Roasted Mushroom-Pepper Tacos

Mushroom-Pepper Tacos | Black Girl Chef's Whites   Superfood. Have you heard that term before? Superfoods are foods low in calories and high in nutrients, with a variety of health benefits when included in your daily diet.   City of Hope has taken the superfood one step further. They are actively doing research on certain superfoods that are showing promise in fighting cancer. The ability to possibly stop the cancer before it begins is enormous, and to be able to do it just by choosing to eat easy to find fruits, vegetables and spices is amazing!

Lab research shows that certain “superfoods” may have the ability to combat cancer — without affecting healthy tissue. Several superfoods — mushrooms, pomegranates and grape seed extract — contain compounds with the ability to block the enzyme aromatase, which helps produce estrogen. Because most breast cancers are dependent on estrogen to grow, cutting down on the amount of estrogen may help kill the tumor.

Mushrooms also work similarly in prostate cancer by blocking hormones crucial to their growth.
City of Hope is testing medicine derived from shiitake mushrooms that could naturally help the body fight lung cancer by boosting the immune system.
City of Hope scientists found that cinnamon contains compounds that block tumor angiogenesis, the formation of new blood vessels that fuels cancer cells’ growth.
The above quotes are from the City of Hope website, which offers a lot of information on the superfoods they are currently researching and doing clinical trials on. There is also the Superfoods Recipe Collection, which urges you to fight cancer in the kitchen by cooking with superfoods.
I got the chance to go to City of Hope, and meet with some of the professors and doctors doing this important research, including the Interim Head of The Beckman Research Institute. There are only 5 such research centers in the world, and they are considered the cream of the crop. City of Hope itself is known as a comprehensive cancer center, the highest honor bestowed by the National Cancer Institute. And most importantly, City of Hope is a non-profit organization, which makes it more open to trying more natural and less toxic ways to fight cancer.  The large drug making corporations are all about profit, which is why so many medicines are so expensive!
When my mother was fighting her lung cancer, I remember opening a package containing her chemotherapy drug, called Tarceva. Because she had good insurance her co-pay was low, But I saw the actual cost being billed to the insurance, and it was $1200.00! For one bottle of pills! One thousand, two hundred dollars. And we wonder why medical insurance is so expensive. Oh, wait! Insurance companies and hospitals are also for profit entities. Except City of Hope.
Because of the 14 1/2 year battle my mother fought with her  lung cancer, I have become a Citizen of Hope.
I am a Citizen of Hope
When asked what hope meant to me, the only word that came to mind was FIGHTING. Fighting like my mother fought for her life. Fighting like my mother fought to see her only grandchild grow up. Fighting like my mother fought to be as active as she could for as long as she could, until her body betrayed her. And in the end, fighting for every breath she took, hooked up to an oxygen machine 24 hours a day.
Citizen of Hope badge
Lung cancer is not an “acceptable” cancer, like breast cancer. It has been so heavily stigmatized by cigarette smoking, which is one of the leading causes of lung cancer. But not everyone who gets lung cancer smokes or smoked. My mother was one of those, but the second I would tell people about her cancer they first thing they would ask was “Did she smoke?” I learned to say “My mom has lung cancer, but no, she never smoked.” I was always taken aback by the immediate judgement of her cancer, as if it was her fault, because they assumed she smoked. Do people judge breast cancer, pancreatic cancer, thyroid cancer? Cancer is cancer is cancer.
The research at City of Hope on superfoods that can help prevent cancer from growing in the first place, fills me with hope. The hope that The Power of Superfoods will continue to fight and prevent cancer. The hope that all cancers will be funded equally, not just the ones that are “acceptable.” The hope that one day we will find a cure for cancer.
These Roasted Mushroom-Pepper Tacos are healthy, vegan, very low in fat and nutrient dense. And they are amazingly good.  If tacos are not your thing, toss the mushrooms and peppers with pasta and a little more olive oil. Or top a pizza with them. Or make bruscetta. Or add them to a green salad.  No matter what you do with them, enjoy them.
If you would like more recipes and information about City of Hope and Superfoods, please click over to these other fabulous food blogs:
Roasted Mushroom-Pepper Tacos | Black Girl Chef's Whites

Recipe: Roasted Mushroom-Pepper Tacos

Ingredients

  • 2 packages (8 ounce) button mushrooms, quartered
  • 1 fresh pasilla chile pepper, seeded, cut into large dice
  • 1 fresh red bell pepper, seeded, cut into large dice
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 8 corn tortillas

Instructions

  1. Heat the oven to 400° F.
  2. Place the mushrooms, pasilla and red pepper onto a large baking pan.
  3. Drizzle the olive oil over the ingredients, and sprinkle with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss gently to coat the vegetables with the oil and seasoning.
  5. Roast the vegetables for 20 – 25 minutes, until they are softened.
  6. Toast the tortillas in a dry skillet or wrap them in foil and heat in the oven.
  7. Divide the mushroom filling between the tortillas.
  8. Serve with salsa, sliced avocado and fresh cilantro if desired.

