Apologies for the lack of National Nutrition Month Daily Topic yesterday! I really wanted to devote an entire post to a stance I feel so passionate about. And apparently many of you do, too (WOO!)! So, I’m doubling up the NNM topics today with cancer. But more on that later.
I’m sure many of you visit blogs that have recipes that leave you one foot out the door to go gather up ingredients to make. That happens to me…a lot. As in, the next recipe was uhhh-mazing, just as I had imagined it being after reading about it on Kerstin’s blog (P.S. her picture does this delight WAY more justice than the following!)
…and you may notice I served it with more Faux Fried Calamari, per Mr. Prevention’s plea.
Light Pesto Lasagna with Chicken and Spinach adapted from Cake, Batter, and Bowl
1 box whole wheat lasagna noodles
3 tablespoons olive oil
3 boneless, skinless, chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes
1 cup chopped shallots (about 4-5 shallots) 1 small onion, chopped
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1/2 cup pine nuts, toasted (bake for 5 min at 350ºF)
2 cups fresh basil (1.5 ounces)
1/2 cup parmesan cheese (1.5 ounces)
2 ounces goat cheese
1/2 cup chicken stock
15 ounces part-skim ricotta
1 10-ounce box frozen chopped spinach, thawed and well drained
4 cups shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese
Preheat the oven to 350ºF. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and cook lasagna noodles according to the directions on the package.
Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat and cook chicken for 5-7 minutes, or until cooked through and no longer pink in the center. Remove chicken and add shallots onion to the same pan; sauté 5 minutes or until the shallots onions are soft. Add garlic and sauté one additional minute.
Place shallot onion mixture in a food processor, along with the 2 remaining tablespoons of olive oil, pine nuts, basil, parmesan cheese, goat cheese, and chicken stock. Pulse until a smooth pesto forms.
Mix the ricotta, spinach, and egg in a medium bowl until smooth.
To assemble the lasagna, place a layer of 4 noodles in a 13×9-inch pan and top it with the ricotta mixture, half the chicken, half the pesto, and 1 cup of mozzarella cheese. Repeat this layer. Then place the remaining 4 noodles on top and sprinkle evenly with the 2 remaining cups of mozzarella cheese. Bake at 350ºF for 45 min. Makes 12 servings.
Nutrition: 465 calories, 19.9g fat, 4.3g fiber, and 35.9g protein per serving
Cost: $1.40 per serving
Today’s NNM Topic: Prostate and Breast Cancer
Cancer is currently the second leading cause of death among American’s. In recent years, cancer has grown in numbers and is nearly as fatal in the US as the leading cause of death, heart disease. The most common form of cancer is skin cancer and the least common form is thyroid. Lung cancer, prostate cancer, and breast cancer are the second, third, and fourth most common types of cancer, respectively.
Nutrition therapy for cancer patients greatly depends on the needs of the patient and their stage in treatment. Minimizing food-related discomforts during chemotherapy and radiation treatments is very important. Maintaining good nutritional status, strength, and quality of life are also imperative. With pre-existing conditions and dietary restrictions in mind, a general diet is typically recommended. Modifications are made based on the patient’s tolerance of the diet, as well as the tumor site and side effects. Commonly, a high-calorie, high-protein diet is needed to maintain body mass and decrease cachexia and malnourishment. Texture and temperature modifications can often ease the palatability of food for patients.
Primary goals in nutrition therapy include preventing cancer cachexia syndrome (weight loss, anorexia, early satiety, fatigue, and chronic nausea). Protein-energy malnutrition is the most common secondary diagnosis in cancer patients and can help be prevented with the work of an oncology dietitian.
Complementary and alternative medicines are frequently used in oncology. Everything from herbs to vitamins to teas are used to help ease the side effects of treatment and help maintain good health. It is important to remember that supplements are not regulated by the FDA and should only be used under the supervision of a doctor and/or dietitian to help ensure safety of use. Not all “all-natural” and herbal products are safe for use.
Question: Do you know anyone who has undergone cancer treatment? Did they experience any adverse side effects to treatment? If so, what symptoms did they display or complain of?
Random question: Does anyone know what “holiday” is tomorrow? Don’t Google it…cheaters!! You’ll find our soon enough if you don’t already know 🙂