Surviving on Soft Foods

Blueberry Banana Smoothie

I feel like such a fool. In my defense, I had no reason to suspect anything was wrong. Little did I know I was heading down the road to overexerting my jaw. It had all the makings of a perfect storm – just back from a teeth cleaning with an unfamiliar substitute dental hygienist, a tendency to chew on one side of my mouth, and munching away on chewy and hard things like tortilla wraps and nuts.

To give my jaw a break and a chance to heal, I’ve been living a soft foods diet. You would not believe how long it took me to come to this realization (hence the feeling like a fool part).

I started with the usual suspects: mashed potatoes, hummus, yogurt and any number of smoothies from Blueberry Banana to Oatmeal-Carrot Cookie.


It’s also been soups galore around here, easy to make and comforting to eat bowls of jook (Chinese rice porridge). I just make sure to cut into teeny tiny pieces whatever extras going into the jook. And the immersion blender has been my best friend for smooth blended soups like Beet Soup and Chipotle Cauliflower Corn Chowder.

Thai Lime Rice and Punjap Eggplant

It’s times like this when it’s handy to have things like Tasty Bite Punjap Eggplant sitting around the pantry. Roasted eggplant in a tomato and onion sauce that’s so soft it’s practically a sauce, served with quick cook steel cut oatmeal instead of rice. And to get some greens in, saag spinach.

Trader Joe's Thai Vegetable Gyoza

Instead of pan frying Trader Joe’s frozen Thai Vegetable Gyoza, I dropped them into boiling water for what amounts to very large wontons. Cook on medium to low heat for about 8 minutes or so, and eaten with a dipping sauce of ketchup mixed with a little soy sauce and sriracha.

Vegan Apricot Almond Scone

Luckily, I can still enjoy Sweet Aha! scones and cupcakes since they’re so fluffy and moist. Although I had to be extra careful eating the almond and apricot parts of the above scone.

My jaw is finally getting a little better, albeit at glacial speed. The hard part is not prematurely jumping back into eating everything and re-injuring myself. It’s probably going to be awhile yet before it’s totally back to normal. Any other ideas on what to eat?


  1. Lynne says

    Oh, I feel your pain! I have problems with my jaw, but so far it hasn’t escalated. I also love crunchy food – I better be careful!

    Trying to transition to a mostly vegan diet. Right now I enjoyed a big bowl of oatmeal with maple syrup. Nothing special but it tasted oh-so-good.

    Oh, I whizzed the oatmeal in my little Ninja blender before I cooked it so it would come out smoother, too. Yum!

  2. says

    Sorry about your jaw, but I have to say, your soft diet doesn’t look too shabby. You’ve managed to come up with a nice selection of appealing foods to give your jaw a little rest. The crunchy stuff may have to wait, but it will be there whenever you’re ready. :)

  3. Amy says

    Whats in that jook? I love jook. All these soft foods are something that I would eat in a daily basis. I need to try that potsticker out. Good luck and wish you a speedy recovery.

  4. says

    Oh no, feel better soon! At least your soft foods diet looks incredibly delicious. You’ve taken such a creative approach to a challenge that could put anyone down, its giving me some great ideas for the next time I have dental woes (which seem to happen all too often.)

  5. says

    So sorry to hear that you’re in pain! I really enjoy overnight oats in the morning (quick oats make things extra mushy), mixed with chia seeds, almond milk, protein powder, etc. Happy healing!

  6. says

    Your soft diet looks awesome! I suffer from jaw injury or more so gum swelling every now and then from munching on too many raw carrots and stuffs. It’s surprising how even these foods can do damage. Get well soon. Soft food does help a lot. I love overnight oats and smoothies. Cold soups or vegetable puree are also nice.

  7. chow says

    Thanks everyone for your comments! :-)

    Amy – The jook has dried Chinese mushrooms, preserved vegetables, ginger and tofu. You can also change up the ingredients and toppings too.

  8. says

    Are jook and congee similar? I’ve got some readymade congee in the cupboard, but haven’t quite got around to trying it yet, but anything with rice and mushrooms can never be a bad thing! Hope the jaw’s on the mend now (I’m relieved to see you’re still getting some sweet treats in – I think I’d panic without the prospect of some sugary joy ahead!)

  9. says

    I’m so sorry to hear about your jaw. I am sending healing thoughts your way, does the pain go away now? I like the idea of living on soft foods diet, I was thinking of some yummy savory congee I had for breakfast in Taiwan and then bam, your first photo showed up – it’s congee or jook! I love congee with chili sauce and soy sauce, fresh ginger, fried shallots and plenty of sauteed mushrooms, and Chinese fried donuts!

  10. chow says

    Joey – Jook and congee are the same thing, just different names. I’ve seen jook in restaurants but I haven’t seen the readymade kind. Thanks, my jaw is getting better, I’ve been feeding it ice cream. :-)

    rika@vm – That’s remarkable, my jaw does feel better. Thank you! :-)

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