Liver-Friendly Cooking

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Cooking: Tips

Home cooking is the only and most reliable way to eat high protein and low sodium foods. Home cooking is also cheaper than buying “ready made” foods or take out. Homemade meals can take more time but, with some practice and tips, will become quicker and less involved.

For many folks living with cirrhosis, making liver-friendly meals and snacks can be difficult. In this 5 min video, learn about Barb and Craig’s “low sodium” home cooking journey.

Favourites of Barb and Craig

Favourite Spice: Barb typically uses a combination of spices depending on the dish.  The Club House Salt Free Original Vegetable & Herb Medley is one that she frequently uses.

Favourite Recipe: Honey and Lime Glazed Chicken with Lemon Scented Orzo is just one of their many favourites.

Favourite Food Made Ahead and Frozen: Barb is a firm believer in doubling her cooking recipes. Half of the food is eaten the same day while other half is frozen for another day.  Suggestions include spaghetti sauce, chili, meatballs or baked chicken pieces.

Favourite Snack: Things  to nibble on like carrot sticks, stuffed celery with peanut butter or egg salad, spicy chickpeas or rosemary nuts.

Best Quick Dinner: (1) Grilled pork chops with rice, (2) frozen cooked chicken pieces and a sauce or (3) previously frozen chili.

Most important pantry items: Cans (with no salt added) of: tomatoes, tomato sauces, black beans, kidney beans and chickpeas. These items are versatile. They are used in many recipes or can be served as side dishes to complement a main dish.

What does a high protein, low sodium meal or snack look like?

That is a great question but it is difficult to answer. Everyone has different tastes, preferences, and cooking skills.

Here are some good examples of high protein, low sodium meals and snacks:

  • Meals:
    • Pizza
      • Yes! Home-made pizza can be liver-friendly
    • (Non) Vegetarian Chili
  • Snacks:
    • Fruit Smoothie with or without protein powder
    • Breakfast Bites
How do I make tasty, liver-friendly dishes?

For this project, we partnered with the Research Culinary Team at the Northern Alberta Institute for Technology (NAIT) and was funded by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR).

Chef Maynard and his team created liver-friendly recipes that are high in protein and low in sodium. Delicious and easy to make, they will be family favorites!

Each video includes step-by step instructions and variations. Recipes are listed beside each video and can be printed.

For experienced cooks, Chef Maynard gives tips about:

  • Altering recipes to satisfy different tastes
  • Food substitutions and preferences
  • Dietary restrictions

Serving suggestions and storage suggestions are also provided. Freezing cooked meals and leftovers make for quick and easy dinners during the week.

“How To” Videos with Recipes for Meals and Snacks


Comfort Foods

See the “Low Sodium Baking” video for how to make focaccia bread. It is used for the pizza base.

Casserole and Sheet Pan Meals

Cooking Vegetarian

Reinventing Leftovers

Low Sodium Baking – Focaccia Bread

Meal Supplements

Marinades and Rubs

Please refer to the video.

“How To” Read Nutrition Labels

This work was supported by the Canadian Institutes of Health Research.

CIHR's visual identity - CIHR

This information is not intended to replace advice from your healthcare team.

They know your medical situation best.

Always follow your healthcare team’s advice.

Last reviewed June 8, 2021

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