After 2 rounds of dental surgery, I had to be on a soft food diet for almost 10 weeks. At first, it didn't seem so daunting but by the second day, I was so tired of mashed potatoes and scrambled eggs I began to panic. Not only did I need to eat my meals, but all of my medication had to be taken with food.
I started searching the internet for what else I could have, and the choices were very limited. Nothing hard, crunchy, sticky, brittle, spicy, acidic, no nuts, seeds, skins or anything hard to chew were my initial instructions. What I discovered was that even the texture of a soft noodle would cause excruciating pain, so I needed to get creative.
Like most people, I love really good and flavorful food. So, I decided to experiment with some of my favorite recipes to see what could be modified to fit my new way of eating for the next 2 months. Some were more successful than others, but I started to get the hang of it. Here are some of the meals and snacks that were easy to prepare and were also satisfying to eat.
Week 1 of both phases was the toughest, everything had to be extremely soft, essentially the consistency of baby food, with no chewing required.
Soft scrambled eggs (mixed with sour cream for more flavor and creaminess)
Vegetable soup (blended until smooth)
Egg Drop Soup (I whipped the egg into the broth so there were no large pieces)
Broth with soft white bread and butter (white bread almost dissolves into the broth)
Pancakes loaded with butter and syrup
Instant mashed potatoes with butter, sour cream and gravy (instant potatoes are creamier than my homemade version and easier to prepare)
Baked acorn squash
Cream soup (blended until smooth - no lumps or chunky pieces)
Soft egg foo yung with brown gravy
Plain greek yogurt with honey
Pudding, chocolate milk, applesauce, protein shakes, instant breakfast drinks, yogurt smoothies, mashed banana
Week 2 - I was able to tolerate a little more texture so I added these dishes.
Pasta with white sauce (cook the pasta until soft and blend until smooth)
Sour cream enchilada casserole (corn tortillas become soft and mushy in the sauce)
Red beans and rice (cook the rice until soft and mash the beans)
Scrambled/Poached egg with baked beans
Potatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, yams (boiled and mashed)
Crab Cakes with mild cocktail sauce (microwave to keep soft)
Dos Leches cake (pound cake soaked in milk topped with whipped cream)
Ice cream sundae (no nuts or fruit pieces)
Week 3 - getting better and was able to add a little more texture and variety.
Crustless green chili quiche
Macaroni and cheese (cook pasta until very soft)
Tuna noodle casserole
Lentils with potatoes and carrots
Chicken Tortilla Soup
Soft Sunday dinner – mashed potatoes, carrots, yams, bread stuffing and gravy (canned carrots and yams are easy to mash and box bread stuffing is nice and fluffy)
Instant Grits with butter and cheese
Take-out Mexican refried beans, soft rice, smooth chili
Graham crackers soaked in milk
My biggest suggestion is to prepare as much as possible in advance. I didn’t do this on my 1st round and seriously regretted it. I underestimated how much pain I would be in and did not feel like cooking but still needed to eat.
Before the next round, I stocked up on everything that I thought I might want. That included a lot of pantry items that were easy to prepare – instant mashed potatoes, instant gravy, soups, canned carrots/yams/beans, box stuffing mix, soft cakes, white bread, saltine crackers, graham crackers, pancake mix, syrup - anything that could be mashed or soaked in soup or milk. Dairy was easier – pudding, milk, sour cream, yogurt and of course eggs.
I made some things ahead of time to freeze and then was able to just heat them in the microwave – pancakes, soups etc.
Eating out was not an option but I loved the soft dinner I was able to get from my favorite Mexican restaurant. That felt like a total indulgence!
Meat didn’t really work out for me – I made a very soft pork stew but it was still too much to chew and it got caught in my stitches so I won’t do that again. I’d rather stay vegetarian until I can chew properly.
- Please note this was after dental surgery and it was specific to my procedure. You should always check with your doctor and follow their instructions for whatever you need to do following any condition or procedure you may have.
|Delicious Dos Leches Cake|
|Crustless Green Chili Quiche|
|Stuffing and Carrots|
|Scrambled Egg Foo Yung|
|Ginger Carrot Soup|
|Egg and Baked Beans|
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