Recipes from Ojascastro's cooking classes at the Cancer Support Community
Mango Peach Smoothie
1/2 bag frozen peaches
1/2 bag frozen mangos
1/2 cup ice
1/2 cup Almond milk or Carrot juice
optional: 1/2 frozen banana and/or 1/2 cup greek yogurt
Garnish with berries
Peaches provide 2.6 g dietary fiber, or more than 10 percent of the daily value for fiber, and 18 mg phytosterols, or a comparable amount to olive oil or vegetables. Fiber and phytosterols are plant-based nutrients, and they lower your cholesterol levels. A large peach has 1.4 mg niacin, or 14 percent of the daily value for niacin, or vitamin B-3. Niacin plays a role in energy metabolism in your body. Peaches are high in vitamin C, with 11.6 mg, or 19 percent of the daily value. Vitamin C is an antioxidant and an essential nutrient for a healthy immune system and strong joints. Peaches have 570 IU of vitamin A, an essential nutrient for healthy vision. Peaches can help you regulate your blood pressure because they provide 332 mg potassium each, and they are sodium-free.
In addition to maintaining bowel health, fiber helps lower cholesterol, control blood sugar levels and protect against certain cancers. According to the Institute of Medicine, men age 50 and under should consume 38 grams of fiber daily. Women in the same age group should consume 25 grams.
Mangos: Vitamin A is responsible for many necessary functions in the body. According the National Institute of Health's Office of Dietary Supplements, vitamin A keeps the skin and mucous membranes strong, as well as the linings of the intestinal and respiratory tracts. The form of vitamin A from plant sources such as mangoes is beta-carotene. A study published in the journal of "The American Society for Nutritional Sciences" reports that beta-carotene reduces the size of cancerous tumors and protects the body from developing them. One mango provides between 25 and 40 percent of the RDA, which according to the NIH Office of Dietary Supplements is 5,000 IU.
Carrots are a low-calorie food that also provides essential dietary fiber, making them a filling addition to any weight-management plan. Carrots also provide you with vitamin A and many minerals needed to keep your vision at its best and prevent nutritional deficiencies.
Almond milk is lower in both fat and calories than reduced-fat cow's milk. One cup of vanilla-flavored and sweetened almond milk contains about 90 calories and 2.5 grams of fat, compared to the 120 calories and 5 grams of fat in 1 cup of cow's milk. These numbers vary greatly by brand and type, as plain almond milk can be as low as 30 calories per serving. Additionally, because almond milk is not an animal product, it contains neither saturated fat nor cholesterol. Therefore, almond milk may be an appropriate milk substitute for those on a heart-healthy diet where saturated fat and cholesterol must be avoided. However, almond milk is higher in carbohydrates than cow's milk and only offers 1 gram of protein per cup compared to the 8 grams present in 1 cup of cow's milk.
Benefits of fat-free Greek yogurt include being free from cholesterol-raising, unhealthy saturated fat and providing probiotics and essential protein, vitamins and minerals.
Panko Chicken Nuggets
2 pounds frozen boneless skinless chicken breast
defrost 1/2 way
1 cup of original Panko bread crumbs
1 cup of whole wheat Panko bread crumbs
1 tsp salt
1/2 tsp pepper
Optional: 2 cloves garlic grated
cook 12-15 minutes (until brown) turn half way through cooking
Chicken is a complete source of protein -- essential amino acids used to build and repair tissues in the body. Protein is also an important component of bones, blood, muscles, and skin. A single serving of cooked chicken breast -- skinless, bone removed -- as defined by the USDA as 3 ounces, contains 26.7 grams of protein. It would take about three 3-ounce servings of chicken breast for the average adult to get the requisite amount of protein advised by the USDA's Dietary Guidelines.
Dark Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Muffins
Preheat oven to 350
Place paper baking cups in cupcake pans
Beat together the following
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup olive oil
1 can (15 oz.) of pumpkin
1 box of spice cake mix (15.25 oz.)
1 bag (10 oz.) Ghiradelli baking chips (60% Cacao Bittersweet Chocolate.)
Fill each cup 3/4 full
Cook for 15-20 minutes or until toothpick inserted comes out clean
Although dark chocolate is high in fat and sugar, it also contains high amounts of some essential minerals. One serving of dark chocolate contains 3.6mg of iron, which is 45 percent of the recommended daily amount for men. Because women need more iron, the 3.6mg of iron in one serving of dark chocolate provides only 20 percent of their recommended daily amount. One serving of dark chocolate also provides more than 25 percent of the recommended amount of manganese and more than 50 percent of copper, both of which are essential trace minerals. In addition, one serving of dark chocolate supplies more than 10 percent of the recommended amount of potassium.
The Mayo Clinic suggests eating dark chocolate for its high antioxidant content, as it contains more antioxidants that most fruits or vegetables. The antioxidants in chocolate and other foods can be useful in fighting damage to cells caused by normal cell breakdown as well as exposure to dangerous substances, such as pollution and cigarette smoke.
