Four Mushroom Soup


I’ve struggled to add mushrooms into my diet. Recognizing the many health benefits and the wide range of flavors, I still couldn’t get past the texture. This recipe came about when a friend asked for a good mushroom soup recipe. I saw it as a challenge to revisit the fungi kingdom and see if my tastebuds could embrace mushrooms. It worked. I’m in love.  

Ingredients

  • Olive oil

  • 1 pound mixed fresh wild mushrooms, clean and sliced ( I used crimini, chanterelles, shiitake, & oyster)

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced

  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 handful fresh thyme, leaves picked

  • Sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 cups vegetable stock

  • 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped

  • 2 green onions, chopped 

  • 1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese

  • Fresh lemon




Preparation

  1. Heat a large pan with a few teaspoons of olive oil. While heating, wash the mushrooms well. 
  2. Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir around to coat with olive oil. After a minute or two, add the garlic, onion and thyme. 
  3. Continue to sauté on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.
  4. If needed, transfer to a large pot and add the vegetable stock. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. 
  5. Remove 3 cups of the mushroom and stock mixture and run through a blender on puree. Return the pureed mix to the pot.
  6. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  7. Before serving add the parsley, mascarpone and season as needed with salt and pepper. 
  8. Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a dalop of mascrapone, and chopped green onions. 




Benefits of Key Ingredients

Shiitake Mushrooms: Studies in animals have found anti-tumor, cholesterol-lowering, and virus-inhibiting effects in compounds in shiitake mushrooms. However, clinical studies are needed to determine whether these properties can help people with cancer and other diseases. It is reasonable to include shiitake mushrooms as part of a balanced diet. (Source

Crimini Mushrooms: For women who are at risk of hormone-dependent breast cancer, crimini mushrooms may be an important diet addition. These mushrooms have recently been shown to be a significant source of conjugated linolenic acid (CLA)—a unique type of fatty acid that can bind onto aromatase enzymes and lessen the production of estrogen. Since some breast cancer tumors are dependent upon estrogen for their growth, this blocking of the aromatase enzyme by the mushrooms’ CLA may lower risk of this breast cancer type. The presence of CLA in mushrooms is fascinating, because we typically expect to find this type of fatty acid exclusively in animal foods like milk, cheese, and meats. (Source)

Four Mushroom Soup


I’ve struggled to add mushrooms into my diet. Recognizing the many health benefits and the wide range of flavors, I still couldn’t get past the texture. This recipe came about when a friend asked for a good mushroom soup recipe. I saw it as a challenge to revisit the fungi kingdom and see if my tastebuds could embrace mushrooms. It worked. I’m in love.  

Ingredients

  • Olive oil

  • 1 pound mixed fresh wild mushrooms, clean and sliced ( I used crimini, chanterelles, shiitake, & oyster)

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced

  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 handful fresh thyme, leaves picked

  • Sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 cups vegetable stock

  • 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped

  • 2 green onions, chopped 

  • 1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese

  • Fresh lemon




Preparation

  1. Heat a large pan with a few teaspoons of olive oil. While heating, wash the mushrooms well. 
  2. Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir around to coat with olive oil. After a minute or two, add the garlic, onion and thyme. 
  3. Continue to sauté on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.
  4. If needed, transfer to a large pot and add the vegetable stock. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. 
  5. Remove 3 cups of the mushroom and stock mixture and run through a blender on puree. Return the pureed mix to the pot.
  6. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  7. Before serving add the parsley, mascarpone and season as needed with salt and pepper. 
  8. Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a dalop of mascrapone, and chopped green onions. 




