At Cook for Your Life we’re all about stocking up on pantry basics to make cooking easy no matter what you’re going through, whether cancer treatment has left you wiped out, or you simply don’t feel like going out to the store. The new year is a great time for stocking up your pantry with healthy items like plain canned tomatoes. Plain canned tomatoes are the basis of so many quick meals that they are one of our favorite pantry staples. We like them not only because they are versatile, but also because they are rich in the antioxidant lycopene, an important nutrient for reducing cancer risk, especially prostate cancer. Although fresh summer tomatoes are delicious, the lycopene in tomatoes actually becomes more bio-available to us when they are cooked, as they are in the canning process. In the following videos, Ann will showcase these canned cancer fighters from her pantry to make quick, delicious meals for the whole family. Look and learn!

Tomato & Sweet Potato Soup

This is one of the best reasons to keep canned tomatoes and canned beans in your pantry. It makes a fast, delicious meal packed with nutrients that you can put together in about ½ an hour. Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C and antioxidant lycopene, a nutrient known to combat cancer, particularly prostate cancer, while black beans are rich in protein, minerals and B complex vitamins. Eaten with a grain like Brown Rice, or Cornbread, this easy chili makes a healthy dinner with complete protein that will please the whole family. Healthy never tasted so good! Look and Learn!

Spiced Beet & Tomato Soup

Canned tomatoes and fresh beets are a marriage made in heaven. I came to love beets late in life. As a child, no amount of threats could make me eat the vinegary slices that we were served in the UK. Then a vegetarian friend of mine served me roasted beets. It was love at first bite and I started to experiment with cooking them. This soup is super simple. It is mainly lycopene rich canned tomatoes and beets, and started out as a curry, until one day I blended some leftovers and ended up with this gorgeous-looking, delicious soup. The color was unbelievable as was the flavor. Try it with a swirl of sour cream or Greek yogurt and garnish with a pinch of cilantro and you’ll love beets like I do. Try it!

Quick and Easy Tuna Pasta

When tomatoes are out of season, canned are often a better buy than fresh for cooking. This recipe is a case in point. This is a dish that turns two familiar pantry items, lycopene packed canned tomatoes and water packed tuna into something really delicious. When I first worked in fashion, I used to spend a lot of time in Italy. Some Italian friends in the Marche taught me this quick, tasty pasta dish. Who knew canned tuna could taste so good? Not me! It’ll amaze you too! Try it with fresh tomatoes when they are in season. Look and learn!