Every year the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics puts forth a theme to celebrate the month. This year‘s theme, “Personalize Your Plate,” has special meaning to us. There is no one size fits all approach with regards to nutritional needs, especially when it comes to cancer. Every one of our patients is unique with different goals, nutritional needs, backgrounds, and taste preferences. Working as oncology dietitians, we see cancer patients strive to do their best every single day, and we do our best to help them be their best.
We may suggest adding protein to better help meet the increased demands that the body requires while undergoing treatment. It’s an important recommendation. We can help you do this!
Sometimes it is necessary to change or tweak flavor profiles or change up key ingredients to accommodate for cultural preferences, taste changes from treatment, nutritional needs, etc.
Whether you’re looking to include low energy-dense foods in your meal to help you feel full on fewer calories or whether you’re looking to up the calories and protein, there’s a personalized plate for everyone.
Our team of Registered Dietitian Nutritionists celebrates the month and the beginning of the Spring season with a collection of ideas and recipes to help you to personalize your plate!
A few general tips:
Already chopped up/bagged produce eliminates the need for re-washing (triple washed), trimming, chopping, slicing, dicing, and peeling. It also guarantees pieces are the same size and shape. Frozen foods defrost and/or cook fast and since you can stock up on them, it decreases trips to the supermarket.
Ideas For The “Salad” Base:
- Lettuce (try different varieties such as Green Leaf, Spring Greens, Iceberg, Boston, Butter, Romaine, Spinach, Microgreens)
- Cauliflower salad
- Noodle salad
- Quinoa salad
What should you add to your salad? Anything goes!
- Roasted vegetables
- Sweet potato
- Portobello mushroom
- Shredded Brussels Sprouts
- Raw Vegetables
- Bell Pepper
- Brown rice
- Tortellini pasta
- Lentil pasta
- Vegetable Pasta
- Tortilla Strips
- Wheat Germ
- Black-eyed peas
- Mandarin oranges
- Grilled Pineapple
- Dried cranberries
- Flax Seed
- Hemp Seeds
- Sesame Seeds
- Chia Seeds
- Poppy Seeds
- Grilled or Shredded Chicken
- Shredded pork
- Turkey or Beef chop meat cooked w/ taco seasoning
- Steak slices
- Seared fresh Tuna or Canned Tuna
- Shrimp, Crab or Lobster
- Cheese crisps
- Hard-boiled eggs
- Shredded Cheese (Cheddar, Mozzarella, Parmesan)
- Feta Cheese
- Goat Cheese
- Gorgonzola Cheese
- Cottage Cheese
Suggestions For Homemade Dressing
- Make your own dressing and avoid adding sugar and salt; try some of these ingredients:
- Flavor Infused Balsamic vinegar
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Lemon Juice
- Lime Juice
- Maple Syrup
- Dijon Mustard
See below to read
Lauren’s recipe for Asian Sesame Pasta Salad
Michelle’s recipe for Sweetly Spiced Shrimp
Wendy’s Tips on Tofu And Herb & Spice Ideas
20 Minute Asian Sesame Salmon Pasta Salad
- 1) 1 bag Sesame Asian Dole chopped salad kit
- 2) 3 cups whole wheat pasta cooked (1.5 cups dry)
- 3) 3 6 oz. salmon filets
- 4) ½ cup brown sugar
- 5) ½ cup low sodium soy sauce
- 6) ¼ cup rice vinegar
- 7) 2 garlic cloves minced
- 8) ¼ tsp pepper
- 9) ½ tsp salt
- 10) ½ tsp sesame oil
- 11) 1 tbsp. cornstarch
- 12) 1 tbsp. water
- 13) Sesame seeds for garnish
- 1) Fill a large bowl with a chopped salad kit and toppings
- 2) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Spray 9x13 inch pan with non-stick cooking spray and set aside
- 3) In a small saucepan, whisk together brown sugar, soy sauce, rice vinegar, garlic, salt, pepper and sesame oil in a bowl. In a separate bowl whisk cornstarch and water together. Slowly add cornstarch mixture into a saucepan
- 4) Bring to a boil (about 1-2 minutes) until the mixture thickens. Remove from heat and reserve ¼ cup of the sauce for later
- 5) Place salmon in the pan and pour sauce on top. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for about 15-17 minutes until salmon is opaque.