Benefits of Key Ingredients

Shiitake Mushrooms: Studies in animals have found anti-tumor, cholesterol-lowering, and virus-inhibiting effects in compounds in shiitake mushrooms. However, clinical studies are needed to determine whether these properties can help people with cancer and other diseases. It is reasonable to include shiitake mushrooms as part of a balanced diet. (Source

Crimini Mushrooms: For women who are at risk of hormone-dependent breast cancer, crimini mushrooms may be an important diet addition. These mushrooms have recently been shown to be a significant source of conjugated linolenic acid (CLA)—a unique type of fatty acid that can bind onto aromatase enzymes and lessen the production of estrogen. Since some breast cancer tumors are dependent upon estrogen for their growth, this blocking of the aromatase enzyme by the mushrooms’ CLA may lower risk of this breast cancer type. The presence of CLA in mushrooms is fascinating, because we typically expect to find this type of fatty acid exclusively in animal foods like milk, cheese, and meats. (Source)

Four Mushroom Soup


I’ve struggled to add mushrooms into my diet. Recognizing the many health benefits and the wide range of flavors, I still couldn’t get past the texture. This recipe came about when a friend asked for a good mushroom soup recipe. I saw it as a challenge to revisit the fungi kingdom and see if my tastebuds could embrace mushrooms. It worked. I’m in love.  

Ingredients

  • Olive oil

  • 1 pound mixed fresh wild mushrooms, clean and sliced ( I used crimini, chanterelles, shiitake, & oyster)

  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled and finely sliced

  • 1 red onion, peeled and finely chopped

  • 1 handful fresh thyme, leaves picked

  • Sea salt

  • Freshly ground black pepper

  • 4 cups vegetable stock

  • 1 handful fresh parsley, chopped

  • 2 green onions, chopped 

  • 1 tablespoon mascarpone cheese

  • Fresh lemon




Preparation

  1. Heat a large pan with a few teaspoons of olive oil. While heating, wash the mushrooms well. 
  2. Add the mushrooms to the pan and stir around to coat with olive oil. After a minute or two, add the garlic, onion and thyme. 
  3. Continue to sauté on medium-low heat for about 15 minutes.
  4. If needed, transfer to a large pot and add the vegetable stock. Season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground pepper. 
  5. Remove 3 cups of the mushroom and stock mixture and run through a blender on puree. Return the pureed mix to the pot.
  6. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.
  7. Before serving add the parsley, mascarpone and season as needed with salt and pepper. 
  8. Garnish with a squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a dalop of mascrapone, and chopped green onions. 




Benefits of Key Ingredients

Shiitake Mushrooms: Studies in animals have found anti-tumor, cholesterol-lowering, and virus-inhibiting effects in compounds in shiitake mushrooms. However, clinical studies are needed to determine whether these properties can help people with cancer and other diseases. It is reasonable to include shiitake mushrooms as part of a balanced diet. (Source

Crimini Mushrooms: For women who are at risk of hormone-dependent breast cancer, crimini mushrooms may be an important diet addition. These mushrooms have recently been shown to be a significant source of conjugated linolenic acid (CLA)—a unique type of fatty acid that can bind onto aromatase enzymes and lessen the production of estrogen. Since some breast cancer tumors are dependent upon estrogen for their growth, this blocking of the aromatase enzyme by the mushrooms’ CLA may lower risk of this breast cancer type. The presence of CLA in mushrooms is fascinating, because we typically expect to find this type of fatty acid exclusively in animal foods like milk, cheese, and meats. (Source)

Cauliflower Carrot Fritters with Garlic Aioli


I came across the inspiration for this recipe from Oh My Veggies, a vegetarian food blog. I love cauliflower and am always looking for new ways to prepare it. Plus, you’ll want to include cauliflower as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family. 



Ingredients for the fritters

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (about one full head of cauliflower)
  • 1 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks 
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free flour (I use brown rice flour)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients for the aioli

  • 3/4 cup cashew pieces, soaked for 8 hours
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • I teaspoon tabasco
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preparation

  • In a sauce pan, boil four cups of water. Once boiling, add cauliflower and carrots. Cook for 4 minutes, then drain well. Leave the cauliflower and carrots in a collander to drain off as much water as possible.
  • Allow to cool and then transfer to a food processor and finely chop.
  • Transfer the cauliflower and carrots to a large bowl and add flour. Stir to coat.
  • Fold in the cheese, salt, pepper, green onions, and egg.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Put the fritter mixture into the skillet 1/4 cup at a time, using a spatula to flatten each fritter slightly.
  • Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes, then carefully flip over and cook for about 4 minutes more.
  • To prepare the aioli, drain and rinse the cashews. Combine the cashews, garlic, lemon juice, tabasco, and 1/4 cup of water in the food processor. Blend until smooth. If needed, add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with the fritters.


