Monday, October 13, 2008

Baking for Breast Cancer Awareness

Ley at Cilantro and Lime is hosting Baking for Breast Cancer Awareness. October is National Breast Cancer Awareness month. The event is to raise awareness of Breast Cancer. Ley is encouraging bloggers to bake and make others aware.

Breast cancer is the most common cancer in women in the United States. According to the American Cancer Society, it's estimated that About 178,480 women in the United States will be found to have invasive breast cancer in 2007. About 40,460 women will die from the disease this year. Right now there are slightly over 2 million women living in the United States who have been treated for breast cancer.

One of my best friends lost her mom to breast cancer. I never met her mom but feel that I somehow know her and her kindness through my dear friend Parrish. My friend is my sons Godmother. My daily prayer is that this will never happen to her. Through her, I have become more aware of breast cancer and I got my first mammogram at 35 and since I am so lucky to be over 40 (43 to be exact) I get a mammogram each year. They are easy and painless. I encourage anyone that is scared or too busy to bother to go get one. It could save your life.

Now I am not a baker as I have stated before but I did "bake" a portion of the dish. I made a roasted beet and goat cheese salad with shrimp cocktail and split an organic steak with my husband. I love fresh beets. I had never had them until a few months ago. I only thought they came in a can! I used a recipe from Giada DeLaurentis for a Beet and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad but when I saw the beets yesterday at the grocery store I decided to make it not knowing what else I had. I knew I had goat cheese and knew I also had some type of organic lettuce but was short a few of the other ingredients so I made it my own. I will post the recipe for the original salad as it is so good but know that I did not have arugula and used a spring mix of lettuce, no walnuts so used pecans and instead of making the homemade dressing since I didn't have any balsamic vinegar I used a raspberry walnut vinaigrette. I also did not have any avocado or shallots. My version was tasty but the original is awesome.

The beets are red and their cooking juice is red/pink! They are so healthy and are said to fight cancer and birth defects.

Beet and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad

1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
3 tablespoons shallots, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon honey
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil

Salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 medium beets, cooked and quartered
6 cups fresh arugula
1/2 cup walnuts, toasted, coarsely chopped
1/4 cup dried cranberries or dried cherries
1/2 avocado, peeled, pitted, and cubed
3 ounces soft fresh goat cheese
, coarsely crumbled


The original recipe does not tell you how to cook the beets. Wash them and cut off most of the stems leaving the top and bottom on the beet (this will keep more nutrients in it - just learned that now while googling beets so I did not do that!) Place in pot and cover with water, bring to boil and cook for 40-50 minutes. Take beets out of water and run them under cold water and while doing this rub your hands over them and the skin will peel right off.

Line a baking sheet with foil. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F.
Whisk the vinegar, shallots, and honey in a medium bowl to blend. Gradually whisk in the oil. Season the vinaigrette, to taste, with salt and pepper. Toss the beets in a small bowl with enough dressing to coat. Place the beets on the prepared baking sheet and roast until the beets are slightly caramelized, stirring occasionally, about 12 minutes. Set aside and cool.

Toss the arugula, walnuts, and cranberries in a large bowl with enough vinaigrette to coat. Season the salad, to taste, with salt and pepper. Mound the salad atop 4 plates. Arrange the beets around the salad. Sprinkle with the avocado and goat cheese, and serve.

Now if we could find a cure for breast cancer life would be really good but in the meantime if we can educated enough people to be aware then Life is Good!

1 comment:

ley said...

Thank you so much for participating in this event! I am so sorry to hear about your friend's mother. Thank you for the story and the information you posted- every little bit helps to create not only awareness, but support and a sense of community for those going through the same thing.

Your beet and goat cheese salad looks AMAZING, too! I love how healthy it is...and how pretty (seriously, the dark green arugula and creamy white goat cheese and vibrant dark pink beets??)! Thank you so much!

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