Summer Minestrone Soup

This soup, much like my Antioxidant Soup, was created as a way to use up a bunch of different vegetables.

Durning the peak of the Spring CSA season It is very difficult for my husband and I to eat everything that we get each week.  That is saying a lot because we eat quite a few vegetables daily in our house.

I wasn’t sure exactly what ingredient to focus on in this soup because so many of the ingredients contain cancer-fighting antioxidants and cartinoids like beta carotene and lycopene.  It also is full of vitamins(vitamin K, calcium, vitamin C, vitamin D, folate), minerals,  and fiber.  It also contains sulphoraphane from the Kale.

Summer Minestrone Soup

Adapted from Martha Stewarts Minestrone Soup Recipe

Serves 4-6

Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cup matchstick carrots, or 2 carrots peeled and diced
  • 1 large celery stalk, diced
  • 1/4 teaspoon red-pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon minced fresh rosemary, or 1/4 teaspoon dried
  • Coarse salt and ground pepper
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes
  • 5- 6 new potatoes, halfed or quartered depending on size
  • 5-6 leaves red kale, tough stems removed and sliced into 1 inche peices
  • 1 yellow squash, cut into 1 inch pieces
  • 2 small zuchinni, diced into 1 inch pieces.
  • 1 can (15 ounces) cannellini beans, rinsed and drained (low sodium if you have them)
  • 1/2 pound green beans, trimmed and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic clove, minced (optional)
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan, for serving

Directions

  1. In a large pot, over medium heat add the oil.  Then add the chopped onions, carrots, celery, red-pepper flakes, rosemary, salt, and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally for about 5 minutes.
  2. Add the canned tomatoes cook for about 1 minute, then add potato, cannellini beans, and 7 cups water; bring to a boil. Stir in green beans.
  3. Reduce to a simmer, and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 15 minutes. Add the kale and cook for about 5 minutes more.  Season with salt and pepper.  Add minced garlic.
  4.  Serve sprinkled with Parmesan cheese.

 

09. June 2012 by admin
Categories: Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Omega-3 Fatty Acid Rich Tuna Melt

Tuna is a quick and easy omega-3 fatty acid rich fish to keep on hand in your pantry for quick and easy meals.  I love to make sandwiches for a quick and easy lunch or even for dinner on those nights when I don’t get home until late.  It’s a great post-work out meal too because it is loaded with protein!  I usually try to eat 2-3 servings per week of fish that is high in omega-3 fatty acids.  The skipjack or light tuna is very low in mercury so I feel much healthier eating it.  Go here for more information on mercury levels in fish.

I must really like rosemary with fish because my salmon recipe  had rosemary too :-).  I think that the flavor goes really well with fish.  You can read more about omega-3 fatty acids and cancer prevention here.

You will notice that I served this sandwich with seedless watermelon.  It is loaded with antioxidants and vitamins and minerals and is low in calories.  It may also help prevent breast cancer and other cancers.  It contains potassium, vitamin A, vitamin C, beta-carotene, and lycopene.  It actually has 40% more lycopene than raw tomatoes!  Here is some more information on phytochemicals and cancer prevention.

Tuna Melt Recipe

This recipe was adapted from Rachel Ray’s mini tuna melts recipe.

Serves 2

 Ingredients
  • 4 slices good whole-grain bread ( I use sprouted grain bread like Food for Life’s Ezekiel or 7 sprouted grains)
  • 1 can sustainable skipjack tuna in water (light tuna), drained
  • 1 small shallot, finely chopped
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • black pepper
  • Any cheese of your choice, shredded or sliced ( I shredded a cheddar/gruyere cheese that I found at Trader Joe’s last week.)
  • Butter for grilling the bread
  • Fruit for serving
Directions
  1. Heat a cast iron or non-stick skillet over medium heat.  Sauté the shallot briefly, about 1 minute.
  2. Place the drained tuna in a small bowl and flake to desired consistency. Add the sautéed  shallot, black pepper, finely chopped rosemary and stir to combine.
  3. Butter the bread slices.  Place in pan and add the cheese, the tuna mixture, and more cheese.  Top with second piece of buttered bread.  Cook over medium heat until both sides are golden brown.
  4. Serve with fruit or watermelon for a antioxidant kick.
This post was shared on Simple Lives Thursday.

