Happy World Kidney Day!

The theme of the 2010 World Kidney Day is Diabetes – the leading cause of chronic kidney disease worldwide. March also happens to be nutrition month so I want to talk a bit about nutrition and diabetes.

I have been away from work for the past several weeks and as I returned this week I was asked if it would be inappropriate to celebrate World Kidney Day at our hospital by giving out cookies – since the theme this year is diabetes and we should be telling people to avoid sugar. While there is definitely some merit to this idea, I think it’s important that we don’t oversimplify this very complicated disease. Avoiding sugar alone is not going to prevent or control diabetes. In fact it is more important to achieve and maintain a healthy weight to prevent diabetes. For those individuals who have diabetes it is critical to focus on portion control, regular meals and carbohydrate counting. The key is really balance. Canada’s Food Guide is a very useful tool to help you get started on a balanced track to healthy eating. For people with kidney disease and diabetes check out the tools on this website and be sure to see a dietitian who can design a diet just for you.

I am delighted to see that the new nutrition fact sheets are available on the Kidney Foundation website and hope you will take a look at these new resources.

So in the spirit of World Kidney Day I am including some extremely healthy recipes that are also delicious!

Warm Mushroom Salad With Watercress
4 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
1/2 tsp thyme
1/2 cup sliced mushrooms
1/2 c shallots
4 cups mixed greens (including watercress)

Sauté mushrooms and shallots in olive oil. Season with thyme and finish with balsamic vinegar. Serve over a bed of greens.

Broiled Red Snapper with Herb Pesto
15 oz red snapper
Herb Pesto:
2 cups herbs (basil, parsley, cilantro mint)
2 garlic cloves
¼ cup olive oil
2 tbsp limejuice

Pulse all Pesto ingredients in a blender until smooth. If you don’t have a blender, finely chop the herbs & garlic and whisk in oil and limejuice to blend. Set the oven temperature dial to broil. Generously coat snapper fillets with pesto and broil for approximately 10 minutes or until fish flakes.

Fragrant Basmati Rice
1 cup basmati rice
2 tsp olive oil
1 bay leaf
1/2 tsp turmeric
1 1/2 cup water
cinnamon stick

Heat oil in sauce pan. Add rice and spices and toast slightly. Add water. Bring to a boil. Cover and simmer for approximately 15 minutes.

Recipes developed by Chef Leslie Cairns

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