The Cancer Wellness Expo is an annual conference that features inspirational speakers and health experts who address the unique issues that women with cancer must confront through honest, provocative, and positive conversations. Blue Apron was proud to attend the Cancer Wellness Expo this year. In addition to serving lunch to conference attendees, Jessica Halper, Culinary Manager for Nutrition and Wellness for Blue Apron, answered questions related to nutrition and the importance of eating a well-balanced and diverse diet both during and following treatment. Cancer and cancer treatments affect the way the body tolerates food making eating well key to maintaining strength and energy during the treatment process, and we were honored to attend such an inspiring conference and contribute to this important conversation.
Famous as an emblem of 1960’s hippiedom, the macrobiotic diet finds its roots in Zen Buddhism and the balance of the yin and the yang. Each meal, which consists of a combination of whole grains, vegetables, beans or fish, and fermented foods, emphasizes a holistic approach to both the plate and the mind. While this dietary philosophy can intimidate at first, its major principles are universal in the wellness arena: reduced consumption of animal products, increased consumption of locally grown, seasonal foods, and most importantly, consumption in moderation.
Serving Size: 4
1 1/2 pounds sweet potatoes
2 cloves garlic
1 lb lacinato kale
1 15-ounce can adzuki beans
1 cup kimchi
3 cups cooked white quinoa
1 cup rehydrated sea vegetables
1 1/2 cups Miso-Carrot Dressing (see recipe below)
1/2 lb carrots
1 1-inch piece ginger
1/4 cup sweet white miso paste
5 tablespoons cups rice vinegar
1 tablespoon mirin
1 tablespoon honey
2 tablespoons toasted sesame oil
- Prepare the ingredients: Wash and dry the fresh produce. Place a steamer basket inside a pot. Fill with enough water to go up about 2 inches up the sides of the pot (the basket should sit above the water). Peel and medium dice the sweet potatoes. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Remove and discard the stems of the kale; roughly chop the leaves. Drain and rinse the beans. Roughly chop the kimchi.
- Steam the sweet potatoes: Once the water is boiling, carefully add the diced sweet potatoes. Cover the pot and steam 18 to 20 minutes, or until tender when pierced with a fork. Remove; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the kale: While the sweet potatoes have steamed for about 10 minutes, in a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened. Add the chopped kale and 2 tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, 3 to 4 minutes, or until wilted. Turn off the heat and transfer to a bowl. Cover with foil to keep warm.
- Cook the beans: While the sweet potatoes continue to steam, in the same pan, combine the beans and ¼ cup of water. Heat to boiling on high. Once boiling, reduce the heat to medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until the water has cooked off. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
- Finish & serve your dish: Serve the cooked quinoa topped with the steamed sweet potatoes, cooked kale, cooked beans, chopped kimchi, and rehydrated sea vegetable. Drizzle with the miso-carrot dressing. Enjoy!
*How To Rehydrate Sea Vegetables: Combine the sea vegetables in a bowl with lukewarm water and let stand until softened and pliable.
Miso-Carrot Dressing Directions
- Prepare the ingredients: Wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and thinly slice the carrots. Peel and thinly slice the ginger.
- Make the dressing: In a high-powered blender, combine the sliced carrots and ginger, miso paste, vinegar, mirin, honey, and 2 tablespoons of water (err on the side of caution – more water can also be added later). Blend until almost smooth. Add the sesame oil and 5 tablespoons of olive oil (check consistency while pouring!)Blend until completely smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
Dukkah Chickpea Bowl with Turmeric-Tahini Dressing
Turmeric—the golden spice—has been used as an aromatic and a medicinal herb for thousands of years. Many of its healing properties come from the compound curcumin, which is both a potent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Ayurvedic medicine, a traditional Indian system of treatment, recommends turmeric for a variety of health conditions including chronic pain and digestive ailments. Given that the spice is highly versatile, it can be utilized in a variety of manners including in marinades, dressings, and even in smoothies.
Serving Size: 4
1 15oz ounce can chickpeas
1 tablespoon dukkah seasoning
1 clove garlic
8 dried medjool dates
3 persian cucumbers
4 oz spinach
3 cups cooked bulgur
Optional: 4 cooked boneless, skinless chicken breasts (half chicken breast per serving)
3/4 cup Turmeric-tahini dressing (see recipe)
2 cups Quick pickled red onions (see recipe)
Chickpea Bowl Directions
- Roast the chickpeas: Place an oven rack in the center of the oven, then preheat to 450°F. Drain and rinse the chickpeas. Spread the rinsed chickpeas onto a paper towel lined sheet pan. Using a second layer of paper towels, gently pat or roll the chickpeas to thoroughly dry; discard the paper towels and any loose chickpea skins. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and the dukkah seasoning; toss to coat. Arrange in an even layer and roast 21 to 23 minutes, or until the the chickpeas are crispy. Remove from the oven.
- Prepare the ingredients: While the chickpeas roast, wash and dry the fresh produce. Peel and roughly chop the garlic. Pit and roughly chop the dates. Pit, peel, and thinly slice the avocado. Cut the cucumbers in half lengthwise, then thinly slice crosswise. Place in a bowl; drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
- Cook the spinach: While the chickpeas continue to roast, in a large pan, heat 2 teaspoons of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the chopped garlic and cook, stirring frequently, 30 seconds to 1 minute, or until slightly softened. Add the spinach and cook, stirring occasionally, 1 to 2 minutes, or until wilted. Turn off the heat.
- Cook Chicken (Optional): Pat the chicken dry with paper towels; season with salt and pepper on both sides. In a large pan, heat a drizzle of olive oil on medium-high until hot. Add the seasoned chicken and cook 6 to 7 minutes per side, or until browned and cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board and slice crosswise.
- Finish & serve your dish:In a large bowl, combine the cooked bulgur, chopped dates, and a drizzle of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve the bulgur-date mixture topped with the roasted chickpeas, sliced avocado, sliced cucumbers, and, if using, cooked chicken. Drizzle with the turmeric tahini dressing and garnish with the pickled onions. Enjoy!
1 clove garlic
1/4 tsp turmeric
1/2 cup labneh cheese
1/4 cup tahini
- Prepare the ingredients: Wash and dry the fresh produce. Quarter the lemon. Peel and finely chop the garlic; using the flat side of your knife, smash until it resembles a paste (or use a zester). In a small bowl, combine the turmeric and 2 tablespoons hot water; stir until the turmeric has dissolved.
- Make the dressing: In a medium bowl, combine the labneh, tahini, the juice of 2 lemon wedges, garlic paste, and 1 tablespoon of the turmeric mixture. Season with salt and pepper to taste. (If the dressing seems too thick, gradually add water a teaspoon at a time until it reaches drizzling consistency.)
Quick Pickled Red Onions
1 1/2 cups rice vinegar, white vinegar, or apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
5 allspice berries
1 medium red onion, about 5 ounces
- In a small pot, combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns, and allspice berries. Heat until boiling. While the mixture comes to a boil, peel and thinly slice the onion; place in a large heatproof bowl. Once boiling, pour the liquid over the sliced onions, making sure the onion stays submerged. Set aside to pickle, stirring occasionally, at least 30 minutes.