Eggs, rich in high-quality protein, are a nutritious and inexpensive meat substitute.
Pumpkin pie, cookies and cake are high-fat, high-sugar foods that contain canned pumpkin, but pure canned pumpkin is a low-calorie, nutrient-dense food. A cup of canned pumpkin also supplies 38,129 international units of vitamin A, or 762 percent of the daily value. Vitamin A support visual health. Pumpkin contains iron and vitamin E.
Fennel-Scented Squash Soup
Fennel seeds add flavor and aid digestion, the squash provides vitamins A, C and E, and the red lentils thicken the soup and give it a pretty, golden color. The lentils’ benefits are more than just cosmetic; they also add folate and minerals such as magnesium and iron.
Prep: 20 - 30 min
1. Heat the olive oil in a wide, heavy-bottomed soup pot over a medium-high flame until it starts to ripple. Add the fennel seeds and cook, stirring until they start to darken, about 30 seconds. Do not let them burn!
2. Add the onion and sauté for a minute, then turn the heat down to medium and sweat for about 5 minutes. Add the squash, sprinkle with a good pinch of sea salt and sweat partially covered, stirring occasionally, for another 5-10 minutes or until the squash starts to soften.
3. Turn the heat up to medium-high. Add the lentils and stir to mix well. Then, add the stock or water and bring to a boil. Cover and turn the heat to medium-low. Simmer until the lentils are soft and the squash mashes easily against the side of the pan, about 25 minutes. Adjust the seasoning. Turn off the heat, and let the soup sit covered for 5-10 minutes.
4. Mash the squash up against the sides of the pan with a wooden spoon. If you like a smoother soup, blend with an immersion blender. Garnish with chopped cilantro or parsley, black pepper and drizzle a little olive oil or balsamic vinegar over the top. Serve.
Bottle Works 3 Grain Blend
4 ounces (1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup) kamut 5 1/2 cups vegetable broth, divided
4 ounces (1/3 cup plus 1/4 cup) black barley 1/4 cup olive oil
4 ounces (2/3 cup) quinoa 1/2 cup diced yellow onion
2 tablespoons minced shallot 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 clove garlic, minced 2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 1/2 teaspoons ground white pepper or less to taste
1. Rinse kamut in a strainer under running water. Cook in 2 cups broth until plump and tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Rinse barley in a strainer under running water. In another saucepan, cook barley in 2 cups broth until plump and tender, 35 to 45 minutes. Rinse quinoa in a strainer under running water. Cook in a third saucepan in the remaining 1 1/2 cups broth until tender, about 20 minutes. Drain any excess liquid from grains.
2. Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat until shimmery. Add onion, shallot and garlic. Cook until soft but not yet beginning to brown. Stir in salt, pepper and cumin.
3. Stir together cooked grains and cooked onion mixture.
Per 1/2-cup serving: 220 calories; 8g fat; 1g saturated fat; no cholesterol; 5g protein; 32g carbohydrate; 4g sugar; 6g fiber; 755mg sodium; 20mg calcium .
Note: Kamut (pronounced ka-MOOT) is a high-protein ancient variety of wheat. The grains are large and pleasantly chewy. Whole Foods carries kamut. Black barley is prized for its color but can be difficult to find. Look online or substitute regular barley. Quinoa (pronounced KEEN-wah) is sold in many supermarkets. Use light-colored quinoa, not the red or black quinoa that is sometimes available.
Tester's note: A teaspoon and a half of white pepper may be too peppery for some palates, especially when the grain blend is served alone. Some "peppery kick" is desirable, however, and the heat seems to subside after a day or so. Recipe adapted for home kitchens by the Post-Dispatch.
Kamut is two to three times the size of common wheat, has 20 to 40 percent more protein and 65 percent more amino acids and is also higher in vitamins and minerals. It's a particularly good source for thiamin, niacin, folate, riboflavin, vitamin B6, vitamin E, phosphorus, magnesium, zinc, pantothenic acid, copper and complex carbohydrates. Because of its larger seed size in comparison to wheat, there is less fiber content in Kamut than wheat. One cup of Kamut has about 250 calories.
Eggplant Parmesan Pizza Chips
cut one large eggplant into very thin rounds
coat with organic olive oil
line baking pan with parchment paper
sprinkle with onion powder
optional: oregano, parsley, basil
bake 400 degrees 20-25 minutes
Chlorogenic acid is a plant compound that is known for its high antioxidant activity. Antioxidants shield your cells from oxidation -- a harmful chemical process that damages your cells and contributes to disease. Researchers at the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service found chlorogenic acid to be the dominant antioxidant compound in eggplant. They report that this is significant because chlorogenic acid has a great capacity to fight free radicals -- the chemicals that cause oxidation -- and is also able to lower LDL (bad) cholesterol. Chlorogenic acid is also antimutagenic, which means it can protect cells from mutating into cancer cells; and it is also antiviral.
