Stocking Up on Veggies

Saturday starts my Soft Foods phase of learning to eat again. That means I'll be able to CHEW again! Whoo-hoo! I can't wait. I know the liquids were the only things that could pass the swollen and sore stoma from now until surgery, but damn you do miss the mouth feel of something solid to chew on.

So, today I'm taking the remaining fresh veggies from last week and cooking them. The kale, brocco-flower, rutabaga, cauliflower, and spinach will all be stored in the freezer as cooked veggies or they'll go bad before I can enjoy them in their usual steamed or raw forms. That's a week-plus a few days away at minimum. By cooking them, at least I can enjoy them very soon.

I can hardly wait. There's Turnip Fries already awaiting to titillate my eager taste buds in the freezer. They cook up tender, but I'll probably restrain myself until the middle of next week at the earliest to attempt them passing the stoma. The theory is, if you can't mash it to death with a fork, you can't have it until the doc says, "Okay, try solids." Until that day, I have a lot to do.

You see, I finally gave in and bought a V-slicer mandolin and was hooked with one use just before I went on the pre-op liquids. Slicing up any veggie into reasonable forms like coins or julienne is a snap with a V-slicer, even a cheap $10 model from Target like mine. Between that, a good y-shaped peeler, and my food processor, making veggies into any form I like is a snap.

Since I'm waiting for the slightly salted water to heat up, I can sit back down. I've a lovely device I picked up somewhere called a Pot Watcher to tell me when the water boils. It's a disk of Corningware glass you drop in the water. When the water boils, the Pot Watcher rattles around in the pan, alerting you. Soon as I hear that distinctive rattle, I'll dump in the brocco-flower. It's a yellow one, so the Cauliflower Faux-tay-toes Deluxe I make should have a buttery color. Yum!

Same goes for the fresh Broccoli, though who needs more than a cheese sauce for that? Not me! (I love low-carb dieting.)

I'll probably be lazy and do the Mashed Rutabaga in the crock pot. It takes a long time to cook, and I don't want to risk forgetting a boiling pot.

The kale will have to wait until I come home from my errands, and that's all there is to it. I forgot to get out the bacon, so it has to defrost before I use it to season the pot and bake the rest of the bacon in the oven for later use.

I've my first Soft Foods meal picked out. I'll share all of this with DH and Dante, so don't think I'm being a pig. I'll eat a tiny bit and let them have the rest. Cheddar Frittata for breakfast. (Drool!) Cottage Cheese and maybe Mashed Rutabaga or Cauliflower Cream for lunch. Baked Salmon, Kale, and Broccoli for dinner, with a SF French Vanilla Pudding Pie for dessert. No, I won't eat the crust! Stupid, I'm not. That'll be an extra for the men to split.

Guess the swelling is going down, if I am hungry. Cool.


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