Saturday, September 26, 2009

"O" Foods for Ovarian Cancer Awareness Month: TomatO, TomatillO, Onion and Pepper Stew

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)

For serving:

sour cream
shredded cheddar
tortilla chips


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.


Ivy said...

I wonder how the chocolate peppers taste.. I have never heard of them before but I am sure they make the most delicious stew.

Jen said...

They're little, tiny purple peppers, Ivy, and very sweet. They do have a hint of chocolate in the taste.

Lauren said...

I love everything about this post, Jen! What a great recipe for a great cause.

Jen said...

Thanks so much, Lauren. I'm so impressed with what Michelle and Sara have done!

anno said...

O my! and Ooolala! Such a feast!

Jen said...

I wouldn't call it a feast, Anno, but it made a good supper. And Ooooolala to you, too! ;-)

muzzyblue said...

This looks scrumptious-my family loves recipes like this! I'm printing it now out to try next week.

Peter G | Souvlaki For The Soul said...

I love a good stew the choices of peppers you have in there. Definitely a super stew!

anno said...

Just trying to give you the o-ppropriate ovation!

Jen said...

Jane - good for your family! I still have a little trouble getting C on board if he sees too many types of veggies. Sad.

Peter - thanks so much! I loved getting all those peppers in the share this week.

AnnO - tOO funny. ;-)

Mariposa said...

I haven't seen chocolate peppers! Gosh, I always learn new things here... ;)

I will spread the word since I'm not sure I have the recipe.

Jen said...

Spreading the word would be great, Mariposa!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

What a healthy and delicious looking stew! Nice entry.



Jen said...

Thanks so much, Rosa!

Proud Italian Cook said...

I love your "O" foods Jen, Great stew for a great cause!

Jen said...

Thanks so much, Proud Italian! It's been fun to see what people have come up with.

Brian Miller said...

that sounds amazing! i love hot peppers. we used to grow a perpper garden when we lived in florida, fresh off the vine...maybe that will help me out in the long run. have never tied the chocolate peppers, they sound great.

Jen said...

Do you have any place to grow peppers now, Brian? I find that they seem to grow pretty easily.

Núria said...

A fantastic dish for a fantastic Event!

Chocolate peppers? Never heard of them... A lovely ingredient for the stew :D

Meg said...

Sounds great, I'll have to replace the chicken with something Vegetarian Daughter will eat.

Jen said...

Nuria, thanks so much!

Meg - Seitan would work well here, as would veggie sausage, or just plain corn - this can easily be an all-veggie stew.

Thistlemoon said...

This is an awesome entry! I would love a bowl of it right now! I am sure you are having some chillier weather these days, and this would be perfect for one of those nights!

Jen said...

We are, indeed, Jenn - I'm even pondering turning the heat on tonight.


It is a good, warming dish, though. ;-)

Jeanie said...

Do you create all these recipes? If so, you're even more awesome than I thought!

Keri Mikulski said...

Great cause and amazing recipes. Thanks! ;)

Jen said...

Jeanie - I do, although they're often based vaguely on something else. I like to improvise! And thank you for the kind words.

Keri - thanks so much!

Goofball said...

It looks like a wonderful dish. mmmm comfort once again. haha I knew I had to come here to read just before lunch to make me even more starving.

I had heard about the good qualities of tomatoes and peppers but beans was new to me though.

peter said...

I'm about as aware of ovarian cancer as one can be, given that it took my Mother six years ago. And yet I just can't get behind these memey awareness things. Is that wrong?

In any case, your dish look wonderful.

Unknown said...

There is a blog award for you at my blog :)

And I love love love this recipe.

Valerie Harrison (bellini) said...

An amazing dish for such a worthy cause Jen.

Jen said...

Goofball, they're very high in fiber and folate - both of which are good.

Peter - I'm so sorry to hear about your mother. I'm not into many of them, but this one is important to me because so many women really don't know about the symptoms or that they have to be advocates for themselves. They think this is "checked for" at their annual gyn exam...

CG - thanks so much! I'll be over shortly.

Thanks, Val!!

Oh said...

this post is great for all kinds of reasons, not the least of which is the photo of your recipe! Yum. I'm thinking of talking Husband into making this one; it's cold here already and we're thinking comfort food already!

Anonymous said...

Great contest, and great submission! yours is comfort food to the max. The best prevention medicine yet!

Rosa's Yummy Yums said...

Have a great end of week!



Jenn@slim-shoppin said...

That meal sounds amazing!

I had a neighbor who passed away from Ovarian cancer at 32. I had never met anyone in person before that. She said she never even felt sick, but by the time they caught it, it was too late. And her daughter was only in 1st grade. It's so sad.

Thanks for reminding people about that kind of cancer

Momisodes said...

That is fascinating. I would have never guessed chili and jalapeno peppers would help prevent cancers, especially in the stomach. I love these tips and information. And the recipe sounds wonderful.

Michelle | Bleeding Espresso said...

Looks *so* good Jen, and I, too, am intrigued by those peppers....

Thanks for participating!