This is the first time I’ve had any meat since this thing has started, lots of yogurt and milk and a little cheese. These were exceptionally good to me. They are based on a dish that is sold from one of the booths at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival every year. It is pretty simple, essentially it is red beans and rice made with white navy beans instead of the red ones. Everybody has their own special twist to red beans so this is mine. It blends up amazingly well and only needs a little more chicken broth to get it to slurping consistency.
- 1 pound dry navy beans, soak overnight
- 2 bay leaves
- 1 Tablespoon Italian seasoning
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 onion chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 3-4 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 red or yellow bell pepper chopped
- salt and pepper
- 1 pound andouille sausage, sliced
- 6 – 8 oz of cooked ham, chopped
Drain beans and put in crock pot with 1 quart of chicken stock. Throw in the bay leaf and Italian seaoning and start cooking on high. Saute all vegetables in olive oil in a skillet, til tender. Pour into crock pot with beans. Add salt and pepper to taste. Wipe out the skillet and add a little more olive oil. Brown sausage in skillet. Put it in with beans along with the ham. Let cook on high for at least 4 hours. Then turn it down to low and let it go 1 to 3 hours longer. You can eat it like it is if you can open your mouth. If not, blend it up and it is yummy.
I was thinking I would do a mashed potato soup with cheddar cheese that a friend had sent me. But Pat said that he had read somewhere that cheese was a no-no for wired shut people. It was too sticky and made a mess on the wires. I had delayed doing it, but could not resist this recipe with stilton cheese. I am happy to report that after you run it through the blender the cheese is apparently in such tiny pieces that it is not a problem. At least for blue cheese. I’ll try that cheddar cheese thing soon. I’ll get back to making pictures, also, but pureed soup is not that interesting to photograph. They just all kind of look the same. Here’s the recipe:
Cream of Cauliflower and Stilton Soup
- 1 1 1/2 pound head of cauliflower, chopped
- 3 Tablespoons of butter
- 1 medium onion chopped
- 3/4 cup celery chopped
- 1 leek, white and pale green parts only, chopped
- 3 Tablespoons flour
- 3 cups canned vegetable or chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
- 3 1/2 ounces Stilton cheese or any good blue cheese, crumbled
- Salt and ground white pepper to taste
Melt butter in 3 qt or larger saucepan. Saute vegetables in butter till onion is translucent. Add flour and cook stirring for about 5 minutes. Stir in broth and milk. Bring to a boil and turn down to simmer gently for 30 to 45 minutes. Stir in blue cheese and then blend in batches or use immersion blender, til smooth. Season to taste with white pepper and salt.
This is amazingly delicious. Pat says it would make a nice sauce for steak or other vegetables, roasted. It would. I’m amazed and impressed. Speaking of Pat, I’m amazed and impressed with him also, but not surprised. He has been so wonderful through all of this. Going to get me whatever I wanted at first when I was confused, frightened, and bewildered by the whole thing. He has taken good care of me and I appreciate it. Having a good partner has been one thing that the other broken jaw bloggers have mentioned as being important, and it is true. Now that I’m all competent, I can act like I can do it all on my own, but at first it was pretty scary and I wasn’t too sure of anything. It is great to have his love and support.
Lassi, without an e, is not a girl at all, but is as lovely as one. It is a drink from India, that can be made in a variety of ways. The recipe I have from Gina is for a Mango Lassi. I cannot get a picture to come out worth a flip. My camera wants to flash and then it’s all washed out. So just imagine a creamy, frothy, peachy, mangoey colored smoothie in a glass with a straw. Here’s the recipe:
- One mango’s worth of pulp, no seed, no peel
- 1 container plain yogurt
- 1 cup milk
- 1 Tablespoon sugar
- 1 cup ice
I sliced off the mango flesh running my knife along the side of the pit. Then just scooped out the fruit with a spoon, like you do avocados. Place everything in the blender and whir away. Gina says it makes 3 servings but, since it’s just me eating everything through a straw, I drink the whole thing and call it breakfast. I think next time I may add some cinnamon or nutmeg.
