Living with cancer often takes the joy out of eating.
Low appetite, sensitive mouths and digestive problems can make meal times a misery.
Because Christmas is a time when we all like to indulge, Macmillan cancer charity has teamed up with top dietitians and nutritionists to develop recipes that are delicious and healthy for those fighting the disease or recovering.
They are simple to make – and the whole family will love them too.
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Roast tomato and thyme soup
Serves 6. Preparation time: 15 minutes. Cooking time: 1 hour 40 minutes.
1 tin plum tomatoes
1kg ripe tomatoes
2 sprigs thyme
500ml vegetable stock
1 garlic clove
1 white onion
2tbsp vegetable oil
1 Heat the oven to 160C. Cut the tomatoes in half and roast in the oven for 1 hour with the thyme and some black pepper to taste.
2 Cook the chopped onion and garlic in a large pot with the olive oil until soft. Add the roasted tomatoes and cook on a low heat for 15 minutes.
3 Add the tinned tomatoes and vegetable stock. Stir together and simmer for 10minutes.
4 Blend the mixture thoroughly and season with salt to taste.
Pass the soup through a sieve to remove any large lumps and tomato skins.
Serve straight away.
You can also keep this delicious soup in the fridge for three days or it will freeze for up to threemonths.
Vegan Christmas pudding
Serves 6. Preparation time: 10 minutes. Cooking time: 1 hour 30 minutes.
140g arborio rice (or pudding rice)
1 litre whole milk
200ml single cream
1 vanilla pod (or 3tsp of vanilla extract)
30g candied orange peel
1/2tsp of ground nutmeg (or half a
1 Heat the oven to 150C. Mix together the rice, whole milk, cream, sugar and chopped orange peel in a mixing bowl.
2 Grease the base of an ovenproof dish with the butter. You will need to use a dish with a lid. Pour the wet ingredients into the dish.
3 Split and deseed a vanilla pod. Add both the empty pod and seeds to the dish. Or you can add the vanilla extract if you are using this instead.
4 Grate half a nutmeg over the top using the fine edge of your cheese grater. Or you can sprinkle it with your ground nutmeg. Cover the dish with the lid and bake for 1hour.
5 Using oven gloves, carefully remove the lid and sprinkle the rice pudding with sugar. Then bake without the lid for a further 30 minutes.
Serve as soon as the pudding is cool enough to eat.
Butternut squash and cranberry nut bake
Serves 6. Preparation time: 1 hour. Cooking time: 1 hour.
400g butternut squash
2tbsp olive oil
100g button mushrooms
1 small white onion
75g dried cranberries
125g mixed nuts
100g chestnut puree
1 garlic clove
60g white bread
A pinch of salt
1 Heat the oven to 160C.
Peel and grate the butternut squash into a mixing bowl and add finely chopped mushrooms and garlic. Season.
2 Wrap the vegetable mix in a clean tea towel and squeeze
to remove as much water
as possible. Then return to the bowl. Stir in the remaining ingredients, except for the butter. Chill for 30 minutes.
3 Grease a loaf tin with the butter and spoon in the mix then press down with the back of a spoon. Cover with greaseproof paper then foil. Bake for 55 minutes.
4 Leave to rest for 5 minutes before turning out of the loaf tin.
Vital ingredients for fighting cancer
Jo Pain, Macmillan dietitian, says: “Cancer treatment can affect people’s diet in lots of ways.
“Working with our partners Greene King, we’ve created these traditional Christmas recipes to help with some of the challenges.
“The dishes range from soft options and soups that are easy to swallow, to recipes high in vital nutrients for people who may not have much of
“We’ve also made sure they are simple to prepare and cook.”
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