Just Add (more) Veggies

When it comes to eating a healthy diet, sometimes it’s better to focus on what you are adding in versus what you are taking out. Even some of our simplest go-to recipes that are perfectly clean and nutritious can be amped up without a peep from the peanut gallery.

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Let’s look at tomato sauce: tomatoes, garlic, extra virgin olive oil and fresh basil stirred in at the end, more or less, right? We have lycopene in the tomatoes, a powerful anti-cancer antioxidant, garlic, a big help in cancer prevention and recurrence and basil, which contains antioxidants and anti-aging properties. This sounds pretty ideal, however there are some sneaky additions that we can use to enrich this recipe to let the cancer know we mean business. You may want to send your Nonna out of the room now.

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Kombu is a type of kelp that you will often see in various Asian cuisines. It is one of the main ingredients in the broth base of miso soup (dashi). I add this to most things that simmer on my stovetop, to add a host of minerals and some alkalinity. Sea vegetables in general also protect us from radiation toxicity. Mixed in with the somewhat aggressive flavours of a tomato sauce, I promise you will not even notice it’s in there. PS- Although you could certainly eat it (it would be very good for you), my recommendation is only for you to simmer it in the sauce and then remove it, like a bay leaf. (more…)

Steamed Artichokes

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Chocolate bunnies and matching Esprit dresses are the first thing I think about when the smell of steaming artichokes fills the house. They were the ultimate comfort food for my sisters and I growing up, and a special treat that only popped up around Easter. This is why I was surprised when later in life I realized that not only had many people I knew not tried a fresh artichoke before, but that it was an intimidating culinary prospect. It’s true, they are relatively unattractive (once cooked), higher maintenance than most vegetables and have spikes, but they have the best personality. If you know how to prepare a squash for roasting, you can do this.

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On top of being complexly flavoured, with a sweet and creamy texture, and leaves that were meant for scooping, artichokes are actually very good for you. Cancer hates the artichoke (especially the leaves) due to its high levels of antioxidants, fiber and it’s ability to support and protect the liver. It is also anti-inflammatory, has shown to inhibit cancer-related angiogenesis. What a pleasant surprise. (more…)