Hawaiian Chicken Burger


Have you had enough of my chicken recipes?  Hopefully not!  I am constantly on the hunt for interesting chicken recipes.  Chicken is lean, has relatively low phosphorus and fills me up.  But…let’s be honest.  Chicken is super boring.  I know I’m not alone in that thought because apparently, “chicken” is the #1 searched term on foodnetwork.com.  People like me struggle to find recipes that make chicken more appealing and to keep it fresh.  I mean really, how many baked chicken dishes can one person eat?

So this is a recipe that I found while trying to discover new ways to cook chicken.  I love a good sandwich or burger, but substituting chicken for beef or even turkey usually makes it dry and uninteresting…but not this recipe!  Why?  Because it’s got a load of delicious toppings!  When you pile amazing ingredients like pineapple and grilled red onion, the chicken suddenly takes a backseat and you’re left with just a really super tasty sandwich, which happens to be made with chicken.  It’s genius.

A couple of notes about this recipe:

  1. I like to make my own BBQ sauce. That way, I can control what goes into it and eliminate the salt/additives that most bottled sauces have.  I’ll include a separate note below with that recipe.
  2. This recipe is great if you have an outdoor grill, but if you don’t, I highly recommend purchasing an indoor grill pan. This is what I use and it comes out great (I live in NYC, so it’s basically impossible to grill outdoors unless you want to get arrested). You can cook everything on this handy pan so it’s only one thing to clean.
  3. I like my chicken really thin, so I generally pound the chicken breasts so they’re all the same size and thinner than they come in the package. Then I cut them in sandwich-side pieces (usually in half).  This also significantly reduces the cook time.

Original Recipe: https://www.slenderkitchen.com/recipe/grilled-hawaiian-chicken-sandwiches

Revised Recipe: Me J Jackie



  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breast (see note #3 above, you may want to pound them thinner and cut them in half)
  • 1/3 cup barbecue sauce** Recipe to follow
  • 1 can pineapple rings + juice
  • 5 tbsp soy sauce or Coconut Aminos
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 tsp ginger, minced
  • 1/2 tsp Sriracha/hot sauce (optional, more to taste)
  • 4 English Muffins or King’s Hawaiian Rolls
  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 jalapeno, sliced
  • 2 cups greens

Jackie’s BBQ Sauce

  • 1 Cup Salt-Free Heinz Ketchup
  • 1 8 oz Can Salt-Free Tomato Sauce
  • ½ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • ¼ Cup Agave Syrup
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tsp ground mustard
  • 1.5 tsp lemon juice
  • 1 tsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Optional: Pinch of McCormick’s Salt-Free BBQ Seasoning (or other brand)
  • ¼ cup water

Directions for BBQ Sauce: Really easy, just mix all of these things together. If it’s too thick, feel free to add a little extra water.

Directions for Burgers:

  1. If you have time and plan in advance: mix together the barbeque sauce, pineapple juice, soy sauce/coconut aminos, garlic, ginger and sriracha. Marinate the chicken (that was pounded thinner) between 30 minutes to overnight.
  2. If you don’t have time (as I usually don’t), mix this same list of ingredients and set aside.
  3. When ready to cook, remove the chicken from the marinade letting excess drip off. Spray the pineapple slices with cooking spray. Grill the chicken and pineapple for 4-5 minutes per side or until cooked through. For thinner chicken, cook less time on each side.
  4. If the chicken wasn’t marinading, spread the barbeque sauce/pineapple juice mixture on top of the chicken while it’s cooking.  Make sure to coat both sides.
  5. Serve layered on the hamburger roll with sliced red onion, fresh jalapeno, greens, grilled pineapple, and a drizzle of the homemade barbecue sauce.
Grilled Pineapple…YUM


Chicken Stir-Fried Rice

Hello again!  I’m back with another recipe.  And not surprisingly, this one is inspired by my love for Asian cuisine.

To be fully transparent, this is a recipe that I found before I was on the CKD diet. It’s Weight Watchers, which is great, but because of the salt, some of the veggies, and use of brown rice, I had to adjust it slightly to work now.  But it works just as well (if not better!) and I continue to love it.  This recipe is completely customizable too.  You can add any veggies you’d like to this dish or if you want to swap chicken for shrimp or beef or just leave it as veggie, feel free!  It’s really simple and comes out just as delicious.  I’ve admittedly tried this with many, many varieties and like it all the same.  Also, this can easily be transformed into a side dish if you want to take out the protein altogether.

Also, because I’ve made this so many times, I’ve found a slightly better order to cook everything, as laid out in my instructions below.  The method in the original Weight Watchers recipe works fine too – but I like actually stir frying the rice separately so it gets a nice yummy crispiness.

