Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen on Tucson Citizen

 

We’re happy to share a lovely review of our book, Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen, in the “What’s Cooking?” section of the Tucson Citizen: http://tucsoncitizen.com/cooking/. In this section, reporter Larry Cox, shares is favorite cookbooks – and he says of our recipes, “I highly recommend this collection.  Whether you are facing a cancer fight, know someone who is, or just want to improve the odds by eating healthier foods, this cookbook offers valuable guidance.” He also tried our Oatmeal Carrot Cookie Smoothie and Roasted Beets – yum! Get the Roasted Beets recipe by visiting the review!

Strawberry Mango Sorbet – for Your Kiddo and You!

 

[Kendall] As a mom to a 19 month old, I’m finding that I have to be a little tricky when it comes to getting good, whole foods into that little belly of his. He loves food, but there are certain things that he doesn’t want to eat as a toddler – like carrots, zucchini, beans and avocados! – he loved these as a baby. The only veggies I can get him to eat these days without hiding them in something else are peas, squash, sweet potato, and sometimes cherry tomatoes…and that’s about it. Of course, being a huge fanatic of leafy greens, I’m always finding ways to sneak those in. I also want to make sure he gets plenty of healthy fats (so important for adults too!), and of course, proteins.

And I’ve read about how if you start your kiddos on good whole foods, real veggies, etc., they’ll want to eat them. They won’t be picky eaters. While I’m sure that’s true to some extent, I think that when you’re dealing with a toddler who just wants to declare his independence, you may just be SOL (sh*t out of luck) sometimes. I’ve also heard that it often takes eight times of trying a certain food before your child will like it and want to eat it. I’ve found this to be true in some cases, but there are just some foods that he doesn’t like. At least, for now (or just on certain days).

I’m sure this will change in time. I don’t want mealtimes to create any pressure for my little guy or me, so I give him the healthy whole foods he will eat, try some others at different times (the majority of which get spit out and tossed on the floor), and then sneak in the rest.

I also don’t make a separate “special” meal for my kiddo. He eats what my husband and I eat with some modifications, mostly to make it easier for his little hands and fewer teeth. We aren’t a strict vegan or vegetarian household, but do eat a plant-based diet, so he is exposed to some quality animal food. Interestingly, he isn’t much of a meat-eater (but neither am I).

The result of all of this is a mama who has turned into quite the creative toddler food chef! Interestingly, many of these concoctions I’ve come up with are things I enjoy quite a bit myself. It’s also gotten me to make raw veggie juice every day. I used to juice maybe a few times a week. Now, its daily because it’s the easiest way to get some good veggie nutrients into my little guy – he gulps down my juices! I also make smoothies packed full of healthy stuff: avocado, hemp seeds, chia seeds, nuts and nut butters, kale, spinach, carrots, coconut, and a banana or some applesauce to make it more palatable for picky little taste buds. I hide pureed veggies in sauces or scrambled eggs, make chia pudding (he loves it!), and hide good stuff in pureed soups.

My latest concoction turned out to be super yummy, mucho easy to make and of course, Healthy 4 ingredient Strawberry Mango Sorbethealthy-healthy: Strawberry-Mango Sorbet! The little guy loved it! Only four ingredients in the food processor: avocado, strawberries, mango, and hemp seeds. I would say that next time, I would also add a little baby spinach or kale to get some greens in.

Avocado: Considered to be one of the healthiest foods on the planet because they contain in excess of 25 essential nutrients, including vitamin A, B, C, E, & K, copper, iron, phosporus, magnesium, and potassium. Contain fiber, protein, and several beneficial phytochemicals, which may protect against various disease and illness. Anti-aging properties, fight cancer, anti-inflammatory, regulate blood-sugar levels, help maintain a healthy heart and much more!

Hempseed: According to Nutiva, hempseed “is considered by leading researchers and Strawberry Mango Sorbet ingredientsmedical doctors to be one of the most nutritious food sources on the planet. Shelled hempseed ispacked with 33 percent pure digestible protein and is rich in iron and vitamin E as well as omega-3 and GLA.”

