TMJ Diet: Vegetable Ramen Soup
This heart-warming soup is delicious and nutritious. Those with jaw problems including general jaw pain and TMJ jaw pain often have a hard time eating vegetables and high fiber foods that are essential to a healthy diet. Soups such as these fit into a soft food diet without sacrificing taste and nutrition. The soup can be made in a variety of ways depending on availability of vegetables. Add frozen vegetables like peas or corn for color, texture and more nutrition. Try different proteins like diced tofu, peas, shrimp, edamame beans or cooked chicken. If jaw pain is severe, consider pureeing the vegetables before adding protein and the noodles. For a *gluten-free variation, choose brown rice or buckwheat noodles.
What is ramen? Ramen is a Japanese noodle soup dish, with Chinese-style wheat noodles served in a rich broth, and topped with cooked sliced pork, fresh scallions, and sometimes a medium-boiled egg.
In the U.S., ramen has become super trendy. There are restaurants devoted only to this soup, of course offering different variations. Traditionally the broth is made from meat or seafood and flavored with soy sauce or miso. Today, most ramen shops offer a vegan broth. Sometimes, gluten-free (buckwheat) noodles are an option. Extra vegetables are typically on the “add-in” list on the menu.
Ramen noodles are soft so they are an ideal food for those on a soft food diet who have difficulty chewing and may be suffering with jaw pain or TMJ pain. You can cook the vegetables in the broth until the desired softness. This recipe calls for Brussels sprouts. If you find them too hard to chew then leave them out and add more of the other vegetables. Soups on!
TMJ Recipe: Vegetable Ramen Soup
Choose organic ingredients when available:
- 32 ounces organic low sodium vegetable broth (or chicken broth)
- 1/2 large onion
- 8 ounces baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
- 6 baby carrots, chopped
- 1 cup Brussels sprouts, trimmed & cut in quarters
- 1 cup frozen corn
- 1 cup frozen peas
- 2 cups baby spinach
- 2 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce (choose gluten-free brand if needed)
- 1 teaspoon honey
- 1 teaspoon hot sauce (yuzu hot sauce), optional
- 4 ounces dried soba noodles, preferably made from brown rice or buckwheat
- In a large saucepan, on medium heat, sweat onions and mushrooms for 5 to 7 minutes.
- Add Brussels sprouts and carrots. Continue to cook for 5 to 7 minutes, adding a bit of broth if liquid is needed.
- Add corn and peas until defrosted.
- Add the rest of the broth, soy sauce, honey and optional hot sauce.
- Bring to a boil, add noodles. Separate noodles gently with a fork and reduce heat to a simmer. Follow package directions for cooking time.
- Add spinach and allow to wilt in the soup.
- Stir and serve.
Nutrition Facts per serving: 215 calories, 1 g fat, 46 mg carbs, 5.6 g dietary fiber, 10.5 G protein, 25 percent daily value iron, 648 percent daily value vitamin D, 12 percent daily value potassium.
Sodium varies depending on brands used. If you are on sodium-restricted diet, omit the soy sauce.
*If you are on a gluten-free diet, make sure all ingredients are gluten-free.
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