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A recipe for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

3rd October 2015 - Professor Mohammed Keshtgar


Breast Cancer CookbookOctober is Breast Cancer Awareness Month. Professor Mohammed Keshtgar, Consultant Breast Cancer Specialist at the Royal Free, London, believes that diet and lifestyle are risk factors in the development and progression of breast cancer. Here he talks about why he's created The Breast Cancer Cookbook, followed by one of his healthy, practical recipes.



I was motivated to write this book in collaboration with my colleagues as I have become increasingly convinced that diet and lifestyle are contributing factors to the development of cancer. Over the years, I have met and treated countless women, and some men, with breast cancer. In my experience, when a patient is informed of their breast cancer diagnosis, after a short period of getting over the shock of the news, the majority would like to take an active role in their treatment. They find loss of control difficult to bear and they would like to regain that control. I am asked to advise them on what they can do to help them fight the disease. Diet and lifestyle are two aspects that they can modify immediately, and with relative ease.


Many feel empowered to take responsibility for themselves. This also helps them to go into fight mode and psychologically feel better about themselves and their treatment.


So my colleagues and I have prepared a guide to foods to eat more of, foods to eat in moderation and foods you should be cautious of. This is followed by 100 recipes, which have been carefully devised, incorporating the current evidence to help you towards a healthy, well-balanced diet. I hope that you enjoy cooking and eating them.



Spring vegentable Soup with QuinoaSpring Vegetable Soup with Quinoa

Quinoa may seem like an unusual addition to soup but it makes for a wholesome and nourishing alternative to pasta or potatoes. This soup is refreshingly light but hearty enough to make for a satisfying meal.


Serves 4

  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 leeks, trimmed, well washed
  • and finely sliced
  • 60g quinoa
  • 1 litre hot, low-salt vegetable stock
  • 1 courgette, diced
  • 100g asparagus spears
  • 100g frozen edamame beans
  • 100g kale, roughly shredded
  • A handful of basil leaves, roughly
  • chopped
  • 4 spring onions, finely sliced
  • A squeeze of lemon juice



Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan over a medium-low heat. When hot, add the leeks and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until softened, adding a little water if necessary if they look a little dry.

Add the quinoa and pour the stock into the pan. Bring to the boil, then lower the heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Stir in the courgette and continue to cook for another 5 minutes.

Meanwhile, snap off the woody ends of the asparagus and cut the spears into 2cm lengths. Add to the soup with the edamame beans and kale and simmer for another 2 minutes, then remove from the heat.

Serve the soup sprinkled with the chopped basil, sliced spring onions and a squeeze of lemon.



Quinoa: the complete protein source


Proteins are vital for healthy cell functions so they are particularly important if you are undergoing cancer treatment. Quinoa (pronounced keen-wa) is an exceptionally good plant source of protein. Unlike other protein-rich grains and legumes, it contains all nine essential amino acids needed by the body. Originating in Latin America, this ancient grain was a staple food of the Incas. Naturally high in fibre and a gluten-free plant source, quinoa is just as valuable to us today.



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