Thursday, October 30, 2014

Stuffed Pork Chops and Polenta

Thank goodness two of our fall favorites are low in potassium and phosphorus for a renal diet: pork and apples!  This recipe turned out to be pretty tasty, even minus any salt.  Of course, if you are not on a low sodium diet, feel free to season with salt.

Stuffed Pork Chops


  • 3 tablespoons chopped onion
  • 2 medium Haralson apples, diced finely (or other hard and tart apple)
  • 2 teaspoons minced parsley
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon caraway seeds
  • 4 pork chops (I used boneless)
  • In a pan with a tablespoon of butter saute apples, onion, and caraway until tender.  Remove from heat and add in parsley and a little pepper (and salt if you can have it).
  • Cut a pocket in each chop by making a horizontal slit through the meat, but don't puncture the other sides.  
  • Heat a large pan with 1 tablespoon of oil over medium-high heat.  Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  • Stuff each pork chop with the apple mixture and secure closed with two toothpicks each. Season with pepper (and salt, if you can).
  • Searing each side of the pork chop in the oil, about 2-3 minutes a side.
  • Transfer pork chops to a baking dish if your pan can't go in the oven.  Bake at 350 for about 15-20 minutes.  Use a meat thermometer and take the pork chops out of the oven when it reads 145 degrees.
  • Cover with foil and let rest at least 5 minutes.  Remove toothpicks and enjoy!
I served them with polenta sprinkled with a little bit of Parmesan, and green beans.  

Renal Diet: Support FDA in Nutrition Labeling Changes

As many of you know Charlie is in kidney failure, so that means we are fallowing a renal diet. Renal diets turn everything you know about healthy eating upside down.  No more whole grains, rather white bread, white rice, and pasta are your friends. You have to be super strict about your phosphorus, potassium, and sodium.  Everything has some amount of phosphorus and potassium.  We are really tired of conventional stores and where all the places potassium is hidden.  If you don't buy organic meat, go look at the wrapper.  I can almost promise that they inject that pork chop with potassium and sodium to make the shelf life longer, and more appealing in color.  Now we are member-owners of Valley Natural Foods, and buy most of our items there, as most items do not have added potassium.  Please join me in supporting the FDA in changing their nutrition labels to require manufactures to put in the amount of potassium.  This is not only important to those with kidney issues, but heart as well!

Monday, October 13, 2014


This was a pretty tasty quick-fix meal.  You can get it on the table in 30 minutes flat, and is a great way to use up those last fall veggies from the garden before the frost hits.  This is an adaptation from the Curry Grilled Vegetables with Chickpeas and Creamy Polenta. Sorry I didn't get a nice picture before I ate all of it, so you have a picture of my lunch leftovers.



  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups low sodium chicken stock
  • 1 cup polenta
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 3 small summer squash, diced
  • 1 red pepper, diced
  • 1/4 yellow onion, diced
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 teaspoons curry power
  • 1-2 teaspoons  zatar seasoning
  • 1 lemon juiced
  • cilantro or parsley chopped
  • feta or cheese on hand
  1. Bring water and broth to a boil.  Stir in polenta; cook until polenta begins to thicken. Cover and reduce heat to lowest setting.  Simmer polenta for 25 minutes, stirring and scraping the pan bottom and sides every 8-10 minutes. Remove from heat and stir in butter. 
  2. Over medium heat heat olive oil, sauté summer squash, red pepper, onion and garlic cloves.  Once softened add spices and add chickpeas until warmed. Remove from heat and add the lemon juice.
  3. Spoon polenta into a bowl, top with vegetables, sprinkle with cheese and herbs.  Enjoy!
  4. Since we are trying to reduce our sodium, I did now add salt, and I rinsed the chickpeas and soaked them in water while the polenta was cooking.