I don’t have cancer. I’ve never had it and I hope I never get it (or anyone else for that matter). So why am I reviewing Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen: The Girlfriend’s Cookbook and Guide to Using Real Food to Fight Cancer? Because you are what you eat. The authors, Annette Ramke and Kendall Scott, both battled cancer and survived to tell their story – eating a plant-based, whole foods diet may help to fight and prevent cancer.
The first part of the book covers their personal stories dealing with cancer and offers support, guidance and resources. Including tips and advice about healthy lifestyle changes and dealing with treatments all written in a conversational tone, it’s like getting advice from a close friend.
The second part has recipes for fighting cancer with specific benefits listed out, from helping with immune boosting to fatigue fighting to mood balancing. Most are vegan recipes with a few vegetarian ones that can easily be made vegan. Using food as medicine doesn’t mean you’re stuck with bland, boring food.
I started off with Baby Bok Choy with Shiitakes, Pumpkin Seeds and Gojis (page 227). I’ve been eating gojis also known as wolfberries since I was a kid. It’s funny that nowadays it’s like a new thing that people are crazy about when it’s been around Chinese cuisine for ages. I like the flavors, but I did cut back to half of the tamari called for in the recipe.
Jello is the quintessential food when you’re sick, in or out of a hospital. It’s also the fun, jiggly finger food of children everywhere. As soon as I saw the recipe for Juicy Jello (page 307), I had to make it. Even if I had to pay Whole Foods $8.99 for a small package of agar-agar. I tried to get the agar-agar cheaper from the Asian supermarket but I couldn’t find any that didn’t have sugar in it. The glistening cubes with fruit is exactly as I remembered but better.
Next is Curried-Tofu Breakfast Burrito (page 211), I’ve always wanted to make my own frozen breakfast burritos but just never got around to it. Reviewing this cookbook got me off of my bum. The flavor of the curry is good and even better after a night in the fridge or freezer. It’s a great basic recipe to start, I’ve since made it again adding potatoes, peas, cauliflower and mushrooms.
Tempeh Hash Over Collards (page 209), another breakfast recipe, another winner. Easily made in the oven, it warms you up and gets you going in the morning.
Edamame Hummus (page 288) didn’t come out as smooth as it could have. I only have an itty-bitty mini food processor that sometimes doesn’t feel up to the challenge of blending various ingredients. So the hummus is a little more chunky that I would have liked but the taste is all there.
The Key-Lime Custard Pie (page 299) is very similar to other vegan cheesecake recipes I tried but without the baking. Bonus points for not having to mess with the oven to get a slice of this delicious sweet-and-sour treat.
Oatmeal-Carrot Cookie Smoothie (page 195), it’s hard to believe but it really does taste a lot like an oatmeal cookie. Yum. Eating healthy and beating off cancer has never been more tasty or easy.
Oatmeal-Carrot Cookie Smoothie
Makes 18 ounces
1 large carrot, roughly chopped
3 tablespoons rolled oats
1 cup Almond Mylk or store-bought
1 large banana
1 tablespoon ground flax seeds
3 large ice cubes
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
2 teaspoon dried coconut, shredded and unsweetened
For less powerful blenders, grate the carrot. Add all ingredients except coconut to a blender and blend for one minute or until mostly smooth. Pour into individual glasses and sprinkle shredded coconut on top.
Kendall’s Tasty Tip: If you like your smoothie a little thicker, try adding more ice or use a frozen banana.
From the book Kicking Cancer in the Kitchen by Annette Ramke and Kendall Scott. Reprinted by permission of the publisher.
Disclosure: I received the book free of charge from the publisher to review. The opinions and experience with the book expressed herein are my own. There was no pay to say.
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