Stuff to read

Sunday, August 1, 2010

My first soft foods recipe

I stop mushies and start soft foods as of tomorrow. According to my surgeon's plan this means:
Meats must be ground or finely chopped. No steak yet.
Veggies must be peeled and cooked until very soft
No fibrous veggies like corn and peas
No raw veggies/fruit
Eggs are ok now

I'll be posting recipes as I go. Here's the first one.

Italian Beef & Zucchini

This will make five 1 cup servings, so you will have leftovers.

2 medium zucchini, peeled and  chopped
1/2 lb (which is 8 oz, or 1 cup) lean hamburger
1/4 small onion
1 clove minced garlic (optional)
1 cup canned chopped tomatoes, with liquid
1/2 cup (4 oz) fresh minced basil (set aside)
1/2 cup (4 oz no or low fat ricotta (set aside)
4 tbsp grated Parmeggiano Reggiano (if you can get it, if not use the shredded Parmesan from the supermarket. Do NOT use Parmesan from a green (or any other) can. This is crucial to the flavor. (set aside)
Kosher or sea salt (very important to flavor--don't use regular Morton's) and freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tbsp dried oregano
Optional: 1 tbsp dried red pepper flakes

Chop the peeled zucchini and put into a microwaveable container with a tbsp of water. Since microwave times vary, I'm hesitant to give an exact time. Start with one minute and then check it. Keep going until the zucchini is soft and tender, but not mushy. Drain and dry with paper towels if needed and set aside. It should be moist but not wet.

Finely chop the onion and garlic, and then mix with the zucchini that you have set aside.

Heat a skillet and brown lightly salted and peppered hamburger with oregano, (and red pepper flakes if you are using them), breaking the hamburger into small pieces.

When hamburger is halfway done, add the reserved zucchini mixture and cook until the onion is clear and hamburger is done through. Add tomatoes and simmer for 10 minutes or until liquid simmers off. Add a bit of chicken stock to moisten if pan becomes too dry. When done, drain any excess fat/liquid and transfer mixture to a large bowl. The mixture should be moist but not wet.

Add ricotta and basil to bowl and toss with cooked mixture. Season to taste. Divide mixture into five one cup servings in small bowls, or small plates. Divide Parmesan evenly, to top each serving. Garnish with a small amount of minced basil over the top.

Approximate stats per serving:
220 calories
18 protein
5 fat
8 carbs
2 fiber (subtract from carbs to get 6 net carbs)

Enjoy! If you have to cook for other people, mix left over mixture with rigatoni, fusilli, rotelli, or penne pasta for them and top with fresh tomato.


  1. Your blog is awesome! I'm going to subscribe and also link to you from my health blog

  2. Thanks! Yours looks great too--I linked to it.

  3. This sounds delish......I have an eggplant here at home...I think I'll try with that....

  4. Blogger Donna said...

    I made this tonight and really enjoyed it. I substituted yellow squash for zucchini (I'm sure eggplant would work fine, too) and shallots for onions. The basil takes a lot of chewing but it's worth it. It does need to be drained at the end before being combined with the ricotta.

    I had one 1/2 cup serving and there were 4 1/2 cup servings left over. I put two in the freezer and 2 in the fridge. I used the red pepper flakes and it didn't make it hot, but it did add flavor. Go easy on the black pepper. In my low powered microwave, it took 8 minutes to cook the chopped squash.

    This was a really good transition for my first day on solids, and it tasted really good, to me at least! I'm working on the next recipe--I'm thinking ground turkey curry. We'll see.

  5. Having VSG on 8/17 and I just came across your blog - I'll definitely be a regular reader!

  6. Your first soft foods recipe looks fantastic. I loved it and will be trying at home soon. Just a suggestion: why don’t you share it at food websites? I think you must join Nom Food Community and share these photos over there.