vega to make it through the day.
  • The oral surgeon returned my call this morning, leaving a voicemail while I was in class. He told me that some discomfort was normal, but he didn’t answer the question of whether I should ice it. People ignoring half of my questions is a pet peeve of mine, but in this case I was less bothered by it because the discomfort had gone away already.

Sunday food

3 May

I’m very much aware that I’ve been writing a lot more about what I’ve been eating since getting the wires removed. At first, this seemed backwards. I thought that what I ate on the more restrictive liquid diet should have received more attention because it was more abnormal. Having thought about it some more, though, I think there’s a pretty good reason for the way things are. On the liquid diet, I ate pretty much the same thing every day, so there wasn’t a whole lot to say. I’d have several smoothies, a serving of Vega, and a can of soup. Now that I have more options, of course there’s more to write about.

With that said, here’s a summary of today’s meals:

  • Breakfast was the usual oatmeal, but today I increased the portion, starting with a cup of dry oats rather than half a cup.
  • Lunch was a soy yogurt plus variations on a couple of things I’ve eaten in recent days. One was chinese noodles with miso. I decided to try this as a substitute for ramen after I realized how salty ramen is. The first time I read the label of a package of ramen a few days ago, I was impressed to see that it  had less than 200 milligrams of sodium. However, I took another look yesterday, and I realized that I had read the wrong line, confusing the number for potassium with the number for sodium. In fact, a single serving has over 1000 milligrams of sodium, so I decided to do something a little different today. As with the ramen, I added some silken tofu. This time I used firm silken tofu, which has the advantage of more protein. I had no difficulty swallowing it without chewing. The other half of lunch was a can of refried beans with shredded tortilla bits. I realized after the fact that I ate the refried beans much more quickly and comfortably than I did on Thursday.
  • Dinner was a bowl of tamarind lentils from last night.
  • Dessert was Purely Decadent soy ice cream with Latchkey Lime Pie, from a recipe of Isa Chandra Moskowitz at Post Punk Kitchen. I actually made it last night, but it finished too late for me to try it. I used a graham cracker crust (Arrowhead Mills brand) because I was looking for something crumbly. It was a great pie, although the texture is a bit more gelatinous and less creamy than a typical key lime pie. This was fine with me, but it’s not something I’d serve to an omnivore to prove that vegan food can be normal. Or maybe I just don’t want to share my pie with anybody. I ate two slices and a couple of tiny slivers, altogether adding up to about a sixth of the pie. For what it’s worth, I think the graham cracker crust worked very nicely. It crumbled in my mouth as I had hoped, and the lime filling infused it with a very nice flavor.
  • A while after dessert, I remembered that I had four mangoes, which were on sale at Whole Foods last weekend. I decided to try one which seemed ripe. It was good, but perhaps not as ripe as I should have let it get before eating it without chewing. I tried, with varying degrees of success, to crush little pieces of mango between the roof of my mouth and my tongue. It all went down, but I think it would have been better to wait a little longer for the mango to soften. The remaining three mangoes will wait a bit longer.

Incidentally, I think today is the first day in four weeks that I haven’t eaten any smoothies. I actually like smoothies, but enough to be make me want to have as many as I had while wired, so this is something of a milestone.

Saturday food

2 May

I tried a few different foods today. In the afternoon, I had a mixed a shredded tortilla in with some peanut butter and jelly. It tasted pretty good, but it was hard to get the peanut butter to mix. This probably wouldn’t have been a problem had the peanut butter come from the top of the jar, but the last few spoonfuls in a jar are always hard. (If you’re keeping track, I finished that 28 ounce jar seven days after opening it, compared to six days for the last one.)

For dinner, I made the tamarind lentils from Veganomicon again. This time, I used green lentils and allowed them to cook for considerably longer than the instructions. The result of this was that the lentils ended up nice and soft, so that I can swallow them without chewing. I multiplied the recipe by a factor of approximately four, so it should last me a while. I used my largest pot (which is actually only 5.5 quarts), and the quadrupled recipe very nearly filled this. I’ll have to put the pot in the refrigerator (when it finally cools) because I don’t have any other container big enough.

I also made a dessert today, but I’ll write about it tomorrow after I’ve tried it.

What a difference a trip to a grocery store (or three) makes!

1 May

As I slurped my oatmeal breakfast this morning, I struggled to think of anything to pack for lunch. I knew that I could fall back on the supply of Vega in my office if I needed to, but I wanted to celebrate my ability to open my mouth with something a little more conventional. Having run out of soy yogurt and frozen fruit, I didn’t think I could make a smoothie, so I settled for a can of soup, pureed in the blender.

