Saturday, March 12, 2011

Poor Little Jaw

This Elimination Diet is wreaking havoc on my jaw. All week, the food I ate during the day was mainly dried fruit, pumpkin seeds, quinoa and whatever leftovers I might have had. Unfortunately we didn't normally have much left over after dinner, since our dinners were pretty minimal. The roasted veggies make great leftovers, and the sweet potatoes are perfect for my jaw. But those dang dried apples and apricots!

Remember these? Of course you do. I'm not yet sick of them!

Even without this fancy diet, I don't normally eat three square meals a day. I snack all day long. I eat a little for breakfast, then every couple of hours I grab another snack, be it fruit, veggies, nuts, etc. Almost always I have leftovers of any kind for breakfast or lunch. So you would think that this diet wouldn't be too different. But I think the problem is that I don't have big meals at dinner to take leftovers from. Our dinners consist of a vegetable and maybe rice of some sort, and even though there might be some rice leftover, the veggies usually aren't that great next day.

Plus I have to fight Mitch for the leftover rice. 

I was finally successful at making rice. 
And yes, I had my mom on the phone, walking me through it. Don't judge.

With dried fruit, seeds, and apples being my main source of food during the day, my jaw is really in trouble. No matter the amount of pain medication I take, it still hurts and I'm still having trouble. I mumble, but that's only when I feel like talking. What do I do?!

Well, here comes Mitch with a brilliant idea . . . soup! Ah, I knew I married that man for a good reason. He's got ideas, that one! He came home with the ingredients . . .


. . . and a possessed cat.

We decided to make a soup that we had at my parent's house a few weeks ago. My mother makes the best soups . . . just ask my dad. He's on this new vegetarian/soup diet and he can't get enough of it. 

We saved all of the peelings to make a broth with for another time.

It was a curry lentil soup. We had to make a couple adjustments to it to fit our food list, but it was pretty similar in flavor. (Note: I spent so much time chopping vegetables last night that I forgot to take more pictures of the process. Forgive me!)

Ingredients (I can't give any measurements . . . because we didn't use any.)
- Carrots
- Onion
- Celery
- Zuchini
- Lentils
- Curry powder
- Garlic
- Ginger
- Thyme
- Oregano
- Salt and pepper 
- Water
My mother's recipe uses organic vegetable broth, but since most all of the prepared vegetable broths that you find at the grocery store have tomatoes in them, we couldn't go that rout.

The first step is to chop up all of your veggies really small. How small? This small . . . 

Chop chop chop!

Take your chopped garlic and onion and throw that into your soup pot. Let that brown and start smellin' good.

Then add your chopped veggies and sweat them for about 10 to 15 minutes.


We had some fresh ginger, so we diced a little of that and added it to our veggies. (Also diced a bit up and put into our other pot for the extra veggie broth.)

Once your vegetables are nice and soft, add your spices. Now, you can use whatever spices you want in this situation, but we used what we had. My mother originally made this soup for my dad because he loves curry. And we love curry to, so we took her advice to add "a lot" of curry. We also threw in some thyme, oregano, and salt and pepper to taste. 

My mother also suggested adding extra turmeric, but unfortunately we didn't have any on hand.

Once you have your preferred concoction done, add your water or broth. We filled ours about an inch or two above where the veggies sat. Let that cook for a while.

LENTILS,

I've never made lentils personally, so this was a new one for me. My mom suggested soaking the lentils in luke warm water for five minutes. Otherwise, if you soak them for longer, when they cook they get mushy. We like them a little more "al dente". Add the lentils and cook for somewhere between 20 to 30 minutes, depending on how well cooked you like those lentils.


Now I admit, it looks a little bit like vomit. I think the curry has something to do with that gorgeous color. But let me tell you, it is delicious! And just what my jaw and belly needed!

My jaw was happy I didn't have to chew and my belly was happy to have some warm food. And something with a lot of flavor, which is what we were missing with a lot of our food this week. It was perfect.

And that extra broth?


We threw all those scraps in a pot, filled with water, and cooked it for a good long time. Strained out the veggies and now we have a perfect broth we can use for our next soup or even the next pot of rice. 


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Lyda