Cooling Cucumber Avocado Soup

MAKES 6 SERVINGS • PREP TIME: 15 minutes • COOK TIME: 2 hours in the refrigerator

Those of you into cool or room-temperature soups will embrace the clean, fresh feel of this blend.  The great shades of green from the avocado and cucumber are like a beautiful, edible watercolor.

2 cups water
2 pounds English cucumbers, peeled, seeded, and cut into chunks
2 ripe avocados, pitted and peeled
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1⁄4 teaspoon maple syrup
Sea salt
Pinch of cayenne
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh mint
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh cilantro 

Pour 1 cup of the water into the blender, then add the cucumbers, avocados, lime juice, maple syrup, 1⁄4 teaspoon of salt, and the cayenne.

Blend until extremely smooth, gradually adding more water until you reach the desired consistency. Taste and adjust the amount of salt, adding as much as 3⁄4 teaspoon more.

Chill for at least 2 hours, then stir in the mint and cilantro and serve.

Reprinted with permission from The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery. Copyright © 2009, 2017 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA

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My Favorite Salad with Bright Mediterranean Vinaigrette

MAKES 6 SERVINGS • PREP TIME: 15 minutes • COOK TIME: not applicable

I love this salad. I dream about this salad. It’s a variation on fattoush, a fabulously named Mediterranean salad. This is the freshest, cleanest salad I can imagine. It’s like Nautilus for the taste buds: the sweetness of fresh tomatoes, a starburst of fresh mint and parsley, creamy cheese, salty olives, crispy pita chips, and crunchy lettuce . . . like I said, it’s a workout for the palate. Like most workouts, you’ll feel wonderful after you eat it.
 
2 pitas

Dressing
1 ½ tablespoons fresh lemon juice
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon brown rice vinegar
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
¼ teaspoon sea salt

Salad
6 to 8 cups romaine hearts, roughly chopped
1 English cucumber, peeled, seeded, and cut into small pieces
1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
3 to 4 ounces organic feta cheese
1 cup kalamata olives, pitted and halved lengthwise
¼ cup chopped fresh mint
¼ cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
 
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Cut the pita into quarters, split into layers, and place on a sheet pan. Bake for 8 to 10 minutes, until golden. Remove from the oven and cool.

To make the dressing, combine the lemon juice, olive oil, vinegar, cumin, and salt in a small bowl. Whisk to incorporate. Set aside until ready to use.

In a large salad bowl toss the romaine hearts with the dressing. Top with the cucumber, tomatoes, feta, and olives. Sprinkle with the mint, parsley, and broken pita chips.

Toss the salad at the table and serve onto individual plates.

Reprinted with permission from One Bite at a Time: Nourishing Recipes for Cancer Patients and Their Friends Copyright © 2008 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA.

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Anytime Bars

MAKES 25 bars • PREP TIME: 15 minutes • COOK TIME: 30 minutes

You never know when hunger will strike, but when it does, take advantage of those moments to nourish yourself. That’s the whole idea behind these Anytime Bars. My clients often take these portable packets of pleasure to chemo sessions. Many people actually want to eat during a treatment, and these bars are delicious, healthy alternatives to the bowls of sweets often found around infusion centers. You can change the ingredients in this recipe to fit your taste preferences. Split the batter and make half with currant and cranberries and the other half with walnuts or whatever you’d like. These bars come together very quickly with a food processor, but if you don’t have one, hand-chopping the fruit and nuts works well.

1 cup raw pecan halves
1 cup whole raw almonds
4 tablespoons brown rice flour or gluten free flour mix, or coconut flour
2 tablespoons finely ground flaxseeds
1⁄4 teaspoon sea salt
1⁄8 teaspoon baking powder
1⁄8 teaspoon baking soda
1⁄4 cup old-fashioned rolled oats
1 cup pitted dates (preferably Medjool), quartered
1 cup unsulfured dried apricots, cut in half
1 organic egg
5 tablespoons maple syrup
1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Preheat the oven to 350°F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Lightly oil a 9-inch square pan.

Spread the pecans in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet and toast for 7 to 10 minutes, until aromatic and slightly browned. Watch them carefully, as they can burn easily. Repeat this process for the almonds. Turn down the oven to 325°F.

Combine the flour, flaxseeds, salt, baking powder, and baking soda in a food processor and process for 5 seconds to combine. Add the pecans and almonds and pulse 5 times to coarsely chop the nuts. Add the oats, dates, and apricots and pulse 10 to 15 times, until the mixture is well chopped but still coarse.