Original Recipe: Weight Watchers, Find it HERE

Revised Recipe: Me, Jackie 🙂


  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
  • 4 large egg white(s)
  • 1/2 cup(s) uncooked scallion(s), chopped, green and white parts
  • 2 clove(s), medium garlic clove(s), minced
  • 1 teaspoon minced garlic
  • 1 medium red pepper, diced
  • 12 oz uncooked boneless skinless chicken breast(s), cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 2 cup(s) cooked white rice
  • 1/2 cup(s) frozen green peas, thawed
  • 3 Tbsp of cilantro, chopped
  • 3 Tbsp coconut aminos
  • 1 Tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • OPTIONAL: 1/2 cup(s) uncooked carrot(s), diced

NOTE: If you have a wok, this is ideal for this recipe.  If not, I would recommend using a large skillet that is pre-heated until hot.  You can use a cast iron or nonstick, but it’s important to make sure it’s hot before you begin cooking anything. That creates the nice sear on the bottom like a wok would. It also should be a larger size – there’s a lot of food in this recipe!


  1. Pre-cook the rice according to package instructions. Set aside and allow to cool.
  2. After skillet has warmed up, coat with 1 tablespoon of canola oil and add the chicken. Cook until done, when no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes. Add the peppers, optional carrots, minced garlic and ginger.  Stir together and allow to cook for 4-5 minutes or until peppers have softened.
  3. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  4. Coat skillet with remaining 1 tablespoon of canola oil and add the pre-cooked rice. Spread the rice out around the skillet so as much of it is covering the surface as possible.  Allow to sit (untouched) for 5 minutes or until slightly browned on the side. Stir around the pan and allow other side of rice to cook for additional 3-4 minutes.
  5. Once the rice is browned, add back in the chicken, peppers, garlic and ginger.  Add in the coconut aminos and rice wine vinegar.  Add the frozen peas and stir together.  Allow to cook for 2-3 minutes until combined.
  6. In the center of the skillet, make a hole by pushing back the rice-chicken-veggie mixture towards the outer edges.  In the hole, add the egg whites and stir. Egg whites will cook quickly so make sure to stir rapidly until they are scrambled.  Once they are fully cooked, combine the eggs in with the rest of the mixture.
  7. Add cilantro and serve.

Yields about 1 cup per serving.


Notice the crispy bits…YUM

Crispy Tostadas with Chicken

I love the Food Network and get a lot of my inspiration by watching those shows. I pretty much watch all of it (except some of the baking shows…I’m not a great baker if you can’t tell based on the limited number of dessert recipes I have). But I do occasionally tune in to The Kitchen on Saturday mornings to see what they’re cooking up. Although a lot of their recipes aren’t kidney-friendly, I’ve found ways of making them work for me. This is a recipe by Marcela Valladolid, who pronounces all of these ingredients with an amazing accent.  It’s relatively easy to make and you can add as much spice as you’d like. Enjoy!

Chicken Tostadas

Original Recipe: HERE by Marcela Valladolid

Revised Recipe: Me 🙂 Jackie

Total: 25 min
Prep: 25 min
Yield: 4 servings 


  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 4 cups cooked chicken, shredded
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced into rings
  • 8 radishes, thinly sliced
  • Mexican sour cream or regular sour cream, for drizzling
  • 1 Avocado sliced thinly for topping (Note: Avocado has high potassium so please use at your discretion)

Spicy Slaw Topping

  • 2 cups finely shredded lettuce or cabbage (I use the prepackaged cole slaw bags)
  • 1/2 cup packed fresh cilantro leaves, chopped up
  • 1 serrano chile, diced finely
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons dijon mustard
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons agave nectar or honey
  • Freshly cracked black pepper


For the slaw:

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix. Add the honey/agave nectar to desired sweetness. If you’d like more spice, feel free to another chile or half a chile.

For the tostada:

If you have a gas stovetop, turn it on low and place one corn tortilla on top for 3-4 minutes. Using tongs, flip to the other side. Lightly char each side so it’s crispy.  If you have an electric stovetop, turn it on medium-high heat and place 2 corn tortillas in a pan on top. Lightly crisp one side (about 6 minutes) and then flip.

Once the tostadas are done, top with chicken, slaw, red onions, radishes, sour cream and/or avocado.

And enjoy!  It’s absolutely delicious but good luck eating this – it’s messy so make sure you have plenty of napkins on hand!

Emily’s (or Marissa’s) Buffalo Chicken Meatballs

This is recipe that is hotly contested amongst my group of friends.  Originally, my friend Marissa made this recipe at a party she threw a few years ago. We all loved it, not just because it was so tasty, but also because Marissa’s idea of a party is to have 3x more booze than food. So when she does bring out a few small bites, we all attack like starving wolves and inhale whatever she serves.

After that party, my other friend, Emily, asked Marissa for the recipe for these little wonders.  Since then, Emily has served them at all of her parties and people have since forgotten that they originally came from Marissa (btw, I don’t think anyone has truly forgotten that Marissa originally made them – I just think that Emily actually makes them better than Marissa did. The meatballs come out lighter, not as dry, and just the right amount of kick).  I, in turn, have passed this recipe along to my family and they all refer to it as “Emily’s Buffalo Chicken Meatballs,” when in reality, it’s actually Marissa’s.  Confusing, I know.  Just don’t mention this to Marissa.

