Sunday, November 04, 2007

Veg-Out

"You really need to eat more vegetables, organic preferably... I hear broccoli is one of the best anti-cancer vegetables around... have you tried eating broccoli raw or juicing it?" ... That last one came from my good friend, C who tried to get me to chomp on raw florets of broccoli. For the sake of friendship, I managed one raw floret and there and then made up my mind that some vegetables are never destined to end up on my dining plate in its raw form no matter how convincing the proponent may be!

With modern cancer literature stressing the importance of a plant-based diet in the prevention of cancer and to ensure proper nutrition during cancer-treatment, it is no wonder that every other concerned relative, friend and colleague has urged me to eat like a cow, but ahh... here's the thing, few have actually stepped up to share with me in the "joy" of chewing and ruminating on raw greens (even my very supportive hubby has days when one more scrap of green lettuce, just like the final straw on a camel's back, can send him scurrying for cover)!

To get more greens into my system and preferably through an appetizing and enjoyable manner - salad lunches (especially the kind where a single plate covers most of the requirements in the food chain) are the easiest. The following, a simple home-style "Salade Niçoise", is one of my favourites - it has the requisite greens (in the form of romaine lettuce and blanched french beans), carbohydrates (blanched quartered potatoes), protein (quartered hard-boiled eggs and tuna flakes) - and finally the zing of sliced kalamata olives!
carbo+greens+protein
The recipe is a bit sketchy in terms of quantities but should be sufficient to serve two persons:
  • cook 4 peeled potatoes in a pot of slightly salted water - bring to a boil, and simmer potatoes for about 10 minutes until tender - drain, cool and quarter the potatoes
  • cook 2 eggs in a pot of water - bring to a boil, cover, remove pot from heat and let stand for about 10 minutes - drain, cool eggs under cold running water - peel eggs and cut into quarters
  • cook a handful of french beans in a pot of salted boiling water (about 1 minute) - remove beans from pot and plunge into a bowl of cold water to stop the cooking process for a slightly tender yet crunchy texture
  • arrange salad with romaine lettuce leaves, french beans, potatoes, eggs, tuna flakes and sliced kalamata olives
  • drizzle with dressing, which is basically whisking together 1 tablespoon of white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon of honey, salt and black pepper, whilst adding in a slow stream less than 1/4 cup of extra-virgin olive oil until emulsified
The following Roast Pumpkin, Tofu and Broccoli Salad is another great salad to try - a mish mash of hot and cold textures containing all the stuff that's supposed to be good for me - pumpkin (containing alpha-beta carotene), broccoli (containing high levels of sulphoraphane, indoles and flavonoids), fresh spinach leaves (a good source of iron and other antioxidants), and egg-tofu (source of protein), and a tasty Asian-style dressing of mirin, fish sauce and lime juice.
veg-out
  • cut half a small pumpkin (peeled) into bite-sized cubes and toss in a baking dish with a tablespoon of olive oil, and season with salt and pepper - roast in a preheated oven at 180C for about 20 minutes or until golden brown and tender
  • steam or blanch the broccoli florets
  • stir-fry the egg tofu slices in a tablespoon of garlic-infused olive oil until slightly golden brown on both sides
  • arrange salad of spinach leaves, broccoli florets, cubed pumpkin and tofu rounds
  • toss gently with dressing - made from a combination of grated zest and juice of 1 lime, half a tablespoon of fish sauce, half a tablespoon of soy sauce (or Bragg's amino acids), and about 50ml of mirin
  • finish off by sprinkling with toasted sesame seeds
As I 'vege-out' during this period of chemotherapy and recovery (and I meant that both in the literal sense of 'passive relaxation away from stress' and in the culinary sense), I'm beginning to think that being a cow is not such a bad idea after all - Moo-moo-moo!

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17 Comments:

Anonymous audreycooks said...

