Healthy, Hearty Sweet Potato Bean Soup

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Photo by Heather Victoria Photography

Beans have always come in handy when animal proteins were scarce; now they can stand in for red meat when you’re trying to cut back to eating no more than 3 ounces of lean red meat per day, as AICR recommends for lower cancer risk.

For a warming and satisfying meal, look no further than our Health-e-Recipe for Sweet Potato Bean Soup. Almost a stew, This rich-tasting soup is based on a rich low-sodium chicken broth enhanced with tomato paste, a product high in the protective phytochemical lycopene.

Simmered with nutritious onions and celery, chopped sweet potato chunks add plenty of the cancer-preventive phytochemical beta-carotene (also present in other orange vegetables and fruits, like carrots). Continue reading


The Medieval Roots of Ginger (and our Gingerbread Cookies)

Spicy ginger deserves a warm welcome for the holidays as the chill of winter sets in. The root has been grown in Asia for millennia and is used fresh, sliced or minced, in all kinds of savory dishes. Its health-boosting phytochemicals and possible ability to quell an upset stomach also make it popular around the world as a tea, candy and dried and as a ground spice in baked sweets.Candied fresh and ground ginger on rustic table

Historians have traced European use of gingerbread back to the Crusades in the 11th century. Medieval folk would mix together ground almonds, stale breadcrumbs, rosewater, sugar and ginger them press it into molds sometimes carved in the likeness of royal family members or religious symbols. Shakespeare referred to gingerbread in his play “Love’s Labor’s Lost,” and gingerbread was reputedly a favorite food of Queen Elizabeth.

ginger-lemon-cookies croppedToday we have the luxury of flour to use in making fragrant gingerbread loaves and cookies to spice up the winter holidays. Molasses and brown sugar give gingerbread the characteristic taste and chewiness we enjoy today.

AICR’s Health-e-Recipe for Ginger Snaps are crisp outside and soft inside, using less fat as well as some whole-wheat flour to make them better for your healthy, plus cinnamon and a dash of black pepper for extra zing. At 75 calories and only 3 grams of fat per cookie, they’re less unhealthy than some other holiday treats and one or two will satisfy the gingerbread fan in you.

Controlling the Crispness

If you like crisper cookies, use a non-dairy stick shortening that is a blend of oils. Or, for a softer texture, use a soft tub spread instead for cookies that have a crisp outer layer then turn chewy overnight. The softer cookies’ batter can be dropped from a spoon onto your baking sheet.

For more cancer-preventive recipes, visit our Healthy Recipes. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.

For more yummy AICR recipes using ginger, try Carrot Soup with Orange and Ginger, Ginger Carrot Salad with Cranberries and Asian Chicken with Honey and Ginger.


Thanksgiving Turkey – Porchetta style

The forecast for a chilly, November weekend got me excited to try out AICR’s new recipe for porchetta-style roasted turkey breast. I’ve never cooked a whole turkey, so starting with just the breast seemed more manageable than an entire bird. Since the turkey takes several hours to roast, I knew it would be the perfect way to warm my apartment and fill it with scents from two of my favorite herbs—rosemary and sage. These herbs are also packed full of cancer-protective flavonoids and phenolic acids.

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Porchetta is a traditional Italian roast pork dish that is stuffed with garlic, salt, rosemary, sage, fennel, and other herbs (such as coriander or red pepper flakes). The pork cut is generally high in fat (e.g. pork belly) with a crispy skin and very salty seasoning. I love that this recipe keeps all the flavorful spices found in traditional porchetta, but instead can be enjoyed with a lean turkey breast and less sodium. The skin still crisps up nicely and the broth keeps the turkey juicy.

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