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Jean LaMantia Author of The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide and Cookbook Offers Recipe and Tips for Cancer Patients and Caregivers During the Christmas Season

Toronto, Canada (PRWEB) December 13, 2012

There’s nothing like comfort food when one's appetite is fleeting. According to Wikipedia comfort food is “food that is prepared traditionally, that may have a nostalgic or sentimental appeal or simply provide an easy-to-eat, easy-to-digest meal rich in calories, nutrients, or both.”

With that in mind, one will be hard pressed to find a better example of comfort food than Creamy Mashed Potato Casserole.

This recipe combines potatoes with cream cheese, hot milk, cheddar cheese, breadcrumbs and some optional spices. Nothing says comfort like potatoes and cheese!

In addition to providing comfort this recipe is ideal for the harried Christmas cook who would like a recipe that can be prepared a day or two before the big meal to save on valuable time and effort on Christmas Day.

The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide and Cookbook features recipes that are appropriate for cancer patients, caregivers and survivors. It has been receiving praise from cancer patients and nutrition professionals alike.

“This is the go-to book for cancer patients and their families” Dr. Neil Berinstein, Medical Oncologist, Odette Cancer Centre, Toronto, Canada

“I…had the opportunity to look through your book at length and I have to tell you that I think it is wonderful.” Robin McConnell, MS, RD, CSO Clinical Nutrition Coordinator John Theurer Cancer Center, Hackensack, NJ

“This is the most wonderful book! I only wish that it had been around when I had cancer.” Valeria Lull, cancer survivor in Portland, Oregon

Are you hosting a Christmas dinner at your home and wondering how you are going to get everything prepared on the day? This recipe you can prepared up to two days before the event for some time and energy saving convenience.

Are you undergoing cancer treatment and experiencing loss of appetite and weight loss and don’t know what to eat? This comfort food combining mild but flavorful potatoes and cheese will be a welcome easy-to-eat meal that has enough protein that it can stand alone.

From robust healthy appetites to fledgling ones seeking comfort food, this recipe of Creamy Mashed Potato Casserole will provide the comfort food that everyone at the Christmas table will appreciate.

Excerpted from The Essential Cancer Treatment Nutrition Guide & Cookbook by Jean LaMantia © 2012 Robert Rose Inc. All rights reserved: May not be reprinted without publisher permission.

Creamy Mashed Potato Casserole (page 246, Comforting Grains and Potatoes)
This make-ahead mashed potato casserole is a welcome dish to have on hand when energy levels are low. For sore mouths that need lump-free mashed potatoes, use a food mill or ricer instead of a potato masher.

  •     Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C)
  •     8-cup (2 L) casserole dish, greased
6    large russet or yellow-fleshed potatoes    6
    (about 3 lbs/1.5 kg) (see tip)
4 oz    light cream cheese, softened, cubed    125 g
3/4 cup    hot milk (approx.)    175 mL
    Salt and freshly grated nutmeg
1/2 cup    shredded Cheddar cheese    125 mL
1/4 cup    fine dry bread crumbs    60 mL
1/2 tsp    paprika    2 mL

1.    Peel potatoes and cut into 3-inch (7.5 cm) chunks. Place in a large saucepan and add salted cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat and boil gently for 20 to 25 minutes or until fork-tender. Drain well and return to saucepan. Place over low heat and dry, shaking pan, for 1 to 2 minutes.
2.    Press potatoes through a food mill or ricer or mash with potato masher or use an electric mixer at low speed until very smooth. (Do not use a food processor or the potatoes will turn into glue.) Beat in cream cheese and milk until smooth; season with salt and nutmeg to taste. Spread evenly in prepared casserole dish.
3.    In a small bowl, combine Cheddar cheese, bread crumbs and paprika. Sprinkle evenly over potatoes.
4.    Bake, uncovered, in preheated oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until top is golden and a knife inserted in center is hot to the touch.

Makes 6 servings

This recipe should be adjusted based on cancer symptoms. Follow this symptom guide:
For lactose intolerance:

  •     Replace the milk with a lactose-free beverage, such as lactose-reduced milk or non-dairy milk (e.g., soy milk or rice milk).
To encourage weight gain:
  •     Replace the milk with evaporated milk, half-and-half (10%) cream or table (18%) cream; and/or
  •     Use full-fat cream cheese rather than light.

The type of potatoes used determines how fluffy the mashed potatoes will be. The starchy russet, or baking, variety produces fluffy mashed potatoes. Yellow-fleshed potatoes, such as Yukon gold, have a slightly buttery taste and make delicious mashed potatoes with a creamier texture. Regular white potatoes also make a creamy purée, although not as flavorful. New potatoes are not suitable for mashing, as they don't have the starch content of storage potatoes.

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