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Spring Warmers
On these cold nights there is nothing better than warm, comforting foods, soups, stews and casseroles. But arn't these meals full of salt, potassium and fluid? So as a renal patient what can you eat on a cold blustery day? Here's your brief guide to some warming dishes for the colder months.
First of all soups. Tinned and packet varieties are very high in salt and so are not recommended if you are restricting this. They can also be high in potassium so why not try making your own?
Try frying about 400g of vegetables (either one of or a combination of onion, carrot, celery, cauliflower for example), flavour with pepper and herbs such as parsley, bayleaf, coriander or mixed herbs and simmer in 500ml water for about 30-40 minutes. Once liquidised (or left chunky if you prefer)
This will make enough for 4 servings. You could try adding curry powder and rice for a more filling mulligatawny soup or oregano and pasta for a minestrone soup. Just remember to have the soup as part of your fluid allowance, not in addition to, and count one portion of soup as one vegetable or fruit portion if you are restricting your potassium.
For stews and casseroles again avoid seasoning with salt and use pepper, herbs and spices. Rosemary goes very well with lamb and thyme or tarragon is lovely with chicken. See below for some more ideas on flavours:

Bay LeavesUse in soups and stews. Forms part of a bouquet garni together with thyme and parsley which is great in stews.
OreganoGives a lovely Mediterranean flavour to soups and stews.
MarjoramSimilar to oregano but milder.
ParsleyGoes well with most meats and fish.
RosemaryWorks particularly well with lamb, veal and pork.
SageUsed to season pork, poultry and veal. Has a strong flavour so best used sparingly.
TarragonLovely with chicken and fish. Cooking for a long time can impair its flavour so its best added at the end.
CorianderHas a distinctive flavour and is often used in Asian dishes. Commonly used to flavour carrot soup.

To keep the potassium content down make sure vegetables, particularly potatoes, are pre-boiled and well drained before adding to the dish and if you are having potatoes or tomatoes within the stew don't serve with extra potatoes. How about rice or some crusty bread. Once again do not forget to include any liquid from your stew as part of your fluid allowance.
And finally to complete winter supper how about a baked apple or pear filled with a little apricot or blackberry jam or some warming apple crumble. Just right for a cold night!

For some more ideas or information on recipes contact your Renal Dietitians who supplied this article.

Bon Appetite!