DIETARY CHOICES PLAY AN IMPORTANT ROLE IN REDUCING CANCER RISK
Thinking about cancer is something most of us would rather avoid, but today we know that paying more attention to our cancer risk is something that can yield real dividends. Researchers tell us the majority of cancers we face are preventable—not through new drugs or medical breakthroughs, but through simple lifestyle choices.
The foods you choose each day are one of the most important factors in protecting you and your family from cancer. Most Americans eat a diet that is far too high in fat and calories. Even more important is what the average U.S. diet lacks: a variety of vegetables, fruits, beans and other plant-based foods. Here are some no-sin appetizers full of vitamins, fiber and delicious flavor!
CRUNCHY VEGGIE WRAP
1/4 cup reduced-fat mayonnaise *
1 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
1 tsp. grated lime peel
4 8-inch whole-wheat flour tortillas
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, washed and well-dried with stems removed
1 small ripe avocado, peeled, pitted and cut into slices
1 medium red bell pepper, seeded and cut into strips
1 medium carrot, cut into strips
1. In a small bowl, combine the mayonnaise, lime juice and lime peel.
2. Heat the tortillas in the microwave for 15-20 seconds on high to make it easier for you to roll them.
3. Spread each tortilla evenly with the mayonnaise mixture. Arrange the spinach leaves on top of each tortilla, then the avocado slices, bell pepper and carrots.
4. Roll the tortillas up tightly. Place the seam sides down on the serving plates.
*Variation: As an alternative to the mayonnaise lime mixture, use a prepared hummus, yogurt-cucumber dip, low fat flavored cream cheese, salsa, baba ganoush, or mustard.
Other Options: Try arugula instead of spinach. Add any type of bean, grated zucchini, tomatoes, shredded cabbage, onions, mushrooms and/or chopped cucumbers.
Nutritional Information: Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 198 calories, 10 g. total fat (2 g. saturated fat), 31 g. carbohydrates, 5 g. protein, 7 g. dietary fiber, 323 mg. sodium.
FRESH MANGO SALSA
1 cup chopped ripe mango
1 large firm tomato, seeded, drained and chopped
1/2 cup finely chopped red bell pepper
1/4 cup finely chopped red onion
2 tsp. lime juice
1 Tbsp. olive or canola oil
1/4 cup fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped
Pinch of sugar
Freshly ground black pepper and salt, to taste
1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper, or to taste
1. In medium bowl, mix together all ingredients.
2. Refrigerate for 1 hour to blend flavors before serving.
Nutritional Information: Makes 5 servings. Per serving: 61 calories, 3 g. total fat (<1 g. saturated fat), 9 g. carbohydrates, <1 g. protein, 1 g. dietary fiber, 5 mg. sodium.
Olive or canola oil spray
1/2 cup whole raw almonds
3/4 cup halved raw walnuts
3/4 tsp. ground cumin
1/2 tsp. paprika
1/2 tsp. garlic powder
1/8 tsp. salt
Cayenne pepper, to taste (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place nuts in small bowl .
2. Spray lightly with oil; toss to coat.
3. Add spices and toss to blend thoroughly.
4. Spread nuts on baking sheet. Roast until fragrant, about 15 minutes.
5. Serve nuts either warm or at room temperature.
6. Store in airtight container.
Nutritional Information: Makes 5 servings. Per 1/4-cup serving: 181 calories, 18 g. total fat (1 g. saturated fat), 4 g. carbohydrate, 5 g. protein, 1 g. dietary fiber, 58 mg. sodium.
TOMATO AND ROASTED RED PEPPER DIP
1 jar (12 oz.) roasted red peppers, rinsed and drained
1 can (15 oz.) white beans, rinsed and drained
1/4 cup tomato paste, preferably reduced sodium
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp. lowfat mayonnaise
1 tsp. dry oregano
1 tsp. ground cumin
1/4 tsp. ground chili powder or pinch cayenne pepper
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1. Coarsely chop peppers.
2. Place in food processor or blender and puree.
3. Add beans, tomato paste, garlic, mayonnaise, oregano, cumin and chili powder or cayenne.
4. Process to smooth puree.
5. Season to taste using salt and pepper.
6. Let stand one hour before serving. Keeps up to 3 days, tightly covered and refrigerated.
Nutritional Information: Makes 2 1/4 cups. Per 2 Tbsp.: 32 calories, < 1 g. total fat (<1 g. saturated fat), 6 g. carbohydrate, 1 g. protein, 1 g. dietary fiber, 120 mg. sodium.
