Suzi's Blog

Betty Crocker Living with Cancer Cookbook


This a serious but very positive cookbook review.

We all hope for a long and healthy life. Longevity is now much more attainable — remember when “50” was old? Thanks, in part, to modern medicine we can expect to live far longer than we might have dreamed.

The catch here, and there’s often a catch in life, is that a longer life through modern medicine often involves a battle with cancer. Sometimes that battle is won outright. Sometimes the battle is lost, but only after precious years are secured.

You, a family member, or an acquaintance may have had that cancer diagnosis or will. When you hear the word “cancer”, your world changes.

Fighting the battle is crucially dependent on nutrition. And the cancer treatments can often make the tasks of cooking and eating complicated. Appetites can fade. Certain foods may not be tolerated any more. Your daily life is turned upside down just as your life itself is threatened.

The Betty Crocker Living with Cancer Cookbook is designed for this new stage of life. There are over 150 recipes providing superior nutrition without sacrificing taste.  The book has been compiled with the expertise of two prominent oncologists and a nutritionist. This is a professional approach groomed to deal with a very personal problem.

The recipes are flagged to show which ones can help mitigate common side effects of cancer treatment, such as nausea. There are recipes for the “cooking challenged” and ideas for “make ahead” dishes that provide you up to six small meals and snacks spread throughout the day.

The reassuring thing about these recipes is that old friends are here so that your “diet” will not have to be totally transformed:

  • Old-Fashioned Beef Pot Roast
  • Cheesy Beef Enchiladas
  • Hot Turkey Sandwiches
  • Chicken and Vegetable Stir-Fry
  • Oven-Fried Potato Wedges
  • Baked French Toast with Strawberry-Rhubarb Sauce

This book will be an important asset for anyone facing the battle. Fortunately, it will make that struggle much less arduous.

Cilantro Sauce

cilantro sauce on roasted turkey breast
Cilantro is a lively herb that we mostly encounter diced up in salsa or in guacamole. The sharp flavor is unmistakable. Cooked cilantro? That’s a much more rare experience, yet this sauce will convince you of some hidden flavor powers of cilantro.

This sauce is a thick, dense amalgam of cilantro and chicken-based stock. It has a deep, almost earthy flavor. Originally, this sauce was recommended for roasted chicken breasts, but we served it on turkey breast [see yesterday’s post for a turkey breast recipe].

Beyond poultry, this sauce would work brilliantly with fish, or serve as the sauce component for Mexican dish. Using this sauce in a burrito or enchilada will spark flavor buds and curiosity.

This sauce can be created in just a few minutes and, like all good leftovers, seems to be even more yummy the day after.

Cilantro Sauce

Yield: 1 ½ cup

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups water
  • l chicken bouillon cube
  • l bunch cilantro, stemmed
  • ½ cup heavy cream
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper

Preparation:

Follow the usual instruction for a bouillon cube: heating 2 cups of water with the cube until the cube melts. You will use only half of this mixture. Or, you can double the recipe!

In a blender, combine the cilantro, cream, and one cup of the chicken bouillon. Blend well and set aside.

In a medium saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring constantly, for 3 minutes; do not brown. Whisk in the cilantro mixture and cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the mixture boils and thickens slightly.

Season with salt and pepper.

Source: Adapted from The Seven Stars Cookbook