Written by OCI Grad Justin Tomomatsu when he was still an OCI student

Here is one of my favorite recipes from my blog (Chemo Tastes Bad).  I began to write my blog for my father who had contracted cancer. After the first chemo treatment his taste buds begun to change and the flavors that he once loved became tasteless to him.  Also the feeling in his mouth had completely changed, hard food was hard to swallow and chew.  Then let’s add in the fact he had lost a ton of weight and need to gain some pounds without giving him a heart attack.  Being a cook, I thought, “This sucks!” and, “I should do something about this!” So I created a blog that shows recipes that anyone can create for food that is delicious and nutrient packed.  I wanted the food to be soft and easy to swallow and by researching I found all sorts of little tidbits on what foods could help fight cancer. 

Twice braised beef short ribs served with roasted cauliflower mashed potatoes and sautéed spinach. 

This dish is one of my favorites and it packs a ton of flavor.  It is not certainly one of the lowest in fat, but with the use the right portion control there should be no worries.  The slow braised beef gives a great mouth feel and is easy to swallow.  The roasted cauliflower mashed potatoes are delicious and it does have more nutrients than your average mashed potatoes.  By adding in the spinach, you’re only placing phytochemicals and potassium in your system that will help in cancer-fighting chemicals.

Serves 4 portions

Beef short ribs

  • 4 bone in beef short ribs
  • 1 onion, large dice
  • 2 carrots, large dice
  • 2 stalks celery, large dice
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 2 qts. Beef or veal stock
  • 4 tb. Harrissa
  • 4 springs thyme
  • 2 springs rosemary
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 stick of cinnamon

Cauliflower mashed potatoes

  • 6 russet potatoes
  • 1 head of cauliflower
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 pint heavy cream
  • ¼ cup unsalted butter

Sautéed spinach

  • 1 # spinach
  • 1 shallot, mince
  • 1 tb soy sauce
  • 2 tb balsamic vinegar


  • Season all your food.
  • Preheat oven to 325 degrees
  • Season short with salt and pepper, heat a pan with some olive oil and sear all sides of short ribs.  Take out of pan and set aside.
  • Place pan back on heat and add vegetables and sauté until translucent deglaze with wine.
  • Once wine has reduce by half, and then add stock.  Heats until simmering add stock to roasting pan and place short ribs on top presentation side up.  Add water to fill liquid level to half way up the ribs.
  • Throw in herbs and cover with parchment paper and foil.
  • Place in oven and cook for three hours at 350 degrees.
  • After three hours take out the ribs and set aside.  With a strainer lined with cheese cloth strain liquid and place back into pan, add harrissa and stir into stock place back in the short ribs and cook at 300 degrees for two hours.  Allow short ribs to rest for 10 min pan before service.
  • During this process take your potatoes peel and cut into large dice and place in water with a sprinkle of salt heat slowly to simmer.  Cook until fork can go through.
  • Cut cauliflower into florets and colt with olive oil and season with salt.  Place in the oven and cook until tops begin to brown.
  • In a pot add heavy cream, butter and cauliflower.  Reduce to half add in mash potatoes and garlic and mash together until creamy texture.
  • In a pan take shallot and sauté until soft add in spinach and cook for 1 min.
  • Add in soy sauce and vinegar, stir until spinach has wilted
  • Put it all together with an even portion of everything.
  • Enjoy with a glass of red wine and relax.

Red wine

Red wine is a rich source of biologically active phytochemicals. Particular compounds called polyphenols found in red wine, such as catechins and resveratrol, are thought to have antioxidant or anticancer properties.

Swiss Chard, Spinach, and Kale Nutrients

This food is low in saturated fat, and very low in cholesterol. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, protein, thiamin, riboflavin, folate, iron, magnesium and phosphorus, and a very good source of vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, vitamin B6, calcium, potassium, copper and manganese.

Follow Justin’s blog at http://chemotastesbad.wordpress.com/