Giving the Gift of Flavor

I love giving food-related gifts during the holiday season. They are fun for everyone, from food connoisseurs to your friend whose idea of cooking is boiling water for pasta. I try to give gifts that are tasty, healthy and encourage the recipient to try something new. While everyone indulges a bit over the holidays, it’s great to help others prevent cancer through healthier food and fitness-related gifts.

One of my favorite ways to flavor and season vegetables is also turning into one of my favorite gifts to give. Working with individuals trying to lose weight, I often hear people talk about how much they dislike vegetables. Flavored balsamic vinegar and olive oil can change that.

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Why olive oil? It’s rich in antioxidants and heart-healthy monounsaturated fats, and including it in your diet can help lower your LDL (“bad”) cholesterol. However, since olive oil is also high in calories, highly flavorful oils – like lemon or walnut – can boost the taste of your food with small amounts. Continue reading


Packing Whole Grains for Lunch, Recipe

If you’re trying to eat healthier at work — after all, its National Employee Wellness Month —  packing a lunch that’s high in fiber can give you lasting energy for the workday while helping you prevent cancer. Take our Health-e-Recipe for Lemon Brown Rice Pilaf.canstockphoto8528856

Toss this rice with a little tuna or salmon (buy it canned in water, then drained) plus some leafy greens and salad veggies for a complete meal. You can make a batch for a weekend meal then divide the leftovers into single portions and refrigerate or freeze them for lunches throughout the workweek.

Roasting lemon slices make brown rice tangy, and it’s an easy step that only takes a little time. When coated with olive oil and roasted, lemons’ natural sugar caramelizes into a rich dark brown that coats the rind. Continue reading


Barbecue Favorite: Healthy Chicken Kebabs

chicken-kabobsFor your Memorial Day barbecue this year, try our Mediterranean-style Cypriot Chicken Kebabs.

Perfect for a summer meal, these kebabs can be baked or grilled. The chicken is marinated overnight in a tasty blend of extra virgin olive oil, apple cider vinegar, mustard, oregano, garlic and parsley. Then it is skewered with cherry tomatoes, chunks of zucchini and pieces of red bell pepper. All of these plant-based foods contain cancer-fighting compounds.

Dip your juicy chicken kebabs into the summery green dressing of mint, peas, cumin, garlic and lemon juice. With only 200 calories per serving, you can serve these kebabs with brown rice or another whole grain to soak up the juices, plus a mixed green salad.

Find more healthy, colorful and appetizing dishes at the AICR Test Kitchen. Subscribe to our weekly Health-e-Recipes.