Cook in advance “She can cook in advance, which I recommend most often. For example, prepare a batch of stew and portion it out, then freeze a few portions for those days when she doesn’t feel like cooking. Also when cooking for herself, I recommend cooking more than the number of portions she’s going to eat today or tomorrow. I suggest she cook 4 or 5 portions, so she can reserve some and freeze it for those less-than-ideal days,” advised Chef Peled.
The Food Network Chopped champion said there are other easily prepared meal items that cancer survivors should consider. One can easily make scrambled eggs, add cheese to them if desired (she likes Gruyere or Swiss), and serve with fresh fruit. “The way I make scrambled eggs is simple. I like the yolk a bit soft so I melt unsalted butter in a nonstick pan, crack 2 eggs and scramble them in the frying pan. I only add a bit of Kosher salt and make sure the eggs are still soft and not overcooked,” explained Chef Peled. “Or you can throw some potatoes in the oven and have a big baked potato with all sorts of yummy toppings on it.”
Many meals are quick and easy to make, and only require a little thought beforehand. Chef Peled suggested buying a vacuum-sealing machine; they are so useful and their cost has come down. “For example, cook a roast chicken, then portion it out, vacuum seal it, and freeze. When you’re ready to heat it, you can cook the portion right in the sealed bag. Just place it in simmering water until it reaches 165 degrees. This way the food will stay moist. Like sous vide. Cooking in batches and freezing is, in my opinion, the best way to make sure you have healthful food available all the time,” she said.
Plan menus Chef Peled suggests developing a menu for the week. If you cook for several hours 1 day a week, you can actually adequately portion your meals. That’s the way to maintain proper portions and eat a balanced diet. You’re not just scooping heaps of food on your plate. Research has shown that people will eat with their eyes. So if you portion your meals like that and freeze the portions, you’re making sure that you get the ideal quantity of calories and nutrients.”
|Chef Pnina Peled’s Vegetable Tagine|
Add garlic, chopped veggies, salt, and spices. Toss well to combine.
Cook for approximately 8 minutes on medium-high heat, mixing regularly with a wooden spoon.
Add tomatoes, apricots, and broth.
Cook on medium-high for 10 minutes more.
Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for another 30 minutes or until veggies are tender.
Stir in chickpeas and cook another 10 minutes on low heat.
Stir in lemon juice and fresh parsley.
Taste and adjust seasoning. Serve with rice or couscous.
|Chef Pnina Peled’s Mediterranean Baked Eggs|
Add the onion and cook on medium-low heat until golden, stirring regularly to avoid burning.
Add the garlic and mix to combine. Cook for approximately 3 minutes.
Add the pepper and mix to combine, cooking for another 3 minutes.
Mix in the tomato sauce; add salt, pepper, and paprika and allow to cook until the sauce begins to bubble.
Lower to heat to simmer and crack the eggs directly over the sauce, making sure to keep some distance between each egg.
Cover and allow to simmer until the white portion of the egg is cooked through and the yolk is still soft.
Remove from heat and serve with your favorite bread.
1. Cancer statistics. National Cancer Institute website. https://www.cancer.gov/about-cancer/understanding/statistics. Updated April 27, 2018. Accessed January 17, 2019.
2. Besser J, Grant B; the American Cancer Society. What to Eat During Cancer Treatment. 2nd ed. Atlanta, GA: American Cancer Society; 2018.