TMJ Friendly Labor Day Menu

TMJ Friendly Recipes for Labor DayWith Labor Day on Monday, I know many of you will be having parties and cookouts. Often, the food isn’t very jaw pain friendly, and I end up just having a drink or some potato salad. That doesn’t have to be the case, though! Here are some recipes you can cook that everyone will love, but you can eat too.
Salmon is great right now because it is in season. We make it at least once a week in the summer, and I find that the texture is perfect – I don’t really have to chew it, but it still feels substantial… and as an added bonus, it’s high in good fats and protein.

Read on for Grilled Garlic Lemon Herb Salmon and Homemade Banana Pudding!

Grilled Garlic Lemon Herb Salmon

Preheat your grill to medium high.. you may want to brush it with some vegetable oil, or if you are afraid that the salmon will break and fall through the grates, you could put some foil down (though usually salmon is hardy enough to stay intact).
Season the salmon with salt and pepper.Grill Ideas for Jaw Pain Patients
Cook skin side on the grill for 2 to 3 minutes.
Flip and grill 2-4 minutes, then flip back to skin side and grill for another 2-4 minutes (depending on the thickness of the fish, you’ll cook it for approximately 8 minutes or a little longer).
It should be soft, but not too flaky – if it flakes easily it is probably overdone.

Sauce
1 teaspoon oregano
1 teaspoon basil
1 teaspoon thyme
1 minced garlic clove (more if you are a garlic addict!)
Juice of half a lemon
2-3 tablespoons butter

In a small saucepan, melt the butter. Add in the lemon juice, garlic, and herbs. Mix well and set aside until your fish is ready. This can also be done in the microwave.

When the fish is ready, just pour over the butter mixture. If it has become solid, just reheat it.

We like to serve this with broccolini or asparagus, but you could also do potatoes (which you could serve halved for everyone else, and mash with a fork for you). The sauce is great poured over everything! You could also serve with a rice pilaf.

Banana Pudding

I love banana pudding, and have tried many recipes. This is my favorite. Of course, there is a big debate on whether banana pudding should be cold or baked, whipped cream or meringue, chessmen cookies or boxed vanilla wafers, etc etc. Honestly, I don’t discriminate – I’ll eat them all! However, I think the extra effort to make the homemade vanilla wafers is totally worth it.

Ingredients

  • 3 ripe bananas, peeled and sliced into 1/4-inch rounds
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar, plus 2 tablespoons
  • 1/3 cup all purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 cups half and half
  • 4 large eggs – separated
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 45 vanilla wafers (recipe to follow)
  • 1 pinch cream of tartar

Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Toss the banana slices and lemon juice together and set aside (this is optional, but helps the bananas to not brown as quickly).

Combine the 1/2 cup of sugar, flour, and salt in a saucepan. Add the egg yolks and whisk to combine the ingredients. Add the half and half, continue to whisk to combine. Then cook over medium heat, strring until the pudding is 172 to 180 degrees… this will take 5-10 minutes. At this point, the mixture will begin to thicken and bubble around the edges (if you overcook it, you’ll end up with scrambled eggs!!!). Remove the pan from heat and whisk in the vanilla.

Spread a small amount of pudding into an oven safe glass mixing bowl (1 1/2 quart size). Cover with a layer of the vanilla wafers, then banana slices. Pour 1/3 of the pudding on top… then repeat. End with a layer of pudding.

Whisk egg whites and pinch of cream of tartar in a bowl on medium speed until soft peaks form. You’ll want to gradually add the 2 tablespoons of sugar… continue whisking until you have stiff peaks. Spoon this meringue over the pudding… make sure you cover the edges. Bake until the meringue is brown on top (8-10 minutes).  Remove from the oven and cool for 15 minutes before serving. Cool completely before pudding it in the fridge. Eat within 3 days (though I don’t think it’ll last that long).

Homemade Vanilla Wafers
Makes about 70 cookies.

Ingredients

* 7 ounces all-purpose flour
* 3/4 teaspoon baking powder (make sure it’s aluminum free – most kinds are)
* 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
* 4 ounces unsalted butter, room temperature
* 3 1/2 ounces vanilla sugar (this is vanilla beans in sugar – you let it sit for at least overnight to soak up the vanilla flavor. If you don’t have this, that’s okay)
* 1 large egg
* 4 teaspoons vanilla extract
* 1 tablespoon whole milk

Directions
Position one oven rack in the top third of the oven and another in the bottom third. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.

Sift together flour, baking powder, and salt in a small bowl….set aside. Cream the butter and vanilla sugar in the bowl of a stand mixer on medium speed for 2 minutes, stopping to scrape down the sides of the bowl after 1 minute. Add the egg and incorporate on medium speed for 30 seconds. Scrape down the sides of the mixer bowl. Add the vanilla extract and milk and blend on low speed for 15 seconds. Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed just to incorporate. Chill the batter in the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes before scooping.

Scoop the batter in teaspoon-sized balls and arrange them on 2 parchment paper-lined half sheet pans, approximately 35 cookies per pan. Use the heel of your hand to slightly flatten each ball. Bake, 2 pans at a time, rotating the pans halfway through the baking, until golden brown, about 15 to 20 minutes. Remove the pans to a cooling rack to cool completely before removing the cookies from the pan.

What is your favorite type of banana pudding? Do you have any favorite cookout/party recipes to share with us?

About The Author

Stacy

Stacy is the Founder & Executive Director of TMJ Hope. After being mauled by a dog, she experienced severe jaw pain that was not relieved by conservative treatments. After several surgeries, she had TMJ total joint replacements in 2006.

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