Healthy Eating Great Picnic Meals for Pre-Dialysis CKD
With the aromas of barbecues in the air in the summer, it’s time to get ready for another great picnic. Even if you have chronic kidney disease (CKD) and your doctor / dietitian gave you pre-dialysis nutritional guidelines to follow, you can still make this next picnic a memorable one.
The primary considerations are that your foods are low protein and low sodium, both easily achievable – and good-tasting as well. Read on for some gourmet menu ideas that will more than satisfy your taste buds and create a little wonder and amazement at what you’re eating from everyone else at the picnic.
Gourmet Burgers Spice Up Any Picnic!
What’s a picnic without burgers? Make up your own with these two sample recipes. The yield allows for others at the picnic to sample them, too!
- 1 pound ground turkey
- 1 bunch green onions, diced finely
- 1 handful fresh cilantro, chopped
- 1 cup carrots, grated finely
- 2 eggs
- 1 red pepper, de-seeded and diced
- 1 cup finely sliced spinach
- 1 teaspoon low-sodium poultry seasoning
- The day before the picnic, slice all vegetables and mix together in a bowl with seasoning and ground turkey. Add eggs. Make into nine burgers and set on plate or inside a container to take with you to the picnic. Cover with tinfoil or lid.
- At the picnic, cook burgers on top of tinfoil or wrap each one inside tinfoil and place on the grill. Cook until done. The purpose of the tinfoil is to prevent the burger from falling apart. This is a very flavorful burger. Add your favorite low-sodium condiments.
- 1 pound grass-fed ground buffalo (or beef)
- 1 sweet onion, diced finely
- ½ tsp ground oregano
- 1 Tablespoon horseradish grated
- 2 eggs
- 2/3 cup low-sodium pineapple tomato salsa
- Make this burger mix the day of your picnic. Mix all ingredients together in a large bowl. Form into nine burgers and stack them with saran wrap in between each other. Wrap the stack with tinfoil, place in a ziplock bag, seal the bag and take to the picnic.
- Once at the picnic, cook the burgers inside tinfoil placed on top of the grill until done. The tinfoil seals the flavor inside each burger. These burgers are known for their ‘bite’. And the great thing is that the horseradish, onions, pineapple and tomatoes are full of phytonutrients that help boost your immunity and clean out your sinuses!
- Serve only with low sodium condiments. One tablespoon of regular mustard or ketchup contains about 168 mg sodium for each although a tablespoon of mayonnaise is less – 105 mg. The low-sodium versions of these foods can make a big difference for your kidney health.
What About Other Picnic Foods?
Since the average white hamburger bun contains 200 mg sodium, you can opt to go even more gourmet than just with the burgers. Simply wrap your cooked burger in lettuce leaves. It’s what some fine restaurants do! Add pineapple tomato salsa on top of the burger if you would like even more of a burst of flavor.
One thing that makes picnics great is many different foods to choose from. When you have CKD, your variety means lots of vegetable and fruit dishes, which are naturally low in sodium. By adding passionate flavors that delight and excite the taste buds to these foods, your picnic guests will look at their own food as boring!
Here are some ideas on how to mix different flavors together in vegetable and fruit dishes:
Apple-Cherry-Coconut- Celery-Fennel Salad
Mix the following ingredients: 1 diced apple, 1 cup pitted cherries, ½ cup coconut flakes (unsweetened), ½ cup diced celery, and ½ cup diced fennel bulb. Sprinkle the juice of one lemon on top. Mix thoroughly and refrigerate ‘til picnic time.
Zucchini-Baby Corns-Baby Lentils-Cherry Tomato Salad
Mix the following ingredients together: 1 diced zucchini, 1 can baby corns drained and rinsed well to cut down on sodium, 2/3 cup baby lentils already cooked, 12 cherry tomatoes, juice of one lime, ½ cup balsamic vinegar, and ¼ cup oil. Refrigerate so flavors will mingle.
Sauerkraut-Rice-Hot Pepper Salad
Mix the following ingredients: 1 cup low-sodium sauerkraut purchased in the refrigerated section at the grocery store, 2 cups steamed short-grain rice, and 2 mild to hot chili peppers that have been de-seeded and diced. Refrigerate so that flavors will mix overnight.
Hot peppers contain capsaicin, excellent for heart health. The sauerkraut lowers the Glycemic Index of the meal so that just in case you cheat with a dessert you shouldn’t have, the damage won’t be so bad. Sauerkraut also is full of probiotics that help your digestive system as well.
Learn more about recipes for every day meals using our predialysis meal plan and know what to do for your entire day. We have recipes that are made for dinner, and options for the entire day of meals. Click here and learn more about our pre-dialysis meal planning.
Also published on Medium.