Authors of “The Living Kitchen” share meal options packed with flavor and health perks.
Miso Sesame Glazed Cod
Cooking fish in a miso sesame marinade is super easy and has the most magical results. This recipe is well loved by many of our clients and requires very little effort to make — ideal on treatment days, when you need something quick but tasty. Not only does miso offer a complex flavor that is salty and slightly sweet, and will make your taste buds sing, it also provides naturally occurring healthy bacteria that will support your digestion and immune system. Cooking the fish at a low temperature will help maintain a soft, tender texture that practically melts in your mouth, which is helpful when you’re dealing with a sore mouth or throat.
Start to finish: 20 minutes
Four 5-ounce pieces of cod
2 tablespoons miso
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
11/2 teaspoon grated peeled ginger root
4 chives, finely chopped, 2 teaspoon sesame seeds, handful of sprouts
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the cod on the baking sheet. Mix the miso, sesame oil and ginger together in a small bowl. Spread some of the mixture over each piece of cod and bake in the oven for 15 minutes. You’ll know it’s ready when the flesh gently flakes with a fork. Top the cod with chopped chives and sesame seeds and serve. You can keep leftovers in the fridge for up to four days and reheat them when you are ready to eat.
There are different types of miso. The darker the color, the saltier and stronger the taste. Lighter misos are less intense, so we recommend you start with these if you haven’t used miso before. You can find different varieties at health food stores and online. If you can’t eat soy, look for miso that’s made with chickpeas or other types of beans.
Avocado Chocolate Mousse
Avocados are not just for guacamole; they are versatile chameleons. Spread them on toast, blend them into smoothies and even use them in desserts. This recipe was our first introduction to using avocados in desserts, and it’s been a winner ever since. Here, avocado is the secret ingredient — this mousse is so chocolaty, soft and silky, you will never know that it’s not made from real cream. Try it if you experience dry or sore mouth, or if you suffer from depression and anxiety.
Start to finish: 10 minutes
1/4 cup packed pitted dates
2 ripe avocados
1/4 cup unsweetened dairy-free milk
1/4 cup raw cacao powder
1/2 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
Pinch of sea salt
Berries or fruit of your choice; unsweetened coconut flakes; 80% dark chocolate chips; chopped raw pecans, walnuts or almonds; cacao nibs; hemp seeds; goji berries; mint leaves; cinnamon; raw cacao powder for dusting
Soak the dates in a bowl of warm water for five minutes. Once they’ve softened, drain the water. Blend the dates, avocados, dairy-free milk, cacao powder, vanilla extract and salt in a food processor until the mixture becomes creamy and smooth. If you have trouble getting the mixture to blend, gradually add a bit more milk, one spoonful at a time. Divide between two bowls, garnish with whichever toppings you like and enjoy! Store in the fridge for up to two days in an airtight container.
: The omega-3 fatty acids in avocados support your immune system and maintain healthy cells. Avocados can help you gain weight if cancer or treatment has made you lose it.
Miracle Matcha Latte
Sipping a hot, frothy cup of tea is a wonderful way to start off the day or to unwind in the afternoon. But we recommend limiting caffeine during treatment. We understand this can be a real challenge if you’re a caffeine lover, so we’ve come up with an alternative for you. Matcha, made from ground green tea leaves, contains some caffeine (but a lot less than coffee), and might just do the trick if you want something with a little kick of energy. Enjoy this vibrantly colored green tea that’s naturally sweet and earthy, and that tastes so smooth whisked into dairy-free milk. It offers benefits, such as help with swallowing and may be a way to fight exhaustion and fatigue.
Start to finish: 5 minutes
11/2 cups unsweetened dairy-free milk
1 teaspoon matcha powder
1 tablespoon hot water
1 tablespoon virgin coconut oil
6 drops of liquid stevia (or more if you like it sweeter) or 1–2 teaspoon honey
Add the milk to a small pot on the stove. Heat gently on medium until just below boiling. Meanwhile, whisk the matcha powder with 1 tablespoon of hot water in a mug until there are no clumps and it’s a smooth mixture. Once the milk is hot, pour it into the mug with the matcha. Pour the matcha and milk mixture into a blender and add the coconut oil. Blend for 30 seconds, or until the coconut oil is emulsified into the liquid. This will help make the milk frothy. Pour into the mug, add stevia or honey to taste.
You’ll need a whisk to blend the matcha powder into the liquid. You can find a matcha tea whisk at any tea shop or on the internet. If you don’t have a tea whisk, you can use a regular small whisk.
Matcha tea is rich in epigallocatechin-3-gallate (EGCG), a compound that researchers have linked with preventing cancer. It’s best to buy organic matcha, even if it seems expensive, as you’ll want the higher-quality tea to get the most health benefits.
Sarah Grossman and Tamara Green are certified nutritionists and the founders of Living Kitchen. They offer private chef, consulting and meal planning services to clientele throughout Toronto, bringing nutritional support, education and food to patients with cancer and caregivers, as well as people maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
“The Living Kitchen” is available in stores and online at outlets such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Target and Walmart.
Excerpted from The Living Kitchen by Tamara Green & Sarah Grossman. Copyright © 2019 Tamara Green & Sarah Grossman. Photography by Daniel Alexander. Published by Appetite by Random House®, a division of Penguin Random House Canada Limited. Reproduced by arrangement with the Publisher. All rights reserved.