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Public invited to upcoming Cancer Center Kitchen Therapy session
lif MCA kitchen therapy
Gloria Siefkes, R.N., serves up samples at a recent Cancer Center Kitchen Therapy presentation at St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center. - photo by COURTESY PHOTO

Gloria Siefkes, R.N., has been involved in Cancer Center Kitchen Therapy for only a short time but already is impressed.
Kitchen Therapy is a monthly Midwest Cancer Alliance (MCA) program offered at St. Rose Ambulatory & Surgery Center to provide healthy cooking tips for people whose appetites are being affected by cancer treatments and other chronic diseases.
However, Siefkes noted, the information in the interactive television (ITV) setting is valuable for anyone.
The next session is set for noon to 1 p.m. Thursday, March 20 in the basement-level St. Dominic Room at St. Rose. The public is invited to the free presentation.
“The main presenter does a really good job,” said Siefkes, St. Rose facilitator for the classes. “She is not a flashy cook; she just gives good, basic cooking tips. And since she is a dietitian, she has the expertise to teach us how to eat a healthy diet.”
Leigh Wagner, a dietitian at The University of Kansas Medical Center, leads the ITV discussion. Randy Evans, another KU Medical Center dietitian, helps her in the kitchen.
St. Rose is member of MCA, the outreach arm of The University of Kansas Cancer Center.
Siefkes also noted that she and a few local cooks have brought samples of the recipes to the previous events and will do so again. “You can then decide if you like it before cooking it,” she said.
Those who try the recipes could win a prize such as a cookbook, apron or $25 Walmart gift card. To enter the contest, let MCA know how the creations turned out and post photos on its Facebook page,, or send an email to
The following recipes were shared at previous Kitchen Therapy events. For more recipes, visit

Vegetable Chili with Portobello Mushrooms

Recipe adapted by Leigh Wagner

• 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil, organic butter, ghee
• 1 medium red onion, chopped (If desired, reserve some for topping prepared soup)
• 3 cloves garlic, chopped
• 2 Tablespoons chili powder
• 2 teaspoons ground cumin
• 1 poblano chile pepper, seeded and diced
• 2 portobello mushrooms, stemmed and chopped
• 2 cups frozen corn (preferably organic), thawed
• 2 14-ounce cans no-salt-added pinto beans
• 1 14-ounce can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
• ¾ teaspoon Sea salt, or to-taste (may use seasoning salt, such as Herbamare*)
• ½ teaspoon black pepper, or to-taste
Optional additions: Greek Yogurt, Diced Fresh Tomato and/or Cilantro
Optional: Serve with warmed corn, teff, rice tortillas

1. Heat oil in large pot over medium heat. Add all but a few Tablespoons of the chopped red onion. Stir in garlic, chili powder and cumin and cook stirring occasionally, until the onion begins to soften, about 3 minutes.
2. Add the poblano, mushrooms and corn and cook, stirring occasionally, until just tender, about 3 more minutes.
3. Add beans, tomatoes, 1 ½ cups water and ¾ teaspoon salt or Herbamare & ½ teaspoon pepper.
4. Bring to a boil then stir and reduce heat to medium. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are tender and the chili thickens, about 20 minutes. If needed, adjust salt/pepper.
5. Divide chili among bowls. Top with desired toppings
*Herbamare is an herb blend created by Alfred Vogel who was a Swiss phytotherapist, nutritionist and writer. It’s sold at Whole Foods, online or other natural foods stores.