Here’s to a Happy Healthier Holiday with the American Cancer Society!

It’s hard to find a family that has been untouched by cancer at some point in their lives.  This year it hit close to home when my mother was diagnosed with Uterine cancer.  While our family has known its share of cancer, having it be my mother made it extra personal.  Everyone in our family took a hard look at re-evaluating our carefree lifestyle choices.  It’s really not that hard to make simple steps for a healthier lifestyle and step towards a cancer-free life.  As part of the American Cancer Society’s Healthier Holiday Table campaign, I’ve adapted one of my favorite recipes from Giada DeLaurentis and made it a little more to my tastes liking and definitely dairy-free and safe for my son.  It is a bright and colorful quick dish, served at room temperature, making it the perfect worry-free and delicious addition to any holiday table.

Linguine with Sun-Dried Tomatoes, Olives and Lemon

  • 1 pound whole-grain linguine pasta (or any fun pasta really.  Taking the dish on the road, I love using bow-tie pasta or even penne)
  • 1 cup or 6oz jar of GDL for Target Sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
  • 2 ounces chopped black olives, pitted
  • ¼ packed cup of fresh basil leaves
  • 4-5 garlic clove (or more if you like)
  • 1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice or juice from 1 large lemon
  • zest of 1 large lemon
  • salt and freshly ground pepper

Cook pasta according to directions on the box for al dente.   Choose whole grains instead of refined grain products. Here are some innovative ways to add more vegetables, fruits, and whole grains to your day while watching your refined carbohydrates, sugar, and fat intake.  Scoop, cool under running cold water to set pasta and set aside.

In a food processor, combine sun-dried tomatoes, olives, basil, garlic, oil, lemon juice and lemon zest.  Pulse until blended but still chunky.

Add the tomato mixture to the pasta and toss well until pasta is coated.  Season with salt and pepper to taste.

It’s that simple!  Did you know that eating lots of fruits and vegetables can help reduce your cancer risk? The American Cancer Society recommends eating at least 2½ cups of vegetables and fruits each day. Here are two resources filled with ideas for upping your fruit and vegetable consumption through the day.  I don’t know about your family, but I struggle with picky eaters daily.  In sheer desperation to get them to eat period, we often cave to their simple (non-nutritional) likings often.  What I love about this dish is that I’ve packed plenty of vegetables that in whole form my children would snuff their noses at.  When it looks like a simple pasta dish coated in sauce, they eagerly devour it up without knowing that they are eating nutrient rich olives, basil and sun-dried tomatoes!

For more information on how to kick cancer’s butt, visit the American Cancer Society’s Healthier Holiday Table Facebook tab.  You’ll find a ton more Healthier Holiday Recipes from some of my favorite bloggers and feel free to share your own!

About Suzanne Chan

Suzanne is student, daughter, wife, (labor & delivery) registered nurse, certified lactation counselor, friend, entrepreneur and blogger – but the job she's most proud of is mother… She shares her journey on this blog and The Disney Files. Read more about her here.

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