Benefits of Key Ingredients

Cauliflower: There are several dozen studies linking cauliflower-containing diets to cancer prevention, particularly with respect to the following types of cancer: bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer. This connection between cauliflower and cancer prevention should not be surprising, since cauliflower provides special nutrient support for three body systems that are closely connected with cancer development as well as cancer prevention. These three systems are (1) the body’s detox system, (2) its antioxidant system, and (3) its inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system. Chronic imbalances in any of these three systems can increase risk of cancer, and when imbalances in all three systems occur simultaneously, the risk of cancer increases significantly. (Source)

Carrots: The anti-cancer benefits of carrot have been best researched in the area of colon cancer. Some of this research has involved actual intake of carrot juice by human participants, and other research has involved the study of human cancer cells types in the lab. While much more research is needed in this area, the study results to date have been encouraging. Lab studies have shown the ability of carrot extracts to inhibit the grown of colon cancer cells, and the polyacetylenes found in carrot (especially falcarinol) have been specifically linked to this inhibitory effect. In studies of carrot juice intake, small but significant effects on colon cell health have been shown for participants who consumed about 1.5 cups of fresh carrot juice per day. (Source)

Cauliflower Carrot Fritters with Garlic Aioli


I came across the inspiration for this recipe from Oh My Veggies, a vegetarian food. I love cauliflower and am always looking for new ways to prepare it. Plus, you’ll want to include cauliflower as one of the cruciferous vegetables you eat on a regular basis if you want to receive the fantastic health benefits provided by the cruciferous vegetable family. 



Ingredients for the fritters

  • 2 cups cauliflower florets (about one full head of cauliflower)
  • 1 cup carrots, cut into matchsticks 
  • 1/2 cup gluten-free flour (I use brown rice flour)
  • 1/3 cup grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon chili powder
  • 2 green onions, chopped
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil

Ingredients for the aioli

  • 3/4 cup cashew pieces, soaked for 8 hours
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons lemon juice
  • I teaspoon tabasco
  • Salt and pepper to taste


Preparation

  • In a sauce pan, boil four cups of water. Once boiling, add cauliflower and carrots. Cook for 4 minutes, then drain well. Leave the cauliflower and carrots in a collander to drain off as much water as possible.
  • Allow to cool and then transfer to a food processor and finely chop.
  • Transfer the cauliflower and carrots to a large bowl and add flour. Stir to coat.
  • Fold in the cheese, salt, pepper, green onions, and egg.
  • Heat the olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
  • Put the fritter mixture into the skillet 1/4 cup at a time, using a spatula to flatten each fritter slightly.
  • Cook until golden brown, about 4 minutes, then carefully flip over and cook for about 4 minutes more.
  • To prepare the aioli, drain and rinse the cashews. Combine the cashews, garlic, lemon juice, tabasco, and 1/4 cup of water in the food processor. Blend until smooth. If needed, add additional water 1 tablespoon at a time. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve with the fritters.


Benefits of Key Ingredients

Cauliflower: There are several dozen studies linking cauliflower-containing diets to cancer prevention, particularly with respect to the following types of cancer: bladder cancer, breast cancer, colon cancer, prostate cancer, and ovarian cancer. This connection between cauliflower and cancer prevention should not be surprising, since cauliflower provides special nutrient support for three body systems that are closely connected with cancer development as well as cancer prevention. These three systems are (1) the body’s detox system, (2) its antioxidant system, and (3) its inflammatory/anti-inflammatory system. Chronic imbalances in any of these three systems can increase risk of cancer, and when imbalances in all three systems occur simultaneously, the risk of cancer increases significantly. (Source)

