Cooking to Combat Cancer: The Round Up

by Chris on April 10, 2007

Well, the deadline came and went on my first blog event, Cooking to Combat Cancer. Since April is Cancer Control Month, I thought it was important to bring continued awareness to this nasty disease. I had no idea I would get the response I did, so let me begin with a huge and appreciative thank you to all who took the time to participate. Twenty-five participants!!

When I first decided to launch this event, my grandmother immediately came to mind. Even though I was diagnosed with cancer at 29 years old, losing my grandmother had a greater and profound effect on me. I smoked for 15 years, so I was totally cognizant of how I brought this on myself. But with Gram, who never smoked a day, barely drank, and ate extremely healthy (even liver), I have tremendous difficulty understanding why this disease had to target a lady who optimized grace, elegance, and generosity. It’s not fair, and I want her back.

As I compiled this round up, it was amazing reading all the comments and emails regarding this event. While they were all wonderful, most were from someone who has battled/is battling the disease, or who has lost a loved one to Cancer. This is so, so unfortunate. There was more than one occasion I was happy being by myself in my office, as I am not a fan of others witnessing my tears.

Even though it is a horrible thing to go through, our continued awareness can only fuel cancer survival rates to increase even more.

I tried to organize the recipes, and only ended up with three categories. I apologize if I placed any incorrectly. **If I left anyone out or included incorrect info, please feel free to contact me.**
With that being said, here’s the round up!

Soups, Sides, & Salads
Direct from Salt Lake City, Utah, Kalyn has made an amazing Carrot and Parsley Salad. Many of you know Kalyn’s wonderful South Beach Recipes, Weekend Herb Blogging, and through BlogHer, so I am thrilled to have her as part of my event. And, not only has Kalyn given us a great recipe (as she does daily), she offers wonderful resources for a Cancer fighting life. She says,
I also found a lot of other good information online too, including this list of Cancer Fighting Foods and Spices, this list of 11 Cancer Fighting Foods, and Prevention Magazine’s list of articles about cancer fighting foods. Check them out.

A big thanks goes out to Madam Chow for cooking up the ever-so-healthy Kale for her first ever food blog event. Not only does she provide us information on this cruciferous vegetable, but she also teaches us how to prepare and the Kale. This is very helpful to Kale novices like myself.

Fellow Atlantan, Tami, has whipped up a beautiful Roasted Tomato Tartine. In this posting, she says: Unfortunately, almost everyone I know – including myself – has been touched by cancer in one way or another…In reality, every month should be Cancer Control Month. Absolutely! And, maybe with events like this, continual conversations, and ongoing support will help make that happen.

Monisha knocked it out of the ballpark with this one. Her White Chicken Chili is not only a great recipe for this event, but helps out those of us who are wondering how to incorporate wimpering ingredients dying to be used.

I love that she breaks the southern sterotype of heavy foods = yummy foods. She confidently states, Comfort food by nature is sometimes laden with grease or weighed down with sugar, but it doesn’t always have to be that way. There are healthier choices that can be made. And she did this in South Carolina! Go Girl!

I remember first coming upon Ilva’s blog. Besides the fact she lives in Tuscany, my ultimate dream location to reside, reading her blog and viewing her truly stunning photography reminds me why I read novels. I feel as though I am transported into a breathtaking world of wonder and peacefulness. So, when she sent me her recipe for this event, I was elated! (I even made it for Easter Sunday!Ilva’s Oven Roasted Fennel & Tomato Soup makes a simple soup decadent. Yum!

Mooncrazy made a yummy Beef Barley soup. She tells us, the reason [barley is] so good for lowering cholesterol is it feeds the “good” bacteria in the lower intestines. When these helpful bacteria ferment barley’s insoluble fiber, they produce a short-chain fatty acid called butyric acid, which serves as the primary fuel for the cells of the large intestine and helps maintain a healthy colon. Since I have heard about a number people being diagnosed with colon cancer over the last several months, the barley posting and the soup is extremely important!

