The Kidney HELPER Cookbook: Middle Eastern is a unique cookbook containing renal-friendly recipes with a Middle Eastern flair. It includes 230 large print pages and a lay-flat binding for easier use. Each recipe is listed with eight critical food values and conversion charts for metric and imperial measurements.
What the Professionals Are Saying...
"Addressing the quality of life (and living) is what is so important about the contribution of The Kidney HELPER Cookbook to kidney patients and their families. It strikes me, a renal physician for twenty-five years, as a superb guide to improving peoples' welfare. In the past, with striking nutritional restrictions, the renal patient's diet had become tasteless and unpalatable, and either diet deficiencies or non-compliance often resulted. This tome gives upbeat, user-friendly, and important suggestions for 'spicing up' the diet in a medically acceptable manner. Eating well is an important part of living well. I salute the Lutfys and Ms. Pinto for their original approach to providing inspiring recipes for dialysis patients.
William Amend, MD, Renal Transplant Service,|University of California, San Francisco
"Welcome aboard a culinary cruise through the Mediterranean! Bob and Nathalie Lutfy have skillfully crafted a cookbook which features more than just scrumptious recipes fit for a kidney patient. From hints about growing alfalfa sprouts to metric conversion charts, to lamb shish-kebab tips, they give you all the information you need to prepare Middle Eastern foods your whole family can enjoy. The nutrient analyses which follow each recipe assure that your selection is nutritionally sound. I applaud the Lutfys for their most recent contribution to the quality of life of renal patients around the world."
Maureen E. Geraghty, MS, RD, LD, Senior Clinical Project Leader (Renal Nutrition)Nutrition R&D, Ross Products Div., Abbott Labs.,
What a fascinating, refreshing approach to ethnic renal cooking! A well-documented, easy-to-follow presentation of Middle Eastern cuisine fitted to the needs of a highly specialized diet. We hope this volume is just the beginning of a very innovative series. Congratulations.
Elmo and Joan Ruffolo, ESRD Patient and Spouse
"If you think living on a renal diet means limiting yourself to boring, bland foods, think again. Bob and Nathalie Lutfy have put together a wonderful collection of exciting Middle Eastern culinary treasures, sure to please both renal patients and families alike. Novices need not fear. The recipes are easy to follow and feature helpful tips and advice."
Brita Atlas, RD, CDN
"The Kidney HELPER Potassium and Phosphorus Guides...were the first clearly explained guides that I had seen in twenty years as a nephrologist. Now the Lutfys have expanded their knowledge into a full-fledged cookbook, showing us that with a bit of ingenuity, using everyday ingredients, it is possible to fix delicious meals that do not exceed the limitations placed on most kidney patients....The Kidney HELPER Cookbook is, indeed, an invaluable reference for any individual with kidney failure. Even though the book is targeted for dialysis and pre-dialysis patients, it would also be of great value to the kidney transplant patient...I would highly recommend it to any kidney failure patient or the family of anyone with kidney disease. The benefits to you or to your family member will be enormous and long-lasting."
Ollice Bates, Jr., MD, Renal Physician, Voted among Best Doctors in America, 1996 and 1997
From the "Preface" to The Kidney HELPER® Cookbook: Middle Eastern
by Bob Lutfy
My name is Bob Lutfy, and I have been an End Stage Renal Disease patient. For years I was on the typical renal diet -- bland as could be -- with limited phosphorus and potassium.
My family is Lebanese. My earliest memories are of communal meals around the big kitchen table accompanied by lots of food and lots of laughter. Most meals and most socializing happened around that table. It was the heart of the house.
Like my brothers, I love to cook. My maternal grandmother lived with us, ruled the kitchen, and taught us the basics of an incredible cuisine. Of course, she never measured. It was always a handful of this and a pinch of that!
In her wonderful book, The Mediterranean Diet Cookbook,Nancy Harmon Jenkins says:
"Mediterranean people are on the whole conscious of food in a way that most people, certainly most Americans, are not. I think it's because of this that what they eat is, on the whole, delicious -- nourishing to the body because it's wholesome and to the soul because it tastes so good. In the countries of the Mediterranean there exists a deep-seated...consensus that eating is one of the most important things we humans do in our lives....there's a real sense of eating as a social act, a way of communicating, of expressing solidarity and relationship."
This attitude toward food was certainly true in my family. Unlike weight loss groups, we lived to eat, not the reverse. So, when my kidneys began to fail, I was very depressed. Not only would there be great changes in my body, but also in my lifestyle!
When I was first diagnosed, I went on the Pritikin program, a low protein, low fat regimen that my doctors and I believe helped prolong what kidney function I had. After several years (including one or two as a strict vegetarian), I learned that the time for dialysis had come. The rest will be familiar to you: cooking vegetables in huge amounts of water after presoaking them to leach out potassium, monitoring the high phosphorus meats and fish while being sure to get sufficient protein. After a lifetime of eating any fruits and vegetables I wanted, and of cooking foods in minimal water to retain the vitamins, I found the kidney diet a nightmare.
I particularly missed the high potassium tomatoes, potatoes, artichokes, and beans. For a long time I was really despondent. Then I wondered if I could possibly convert some of my favorite Middle Eastern dishes-those I had grown up with and were the staff of life to me-to fit the rigorous limitations of the renal diet. I found that by changing the proportions of ingredients and keeping the spices, I could create substitutes close enough to the original to be very satisfying.
This cookbook, written with the help of my wife and with technical advice from my special renal dietitian, Mary Pinto, is the product of these endeavors. My hope is that the flavors of these foods, while perhaps new to you, will tickle your palate and delight your senses, so that food may become a joy to you as it has long been for me. I hope you will try all the recipes here, even though some ingredients will be unfamiliar. I promise you will find some new favorites and perhaps be inspired to modify your own family specialties.
My best wishes for your good health and good appetite.
From the Dietitian . . .
As a consultant dietitian in renal care, I have encountered many patients and family members who are confused and bewildered by decisions about which foods are appropriate to prepare and to eat. I have learned to place myself in their shoes and recognize the importance of varied meal planning.
This ethnically diverse recipe book is a dream fulfilled for the Lutfys and for me. I'm certain the patients and family members who use the Kidney HELPER Cookbook, Middle Eastern will find that its delicious, varied recipes change and enlarge their idea of a renal diet. This project was challenging and exciting because I know how much it will mean to kidney patients everywhere to be able to eat interesting food which is completely renal-friendly.
Working closely with the Lutfys has been a joy. Their devotion to the project has over-flowed with caring for other renal patients. The work on the recipe book and other Kidney HELPER projects has been a labor of love for me.
Mary Pinto, RD, Named "Outstanding Renal Dietitian of 2001