Strawberry: Rich in vitamins C, B5, B6, K and have been found to increase anti-cancer agents in the body. Adds some sweetness for Mr. Picky Eater.

Mango: Aids in digestion, helps improve concentration and memory, high in antioxidants, iron, fiber. Also sweet.

RECIPE:

1/2 cup frozen mangoes

1/2 cup frozen strawberries

1 avocado, peeled, pit removed strawberry mango sorbet in food processor

2 tablespoons hemp seeds

Allow strawberries and mango to soften and thaw a bit by setting out at room temperature for 30 minutes. Combine all ingredients in a food processor and process until smooth. Add water, a teaspoon at a time to help ingredients blend, if necessary. Serve sprinkled with hempseeds on top if desired.

Note: Best served immediately to maintain sorbet-like consistency. Can store in freezer and let thaw, then stir a bit before serving. Also, can store in the refrigerator for 2-3 days, but be aware that the color will change as the avocado loses its greenness due to exposure to the air. Still tastes great!

Healthy 4 ingredient Strawberry Mango Sorbet

 

Recipe Page

 

We have added a new Recipe Page to our website: http://thekickingkitchen.com/recipes/! It’s not quite as pretty or complete as we would like, but it’s the beginning of a collection of recipes we love – some from our book, Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen, some we’ve made that aren’t in the book, and a few from our favorite school, Integrative Nutrition.

If you are looking for an healthy “upgrade” to a favorite recipe, let us know! We just may see what we can whip up and then share it on our Recipe Page. Or, if you have a recipe of your own that uses plant-based whole foods, feel free to email us and we may share it on our page as well (giving you a big shout out, of course)!

 

Warm Chocolate Wheat Berry Porridge

Warm Chocolate Wheat Berry Porridge / The Kicking Kitchen

[Kendall] Last night, we enjoyed some wheat berries with our Arame Red Cabbage Salad (amazing-for-you sea veggie salad from Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen!) and an impromptu sautéed mix of lentils, carrots, onions, celery and some seasonings. I try to make food prep easier whenever I can, so this morning was leftover wheat berries for breakfast: Warm Chocolate Wheat Berry Porridge ! And my creation was not only delish, but also good for you. (Take that, cocoa puffs.)

This can really be made from any leftover grains. If you have brown rice, for example that would also work well. For wheat berries, add 1 cup of berries to 3 cups of water, bring to a boil, reduce and let simmer for about 45 to 60 minutes, until water is absorbed. This will yield about 3 cups of cooked wheat berries.

Once you have your wheat berries, the rest is simple!

Warm Chocolate Wheat Berry Porridge

1/2 cup wheat berries, cooked (can also use raw, sprouted wheat berries, if desired!)

1 teaspoon honey

1 1/2 teaspoons raw cacao powder

1/2 teaspoon unrefined coconut oil

1 teaspoon chia seeds

1 teaspoon raw shredded coconut

If desired, warm up the wheat berries by heating in a pot on the stove over medium heat for a few minutes until warmed through. Ingredients will combine better if it’s warm. Stir honey, cacao, coconut oil, and chia seeds into the wheat berries. Top with shredded coconut and enjoy!

 

 

Meet Diane and Try Her Tasty Collard Wraps!

Diane PicOur guest blog post today is by Diane Giuliani, one of our two fabulous health coaches. Diane is a breast cancer sur-THRIVER and offers so much in the world of healthy living and eating, especially when it comes to food and cancer. She knows from personal experience what it’s like to cope with cancer and try to eat well to heal from the disease and feel your best in the middle of chemo and other traditional treatment. Welcome to our team, Diane!

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I was bustling around preparing for my son’s 14th birthday when I got the news from the imaging center that my biopsy results were positive. I had breast cancer.

