Survivors' book guides cooks wanting cancer-fighting foods

Detroit Free PressOctober 2, 2013 

Savory stuffed acorn squash takes advantage of the fall growing season and the antioxidant properties of squash.

MCT

One way to help prevent cancer, many sources say, is through eating foods with cancer-combating properties.

Many of the recommended foods include those that are whole-grain sources and antioxidant- and phytochemical-rich. Of course, it's no surprise that many vegetables fall into the antioxidant-rich category. Think cruciferous vegetables - broccoli, cabbages and cauliflower - and those that are carotenoid-rich, such as carrots, leafy greens and squash.

"Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen: The Girlfriend's Cookbook and Guide to Using Real Food to Fight Cancer," by cancer survivors Annette Ramke and Kendall Scott, can help guide women seeking advice on ways to help fight cancer with food choices.

SAVORY STUFFED ACORN SQUASH

Makes: 4 squash halves; preparation time: 25 minutes; total time: 1 hour 25 minutes

1/2 cup brown rice, uncooked (or 1 1/2 cups cooked)

2 acorn squash

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/4 medium red onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped

1 small zucchini, washed, chopped

2 medium tomatoes, roughly chopped

5 crimini mushrooms, washed, finely chopped

2 cups loosely packed baby spinach

1 tablespoon paprika

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/2 teaspoon sea salt

Dash of freshly ground black pepper

Cook brown rice according to package instructions.

Cut the squash in half end to end. Scoop out the seeds and loose membranes (discard the seeds or roast them if desired).

Heat the oven to 400.

To prepare the stuffing: In a large skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the red onion and saute until it begins to soften. Add the garlic and saute 1 minute until it just beings to turn a very light golden brown. Add the zucchini, tomatoes and mushrooms and cook 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften. Add the spinach, paprika, cumin, yeast, salt and pepper. Stir and let simmer for five minutes. Stir in the cooked rice and remove from the heat.

Scoop the stuffing mixture into each squash half, packing it well and mounding the mixture high. Wrap each squash half in foil and place on a baking sheet. Bake one hour or until the squash is tender and easy to pierce with a fork.

Cooks' note: To roast the leftover squash seeds, set the oven to 375. Place the seeds in a bowl of cool water and use your fingers to remove the membrane. Rinse the seeds and pat dry well. Add seeds to a bowl with a little sea salt, a dash of olive oil and any other desired seasoning. Spread seeds on a baking sheet and bake for 12 to 15 minutes or until they turn golden brown. Remove from oven and serve or store in an airtight container for about a week.Nutrition per squash halve: 289 calories (17 percent from fat), 6 grams fat (1 gram sat. fat), 53 grams carbohydrates, 14 grams protein, 381 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 11 grams fiber.

CABBAGE AND CANNELLINI BEAN SAUTE

Makes: 7 cups; preparation time: 10 minutes; total time: 30 minutes

Use this as a side dish or serve it over brown rice, quinoa or whole-grain pasta for a meal.

1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil

2 medium yellow onions, peeled, sliced in half moons

3 garlic cloves, peeled, finely chopped

1 1/2 teaspoons sea salt

1 cup cooked cannellini beans or canned, drained and rinsed

1 red bell pepper, washed, thinly sliced

1 small head green cabbage, thinly sliced

2 medium tomatoes, chopped

2 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano

4 teaspoons ground cumin

Salt and black pepper to taste

In a large skillet or wok, heat the olive oil over medium-low heat. Add the onion, garlic and salt; saute until soft, about 8 minutes. Add the beans, bell pepper, cabbage, tomatoes, oregano and cumin. Cover and cook over medium-high heat for about 10 minutes or until the cabbage is soft, stirring occasionally. Add the salt and pepper to taste.Information per 1 cup serving:97 calories (30 percent from fat), 3 grams fat (0 grams sat. fat), 15 grams carbohydrates, 4 grams protein, 663 mg sodium, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 grams fiber.

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