Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Temporary Freedom

This morning I woke up an extra hour early to cook.  While cooking in the mornings has become part of my normal routine, later that day I would have a follow-up visit with the surgeon and he would temporarily remove my heavy bands.  And I wanted to take full advantage of those precious minutes of freedom to shovel food into my body and give my mouth a proper cleaning.

My food of choice - Red Lentils and Boiled Eggs (separate, of course)

I know, not the most glamorous food.  Trust me, I would've loved to enjoy a nice crisp Caesar salad, delicious juicy steak, and fresh piece of sourdough bread, just to name some favorites.  But I had to think intelligently and make the most of food that I could eat quickly with minimal chewing and high nutritional value.  Smart choice because when those bands came off and I began moving my jaw again, it was still quite painful.  Apparently my jaw kept slipping to one side (wish I could've taken a picture of that!) and we did several practice runs to get the jaw back to its correct alignment before new bands went back on.  This visit was also particularly painful because my "grill" seemed to reject all the bands the doc tried to put on, causing several bands to pop or rip against my gum line (I thought I was going to punch someone each time!).

Still optimistic that I'll be one of the better cases of 6 weeks of being wired up (worse case is 10 weeks).  2 1/2 weeks in so far.  Some of my more notable meals today included:

Oatmeal Smoothie with "Butters" & Vitamins
- 1/2 cup of quick oats
- 2 cups of water
- 1 banana chopped
- 1 cup of milk
- 1 tbsp peanut butter
- 1 tbsp mango butter (can substitute honey)
- 1-2 tbsp liquid vitamins

Add quick oats to boiling water.  Stir constantly and add banana pieces. Cook for 3-4 minutes until oats are tender.  Place milk, peanut butter, mango butter and liquid vitamins into blender.  Add cooked oats with water.  I found that my liquid vitamins tasted repulsive and often killed the taste of the oatmeal (or any smoothie for that matter).  But with the "butters" combo, the taste was nearly 100% disguised.

Guacamole Smoothie
- 2 ripe avocados
- 1 lemon (or 1 tsp of lemon juice)
- 1 medium sized tomato finely chopped
- 1/3 cup of finely chopped white or yellow onion
- 1/4 cup of finely chopped cilantro
- 1/2 cup vegetable broth (best chilled)
- 1/2 cup water
- Salt & paper according to taste
- 1 tsp chilli powder (based on tolerance for spice)

Mash up the avocados completely.  Add lemon juice, pepper, and chilly powder and whip until creamy.  Toss avocado mixture into blender and add remaining ingredients.  Broth usually has sufficient saltiness, however, add salt if needed.  Good source of natural vegetable fat and protein.  

Red Lentil Smoothie
- 1 cup of red lentils
- 3 cups of chicken broth (1 quart box), more if needed
- 1 small onion finely chopped or grated
- 1 tomato chopped
- 1 tbsp garlic minced
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1/2 tsp cumin
- Salt & paper according to taste
- 1 lime (optional)

If possible, soak the lentils over night.  This will speed up the cooking and soften them further for blending.  Melt butter in saucepan.  Add onions and cook until they are translucent for 4-6 minutes.  Add tomato and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes.  Add lentils and coat evenly with mixture, cook for 5 minutes, stirring frequently.  Add broth and bring to summer.  Continue to stir lentils often.  45-55 minutes of total cooking time.  Sufficient liquid should remain for blending.  Season to taste with lime juice, salt and paper prior to blending.

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