Monday, April 21, 2008

Cooking to Combat Cancer 2

Oh cancer. As I mentioned in my cornbread muffin post for A Taste of Yellow, I worry about cancer. It's a little unnerving to realize that I've hit the mid-thirty somethings and I've already predisposed myself to some cancers. Besides the smoking and the damage I worry that I've done to my lungs, I come from the pasty white people of the north. My mom says I'm allergic to the sun. I can burn through baby sunscreen. And I've already had one suspicious spot removed. Fortunately, it was nothing. But skin cancer does run in my family. On both sides. I like to think that maybe when my ancestors came over in 1640 and just kept marrying other Germanic type people that if they had known the risk factors they were setting me up for they might have tried to get to know an Italian, or a Greek or somebody with a little tiny bit of melanin. But they didn't.

SO dutifully, every time I go out in the sun I slather on some Neutrogena SPF 70 (with Helioplex) sunscreen. I wear a hat. I wear big sunglasses. At the beach I wear a swim shirt. And I wear a beach cover up. I look like one of those crazy old ladies that is completely covered up. But I haven't had a tan, or a massive burn in 3 years. 4 years ago is when I discovered that I burn through baby sunscreen on my first annual family vacation to Hilton Head Island. Bad burns happen, but I do try to prevent them.

But as careful as I am now, most skin damage is done before you're 18. Crap. I think I had one or two or three bad burns a year before I turned 18. My grandma had a cottage on Lake Huron and just for me she kept a massive jar of Noxema. Out of 19 grandchildren, I'm the one that burns bad. My cousins used to peel the flaking burnt skin off my back. My sister doesn't burn. She tans. It's highly annoying.

So what am I bringing this all up for? Because Chris at Mele Cotte is hosting a Cooking to Combat Cancer 2 event to raise awareness of cancer fighting foods. This Spicy Chicken and Greens is packed full of cancer fighting foods. There's the Mac Daddy of all leafy greens Kale. Kale has been shown to slow growths of cancers in laboratory animals. It helps reduce the risk of lung, stomach, colorectal, prostate and bladder cancers. Kale is also high in folate which helps combat breast cancer. Then there are scallions, which are from the garlic group. Scallions contain diallyl disulfide which protects against skin, colon and lung cancer. There's even some soy sauce. I don't know if soy sauce counts as a soy because it doesn't have the soy protein that my body just can't digest, but I purposely kept it in for soy's cancer fighting properties. Soy's isoflavins protect against cancers of the bladder, cervix, lung and stomach. And then if you serve this lovely (and unfortunately not terribly spicy) dish over brown rice as I did, you've just added the cancer fighting properties of whole grains, which when eaten as part of a balanced diet works to combat most types of cancer.

So there you go. Have some of this not very spicy Spicy Stir Fried Chicken and Greens with Peanuts and battle away your potential cancer risks! Also make sure to check back at Mele Cotte for the roundup!

Spicy Stir Fried Chicken and Greens with Peanuts
from Bon Appetit

2 Tbsp low-sodium soy sauce, divided
2 Tbsp dry Sherry, divided
3 tsp sesame oil, divided
2 tsp brown sugar, divided
1 1/4 pounds skinless, boneless chicken breasts, cut crosswise into 1/2 inch wide strips
2 Tbsp peanut oil, divided
4 green onions, white parts and green parts chopped separately
1 chopped serrano pepper, seeded
1 large bunch kale, thick stems removed, cut into 1 inch strips
1/4 cup chopped roasted salted peanuts

Whisk 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Sherry, 1 teaspoon sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon sugar in medium bowl. Add chicken and marinade 20 to 30 minutes.

Whisk remaining 1 tablespoon soy sauce, 1 tablespoon Sherry, 2 teaspoons sesame oil, and 1 teaspoon sugar in small bowl and reserve.

Heat 1 tablespoon peanut oil in large nonstick skillet over high heat. Add white parts of onions and chiles; stir 30 seconds. Add chicken; stir-fry just until cooked through, about 3 minutes. Transfer chicken mixture to bowl. Add 1 tablespoon peanut oil to same skillet; heat over high heat. Add greens by large handfulls; stir just until beginning to wilt before adding more. Saute just until tender, 1 to 6 minutes. Return chicken to skillet. Add reserved soy sauce mixture. Stir until heated through, about 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Transfer to serving bowl; sprinkle with green parts of onions and peanuts.


glamah16 said...

Kale is my alltime favorite green! This looks amazing.Keep on being aware.

Deborah said...

Wow - that is one cancer-fighting dish!! And it sounds delicious, which makes it even better!

Anonymous said...

Yummy. And, from a redhead with blue-white skin, you GO sister!

Chris said...

This will fit in well with the round up. :) I don't think I have ever had Kale...hmmmmm. thanks for participating and supporting CCC2!

Mrs. White said...

It's nice to hear that I'm not the only person who gets burned even in the shade. Skin cancer runs on both sides of my family too, and my aunt passed away from melanoma this time last year, so this issue is of particular importance to me. Way to raise awareness!

Amanda said...

Mmm, yummy! This is a winning combination!

I know what you mean about burning in the sun--I'm very fair, as well, and I burn easily. The highest SPF reapplied every hour is a MUST for those of us who burn.

The way you describe yourself as "that" lady all covered up at the beach made me laugh--I'm exactly the same way. At the beach or on a picnic, I'm the one wearing a long-sleeved (light cotton) blouse and a hat!

Bellini Valli said...

My body always tanned but my face never..perhaps that's why I don't have too many wrinkles (for my age) far...wink...wink..Great cancer fighting dish as well for the event!!Everyopne needs to be aware.

Cakelaw said...

Great dish. I had pretty much the same experience with sunburn as you, and it now freaks me just a little.