Tis the season…

… for getting together with family and friends and celebrating the holiday. Christmas get-togethers always end up being about the food and as I plan for my own Christmas celebrations I always start with the menu! I’ve been told by my patients that following the renal diet over the holidays is extra difficult, whether it is because you’re eating out and can’t control the food or because Christmas just isn’t Christmas without nuts and chocolate!

It’s funny how our holiday traditions often center around food and when I think of Christmas from my childhood it is the smell of turkey I think of most of all.

For many, Christmas day begins with a big brunch! Unfortunately many traditional brunch items (ham, sausage, bacon) are not great choices for a kidney patient so here are some quick and delicious recipes for a festive holiday brunch. The mini Yorkshire puddings with roast beef are so easy and tasty – if you’re tired of sandwiches these are for you (and you won’t miss the processed meats)! The Apple Cranberry Cake is a simple recipe that can be sliced into wedges and served alongside the more traditional shortbread and sugar cookies.

I wish all of you a happy and healthy holiday season!

Mushroom and Egg Pie (8 servings)
9″ pre-made pastry shell
8-10 eggs (depending on depth of shell)
½ cup sautéed mushrooms
½ cup sautéed leeks
1 tbsp olive oil
2 tbsp grated parmesan cheese
black pepper
fresh thyme

Preheat oven to 350°F. Rinse leeks well to remove sand. Chop. Sauté mushrooms and leeks in 1 tbsp olive oil. Season with fresh thyme and black pepper. Sprinkle mushrooms and onions in bottom of pastry shell. Whisk together eggs and cheese and pour over mushroom mixture. Bake for approximately 30 minutes until set.

1 serving = 1 protein, ½ starch, 2 fat


  • Use peppers in place of mushrooms
  • Make in tart shells for a snack or appetizer

Mini Yorkshire Puddings with Roast Beef
Choose whichever beef roast appeals to you. An “oven roast” works best. If you want a truly spectacular result try tenderloin. Rub roast with your favourite fresh herbs and coarsely ground black peppercorns.  Roast beef at 350°F for approximately 20 minutes per pound for a medium doneness. The roast will continue to cook slightly after it has been removed from the oven. Tent with aluminum foil until ready to slice and serve.

Yorkshire Pudding (24 mini puddings or 12 regular)
1 cup all purpose flour
1 cup milk
2 eggs
vegetable oil

Mix the first three ingredients with hand blender until smooth. Refrigerate mixture for 30 minutes. Preheat oven to 425°F. Fill bottom of muffin tins with vegetable oil (just enough to cover the bottom). Heat in oven for approximately 10 minutes or until oil is starts smoking. Fill muffin tins 3/4 full with yorkie mixture. Bake until golden….. approximately 15 minutes. Serve hot topped with a slice of beef and a dollop of mustard or horseradish.

2 yorkies = 1 protein, 1 starch
1 ounce beef = 1 protein

Serving Suggestion:
Thinly sliced roast beef plus a dollop of Dijon mustard on top of the yorkie makes a great sandwich! Makes a great low potassium alternative to potatoes

Apple-Cranberry Cake (serves 12)
1/3 cup butter
3/4 cup sugar
2 eggs
1 1/2 cup all purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
zest of 1 lemon
2/3 cup yogurt (plain)
1 cup cranberries (fresh or frozen)
2 apples (peeled and sliced)
1/2 cup brown sugar
1 1/2 tsp cinnamon

Preheat oven to 350°F. Line a 10″ cake pan with parchment. Beat butter and sugar together. Add eggs one at a time. Alternate adding sifted dry ingredients and yogurt. Spread half of batter in cake pan. Arrange cranberries on top and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Spread remaining batter over top. Arrange apple slices and sprinkle with brown sugar and cinnamon. Bake for 50-60 minutes.

Recipe developed by Chef Leslie Cairns

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