It’s October 31st, so what holiday are we celebrating? The last day of national breast cancer month, of course! (don’t worry…a late Halloween post will be coming later this week). Recent research keeps telling us that diet and cancer are much more related then we might guess. The national cancer institute even estimates that 1/3 of cancer deaths are diet related (woah). So, controlling our diet is our best defense. So I did some research and found the foods that research says are the best to fighting breast cancer, and I tried to integrate as many as possible into this meal.
One of the foods I kept coming across as one of the best breast cancer preventers were “cruciferous vegetables”. You may be thinking, um, what? Cruciferous veggies include those dark leafy greens like broccoli, brussel sprouts, collard greens, and my choice, kale. I picked some up from the farmers market and started on my kale chip adventure.
Couldn’t have been easier. Cut away the thick/hard stems of the kale and break it into “chip” size pieces. Toss in a little bit of olive oil, grind some sea salt and throw um in the oven. Important disclaimer: kale smells terrible while it cooks. Crack a window or a door and suck it up because these taste amazing. While the kale was cooking, I made a quick white bean dip because garlic, olive oil, and beans were on my super food lists. Just pulse in the food processor and you have a tasty hearty spread.
And the last two foods that I used from the list–wild salmon and tomato. I did a quick pan seared salmon with a balsamic marinade. And how do all these super foods come together? Whole grain bread, topped with your garlicy white beans, perfectly cooked wild salmon, cherry tomatoes, and a side of crispy kale chips. Fighting cancer tastes great.
Nutritional Highlights: Here’s the low down. Kale: it’s packed with antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients, and glucosinolates, which are HUGE in cancer prevention. Salmon: It has those essential omega 3’s that everyone goes crazy for. Plus, the wild variety is very lean and free of the chemicals you’ll get in the farm raised kind. Beans are high in fiber, tomatoes have cancer preventing lycopene, and garlic helps protect your heart as well as prevent cancer. Basically, this meal is a powerhouse for cancer prevention and you should try to integrate some of these foods into your diet as much as possible!!
White Bean Dip
- 1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, drained and rinsed
2 cloves garlic
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/3 cup olive oil, plus 4 tablespoons
- 1/4 cup (loosely packed) fresh Italian parsley leaves
- Salt and pepper to taste
Place the beans, garlic, lemon juice, 1/3 cup olive oil, and parsley in the work bowl of a food processor. Pulse until the mixture is coarsely chopped. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Transfer the bean puree to a small bowl.
Baked Kale Chips
- 1 bunch kale
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Sea salt to taste
- Preheat an oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Line a non insulated cookie sheet with parchment paper (I used foil sprayed with cooking spray).
- With a knife or kitchen shears carefully remove the leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash and thoroughly dry kale with a salad spinner. Drizzle kale with olive oil and toss the kale so it’s evenly coated. Grate some sea salt over the chips
- Bake until the edges brown but are not burnt, 10 to 15 minutes.
Balsamic glazed salmon:
Ingredients for one
- 1 small (4 oz) filet of wild salmon,
- 1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar, 1/2 teaspoon whole grain dijon mustard, 1 teaspoon olive oil, a drop or two of honey
- Salt and pepper to taste
Season salmon with salt and pepper. Heat a little olive oil in a non stick pan. Cook salmon for about 3 minutes without moving. Turn salmon and pain on some of the balsamic mixture. Turn again after 3 minutes and paint the other side with the mixture. Cook for about 1 more minute on each side adding a little more of the balsamic mixture but be careful the fish doesn’t burn because the sugars in the vinegar and honey are caramelizing. You could also marinade fish in balsamic and bake at 375 if you don’t want to deal with the pan searing.
Construct the meal: Spread a piece of whole grain bread or baguette with the white bean spread. Top with the salmon and tomato. Serve with the delicious, crunchy kale chips. Enjoy!!