Sunday, May 6, 2012

Friends with Cancer

This past week was hard considering two of my friends are suffering from serious health problems. Everything inside me wants to reach out and try to take care of them, but both live on opposite sides of the country. One is in California and the other in New York. Even if I could visit them there really is nothing I can do except just be there for them. 
Both of these people are suffering from cancer. For one it started out as uterine cancer and even though she underwent chemo the cancer has returned and is now apparently in another part of her body. My other friend was diagnosed with melanoma and the cancer seems to have spread because he is now in ICU and is having shortness of breath and fevers. The doctors say there is some “cloudiness” in his lungs. They are running a barrage of tests on him. How awful! I am very concerned about both of them and I want to do anything I can to help them. I wish that this had never happened to either of them.
After considering the seriousness of their disease (and not to sound too selfish) I am even more thankful for my own health and well being. And it is my mantra that each of us should never take our health for granted. We should do anything possible within our control (prevention and elimination of diseases) to live a healthy life and eat healthy nourishing foods. 
“Let your food be your medicine and your medicine be your food.”
 - Hippocrates, the "Father of Medicine" - 
Today, I did some therapeutic cooking and made this great recipe. 


1 large head cabbage
2 red onions, diced
4 garlic cloves, minced
1 pound baby red potatoes, diced
1 (12-ounce) package firm tofu
1 cup fresh basil leaves, finely sliced
1/4 cup finely chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste
1 (16-ounce) jar of your favorite mariana sauce
Shredded vegan cheese (optional)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Remove the tough outer leaves of the cabbage and finely chop them. Cut out the cabbage core (discard). 
Place the whole cabbage into a large pot of salted boiling water. Cook for 5 minutes or until it is tender.
Transfer cabbage to a large bowl of cold water and let it cool.
Drain cabbage and remove whole leave from the head. Set aside 12 large leaves. Chop the remaining cabbage.
In a large pot over medium heat cook onions, garlic and potatoes in some vegetable broth or water for 2-3 minutes.
Add the raw and cooked cabbage and cook until vegetables are very tender. Season with salt & pepper. Set aside to cool.
Meanwhile in a medium bowl mash together tofu, basil, and parsley. Add to potato mixture stirring to combine.
Place about 1/2-cup of the potato mixture onto each of the reserved 12 cabbage leaves. 
Fold each leaf around the filling like a burrito, and secure with a toothpick. 
Pour half of the marinara into a 13x9-inch baking dish. Place cabbage rolls in dish. Cover with remaining sauce. 

Sprinkle with vegan cheese. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Remove foil and cook another 10 minutes. Serve warm.

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