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Tag: anti-cancer

The Secret Ingredients for Anticancer Salads

I didn’t eat my first salad until I was in college.

I liked vegetables but just couldn’t get excited about a plate of raw ones and was always grossed out by condiments and anything besides butter and parmesan cheese being on my food, so salad dressings were out.

Fast forward to my 30s, and I am a salad fiend! I love them and do what I can to make them exciting, colorful and delicious.

My husband is a teacher and was telling me about a potluck they recently had at his school. One of the teachers wanted to go in on a salad with him, and they were going to bring the standard lettuce + tomatoes + carrots + cucumbers with ranch dressing.

Now, as a disclaimer, I believe that eating fresh, whole foods, especially vegetables, is a wonderful idea. But what if you could supercharge your salads with more medicinal, disease-preventive, feel good ingredients??

This video from nutritionfacts.org has gotten me to think differently about salads, and I think it will do the same for you. It also reveals the #1 anticancer vegetable, so check it out!

Based on that video, I thought I’d share the template that I use to mix and match ingredients when making salads. I still include all vegetables but ordered them based on how cancer preventive they are, so use this as a guide for upgrading your salads.

The key with keeping salads exciting is to use a variety of colors, textures, and flavors. Based on this list, you can come up with endless combinations of beautiful, nourishing and delicious salads!

  • Base: spinach, kale, arugula, Romaine, spring mix, watercress, Bibb lettuce, red leaf lettuce, green leaf lettuce, radicchio, bok choy, endive
  • Veggies: broccoli, cauliflower, shredded cabbage, shredded brussels sprouts, scallions, shallots, onions, leeks, fennel, celery, peppers, beets, radishes, roasted sweet potatoes and other root vegetables, cooked asparagus, sun-dried tomatoes, tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots
  • Super food add-ons: broccoli sprouts (Potomac Sprout Co. is my favorite!), lentil sprouts, bean sprouts, hemp seeds, goji berries, mulberries
  • Chopped herbs: basil, parsley, cilantro, dill, oregano, mint
  • Fruit: berries are my go to but sometimes apples, pears or peaches fit the bill! Avocados are a great substitute for cheese (and they’re a fruit!)
  • Fermented Food: chopped sauerkraut, fermented beets (Farmhouse Culture), or kimchi. Adding these to your salad will enhance digestion and leave you feeling less bloated.
  • Protein: lentils, chickpeas, black beans, pinto beans, cannellini beans, chicken, salmon
  • Crunch: roasted chickpeas (Chickpeatos and Saffron Road are my top two brands), sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, slivered almonds, chopped walnuts, pecans or cashews
  • Dressing: check out over a dozen dressing recipes below, most of which include the all-star ingredient – GARLIC! My favorite brands of store-bought dressing are Tessemae’s and Bragg’s.

In the next post, I will be sharing 16 supercharged salad recipes, so you have some ideas for how to make this happen…and keep your salads exciting!

Fancy Pants Curried Cauliflower Steaks & Mash {Paleo, Vegan}

When it comes to eating well, one of the key things we’re told to do is “eat the rainbow” and include a variety of brightly colored foods in our diet.

I totally agree, but the unfortunate part is that advice leaves out foods that are well…white and colorless.

Like cauliflower.

Cauliflower doesn’t get nearly as much love as its green buddy broccoli, but it should!

It’s just one of the many health-boosting, inflammation-fighting, detoxifying foods in this recipe.

cauli closeup

I was inspired to come up with this dish when I was doing an assignment focused on anti-inflammatory foods for the Culinary Nutrition program I finished this winter.

If we can reduce inflammation, we set ourselves up to feel better, look more alive, prevent disease and even get to a healthier weight. Dr. Mark Hyman has written extensively about inflammation and how to reduce it. Click here to learn more about it from him.

For this dish, I wanted to use as many anti-inflammatory foods as possible, including cauliflowerturmeric, ginger and garlic.

  • Cauliflower, a cruciferous vegetable, contains the antioxidant sulforaphane, which is known for its powerful anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties. Here’s my first post about cauliflower and the rest of its amazing health benefits.
  • Turmeric contains over two dozen anti-inflammatory compounds with curcumin being the most potent.
  • Ginger extract regulates pathways that halt the activation of genes involved in the inflammatory response.
  • Allium vegetables like garlic contain sulfur compounds that prevent inflammation in the body.

This recipe puts a creative spin on “steak and potatoes” by using cauliflower “steaks” and “mash.”

I was inspired to share this recipe that puts a vegan-friendly spin on a specialty dish just like the crew at the Wynn Las Vegas.  New York Times Bestselling author of The Conscious Cook and vegan chef Tal Ronnen creates vegan and vegetarian menus for every restaurant at the Wynn, and I hope to have the chance to try his food firsthand one day. Since not everyone (myself included!) can make it to Vegas for a fancy meal, making a dish like this one is the second best option!

**Don’t let the ingredient list intimidate you (it’s mostly spices!). Also, I was VERY thorough on the directions and have included step-by-step pictures of the process below to help you visualize how it works. Give it a shot!*

cauli2name

Ingredients

1 small head garlic
1 teaspoon coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 large head cauliflower
Sea salt and black pepper
3 tablespoons coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon ginger root
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄2 teaspoon ground turmeric
1⁄2 teaspoon ground coriander
1⁄4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1⁄2 teaspoon sea salt
1/3 cup reserved water from steamer
Black pepper, to taste
Juice from 1 lemon
1⁄4 cup pine nuts, lightly toasted
Small handful of parsley, chopped

Step-by-Step How To Photos (Written Directions Below)

How to Make Cauliflower Steaks

How to Make Cauliflower Steaks (Directions Below!)

How to Make Cauliflower Mash

How to Make Cauliflower Mash (Directions Below!)

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 425F.
  2. Peel and discard the papery outer layers of the head of garlic. Using a sharp knife, cut 1/4 inch from the top of cloves, exposing the individual cloves of garlic. Pour 1 teaspoon of oil on top and tightly wrap the head of garlic in foil or parchment paper. Place directly in oven, and roast for 30 minutes or until soft to the touch.
  3. While the garlic is roasting, remove the leaves and trim the stem end of the cauliflower, leaving the core intact. Using a large knife, cut the cauliflower from top to bottom into two 1-inch-thick steaks. Season each steak with salt and pepper on both sides. Set aside loose florets for the cauliflower mash.
  4. Heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Sear the cauliflower steaks until golden brown, about 4 minutes per side. Transfer steaks to parchment-lined baking sheet.
  5. Whisk together the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil, ginger, garlic, cumin, turmeric, coriander, and red pepper flakes. Brush the mixture onto both sides of the cauliflower steaks. Roast steaks in oven, about 15 minutes.
  6. While the steaks and garlic are roasting, put the loose cauliflower florets in a steamer basket over 1-2 inches of water in a pot. Cover and steam until cauliflower softens (about 10-12 minutes). You should be able to stick a fork through it easily. Set aside 1/3 cup of the steam water.
  7. Put steamed cauliflower in a food processor and add 1⁄2 of the head of roasted garlic (squeeze each clove out by pushing on the bottom of each one after you’ve let it cool). Add olive oil, sea salt, black pepper and reserved cooking water to the food processor. Pulse until smooth. Taste, and add more garlic if you prefer.
  8. Remove cauliflower steaks and garlic from oven. Place half the cauliflower mash on each plate, top with a cauliflower steak, and then squeeze lemon juice over each steak. Sprinkle toasted pine nuts and chopped parsley over each steak, and ENJOY!

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