 

 

02. June 2012 by admin
Categories: Main Dishes, Sandwiches | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rich Double Dark Chocolate Brownies

It’s been a crazy last couple of weeks.  I thought that I would share this unique recipe for brownies, so please don’t freak out when you see black beans in the recipe :-).  I’ve talked about the benefits of fiber and chocolate from previous posts.  These still have quit a few calories in them, so I wouldn’t say they are low-cal, but they are much healthier than regular or box-mix brownies.   They have a lot less sugar and a lot more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants in them.  Here is the nutritional information.

Rich Double Dark Chocolate Brownies

 

Ingredients

  • ¾ cup organic canned black beans, rinsed
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup unsweetened apple sauce
  • 1 banana (I used a frozen one)
  • 1/3 cup organic sucanat or brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon stevia
  • 2- 1 ounce squares unsweetened chocolate
  • 1 teaspoon instant coffee
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 egg
  • 1/3 cup flour
  • ½ teaspoon baking powder
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • ½ cup 60% cocoa baking chips (I used Ghirardelli)

Directions

Place a pan over medium heat and add the ¼ cup oil.  Add the banana and cook until golden in color.  Add the unsweetened chocolate and melt.  Remove from heat.  Place the black beans into a food processor fitted with a blade.  Process the beans until smooth.  Add the applesauce, banana and chocolate mixture, sucanat, stevia, instant coffee, vanilla extract, and egg.  Process a few more seconds to combine.  In a bowl combine the flour, baking powder, and salt.  Stir in the wet mixture from the food processor to combine.  Stir in chips.  Bake in a 8 X 8 baking pan at 350 F for 40 minutes or until a toothpick inserted comes out clean.

Check out my other desserts below….Yum!

Chocolate Mousse

French Silk Pie

 

25. May 2012 by admin
Categories: Desserts | Tags: , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Pumpkin Pie Dip for Apples

It has long been said that “An apple a day keeps the doctor away.”

Apples contain both soluble and insoluble fiber, Vitamin C, flavenoids, phenols, and carotenoids (antioxidants that contribute to cancer prevention).  Apples are also praised for their link to decreased heart disease and diabetes. Apples are also good for exercise and endurance.  Apples have an antioxidant called quercetin, which aids endurance by making oxygen more available to the lungs.  The American Institute for Cancer Research has some great information on Apples and their benefits.

This recipe gives the apples some added flavor and protein from the cream cheese, so it makes a great snack!  Pumpkin also has many health benefits.  It contains carotenoids like beta-carotene, vitamins, and fiber.  Go here for more in depth information on pumpkins nutritional benefits.  The American Institute for Cancer Research also has great information on Winter Squash.

For the dip recipe you will need Cream Cheese, canned pumpkin (cooked-see note*), Maple syrup, vanilla extract, stevia, and pumpkin pie spice.

Pumpkin Pie Dip Recipe

  • 3/4 cup (6 ounces) Neufchatel cream cheese, softened (You can replace this with any cream cheese of your choice or use a cream cheese substitute like tofutti)
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin, cooked with ¼ cup water (see note*)
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon stevia
  • 1/2 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • Sliced apples for serving

Combine all the ingredients in a blender or mini food processor and process until combined.  Scrap down sides and process again.  Cover and chill 30 minutes before serving.

*Note:  I cooked the can of pumpkin with ¼ cup water for about 15 minutes.  I have had trouble with a metallic taste when I don’t cook the pumpkin before using in uncooked recipes.  Feel free to omit this step if you don’t have an issue with this.

 

 

11. May 2012 by admin
Categories: Starters, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Breakfast Rice Pudding

Okay, so I am long overdue posting a healthy anti-cancer breakfast!  Breakfast is one of my favorite meals!  I especially love having breakfast for dinner :-).

