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Chef Aaron McCargo & FMCNA Share Kidney-Friendly BBQ Recipes

Celebrity Chef Unveils New Recipes for Smoky Salmon Dip, Tilapia Tapas and Chilled Noodle Salad for those on Restricted Dialysis Diets


WALTHAM, Mass. – June 30, 2014 – Summer is here again, and for millions of Americans that means it’s time for picnics, potluck dinners and cooking outside on the grill.

Yet many traditional barbecue dishes are off limits for the more than 450,000 Americans with kidney failure who depend on dialysis – a life-sustaining process that cleans waste products from the blood and removes extra fluids. Because the dialysis diet has strict limitations on salt, potassium and phosphorus, patients are advised to avoid processed sausages, baked beans, potato salad, ice cream, watermelon, many sodas, flavored drinks and other summer favorites.

To help dialysis patients enjoy the season while staying within their dietary guidelines, Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), the nation’s leading network of dialysis facilities, has teamed up with celebrity Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr., star of Food Network’s “Big Daddy’s House,” to create several new kidney-friendly recipes that are perfect for summertime cookout appetizers or side-dishes. Developed in collaboration with FMCNA dietitians, these three new dishes not only taste great, they are also great sources of protein and vegetables that can round out a meal with fresh lean meats

Chef McCargo’s first new recipe, “Chilled Veggie and Shrimp Noodle Salad,” is a delicious Asian-inspired combination of shrimp, scallions, broccoli, carrots and shitake mushrooms served cold over chilled linguini noodles. Next is “Adobo Marinated Tilapia Tapas,” which combines pieces of baked tilapia fillet marinated in tangy Spanish adobo sauce and fresh cabbage slaw served in bite-size crispy wonton cups. “They’re an explosion of flavor in your mouth,” says McCargo, “and the great thing is, you can serve them cold or hot.”

A third new recipe, “Smoky Salmon Dip,” is a flavor-packed crowd pleaser that can also be served on a bed of salad greens.

“These new dishes are ideal for get-togethers,” says Robin Russell, lead dietitian for FMCNA’s North Texas region, who often collaborates on recipes with Chef McCargo. “Getting out and about and being social is important for dialysis patients’ quality of life, and Chef McCargo’s recipes are fun, full of flavor, and people just don’t expect that with such a restricted diet.”

Summer Food Tips for Dialysis Patients

Read fish and shrimp ingredient labels carefully to avoid additives with “phos” in the name, such as phosphate, polyphosphate or phosphoric acid, which can lead to weaker bones and hardening of the arteries.

Leave the husks on to cook fresh corn-on-the-cob directly on a hot grill. Turn occasionally for 15-20 minutes. Cool for five minutes, then protect hands with a towel while removing the charred husks and silk.

For easy prep and rich flavor try grilling other low-potassium vegetables whole. Red bell peppers, pearl onions, mushrooms, small summer squashes and cabbage wedges can go straight to the grill.

For best results, brush the grill to remove food debris and oil lightly before cooking to prevent sticking. If not marinating, pat dry fish, chicken and other proteins and spray lightly with non-stick cooking spray.

Serve foods buffet-style or on separate plates to reduce temptations at the table to over-consume – especially foods containing sodium, phosphorus or potassium.

For a complete list of Chef McCargo’s dialysis-friendly recipes, as well as fitness tips, videos and other information about staying active and maintaining a healthy diet on dialysis, visit FMCNA’s Healthy Lifestyles website. To find a dialysis facility near you, call toll free at 1-888-325-5175.


About Fresenius Medical Care North America

Through its leading network of more than 2,150 dialysis facilities in North America and vascular access centers, laboratory, pharmacy and affiliated hospitals and nephrology practices, Fresenius Medical Care provides renal services to hundreds of thousands of people throughout the United States, Mexico and Canada. It is also the continent’s top producer of dialysis equipment, dialyzers and related disposable products and a major supplier of renal pharmaceuticals.

For more information about the company, visit

About Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr.

Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. competed on and won season four of “The Next Food Network Star” in 2008, beating out thousands of culinary hopefuls for the ultimate dream job – his own Food Network show. “Big Daddy’s House” premiered in 2008 and continues to be a success. On “Big Daddy’s House,” Aaron shares his passion for big, bold flavors and fun, family cooking, bringing a down-to-earth vibe and warm smile to the kitchen. He recently published his first cookbook, “Simply Done, Well Done.” Whether cooking for his children, relatives, friends, or even himself, big food and big fun reign supreme. FMCNA and Aaron have been working together since 2011 to encourage dialysis patients to get back in the kitchen by developing dishes with big, bold flavors that they can enjoy, while still adhering to the restrictions of their dialysis diets.