In my role at the publishers DBP, I have been working on a book that has just come out – Nourish: The Cancer Care Cookbook. Written by the team at Penny Brohn Cancer Centre and nutritionist Christine Bailey, it shows you how to create delicious meals, snacks and drinks that are packed with nutrients to support your body if you have cancer.
The introduction to the book explains the role of nutrition in protecting against cancer, helping to alleviate some of the symptoms, and forming a crucial part of any cancer treatment programme. And then there are recipes for shakes, juices, smoothies and breakfasts, soups and light meals, main meals, desserts and baked treats. There are also recipes that are designed specifically to help with the common side effects of treatment. The recipes are easy and quick to prepare, and highly nutritious.
We tried this simple kale salad. I wanted to try it because I’m always looking for ways to make kale taste good. I find it unappetising and bitter, but I know that it’s supergood for you! (Kale is packed with flavonoids – antioxidants that help lower inflammation and protect against cell damage. This cruciferous super-food is also rich in glucosinolates, which can play a primary role in protection against many forms of cancer.) The combination of the tamari-toasted seeds with the avocado/lemon dressing sounded good. And it really was! I served this with steamed fish and it was a great success. (And by the way, it’s worth making up a batch of the toasted seeds and keeping them for a snack.)
gluten-free, dairy-free, egg-free
Preparation time 10 minutes
Cooking time 3 minutes
- 250g/9oz kale, large stems discarded, leaves roughly chopped
- 1 tsp garlic salt (optional)
- 1 tbsp nutritional yeast flakes (optional)
- 1 ripe avocado, pitted and peeled
- 3 tbsp lemon juice
- ½ tsp ground cumin
- 1 tbsp olive oil or flaxseed oil
- 2 tsp tamari
- 200g/7oz/1⅓ cups cherry tomatoes, cut in half
- 1 handful of alfalfa sprouts
Toasted seeds and nuts:
- 2 tbsp pine nuts
- 6 tbsp mixed seeds, such as sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds and hemp seeds
- 2 tbsp tamari
- To make the toasted seeds and nuts, put them in a dry frying pan over medium heat and lightly toast for 1 minute, stirring. As they begin to colour, pour over the tamari and stir to combine. Stir for 1–2 minutes until crisp. Leave to cool.
- Put the kale into a large bowl and sprinkle over the garlic salt and yeast flakes, if using. Massage with your hands to allow the kale to soften. Put the avocado, lemon juice, cumin, oil and tamari into a blender or food processor and process until smooth. Mix into the kale so that it is thoroughly coated. Stir in the tomatoes and sprinkle over the alfalfa sprouts and toasted seeds and nuts, then serve. (Store in the fridge for up to 2 days.)
Nutritional Information per serving
Protein 9.8g, Carbohydrates 7.8g of which sugars 4.8g, Fat 24.3g of which saturates 3.1g, Kcals 289