Fall Harvest Orzo Salad


Servings: 8


  • 4 cups cooked orzo, chilled (about 1 2/3 cup dried orzo)
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 2 cups diced apple¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup fresh lemon juice
  • ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons fresh chopped basil
  • ½ cup crumbled blue cheese
  • ¼ cup blanched almonds, chopped


1. In a medium bowl, add all the ingredients except blue cheese and almonds, gently combining until well-incorporated.

2. Transfer the mixture to a serving dish, sprinkle with the crumbled blue cheese and almonds and serve.

PKD Connection

I have exciting news to share! Starting next Monday, Oct. 13, PKD Health Notes will be hosted on the PKD Foundation’s new blog, PKD Connection.

PKD Connection will provide the PKD community a place to gain tips to proactively manage your or your loved one’s health, hear the latest news from the PKD Foundation and have a conversation with other PKD patients and families.

Fiesta Pasta Salad

Portions: 6 Serving size: 1/2 cup

4 ounces bow-tie pasta, uncooked
2 tablespoons red bell pepper
2 tablespoons orange bell pepper
2 tablespoons yellow bell pepper
3 tablespoons red onion
3 tablespoons cucumber
3 tablespoons carrot
1/8 teaspoon black pepper
2/3 cup mayonnaise
1/2 teaspoon sugar
1 tablespoon lemon juice

1. Chop bell peppers, red onion, and cucumbers. Shred carrots.
2. Cook pasta according to package instructions, without salt. Drain and rinse in cold water to cool. Place in a large bowl.
3. Mix prepared vegetables with pasta and mix to combine.
4. In a small bowl, combine remaining ingredients with a whisk, then stir into pasta and vegetables.
5. Chill for at least 1 hour before serving.

Summer Cucumbers

Portions: 6 Serving size: 1/4 cup


– 1 medium cucumber

-1 teaspoon lemon juice

-1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

-1 tablespoon fresh dill weed

-1 tablespoon red onion

-1 teaspoon honey

-1 teaspoon prepared horseradish


1. Peel and dice cucumber. Chop dill weed and onion.

2. Place diced cucumber in a bowl and toss with lemon juice. Set aside.

3. Combine sour cream, dill weed, onion, honey and horseradish in a bowl.

4. Gently mix the cucumber into the sour cream mixture.

Milk Alternatives

I’ve been told that I should avoid/limit milk products. What are my alternatives?

People with Polycystic Kidney Disease (PKD) may have to limit dairy product intake in their kidney diet, at some point in their disease process. Did you know that only 8 ounces (1 cup) of regular milk contains 8 grams of protein, 230 mg of phosphorus, 366 mg (almost 10 Meq) of potassium and 290 mg of calcium. When you might have been placed on a 1000-1200 mg phosphorus restriction and/ or a 60 Meq potassium restriction, this can add up fast. The higher levels of these minerals may not be the best choices for someone trying to limit phosphorus and/or potassium in their daily diets.

Snacks for a Kidney Diet

I’ve been told by my dietitian to eat regular meals and snacks. I have a hard enough time trying to figure out what to eat for meals, much less snacks. What are good choices for someone with kidney disease?

Whether you eat three regular meals, more frequent smaller meals, or your meals seem to blend into the next – for every eating plan out there, snacks can play a major role in a healthy diet. When you have polycystic kidney disease (PKD), whether you’re in the early stages or on dialysis, snacking should be a regular addition to your daily diet. Healthy snacking is key, and will most likely, require a bit of planning.

What to Look for on the Nutrition Facts Label

Key items for people with kidney disease to watch for on a food label may include, but are not limited to: sodium, protein, potassium and phosphorus. Potassium and phosphorus may be listed as percent daily values, but it is not required. If potassium and phosphorus are not listed, it does not mean that they are not in that food. If percent daily values for potassium and phosphorus are listed, you can use them to help with your diet. Percentages for potassium and phosphorus are based on the Recommended Daily Allowances (RDA). The RDA is a guideline for the needs of healthy adults. Your needs are different when you have CKD.

Tips to Stay Healthy This Summer

Not sure how your summer is shaking out, but if you are like me, my weeks seem to be filled with all sorts of summer shindigs! Holidays, parties, baseball games, festivals, fairs, picnics and just backyard get-togethers are abundant. All this fun, can be very stressful to those of us trying to monitor our kidney diets and make the healthiest choices possible. Keeping in mind, even just a few of the tips below, can help take the stress out, and place your focus on the enjoyment of your summer, while keeping you healthy and at your very best!

Mozzarella and Corn Salad


1 cup quinoa

2 ears corn, shucked

1/4th of a red onion, minced

2 cups sliced grape tomatoes

4 oz smoked mozzarella, cubed

2 T extra virgin olive oil

2 T balsamic vinegar



Simmer the quinoa in 3 cups water for 15 minutes until all the water has been absorbed. Add the corn kernels, red onion, mozzarella cubes and grape tomatoes to the grain mixture and toss well. Then drizzle in the olive oil,  and vinegar. Mix well.