Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Stuffed Peppers and Eggplants: a Cancer-Fighting Recipe in Ten Easy Steps

Why is this a cancer-fighting recipe? Because it's not candy or junk food, because it has no alcohol (which gets to your liver when you're doing chemo, and some say it raises estrogen levels), because it has vegetables (those are great, even when you don't have cancer) and because I Say So. I have, like most cancer ladies, read enough (coffee is bad! Oh, maybe not!) to decide on what I think is healthy, within reason. I read enough of The Cancer-Fighting Kitchen to know the editor would approve of my version of Stuffed Peppers and Eggplants. When a woman who assured me she was a "certified cancer coach" insisted that milk caused cancer and sent me a link detailing the reasons why, I Googled around enough to want to ask her "Certified by whom? A psychiatrist?" So here's my healthy recipe:

(1) Make some whole-grain rice ("Natur" rice in German) or brown rice in your rice cooker. For a family of five, one cup dry rice, a little salt, two cups of water.

(2) Pre-heat your oven to 190-200º Celsius. (About 350ºF).

(3) While the rice is making, wash about six big peppers and two or three medium-sized eggplants. Slice eggplants in half. With a knife, cut rectangles and scoop them out. Place on a large plastic cutting board; the eggplant slices should be bite-size or smaller, the eggplant nicely hollowed out (think of a longboat made by Robinson Crusoe--doesn't he hollow out a tree to make a canoe?) Salt that eggplant. Set aside.

(4) Pour into a large frying pan, about two tablespoons of olive oil and heat on medium heat. Wash and dice two zucchini and stir them into the olive oil. Dice an onion--I like the red ones--and add that. Or scallions. A few little tomatoes, diced. Stir and sauté. Set aside.

(5) When the salted eggplant boats and pieces are starting to turn brown  and ooze (about twenty minutes) place them in a colander and rinse them thoroughly with cool water. Place the boats upside down on paper towels, add the little pieces of eggplants to the frying pan and sauté them a bit more. 

(6) Slice the tops off the peppers. Pull out or cut out the section with the seeds and discard (we give these to our guinea pigs, who squeal their appreciation. Nothing's wasted at our house.)

(7) In a large bowl put everything from the frying pan, two well-beaten eggs, and the rice. Mix thoroughly. Grate a large chunk of Parmesan cheese (6-8 oz) into this mixture and stir well. Set aside.

(8) Add a little more olive oil to the pan. Sauté the eggplant halves, peppers, tops of peppers. Turn frequently--do all sides: the peppers shouldn't burn, but should look cooked. Same with eggplant. Turn heat off. Have large pan ready. Oil it slightly--olive oil.

(9) Take each pepper or eggplant half--carefully--they'll be hot, and fill it with the stuffing. Settle in baking dish. You may have to lean the stuffed peppers against other stuffed peppers to make them stand up. Place the pepper tops on the stuffed peppers--doesn't have to be the one from that pepper.

(10) Bake for about 40 minutes (sometimes you'll need longer). Enjoy!

If you don't have cancer, drink a glass of red wine with this. If you do, try red grape juice, because in my opinion the person who invented non-alcoholic wine should be forced to drink it every day. You, sweetie, do not have to torture yourself. Enjoy your food!


  1. This looks absolutely delicious! I am going to make it. The only thing is that Mark does not eat eggs. Do you think I could make it without adding the egg?

  2. Yes, but the egg helps hold the stuffing together. Egg substitute? Or cream? Or a thickener? Possibly a little flour? Or just lots more cheese.