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Nutrition Tips

Nutrition plays an important role in patient’s transplant journey. Hume-Lee’s comprehensive care team includes clinical dietitians, who are now sharing some timely nutrition tips online for patients, family and friends alike.

On Your Plate

Healthy Winter Food Choices

Healthy eating during the winter can be tough. And motivation to make healthy dishes can be even more difficult! To help, I wanted to offer two delicious recipes for readers, including transplant patients who need a little less fat and salt in their diet.

It’s a good habit to read nutrition labels. One ingredient to lookout for is sodium. If the nutrition facts state that the food item contains more than 300 mg of sodium per serving, it could be too high for you.

With that in mind, take a look at these two healthy, easy-to-make recipes!

Low Sodium Hearty Vegetable soup


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 medium carrots, sliced
  • 2 large onions, chopped
  • 4 celery ribs, chopped
  • 1 large green pepper, seeded and chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 cups chopped cabbage
  • 2 cups frozen cut green beans (about 8 ounces)
  • 2 cups frozen peas (about 8 ounces)
  • 1 cup frozen corn (about 5 ounces)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) garbanzo beans or chickpeas, rinsed and drained
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 teaspoons chicken bouillon granules
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons dried parsley flakes
  • 1 teaspoon dried marjoram
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 4 cups water

Yields 8, 1 cup servings in 2 quart pot

Instructions:  In a stockpot, heat oil over medium-high heat; sauté carrots, onions, celery and green pepper until crisp-tender. Add garlic; cook and stir 1 minute. Stir in remaining ingredients; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat; simmer, covered, until vegetables are tender, 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

Low Sodium Turkey Burger Sliders


  • 16 ounces 85% lean, 15% fat ground turkey
  • ¼ cup raw red bell pepper
  • ¼ cup raw green bell pepper
  • ¼ cup raw white onion
  • 1 teaspoon ground basil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Yields 8 burgers, 2oz each

Instructions:  The trick to making a great turkey burger is adding the seasonings the day before and letting it rest in a covered dish in the refrigerator overnight. The next day, follow the recipe for cooking the burgers as shown below.

In a large bowl, mix together ground turkey, red and green bell peppers, onions, basil, rosemary and garlic.  Form into 8 small patties. Once meat and ingredients are mixed together, place in a covered dish and refrigerate for 5 hours. This will allow the flavors time to get into the meat.

Cook the patties in a medium skillet over medium dry heat, turning once, to an internal temperature of 180 degrees F (85 degrees C).  Once the burgers are cooked, it is ready to add to your favorite slider bun.

This is a great tasting burger without adding salt, the secret for the great taste is allowing the meat and ingredients time to sit together.  You may decide to add a small bun or eat the burger without bread.

Enjoy healthy winter eating when you think about what’s “On Your Plate!"


Pearl Brooks clinical dietitianPearl Brooks

Pearl Brooks, M.S., RD, is a clinical dietitian with the VCU Health Hume-Lee Transplant Center