Tasty cures for what ail you are the subject of a plethora of cookbooks right now, targeting specific illnesses for nourishment, prevention and possible cures.
When Rebecca Katz’s “The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery,” came out a decade ago, the idea of cookbooks geared toward specific illnesses was still relatively new.
But the success of her book – as well as her “One Bite at a Time: Nourishing Recipes for Cancer Survivors and Their Friends” – was so great, that a second edition of “The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen” was released in 2017.
More and more cookbooks have come on the market, each designed to focus on a topic, such as gluten intolerance, gut and psychology syndrome (GAPS) and Paleolithic.
GAPS is based on the theory that many psychiatric disorders, such as attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, autism, addictions, depression and obsessive compulsive disorder are caused, or exacerbated, by intestinal dysbiosis and/or leaky gut.
Paleolithic – aka paleo – eliminates modern foods and goes back to what our hunter-gatherer ancestors ate. The thinking is it may eliminate a number of illnesses, including autoimmune diseases.
It’s a snowball, encompassing ketogenic diets, which were very similar to the Atkins diet – both of which are based on drastically reducing carbohydrates to throw the body into ketosis, which turns to fat for fuel once glucose stores are exhausted.
But while Atkins was designed for weight reduction, the keto diet is being studied for its possible ability to reduce seizures, be heart healthy, protect brain functioning and maybe treat or prevent conditions like Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s and some sleep disorders.
The difficulty when faced with all these cookbooks is how to evaluate what is worthwhile.
“I don’t have a recommendation on a specific cancer cook book, but I was looking at the cookbooks from the American Cancer Society, it looks like they have good reviews on Amazon.com,” says Nancy Church, president and CEO of Berrien County Cancer Service.
She says one indication of a book’s reliability is whether or not it contains recipes from one of the major organizations that provide assistance and research to a disease.
Nicole Morrissey, manager of diabetes and nutrition education for Spectrum Health Lakeland, who has written several cookbooks for healthy eating, says another help is having a nutritional analysis in the cookbook, which takes some of the guesswork out of determining if its recipes are healthy.
Here are a few cookbooks to consider, with recipes from each:
‘The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen’
By Rebecca Katz
Curried Chicken Salad
Makes 6 servings.
1 1/2 pounds roasted organic chicken
1 Granny Smith apple, diced into 1/4-inch pieces
1/4 cup raisins, or currants
1/4 cup scallions, green part only, minced
2 stalks celery, diced small
1/2 cup organic plain Greek-style yogurt
1/4 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon lime juice
1 tablespoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 butter lettuce leaves, washed and dried
1/4 cup slivered toasted almonds, for garnish (optional)
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped, for garnish (optional)
Chop the cooked chicken into 1/2-inch pieces, and put them in a bowl. Stir in the apple, raisins, scallions and celery.
Separately, whisk together the yogurt, mayonnaise, lime juice, curry powder, ginger and salt.
Add the yogurt mixture to the chicken, and stir gently until thoroughly combined.
Serve atop the lettuce leaves, garnished with the almonds and cilantro, if desired.
‘The Anti-Inflammation Cookbook: The Delicious Way to Reduce Inflammation and Stay Healthy’
By Amanda Haas
Breakfast Bibimbap with Poached Eggs
Makes 4 servings.
4 teaspoons toasted sesame oil
1 carrot, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch matchsticks
1 zucchini, cut into 1/4-inch matchsticks
3 green onions, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
2 cups sliced mushrooms, such as shiitake and cremini
1 garlic clove, peeled and minced
2 cups cooked brown rice or quinoa
1 tablespoon basil, chopped
1 tablespoon mint, chopped
1 teaspoon toasted sesame seeds
4 poached eggs
Hot sauce, such as Sriracha, for serving (optional)
In a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 teaspoon of the sesame oil. Add the carrot, zucchini and green onions, along with a pinch of salt.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have just browned and are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes. Remove the vegetables from the pan.
Place the pan back over medium-high heat, add another 1 teaspoon sesame oil and allow the pan to get very hot. Add the mushrooms in one layer. Allow them to sit and get a nice crust before stirring, about 3 minutes, then add the garlic.
Cook, stirring frequently, until the mushrooms have released their liquid and are well browned, about 2 minutes more. Remove the mushrooms from the pan.
