head or neck cancer diagnosis, eating obstacles can make it difficult to maintain weight and get adequate nutrition. This may be due to the pain caused by the tumor or from surgical changes to the oral cavity making it difficult to chew and maneauver or swallow food.
Dietitians at the Joan Karnell Cancer Center and the Abrahmson Cancer Center work closely with speech and swallowing therapists to determine patients’ needs and challenges with eating. Those with head and neck cancer should seek support from a registered dietitian to make their nutritional needs are being met during treatment.
This recipe for white beans and pasta is great because it provides substantial calories from the pasta and oil. The oil helps foods glide down the throat easier, and the beans add a good texture, while providing quality protein.
This recipe can also be pureed, making it even easier to swallow for people with head and neck cancer.
White Beans and PastaIngredients:
- 2 cans cannellini beans (white beans)
- ½ medium yellow onion
- 2 ½ cups chicken stock
- 3 to 4 tablespoons of olive oil
- Orzo, or other small pasta, cooked and drained
- Parsley and basil to taste
- Dice onion.
- Drain and rinse 1 can of beans
- Add 2 tablespoons of oil to pan
- Over medium heat, sauté onions until soft
- Add beans and chicken stock
- Simmer for 15 minutes
- Save mixture whole, or puree/blend bean mixture to a smooth consistency, add remaining oil while blending
- Add herbs either before or after blending
- Toss with pasta, or add pasta to blender to puree and enjoy.
Nutritional Information: 1/2 cup sauce = 220 calories, 7 gm. Protein, 12 gm. Fat 1 cup pasta = 180 calories, 6 gm. Pro, 1 gm. fat
Recipe contributed by Joan Levicoff, MA, CC-SLP/L, a speech and swallowing therapist with Good Shepherd Penn Partners.