Healthy Recipe: Chicken with Blueberry Ginger Chutney

Healthy Recipe: Chicken with Blueberry Ginger Chutney

Each issue of this newsletter will feature a recipe with ingredients that can enhance health and well-being during and after cancer treatment. This issue's recipe comes from clinical nutrition specialist Brian Higginson, R.D., C.D., who teaches classes at the Swedish Cancer Institute and works with patients who are dealing with cancer. Higginson's goal is to assist people in identifying foods that may help in:

  • Reducing the risk of cancer recurrence

  • Dealing with the side effects of cancer treatment

  • Maximizing nutritional status when going through cancer treatment

The following recipe — Chicken with Blueberry Ginger Chutney — meets these health-enhancing goals, and will be a tasty addition to your weekly menu or next gathering with family or friends. Learn more about the recipe's ingredients, and some of its health benefits, by reading the information at the end of the article.


Chicken with Blueberry Ginger Chutney

Chutney

  • 2 cups fresh or frozen blueberries
  • 1/3 c packed honey
  • 1/3 c finely chopped onion
  • ¼ c golden raisins
  • 3 Tbsp cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tsp peeled, grated ginger
  • ¼ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp cinnamon
  • 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper
  • dash ground cloves
  • 1 clove garlic, minced

Chicken

  • 1 ½ Tbsp canola oil
  • ¾ tsp dried basil
  • ¾ tsp dried oregano
  • 6 six-oz skinless, boneless chicken breasts (If possible, choose organically raised chicken to reduce potential exposure to environmental contaminants)
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • ¾ tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp ground black pepper
  1. Combine chutney ingredients in a medium saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 25 minutes, or until thickened, stirring occasionally.
  2. For the chicken, combine oil, oregano, chicken and 3 cloves of minced garlic in a large bag or bowl. Marinate in refrigerator for 2 hours, turning occasionally.
  3. Remove chicken from container and evenly sprinkle with ¾ tsp kosher salt and black pepper.
  4.  Heat a large grill pan over medium heat. Cook the chicken 5 minutes on each side or until done. Serve with the chutney over cooked brown rice.

Some of the ingredients in this recipe provide benefits that may help in cancer risk-reduction. These include:

  • Chicken, which is low in total fat. It's thought that animal-based fats increase risk of breast cancer and intestinal (colon) cancer, so eating foods lower in fat may help decrease this risk.

  • Brown rice, which provides fiber that may help reduce the risk of colon cancer.

  • Blueberries, which contain certain compounds called anthocyanidins that give them their blue color. These compounds, also found in cherries, strawberries, plums, kiwi, red cabbage, etc., are thought to act as an antioxidant. They help to neutralize free radicals, which are compounds that can damage cell walls and increase risk of cancer.

  • Onions and garlic, which are in the allium family (along with leeks, scallions and shallots). They contain compounds (allyl methyl trisulfide and flavonols) that help boost the immune system, help in the detoxification of undesirable compounds in the body and neutralize free radicals.

  • Ginger, for which preliminary research results in animals has shown some effect in slowing or preventing tumor growth. However, the exact reasons are not well understood and it's still too early in the research process to say if ginger will have the same effect in humans.

*Information in bullets 1-4 is adapted from the International Food Information Council Foundation.
**Information in the last bullet, on ginger, is from the American Cancer Society's Web site.

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