Fighting Cancer With
Tasty recipes can provide a bevy of protective nutrients.
By Lisa James
The vegetables in this recipe aren’t as ordinary as you may think. The healthful phytonutrients in cucumbers may help fight several types of cancer, while celery’s phytonutrients give it antioxidant and inflammation-fighting properties. And “using romaine hearts in juice recipes is a great way to get in more greens without adding ‘green’ flavor,” says Julie Morris, author of Superfood Juices (Sterling).
1 romaine lettuce heart
3 celery stalks
1⁄2 lime, juiced
1⁄4 tsp wheatgrass powder
1. Juice the cucumber, lettuce heart and celery. Transfer to a shaker cup, add the lime juice and wheatgrass powder, and mix well to combine.
Serves 1. Analysis: 175 calories, 10g protein, 2g fat (none saturated), 152 mg sodium; fiber and carbs can be up to 19g and 39g respectively, depending on juicing method used.
Reprinted with permission from Superfood Juices
© 2014 by Julie Morris, Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. (sterlingpublishing.com)
Roasted Salmon with
Pomegranate seeds appear to be as healthy as they are beautiful; they may slow prostate cancer growth and promote cardiovascular well-being. Avocado has been linked to prostate cancer prevention and helps the body regulate blood sugar. Salmon provides not only omega-3 fatty acids but also protein molecules that appear to support health in several different ways; look for wild-caught sources.
2 tsp ground coriander
2 tsp sugar & salt, as needed
1 pomegranate, seeded
1/2 cup thinly sliced scallion
3 tbsp fresh lime juice
2 tsp finely chopped jalapeño, or to taste
1 large clove garlic, chopped finely
2 avocados (preferably Hass), in 1/2” dice
1 heart romaine lettuce
4 center-cut salmon fillets, 6-7 oz each
1 lime, cut in eighths
1. Mix coriander, sugar and salt; reserve. Mix pomegranate, scallion, lime juice, jalapeño and garlic; gently fold in avocado. Cover with plastic wrap against the surface and reserve.
2. Separate romaine leaves; wash and dry thoroughly; remove four leaves and reserve. Slice the rest crosswise in thin shreds; reserve.
3. Rinse and dry salmon fillets. Rub a generous tsp of reserved seasoning mix over each piece. Arrange on baking sheet, skin side down. Roast at 500°F for about 11 minutes for medium-rare (should be just firm when pressed at the thickest part).
4. Meanwhile, mound 1/4 of shredded lettuce on each of 4 plates; top with 1/2 cup salsa. Let salmon cool to warm. Place a piece on each plate; garnish each with a reserved lettuce leaf and 2 lime wedges.
Serves 4. Analysis per serving: 456 calories, 39g protein,
22g fat (3g saturated), 11g fiber, 29g carbohydrate, 97 mg sodium
(plus salt in seasoning mix). Reprinted with permission of the Pomegranate Council (pomegranates.org)
Spinach, Tomato and Shiitake Mushrooms on Toast
A large volume of research supports the immune-boosting power of shiitake, justifying the long usage of this mushroom in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Tomatoes contain lycopene, which has been linked to better prostate health. And spinach is “packed with the potent fat-soluble antioxidant beta-carotene,” says Dale Pinnock, author of The Medicinal Chef (Sterling).
1 large garlic clove, minced
6–7 shiitake mushrooms, sliced
4–5 cherry tomatoes, halved
sea salt and black pepper
handful baby spinach
1 slice wholegrain bread
1. Heat a little olive oil over medium heat in a large pan; add the garlic and cook gently for a few minutes (until softened).
2. Add the shiitake mushrooms and cook, stirring, for 2 minutes, then add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cook 4-5 minutes, or until the mushrooms have softened. Add the spinach and cook for a minute or two longer, until it has wilted.
