Cooking for patients is a delight, in fact I can't think of many other things (apart from family) that gives me tingles and that 'feel good' sensation, than cooking and helping people recover from cancer treatment.
Post chemo can be so exhausting for some people, with little energy to do anything little desire to eat, and depleted zest for life. This is where I like to come in and spice things up - well for their taste buds that is!
Helping patients get their platelet count up for the next round of treatment is really important. However, tricky it is, we must persist. The best ingredients to work with are
vitamin A rich foods like carrot/pumpkin/sweet potato, dairy, dark leafy veggies.....
vitamin K rich foods like avocados, prunes, dark green leafy veggies
Whilst sometimes it's hard to find a meal that can combine all these, plus be gluten free for sensitive tummies, I found a super delicious recipe that was given to me by a friend. I modified it slightly to be more nutritious and palatable to cancer patients. Usually I recommend having this with half a glass of pure pomegranate juice.
Of course, I enjoyed these beauties myself - and had them for lunch. It's not just for the recovering people, it's a spectacular meal for everyone. Even my kids enjoy it and it's become a weekly addition to their lunch box - please note, you'll need a little ice pack in their lunch boxes.
Bunches bok choy/choy sum or swiss chard it is up to you which you prefer. I like choy sum as leaves are large and easy to use. Discard the tough ends and wash thoroughly
1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp peanut butter (crunchy or smooth)
1 Tbsp grated ginger
2 Tbsp tamari sauce
1 Tbsp honey
1 tsp miso paste
juice of half a lime
Cooked chicken - shredded AND/OR lean beef mince cooked with a little garlic
1 avocado, de-seeded and sliced
For extra filling and if you need something to keep you full longer, I suggest adding some cooked brown rice vermicelli.
1. Place the leaves in a large bowl and cover with boiling water for about 30 seconds). Drain and let leaves come to room temperature. Pat dry with paper towel and set aside.
2. In a medium bowl whisk together the vinegar, sesame oil, peanut butter, ginger, tamari, honey, miso and lime. Season with salt if needed. Add chicken or beef. If you decide to do both, halve the sauce mixture and mix them separately. Add the coriander and mint.
3. To assemble - carefully lay out the leaves on a clean surface3. If needed, use two leaves to give it strength and cover any holes - then add meat mixture, carrots and avocado. Roll them up, and slice in half.
I enjoy these with a variety of Asian herbs like Thai mint or basil.
These are scrumptious and a much more nutritious alternative to sushi. Full of flavour and perfect for people who are in between cancer treatment as it gets their taste buds excited again.