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Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. Hits the Road with Zesty New Recipes And Tips for No-Salt Cooking for National Kidney Month

Tour Includes Visits to Fresenius Medical Care Dialysis Facilities in Chicago, Kansas City, Birmingham and Louisville

 WALTHAM, Mass. – February 20, 2013 In recognition of National Kidney Month this March, Chef Aaron McCargo, Jr. is taking his kidney-friendly recipes and signature “flavor of bold” cuisine on the road to several U.S. cities. Organized and sponsored by Fresenius Medical Care North America (FMCNA), this four-city tour is intended to call attention to how diets featuring fresh, flavorful ingredients can be healthy for patients on dialysis, as well as tasty, affordable, easy to prepare, and great for the whole family. An estimated 26 million Americans with chronic kidney disease (CKD) are at risk for kidney failure, for which the only treatments are a kidney transplant or dialysis.

McCargo’s culinary tour, which includes clinic visits that are free and open to the public, kicks off in Chicago on March 14, World Kidney Day, then moves on to:

• Kansas City, Mo., on March 15 and 16

• Birmingham, Ala., on March 19 and 20

• Louisville, Ky., on March 27 

At each stop, McCargo – host of the Food Network show “Big Daddy’s House” – will visit dialysis clinics to meet with patients and their families to share kidney-friendly cooking tips, food samples and recipes developed in collaboration with FMCNA dietitians. He will also unveil a new recipe in each city, influenced by that region’s cuisine.

Detailed locations and event schedules can be found at http://www.ultracare-dialysis.com/kidneymonth, and the new recipes will also be posted there, starting on the day McCargo visits each city. 

Dialysis is a life-sustaining process that cleans waste products and removes extra fluids from a person’s blood when CKD leads to kidney failure. To stay healthy, people on dialysis have to control their levels of potassium, phosphorus, salt and saturated fats by limiting their intake of certain foods. And as McCargo’s delicious meals demonstrate, dialysis patients don’t have to settle for food that’s boring or bland.

“We’re pleased to launch Chef McCargo’s national tour, which provides a great opportunity to share his renal-friendly cooking tips and inspire people living with kidney failure,” said Carolyn Latham, vice president of clinical quality and UltraCare at FMCNA. “His uniquely flavorful recipes help patients realize they can live a better life on dialysis and get more enjoyment from eating than they think.” 

To encourage healthier eating habits during National Kidney Month, FMCNA offers the following five tips for using less salt by substituting bold, fresh herbs and spices:

From Bland to Bold:  Five Spices to Use Instead of Salt

1. Chili powder* – tastes great in chili or taco meat flavoring. Also try adding it to rubs.

2. Smoked paprika – adds a deep brown color to bread-crumb casserole toppings, barbecue rubs or to seasoning blends for sautéing or searing any proteins. Also adds a great smoky flavor to marinades.

3. Lemon Zest – adds a lively taste to bread crumbs, breaded chicken tenders and fish sticks or to renal-friendly vegetables like eggplant or string beans. Also great in dressings and marinades, or mixed with dry spices and used as a rub for broiled or baked seafood.

4. Dried oregano – enhances the flavor of scampi sauces and combines well with lemon zest. Gives steamed vegetables or tossed salads a fresh, earthy taste and aroma. Or add it to fajita seasonings, along with chili powder, cumin, cayenne, and lemon zest.

5. Italian seasoning* – a blend of thyme, oregano, and basil is great for finishing off sauces such as stroganoff or gravies. Works well on baked, grilled, or sautéed proteins with lemon zest and a little oil. Or add it to lemon zest, juice, and olive oil to make dressings or marinade.

* Most brands are salt-free, but check to be sure you’re using a salt-free product.

FMCNA encourages people to visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com to see Chef McCargo’s renal diet recipes and view his online cooking demonstration videos. Dialysis patients can also find fitness tips, recipes, videos, and other information about staying active and maintaining a healthy lifestyle on the website. For more information about dialysis facilities near you, call toll free at 1-888-325-5175.


About Fresenius Medical Care North America

Through our leading network of more than 2,100 dialysis facilities in North America and our 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. We are 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 www.fmcna.com; for information about patient services, visit www.ultracare-dialysis.com.

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 with his children, relatives, friends, or even by himself, big food and big fun reign supreme.