Chocolate Chip Cookies
Zingerman's One-Pot Chicken

Grilled Pizza, Part Two


I am shocked by how all consuming Patrick has been, post-tonsillectomy. Technically only one out of the six of us (my mother is visiting) is surviving on popsicles, buttered noodles, soggy french toast and tiny sips of blue Gatorade but somehow all normal meal planning has gone flying out the window. My poor mother had to make herself a peanut butter and jelly sandwich today for lunch when it became obvious I was not going to rally; and Caroline and Edward had a packaged Dal Bukhara (lentil and tomato curry) on toast that I finished - I am  not proud of this - with my fingers when the effort of heating up frozen naan seemed beyond me.

So this is what I made for dinner when I had no time to cook* and this is what I post when I have no time to post.

I had five leftover pizza dough balls the other day and a goodly quantity of sauce. We rolled out and grilled the dough, then let it cool for a couple of hours before putting the crusts into a ziploc bag. Meanwhile, I had put about 1.5 T of pizza sauce into each cup of a silicon mini muffin pan and put the pan in the freezer. The next day I popped the sauce rounds out of the pan and threw them into another freezer bag.

To make the pizza straight out of the freezer I put the crusts on top of the (unlit) stove burners to thaw without condensation making the bottoms gummy. It took less than ten minutes. Then I microwaved a few pizza sauce portions. Topped the crusts with a little olive oil, the sauce, cheese and whatever else we liked and put them under the broiler just until the cheese melted.

Notes: The crust was flabby after it was frozen and then defrosted and broiled. Sad but true. However, as a dinner that took almost no effort and was ready in less than fifteen minutes it was more than adequate.

Any protein ideas for a kid who can only eat soft foods but who hates scrambled eggs?   

*Patrick feels so bad he didn't even care that we had his favorite dinner without him. Poor kid.


Is he a tofu eater? If so, even just cooked normally I think it would be soft enough to go down (I had my tonsils out when I was 10, and I remember. . .). If he's not into tofu, how about slipping some silken tofu into a delicious berry smoothie? He wouldn't notice any tofu flavor, but would get the protein down in a smooth, cool form. I've also made fruit smoothies with a base of pureed cottage cheese. Sounds weird, I know, but it gets pretty smooth in a blender, and it's a terrific source of protein as well.

Hope he's feeling better soon.

By the way, I made the couscous cakes the other night (well, a version of them--fresh tomatoes seeded and squeezed to get rid of the moisture, because my garden overfloweth and I need to use them up; etc) and my family really liked them. I'm certain your version was more flavorful with the punch of the sun-dried tomatoes and the kick of feta (also didn't have that on hand, so I used parmigiano), so I really want to try them when I have actually grocery shopped with a purpose. But even with the milder flavors I used, we liked them. My three year old had to confirm about a dozen times that "this is couscous?" but she loved them after she got over the cognitive dissonance she was suffering. Girl loves the couscous/the rug under my dining table not so much.

How about peanut butter and banana on soft white bread. How does he feel about tuna salad or chicken salad? Some type of casserole with tuna or small bits of cooked chicken might work too - Also- tofutti cuties have some good protein and come disguised as icecream, so might be a good choice in place of actual entree-type protein.

LOVE the new blog - I'm really looking forward to trying the grilled pizza next weekend with the kids. Your photos are amazing too - did you take a photography class, or are you just naturally talented there?

Or what about just kefir or a fruit smoothie straight out of the bottle? They've got protein even without tofu. Will Patrick eat tuna, or eggs with cheese mixed in? I'm not sure that's distracting enough from the egginess of it all but it would up the protein. Oh! what about mashed great northern beans with olive oil and a little salt, or refried beans or black beans?

Banana and peanunt butter in a blender - with yogurt or icecream? sort of a smoothie. (worked when we had wisdom teeth pulled)


Hummus? Refried beans? Yogurt? I make baked tofu regularly for myself and that might fit the bill. Something like this Hope he feels better soon!

Cottage cheese isn't bad, neither are refried beans, if he'll eat them. Also, any of those nutrition drinks - they make some just for kids. I believe they're located at Target wherever the children/baby food section is. Some times it's with the baby clothes and things, other times it's in a different location.

I do chicken cooked in the crock pot quite often and it ends up beautifully tender and shredded. Or a pulled pork might work too.

Would he eat a cheese souffle? You can make a souffle in stages if you're so inclined, in between fetching refills of ginger ale -- throw together the cheese sauce when you have a few minutes (maybe with a little garlic? or a little spinach if he's a spinach-eater?), smear some butter on the baking dish and shake some Parmesan over it (2 minutes, max, and you can leave it until you're ready for it), separate the eggs when you have another few minutes, and finally whisk the whites and toss it all in the oven.

You can also make a flat souffle, if you just beat it all together without the separating/whisking rigmarole. It tastes just as good that way.

My brother and I hated eggs also. Every day before school my mother took out her hand beater(!) and beat an egg, milk, a splash of vanilla, and a little sugar into a homemade eggnog (not the thick, sweet crap you get at Christmas time in the grocery store). Absolutely delicious!

After a few years of this we discovered Carnation Instant Breakfast and switched between that and the eggnog (Carnation makes a good variety pack that includes strawberry and chocolate malt).