Needless to say that wasn’t the news I wanted to hear or was prepared to hear. In those first few moments of disbelief I was gripped by fear, concern and uncertainty. Little did I know in that moment how significantly my life would transform. I was being called to action.

A few years prior to my diagnosis I had been questioning my life’s purpose. Having had a number of wonderful and satisfying “mini-careers,” as I like to call them, I still hadn’t landed on the career that was going to allow me to serve for the greater good, yet remain personally fulfilled. Although I didn’t know it at the time, it was the news I received on that beautiful June day that would soon seal the deal on my life’s purpose.

Fast forward nearly three years. Today I am a certified health coach and nutrition and wellness educator and I am thrilled to have made the connection with Kendall and Annette here at The Kicking Kitchen. A cancer diagnosis can throw you a curve ball leaving you spinning and uncertain about what to do next. Being naturally inquisitive by nature, it was that cancer curve ball that set me on a path, searching for what I needed to do to empower myself and strengthen my immune system through diet and lifestyle. After countless hours of book reading and internet research, along with trials, errors and successes in the kitchen, I feel blessed with my current state of health and pleased with where I am physically, mentally and spiritually.

I recently taught a class that I titled pH 101 and I thought you might enjoy the kitchen tip I demonstrated. I shared with the group how important it is to strive for a diet that is abundantly rich with alkaline-forming foods, and that some of the best cancer kicking, alkaline foods are the bold and sassy leafy greens. I’m always looking for more ways to include them in my diet and in fact, I challenge myself daily to eat something green and leafy with every meal. One of my favorite lunch time meals uses collard greens as a replacement for a sprouted wrap or tortilla.

Collard Wrap

Start with a leftover you might have in your fridge that has some substance or body to it. It might be a quinoa or potato salad, a veggie, bean and rice chili, or a mock tuna salad made with either tempeh or garbanzo beans. Sometimes I choose to warm the leftovers just to take the chill off.

Next, in a 10-12 inch skillet, bring about ½ inch of water to a simmer. While you wait for your water to heat, take a medium sized collard green and turn it so that you’re looking at the underside of the leaf with the raised part of the center rib. Using a vegetable peeler, shave the center rib a few times so that the rib is almost flush with the leafy part. Save the peelings and put them in the wrap. Once the water has come to a simmer, hold onto the end of the stem and swish it around in the water until it starts to turn a deeper green. Turn it over and repeat on the flip side. This process only takes a few seconds on each side.

Pull out your now soft and supple collard and set aside. Repeat this step with as many collards as you need for your meal. Cut off the very end of the stem so that it’s flush with the bottom of the leaf. Put a few large spoonfuls of your filling at the stem end of the collard. Roll the end over the filling slightly then fold in the sides. Continue rolling and folding until the wrap looks like a sweet little green bed roll. This meal is super transportable and boosts your daily dose of super nutritious greens. As an interesting side note, cooked collards have four times the amount of available calcium than collards in the raw!

Bon Appetite!

Warmly,

Diane

Easy Homemade Brazil Nut Milk Recipe (Non Dairy)

 

If you want to avoid large amounts of (or any) dairy, but still enjoy using dairy-like foods in your Brazil Nut Milkcoffee, baking, cereal, smoothies or any other food creation, it’s very helpful to know how to make your own dairy-free nut milk. While non-dairy milks are available in health food stores and most grocery stores, they often have other ingredients added that may be potentially harmful to your health, or just aren’t whole foods. Carrageenan, for example, is a popular food additive made from seaweed, in degraded form, that has been shown in studies to cause malignancies, inflammation and gastrointestinal problems. Carrageenan can be found in many non-dairy milks (you can learn more about carrageenan here on Dr. Weil’s site).

As always, if you can make it at home, you control what is going into your food. Non-dairy milks that you can purchase are convenient, but making your own milk is pretty darn easy too! We include two simple non-dairy milk recipes in our book, Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen – and now, here is one more for you!