Nasunin is an antioxidant compound found in the peels of eggplant.
Eggplant is also an excellent source of dietary fiber, which can help protect against type 2 diabetes and keeps the digestive system regular. The vitamins in eggplant consist primarily of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene), B vitamins, folate and vitamin C. Eggplant is also rich in minerals, boasting a large quantity of potassium, magnesium, calcium and phosphorous. With no fat, six carbs and 27 calories in a 1-cup serving, eggplant makes an excellent addition to any diet.
Sweet potato chips
2 medium sweet potatoes, scrubbed and sliced 1/8 inch thick
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1/2 teaspoon coarse salt, preferably sea salt
1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving
Preheat oven to 400 degrees, with racks in center and lower positions. Divide sweet potatoes between 2 rimmed
baking sheets. Drizzle with oil, toss, and spread them in a single layer on sheets. Bake, flipping once, until
centers are soft and edges are crisp, 22 to 25 minutes. Sprinkle with salt, and serve with lime wedges.
Beta carotene functions as an antioxidant, meaning that it protects cells from the damaging effects of
free radicals--negatively charged atoms produced by chemical reactions involving oxygen. In the body beta
carotene, a provitamin, transforms into vitamin A. Sweet potato skins serve as one of the best sources of beta
carotene, providing four times the recommended daily intake, according to the North Carolina Sweet Potato
Eating sweet potatoes with the skin on can help you reach your daily fiber intake goals. One medium sweet potato contains 4g of dietary fiber, according to information provided by the Produce for a Better Health Foundation. As with many fruits and vegetables, the skin contains the majority of the fiber.
Sweet potatoes provide energy to your body in the form of complex carbohydrates, which consist of three or more sugars linked together. Because the body takes longer to break down and utilize complex carbohydrates, eating complex carbohydrates does not produce a dramatic spike in blood sugar and therefore helps to prevent the onset of type II diabetes. Foods that contain fiber generally provide more complex carbohydrates since the body takes longer to break down the fiber. One whole medium sweet potato contains 23g of carbohydrates, according to the Produce for a Better Health Foundation.
In addition to functioning as an antioxidant, vitamin E also supports a healthy immune system. The National Institute of Medicine Food and Nutrition Board recommends adults intake 15mg of vitamin E per day. Although many of the natural sources of vitamin E contain significant amounts of fat, such as nuts, seeds and vegetable oil, two-thirds of a cup of sweet potatoes provides 100 percent of the recommended daily intake without any added fat.
Sweet & Crispy Mexican Salad
Peeled jicama sliced thin
Vinegarette: agave, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, lime, salt, pepper
Jicama provides 6.4 g of fiber per cup. This is about 16 percent of the 38 g recommended daily for men and 25 percent of the 25 g recommended daily for women by the Insitute of Medicine. A cup of jicama provides 40 percent of the daily value of vitamin C, notes Joanne Larsen, R.D. on Ask the Dietitian. It also provides about 16 percent of your daily folic acid needs. Jicama, per cup, is a moderately good source of potassium.
Spinach is high in beta-carotene, a precursor molecule that can be converted into vitamin A in the body. One cup of baby spinach contains 1,688mcg of this carotenoid. Baby spinach also supplies lutein and zeaxanthin, carotenoids that act as antioxidants in the body and also help protect the eyes from cataracts and age-related macular degeneration. Another group of carotenoids in baby spinach, epoxyxanthophylls, may protect against prostate cancer. Baby spinach also contains more than a dozen flavonoids, compounds with anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Many flavonoids also serve as antioxidants.
Cherries serve as a good source of copper, an essential mineral. Your body relies on copper to aid collagen production, a process needed to keep your tissues strong. Copper also supports tissue health by protecting you from free radicals -- compounds that would otherwise contribute to tissue damage -- and by helping your cells produce energy. Each quarter-cup serving of cherries contains 92 micrograms of copper, or 10 percent of your recommended daily intake. Each quarter-cup serving contains 8 milligrams of vitamin C -- 11 and 9 percent of the recommended daily intakes for women and men, respectively. Like copper, vitamin C boosts collagen production, so it contributes to tissue strength, and it protects you from free radicals. Dried cherries come packed with beneficial vitamin A. The vitamin A from your diet supports new cell growth
Almonds are naturally high in vitamin E, calcium, copper, magnesium, manganese, phosphorus and potassium. Additionally, they are a natural source of protein and fiber, and low in sugars.
Agave syrup iins commonly used as a sweetener to replace the common sugar and other chemical sweeteners. A 1 tbsp. serving of organic raw blue agave sweetener by Wholesome Sweeteners contains 60 calories and 16 g of carbohydrates. It contains no vitamins or minerals and is labeled with a glycemic index of 39 or less. According to Dr. Andrew Weil, agave syrup contains the same number of calories per serving as table sugar, but, it is several times sweeter and less is needed.