Place the pan back over medium-high heat and add the remaining 2 teaspoons sesame oil. Allow the pan to get very hot, then add the brown rice and spread it over the bottom of the pan. Let it crisp before breaking it up and stirring, about 2 minutes. Stir, then spread the rice over the bottom of the pan again and allow to crisp for 2 minutes more.
Divide the rice between four bowls, and top each serving with vegetables, fresh herbs, sesame seeds and a poached egg. Add as much hot sauce as desired. Serve immediately.
‘The Keto Instant Pot Cookbook: Ketogenic Diet Pressure Cooker Recipes Made Easy and Fast’
By Urvashi Pitre
Cauliflower Mac and Cheese
2 cups cauliflower rice (see note below)
2 tablespoons cream cheese, at room temperature
1/2 cup half-and-half
1/2 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
In a heatproof bowl, mix the cauliflower, cream cheese, half-and-half, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper together. Cover the bowl with aluminum foil.
Pour 2 cups of water into the inner cooking pot of an Instant Pot, then place a trivet in the pot. Place the bowl on the trivet.
Lock the lid into place. Select “manual” or “pressure cook” and adjust the pressure to high. Cook for 5 minutes.
When the cooking is complete, let the pressure release naturally for 10 minutes, then quick-release any remaining pressure. Unlock the lid and carefully remove the bowl. Remove the foil.
Place the cooked cauliflower under a broiler, and broil until the cheese is brown and bubbling, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve immediately.
Note: Many grocery stores are now selling cauliflower rice in their frozen food sections. But to make your own, place cauliflower florets in a blender with plenty of water, pulsing until the cauliflower is completely chopped up. Drain the mixture using a large strainer.
‘The Low-FODMAP Diet for Beginners: A 7-Day Plan to Beat Food Bloat and Soothe Your Gut with Recipes for Fast IBS Relief’
By Mollie Tunitsky
Stuffed Red Peppers with Quinoa, Zucchini and Feta Cheese
Makes 4 servings.
1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 zucchini, diced
2 cups Foolproof Quinoa (see recipe below)
Sea salt, to taste
Pepper, to taste
4 bell peppers (red, orange or yellow)
1/2 cup feta cheese crumbles (optional)
Heat oven to 375 degrees.
Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-high heat. Add the zucchini and sauté until slightly tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Transfer the zucchini to a large bowl.
Add the quinoa to the bowl of zucchini, and season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine well. Set aside.
Cut off the tops of the peppers, and remove the seeds and ribs from inside. Stuff the peppers with quinoa mixture.
Place the stuffed peppers in an 8-by-8-inch baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20 minutes.
Remove the peppers from the oven and add the feta to the top of each pepper. Recover with the foil, and bake for an additional 5 minutes.
2 cups water
1 cup quinoa
Pinch sea salt
In a medium saucepan, bring the water, quinoa and salt to a boil.
Cover the pan, reduce the heat to low, and cook for 15 minutes, or until the quinoa is tender and all the water is absorbed.
Remove the pan from the heat, and fluff the quinoa with a fork. Cover the top of the quinoa with a paper towel, and put the lid back on the pan. Let the quinoa sit for 5 minutes.
‘The One-Pot Keto Diet Ketogenic Cookbook: 100+ Easy Weeknight Meals for Your Skillet, Slow Cooker, Sheet Pan and More’
By Liz Williams
Roasted Asparagus, Bacon and Egg Bake
12 uncured bacon slices
16 to 20 asparagus spears, ends snapped off and discarded
Freshly ground black pepper
8 large eggs
1 avocado, peeled and sliced
Heat oven to 425 degrees.
In a large, cast iron skillet over medium heat, cook the bacon. Turn the slices with tongs every few minutes and cook until bacon is 75 percent cooked, 5 to 7 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel-lined plate.
Drain the bacon grease from the skillet, and discard, keeping 3 tablespoons of bacon fat in the pan. Add the trimmed asparagus spears to the skillet, season with salt and pepper, and toss until coated with fat.
Bake in the oven for 6 to 8 minutes, or until the spears start of soften. Remove from the oven, and turn the asparagus with tongs. Return the bacon to the skillet. Crack the eggs over the top of the bacon and asparagus.
Return the skillet to the oven, and bake for 5 to 7 minutes, or until the eggs reach desired doneness.
Serve immediately with avocado slices.