The point is that this is one very tasty recipe and you don’t need to be on a CKD diet to appreciate it.  In addition to serving it at parties as an appetizer, I also make it for dinner (and serve it over rice) and you can freeze it. If you like buffalo sauce at all, you will love this.


Image result for buffalo chicken meatballs


  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 4 tablespoons (1/2 stick) unsalted butter
  • 1/3 cup hot sauce (Note: traditionally, hot sauce has a lot of salt. While Frank’s [the original, not the buffalo, which has less salt] will forever be my favorite, you can also make your own. I’ll post the recipe below for reference.)
  • 1 pound ground chicken, preferably thigh meat
  • 1 large egg
  • 1/2 celery stalk, minced
  • 3/4 cup bread crumbs (Note: please see my tips for low-sodium bread crumbs in the Green Bean Casserole Recipe)


Preheat the oven to 450°F. Drizzle the vegetable oil into a 9×13-inch baking dish and use your hand to evenly coat the entire surface. Set aside.

Combine the butter and hot sauce in a small saucepan, and cook over low heat, whisking until the butter is melted and fully incorporated. Remove from the heat and allow the mixture to cool for 10 minutes.

Combine the hot sauce mixture, ground chicken, egg, celery, and bread crumbs in a large mixing bowl and mix by hand until thoroughly incorporated.

Roll the mixture into round, 3/4 -inch balls, making sure to pack the meat firmly. Place the balls in the prepared baking dish, being careful to line them up snugly and in even rows vertically and horizontally to form a grid. The meatballs should be touching one another.

Roast for 15 to 20 minutes, or until the meatballs are firm and cooked through. A meat thermometer inserted into the center of a meatball should read 165°F.

If serving at a party, keep warm in a slow cooker.

DIY Low-Sodium Wing Sauce

2-4 tablespoons Tabasco (to taste)
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

Melt butter in a medium saucepan. Reduce heat and whisk in tomato paste, brown sugar, vinegar and lemon juice.

Canadian Buddha Bowl

Between mid-2015 and 2016, I spent close to a year living in Toronto and absolutely loved it. I could talk endlessly about how great it was, how much calmer it was than New York, how nice everyone is (or seems to be), but for this particular post, I will focus on one of the dishes I ate when I was there.  Next to my office in Toronto were two lunch spots – Salad Days (which I will post a recipe from at a later time) and Freshii.  When I moved back to the States, I went through a period of withdrawal, craving those lunches that I loved so much, so I recreated my favorite lunch from Freshii.  It was so easy and I learned about the joy of rice noodles (which taste just like pasta but cook much faster!). Plus, this is a recipe that doesn’t need to be refrigerated if you don’t add meat, so it’s portable and great for outdoor get-togethers.

As a side note, about 6 months after I got back from Toronto, I went on the Freshii website…and lo and behold, they’re here!  They’re in New York!  And their White Plains location is about 10 minutes from my office, so I drove over there as fast as I could.  So now, I have the option of making this myself or getting the real thing…they’re both delicious and both bring back my happy memories of Toronto.

freshii.com – Go visit if there’s one near you!

Freshii Logo


Buddha Satay

rice noodles, broccoli, carrots, cabbage, crispy wontons, green onions, spicy peanut sauce (Side Note: I ask to replace this with a simple vinaigrette on the side or just use sriracha on the side)



  • 1 8-ounce package of rice noodles
  • 1 lb. of chicken breasts or pork tenderloin, cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • 1/2 cups no-sodium chicken broth
  • 3 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 bunch scallions, sliced (white and green parts separated)
  • 1 2-inch piece fresh ginger, peeled and minced
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 3 cups vegetables – as Freshii does, I use broccoli, a few shredded carrots, and purple cabbage, but any veggie would be good in here!
  • 1/3 cup chopped fresh cilantro
  • Juice of 1 lime
  • 5-6 corn tortillas, cut into strips
  • Freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees.
  2. Cook the rice noodles according to the package instructions. Note: You can either boil the noodles like pasta or stir fry them. They both work well.
  3. Toss corn tortilla strips lightly in a little oil and place on a baking sheet.  Bake them until crisp with brown edges, about 8 minutes. Place them on the side.
  4. In a large skillet or wok, add 1 tablespoon of vegetable oil. Once the pan is hot, add the chicken or pork.  Cook until no longer pink, about 5 minutes.  Add the remaining 2 tablespoons vegetable oil to the pan, then add the scallions, ginger and garlic; reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring, 2 minutes.
  5. Add the vegetables to the skillet and cook, stirring occasionally, until they start softening, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and ground pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the broth evaporates and the vegetables are crisp-tender, about 3 minutes.  Squeeze the lime on top and add the chopped cilantro.
  6. Stir all together and serve in a large bowl.  Add the tortilla strips on top.

If you’d like to add more of a sauce on top, you can either make a simple lime vinaigrette (found HERE, just omit the salt) or pour a little sriracha on top to add a kick.