 

I’ll admit that in the past I was a big lover of dairy — cheese and ice cream being two of my favorites – but these days I don’t consume a lot of it.  I use a small amount of low-fat milk in my coffee and one my favorite breakfasts consists of Greek yogurt with fruit.  The truth is most dairy products are pretty high in fat and cholesterol and its intake should be limited.  Diets high in meat and dairy are associated with increased risk of all types of cancer.  Go here for more on that.

The whole-grain brown rice in this recipe is what makes it anti-cancer.  Including more whole grains in your diet and eliminating highly processed grains can help protect you from developing cancer.  The American Institute for Cancer Research has some great information on whole grains and their anti-cancer compounds.

Cooking note:  Feel free to replace the raisins with another dried fruit of your choosing.  The chia seeds are added to make this pudding healthier, but they also help thicken the consistency of the pudding and eliminate the need for an egg(s) used in regular rice pudding.  For my other post on Chia go here.

This also makes a tasty dessert.

Breakfast Rice Pudding

Ingredients

Serves 3-4

  • 1 can coconut milk (about 1 ½ cups) *I used light coconut milk
  • ½ cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 3 packets stevia (or sweetener of your choice)
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cardamom
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ t ground cinnamon
  • ¼  teaspoon salt
  • 3 cups cooked brown rice (this equals 1cup uncooked rice)
  • 3/4 cup raisins
  • 1 tablespoon chia seeds, optional
  • Slivered almonds for garnish

Directions

Heat the coconut milk and almond milk over medium heat until steaming. Add the stevia, ground cardamom, vanilla extract, cinnamon, salt, brown rice, raisins, and chia seeds.   Increase heat to medium and stir constantly for about 7 to 8 minutes until the mixture thickens.  Serve topped with sliced almonds.

Here is the nutritional information.


04. May 2012 by admin
Categories: Breakfast, Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 comments

Farfalle with Turkey Sausage and Anti-Cancer Kale

Kale is a nutritional powerhouse.  Kale contains vitamin A, K, folate, sulforaphane, fiber, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, copper, and calcium. Here is another post that I wrote about Kale and it’s cancer prevention properties.

Kale Chips are another great way to eat more kale.  Snack on them in between meals for a guilt free crunchy snack.

 

The latest research on kale and other cruciferous veggies and breast cancer go here.  For another great article on the effect of “eating to starve cancer” based off the research of Dr. William Li go here.  I wrote about Dr. Li previously in my post about Green Tea Soup.

This pasta dish is another fantastic way to enjoy the anti-cancer benefits of kale.  I usually get 1 or 2 bunches in my weekly CSA delivery from Ambrose Farm, so stay tuned for more recipes! Please contact me if you have any suggestions for a kale recipe you would like to see featured here on Connoisseur 4 The Cure.

Farfalle with Turkey Sausage and Kale

Ingredients

  • 1 to 2 bunches kale, tough stems removed
  • 1/2 pound whole what farfalle pasta
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 3 links turkey Italian-style sausage, casings removed
  • 3 green garlic bulbs or 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • Pinch dried crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 cup reserved pasta cooking water
  • Parmesan cheese for serving

Directions

Heat the oil over medium heat, and add the sausage and cook. Break up with a wooden spoon into bit-size pieces.  Continue cooking until browned or about 12 minutes. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes, and sauté about 2 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the farfalle until done according to package instructions or al dente.

Add the kale to the sauté pan and wilt. Add the pasta to the skillet.  Add some of the pasta water and stir for a few minutes.  Serve with grated Parmesan cheese.

28. April 2012 by admin
Categories: Main Dishes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 2 comments

Chocolate Coconut Larabars

After reading a great article in Eating Well Magazine  on Phthalates being absorbed into our bodies through packaged food, I have tried to limit my consumption of these types of convenience foods.  Phthalates are environmental estrogens and may contribute to risk of breast and other cancers.  For more on Estrogen Exposure and Breast Cancer go here.