OK, I know mangoes don’t grow in Georgia. But now that I’ve got the method mastered, I can make a Strawberry Lassi, a Blueberry Lassi, a Blackberry Lassi, and the ultimate, a Peach Lassi. I’m ready for summer and I won’t even have wires then.
The Asparagus soup simmering along. It is very delicious.
This is another recipe from good old Gina. I have modified it just a little to get some more calcium and protein into it. My version goes like this:
2 bunches of Asparagus, tough ends removed and chopped
1 Tablespoon butter
1 Vidalia onion chopped
6 cups chicken broth
1 container Fage greek yogurt, plain
salt and pepper to taste
Melt butter in large saucepan. Saute onions and asparagus, just until onions become translucent. Add chicken broth and salt and pepper. Bring to a boil and then lower heat to simmer for 45 minutes until asparagus is very tender. You could probably go only 30 minutes if you don’t have to drink through a straw. At this point. I jar it up in 2 quart jars and put it in the fridge. It makes 4 servings that are quite large = 2 cups each. When you get ready to serve it, blend each serving with 1/4 container of yogurt. You can reheat on the stove after blending or in the microwave. If you are not getting all your sustenance from liquids, you might want to just have a cup or a cup and a half. But it is good enough to eat the big serving.
Unfortunately, these asparagus came from the grocery store, but I am watching every day to see when mine come up. I hope that it will be soon.
I went back to the oral surgeon today to check on how things are going. She said they looked good. I had been working hard to keep them clean and she was happy about that. But she noticed that I was moving my jaw a little more than I should and that the bite did not match up on each side. So she tightened me up. That wasn’t too bad. I was afraid that it might interfere with my thick soups, but everything seems to be working fine. I had some of this asparagus soup when I got home from work this evening. It was delicious.
Potato Leek Soup simmering in the pot.
This eating everything through a straw is not really that difficult. You have to spend some time cooking the food, but having real food is much better than the Ensure and gatorade diets that I have seen some jaw affected internet people advocate. I want real food, none of that chemically based edible food-like substances. Mostly, it has been just cooking good local food, like I did before, just a little more liquid than before. I do miss my salads, but hopefully they will be back soon. Today, the star is Potato Leek Soup.
- 1 bunch of leeks, white and light green parts
- 1/2 white onion
- 2 russet potatoes, peeled and cubed
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 Tablespoon flour
- 4 cups chicken stock
- 1/2 cup 2 percent milk
- salt and pepper
Wash leeks carefully and slice. separate rings and rinse in cold water to remove any dirt from inside. Chop coarsely. Chop onions. Set leeks onions and potatoes aside. Melt butter in soup pot. Add flour and make a roux. Cook til it smells a little nutty, but don’t brown it. Add leeks and onions and potatoes and chicken stock. Bring up to a boil and then turn down heat and let it simmer about 30 minutes or more till everything is very tender. Blend it all til smooth in a regular blender or with an immersion blender. Add milk and bring back to a simmer. Add salt and pepper to taste.
This recipe came from Gina’s Weight Watcher Recipes, which you can click on in the sidebar to the right and find lots more delicious, healthy and real recipes.
Sweet Potato Soup
The next recipe is for Sweet Potato Soup. It is very tasty and provides a nice contrast to some of the spicier things I’ve been making. The recipe is adapted from epicurious and goes like this:
- 1 1/2 cups cooked sweet potatoes
- 1 Tablespoon butter
- 1 Tablespoon flour
- 1 teaspoons salt
- 1.4 teaspoon ginger
- 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 Tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 1/2 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup milk
Place sweet potato, and all other ingredients through chicken broth in the blender. Cover and blend until contents are smooth. Pour into saucepan. Add milk. Cook, stirring constantly, until soup comes to a boil. Turn down heat and let simmer for 5 minutes. Serve. It drinks through a straw just fine.
