Chemo Friendly Small Meals, Sides, and Snacks
Here you will find all of our small meals, sides and snacks. There are some great on the go snacks, and some amazing dinner sides. All of these recipes were crafted with the cancer fighter in mind. Check back regularly for updates!
Bruchetta with Ricotta and Peaches
One of my personal favorite dishes ever! One of those dishes where its brilliance is only exceeded by its simplicity. This is a classic Italian snack that is perfect any time. As featured in Episode 1 of Cooking for Chemo Live!
A classic Italian favorite. Loved the world over. Known for its many variations and simplicity. This is a dish that is hard not to love, especially when it is warm out. Great as an appetizer or as a meal. You can change the texture and consistency of the dish simply by changing the cuts to the tomatoes and mozzarella. For a fun finger food appetizer, slice and stack like an open-faced sandwich. For a fun family style appetizer, chop the tomatoes and mozzarella into cubes. Toss in the marinade and serve with crusty bread.
An old family recipe. No meal in my family is complete with out these cheesy potatoes. I'll never forget the year when my uncle declared he did not like the cheesy potatoes and had never liked the cheesy potatoes after 30 years of eating them. We were all in shock. The only thought that came to mind was, How could you not like these? So now I leave this up to you to decide. Are you pro or anti cheesy potatoes?
Chinese Sticky Rice
A modified version of the classic Chinese favorite. The key to this dish really is the Chinese sausage. With its distinct flavor, it cuts through the rice and sets the dish apart.
Another classic Southern style dish. The brilliance of this dish is its simplicity. It is almost as if somebody looked in the cupboard and asked, “I wonder what would happen if I mixed these ingredients together?” Nonetheless, a delightfully delicious and addictive side dish.
A savory and aromatic staple in holiday meals. Most often paired with turkey, but also goes well with chicken and ham. This recipe has been modified with the chemotherapy patient in mind.
One of my mom's favorites and an exceptionally easy snack. The main benefit to this dish is that all you have to do it take them out of the freezer and make them really quick. This dish is easy and quick when you're in a pinch for time.
Easy Ricotta al Forno
This is one of those dishes that you'll be hesitant to try. You will pass it and pass it and pass it. But then one day, you will decide to try it, and your whole world will never be the same. Perfectly creamy, sweet, and savory. This is somewhere between a dessert and an appetizer. After you have this for the first time, you will be kicking yourself that you didn't have it every time.
Very similar in construction to the French version but with a Greek twist. It features the addition of bell peppers, Feta cheese, mushrooms, peas, and potatoes. This makes it a much heartier meal.
Green Bean Casserole
What would a holiday meal be without a green bean casserole? As a kid, you tend to stick up your nose and this goopy, unappetizingly colored dish. But as an adult, you realize that green beans drenched in bechamel sauce is a beautiful and tasty combination.
Ten years ago, people would have looked at you as if you had five heads when you talked about hummus. Now, it is in every grocery store across America. It is a bean paste made from the chickpea aka the garbanzo bean. Hummus is actually the Egyptian word for chickpea. Due to its high protein content, the chickpea is a main food staple in the Mediterranean and Middle East. This recipe is fairly authentic. It is simple to make yet difficult to master. I highly recommend using canned chickpeas over dried ones as it can make quite a mess. The key here is to balance the lemon and the olive oil as explained further in the recipe. Hummus can be used as a sandwich spread, eaten alone, and has many other uses. You can infuse the hummus with garlic, roasted red peppers, olives, ground pistachios, or whatever you really feel like. It is exceptionally versatile, and its limitations are only that up to our imagination.
Mushrooms with Parsley
This is another one of those dishes where its brilliance is exceeded only by its simplicity. Perfect to eat with some nice, crusty bread. Its light but savory character will make you wish for lots of sunshine and a cool Mediterranean breeze.
A classic Italian dish. It is extremely versatile and can be used in many different ways, such as over pasta, as a condiment on a sandwich, it can be eaten by itself with some crusty bread, served with a grilled salisicca, and many other pairing options. In this book, I offer a recipe that uses the peperonata over pasta, and it is absolutely fantastic!
Pitas are the simplest form of bread. Pitas are the Eastern Mediterranean equivalent of French bread. They are good with everything. Pitas are good by themselves, served with a spread like hummus or baba ghannouj. With a little extra oil, they are perfect for sandwiches. They are very easy to make, but there is a learning curve. Especially when learning when the dough is properly proofed. When pitas are properly proofed, the dough is malleable and easy to work with and will retain the shape you stretch it out to. When improperly proofed, they will be difficult to work with. The other important part of making pitas is to make sure that you kneed the dough properly to develop nice long gluten proteins. Otherwise, they will not poof correctly and will be difficult to stretch.
This salad is absolutely one of my favorites to eat during the summer. The tomatoes and the cucumbers work together to make a dish that is both savory and light. The vinegar in this dish is what really pulls all the flavors together. The longer you let this marinate, the more homogenized the flavors become.
Sweet Potato Casserole
No Thanksgiving is complete in my family without some overly sweet dessert-like sweet potatoes! This recipe is sure to delight everyone from the youngest to the oldest. The combination of brown sugar, butter, cloves, and ginger gives the sweet potatoes an almost decadent flavor.
Pronounced Tuh-Boo-Lee. A classic Mediterranean dish. Traditionally made with cracked burghul wheat. It is a perfectly light side dish. The recipe has been Americanized slightly by substituting couscous for the wheat. But it still maintains its texture, palate cleansing effects, and pop of freshness. This dish is a perfect palate cleanser because it contains not one but two types of palate cleansers which are fresh Italian parsley and fresh squeezed lemon.