Such a Good Cook

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Eating Right for Cancer Survival


When you begin to research how food choices can help prevent cancer and when cancer has been diagnosed, how food choices can help reduce reoccurrence rates, the information is vast.  The most helpful resource I have found is a book called The Survivor’s Handbook – eating right for cancer survival.  The book was written by Neal D. Barnard, MD with the help of Jennifer K. Reilly R.D.  to accompany The Cancer Project’s, “Nutrition and Cooking Classes for Cancer Survivors” series.  The book will give you important insight into Food’s role in cancer prevention and cancer survival. 

I enjoyed the recipes in the book so much I have listed a few here to give you a sample of how healthy cooking and eating can also be delicious and easy.

Creamy Spinach Dip


  Serves 10 to 12


  • 1 container non-dairy sour cream substitute
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ½ cup salsa
  • 1 package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and drained
  • 1 package vegetable soup mix


 Combine ingredients and refrigerate for 1 hour before serving.  Serve with raw vegetables or chunks of crusty bread


Recipe adapted from old family favorite by PCRM nutrition Director Amy Lanou, Ph.D.

Cheesy Garbanzo Spread


  Makes about 2 cups

This delicious spread has the look and taste of spreadable cheese and takes only seconds to prepare.  Try it on bread and crackers, in casseroles and as a filling for quesadillas.


  •  1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans
  • ½ cup roasted red peppers
  • 3 tablespoons Tahini (available in the ethnic food section of your local grocery store).
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice


  •  Drain the garbanzo beans, reserving liquid and set liquid aside.
  • Place beans, peppers, tahini and lemon juice in a food processor.
  • Process until very smooth.
  • The mixture should be thick but if it is too thick add some of the reserved bean liquid.


 Add a clove of garlic or red pepper flakes to add flavor and spice.

Add chopped flat leaf parsely or basil to the food processor fo additional flavor, color and texture.

 Recipe from Eat Right Live Longer by Neal D. Barnard, M.D.; recipe by Jennifer Raymond.

Guacamole Plus


  Makes 2 ½ cups

This guacamole is enriched with fiber from the peas and cancer-fighting phytochemicals from garlic, salsa, scallions and lemon.


  • 1 cup frozen green peas thawed
  • 1 ripe avocado, pealed
  • ½ cup mild salsa
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 scallion minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


  • Cut avocado into large chunks.
  • Mash peas and avocado together using a potato masher or fork.
  • Mix in salsa, garlic, scallion, lemon juice, cumin and cilantro.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste.

Easy Chili


 Serves 4


  • 1 large onion chopped (I prefer Vidalia because of the sweet flavor)
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 16-ounce cans kidney beans
  • 1 16-ounce can diced or crushed tomatoes
  • 1 cup frozen corn
  • 1 large clove garlic chopped
  • 2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons cumin
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • In a large stock pot or Dutch oven, sauté the onion and garlic in the olive oil until soft and translucent.
  • Add the beans, tomatoes, corn and seasonings.
  • Cover and simmer for at least and hour. 

This is a very easy recipe.  Experiment with seasonings and ingredients like tofu or additional veggies such as green or red peppers.  If you like spicy chili, add jalapeño peppers of hot red pepper flakes and sauté with the onions and garlic.

Posole (Vegetable Soup with Hominy)


 Serves Four


  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • 3 cups of water or low-sodium vegetable stock
  • 1 15-ounce can white hominy (drained and rinsed).
  • 1 15-ounce can of stewed tomatoes with garlic, green pepper and celery
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 cup of green beans, chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ¾ teaspoon chili powder
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Salsa
  • Iceberg lettuce, chopped
  • Baked tortilla chips


  • In a medium stock pot, braise garlic and onion in ½ cup of water until soft.
  • Add carrots and water or stock and simmer 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Add Hominy stir in tomatoes, red pepper, green beans and spices.
  • Simmer for 15 minutes. 
  • Server hot with toppings

Recipe from PCRM Weight Loss Study Cooking Demonstration: contributed by PCRM nutrition Director Amy Lanou, Ph.D.