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Italian Style Stuffed Peppers

Contributed by: News Canada

Mushrooms may reduce risk of prostate cancer (NC) - Emerging research suggests that mushrooms and mushroom extracts may have potent anticancer activity.

Prostate cancer is the most common cancer in Canadian men. The Canadian Cancer Society estimate that 20,700 men were diagnosed with the disease in 2006, and 4200 died from it. One in 7 men will develop prostate cancer during his lifetime, mostly after age 60, and 1 in 26 will die of it.

Mushrooms offer nutrients such as beta-glucans and conjugated linoleic acid, compounds that are currently being studied for their chemopreventive potential. Here is what we know so far:

  • The Netherlands Cohort Study looked at the vegetable intake and prostate cancer risk of 58,279 men ages 55-69 years and found an association between eating mushrooms and reduced risk of prostate cancer.

  • A study published in 2000 in the journal Molecular Urology, found that beta-glucans (polysaccharides) extracted from Maitake mushrooms destroyed human prostatic cancer cells in a laboratory setting.

  • Selenium is also of scientific interest in prostate cancer risk research. A 100 gram serving of sliced uncooked mushrooms is a source of selenium, providing 13% of the Daily Value.

  • In 2003, researchers from The Netherlands Cohort Study found that men with the highest selenium intake had a 31% lower risk of developing prostate cancer than men with the lowest selenium. Further study is needed to confirm these findings.

  • Recent results from the Physicians' Health Study conducted at Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School, Boston, noted that higher levels of selenium may slow prostate cancer tumor progression. As well, those who had the highest levels of selenium in their blood were almost 50% less likely to develop prostate cancer during the 13 years of follow-up.

Research shows that 30 to 35% of all cancers can be prevented by eating well, being active and maintaining a healthy body weight. As fresh mushrooms are low in calories and fat, as well as being versatile and great-tasting, they are a good addition to a healthy eating pattern.

For more information on the connection between mushrooms and cancer visit www.mushrooms.ca.

A wonderful vegetarian meal or side dish that can be microwaved if you prefer.

Preparation Time: 20 minutes Cooking Time: 18 minutes

Ingredients:

  • 2 large red, yellow or green peppers 2
  • 2 tbsp olive oil 25 mL
  • 1/4 cup Each diced celery and onion 50 mL
  • 1 lb mushrooms, finely chopped 500 mL
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 4
  • 1/2 cup dry bread crumbs 125 mL
  • 1/4 cup Each grated Parmesan cheese and ketchup 50 mL
  • 1 tsp Each dried basil and oregano 5 mL
  • 1 cup grated mozzarella, divided or crumbled feta 250 mL

Directions:

Cut peppers in half lengthwise and scoop out seeds.

In large skillet, heat oil over medium heat, saute celery and onion for 1-2 minutes, or until softened. Add mushrooms and saute another 3-4 minutes or until starting to brown; stir in garlic and remove from heat.

Stir in breadcrumbs, Parmesan, ketchup, basil, oregano and half the mozzarella. Spoon mixture into peppers and place in shallow baking pan or casserole.

Bake 15 -18 minutes in 400 F (200 C) oven or until peppers are tender; sprinkle with remaining mozzarella. Return to oven 1-2 minutes just to melt cheese.

Tip: Chop celery, onion and mushrooms in food processor to save time.

Microwave Method: Place stuffed peppers in shallow microwaveable casserole, cover and cook on high for 5-8 minutes or until softened and heated through (time varies depending on size of peppers and wattage of oven) top with cheese and microwave on medium for 1-2 minutes to melt cheese.

For more delicious recipe ideas visit Mushrooms Canada at www.mushrooms.ca.

Serving Size: Makes 4 Servings


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