A Spicy and Healthy Spinach Salad

mexican-spinach-salad croppedJuly’s hot weather salad days are here. If you’re looking for a more exciting salad that bites you back, try our Health-e-Recipe for Mexican Spinach Salad.

Poblano chiles spice up these greens, which by themselves contain important cancer-fighting substances. They’re used in cuisines from hot climates where spices can help to cool you off by making you perspire. Chiles also contain plant compounds called capsaicin, which lab studies suggest may help keep unhealthy inflammation at bay.

Feta cheese, pumpkin seeds and crunchy corn chips for garnish also make this salad interesting. Top it with our easy honey-lime dressing, which you can use on other salads as well. To make it a more complete meal, add a half-cup of chopped roast chicken breast to each serving (for another 150 calories and lean protein).

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Fireworks and Pasta Salad

Penne Pasta with VegetablesBefore the fireworks light up the sky, chill out with our easy Health-e-Recipe for Pasta Salad with Tomatoes for your 4th of July celebration – or anytime.

Tomatoes, green pepper and basil are tossed with whole-wheat bowties, penne, spirals or any other favorite small-sized pasta. Along with the garlic, these plant foods contain compounds that may be cancer protective. They also provide fiber, as does the whole-wheat pasta. Fiber has been associated with lower risk of colorectal cancer by strong evidence in AICR’s CUP report. It also is digested more slowly than white pasta, which keeps blood sugar levels in a healthy range.

The dressing for this salad is a vinaigrette made with olive oil and sweet-tart balsamic vinegar, both healthier than the mayonnaise-based dressings many pasta salads use.

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Heavenly Vegetable Soup

summer-veggie-soupIf you’re looking for a bright new way to enjoy fresh summer vegetables, try our Health-e-Recipe for Summer Veggie Soup. It’s loaded with nine tasty vegetables that bring you cancer protection and it’s ideal to celebrate National Fresh Fruit and Vegetable Month.

Every vegetable contains many phytochemicals – naturally occurring substances that may protect our cells from damage from aging and toxins that, over time, can lead to cancer development. These compounds work together for health protection, so this soup is a terrific way to eat the wide variety of vegetables that AICR recommends to reduce cancer risk.

To get the most out of your garlic, mince it first and let it stand for 10 minutes so its allium compounds are fully activated. The carrots add beta-carotene to this soup, and the yellow squash and zucchini contribute fiber (found in all plant foods). The potatoes, chickpeas and corn make this soup hearty, providing other nutrients. Asparagus, tomatoes, basil and chives add even more individual phytochemicals.

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