I have not given up on my pursuit of all foods local. In fact, those potatoes and the milk and chicken broth in that soup came from local sources. I am trying to get as much of my local food as I can from my own yard. To that end I have been working this week to get some new areas of my yard planted, now that I have more sunshine.
Artichoke plants in new space.
I got the new areas tilled up and have begun to fill them up. My friend, Tamela who lives nearby came over during the week to help me get some artichokes planted. You can see the tiny little plants right here at the right. I put in lots of seeds too, of Swiss Chard, English peas, carrots, and radishes. We were supposed to have two rain events in the past 4 days but neither one of those really panned out, so I got out and watered today. I also planted potatoes in another new area near the privacy fence. I still have lots of spot weeding that needs to be done, because the weeds like living in my yard as much as the vegetables do. I’ve got extra light in the evenings with daylight saving time and I need to let the chickens out for a while anyway. So I’ll have plenty to do to keep me occupied while I’m out there.
Weedy Swiss Chard that overwintered.
There are a few things left in the garden from the fall/winter garden. Here’s some Swiss Chard that has hung around and is still pretty tasty, but it is one of those things that need weeding. I also still have a little lettuce and a couple of bunches of green onions. My collards are about to bolt and the arugula already has. So they need to come out to make way for more summery stuff. I’m getting really excited about that. I’ve got plants coming from Mary Denton and I will be happy to get them in. I’m going to plant tomatoes in the bed in front of the porch and in the amongst the English Peas in the new bed in the back. As the peas go by the wayside in the heat, the tomatoes will be coming on. So things are looking good. I’ve got to figure out some kind of blended thing to make with the Swiss Chard. That will come soon. I’ve got lots to look forward to. My wires come off and the CSA starts at just about the same time. That will be a happy week.
Eating everything through a straw is starting to feel normal. I don’t want that to last for long but I guess it’s better than fighting with it. I have some kind of fruit juice and smoothies of various kinds for breakfast, but mostly my standard banana peanut butter. I made it once with canned pears instead of bananas and that was good also.
I try to have at least two kinds of soup for each meal just to have some variety. I’ve got a stack of soup recipes that we are going through. I keep at least two kinds made at all times. I’ve only had malts from the ice cream shop twice, but mostly that was subterfuge to get the big fat straws, which make drinking soup a lot easier. The thin everyday straws just don’t cut it except for water and juice. I am going to make myself a childhood favorite for a snack this afternoon or this evening for dessert. That is a Purple Cow. It is too easy and too good. Blend together 1 cup ice cream and 1/2 cup grape juice. Pour in a glass and drink with a straw. If you don’t have to drink with a straw, I prefer it lumpy and just stirred together in the glass. It’s great and you can’t have too much of that purple juice.
I’ve come up with some fairly interesting soups to keep myself hydrated and fed. The first I want to mention is split pea soup. I had already been making it just because I was trying to incorporate at least one kind of dry legume into each weeks rotation. It gets some good protein into your diet. It is especially good and only needs a little extra chicken broth for it to blend up perfectly.
- 1 Tablespoon olive oil
- 1 Onion, chopped
- 4-5 cloves of garlic chopped
- 1 cup celery chopped
- 1 carrot chopped
- 1 chipotle pepper chopped
- 1 1/2 cup of dry green split peas
- 4 cups of chicken broth
Saute the seasonings in the olive oil. Add the peas and chicken broth and stir well. Bring up to a boil and then down to simmer for about 45 minutes to an hour. The peas should be totally mush. If you are not drinking through a straw, ladle it up and squeeze a little lemon juice on top along with a dollop of really good olive oil. You can add that too if you are drinking, but then put a cup of it or a little more through the blender along with about 1/4 cup of chicken broth. It should slurp up very well.
Split Pea in the jar, waiting to be blended. It makes about 2 quarts. This is all that is left.