Recipes for Good Health

Tahini-Ginger-Basil Dressing

Contributed by Salma Nassif

In Syrian cuisine Garlic is used so often in salads. But my friend told me recently that garlic and onion family are considered toxic in Ayurveda (especially so if consumed raw).  I tried to stop consuming them the way I used to and indeed my health improved, my face became more radiant and I had no dark circles around my eyes.

One good way to use a garlic-free yet flavorful healthy salad dressings is by using pomegranate molasses (sugar-free of course).

But to substitute the hot flavor of the garlic in salads I came up with a recipe. I used tahini because tahini is used as salad dressing also in Syrian cuisine, along with garlic. Since I know macrobiotics is the way to go for me when it comes to what I eat, I didn’t want to replace the garlic with hot pepper (hot pepper is a night-shade plant).  I replaced it with ginger and even though powdered ginger is less flavorful than fresh ginger, it worked well in the recipe. I also added basil and it tasted like a more westernized version of a salad dressing too! It was really good, so I'm sharing the recipe with you. I didn’t take precise measurements, so this is approximate:


  • Teaspoon of olive oil or more (as needed)
  • One tablespoon of vinegar
  • Two or three tablespoons tahini
  • One tablespoon lemon juice
  • Seasalt
  • A pinch of curcumin (or 1/5 teaspoon)
  • 1/3 or half a teaspoon of powdered ginger
  • Lots of dried basil leaves
  • Water if and as needed

How to:

So basically, you mix the ingredients together in a small bowl, until you get a saucy- mixture. If you need to add water, add some water.. sometimes I add the water of the pickles I make and that way I don’t need to add salt.

In the end, you add lots of basil.

And that’s it!

Roasted Root Vegetable Salad

Harvest time is here.  The days of cold, crisp salads are gone.  But don't despair, delicious warmth can be yours with the colourful roasted root vegetable salad recipe contributed by WHEN supporter Alison Hicks. This salad is full of cancer-fighting vegetables.  The salad's sweet potatoes are not only antioxidant-rich, recent research shows that their protein is a potentially effective anticancer agent for colorectal cancer.  Celery root, meanwhile, contains phthalides, a phytochemical that can help increase blood flow and lower blood pressure.  Like other root vegetables, rutabagas are high in vitamins A and C, and fiber, and a good source of potassium. The radishes in this salad contain two natural compounds, sulforaphane and indole-3, which have been shown to have anti-cancer action in some studies.

Of course, a fall root vegetable salad would be incomplete without carrots, which are packed with Vitamin A and carotenoids, and doctor-repelling apples. While some research suggests that vitamin A is able to change cancer cells or prevent normal cells from becoming cancer, carotenoids have been shown to have antioxidant properties in vitro and in animal models.  Apples are a good source of fiber and vitamin C that provide a good punch of antioxidant power from phytochemicals such as flavonoids and triterpenoids.


⅓ cup diced sweet potato

⅓ cup diced celery root (Celeriac)

⅓ cup diced rutabaga

12 radishes halved

5 small carrots, peeled and halved lengthwise

1 tablespoon grape seed oil

Sea Salt and freshly ground pepper

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

3 tablespoons apple cider

Juice from half a lemon

1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest

1 teaspoon yellow mustard

½ cup virgin olive oil

½ teaspoon fennel seed, ground in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle

½ teaspoon mustard seed, ground in a spice grinder or with a mortar and pestle

1½ cups mixed greens

2 tablespoons chopped parsley

1 largel granny smith apple, cored and diced

2 ounces old cheddar cheese, grated


  1. Preheat the oven to 325°. In a large mixing bowl, toss the sweet potato, celery root, rutabaga, radishes and carrots with the grape seed and ¼ teaspoon of sea salt. Scatter the mixture on a rimmed baking sheet and roast for 35-40 minutes or until the vegetables are tender.
  2. While the vegetables are roasting, make the vinaigrette: In a bowl, whisk together the cider vinegar, cider, lemon juice and zest, yellow mustard, olive oil, fennel seed, mustard seed, ½ teaspoon of sea salt and ½ teaspoon of pepper until mixed well.
  3. When the vegetables are done, toss them with the vinaigrette. Arrange the mixed greens on a serving platter, top with the roasted vegetables and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Garnish with the parsley, apple and cheese and serve immediately.

