Happy Spring!

This has felt like a very long winter to me and in Southern Ontario at least, spring has been a very long time coming. So as the weather gets nicer and the birds start chirping I start to get tired of soups and stews and all of my favourite winter foods and start looking for a change!

The other day someone asked me what this blog is all about – is it about food or nutrition he asked.  This question took me a bit by surprise because generally I think it’s pretty hard to separate the two. And hopefully this blog tends to be about both.  Because (to steal someone’s line) we don’t eat nutrition, we eat food. We just need to make sure the food we eat provides the nutrition we need without a lot of stuff we don’t need!  And this is even more challenging for someone with chronic kidney disease who has a long list of nutrients to avoid! Often that means enlisting the help of a registered dietitian who can help you design a diet that fits your needs! And be prepared that the recommendations might change if your health or medications change.

I’m excited to tell you that there is a new renal-friendly Spice It Up! cookbook available in dialysis units, Kidney Foundation offices and online. If you’d like to check it out – go to www.myspiceitup.ca.

So in the spirit of the coming spring, warm weather and barbeque season here is my favourite coleslaw recipe. Most commercial dressings are loaded with sodium – especially since most people use way more than the 1tbsp serving size listed on the bottle. This was my grandmother’s recipe and shockingly there’s no salt in it. Unlike the traditional creamy dressings this one is very light-tasting. It’s incredibly easy and hopefully I won’t upset my father when I tell you that this is one of the only things he cooks! If you don’t have the time or energy to shred or chop the cabbage, buy the pre-shredded coleslaw blend available in your supermarket.

My Favorite Coleslaw Recipe
1 head cabbage, shredded or chopped
1 carrot, grated

1/3 cup white vinegar (or try with half white vinegar and half apple cider or raspberry vinegar)
1/3 cup white sugar
1/3 cup canola oil (or less)
1 tsp celery seed
In small saucepan bring the dressing ingredients to a boil on high heat while stirring constantly. Remove from heat and pour over prepared vegetables. Toss to mix, cover and refrigerate. Salad is best if made early in day or the night before and keeps well.

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