In September our focus is on all the women and all the families who have to cope with gynecological cancers like ovarian, uterine, cervical and endometrial. Treatment for these cancers can involve serious abdominal surgeries which make digestion and therefore eating difficult, and together with chemo regimens that can cause nausea, bring even more GI discomfort. In these circumstances, doctors will often recommend a bland diet to ease the side effects. A bland diet is a list of foods that are nourishing and easy to digest. This diet is recommended for a variety of digestive disorders, including bowel surgery, digestive upset, nausea, diarrhea, etc. Although at a first glance these food lists look like culinary purgatory, bland doesn’t have to mean lacking in variety or flavor, as Ann will show you with these easy tasty recipes.

Basic Poached Salmon

This basic poached salmon is one of the simplest odor-free ways to cook an oily fish like salmon. It is delicious whether you are on a bland diet, fancy something cold during the heat of summer or simply want to eat something light during the holidays. As it cooks sealed in its own steam, it doesn’t smell, a boon during chemo. The basic ‘white’ stock I give you here to poach the salmon can also be used to poach or steam chicken breasts too. Any stock you don’t use can be frozen for a later date. The recipe online calls for a whole salmon fillet, but you can poach smaller pieces using the same method. Allow 3 to 4-ounces of fish per person. Look and learn!

Sweet Potato Fries

The bland diet doesn’t forbid baked foods as long as they’re not too oily. This healthy easy way of roasting vegetables like these sweet potato fries, uses virtually no oil. Ann uses a technique that lightly coats them with just enough to crisp and brown for a healthy and comforting side that’s perfect to brighten any meal. Look and learn.

Strawberry Compote

Raw fruits are much harder to digest that when they are cooked, so on a bland diet all fruits are peeled and cooked, or in the case of berries, simply and quickly cooked into compote in the microwave. Compote is a great way to add fruit to your diet while going through chemo or on a bland diet. It’s also great any time you want to add flavor to breakfasts or sweet treats. It’s also a great way to give softer fruits like stone fruits and berries a longer life. Look and learn!

Potato Rosemary Risotto

In this video Ann shows you an easy risotto that is perfect for anyone on a bland diet. It is her mother’s recipe, and was what she used to cook for Ann and her brothers when they were home sick. It’s comforting Italian soul Food! Easy to make, it is soothing and utterly delicious. Better yet, it’s made with inexpensive ingredients that you’ll find in your kitchen. Look and learn!

Zucchini Ricotta Pizza

Nobody going through cancer treatment should have to give up pizza. This Zucchini Ricotta Pizza is delicious and perfect for a vegetarian weeknight meal. With this recipe we make sure everyone gets to eat some, even those on a bland diet. All you have to do is change up the whole wheat naan bread for the version that’s made with white flour. Turn the oven on, tuck in and enjoy!