Brainstorming on protein:

Dal made with split red lentils. (I like it perfumed with lots of butter and garlic.)
Cottage cheese.
Beef cooked in the crockpot (with a sugary cola to tenderize it during the cooking) and shredded. Ketchup and horseradish and onions cooked in for flavorful sauce, while you're at it.
Sashimi would be soft, if he can cope with the texture and concept of raw fish.

ice cream could throw peanut butter in there if you needed to but really the poor guy deserves some delicious ice creamy goodness and last time i checked (since it is the damn law now here in nyc to post calorie contents on anything sold to eat) the caloric content was hella high. good luck with the next few days!

My kids love lentil soup. We also love to make somen in chicken broth with little cubes of tofu. All soft and comforting.

Oh, and also maybe chocolate pudding. I think there's even a recipe for pudding made with silken tofu. Mark Bittman, maybe?

Here it is:

Every time I had my braces tightened, I ate grated cheddar cheese mixed into applesauce. It's strange but tasty. I don't know if the dairy would still bother him in cheese form though. You have to be careful with dairy after a tonsillectomy.

Tofu chocolate mousse. Dairy can be bad after a tonsillectomy (something to do with mucus and breathing, I think? Makes you pukey?) but a package of silken tofu plus eight ounces of melted semi-sweet chocolate chips blended in a food processor then chilled for half an hour to forty-five minutes is THE BOMB.

Try Fage yogurt. It's Greek yogurt but it is so much better than regular yogurt. I mix some with honey if we're eating it plain (and play around with food dye for interesting color patterns), with unsweetened applesauce if we want it fruity, or with Ovaltene for a chocolate mousse. It also holds up well to heat so I use it instead of sour cream for chili, enchiladas, etc.

What about normal food put in the food processor (and instead of calling it baby food, call it astronaut food or something...serve it in Ziploc bags with the bottom corner cut off and he can squeeze it into his mouth)? I would do sweet potatoes, broccoli, and chicken thighs put in the crock pot. It's yummy.

tofu, cottage cheese, peanut butter, ice cream, um, I am just repeating things that have already been suggested, eh?

Make smoothies and throw in some silken or soft tofu. It has no taste (really!!) and you can also add in peanut butter, chocolate, fruit, juices, anything. I survived off of these when I had an awful mouth infection and couldn't eat solids for a week. Good luck! I had my tonsils out when I was 3 (28 now) and I STILL remember the experience of vomitting blood and the pain--it sounds like Patrick is doing fairly well with such a concerned Mama.

Beans and rice together form protein -- white rice is not as good as brown, of course, but it still works. So mashed beans and nice soft white rice with butter? If he doesn't like refried or black beans, how about baked beans fortified with a little more brown sugar? (I used to make my own baked beans in a pressure cooker with bacon and black molasses and brown sugar and mustard and garlic -- yum -- too busy now.)

p.s. Every try chicken broth popsicles?

We use Morningstar Farms Veggie Sausage Links. We have nick-named them "poop sausage" which scores high on our 5 year old's "gross is funny" scale.

I think you are looking for soft protein sources??

'cause Edamame is great. But it's not soft......

Does he like avocado? I realize you asked for protein but it would be filling and easy to get down. Maybe with some slightly mashed black beans and a flour tortilla? That's about the only suggestion I have that is not covered above.

I don't know if his avoidance of scrambled eggs means he eats no eggs at all, but if he does, you could try quiche...milk, eggs, cheese and instead of bacon and spinach or anything else that might be hard or stringy, use pureed vegetables instead or just leave it plain?

Good luck.

We do fruit smoothies with banana, milk/rice milk, yogurt, protein powder, and frozen blueberries. Good blast of protein in a easy-to-drink form.

I'm echoing hummus, smoothies of his choice with a scoop of protein powder, chocolate milk with a scoop of protein powder stirred in very well, creamy peanut butter. Is string cheese soft enough?

I thought I was a wingnut, but look! Lautie A. already made the suggestion I was going to make! Which is - use raw eggs instead of scrambled, and mix them with milk and something sweet (my mom used banana and chocolate) for a delicious milkshake effect. My grandmother apparently did this for my mother and her siblings and also called it "eggnog". Is Lautie A. from Idaho, I wonder?

You might worry about raw eggs because you've heard of a little something called "Salmonella". Let me reassure you - first of all, anectdotally, nobody in my mother's family, nor I, nor my brother, lo on these many years (35 in my case) has ever gotten ill from one of these milkshakes. I eat raw cookie dough, too, and if you do as well, then you're already not worried about Salmonella. I believe that health officials make a big fuss about raw eggs not because there is a large risk of contracting Salmonella from any one given egg, per se, but because if institutions such as restaurants mix up enormous batches of food with raw eggs, then if there *were* salmonella present it would have a larger impact... or so I rationalize.

If you're concerned about the *tastiness* of raw egg, let me tell you - first of all, it is not detectable as such, and second of all, it imparts a lovely frothiness and body to the drink that is sadly missing from most smoothies. In fact, in my opinion, no banana chocolate smoothie is complete without an egg.

Lastly, raw egg is the standard by which all other sources of protein are judged - the blood test for protein (albumin levels) are named after eggwhite, aka "albumin". So, um, not to diss soy protein and all, but eggs are great. Yeah.

Hope Patrick feels better soon!

I was going to suggest a simple large spoonful of peanut butter. Or a banana/peanut butter smoothie. Does he like Nutella? Most kids do. Not sure how high the protein level is though. I think it's about 99.9% sugar, but damn it's good.

The comments to this entry are closed.