Friday, April 24, 2015

The Friday Five: Cooking For My Kidneys

  Happy Friday, my friends!
  Most weeknights, our local news is followed by eTalk, a Canadian-based entertainment show.  On Fridays, they have a segment called ... wait for it ... The Friday Five.  It's made up of their favourite clips and stories from the past week.  I have lots of favourite things, so I thought, "Why not do my own Friday Five and share my favourite things?".
  This week's theme is "Cooking for my Kidneys", and I'm using it to introduce my upcoming series of posts "In The Kidney Kitchen".  I love to eat, but my kidney failure has necessitated some changes to my diet.  However, as you will learn, I have found many ways to follow my kidney diet and still eat really well.  And one of my strategies involves the use of the following products.

5.  Campbell's No-Salt Added Broths
Available in beef, chicken and vegetable, these ready-to-use broths have only a fraction of sodium of the original versions.  For example, the NSA chicken broth has only 40mg of sodium per 150 mL serviing, compared to 380mg in the 30% Less Sodium and Organic versions, and 570 mg in the Original version.  That's a HUGE difference!
4. Rice Dream Unfortified Rice Beverage
I LOVE this stuff! I've been looking for a low potassium, low phosphorous, low protein dairy substitute since I found out I had to start following a renal diet, and this is it! I use this anytime I make a recipe that calls for milk or cream, and I haven't found that there isn't any difference to the taste. Some of my favourite uses are French toast, scrambled eggs and my new favourite alfredo sauce.

3. Unsalted Corn Nuts
One of the things that is tricky to find when you're on a renal diet is a good, munchy snack. But if you look around, there are things you can find that are suitable. One of my new favourites is unsalted corn nuts. I buy them in bulk at Bulk Barn. They're great on their own straight from the bag, but I'm working on adapting my favourite honey-glazed snack mix recipe to make honey-glazed corn nuts. You could probably also use them in places of nuts in homemade Poppycock. (Note: they don't work so well as a nut substitute in butter tarts though, unless you eat all the tarts as soon as you bake them - after sitting for a few days the corn nuts get really tough.)

1. Clubhouse No-Salt Original Seasoning Blend & Epicure Fine Herbes Seasoning Blend
I couldn't decide which of these products I liked best, so I'm giving them a tie for first place. Seasoning with salt on a renal diet is not an option, but I don't care for the Mrs. Dash seasonings (one of the first ingredients in all of the blends is black pepper, which I not only don't like but which also gives me heartburn). I'm also not good at creating my own blends. So I've been looking for other options. The first one I found was the Epicure Fine Herbes blend. It's SO good! I haven't found anything that it doesn't taste good in. This morning I used it to add flavour to a creamy omelet filling with crab and mushrooms - YUM! Then I found the Clubhouse No-Salt blend. It's got pretty much the same herbs and spices as the Mrs. Dash table blend without the black pepper. Perfect! There's also a garlic and herb and an herb and pepper blend.

I hope you've enjoyed this first look at some of my favourite things.  I'm looking forward to being able to share more in the coming weeks!

Until next time,

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