I ended up leaving the office shortly after lunch and returning to my apartment before heading out to do some grocery shopping. On my first trip, I went to Berkeley Bowl and Whole Foods Market. I go to Whole Foods frequently, but trips to Berkeley Bowl are a rarity for me. I’d always found it to be expensive for some of my staples, things like non-dairy milks and tofu. This time around, I did find a few things on my list that were cheaper than at Whole Foods, such as silken tofu, but I doubt I’ll be returning regularly.

I returned home from my first shopping trip to eat my first dinner, which started out consisting of a package of ramen with half a block of silken tofu. For all of the jokes about students living off of ramen because it’s all they can afford, I actually really like the stuff. Somehow, though, this was the first time I’d had it since I started graduate school, and it may even have been the first time since I started college. Fortunately, I bought a few more packages, so I’ll have some to feed later in the week, too. The silken tofu was a nice addition, too. I had been somewhat concerned that it wasn’t going to be soft enough for me to eat without chewing, but it really was a perfect food for me, given all of my dietary restrictions. In a sheer display of lack of willpower, after finishing the ramen, I cut up the remainder of the block of tofu and slurped it up with a little bit of teriyaki sauce.

I then embarked on my second shopping trip, the destination of which was Trader Joe’s.  There, I acquired some hummus and whole wheat tortillas, which became the basis for my second dinner. To make my second dinner, I started out by just cutting and tearing a tortilla into small pieces and then mixing those pieces with some hummus. Some of the pieces of tortilla were large enough to make it feel a little bit weird as it went down, and I realized as I finished that I could have used my blender to break up the tortilla. Of course, I couldn’t wait for tomorrow to try this, so I took out another tortilla, tore it into large pieces, and then shredded these pieces with the blender. After removing the shredded tortilla from the blender, I mixed it into several tablespoons of hummus. The second tortilla went down much more easily. In all, I probably used about half a pound of hummus tonight, so I’ll probably end up making my own hummus some time soon in order to keep the cost and the number of trips to Trader Joe’s under control.

My dessert today was the same as the last two nights: brownies and Purely Decadent soy ice cream. I actually finished the brownies today. A few people did take one at the office on Wednesday, so I didn’t eat the whole recipe myself, but I’m sure that I came pretty close.

I very much enjoyed my two dinners tonight. While they admittedly weren’t exactly what I would be eating if not for my accident, they compared favorably to the smoothie and soup diet that kept me going for three weeks. I’ll probably get tired of this diet soon enough, but for now, I like it.

More eating wirelessly

30 Apr

I had a nice breakfast of oatmeal today. It was probably the closest thing to a normal meal I’ve had in a while. I did cook it for a little bit longer than the package directions so that I’d be more comfortable swallowing it without chewing.

As I slurped my oatmeal and tried to plan my next meals, I realized that my refrigerator and cabinets are badly prepared for this diet. I bought several bags of pasta last weekend in anticipation of my upgrade to wireless, but with my no-chew diet, those will have to be blended. This is not to say that it can’t be done, but it will take some time. Somehow, I also allowed myself to run out of soy yogurts, even though I usually keep those on hand  regardless of my diet. My supply of Vega, which I had not intended to continue using after the wires came out, is also very low.

For lunch, I packed a smoothie. Not having soy yogurt, I used soy protein powder, almond milk, peanut butter, and frozen berries. It was a very chalky, which I attributed to the soy protein powder, although I don’t recall the powder doing that to the smoothies I made before my supply of Vega arrived. I also planned on using a serving of Vega upon my arrival in the office. With the smoothie and the Vega and a few leftover brownies from yesterday, I made it through the long teaching day. I was certainly hungry when I got home just before 7:30, but not unbearably so.

For dinner, I had a can of refried beans. Yes, I had the whole can, and I ate it directly from the can with nothing to accompany it. It took almost 40 minutes to eat the can of beans because I can still only open my mouth wide enough to take very small spoonfuls. Occasionally, upon sucking on a spoonful of beans, I’d feel a little bit of pain in my left jaw. I washed the beans down with another smoothie, this one containing almond milk, frozen blueberries and mango, and peanut butter. With my dinner, I also started taking the calcium supplement I bought before the surgery. I didn’t take it while I was wired because I figured I was getting enough calcium between the Vega and the enriched milks. Now that I’ll probably be taking less of the Vega, and I can swallow tablets, I decided I might as well take the calcium supplement.

For dessert, I had some more brownies leftover from yesterday and a whole lot of Purely Decadent. The brownies seem to be getting a bit harder, so I don’t know how much longer I’ll be able to eat them. I really don’t have all that many left (perhaps a third of the recipe), but I don’t feel the slightest bit ashamed of my gluttony.

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