Thursday, April 4, 2013

Adventures in Low Sodium/Low Potassium Cooking. Chicken Alfredo Pizza

It's been almost 2 weeks since one of our kids was diagnosed with stage 3 chronic kidney disease (CKD).  One of the main guidelines for treatment (not cure - there isn't one), is to follow a strict low sodium/ low potassium diet. His doctor isn't worried about tracking phosphorus yet, but that may come also...adding yet another challenge...

Cooking with low sodium isn't a particular's the potassium that is really sneaky.  Nearly all foods have at least some potassium...some quite a bit.  For example, one medium size potato has about 1,000mg of potassium. When you're restricted to 2,000mg a day, well, you can see the problem. Milk products can be high in potassium, tomatoes, chocolate, legumes, whole grains, bananas, cantaloupe, avocados, etc., etc., etc...Add in high sodium food items such as, well, pretty much any processed food (ham, deli meats, packaged foods, etc.), and you can see that eating just anything that sounds good is going to be a challenge.

My first recipe pretty much had to be pizza...since that's one of his favorite foods...and regular pizza has some issues...high sodium in most of the meat choices, and high potassium in tomatoes and milk products.

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

We made these "personal size" so as to be able to have better portion control.

Pizza Crust 
(I wasn't really thinking when I had Danny make the crust - next time I'm going to experiment using 1/2 the salt)

1 cup plus 2 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups bread flour
1 teaspoon sugar
1 teaspoon salt
2 1/2 teaspoons yeast
2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese
1 1/2 teaspoons Mrs. Dash Tomato Basil Garlic blend.

Dump all in the the bread machine on dough setting.  When done, divide into six even pieces, spread out (as thick or thin as you'd like) on a baking sheet, brush lightly with olive oil and sprinkle with 1 teaspoon Parmesan cheese and 1/4 teaspoon Mrs. Dash.  Let rise for about 15 -20 minutes then bake in 375' oven for about 10 minutes.  At this point you can wrap them up and freeze them if you want...or just cover them with a cloth and use later in the day.  Makes 6 8"pizza crusts.

Nutrition (according to MyFitnessPal): per serving: 271 calories, 343mg sodium, 65mg potassium (this number should be a little higher - MFP didn't count potassium in the cheese - add another 2mg per pizza).

Cauliflower Alfredo Sauce
4 teaspoons minced garlic
2 tablespoons butter (salt free if you have it...I didn't)
1 head of cauliflower
water.  lots of water.
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Onion and Herb blend
white pepper (to taste)
1/2 cup milk (I used Rice Dream Original)
1 teaspoon olive oil

1. Leach potassium from the cauliflower. This needs to be started hours ahead of time.  Hours.  I had about 3 hours...4 would have been better. Rinse cauliflower head in warm water for a few seconds. Cut up cauliflower head and soak for a minimum of 2 hours (up to 4 hours) in warm water - using about 10 times the amount of water to the amount of cauliflower.  I just used my biggest pot.  Drain and rinse again.
2. Toss cauliflower in large pot of boiling water (5x the amount of water to the amount of cauliflower), boil, covered, for about 10 minutes or until the cauliflower is fork tender. Do not drain.
3. While cauliflower is cooking, saute minced garlic with butter in a skillet over low heat.  Cook until garlic is soft  - but don't brown it.  Set aside.
4. Using a slotted spoon, ladle cauliflower into your blender.  Add 1 cup of cooking liquid, garlic/butter, 1 teaspoon of Mrs. Dash, Rice Dream, olive oil and white pepper (to taste). Blend until smooth. Makes about 4 cups.

Nutrition (according to MyFitnessPal): per serving (6 servings): 64 calories, 63mg sodium, 259mg potassium (less, because of leaching).

Chicken Alfredo Pizza

1 batch pizza dough
4 cups cauliflower alfredo sauce
2 large chicken breasts, cooked and shredded or diced
1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash Onion and Herb
6 ounces low moisture part skim shredded mozzarella
6 teaspoons Parmesan cheese

1. Prepare crusts, preheat oven to 375'
2. Prepare alfredo sauce.
3. Cook chicken with 1 teaspoon Mrs. Dash.
4. Pour alfredo sauce on each pizza - I used about 1/2 cup each., divide chicken evenly among pizzas, spoon a little more alfredo sauce on, sprinkle one ounce of mozzarella on each pizza, then 1 teaspoon of  parmesan.
5. Bake for about 12 minutes - or until the topping starts to get brown.

Nutrition (not including crust or sauce): I had to use the USDA chart for sodium, Foster Farms for sodium, and for potassium, and MyFitnessPal for calories. 132 calories, about 240mg sodium, 202mg potassium.

Grand total (per serving): 667 calories, 646mg sodium, 526mg potassium.

Verdict:  The alfredo sauce was pretty bland by itself, but when combined with everything else, the sum was greater than the parts. I will definitely be trying the crust with less salt next time - over half the sodium in this pizza comes from the one teaspoon of salt in the crust. I will also be looking for some low potassium veggies to include in the topping such as onions and peppers. I would also like to find out how much potassium is leached out of the cauliflower.


OKTownsends said...

Oh no, I am sorry. That is not going to be easy. My youngest son was diagnosed with Diabetes while on his mission. Type 1 so actually he must control his blood sugar with insulin and not just his diet. Stinks though.

Debbie said...

Chronic illnesses stink. I hope your son is doing okay now - but boy, what a bummer.

My son who's currently on a mission included a little paragraph this week in his email about a random health related incident that he just brushed off...we called his mission and talked to the mission nurse - he'll be seeing a doctor soon. Hopefully his little incident is not indicative of a bigger problem - I don't want to have to deal with two sick boys.