LITE HUMMUS DIP
1 can (15 oz.) chick peas, rinsed and drained
1-2 cloves finely minced garlic (or to taste)
1 Tbsp. sesame tahini
6-8 Tbsp. reduced sodium vegetable broth or water
1-2 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp. extra virgin olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Hot pepper sauce (optional)
1. In blender or food processor, place peas, garlic, tahini, broth or water, lemon juice and oil.
2. Blend on high speed until mixture is smooth.
3. Add salt, pepper and hot pepper sauce to taste, if desired.
4. Pour mixture into serving bowl. Dust lightly with paprika.
5. Serve with cut-up raw vegetables and pita bread.
Nutritional Information: Makes 1 1/4 cups. Per 2 tablespoons: 50 calories, 2 g. fat (<1 g. saturated fat), 7 g. carbohydrate, 2 g. protein, 2 g. dietary fiber, 195 mg. sodium.
TOMATO, CORN AND BLACK BEAN SALSA
1 cup seeded, finely chopped fresh tomatoes
1/2 cup black beans, rinsed and drained
1/2 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed
1/4 cup finely minced red onion
1/4 cup finely minced cilantro leaves
2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
1-2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon
1-2 Tbsp. freshly squeezed lemon juice
1-2 tsp. hot pepper sauce or a few dashes of Tabasco (optional)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper,to taste
1. In medium bowl, combine all ingredients.
2. Serve chilled or at room temperature.
Nutritional Information: Makes 5 servings. Per serving: 63 calories, 2 g. total fat (0 g. saturated fat), 9 g. carbohydrate, 2 g. protein, 2 g. dietary fiber, 138 mg. sodium.
VEGGIE PITA PIZZAS
4 whole wheat pita bread rounds
1 cup prepared pasta sauce (with vegetables)
1/2 red bell pepper, finely diced
1 small zucchini, finely diced
1 small yellow summer squash, finely diced
2 1/2 – 3 oz. jar or can sliced mushrooms, drained
1 tsp. dried oregano
1 tsp. dried basil
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
8 tsp. grated Parmesan cheese Crushed red pepper flakes, to taste (optional)
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. On oven rack or in toaster oven, toast pita bread for 1 minute. Remove and allow to cool.
3. Spread 1/4 cup pasta sauce on each pita round.
4. In medium bowl, combine red pepper, zucchini, yellow squash and mushrooms.
5. Spoon evenly onto pita rounds. Sprinkle 1/4 teaspoon oregano and basil on each round. Divide mozzarella among pitas.
6. Top each with 2 teaspoons of Parmesan cheese. If desired, sprinkle with a bit of crushed red pepper flakes.
7.Broil, watching carefully, until cheese is melted and bubbly, and pita is hot. Serve immediately.
Nutritional Information: Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 310 calories, 2 g. total fat (<1 g. saturated fat), 75 g. carbohydrates, 1 g. protein, 5 g. dietary fiber, 3 mg. sodium.
CHUNKY CRANBERRY DIP
1 8-oz. package reduced-fat cream cheese
1-2 Tbsp. lowfat milk
1/2 cup chopped dried cranberries
1/4 cup chopped blanched almonds
1/2 tsp. orange zest, preferably fresh
1. In medium bowl, place cheese and allow to soften at room temperature.
2. Mash and work with fork until texture is light enough to combine easily with other ingredients.
3. Gradually add milk until cheese becomes soft and spreadable.
4. Mix in remaining ingredients.
5. Cover and refrigerate up to 2 days ahead or let stand at room temperature 1 hour before serving to allow flavors to blend.
Nutritional Information: Makes about 1 1/2 cups. Per serving (1 tablespoon): 29 calories, 2 g. total fat (<1 g. saturated fat), 3 g. carbohydrate, 1 g. protein, < 1 g. dietary fiber, 35 mg. sodium.
The American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) is the nation’s third largest cancer charity, focusing exclusively on the link between diet and cancer. The Institute provides a wide range of consumer education programs that help millions of Americans learn to make dietary changes for lower cancer risk. AICR also supports innovative research in cancer prevention and treatment at universities, hospitals and research centers across the U.S. The Institute has provided more than $65 million in funding for research in diet, nutrition and cancer. AICR’s Web address is www.aicr.org