Sometimes seeing (and tasting) is believing!

This week, the dietitians here at Grand River Hospital were excited to welcome Chef Leslie Cairns to a cooking demonstration of wonderful kidney-friendly foods. Leslie is the chef behind the recipes in the last two Spice It Up! cookbooks ( and in addition to being a fantastic chef, she has a degree in nutrition. I don’t know about you, but I am always drawn to recipes that have pictures – that way I know that I’m on the right track! Fortunately, we have a renal pharmacist, Vivian Ng, who is a gifted photographer so we have some pretty pictures to go along with the recipes.

Do you ever look at a recipe and feel sceptical that the final product will come together the way it claims? I’m not sure I would have tried the recipe below but I was blown away by how easy and good it was. This tortilla pizza below was the favourite recipe from this week’s cooking demonstration and it was so good that I’ve already made it at home (I didn’t have tortillas but used a regular thin pizza crust and it was perfect). The pesto on the pizza makes a phenomenal pasta sauce that is an easy, no-cook, low potassium alternative to tomato sauce. If you’re using pre-made roasted red peppers (which I did) look for the lowest sodium brand you can find at your grocery store. Stay tuned for more recipes from this cooking demo coming up!

Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.

Tortilla Pizza with roasted red pepper pesto, shrimp, and basil (2 servings*)
8 large shrimp (31/40 count), peeled, deveined, and tail removed
1/4 cup vidalia onion, sliced
6 basil leaves, roughly chopped or torn
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, grated
2 flour tortillas

For the pesto:
1 roasted red pepper
1 garlic clove
1 tablespoons lemon juice
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 teaspoon grated parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 425F (conventional oven). Place all pesto ingredients in a food processor or blender and puree. Place flour tortillas on a cookie sheet. Divide the roasted red pepper pesto between the 2 tortillas
and spread to cover the surface. Add the onions and basil.Sprinkle with mozzarella cheese. Slice shrimp in half lengthwise and place on top of the pizzas. Bake for approximately 10 minutes or until tortillas crisp and turn golden brown and the shrimp turn pink in colour.

* Renal exchange: 2 Protein, 2 Starch, 1 Veg
If you have diabetes: 1 serving = 2 Carb Choices

Calories  246Kcal
Proteins  19g
Carbohydrates  26g
Fibre  2g
Total Fat  11g
Sodium  314mg
Potassium  305mg
Phosphorus  238mg

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