- 6) While salmon is baking, boil 1.5 cups of whole wheat pasta until al dente. Drain and place in the fridge to cool.
- 7) Once salmon is finished cooking, remove from oven and brush ¼ cup reserved sauce on top of salmon.
- 8) Combine salmon and pasta with the chopped salad. Top with prepared Asian dressing from the kit and garnish with sesame seeds.
Michelle’s Recipe for Sweetly Spiced Shrimp
- 1 cucumber, sliced
- 2 avocados, scoop out and slice
- 1 jicama, julienned
- ½ cup roasted corn
- 1 medium red bell pepper, chopped
- ½ small red onion, chopped
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1½ pound large or jumbo shrimp, grilled (brush with a light coating of the dressing below)
- 2 Limes
- Juice from 2 limes
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 teaspoon lime peel, grated
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- Himalayan salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- ¼ cup avocado oil
- 1.Combine the first seven ingredients in a bowl; gently mix. Add the shrimp
- 2.To make the dressing, combine the lime juice, peel, honey, garlic, red pepper flakes, salt, and pepper in a small bowl; mix together.
- 3.Add the oil; whisk well to blend the ingredients.
- 4.Pour the dressing over the shrimp vegetable mixture; toss gently to coat the ingredients.
- 5.Cover. Refrigerate for 1 hour to marinate and blend the flavors.
Wendy’s Tofu Tips & Seasoning Suggestions
Try making baked tofu! You can add tofu to just about anything, soup, salad, grain bowls, or, use it as the protein to your meal. It’s so versatile and takes on the taste of the flavors of what it’s seasoned with.
The trick to baked tofu is to drain out as much water as possible! Take the block of tofu out of the package, put it on a cutting board, put a few paper towels on top, and then put a plate on top. Check in about 10 minutes and then do this process 2 more times. Then season to your liking and bake
Preheat oven to 375°. Season (*see ideas below) the tofu and let sit for about 10 when uses dry spices and 20 minutes with liquid marinade.
Spray a baking sheet with non-stick cooking spray (or use parchment paper). and put the tofu pieces on it. Cook for ~20 minutes, flip tofu over to make even on both sides, then bake for another 7-10 minutes. Recommend monitor for doneness as cooking time can vary depending on the size of the pieces.
Now that your tofu is ready you can either cut it into rectangular pieces or square chunks. Here are a few spice combos to try on the tofu before baking. Any recipe can be tweaked to accommodate ethnic and cultural preferences to eat more healthfully.
Bean Paste, Chile Oil, Ginger, Green Onions, Hot Red Peppers, Sesame Oil, Sesame Seeds, Soy Sauce
Bell Peppers, Chiles, Cilantro, Cinnamon, Cocoa, Coriander Seeds, Cumin Seeds, Garlic, Lime, Onions, Oregano, Vanilla
Almonds, Bell Peppers, Cumin Seeds, Garlic, Olives, Onions, Paprika, Parsley, Saffron
Anchovies, Basil, Bay Leaves, Fennel Seeds, Garlic, Onions, Oregano, Parsley, Pine Nuts, Red Pepper, Rosemary
Black pepper, Cardamom, Chiles, Cumin Seeds, Curry, Fenugreek, Garlic, Mace, Mint, Nutmeg, Red Pepper, Saffron, Turmeric
Cinnamon, Dill, Garlic, Lemon, Mint, Nutmeg, Olives, Oregano
Cinnamon, Coriander, Curry, Garlic, Ginger, Lime, Nutmeg, Onions, Oregano, Red Pepper
North African Cuisine
Cilantro, Cinnamon, Coriander, Cumin, Garlic, Ginger, Mint, Red Pepper, Saffron, Turmeric