Shake Up your BBQ without a Salt Shaker

It’s hard to believe that September is here and summer is almost over!  I thought I’d spend a bit more time talking about salt and sodium since it is such an important issue.  When we talk about eating “renal-friendly” limiting salt is the very first thing that comes to mind!  I recently had several questions about using different rock salts for their healing properties.  Some types of salts are being advertised as “cures” for various ailments and some even claim to “detoxify” your body.  Sea salt is sometimes called a “healthier” salt than table salt.  The bottom line is that salt is sodium regardless of whether it comes from the mountains, the sea or the salt factory and all Canadians (especially those at risk of kidney disease) should not add extra salt to their food.  In fact, because sea salt and rock salt are larger crystals most people need to add more to get the same amount of flavour.

One of the big salt culprits is condiments.  Soy sauce, dips, salad dressings and barbecue sauce can provide your entire day’s worth of sodium.  Check labels closely and choose the products lowest in salt. Or – better yet try making it from scratch.  Most recipes for salad dressings can easily be made without salt.  Try a rub (see below) instead of barbecue sauce for your meat.  Unfortunately salt also comes from foods such as breads, cereals and snack foods.  Even eating a muffin at your local Tim Horton’s can provide half of your daily sodium (a raisin bran muffin contains a shocking 790mg of sodium).  Check out this link for a fun interactive tool to help you see where the salt in your diet comes from: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/special-reports/hard-to-shake/salt-o-meter/article1187915//

The last summer long weekend is often filled with barbecues and get-togethers. If you have been invited out to eat it’s always a good idea to bring something that you know you can eat and if you’re hosting serve up low sodium fare that everyone will enjoy like the recipes below.

Did you know…
“Seasoned” pork or chicken is treated with a sodium phosphate solution that is not only high in sodium but is also a hidden source of phosphorus!

Roasted Vegetable Salad with Arugula and Bocconcini (yields 24 servings)
2 large eggplant diced
2 large zucchini diced
2 red onions diced
3 red peppers diced
1/4 cup olive oil
1 cup mixed herbs
2 tbsp chopped garlic
2 cups bocconcini cheese
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tsp ground black pepper
1 cup arugula
2 tbsp balsamic vinegar

Toss vegetables in olive oil and roast at 350˚F for approximately 45 minutes.   Allow to cool.   Combine roasted vegetables with remaining ingredients and serve. This salad is lovely as a side dish or a perfect light lunch served with fresh bread!

1 serving = 1 vegetable choice, 1 protein choice

Coffee Rubbed Sirloin (yields 6 servings)
2 lb sirloin steak OR 2 unseasoned pork tenderloins
Dry Rub:
2 tsp paprika
2 tsp chili powder
2 tsp ground coffee
2 tsp cumin
2 tsp brown sugar

Massage meat with dry spice rub. (chef’s suggestion – rub all over first with olive oil.)
For Beef: Grill or panfry on medium heat to desired doneness (a one inch steak would take about 16minutes on the grill or 12minutes to panfry to achieve medium doneness)
For pork:  Roast at 325˚F for approximately 25 minutes or until the internal temperature reads 160˚F.   The pork will be cooked to a medium doneness.

One ounce of meat = 1 protein choice

Recipes developed by Chef Leslie Cairns

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