Carrots: The anti-cancer benefits of carrot have been best researched in the area of colon cancer. Some of this research has involved actual intake of carrot juice by human participants, and other research has involved the study of human cancer cells types in the lab. While much more research is needed in this area, the study results to date have been encouraging. Lab studies have shown the ability of carrot extracts to inhibit the grown of colon cancer cells, and the polyacetylenes found in carrot (especially falcarinol) have been specifically linked to this inhibitory effect. In studies of carrot juice intake, small but significant effects on colon cell health have been shown for participants who consumed about 1.5 cups of fresh carrot juice per day. (Source)

Guest Recipe: Mom’s Eggplant Sandwiches


This recipe comes for the kitchen of my very favorite chef, my mother. Barbara has been my mentor in the kitchen since I could reach the counter top. I’m always learning from her and am excited she wanted to share a recipe on the Chemo Bites blog.  This particular recipe is quick and easy but includes some nutrient rich ingredients, like spinach and eggplant.  

Ingredients 

  • 1 large peeled eggplant
  • 9 leafs of spinach (or try with fresh leafs of basil)
  • 1 medium tomato, sliced into 1/4 inch rounds
  • 3 slices of turkey
  • 3 slices of fresh mozzarella
  • 1/4 tablespoon of vegetable bouillon or seasoning salt
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil


 Preparation

  • Cut off the ends of the eggplant and cut lengthwise into four slices.
  • Sprinkle slices of eggplant with veggie bouillon and grill in hot skillet with coconut oil for about three minutes on each side, until tender.
  • Arrange one eggplant slice on two plates, and top each slice with one slice of turkey, one slice of cheese, a few leafs of spinach and a slice of tomato.
  • Top with remaining slices of eggplant to make sandwiches.
  • Serve with a side salad.

Benefits of Key Ingredients

Eggplant: Eggplants belong to the nightshade family of vegetables, which also includes tomatoes, sweet peppers and potatoes. In addition to featuring a host of vitamins and minerals, eggplant also contains important phytonutrients, many which have a ntioxidant activity. Phytonutrients contained in eggplant include phenolic compounds, such caffeic and chlorogenic acid, and flavonoids, such as nasunin.  (Source)

Spinach: Even though virtually all vegetables contain a wide variety of phytonutrients—including flavonoids and carotenoids—spinach can claim a special place among vegetables in terms of its phytonutrient content. Researchers have identified more than a dozen different flavonoid compounds in spinach that function as anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer agents. (Some of these substances fall into a technical category of flavonoids known as methylenedioxyflavonol glucuronides.) The anticancer properties of these spinach flavonoids have been sufficiently impressive to prompt researchers to create specialized spinach extracts that could be used in controlled laboratory studies. These spinach extracts have been shown to slow down cell division in human stomach cancer cells (gastric adenocarcinomas), and in studies on laboratory animals, to reduce skin cancers (skin papillomas). (Source)



Citrus Ginger Slaw


A guilty pleasures of mine is watching “Master Chef” while I cook. As I prepared this recipe an episode of “Master Chef Junior” was playing in the background….a bunch of ten year olds kicking butt in the kitchen making things I could never dream up. My insecurities were kicking in but when the slaw was finished and I tired the first bite, it was delicious. I’ll take on the winner of Master Chef Junior any day. 

Cabbage is one of my father’s favorite foods but I haven’t cooked with it much. It was time to cook up a coleslaw that is nutritious and delicious. The citrus-ginger sauce was inspired by our love of Asian flavors. 

Ingredients

  • 1/4 of purple cabbage (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 1/4 green cabbage (about 1 cup chopped)
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 3 carrots, shaved and chopped 

Ingredients for the Dressing

  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • Juice from one large lemon
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 tablespoons ginger, minced
  • 4 tablespoons Tamari sauce
  • Salt and pepper, to taste



 Preparation 

  • Chop the purple and green cabbage into small pieces. Set aside in a salad bowl. 
  • Chop the red pepper and add to the cabbage. 
  • Using a carrot peeler, shave off long strips of carrot. Then dice the shavings into tiny pieces. Add to the cabbage and pepper mixture.  
  • For the dressing, combine the olive oil, lemon juice, garlic, honey, ginger, and Tamari sauce into a blender. Blend briefly until all ingredients are well mixed.
  • Pour the dressing over the ingredients in the salad bowl. Toss the dressing into the cabbage mixture. Add salt and pepper to taste. Served chilled.  

