Chef Ouita Michel shares healthy, delicious recipes for cancer patients
Ouita Michel is the award-winning chef and restaurateur famous for her renowned Central Kentucky restaurants Wallace Station, Windy Corner Market, Smithtown Seafood, Zim’s Café, Holly Hill Inn, Honeywood and the Midway Bakery.
In addition to the work at her revered restaurants, Michel collaborates with researchers, chefs and patients in a field called neurogastronomy — the study of the connection between the brain and flavor sensations — to create healthy diets and enhanced eating experiences for cancer patients.
In 2013, Michel’s mother was receiving chemotherapy for lung cancer at the UK Markey Cancer Center. Michel noticed that her mother’s appetite and taste sensations had been affected by the treatment and became committed to improving the dining experience for cancer patients. Michel began developing recipes that appealed to her mother’s changing taste and nutritional needs.
Michel recently welcomed us into her kitchen at Holly Hill Inn to demonstrate some simple, healthy recipes aimed at providing cancer patients with delicious, nutritious meals which prevent unintended weight loss and maintain a nourishing diet.
“Remember, when you’re going through cancer treatment, you really want to make sure you’re getting the caloric intake that you need to have energy to sustain the treatment itself,” Michel said. “After the treatment’s over, you need to get as many nutrients in as possible so that your body can recover and rejuvenate and stay in remission. That’s our goal.”
Watch the full video demonstration at the bottom of the page.
Pumpkin Seeded Crackers
2 cups pumpkin seeds
1 cup flax seeds
1 cup chia seeds
½ cup sesame seeds
1 tsp. salt
Optional: 2Tbsp. Fennel Seeds, caraway seeds, cumin seeds or coriander seeds
- Pre heat oven to 300 degrees.
- Mix all the ingredients, cover with filtered water- about 2 ½ cups- just enough to cover.
- Let sit for 1 hour until “Goopy”
- Cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Spread the mix in a thin layer- bake one hour or even a bit more until they suit your ideal crispiness.
- Cool and sprinkle with a bit more salt
1 pound chicken with bones- either chicken carcass from 1 whole chicken or chicken wings or chicken drum bones
2 chicken feet if you can find them.
6 quarts water
2 Tbsp. apple cider vinegar
2 cups large, dice onion
1 cup large dice carrot
1 cup large dice stalk celery
3 bay leaves
1 small bundle of thyme
Stems from 1 bunch parsley.
1 knob ginger- optional
- Roast the bones and feet until golden brown in 400-degree oven
- Combine with all remaining ingredients.
- Bring to a simmer- “Happy bubble” and simmer 12 hours. You can also use an Instapot for 3 hours on Low pressure.
- Season with salt to taste- I recommend about 1 Tbsp. Strain, cool. – Freeze excess.
Salmon with Rosemary Apple Sauce
2 – nice filets of salmon
2-3 sprigs rosemary
4 Tbsp butter
3 apples- peeled, cored, and cut into chunks.
¼ cup white wine- or water
1 Tbsp. honey
Squeeze of fresh lemon- optional
Salt to taste
- Brown the butter- strain over the rosemary sprigs while warm.
- Cook the apples with a little white wine, water, salt. When tender, add 2 Tbsp. of the rosemary brown butter and puree.
- In a sauté pan, add the remaining rosemary brown butter, season the salmon with salt and a little white pepper. Cook in the brown butter, adding a bit more rosemary if desired.
- Serve with the rosemary apple sauce and savory oatmeal.
Savory steel cut oats
½ cup steel cut oats
2 cups bone broth
2 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. chia seeds