6 Tips to Spring into Beautiful, Practical Asparagus

5-26 asparagus blog 9407278_m copySpring asparagus is here and cooking up elegant spears of bright green asparagus takes only minutes and supplies cancer-preventing compounds in any meal. All asparagus is a good source of the B vitamin folate and vitamins C and A, as well as antioxidant compounds like glutathione and rutin.

Here’s a few tips to cook and enjoy this versatile vegetable.

1. Refrigerate raw asparagus like a bouquet, upright with the bottoms of the stalks in a jar or container of water and the tops covered with a plastic bag up to four days.

2. Try not to waterlog and overcook asparagus by boiling it too much. Instead, preserve its color freshness and crunch by microwaving it or steaming over water for just a few minutes.

3. After washing the asparagus, break or cut at an inch or two off the tougher bottom ends of the stalks. Then cut it into smaller pieces or leave the stalks intact. Continue reading


Yummy, Healthy Singapore Noodles

singapore-noodlesYou’ll find curries in Indian restaurants and noodles in Chinese restaurants, but you may not find curried noodles unless there’s a Malaysian place in your neighborhood. If not, we offer AICR’s healthy version of Singapore Noodles, a dish that blends Chinese, Indian and Malay influences in a cancer-fighting dish using whole-grain brown rice noodles.

Like Singapore, an island nation that grew up as a multicultural trading post in the Southeast Asia next door to Indonesia, Singapore Noodles is a mixture of diverse ingredients. Vegetables, rice vermicelli, shrimp, egg and chicken are sautéed with curry powder. Curry itself is yet another mixture of spices ranging from ginger and turmeric to pepper and cardamom. In this recipe, we add a little more turmeric, a mild-tasting spice that is related to ginger. Both are anti-inflammatory spices that studies indicate may help to reduce cancer risk.

The health-protecting spicy red onion, bell peppers, scallions and cabbage are commonly used in Singapore Noodles. Adding egg to stir-fries is also a feature of Malaysian and Indonesian cooking. To include the egg’s bit of saturated fat, we’ve changed the traditional bits of pork (a red meat) in this dish to chicken or turkey breast and used a few small shrimp to produce an authentic flavor. A touch of sesame oil at the end makes it perfect and still lower in fat than you’d find this dish to be in most restaurants.

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Upgrade Your Falafel with Vegetarian Main Dish

chickpea-fritters croppedOne of our latest recipes, Chickpea and Butternut Squash Fritters, is a  restaurant-quality vegetarian dish that uses a unique combination of healthy cancer-preventive ingredients.

A lot of people are familiar with chickpeas in the deep-fried chickpea balls called falafels. But they are usually high in fat and calories. Chickpeas themselves are naturally low in fat; nutty and buttery-tasting. Like all legumes, they provide protein, vitamins, fiber and minerals that make them a staple in dishes ranging from Indian channa masala to Middle Eastern hummus.

Butternut squash is also rich in fiber as well as the antioxidant phytochemical beta-carotene, another cancer-preventive compound. The other ingredients – green onions, garlic, sage, cumin and red pepper flakes – taste great with the nutty chickpeas and subtly sweet squash and offer their own phytochemicals. Add the egg and whole-wheat flour and you get perfect fritters. Continue reading