Michelle of Bleeding Espresso and Sara of Ms. Adventures in Italy have been getting the word out on this insidious, silent killer. They've put together an O Foods Contest, and Michelle is also involved with Teal Toes for Ovarian Cancer Awareness.
For the "O" Foods Contest, I wanted to provide a recipe that is really healthy and contains several foods that fight cancer. A wonderful blog that highlights foods and nutrition that help in the fight against cancer is Diana Dyer, MS RD. Diana is a cancer survivor and nutritionist and she has helped many other cancer patients fight their battles through better nutrition. While my recipe does not use her beloved kale (she also has a blog called 365 Days of Kale, which she considers the ultimate "super food"), I do have plenty of other cancer-fighting elements in this dish: tomatoes, tomatillos, and four different types of peppers, plus three types of beans. It also has chicken, but that was mostly for taste.
From The Cancer Cure Foundation:
"Chili peppers and jalapenos contain a chemical, capsaicin, which may neutralize certain cancer-causing substances (nitrosamines) and may help prevent cancers such as stomach cancer.
Tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that attacks roaming oxygen molecules, known as free radicals, that are suspected of triggering cancer. It appears that the hotter the weather, the more lycopene tomatoes produce. They also have vitamin C, an antioxidant which can prevent cellular damage that leads to cancer. Watermelons, carrots, and red peppers also contain these substances, but in lesser quantities. It is concentrated by cooking tomatoes. Scientists in Israel have shown that lycopene can kill mouth cancer cells. An increased intake of lycopene has already been linked to a reduced risk of breast, prostate, pancreas and colorectal cancer. (Note: Recent studies indicate that for proper absorption, the body also needs some oil along with lycopene.)"
And general information:
Beans are high in folate, which helps against mutations in our DNA.
This recipe is very simple and very adaptive. I made it mostly to use up various items from this past week's farm share, so feel free to substitute at will:
TomatO, TomatillO, Onion and Pepper Stew
1/4 - 1/2 onion, chopped
any combination of peppers you like - I used 2 chocolate peppers, 1/2 red pepper, 1 poblano pepper, 1/2 fresh jalapeno pepper, chopped (except I chopped fine the jalapeno)
1 large tomatillo, chopped
1 28 oz. can fire roasted tomatoes
1 TBS olive oil
1 cooked chicken breast, shredded
1 can beans of choice, rinsed (I used a black bean, pinto bean and cannellini bean mix)
salt to taste
chili powder to taste (I probably used 1/2 TBS)
1. Heat the olive oil in the stockpot or soup pot over medium/medium high heat.
2. Add onions and peppers and cook five minutes or so until the onions start to turn translucent.
3. Add tomatillo and can of tomatoes. Heat until bubbling.
4. Turn heat to a simmer, and add the chicken and the beans, the chili powder and the salt. Let simmer for 20 minutes.
5. Taste for seasoning, add chili and/or salt if you want to, and let simmer until dinner time (hopefully at least 20 more minutes).
6. Serve with sour cream (I used reduced fat), shredded cheddar (ditto), and tortilla chips for either crushing into the stew, or to eat as a carb with the stew. Some chopped, fresh cilantro can be a nice addition, too.
For more information about Ovarian Cancer and the O Foods Contest:
There are TWO WAYS to take part in the O Foods Contest:
ONE: Post a recipe to your blog using a food that starts or ends with the letter O (e.g., oatmeal, orange, okra, octopus, olive, onion, potato, tomato); include this entire text box in the post; and send your post url along with a photo (100 x 100) to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on Monday, September 28, 2009.
PRIZES for recipe posts:
* 1st: Signed copy of Dolce Italiano: Desserts from the Babbo Kitchen by Gina DePalma, Executive Pastry Chef of Babbo Ristorante in NYC, who is currently battling ovarian cancer, inspired this event, and will be choosing her favorite recipe for this prize;
* 2nd: Signed copy of Molto Italiano: 327 Simple Italian Recipes to Cook at Home by Mario Batali (winner chosen by Sara);
* 3rd: Signed copy of Vino Italiano: The Regional Italian Wines of Italy by Joseph Bastianich (winner chosen by Michelle).
TWO: If you’re not into the recipe thing, simply post this entire text box in a post on your blog to help spread the word and send your post url to ofoods[at]gmail[dot]com by 11:59 pm (Italy time) on Monday, September 28, 2009.
Awareness posts PRIZE:
* One winner chosen at random will receive a Teal Toes tote bag filled with ovarian cancer awareness goodies that you can spread around amongst your friends and family.
From the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund:
* Ovarian cancer is the leading cause of death from gynecologic cancers in the United States and is the fifth leading cause of cancer death among U.S. women; a woman’s lifetime risk of ovarian cancer is 1 in 67.
* The symptoms of ovarian cancer are often vague and subtle, making it difficult to diagnose, but include bloating, pelvic and/or abdominal pain, difficulty eating or feeling full quickly; and urinary symptoms (urgency or frequency).
* There is no effective screening test for ovarian cancer but there are tests which can detect ovarian cancer when patients are at high risk or have early symptoms.
* In spite of this, patients are usually diagnosed in advanced stages and only 45% survive longer than five years. Only 19% of cases are caught before the cancer has spread beyond the ovary to the pelvic region.
* When ovarian cancer is detected and treated early on, the five-year survival rate is greater than 92%.
And remember, you can also always donate to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund at Michelle and Sara's page through FirstGiving!
Please help spread the word about ovarian cancer.
Together we can make enough noise to kill this silent killer.