Makes about 4 large or 6 medium servings

White Bean Dip

Every mom knows that kids love to dip. This white bean dip recipe, contributed by WHEN supporter Laura Beazley, is a favourite with her two young boys. Besides being a source of delicious kiddie entertainment, this dip is rich in antioxidants and fiber. With a blast of raw garlic, which research has shown may help prevent lung cancer, and a hint of Vitamin C-rich lemon, this dip is a wonderful cancer-fighting accompaniment for snack time. Ingredients

1.5 cups of cooked white kidney beans/navy beans cooked (or 1 can)

2 tablespoons tahini

1 clove garlic

2-3 tsp extra virgin olive oil

salt & peper to taste

4 tsp chopped chives OR fresh dill

2-3 tsp fresh lemon juice

Throw all except the fresh chives/dill into a food processor and blend until smooth. Add pre-chopped the fresh chives or dill at the very end either by hand or with a few pulses in the food processor.

Serve with pita, rice crisps, baguette or favourite veggie.

Bulgur & Zucchini - a Syrian (Middle Eastern) Recipe

Researchers have found that pre-menopausal women with diets high in fiber have a reduced risk of developing breast cancer. Fiber is also protective against colon cancer. One source of nutrient-rich fiber is bulgur, a type of dried wheat popular in Middle Eastern cooking. Packed full of cancer-fighting nutrients such as magnesium and zinc, bulgur is a quick and easy alternative to other whole grains.

This bulgur recipe, contributed by Salma Nassif, incorporates high-fiber zucchini blended with fragrant nutmeg and tasty, nutrient-packed cilantro.


  • One cup Bulgur (I prefer coarse Bulgur for this one)
  • One cup and ¼ water (please don’t use tap water, fluoride increases by 500 percent when It is heated)
  • Three or four green Zucchinis. (buy Organic because many Zucchini varietys are GMOs)
  • Cilantro (half a bunch or as desired)
  • Two tablespoons olive oil (or another kind of cold-pressed oil)
  • Pinch of powdered nutmeg
  • Sea salt

How to:

You dice the zucchinis on a cutting board. I suggest cutting each zucchini twice in length so that it forms quarters sections (four quarts). Then you put it on the cutting board and cut the quarts into small pieces by slicing the zucchini in width.

Anyways, it is not important how you dice the zucchinis. Don’t make the pieces too small or too big.

Finely chop half the cilantro bunch once.

Bring the one and ¼ cup of water to a boil, add the bulgur,  then simmer on low heat, and add the zucchinis, the cilantro, the sea salt. After 15 minutes of simmering, add one tablespoon of cold-pressed olive oil (or any cold-pressed oil).

After all water has evaporated, and that is approximately 20 minutes of simmering on low heat, turn off the heat and add the second tablespoon of olive oil.

Enjoy with a side-dish of fresh salad (I use olive oil, lemon juice, dried mint leaves and sea salt for the salad dressing).

Lentils with Spinach

As summer takes its last breath, you may soon find yourself searching for those comfort foods that bring some fire back into those chilling bones of yours. This lentil and spinach recipe, contributed by WHEN supporter Paul Zapotochny, blends the warmth of tumeric and ginger with cancer-fighting garlic, fragrant rosemary, lycopene-rich tomatoes, and health-promoting red lentils. Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups red lentils, rinsed
  • 1 cup chopped tomatoes with their juice
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon turmeric
  • 8 whole garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 slices fresh ginger (each about the size of a quarter)
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 10 ounce bag washed baby spinach
  • 1 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • Coarse sea salt or kosher salt to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper


  1. Combine 6 cups of water with the lentils in a 3- to 4-quart saucepan over high heat. Skim off the foam as the lentils begin to boil. Add tomatoes, oil, turmeric, and garlic. Reduce the heat to a simmer. Wrap ginger, rosemary, and bay leaf in a piece of cheesecloth, tie it closed with kitchen string, and add to the pan. Simmer until the lentils are tender and the garlic is soft; discard the cheesecloth.
  2. Add the spinach and simmer until wilted. Stir in the lemon juice. Crush the garlic against the side of the pot with the back of a spoon and stir so that it melts into the soup. Season with salt and pepper to taste, and serve. Add thin slices of lemon to taste for a citrus zing.