Minnesota’s own Kate in the Kitchen shares her miracle in a bowl, Pesto Vegetable Soup. Kate has been a tremendous support to a dear friend who is battling this crazy disease. In this powerful post, Kate shares, she [her friend] continues her fight with an amazing grace, faith, and dignity that awes me, inspires me and, when I received her email about the latest news, brings me to my knees in it’s unfairness. I have thought and prayed for little else, and although her eternal life is written blessedly in stone, it re-establishes for me that what happens here on earth is something far more powerful than I can ever fathom.

Rebecca’s Ode to Spring comes to us from Denver. Her Carrot Soup, as she explains, is low-fat, flavorful, and a great way to get those disease-fighting veggies so many of us have trouble fitting into our diets.

Alanna, in St. Louis, is the master behind A Veggie Venture, The recipe she contributed to this event is her Best-Ever Oatmeal Bread. She explains, the recipe was published in Kitchen Parade, my published food column, in 2002 but I just put it online for the first time expressly for this event. Thanks so much! I just know countless people will benefit from this bread.

Arfi, living in New Zealand, shares her very personal battle in her post, in which she truly touched my heart. In addition to providing a wonderful recipe for Ong Choy, has linked us to her other healthy recipes, as she tells us tofu balls, fried tempeh, fried tempeh with sweet soy sauce, most of my Indonesian Style cooking (are made from scratch), and other gluten-free produce which may give you some ideas what to cook when you don’t feel like cooking meat.
Thanks Arfi!

Shawnda, a newlywed in Houston, TX, creates amazing dishes including her Carrot-Pineapple Slaw. Her husband is a lucky guy! And, reading about all her other dishes have to be causing some wives to sweat, just a little! Nonetheless, for this event Shawnda gives us great tips on remembering how to eat healthy. The bright color of fruits and veggies is often a sign of high antioxidant levels and research suggests that antioxidants help protect against cardiovascular disease and cancer. So, the next time you’re in the produce section, grab some dark berries, an eggplant, some carrots, and an orange – eat the color wheel and eat your way into better health!

Willa, in S. Central, PA, has made a beautiful Avocado, Grapefruit and Red Onion Salad. I couldn’t help but giggle when she mentioned doing a “happy dance” when finding avocados and grapefruit on the Cancer Cure Foundation website listing of cancer fighting foods.

Zorra, from Andalucia, Spain, has made a wonderful Chick Peas Salad with Orange and Parsley. As she tells us, chick peas are low in fat, and are often used as an alternative protein product with vegetarians and vegans. I am not a vegetarians or vegans, but I have chickpeas as a staple in my home since I don’t get enough protein in my diet. This recipe is right on!

Dianne, from the UK, has made a lovely roasted vegetable dish. She points us to research sites that suggests that around half of all cancers could be prevented by changes to lifestyle. One of those changes is to limit alcohol and maintain a healthy diet. I think that is a achievable goal for all of us!

Main Dishes

I have made a Turkey Meatloaf that came from a low-iodine cookbook I used often. Knowing their “stuff”, the fabulous staff at Piedmont Hospital lead me me toward Thyroid Cancer Survivors‘ Association site, for they knew there were several times throughout my recovery when I needed to follow a low-iodine diet for two weeks prior to my radiation treatments and scans.

I am honored having Gattina’s recipe, Red bell pepper & salmon mossue on Belgian endive, as part of this round up. As I told her, I am a regular visitor of Kitchen Unplugged and with all her fabulous culinary creations, I am going to have to take a trip up to New Jersey for some lessons! I love how she paired wild Alaskan salmon with an organic vegetable like endive. The flavors must have jumped off the plate!

Toni …Toni, Toni, Toni! She and I began our food blogs within a week of one another and became instant Blog Buddies from the get-go. For this event, she has offered us great stories and wonderful information from San Diego, with her Shrimp With Shiitakes, Snow Peas and Pancet Noodles. She lets us know that shiitakes have many other health benefits, too, but mostly I cook with them because they’re absolutely delicious. Healthy and delicious? Excellent! But most of all, I love that she says, What I do know is that what you put into your body has something to do with what you get out of it. How true that is!

