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Sheet Pan Smarts for the Kidney Diet
Putting together a tasty meal using only one pan is the ultimate in convenience for the home cook. Not only are sheet pan meals quick to prepare, clean-up is a breeze. With new on-line recipes coming out every day, sheet pan meals have never been so popular. Here’s a breakdown of the basics when it comes to preparing sheet pan meals as well as tips for choosing appropriate food options for your kidney diet.
Tools of the Trade
- Sheet pan. A standard 13 x 18 inch aluminum sheet pan also knowns as a baking pan. Smaller sheet pans can be used when cooking in small batches.
- Space matters. The difference between steaming and roasting is how close the vegetables are on the sheet pan. The metal sheet will disperse the heat evenly. Why use a low rimmed sheet pan? Glass baking dishes with higher sides hold in moisture and tend to steam ingredients instead of roasting.
- Spatula. A thin-metal slotted spatula is useful so you can scrape the vegetables off without leaving the tasty caramelization behind. Avoid plastic and thick metal that can smoosh instead of scrape.
- Metal tongs. Tongs work well to turn larger items such as cobs of corn or pieces of meat during roasting.
The Right Cut
It is important to cut vegetables into the same size pieces. This insures they will cook evenly. Your recipe may tell you the preferred size and shape to cut the vegetables. For example, the recipe may call for a julienned cut or ½-inch pieces. If you are planning multiple meals, you can prepare vegetables ahead of time and store them in the refrigerator until ready to roast.
Lower Potassium Vegetables
Root vegetables are great for roasting because they are typically dense, which will help them maintain their texture and roasting brings out their sweet flavor. However root vegetables such as sweet and regular potatoes can be high in potassium. If your diet includes a potassium restriction, some root vegetables are still a good option for roasting. Root vegetable options with lower potassium contents can be substituted for potatoes. These include carrots, turnips and parsnips (parsnips are 286 mg potassium per ½ cup). If you choose to use potatoes, soak or double boil them to reduce the potassium content. See this article “ Lowering Potassium in Potatoes ” from DaVita.com for directions.
More great lower potassium vegetable options include: eggplant, cabbage “steaks”, asparagus, green beans, cauliflower, peppers and onions. These options are under 250 mg Potassium per ½ cup.
Tricks for the Treats
Using just enough oil to coat the food will help prevent it from getting stuck to the sheet pan. Once fully roasted the veggies should flip easily as the edges sear.
Warm home-cooked meals are best when topped with a fresh garnish. Chives, herbs, lemon or lime wedges and artfully drizzled vinaigrettes are tasty low-sodium choices. Bonus, the right presentation adds taste, texture and will be a feast for your eyes as well.
Serve these one-pan dinners family-style for even easier clean up.
- Roasted Vegetable Salad
- Sheet Pan Sirloin Tips with Summer Squash and Pineapple
- Roasted Cauliflower with Rosemary
- Sheet Pan Salmon and Green Beans
- Sheet Pan Pork Chops with Garden Vegetables
Download the newest Today’s Kidney Diet Roasted Recipes cookbook and enjoy the new sheet pan recipes and photos. Enjoy!
Additional Kidney Diet Resources
- Visit DaVita.com and explore these diet and nutrition resources:
- DaVita Diet Helper online meal planner and tracker
- DaVita Kidney-Friendly recipes
- Today’s Kidney Diet cookbooks
- Diet and Nutrition articles
- Kidney Diet and Nutrition Hub
- Kidney Smart® Classes taught by kidney experts in your area
This article is for informational purposes only and is not a substitute for medical advice or treatment. Consult your physician and dietitian regarding your specific diagnosis, treatment, diet and health questions.