Preparation time: 10 minute(s) Cooking time: 20 minute(s) Copyright © Cheryl D Lee.

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Comments

  1. rashmi from yumkid.com says

    Diet as part of a treatment plan is hardly ever covered. When my mom had cancer many many years ago, I don’t ever remember hearing that as part of her treatment plan. I am glad there is so much more awareness of what to eat now! I just hope that the information is getting into the right hands. Delicious recipe… it is for everyone.

  2. says

    Thank you for sharing your story Cheryl. Your definition of “hope” is so true. You have to want to fight to live. It takes so much courage and strength to push on. Your mother is an inspiration and the recipe looks great!

  3. says

    I remember we talked about your mom and her valiant battle against this disease – and while smoking can put you at greater risk, it absolutely doesn’t mean that you cannot develop it – as your mother’s experience proves. The research on ‘superfoods” is very exciting – one day in the future we will be able to evaluate every individual to design the optimal diet for them – but until then, all the more reason to eat a nutrient dense diet!
    I know your mom is watching you and that she is incredibly proud of the work you are doing!

  4. says

    Cheryl, both our mothers fought cancer valiantly and in the end succumbed. My mother always exercised, cooked and ate healthy food, avoided sugars, white flour, etc, did not smoke, did not drink alcohol, was very upbeat and optimistic person… Somehow I don’t think she died because of wrong life choices.
    I would love to see some progress in the fight against cancer and if we can contribute even a little to preventing it by eating superfoods, I am all for it!
    The only think I am missing is grape seeds:)
    BTW, those tacos look amazing!
    Thanks for all the info!

  5. says

    We all know or are very close to someone who has had cancer. We have seen what a beast this disease inflicts not only on its victim, but the families that endure the pain of watching their loved ones suffer at its hand. Eating superfoods is an easy way to try to prevent this wretching disease and I applaud you Cheryl, for exposing this saving grace and for another delicious fast and easy recipe to encourage us to eat fresh foods.

  6. says

    Jeanette,

    It was great to meet you also! I am so inspired by City of Hope, and their research on using foods as medicine. I look forward to trying new recipes, not just for my readers but for my daughter and I!

  7. says

    The research done by the City of Hope and other entities on the preventative role that superfoods play is such an important message to get out to the public. There is hope that one day others will not have to fight a long battle like your mother. Thank you for sharing, Cheryl.

  8. says

    Cheryl, it was so nice meeting you. What an incredible day at City of Hope. I was so inspired from our time there and am looking forward to seeing what great things City of Hope continues to learn about Superfoods. I do a lot of cooking for cancer patients, so I am eager to learn more and for progress to be made. Love your cancer-fighting recipe – I’ll be referring to it.

  9. says

    What a moving story of love, strength and hope. The recipe is easy enough for all of us and so packed with good stuff in every way. Hope is my favorite word, by the way, and I love that you are adding it to food :D Much love!

  10. says

    Thank you for sharing your personal story, which hits home. It reminds me of this quote from Thomas Edison: “The doctor of the future will no longer treat the human frame with drugs, but rather will cure and prevent disease with nutrition.”

    Food as medicine, indeed.

  11. says

    Cheryl thank you for sharing your story. I have spent a lot of time at Hope and am so grateful for all they do. The fight starts with prevention. Beautiful article and delicious recipe.

  12. says

    This is such great information to get out there. I love the recipe, but even more the strength your mother must have had to fight it for so long — and you fighting right along with her. (P.S. Beautiful picture of you!)

  13. says

    So encouraged by the notion of food as prevention now spreading through the efforts of City of Hope and writers like yourself. Food is the best form of healthcare we can provide. Love, love, love the picture of you and your fighting mantra. We should all keep fighting until we stop losing loved ones to cancer.

  14. says

    So much important information here that needs to get out there. Thanks you for sharing your personal story because connecting all of this to someone whose been affected helps others understand. GREG

  15. says

    I have never thought of it that way Kirsten. Suboptimal outcomes do indeed happen to anyone! And denial is a very strong reaction to so many things in life.

  16. says

    Cheryl,
    Thank you for sharing such a powerful post, as well as a yummy-looking recipe.
    I have to wonder if people ask about the smoking habits of someone with lung cancer as a way to keep their own blinders on that they are safe from the disease. When people learn that I have a child with Spina Bifida, they have said that they took prenatal vitamins (because research has shown that prenatal vitamins containing folic acid can *decrease* the incidence of neural tube defects).
    Well, I took my prenatal vitamins prior to conception as well, and yet I’m still in the Spina Bifida Parent club. I can only assume that the question is a way to insulate from the fact that bad thingssuboptimal outcomes can happen to anyone.

  17. Kandee says

    Outstanding article, information and recipe! Thank you for sharing and reminding people to be a little more considerate when discussing people’s health concerns!

    Thank you for sharing your Mom and her battle, which was also you fight!

    And last but not least, thank you for sharing City Of Hope! They truly do wonderful work!