One of my favorite packaged foods are Larabars!  I love the taste along with the fact that I can pronounce everything in the ingredient list.  These are my “go-to” post workout snack.  It can start to get expensive buying these bars at over a dollar a pop, so I decided to try to make my own version.

Dates are loaded with fiber.  There is about 6 grams of fiber in 10 dates.  Whole grains and fiber decrease breast cancer risk.  It is theorized that by eating more fiber estrogen levels are lowered due to excess estrogen being flushed out of the body.  Go here for more on fiber, whole grains, and breast cancer research.

Chocolate Coconut Larabar Recipe

Yield 6 bars

Ingredients

1 cup dates

2 Tablespoons shredded coconut, preferably unsulphured coconut

¼ cup walnuts

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Pinch of salt

3 Tablespoons 60% cocoa chocolate chips

Directions

Process all ingredients, except chocolate chips, in food processor until smooth.  Form the mixture into a ball and place on a large sheet of plastic wrap or parchment paper.  Cover with another piece of plastic wrap and use a rolling pin to roll the bars out into a rectangle shape and to about ½ inch  thickness.  Place the bars in the freezer for about 30 minutes to firm up for easier cutting.  Cut the  bars lengthwise into 5 or 6 bars and wrap in plastic wrap.

 

 

 

23. April 2012 by admin
Categories: Breakfast, Starters, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , | 8 comments

French Silk Pie

This no-bake Chocolate Pie is fantastic!  You won’t know it’s healthy while you are eating it!  This recipe contains tofu which is high in protein.  One slice of this pie has about 230 calories, which is about half of the calories in a regular chocolate pie.  

 

Chocolate is believed to have many health benefits from its antioxidant properties.  Go here for more on the research of chocolate and it’s anti-cancer properties.

 

The evidence on the use of tofu for breast cancer patients is very controversial.  The isoflavones in soy mimic estrogen, so some doctors advocate it as a means to suppresses the body from making too much estrogen.  Others, say that it can be dangerous for women with estrogen receptive breast cancer and they should avoid soy.  Here is more information on the soy debate.  I am not a physician or dietician.  Please consult your doctor, before making any dietary changes, if you have ever had cancer.   

This recipe reminds me a lot of the Chocolate Mousse recipe I posted a couple of weeks back.  Go here for that recipe.  The consistency of the pie is thicker than the mousse which has a more fluffy pudding like consistency.

This chocolate pie is very rich, so it can serve 8 to 10 people.  This would also make a wonderful pudding or mousse.  Just omit the crust and serve in parfait glasses.

Cooks note:  Drain the tofu. Do this by wrapping the tofu in several layers of paper towels.  Place on a plate.  Invert a plate and place on top of paper towel wrapped tofu.  Place a heavy can of top of the plate and allow this to sit for at least 30 minutes.  This removes the excess liquid from the tofu.

French Silk Pie

Yield 8 to 10 servings

Ingredients

  • 13 ounces semisweet chocolate chips
  • 1/3 cup coffee liqueur
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 12.3 ounce package silken tofu, drained (see cook’s note) I used Mori-Nu Silken Firm tofu
  • 1 tablespoon agave
  • 1 (9-inch) prepared chocolate wafer crust or homemade if you prefer.

Directions 

Melt the chocolate chips with the coffee liqueur and vanilla in a metal bowl over simmering water, or in a double boiler.  Stir frequently until the chocolate has melted and the mixture is smooth.  Add the tofu, chocolate mixture, and agave to the bowl of a food processor.  (You could also use a blender) Process the mixture until smooth.  Scrap down the sides of the work bowl as needed to make sure the ingredients are fully mixed.  Pour the filling into the chocolate crust and refrigerate for 2 hours.

 

 

20. April 2012 by admin
Categories: Desserts, Vegan, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 comments

Asian Dark Leafy Greens with Pan-Seared Scallops

I try to get plenty of dark leafy greens into my diet.  Dark leafy greens  and cruciferous vegetables are an excellent source of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that help prevent cancer.

