Celebrate the 4th of July with this Kidney-Friendly Menu

June 30, 2022, 3:40pm EDT

Group cheering at family cookout

4th of July means it’s time to break out the grill, bake some pie, and get ready to watch stunning firework displays. If you’re scrambling to find kidney-friendly recipes that will also wow your friends and families, look no further. Here is a four-course meal to inspire your next cookout. 

Appetizer: apple cranberry walnut salad

Break the summer heat with this fresh, fruity summer salad. Crispy and bursting with sweetness, this delightful salad is appropriate for people with diabetes; CKD Stage 1, 2; CKD Stage 3, 4; those on dialysis and CKD Stage 5, and kidney transplant recipients.

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups red seedless grapes, each grape sliced in half
  • 1⅓ cups walnut halves, chopped into small pea-size pieces
  • 1- 6-ounce package Pomegranate Infused Ocean Spray Dried Cranberries
  • 4 stalks of celery, chopped into quarter-inch pieces
  • 7 medium-sized Gala apples with skin on
  • 8 fluid ounce bottle of Maple Grove Farms of Vermont Fat-Free Cranberry Balsamic Dressing

What to do:

  1. Rinse a cluster of red grapes and separate grapes from the stem. Use a paring knife and slice each grape in half. Place sliced grapes into an extra-large mixing bowl.
  2. Measure walnut halves into a measuring cup. Chop nuts into pea-size pieces or put walnuts in a plastic sandwich baggie, seal and use the bottom of the 1 cup measure to gently press on the walnuts to break them. Add chopped nuts to the mixing bowl with the sliced red grapes.
  3. Add one 6-ounce bag of dried pomegranate-infused cranberries to the grape and walnut mixture.
  4. Rinse, clean and chop the celery into quarter-inch pieces, and add to the grape, walnut, and dried cranberry mixture.
  5. Rinse the seven gala apples, slice them in half vertically and core the apples. Make 5 apple wedges and then slice the wedges into bite-size, quarter pieces. Add chopped apple pieces to the rest of the mixture.
  6. Pour the bottle of cranberry dressing over the entire mixture. Stir the ingredients making sure that the dressing is incorporated and covers all of the ingredients. Chill and serve.

Get the full recipe, serving size, and nutritional information here

Main course: grilled sesame chicken

Heads are sure to turn once these chicken breasts hit the grill- the smell alone will have them drooling! You won’t have to hold them off for long, though; this meat takes only 10 minutes to cook to perfection. The soy sauce mixture does most of the work, helping transform a plain piece of chicken into a tender, juicy masterpiece. This grilled chicken is appropriate for people with diabetes; CKD Stage 1, 2; those on dialysis and CKD Stage 5, and kidney transplant recipients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 tablespoon sesame seeds, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons grated ginger
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1 tablespoon reduced-sodium soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sherry
  • 4, 4–oz skinned, boned chicken breast halves
  • Vegetable cooking spray

What to do:

  1. Combine the first 5 ingredients in a small bowl and set aside.
  2. Flatten chicken pieces to ¼–inch thickness using a mallet or rolling pin.
  3. Spray grill with cooking spray.
  4. Grill chicken over medium-hot coals for 4 minutes on each side, basting frequently with soy sauce mixture.
  5. Transfer to a serving platter.

Get the full recipe, serving size, and nutritional information here.

Side dish: grilled vegetables

When your guests get a taste of these, they’ll be left marveling at your cooking skills. We’ll leave it up to you whether or not you share the recipe. If your guests are vegetarian or cannot have the chicken above, the mushrooms in this recipe make for a satisfying meat substitute. These grilled veggies are appropriate for people with diabetes; CKD Stage 1, 2; CKD Stage 3, 4; and kidney transplant recipients.

Ingredients:

  • 3 medium zucchinis, sliced
  • 2 heads of anise (fennel), sliced
  • 8 button mushrooms, quartered
  • 4 Roma tomatoes cut into eighths
  • 1 red onion, cut in half, and then sliced
  • 2 tablespoon fresh basil leaves, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon fresh oregano

What to do:

  1. Slice the zucchini, slice the fennel, quarter the mushrooms, cut tomatoes into 8 pieces, slice the onion, shred basil leaves, and toss with thyme and oregano.
  2. In a large mixing bowl add all the vegetables together.  
  3. While your grill is heating to 400° F, oil a grill basket to cook the vegetables in and place the basket on the preheating grill. When the basket is hot add your vegetable mixture to your basket and cook until the vegetables turn golden brown. Remember to stir them every 5 to 7 minutes to allow the browning to occur even with all the vegetables.

Get the full recipe, serving size, and nutritional information here

Dessert: cherry berry pie

No Independence Day cookout could be complete without a pie! This year, skip the premade store-bought ones and try baking this cherry berry pie at home. You may be surprised to find that it is not only healthier but tastes better! This cherry berry pie is appropriate for people with CKD Stage 1, 2; CKD Stage 3, 4; those on dialysis and CKD 5, and kidney transplant recipients.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup canned, unsweetened cherries, drained, juice reserved
  • 1 cup canned unsweetened raspberries, drained, juice reserved
  • ¾ cup of the reserved cherry and raspberry juices (if necessary, add water to make 3/4 cup)
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • ¼ teaspoon almond extract
  • Pastry for 2-crust pie, unbaked

What to do:

  1. In a small saucepan, combine juices, sugar, and cornstarch.
  2. Cook over low heat until thick and clear, stirring often.
  3. Add cherries, raspberries, and almond extract.
  4. Pour into pie shell.
  5. Cover with other pie shells and seal edges.
  6. Make small slits in the top crust to allow steam to escape.
  7. Bake at 450°F for 15 minutes. Reduce heat to 375°F and continue baking for 25 to 30 minutes or until crust is golden brown.

Get the full recipe, serving size, and nutritional information here