Benefits of Key Ingredients

Cabbage: Cancer prevention tops all other areas of health research with regard to cabbage and its outstanding benefits. More than 475 studies have examined the role of this cruciferous vegetable in cancer prevention (and in some cases, cancer treatment). The uniqueness of cabbage in cancer prevention is due to the three different types of nutrient richness found in this widely enjoyed food. The three types are (1) antioxidant richness, (2) anti-inflammatory richness, and (3) richness in glucosinolates. (Source)

Ginger: Ginger has been used to control or prevent nausea, vomiting, and motion sickness; as an anti-inflammatory (a drug that reduces pain and swelling); a cold remedy; an aid to digestion; a remedy for intestinal gas; and to help relieve nausea in cancer patients who are having chemotherapy. (Source

Garlic:  Garlic and garlic supplements are sometimes promoted to prevent or treat cancer. Several compounds in garlic may have anti-cancer properties, but compounds of one type in particular—the allyl sulfur compounds—are said to play a major role. These compounds reportedly help the body get rid of cancer-causing chemicals and help cause cancer cells to die naturally, a process called apoptosis. There have also been claims that garlic has immune-boosting properties that may reduce cancer cell growth and help the body fight off diseases such as colds or the flu. These claims are currently being studied. (Source)


 

Book Review: “The Chemotherapy Diet”


"The Chemotherapy Diet"  is an effective guide to navigate and bolster wellness in the face of cancer and chemotherapy treatments.  It is also a valuable resource for those taking preventative measures. This book should be handed to newly diagnosed patients after their Oncologist delivers the life-altering news. I imagine the conversation going something like this:

The tests show that you have cancer. Our plan of treatment will focus on killing the cancerous cells, but you need to read this book and follow the five steps to stay healthy, strong and, one day soon, be cancer-free.”

Authors Mike Herbert and Joseph Dispenza wrote this book after their own journey from cancer to wellness. They realized chemotherapy alone wasn’t the cure and they identified a problem with cancer care early in the book: 

"Many cancer patients seem to have attached themselves to the idea that chemotherapy solves all the problems cancer poses. They believe that between chemo and radiation treatments, everything that can be done to destroy the cancer and bring the patient back to good health is automatically being done."

What your Oncologist may not explicitly state is that chemotherapy will not make you healthy. It will kill cancer cells, but healthy cells, innocent bystanders, are also decimated as the chemo ravages your system. Chemo is nasty stuff; as it goes after the cancer calls, it poisons your body in the process. When a patient hears “we’ll treat you with chemotherapy to cure you” they interpret cure as healthy and leave the entire treatment regime in the hands of their doctor. 

Herbert and Dispenza faced a similar experience. A six-month regime of chemotherapy was the sole course of action their doctors prescribed:

"Left with this regime for healing, which is no regime at all, a cancer patient can look forward to weeks and months of feeling bad from the side effects of chemotherapy."

Fortunately, similar to Herbert and Dispenza, my family entered into our battle against cancer with an appreciation for good food, a healthy life-style and a basic understanding of nutrition. When "The Chemotherapy Diet" landed in my hands, all the efforts to keep my father healthy through food was reinforced. The steps and recipes recommended in book compliment and strengthen the dietary changes my father made early in his treatment. Some of the recipes we’ve enjoyed include:

  • Lentil Squash Soup
  • Ginger and Tomato Garbanzo Beans
  • Black Bean Soup and Kale
  • Quinoa Tabouli
  • Chocolate Pudding 

You can find more cancer fighting recipes at the author’s website and other valuable resources on nutrition during and after chemo. 



 My father’s Oncology team is shocked by his appetite and love of food. They are pleased to see the numbers on the scale maintaining in a healthy range. They are accustomed to patients relying on chemotherapy and infrequently see patients effectively using food and lifestyle as medicine.  How do we change this? "The Chemotherapy Diet" is a great starting place and a very valuable resource for people newly diagnosed and those wanting to take preventative measures.  

You can order “The Chemotherapy Diet” on Amazon.com or download it for Kindle.