Plant Based Protein with CKD: Lemon Tofu Stir Fry

Can you eat plant based proteins with CKD?

Do you have chronic kidney disease and are you trying to avoid animal proteins?

If you said yes to either of these, you need tofu in your life!

Tofu is a super versatile plant-based protein that can be used in so many ways and can act as a substitute for several protein sources. Whether you have chronic kidney disease, if you are vegan or just want to change up your regular eating patterns; tofu is a great addition to everyone’s diet. 

Health Benefits of Tofu and Plant Based Protein with CKD

Tofu is a plant-based protein made from liquidized soybeans. This vegan protein source is cholesterol-free with low sodium.

A one cup serving of firm tofu provides:

  • 21.8 g of protein
  • 394 mg of phosphorus
  • 322 mg of potassium.

Tofu is also an incredible source of vitamins and minerals such as calcium, manganese and selenium.

Stir Fry and Tofu

One of the best ways to enjoy tofu is in a stir fry. Stir fry is a Chinese cooking technique that requires a small amount of oil and high heat for cooking and a great way to include plant based protein with CKD.

Stir fry dishes have four simple components; protein, vegetables, aromatics and a sauce.

The variety of stir fry dishes are endless and they can be changed completely by personal preference, there is no proper way to do it.

The vegetable combinations are endless, the most popular vegetables used in stir frys are mushrooms, broccoli, onion, sugar snap peas, baby corn, carrots and bell peppers. Other great vegetables to add are zucchini, cauliflower, spinach and asparagus.

The sauce options are also endless but usually contain a soy sauce, vegetable or chicken sauce, a thickener like corn starch and either a sweetener, spice or some type of acidity. If you prefer a sweeter stir fry, a touch of brown sugar, maple syrup or sweet chili sauce are for you. If you like some spice try adding some sriracha to add a kick. If you don’t prefer sweet or spicy try adding a squeeze of lemon or lime. Finally, for an added punch of flavor don’t forget to add your aromatics! Ginger, garlic and chillies add an immense amount of great flavor. To top of your dish add a sprinkle of chopped green onions and enjoy! For some other inspiration ideas check out this site.

Ways to Flavour Tofu

Tofu is an incredibly versatile food that is known to be quite bland or boring as it does not carry a ton of flavor making it the perfect addition to your dish. Tofu acts as a sponge in any dish that soaks in whatever flavors you put it in, allowing you to flavor it to your desired taste.

Extra-firm or dry tofu is very dense and can be grilled or fried similar to a meat and is the best option for a stir fry dish.

Firm tofu is also great in grilled dishes or can be scrambled and substituted in egg scramble dishes or even mashed.

Soft tofu is great for dressings, dips, soups and purees. For an added source of protein in smoothies or puddings blend in some silken tofu.


Lemon Tofu Stir Fry

Course Main Course
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 44 minutes
Servings 2


  • 1/2 block Extra-firm tofu
  • 1/2 cup Parboiled white rice
  • 1 medium Bell pepper, sliced
  • 1 cup Bok Choy, chopped
  • 1 Lemon, juiced
  • 1/2 cup Vegetable broth, no added salt
  • 1/4 cup Honey
  • 1/2 TBSP Corn starch
  • 1/2 TBSP Water


  • In a pot, cook rice as directed on package.
  • Preheat oven to 425 F. Slice tofu into bite size pieces and roast for 30 minutes, flipping half way.
  • In a wok on medium heat, stir fry bok choy and pepper until softened. Set aside.
  • In the same wok, add lemon juice, honey, broth and simmer for 2-4 minutes.
  •  Mix corn starch and water. Once sauce is at a roaring simmer, lower temperature and add corn starch and water. Let cook for 5 minutes while it thickens.
  • Toss cooked tofu in lemon sauce. Enjoy with rice and vegetables.


Makes 2 Servings. Per 1 serving: 13.8g protein,  424.7mg potassium,  175.50mg phosphorus,  63.6mg sodium

This article was written by Deanna Najar, Nutrition Student Volunteer.
This article was reviewed by Emily Campbell, RD CDE MScFN.

1 thought on “Plant Based Protein with CKD: Lemon Tofu Stir Fry”

  1. Pingback: Meal Planning With CKD - Kidney Nutrition

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