Tigerfish, in California, served up Portobello and Shitake Mushroom Penne. Not only does this post offer great tidbits about mushrooms, but gives us fabulous visual comparisons. As a visual learner, I appreciate someone taking the time to go that extra mile. Thanks Tigerfish!

Kitty in Brooklyn, another newlywed, has stirred up a wonderful Roasted Red Pepper Marinara. This post caused another giggle to be heard over here. Her “clarifying” her husband’s translation of food is bound to prove priceless.

Barbara shares her story and her delicious Breakfast Porridge from New Zealand. She opens up to tell us, after being diagnosed in June 2004, she has come to learn that the chemotherapy has altered my taste buds to the extent I’d have to develop my palate all over again. Some days I have trouble telling the difference between a pinot gris and a Riesling. With words to remember, Barbara asserts, The secret to surviving cancer is catching it early. Check with your doctor for when it is appropriate to have the various tests available.


Glenna, of Springfield, Missouri, let us know about her Triple Chocolate Cupcakes & Banana Walnut Mini Bundts. The foodie behind A Fridge Full of Food explains, these “may be not low cal but all of my baking is done with expeller pressed canola oil, as many fresh ingredients as possible, and as healthy as I can make it and still taste good.” Hey – anything that is mini has to be good for you, right? Plus, they were part of a Relay for Life bake sale that raised $350! I say that’s a pretty healthy amount of money! Great job!

Helen, the foodie behind Tartlette, presents Sour Cherries, Avocado and Mascarpone Verrines. Like many of us, Helen has had to cope with losing several loved ones to cancer, and I think she sums up what many of us feel/have felt: I felt complete loss of control when they died. What we can control is what we eat. So, Helen continued and announced, for this particular event I wanted a shock full of cancer fighting foods in every bite and although I was not sure how my little creation would turn out I thought it was worth the try. These verrines turned particularly tasty, surprisingly tasty! Tasty indeed! Both Avocados and cherries do the body good!

E, in Philadelphia, brings us delicious Blueberry Cobbler. You have to love when someone utters the words, I thought I’d stretch my baking abilities a bit and alter an old standby into a healthier version. I thought I’d stretch my baking abilities a bit and alter an old standby into a healthier version. These are the words from which culinary masterpieces are born!

Kristen, in the Bay Area, California (and her family) has had too many encounters with cancer. But, she was able to utilize the Mayo Clinic Recipes to make beautiful Mixed Berry Tarts that are sure to please. Perfect for the warm weather, she has even added beautiful garnishes with the tarts!

All the way from Newport News, VA, s’kat brings us Ginger for Jane. Giving us several recipes of ginger cookies & muffins s’kat would bring to her neighbor, this post is a touching tribute to her dear friend, including making it known that Jane was one valiant warrior-princess who never lost her smile. Recipes include Chez Pannise Gingersnaps, Pumpkin Muffins with Crystallized Ginger, and Perfect Ginger Cookies.

Even with recovering from tendonitis, Susan, my New England native friend now living in California, has given us a Warm Citrus and Banana Cups…and Mexican Citrus Salad with an Orange-Lime Vinaigrette. But, what makes this recipe that much more special, as with all her postings:recipes, is her amazing ability to tell beautiful family stories. Whether Nan or Pop, I am always transcended to the time and place of the memory. In this particular posting, she referred to Pop’s accent as Rhode Islandiese. So, to follow suit, let me end with my Bostonian accent – “Wicked awesome, Susan. This one’s a Sta!”

**Just Added! Dolores has made a tasty Quinoa Fruit Salad that includes the cancer superfoods, Blueberries. Quinoa. Leafy greens. Edamame. Nuts and legumes. Yogurt. We learned that building a diet around these simple ingredients would help develop the strength needed. Sounds like a must-try!

***Just Added! The Pastry Princess has shared a lovely Tropical Fruit Salad as a lovely tribute to her mother. She says: I still think she is the most beautiful woman, inside and out. She is an amazing woman, not only because of what she has accomplished in life, but in how much love and strength she possesses.

Ladies and Gentlemen, that’s a wrap! Thanks again.

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