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By UFH Nutrition Manager, Erin Pellegrin RD

This winter, my cooking class theme is “Food for Thought.” Both Michele and I so often hear how frustrating chemo brain or chemo fog can be for our community. One way to help improve the symptoms of chemo brain – among several lifestyle factors – is by consuming foods that contain nutrients known to support brain function. So in my three recipes, you’ll find ingredients like nuts, seeds, whole grains, and green vegetables. Buon appetito!

Interested in learning more recipes like this? Join Registered Dietitians Erin and Michele in their monthly cooking webinars for Wellness Passport holders. Learn and engage as they demonstrate three delicious meals to add to your recipe collection. Learn more in your Wellness Passport or email nutrition@uniteforher.org

Omega Muffins

Recipe courtesy of The 30-Day Alzheimer’s Solution by Dean Sherzai, MD, PhD and Ayesha Sherzai, MD, MAS

Ingredients

  • 2 C oat flour
  • ½ C + 2 Tbsp rolled oats
  • 1 ½ tsp baking powder
  • 3 Tbsp hemp seeds, divided
  • 3 Tbsp ground flaxseeds
  • · 1 tsp baking soda
  • · ½ tsp ground cinnamon
  • · Pinch of salt
  • 2/3 C + 2 Tbsp chopped walnuts
  • 1 small granny smith apple, peeled, cored, and grated
  • 1/3 C ripe banana, mashed
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 ¼ C unsweetened plant-based milk (almond, cashew, oat, soy, etc.) + more, as needed

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 400 F.

2. Line 8 cups of a muffin tin with paper cups and set aside (may need more).

3. Mix oat flour, ½ C rolled oats, baking powder, 2 Tbsp hemp seeds, ground flaxseeds, baking soda, cinnamon, and salt in a large bowl. Lightly stir in 2/3 C walnuts and grated apple until coated with the mixture.

4. In another bowl, whisk banana, apple cider vinegar, EVOO and plant-based milk. Pour into the dry ingredients, stirring until incorporated. Do not overmix. If the batter is too thick, add a little milk.

5. Divide the batter into the prepared muffin cups. Sprinkle with the remaining rolled oats, hemp seeds and walnuts.

6. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until golden. Transfer muffins to a wire rack and let cool to room temperature before serving.

*The muffins will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days and frozen for up to 1 month.

Yellow Split Pea Soup

 Recipe adapted from The 30-Day Alzheimer’s Solution by Dean Sherzai, MD, PhD and Ayesha Sherzai, MD, MAS

Ingredients 

  •  1 ½ C yellow split peas*, rinsed 
  • 1 14.5-oz. can diced tomatoes (or 2 medium tomatoes, diced) 
  • 1 bay leaf 
  • 5 C low-sodium vegetable broth 
  • ½ Tbsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped 
  • 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced (can substitute with any other type of green chili) 
  • 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced 
  • 1 tsp ground cumin 
  • 1 tsp garam masala 
  • 1 tsp ground turmeric 
  • 3 C greens (spinach, kale, swiss chard, etc.) 
  • ½ Tbsp apple cider vinegar (or to taste) 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 
  • 3 Tbsp pomegranate seeds 
  • 2 Tbsp cilantro leaves, chopped

Directions

 1. Rinse the split peas and put in a large pot with tomatoes, vegetable broth, and bay leaf. Bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low, cover partially and simmer, skimming the foam occasionally, until the split peas are tender (30-40 minutes). You may need to add a little broth/water during the process if it thickens too much. 

2. While split peas cook, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add EVOO and onion, sauté until translucent (4-5 minutes). 

3. Add the jalapeño, ginger, and garlic, and cook for about 1 minute, stirring often. 

4. Then add cumin, garam masala, turmeric. Add 1-2 Tbsp of broth as spices cook to deglaze the skillet. 

5. Stir in a ladle of the split peas. Then tip the mixture into the pot, stirring to incorporate. 

6. Bring the soup back to a boil, then add the greens and season with apple cider vinegar to taste. Cook for about 5 minutes, until the greens have wilted. Remove bay leaf. 

7. To serve, ladle soup into bowls. Scatter with pomegranate seeds and top with chopped cilantro. 

*If you do not have yellow split peas, can substitute green split peas or green or brown lentils. 

OPTIONAL: Puree with an immersion blender either partially or completely. 

Crunchy Zesty Winter Salad

 Recipe courtesy of The 30-Day Alzheimer’s Solution by Dean Sherzai, MD, PhD and Ayesha Sherzai, MD, MAS 

Ingredients

Dressing

  • 1/3 C fresh red grapefruit juice (or orange juice) 
  • 1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger 
  • 1 red chili, deseeded or finely chopped (or ¼ tsp cayenne pepper) 
  • 3 Tbsp balsamic vinegar 
  • 1 tsp whole-grain mustard 
  • 2 tsp extra virgin olive oil 
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste 

Salad

  • 1 C cooked brown rice 
  • 1 apple, cored and thinly sliced (substitution: pear) 
  • 3 C red cabbage, shredded 
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and grated 
  • 1 baby beet, peeled and grated 
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced 
  • Handful of fresh cilantro or parsley, chopped 
  • ½ C lightly toasted hazelnuts, chopped

Directions

 1. Whisk together all dressing ingredients and season to taste; set aside*. 

2. Combine brown rice, apple, cabbage, carrot, beet, onion and cilantro in a large bowl and toss with dressing. Adjust seasoning, if needed, and scatter the hazelnuts on top before serving. 

*Dressing can be made up to 1 week ahead of time. 

 

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