3. Meanwhile, toast the bread. Top with the mushroom mixture and serve immediately.
Serves 1. Analysis: 186 calories, 5g protein, 6g fat (1g saturated),
5g fiber, 33g carbohydrate, 550 mg sodium. Reprinted with
permission from The Medicinal Chef © 2013 Dale Pinnock,
Sterling Publishing Inc. Co. (sterlingpublishing.com)
Savoy Cabbage, Radicchio
and Apple Slaw
All cabbage contains cancer-fighting glucosinolates; savoy is especially rich in sinigrin, which has been studied for its ability to protect against bladder, colon and prostate cancer. What’s more, “fresh greens contain high amounts of vitamins C and E, and beta-carotone, which are antioxidants that may possibly prevent cancer,” say Barbara Scott-Goodman and Liz Trovato, authors of Eat Greens (Running Press). And don’t discount apples, which have been linked to reductions in lung cancer risk.
1/2 head savoy cabbage, finely shredded
1/2 head radicchio, finely shredded
1/2 red onion, thinly sliced
1 Granny Smith apple, cut into
1 tsp rice vinegar
1/4 cup orange juice
1/4 cup mayonnaise
kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
1. Put the cabbage, radicchio, onion and apple in a large bowl and toss together.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinegar and orange juice. Add the mayonnaise, and salt and pepper to taste, and whisk until well combined. Pour over the cabbage mixture and toss until well coated.
3. Taste, adjust the seasonings, if necessary, and serve. The slaw will keep, covered, in the refrigerator for up to a day.
Serves 6-8. Analysis per 1/8th serving: 44 calories, <1g protein,
1g fat (<1g saturated), 1g fiber, 8g carbohydrate,
128 mg sodium. Reprinted with
permission from Eat Greens by Barbara Scott-Goodman & Liz Trovato, Running Press (offthemenublog.com), 2011
Lemony Broccoli Chop
Broccoli is a cancer prevention superstar. In addition to calcium, fiber, folate, magnesium, potassium and vitamins A, C and K, broccoli is also “high in glucosinolates, which help the body rid itself of toxins and may reduce the risk of contracting several types of cancer,” says Laura Russell, author of Brassicas (Ten Speed). And the National Cancer Institute says garlic may also help
reduce cancer risk, particularly malignancies of the gastrointestinal tract.
3 tbsp olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 14- to 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 lb broccoli, finely chopped (about 5 cups)
1 tsp kosher salt
2 tbsp water
1⁄4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
grated zest of 2 lemons
1 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
1 tbsp chopped fresh tarragon
1. Put oil and garlic in a large (12” or wider), deep frying pan; and over medium heat. When the garlic starts to sizzle, add chickpeas and stir to coat with the oil. Add broccoli and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes, until broccoli turns bright green. Stir in the water, turn down heat to medium-low, cover, and cook for 5 minutes.
2. Lift the lid and give the broccoli a stir. If the pan seems dry, add another tablespoon water. Re-cover the pan and continue to steam 2-3 minutes more, until broccoli is tender. Stir in pepper, zest, juice and tarragon, then taste and add additional salt, pepper and lemon juice if needed. Serve hot or at room temperature.
Serves 4. Analysis per serving: 248 calories, 8g protein, 10.5g fat
(1g saturated), 8g fiber, 30g carbohydrate, 630 mg sodium
(can lower sodium count by cooking dried chickpeas without salt). Reprinted with permission from Brassicas by Laura B. Russell,
Ten Speed Press
(crownpublishing.com/imprint/ten-speed-press) © 2014
Green Tea-Mango Sorbet
Green tea comes by its healthy reputation honestly. Studies have linked consumption of this antioxdidant-rich brew with reduced risk of several types of cancer, and it may also decrease risks of cardiovascular disease and diabetes. What’s more, you can not only drink green tea, “but cook with it as well,” say Annette Ramke and Kendall Scott, authors of Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen (Running Press). “Brew extra and use, for example, when cooking soups or grains.” Mango contributes its own antioxidants, including vitamin C.
1 cup water
1/3 cup loose green-tea leaves
1/3 cup brown-rice syrup
2 cups mangoes, frozen, chopped
lime zest (optional)
1. Heat water in a saucepan; remove it from the heat just before it comes to a boil. Add tea leaves (a tea infuser is best; otherwise toss in the leaves then remove with a strainer after steeping). Steep for five minutes then remove leaves but do not press them. Add brown-rice syrup to the tea and stir to dissolve. Allow the tea to cool.
