Three Recipes Aimed at Smacking Down Disease From The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen Cookbook
August 7, 2012
The excitement is unmistakeable.
"Ooooh!," shouts cookbook author Rebecca Katz. "This is one of my favorite recipes."
The recipe is for triple-citrus ginger black cod (which appears below, along with two other tasty ones; the picture appears above).
Katz loves it because it sings with the style that saturates her book The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery—namely, foods that maximize benefit for the body and its defenses without sacrificing flavor in the slightest.
"I don't want people saying, 'Oh, I'm eating kale because it's good for me.'" she says. "I want them thinking, 'No, I'm eating it because it tastes great.' Your cells couldn't be more excited, but if the taste is sawdust, would you want to go back to eating it?"
(She likes simply sautéeing kale in olive oil with garlic, chili flakes, salt, pepper and a touch of maple syrup.)
“Great taste and great nutrition don't sit at opposite sides of the table,” she adds.
In the case of the cod, that means a meaty fish that lays a wonderful foundational note—"the bass player of the ensemble"—that's also loaded with important omega 3 fatty acid anti-inflammatory properties. And citrus zest that brings the bass line to life—"the swing high note," she says—and delivers tons of vitamin C.
But most folks in the throes of cancer recovery don't get too excited about eating.
That's where Katz—who has worked as a private chef for clients with chronic disease and is a senior chef at Commonweal Cancer Program in Marin County—feels the most valuable.
“People get so inundated with science and what they read, so much conflicting information,” Katz says. “There’s a lot of tension around food. I have to bring them back to the joy.”
She'll channel the joy with a double-headed cooking demo sponsored by Community Hospital for Monterey Peninsula this Saturday. The “Power of Yum” talks take place at 11am and 2pm (the 11am is full), with a noon picnic lunch in between, at Monterey Peninsula College’s Lecture Forum near the Library and Technology Center, and include a rich slate of music, education, Hands of Hope and therapy dogs demos, patient art displays, a picnic lunch plus ice cream served by CHOMP physicians. The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen ($32.50) will be available there, and on Amazon.com and most bookstores.
Registration is required at www.chomp.org or 622-2844.
Here's a look at three of her favorite recipes:
Orange Pistachio Couscous Per Serving: Calories 265; Total Fat 10.3g; Carbs 40g; Protein 7g; Fiber 6g; Sodium 435mg. Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 10 minutes
¼ cup shelled pistachios 1 ½ cups whole wheat couscous, rinsed in cold water 1 ½ cups boiling Magic Mineral Broth (recipe below) or water 1 teaspoon ground cumin ½ teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon sea salt ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground pepper ½ cup chopped fresh mint 2 scallions, white and green parts, finely chopped 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice 1 tablespoon orange zest 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil ½ cup raisins
Magic Mineral Broth 6 unpeeled carrots, cut into thirds 2 unpeeled yellow onions, cut into chunks 1 leek, white and green parts, cut into thirds 1 bunch celery, including the heart, cut into thirds 4 unpeeled red potatoes, quartered 2 unpeeled Japanese or regular sweet potatoes, quartered 1 unpeeled garnet yam, quartered 5 unpeeled cloves garlic, halved ½ bunch fresh flat-leaf parsley 1 8-inch strip of kombu 12 black peppercorns 4 whole allspice or juniper berries 2 bay leaves 8 quarts cold, filtered water 1 teaspoon sea salt
Rinse all of the vegetables well, including the kombu. In a 12-quart or larger stockpot, combine the carrots, onions, leek, celery, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yam, garlic, parsley, kombu, peppercorns, allspice berries, and bay leaves. Fill the pot with the water to 2 inches below the rim, cover and bring to a boil.
Remove the lid, decrease the heat to low, and simmer, uncovered, for at least 2 hours. As the broth simmers, some of the water will evaporate; add more if the vegetables begin to peek out. Simmer until the full richness of the vegetables can be tasted.
Strain the broth through a large, coarse-mesh sieve (remember to use a heat-resistant container underneath), then add salt to taste. Let cool to room temperature before refrigerating or freezing.
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees fahrenheit.
Spread the pistachios in an even layer on a sheet pan and bake for 7 to 10 minutes, until aromatic and slightly browned. Let cool.
Meanwhile, combine the couscous and boiling broth in a bowl, cover tightly with plastic wrap, and let sit for about 5 minutes, until the liquid is absorbed. Add the cumin, coriander, salt, and pepper and stir and fluff with a fork. Spread the couscous on a sheet pan, rake with a fork, and let cool to room temperature.
Combine the couscous, mint, scallions, lemon juice, orange juice, orange zest, olive oil, raisins, and pistachios and mix well, then do a FASS check. You may need to add a pinch or two of salt, a squeeze of lemon, or a dash of olive oil to balance the flavors.
*Variation: make this a meal in a bowl by adding 1 cup of cooked chickpeas when you stri everything together.
Cooling Cucumber Avocado Soup Per Serving: Calories 95; Total Fat 7.2g; Carbs 8g; Protein 2g; Fiber 4g; Sodium 105mg. Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 2 hours in the refrigerator
2 cups water 2 pounds English cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks 2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice ¼ teaspoon agave nectar Sea salt Pinch of cayenne 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint 1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro
Pour 1 cup of the water into the blender, then add the cucumbers, avocados, lime juice, agave nectar, ¼ teaspoon of salt, and the cayenne. Blend until extremely smooth. gradually adding more water until you reach the desired consistency. Taste and adjust the amount of salt, adding as much as ¾ teaspoon more.
Chill for at least 2 hours, then stir in the mint and the cilantro just before serving.
Triple-Citrus Ginger Black Cod Per Serving: Calories 130; Total Fat 4.3g; Carbs 5g; Protein 18g; Fiber 0g; Sodium 370mg. Prep time: 15 minutes Cook time: 20 minutes (plus 20 minutes to marinate)
½ cup freshly squeezed orange juice 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil Zest of 1 orange Zest of 1 lemon ½ teaspoon minced fresh ginger Pinch of cayenne 4 3.5-ounce black cod fillets, pinbones removed ½ teaspoon sea salt 1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard ¼ cup coarsely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley or mint
In a small bowl or glass measuring cup, whisk together the orange juice, lime juice, lemon juice, olive oil, orange zest, lemon zest, ginger, and cayenne. Place the cod in a baking dish and season each piece with ⅛ teaspoon of the salt. Pour half of the orange juice mixture over the cod and turn to coat well. Cover and marinate in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 400 degrees fahrenheit.
Remove the cod from the refrigerator, uncover, and add 2 tablespoons of water to the bottom of the dish. Bake just until the fillets are tender and an instant-read thermometer inserted into the center of each fillet registers 137 degrees; it will take 10 to 15 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
Meanwhile, combine the remaining orange juice mixture and the mustard in a small saucepan over medium heat and simmer until the liquid is reduced by half. Pour the reduction over the fillets, sprinkle with the parsley, and serve immediately.