Four Tips: Cancer Protective Meals that Beat the Heat

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Chicken and Cantaloupe Strawberry Salad

Summer heat is here and the saying “if you can’t stand the heat, get out of the kitchen” definitely applies to me when it comes to hot weather meals.

With all the fresh produce available and a few healthy convenience foods, I find it easy to put together some delicious cancer-protective summer meals with little to no cooking.

Here are some strategies to stay cool with a few of my favorite meals:

1.  Think ahead.  When you do turn on the stove, think ahead and cook a little more than you need for that meal – leftovers make for less cooking tomorrow. For example, hard-boiled eggs are perfect for eating plain, as egg salad for sandwiches or in salads. Here’s one I like to make – it’s a one dish meal than takes less than 30 minutes and you can use whatever vegetables you have on hand. It’s based on the classic Nicoise salad.

Prepare 2 hard-boiled eggs. Lightly steam or microwave a large handful of fresh green beans and two small red potatoes. While those cook, prepare 2 dinner plates. On each plate put 1 cup salad greens, 1 chopped tomato, and a few slices of cucumber. Toss cooked beans and potatoes with 2-3 tablespoons vinaigrette salad dressing and arrange on salad. Put halved eggs on salad and top with 2-3 oz of canned tuna. Add more salad dressing as desired.

2.  Let others do the cooking.  Many supermarkets sell roasted whole chickens – perfect for several meals.

Meal 1: Roasted Chicken, Sauteed Greens, Grilled Corn or other grilled vegetables

Meal 2: Chicken and Cantaloupe Strawberry Salad, whole wheat bread

3.  Open a can. Take advantage of convenient canned beans for high protein, meatless summer salads.

Chickpea, Pepper and Pine Nut Salad, Green side salad, Watermelon slice

4. Summer soups.  Chilled soups make a good starter or centerpiece for your summer meal. Here’s a great combination for a backyard picnic:

Red Pepper Gazpacho and Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw

How do you beat the heat for healthy summer meals?


    Author: Alice RD

    Alice G. Bender, MS, RDN, is the Director of Nutrition Programs at AICR. She helps put the science of cancer prevention by providing tips and tools to choose nutritious and delicious foods. Alice has guided thousands of individuals to healthier lives through diet changes and choices.

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