For this nut milk recipe, we use Brazil nuts. Coffe with nut milkBrazil nuts are full of amazing nutrients, including a large amount of selenium, which is helpful in preventing certain cancers, liver cirrhosis, and coronary artery disease. They are also an excellent source of monounsaturated fats, which help to maintain healthy cholesterol levels. Brazil nuts are also an excellent source of B vitamins, as well as a good source of magnesium, zinc, potassium and iron (and so much more!).

If you enjoy drinking your coffee with some dairy cream or milk, you will love the creaminess of this Brazil nut milk. Especially fresh from the blender, it creates a nice froth – almost like a latte! Yum! You can save your nut milk in a pitcher in the fridge for about a week. Make a large batch and use wherever you would use dairy milk.

Brazil Nut Milk

Makes about 3 1/3 cups milk

1 cup Brazil nuts (soaked in water 4 hours or overnight)

3 cups water

Optional: cinnamon, vanilla, dates

Drain and rinse Brazil nuts and add to a blender. Add water and any optional ingredients as desired. Dates will sweeten and vanilla and cinnamon add additional flavor, but you don’t need anything besides the nuts and water to make your milk).

Blend at high speed for one to two minutes until mostly smooth. Pour through a fine mesh strainer, collecting the liquid in a container. Use the liquid as your milk!

Note: You may wish to save the Brazil nut meal collected in the strainer for use in baking.

 

Go Minty Green for St. Patrick’s Day!

photo credit: ilco

photo credit: ilco

Get your Green on and celebrate St. Patrick’s Day in a delicious way this weekend with our delicious Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie.

Who knew something posing as a creamy, minty treat could be good for you? Enjoy – and Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Mint Chocolate Chip Smoothie

Yield: 20 ounces

Ingredients:

1 frozen large banana, very ripe

1 tablespoon cacao nibs

10 drops pure peppermint extract

11/2 cups coconut milk

1/2 cup baby spinach, packed

1 tablespoon raw cacao powder

1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey

Mint leaf sprigs

Directions:

Add all ingredients to blender and mix at low speed for 30 seconds, then medium speed for another minute until smooth. Add three to four mint leaves if desired and blend for a few more seconds. Pour into a glass and garnish with sprig of mint leaves.

Recipe: Creamy Winter Squash Soup

 

Photo credit: Xeniaii

Photo credit: Xeniaii

This is a warming, comforting soup for the winter season. Pumpkins and squash are vegetables which grow on the ground, providing grounding and earth-connecting energy. They are rich sources of beta-carotene, precursor to Vitamin A and an important antioxidant.  Delicious and nutritious (and easy) – now that’s our kind of soup!

We love encouraging people to get in their kitchens and have fun! This means embracing the mentality of openness, curiosity and exploration. Since pumpkins and squash come in many sizes and varieties, we are only giving relative measurements. Take the challenge and adjust, taste and adapt as you go. Try different types of winter squash and different combinations of seasonings to find your favorites. Soon you will begin to gain more confidence and competence in the kitchen!

Ingredients:

2-3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

About 2 cups of onions, diced or sliced in half moons

2 tsp. sea salt

½ tsp. white pepper

Additional seasonings such as garam marsala (about 1 ½ tsp)

About 6 cups of squash, in chunks

Vegetable broth, enough to just cover squash

About 3 apples, cored removed and sliced (I like Pink Lady or Granny Smith)

Directions:

Warm oil in stock pot over medium high heat. Place onions and about 1 tsp sea salt in pot and sauté til soft, about 5 minutes. Add another teaspoon of salt, pepper and spices and, stirring, sauté for another 3-4 minutes.

Place squash chunks and apples in pot and add vegetable broth, enough to just cover squash.

Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to low, simmering for about 45 minutes or until squash is tender.

Remove pot from heat and insert immersion blender, blending until soup becomes smooth and creamy.

Taste and adjust seasonings as needed.

3 Fabulously Healthy New Year’s Eve Hors D’oeuvres

Meatless balls

Are you looking for some last-minute New Year’s Eve party food ideas?

