The curly leaves of kale can be much more than a garnish on holiday plates. If you’re confounded by how to prepare kale, you can reap its cancer-fighting benefits in our Health-e-Recipe for Pasta Shells with Garlicky Kale.
Chopped, one cup of these ruffled green or purple leaves contains more than a day’s worth of antioxidant vitamins A and C, plus good amounts of vitamin B-6, calcium and magnesium. Kale also provides cancer-preventive phytochemicals like sulforaphane, quercetin and kaempherol — preserved in this dish by quickly braising the kale for only 3 minutes.
Garlic’s generous allium phytochemicals add more protection and flavor, as do the red pepper flakes. Whole-wheat pasta boosts the cancer-fighting fiber in this dish to 7 grams per serving. And with 13 grams of protein per serving, adding some lean protein or beans can bring the protein total to 20-30 grams. Top it all with some slivers of roasted red bell pepper for a festive look.
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Pumpkin is so nutritious, it shouldn’t be reserved just for pumpkin pie. Our Health-e-Recipe for Pumpkin Mac and Cheese is a delicious way to sneak more pumpkin into an everyday dish.
Teeming with beta-carotene, which turns to vitamin A in our bodies, pumpkin and other orange winter squash varieties (think butternut and acorn) also provide cancer-preventive fiber. They can be added to soups, stews and other vegetable dishes.
In this recipe, unsweetened pumpkin purée is added to whole-wheat pasta with Parmesan and cheddar cheeses and mustard powder to create a healthy entree. It even provides a hefty 17 grams of fiber per serving. Serve it with a green veggie like lightly steamed broccoli, which researchers pointed out last week at our annual conference retains its cancer-fighting compounds best when steamed for 3-4 minutes.
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Like nuts, seeds contain fiber and healthy fats. They can be used for a garnish, as a crunchy coating for fish and poultry or in baked goods like muffins. Each type of seed has fiber and phytochemicals that provide health protection. For example, flaxseed is being studied for possible breast cancer prevention because of its omega-3 fats.
In this recipe, pumpkin seeds are a healthy treat that provide minerals including iron, magnesium and zinc. During harvest season, some folks like to take them right from the pumpkin, clean them and toast them in their shells. But you can find the tasty kernels already packaged (sometimes labeled “pepitas”).
This recipe mixes pumpkin seeds with anti-inflammatory spices ginger and paprika, along with cinnamon, cloves and a little brown sugar. The spices make a small amount satisfying, so you can eat this healthy snack without going overboard with calories. You could even pre-package individual servings in resealable plastic snack bags.
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