2. Combine tea mixture and mangoes in a blender; blend at high speed until smooth. Serve immediately for a soft- serve texture. For a more solid texture, scoop it into a container and freeze for an hour or more. Remove from the freezer and allow to soften briefly to ease scooping.
Yield: 2 cups. Analysis per 1/2 cup: 53 calories, <1g protein, no fat,
1g fiber, 35g carbohydrate, 25 mg sodium. Recipe reprinted with permission from Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen © 2012 by Annette Ramke
& Kendall Scott, Running Press (offthemenublog.com),
a member of the Perseus Books Group
Nori Veggie Rolls
Getting more anti-inflammatory, detoxifying sea vegetables into your diet “will do some phenomenal things in your body,” say Annette Ramke and Kendall Scott, authors of Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen. “This particular sea veggie recipe uses sheets of nori, which is a sea vegetable often used in making sushi.”
1 cup water
1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked
2 sheets nori
1 small carrot
1 small cucumber
1 small red, orange or yellow bell pepper
1 avocado, pit removed
tamari (similar to soy sauce, but with less wheat and more fermented soybean)
1. Cook rice by bringing the water to a boil and add rinsed rice. Turn the heat to low (simmer) and cook for 45-60 minutes; check halfway through and add water if necessary. When it is done, spread rice out on a plate and let it cool to room temperature.
2. While the rice is cooking, use kitchen shears or a sharp knife to cut sheets of nori in half and then cut each half in half again, so you will have four small squares from one large sheet. Stack the squares on top of each other and set aside on a plate.
3. Slice carrot, cucumber, scallions, pepper and avocado into small, matchstick-size pieces.
4. To make rolls, scoop one to two tablespoons of rice onto a small nori square. Add vegetables as desired and a dash of tamari. Fold in half or roll burrito-style to eat.
Yield: 8 rolls. Analysis per roll: 55 calories, 1g protein,
3g fat (<1 saturated), 2g fiber, 7g carbohydrate,
71 mg sodium. Recipe reprinted with permission from Kicking
Cancer in the Kitchen © 2012 by Annette Ramke & Kendall Scott,
Running Press (offthemenublog.com),
a member of the Perseus Books Group.
Baked Spiced Apple Wedges
with Heart-Healthy Compote
Bluberries may the obvious nutrition superstar in this recipe, but don’t discount the humble apple. “Apples contain a unique type of soluble fiber called pectin. This fiber can help carry cholesterol out of the digestive system,” says Dale Pinnock, author of The Medicinal Chef. Like blueberries, apples contain antioxidants, substances that can smother cell-damaging free radicals. Apples have also shown to help protect against lung cancer in several studies.
2 Golden Delicious apples
2 tsp maple syrup
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 cup fresh blueberries
½ red chili pepper, seeded and minced
handful pecan nuts, roughly chopped, to serve (optional)
live probiotic plain yogurt, to serve
1. Preheat the oven to 400°F. Cut apples into eighths, without peeling, and remove seeds and fibrous part around the seeds.
2. Place apple wedges on a baking sheet and bake in the oven 15 minutes. Remove tray from the oven, drizzle wedges with maple syrup and sprinkle with cinnamon. Return to the oven another 15-20 minutes, or until soft and bubbling.
3. To make the compote, place blueberries in a pan with 1 tbsp water and chili pepper. Cook over high heat 4-5 minutes, or until blueberries begin to release their juices and break down into a compote.
4. Pour compote over baked apple wedges and sprinkle with chopped pecans, if using. Serve with a dollop of yogurt.
Serves 2-3. Analysis per 1/3 portion, without pecans: 115 calories,
1.5g protein, <0.5g fat (almost none saturated), 4g fiber,
28g carbohydrate, 13 mg sodium. Reprinted with permission
from The Medicinal Chef © 2013 Dale Pinnock, Sterling Publishing Inc. Co. (sterlingpublishing.com)