I love to have a poached egg in the morning over a bed of wilted greens.  It’s a great way to start the day with a healthy meal.  I have found that by adding vegetables to my breakfast meal, it makes it easier to get in plenty of vegetables every day.  I’ll share that recipe sometime in the future.

I came up with this Asian inspired recipe for Seared Scallops.  I love scallops.  They are a great source of protein, Vitamin B12, and omega-3 fatty acids.  For more on scallops and their health benefits go here.  This recipe is healthy but also very tasty!  It has the added benefit of being quick and easy as it can be on the table in under 15 minutes.

Asian Greens with Pan-Seared Scallops 

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 bunches/ bags mixed Asian greens ( savvoy cabbage, tat soi, bok choy, spinach etc.)
  • 1 green garlic stalk or 1 clove regular garlic, minced
  • 1 Tablespoon oyster sauce
  • ½ Tablespoon sesame oil
  • Drizzle hot chili oil, optional for serving
  • 2 cups small frozen scallops or 20 large, thawed

Directions

Heat pan or wok over medium high heat and spray with oil.  Add minced green garlic or minced garlic clove.  Sauté over medium high heat until tender about 30 seconds.  Add greens and combine with oil and garlic.  Cook until the mixture wilts.  Add the oyster sauce and sesame oil and stir to combine.  Remove the greens to a serving dish or individual plates.  Wipe out the pan.  Spray with oil and add thawed scallops.  Sear scallops on both sides until opaque and cooked through.  Serve scallops on a bed of greens and drizzle with hot chili oil if desired.

This post was featured on FitSugar and Jade Asian Green’s Facebook Fan Page.

This post was shared at Simple Lives ThursdayTastetastic Thursday, and Savvy Homemade Monday.

 

18. April 2012 by admin
Categories: Main Dishes | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | 5 comments

Greek Style Pasta Salad

It’s that time of year that is perfect for a picnic.  We have been having wonderful weather and pretty blue skies here in the low country of South Carolina.  One of my favorite dishes to pack for a picnic is pasta salad.

It is a side dish goes with everything from classic fried chicken to sandwiches, or could even be served solo.  It can be eaten either chilled or at room temperature, so it’s perfect for a picnic.  Pack the salad into small Chinese style take-out boxes for easy portioning or you could use pint sized wide- mouth mason jars.  Everyone gets his or her own jar or box!

 

Pasta salad is a creative canvas like pizza and omelets.  It is a great dish to use leftovers up or what ever you have on hand.  My love of pasta salad goes back to the boxed version in the 80’s.  As I recall the vegetables were freeze dried and mixed in with the pasta and dressing – probably loaded with sugar or HFC — and it had very few vegetables actually in it.   I loved it as a child, but I created this version that actually tastes 10 times better and is much healthier too.  Tomatoes have lycopene an antixidant that fights free radicals and cancer.  Olives and olive oil also contain polyphenols that prevent breast cancer.

 

Greek Style Pasta Salad

Serves 6 (as a side dish)

Ingredients

  • ½ box tri-colored wheat pasta, 8 ounces, cooked according to package instructions.
  • 1 can organic garbanzo beans, either low-sodium or rinsed in a colander
  • ¾ cup of tomatoes, quartered (I used 5 Campari tomatoes)
  • ½ cup black or kalamata olives, sliced in half
  • 1/3 cup slice deli-style mild pepper rings
  • 3 ounces, ½ block, reduced fat feta cheese
  • ½ lemon, juiced
  • 1 teaspoon fresh rosemary
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • 3 T Italian dressing of your choice or homemade

Directions

  1. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions.
  2. Add the garbanzo beans, tomatoes, olives, pepper rings, and feta.  Note:  I mixed all the ingredients in the pot that I cooked the pasta in.  I figured it was one less bowl to wash :-).
  3. Add the juice of ½ lemon, rosemary, oregano, and dressing.
  4. Toss to combine.
  5. Chill for 1 to 2 hours in the fridge to allow the flavors to develop.

This post was shared on Simple Lives Thursday.

12. April 2012 by admin
Categories: Main Dishes, Salads, Side Dishes, Vegetarian | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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