COVID-19: For information related to COVID-19 (formerly referred to as “novel coronavirus"), visit

VCU Massey Cancer Center


Recipe corner: minestrone and winter apple slaw

Seasonal produce is plentiful during the winter months. Delicious options include apples, carrots, cabbage, potatoes, squash and more. Combining all of your favorite ingredients into a savory soup or a colorful side dish is an easy way to maintain your nutritional needs and ensure that you are consuming a variety of healthy foods.



  • 4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 2 medium carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 medium ribs celery, chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 2 cups chopped seasonal vegetables (potatoes, yellow squash, zucchini, butternut squash, green beans or peas)
  • 4 cloves garlic, pressed or minced
  • ½ teaspoon dried oregano
  • ½ teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1 large can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes with their liquid
  • 4 cups (32 ounces) vegetable broth
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 teaspoon fine seas salt
  • 2 bay leaves
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup whole grain elbow or small shell pasta
  • 1 can (15 ounces) Great Northern beans, rinsed and drained or 1 ½ cups cooked beans
  • 2 cups baby spinach, chopped kale or chopped collard greens
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Freshly grated parmesan cheese, for garnishing (optional)

In a large Dutch oven or stock pot over medium heat warm 3 tablespoons of olive oil. Once oil is simmering add chopped onion, carrot, celery, tomato paste and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring frequently, until the vegetables have softened and onions are translucent, about 7-10 minutes. Add your choice of seasonal vegetables, garlic, oregano and thyme. Cook for an additional 2 minutes. Mix in diced tomatoes and their juices, broth and water. Add salt, bay leaves and red pepper flakes. Season to taste with freshly ground black pepper. Increase heat to medium-high and bring the mixture to a boil, then partially cover the pot with your lid, leaving enough room for steam to escape. Reduce heat as needed to maintain a gentle simmer. Cook for 15 minutes, then remove the lid and add the pasta, beans and greens. Let the soup continue to simmer uncovered for 20 minutes or until the pasta is cooked and greens are tender. Remove the pot from the heat and remove the bay leaves. Stir in lemon juice and remaining tablespoon of olive oil. Garnish bowls of soup with grated parmesan if you would like and enjoy!


Winter Apple Slaw


  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon raw honey
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 small purple cabbage, cored and sliced into small strips (about 2 cups)
  • 8 radishes, finely sliced and coarsely chopped
  • 2 medium tart crisp apples (suggest Granny Smith)
  • ½ cup chopped cilantro
  • Sea salt and pepper, to taste

In a large bowl whisk together olive oil, mustard, honey and lime juice to make the dressing. Next, toss chopped cabbage, radish and apples into the bowl with your dressing. Feel free to use your hands to thoroughly toss the ingredients. Add salt and pepper to taste. Cover and chill for an hour. Mix in the chopped cilantro right before serving. This recipe is best served and eaten within a day.


Recipes prepared by Allie Farley, M.S., R.D., L.D., registered dietitian at VCU Health based on inspiration from Visit Allie's blog on Diet and Nutrition for more recipes and information about the role that diet plays in cancer.

Written by: Massey Communications Office

Posted on: December 14, 2018

Category: Diet and Nutrition