When I was a 14 year-old-girl a tumor the size of a softball was removed from my ovary. I kept that damaged ovary for another 14 years because doctors were afraid to remove something of importance from someone so young. When I had an emergency hysterectomy at 24 and cancer cells in my cervix I still kept that damaged useless ovary. Until I was 28, when it became obvious my health, and therefore my life, was at risk. Then it was finally removed.
I consider myself lucky. Staying one step ahead of full blown cancer at all times. I can no longer have children, but I’m alive and healthy. There are many women who find out about cancer so late in the game that the battle can be overwhelming and devastating.
Thanks to Foodbuzz and Electrolux I will attend the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund event in New York City. I am in awe that I get to go, and feeling quite overwhelmed. I’m not sure I deserve this, but am grateful for the opportunity.
As I comb through OCRF I can’t help but find myself drawn to the survivor stories, and finally to the tribute page. These pages are filled with vibrant women with beautiful smiles. All of them fought this dangerous cancer. Some won, others lost, and all strove to survive. Their stories are amazing, and worth reading. I hope you’ll take some time to do so.
It’s important, this cause, because ovarian cancer is typically found much to late as there isn't a good tool currently for early detection. If found sooner, there would be a better chance of survival, and hopefully an opportunity for these women to have children of their own.
So today’s recipe is dedicated to living joyfully and to flavorful healthy food to feed our bodies and spirits. I hope that one day cancer will be detected much earlier, and be better treated. Through foundations like OCRF there is hope that our own daughters and granddaughters won’t need to worry about fighting for their lives, when they should be living them instead.
Szechuan Green Beans
I serve these tender garlicky green beans over perfectly cooked brown rice for a fresh, flavorful, healthy meal.
1 ½ pounds fresh or frozen green beans
1 ½ Tablespoons chopped garlic
2 teaspoons chopped ginger
1/2 bunch scallions, chopped
1/2 teaspoon chili paste or chili sauce
3 Tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
Fresh ground pepper, to taste
3 Tablespoons peanut oil
1. If using fresh beans wash the beans, drain thoroughly, and trim the tops and bottoms.
2. Heat 2 Tablespoons oil over medium heat. Add the beans and stir-fry until they start to shrivel and turn brown, 5 to 10 minutes. Remove the beans and drain in a colander or on paper towels.
3. Heat 1 Tablespoon oil in the wok on high heat. Add the garlic, ginger and scallions. Stir-fry for a few seconds, then add the chili paste and stir-fry for a few more seconds until aromatic. Add the beans and the remaining ingredients. Mix together and serve.
Serves 2 to 3 as a main dish.
Recipe adapted from Rhonda Parkinson from About.com. Picture by Laura Flowers.