Heart-healthy pumpkin chili

Try this recipe for lunch on crisp fall days

pumpkin chili Blog

Like it or not, the leaves are falling. And, for many, that means spending weekends outside with rake in hand. When lunchtime rolls around, there’s nothing like a hot bowl of protein-packed chili to warm you up and replenish your energy.

This season, switch it up by adding a distinctly different taste to your chili: pumpkin. This simple pumpkin chili recipe will keep you warm and energized, and it’s heart healthy, too!

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Stop leftover fatigue: cooking healthy for one or two

cooking healthyThere are many life events that may result in having to cook for fewer people than you are used to. If you do not adjust your recipes you could end up eating leftovers three or four times in a row. Others might find themselves eating out more often or choosing more convenience foods as an alternative. But these convenience foods tend to be high in fat, sodium and sugar and don’t typically include enough fruits, vegetables and whole grains, which have been proven to reduce cancer risk, as well as the risk of other chronic diseases.

Following are tips for easy meals that don’t leave you with days of leftovers or mountains of dishes to clean up.

Supplement with fruits, vegetables and whole grains

When using prepared foods, don’t take them as they are, but add the healthful ingredients that may be missing:

  • Canned soup: Add sautéed vegetables, frozen mixed vegetables, or canned, rinsed beans to increase the anti-cancer rich ingredients.
  • Boxed pasta or pasta sauce: Add sautéed or frozen vegetables to decrease the fat and calories per serving. Add canned beans, chicken or tuna, or frozen, thawed shrimp for added protein without additional effort.
  • Deli items: Add canned tuna and chopped vegetables to pasta salad or add vegetables or beans to other sides such as potato salad, coleslaw or rice dishes.
  • Baked chicken: complement with a salad and baked potato cooked quickly in the microwave. Top with low-fat cheese for a complete meal.
  • Frozen pizza: make it gourmet by adding several different sautéed or roasted vegetables, or canned pineapple.
  • Rice, barley, quinoa or other whole grains: After cooking, add pine nuts, dried fruit, grated or chopped vegetables, seeds or herbs to bring it from average to superb.
  • Canned beans: Just fill a tortilla with drained or fat-free refried beans, vegetables and salsa for an easy, no cook burrito.
  • Salad mix: top with nuts, seeds or hardboiled egg whites, dried or fresh fruit, and chopped or grated vegetables for a meal that packs a protein, nutrient and fiber-rich punch.

Enlist friends

Consider shopping and cooking with friends. A whole cabbage may be too much for you to eat in a week but perfect when split with a friend. Or you can take turns cooking or share leftovers for more variety and less effort.

Consider snacking

A few healthful snacks can substitute for a bigger meal. Focus on whole fruit or cut-up vegetables with nuts, yogurt, cottage cheese, low-fat cheese, or whole grain bread or crackers with hummus dip or peanut butter.

Lastly, don’t discount making bigger batches of foods that will freeze well such as soups, casseroles and breads. These can be frozen in single or double serving portions to use on busy or low-energy days, instead of resorting to takeout or pre-packaged food that is higher in sodium and fat.

Take the next step:

  • Spruce up your menus with these delicious, healthful recipes from our cancer nutritionists.

Continue reading about healthy eating and cancer prevention:

U-M CCC dietitians NEWRegistered dietitians who are specially trained in the field of oncology nutrition provide cancer nutrition services at the Comprehensive Cancer Center. They focus on assessing the individual dietary and nutrition needs of each patient and providing practical, scientifically sound assistance.



Cancer-center-informal-vertical-sig-150x150The University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center’s 1,000 doctors, nurses, care givers and researchers are united by one thought: to deliver the highest quality, compassionate care while working to conquer cancer through innovation and collaboration. The center is among the top-ranked national cancer programs, and #1 in Michigan according to U.S. News & World Report. Our multidisciplinary clinics offer one-stop access to teams of specialists for personalized treatment plans, part of the ideal patient care experience. Patients also benefit through access to promising new cancer therapies.

Taming the flame: Grill safe this summer

grill safeWe know eating healthy is important in fighting cancer. So how can you enjoy that summer cookout with friends and families without tossing healthy eating aside? Here are some tips on how to grill safe this summer.

Each year, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center dietitians field questions from patients about whether it’s safe to grill, given the evidence that grilled meats may contain cancer-causing agents. Guidelines from the American Institute for Cancer Research (AICR) suggest that the type of food you grill may be more important than how you prepare it. Continue reading

Camp Little Victors Recipe: Chocolate Zucchini Muffins

chocolate zucchini muffinsDelicious chocolate muffins are a great snack, dessert or potluck pleaser.

And the one thing that can make chocolate muffins better is finding a way to make them healthier AND even more tasty and moist!

This veggied-up take on chocolate muffins from Chef Rebecca Wauldron of Busch’s Fresh Food Markets is the perfect way to use up extra zucchini from your garden this summer.

Watch Chef Rebecca and her Camp Little Victors assistant, Lauren, whip up a batch, then check out the recipe below and enter our $50 Busch’s Fresh Food Markets gift card giveaway!

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Camp Little Victors Recipe: Asian noodles with chicken

Asian noodles with chickenYour kids will love this slurpable specialty!

Noodles are always fun, and this recipe also gives you a way to work delicious summer vegetables into the menu.

Without too much mess or trouble, you can even get your kids involved in mixing up all the ingredients in this easy recipe for asian noodles with chicken from Rebecca Wauldron, Executive Chef at Busch’s Fresh Food Markets. 

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Ice cream in a bag

MOTT BLOG - ice cream bag promo imageIce cream is always a summer favorite for kids and adults alike.

If you’re looking for a variation on the usual ice cream indulgence, try out this fun recipe from Rebecca Wauldron, Executive Chef at Busch’s Fresh Food Markets to put a special hands-on twist on your next cool summer treat.

You can take even turn on some music to turn the shaking step into a mini dance party for your whole family!


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