In a large bowl, whisk the egg, maple syrup, and vanilla together until thoroughly combined. Add the fruit and nut mixture and use your hands to mix thoroughly, being sure to separate any clumps of fruit. Spread the mixture in the oiled baking pan in an even layer and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, until set and golden brown; don’t overbake, or the bars will be too dry. Let cool on a wire rack for 5 minutes, then cut into 25 squares. Leave the bars in the pan until completely cool so they’ll hold together when you remove them.

VARIATIONS: When it comes to changing up the mixture, the only limit is your imagination. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Use walnuts instead of pecans.
Add 1⁄4 cup dried cranberries, cherries, blueberries, raisins, or currants when mixing together at the end.
Add 1 tablespoon of grated orange zest when mixing together at the end.
Add 2 tablespoons of sesame seeds when mixing together at the end.
Add 1⁄4 cup of unsweetened shredded coconut when mixing together at the end.

Reprinted with permission from The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen: Nourishing, Big-Flavor Recipes for Cancer Treatment and Recovery. Copyright © 2009, 2017 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA

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Tart Cherry and  Chocolate Crunch

MAKES 10 cups • PREP TIME: 10 minutes • COOK TIME: 30 minutes

This is so good, it might leave you speechless. I mean, what’s not to love? Almonds, pecans, walnuts, dark chocolate chips, dark cherry, coconut . . . are you dizzy yet? I’m not trying to brag, but when we gave a friend of ours some of this granola, he took one bite and asked, “Will it travel?” When we said “Yes,” he said, “Good . . . I’m taking it to Honduras with me!” I hope the customs folks there don’t ask for a nibble. We put some into a jar on the top shelf of my kitchen to see how long it would hold up; turns out it held up longer than we did. We got to a week before we devoured it all. And believe me, that was after employing a lot of willpower.

1/2 cup Grade B maple syrup
1 teaspoon orange zest
1/4 cup coconut oil, melted
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon vanilla
1 cup coarsely chopped almonds
1 cup coarsely chopped pecans
1 cup coarsely chopped walnuts
2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats
3/4 cup bittersweet chocolate chips
2/3 cup unsweetened shredded coconut
1 cup dried tart cherries

Preheat over to 325°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment
paper.

In a large bowl, whisk together the maple syrup, orange zest, coconut oil, salt, and vanilla. Pulse the almonds, pecans, and walnuts together in the bowl of a food processor until the pieces are the size of raisins. Add the nuts, oats, chocolate chips, coconut, and cherries to the bowl and mix until everything is well coated.

Spoon the mixture onto the baking sheet and, with wet hands or a small piece of parchment paper, spread and press it into an even layer about 1/4 inch thick, filling the baking sheet. Tuck in any loose pieces on the edges.

Bake for about 30 minutes or until golden brown. Start checking at 20 minutes and turn the sheet if necessary. Allow to cool completely before breaking into pieces.

Reprinted with permission from The Healthy Mind Cookbook Copyright © 2015 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. 

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Apple Pie–Spiced Walnuts and Raisins

MAKES ABOUT 1 CUP • PREP TIME: 5 minutes • COOK TIME: 8 minutes

This is pure aromatherapy. There’s nothing like the smell of baking apple pie to raise the spirits, so in this recipe I pulled together the spices that make apple pie special and gave them a new home— walnuts. Walnuts, with all their nooks and crannies, catch all the spices, especially after they’re coated with a little olive oil and maple syrup (just writing this is making me practically salivate). Walnuts happen to be loaded with the omega-3 known as alpha-linolenic acid, which in animal studies exerted
an antidepressant effect. Tossing them with plump raisins is the kicker.

1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 teaspoon Grade B maple syrup
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/4 teaspoon sea salt
1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 cup walnuts
3 tablespoons raisins (optional)


Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.

Put the olive oil, maple syrup, cinnamon, allspice, salt, and nutmeg in a bowl and stir to combine. Add in the walnuts and stir with a spatula to evenly coat the walnuts with the spices. Spread evenly on
the prepared baking sheet. Roast in the oven for about 8 minutes, until you can begin to smell them. If adding raisins, toss them with the warm walnuts.

COOK’S NOTE: As soon as you start to smell that heavenly aroma wafting from the stove, it’s time to remove the nuts from the oven. They will continue to cook as they cool.

The raisins will plump up as they are tossed with the warm nuts. Take a handful and eat these with sliced apples for a deconstructed, unbaked apple pie.

Reprinted with permission from The Healthy Mind Cookbook Copyright © 2015 by Rebecca Katz with Mat Edelson, Ten Speed Press, a division of the Crown Publishing Group, Berkeley, CA. 

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