If you’re hosting a soiree this New Year’s Eve or attending one, you may be in need of one or several dishes to share. And while it may seem easy to put out some cheese dip and Swedish meatballs, you also may be feeling enough bloat and blah from heavy holiday foods. Why not kick the holiday health factor up a notch (or three!) with one of our delicious, health-promoting recipes below. They are also simple to make, will get rave reviews and won’t leave you feeling like you need someone to roll you home.

Walnut Meat-less Balls

Yield: makes 1 dozen balls

These are flavorful and filling, and completely meat-free (think walnuts!). Enjoy as an appetizer or in your favorite tomato sauce.

1 tablespoon plus 1/4teaspoon olive oil

1/2 medium yellow onion, chopped

6 button mushrooms, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 cup walnuts

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

2 tablespoons wheat germ

3 tablespoons quick oats

2 teaspoons tamari

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1 tablespoon nutritional yeast

1 teaspoon freshly ground

black pepper

Preheat oven to 375°F.

In a frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Sauté the onion, mushrooms and garlic for about four minutes, or until soft. Transfer the sautéed onions, mushrooms and garlic to a food processor; add all remaining ingredients and blend until smooth. Form into small balls (about the size of a golf ball) and place on a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Bake covered for thirty minutes. Then uncover, flip meatballs and bake for an additional ten minutes uncovered. Let them cool for five to ten minutes before serving.

Spicy Hummus

Dip some veggies, crackers or crusty artisan bread in this hummus and kick up your evening with a little heat!

1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1/3 cup sesame tahini

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon minced garlic

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon coriander

1/2 teaspoon red pepper

1/2  teaspoon salt

1 whole lemon, juiced

In a food processor, puree ingredients until smooth.

(To make a milder version, omit red pepper. If garlic is too intense, less garlic may be used, or else roasted garlic adds a milder, richer flavor.)

Avocado Frites

This is a fun new way to enjoy an avocado or to create a healthier version of French fries.

2 large avocados, ripe but not too soft, pit removed and peeled

1/2 cup vegetable broth

1 tablespoon arrowroot

1/2 cup cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon paprika

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon turmeric

1/8 teaspoon white pepper

Preheat the oven to 400º F. Place a cooling rack on which to bake the fries on top of a cookie sheet.

Cut the avocado into lengthwise slices. In one bowl, mix the vegetable broth and arrowroot. In another bowl, combine the cornmeal and spices. Dip an avocado slice into the broth mixture, then dredge it in the cornmeal and place it on the baking rack. Repeat with remaining slices.

Bake for 22-25 minutes or until the cornmeal turns brown and crisp. Serve with your favorite dipping sauce.

 

 

 

 

 

Warm Winter Oatmeal Smoothie

 

 

We love our smoothies, and drink them almost daily, year-round. However, with the cold winterwarm oatmeal smoothie recipe months we often want something warming rather than an ice-cold smoothie. This recipe is a yummy example of how to make a smoothie for the colder months. It’s just like having  your oatmeal in a smoothie! And stay tuned for more cold-weather smoothie tips!

Warm Berry Oatmeal Smoothie

Makes about 1 1/2 cups

Ingredients:

¼ cup tablespoons rolled oats, uncooked

3 tablespoons raw almonds, soaked for several hours

½ teaspoon cinnamon

1 cup water

½ cup fresh berries of choice, at room temperature

honey to taste

Directions:

Add oats to blender and blend until finely ground. Add almonds, cinnamon, berries and water. For most blenders, add very hot water. For blenders with the “soup” feature (like Vitamix and Blendtec), cold or warm water is fine. Blend until smooth and creamy. Blenders with soup feature will heat the mixture as it blends (about 1 minute 30 seconds to 2 minutes). Other blenders – simply blend until smooth, about 30 seconds. Add honey to taste, blending briefly to combine honey with smoothie. Sip from a mug or enjoy in a bowl with spoon.