Cooking With Cancer
Last updated: November 2022
I was always a decent cook, but never a great cook. Although I grew up eating healthy foods and really enjoyed fresh food from the garden, I just looked at cooking as another chore you had to do. When my kids were growing up I tried to get my kids involved with shopping and making their lunches fun, in hopes they would enjoy healthy foods too. But I felt like I made the same 5 meals week after week. It’s easy, but that gets boring.
Rethinking my diet after cancer
Once I was diagnosed with cancer, I started buying mostly organic foods and limiting my dairy and sugar. This is just my personal choice and what works for me, but I also love food and enjoy a good tiramisu or homemade brownies. I’ve tried to find ways to incorporate new foods I didn’t normally eat into my routine.
Stepping up my cooking game
Last year I started ordering from a meal-prep company that sends me the food with easy to follow recipes. It really opened my eyes and gave me new ideas for dinners. It isn’t really practical for one person (I’m home alone a lot) but it helped give me new recipes and I really started enjoying cooking. My husband says it has really stepped up my cooking game. I also love watching cooking shows to get new ideas.
You can find great recipes online too. They have sites for vegan, gluten-free, healthy, southern...you name it! It’s free and the options are endless. There are times during chemo that nothing tastes good, so I stick to eggs, fruit, and chicken with veggies. I also make several meals ahead of time so I just have to heat it up. This is a good tip for busy people to help avoid grabbing fast food or something less healthy too. But when I’m feeling better, I like to make sauces, do veggies on the grill, and experiment with spices. Have you ever tried pineapple or watermelon on the grill? You need to.
Easy, but still tasty
Another great tip is to cook enough meat for at least two meals. If I make ground turkey for tacos, I use the leftovers for taco salad or add it to eggs. If I do a pork roast in the crockpot (another great, easy way to cook), I make tacos the second night. Just add some fresh pico de gallo and heat some tortillas. Can you tell we love tacos? I’m all about making things easier, but still being tasty. Cooking doesn’t have to be such a chore.
Time to find your new favorite dish!
I’m going to game night this week and we’re supposed to bring an appetizer. So I Googled “appetizers on skewers.” Who knew there were so many things you could put on a skewer? I’m debating between teriyaki chicken with pineapple, mini caprese salads, or BLTs on a stick. Just try it! You may find your new favorite dish.
Beside manner matters! What has your experience been?