Oh gosh,you really have me running to the nearest organic shop for some wholesome salad. Lately, I have been into salads and more salads. The only problem I have is that salads can only fill me up for 1 hour :D

11/05/2007 08:43:00 PM  
Anonymous slurp! said...

broccoli is one of my favourite snack!. while they can be eaten raw , it's best to blanch a while, becoz you never know what's hiding in between their florets ;P

usually i just eat them with goma (sesame) dressing, simple & good or perhaps sprinkle with some sea salt (if the dressing ran out)

and talking about kalamata olives, i was at carrefour, and came across kalamata spread. in there are 3 variety:- kalamata, green chalkidiki, black amfissa. Product of Greece.

needless to say, i bought all 3, such a pig am I hor? LOLz

11/09/2007 10:37:00 PM  
Anonymous Elsie said...

It's been a year since I returned to your blog to read your entries and what a surprise I got when I saw that the lastest entry was not on the Heritage one.

You are such a brave, super wonder woman for your positive attitude in light of what had happened. I am so touched by your new entries. Stay strong and I am sure you will have the strength you need to overcome whatever trying times there are.

11/18/2007 04:36:00 AM  
Blogger Sammy said...

Hi there. I just wanna say I left your blog quite awhile ago and came back today finding it very much alive and kicking.

I just wanna say be strong (which you already are) and overcome whatever obstacles you need to overcome.

take care,

Sam

11/18/2007 09:47:00 PM  
Blogger boo_licious said...

I'm guilty of not eating enough greens! Something I need to rectify. Must admit, raw broccoli is not my cup of tea, I rather have it blanched.

11/20/2007 05:52:00 AM  
Blogger debbsleng said...

Dear Cath,

Stumbled upon your blog. Just wanna convey my salutes to you, I have an aunt who is recovering from Breast Cancer (she had a masectomy).

Stay strong, and God Bless you and your family.

11/26/2007 06:17:00 PM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

@audrey - salads are healthy, definitely encourage the additional roughage and vitamins and nutrients in our diet! As for the hunger pangs, add some complex carbos to the meal :-) - happy experimenting!

@slurp - haven't tried the last two olive items on your list - must check it out - and definitely not a pig but a dedicated foodie!

@elsie - thanks for the encouraging comment :-))

@sammy - thank you for dropping by - appreciate the kind thoughts!

@boo - haha, I have practically sworn off raw broccoli! Yucck!

@debbs - very nice of you to drop a line - hope your aunt is recuperating well :-)

12/06/2007 10:36:00 PM  
Blogger Jayfizz said...

I'm not a huge fan of brocolli either but i find it really easy and tasty in a salad when you chop it up super super fine... as small as you can get it. doesn't taste like broccoli at all and you still get all the good stuff from it! Works for cauliflower too.

12/18/2007 02:44:00 PM  
Blogger eatzycath said...

@jayfizz - minibits of broccoli, great idea, I will certainly try it one day :-) thanks!

12/22/2007 09:22:00 AM  
OpenID ladyironchef said...

nice salad, i love em'!
thanks for the recipe : )

1/24/2008 02:34:00 PM  
Blogger jiaying said...

salad with pumpkin! i love pumpkin!

(: love the pretty photos on your blog~

3/21/2008 08:08:00 AM  
Anonymous cuocthiseo said...

Yummy yummy, I'm starving now, can I eat your blog now?:D

1/04/2009 11:39:00 PM  
Anonymous pwdash4cash said...

all your post are mouth watering! can't wait to have my lunch, it make me starve.

2/19/2009 03:14:00 PM  
Anonymous kampanye damai pemilu indonesia 2009 said...

thanks for info

4/18/2009 04:55:00 AM  
Anonymous recipe said...

using sesame on food. i just like it. looks delicious

11/02/2009 04:00:00 AM  
Anonymous Elana said...

MMMMM.... I love the idea of adding pumbkin to this salad. I make something similar with bok Choi. That's a good veggie for you if you haven't tried it. Great with just some soy sauce and sesame oil

http://www.katom.com

4/23/2010 06:12:00 AM  
Anonymous Emily said...

Wow this looks absolutely good and probably taste delicious.

3/04/2011 07:55:00 PM  

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