Tempt your taste buds!

Change in taste is one of the unwelcome side effects from radiation and/or chemotherapy,  with the sense of taste being completely dulled – or the opposite effect of some flavors being heightened, such as sweet or bitter.  Either can make food seem unappetizing.  This recipe includes bold flavors that may be more appealing to the patient who is experiencing a sense of dulled taste.  It also provides plenty of calories, protein and fiber, which are important during treatment.

You can skip the habanero pepper if you don’t like it spicy, and a regular onion may be used in place of a Spanish onion.

African Chicken Stew



1 lb. skinless and boneless chicken breast, cut in 2-inch pieces

1 Tbsp. minced garlic

1 Tbsp. grated ginger

1 tsp. dried oregano

1 Tbsp. fat-free, reduced-sodium chicken broth, or water

Canola oil spray

1 Spanish onion, half sliced, half finely chopped

1 can (28 oz.) tomatoes, with juices

1 habanero chile pepper, chopped

1/4 cup ketchup

1/3 cup reduced-fat peanut butter

Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Place the chicken in a 1-quart resealable plastic bag. Combine the garlic, ginger, oregano, and broth in a small bowl. Add the seasoning mixture to the bag and massage it to coat the chicken with the seasonings. Marinate in the refrigerator for 6 hours to overnight.

Coat a large Dutch oven with cooking spray and set it over medium-high heat. Sear the chicken pieces until they are white on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer them to a plate and set aside.

Coat the pot again with cooking spray. Sauté the sliced onion until limp, 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the tomatoes with half their liquid, the chile pepper and ketchup. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer the sauce 10 minutes, breaking up the tomatoes with a wooden spoon. Blend the peanut butter in the remaining tomato juice until smooth. Add it to the pot. Return the chicken to the pot. Simmer until the chicken is white in the center, about 15 minutes. Serve, accompanied by cooked brown rice.


Makes 4 servings. Per serving: 341 calories, 11 g. total fat (2 g. saturated fat), 25 g. carbohydrate, 33 g. protein, 5 g. dietary fiber, 563 mg. sodium.

From the American Institute of Cancer Research Test Kitchen.