LID Round 3, Day 7

Grabbed some fruit on my way out the door this morning and ate breakfast in the car. I admit that I have a full-on mandarin orange addiction. I love those things! I can easily eat 4 or 5 a day.

I’m so glad fruit is allowed on the low iodine diet. Fruit is a filling and nutritious choice. Here are some of the fruits you can eat on LID:  Bananas, apples, peaches, pears, all berries, pineapples, mangoes, cherries (not Maraschino cherries, though because of the red food dye), all citrus, grapes, pomegranates, papaya, plums, and melons. Seeing it all written out helps me to think about everything that I can have on a low iodine diet instead of what I cannot have.

Did you know that you can have a variety of store-bought crackers while on a low iodine diet? You can! Keebler Club, Town House, and Zesta crackers are allowed, as are Nabisco Premium Saltines, Ritz, and Wheat Thin crackers. As always read ingredients lists, just in case something has changed. If a company uses iodized or sea salt, it has to be labeled as such. Most products have consumer hot lines (or you can contact the company on social media or by email) that you can call and they can answer questions about ingredients in their products.

What I ate today:

Breakfast:  Banana, strawberries, and mandarin oranges (Halos)

Lunch:  Boar’s Head Pastrami Seasoned Turkey and Keebler Club crackers

Dinner:  Spaghetti with Newman’s Own Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce and a tossed salad with Ken’s Steakhouse Zesty Italian dressing


LID Round 3, Day 6

Some days are just busy and on those days it’s great to have leftovers and convenience foods on hand for meals, especially while on LID.

Speaking of convenience foods, Trader Joe’s Handmade Chicken & Green Chile Tamales (found in the refrigerated section) do not contain cheese or iodized salt and can be heated in the microwave for a quick meal. You can top them with LID-safe salsa to add another layer of flavor.

Dinner didn’t look too exciting, but after a long, busy day, it was fine. If you have more time, Mexican Rice would be a nice addition to this meal.

What I ate today:

Breakfast:  Scrambled egg whites, toasted Tuscan Pane bread, and iced coffee with Trader Joe’s Coconut Creamer

Lunch: Sopa Ranchera and Tostitos

Dinner:  Trader Joe’s Handmade Chicken & Green Chile Tamales with salsa and black beans (Ahead of LID, I cooked the black beans in my crockpot using non-iodized salt, divided them into individual servings, and froze them)

Vegetable Gumbo (LID)


It takes some patience to get the roux to the proper color, but the time and work is so worth it.

Since the amount of meat that can be consumed per day is low, I have been trying to eat some meatless dishes each day. This gumbo can be made vegetarian by using LID-safe vegetable broth or vegetable bouillon (like Rapunzel brand).

You can add some chicken or even some LID-safe sausage (Eckrich and Boar’s Head brands are safe – double check ingredients to make sure) at the same time (or instead) of the zucchini to make the gumbo more substantial.

Vegetable Gumbo

1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup flour
1 large onion, diced
1 medium green bell pepper, cored and diced
3 stalks celery, diced
1 14.5 oz. can salt-free diced tomatoes, with juices
1 32 oz. carton unsalted chicken broth
1 pound fresh or frozen sliced okra (trim ends)
1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1 T. fresh parsley, chopped or 1 tsp. dried parsley
1 teaspoon non-iodized salt (I use Morton’s Coarse Kosher Salt)
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1/8 teaspoon cayenne
1 medium zucchini, diced
hot cooked rice

In a Dutch oven, heat flour and oil over medium-low heat. Cook, stirring almost constantly, until flour browns to a copper color, about 20 to 30 minutes. (Hint:  I have a penny next to the stove to compare colors). Add onion, bell pepper, and celery to the roux and cook, stirring occasionally until vegetables are soft, about 5 minutes. Add tomatoes and their juices, chicken broth, thyme, oregano, parsley, non-iodized salt, pepper, and cayenne. Add the okra. Simmer for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add zucchini and simmer 20 to 30 more minutes, continuing to stir occasionally.

To serve, place about 1/2 cup hot cooked rice in a bowl and ladle hot gumbo over the top.  Pass the hot sauce (Texas Pete and Frank’s are both LID-friendly) and enjoy.

LID Round 3, Day 5

Since a restricted amount of meat that can be eaten per day on LID, I find it easier for me to eat mostly vegetarian meals throughout the day and to just have a 5 – 6 ounce serving of meat at dinner.

For dinner tonight, I cooked boneless pork loin chops. Mushroom gravy compliments pork chops very well. For the gravy, I add a little bit of oil to the pan the pork chops cooked it and heat it over medium/medium-high heat. I add the mushrooms, season with non-iodized salt and pepper, and cook a minute or two. I add unsalted chicken broth (about 1 to 1 1/2 cups) to the mushrooms. I mix about a tablespoon of cornstarch with enough water to make a slurry, and slowly whisk that into the hot mushroom mixture. I let the mixture cook a few minutes, whisking continuously to avoid lumps, until thickened, but still pourable. Season with kosher salt and black pepper and serve. The mushroom gravy is good over baked chicken too.

What I ate today:

Breakfast:  Toasted Tuscan Pane bread with Earth Balance spread, 2 Mandarin oranges, coffee with non-dairy creamer

Lunch: Tossed salad with Ken’s Zesty Italian dressing

Dinner:  Pork chop with mushroom gravy, brown rice, and green beans

Baked Chicken Taquitos (LID)


Serve Baked Chicken Taquitos with LID-safe salsa and Avocado “Cream”Avocado “Cream”.

The last time I was on the low iodine diet, I made Chicken and Kale Taquitos. It was basically this recipe with cooked kale that had been squeezed dry and chopped. Just mix it in with the chicken mixture. I’m sure spinach would be good too.

These freeze really well, but have to be reheated in the oven (or toaster oven) to maintain crispiness. They get soft and chewy when reheated in the microwave.

Frozen Baked Taquitos

Baked Chicken Taquitos

1 whole chicken
non-iodized salt
black pepper

1 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 cup LID-safe salsa
LID-safe corn tortillas
cooking spray

Season the chicken with non-iodized salt and black pepper. Place in the crockpot and cook on low for 6 – 8 hours or on high for 3 -4 hour until the meat is tender and falling off the bones. Remove the chicken from the crockpot and let cool. Remove the chicken meat from the bones, discarding the skin and bones (unless you plan to make chicken stock.…in that case, reserve). Shred the chicken. You should have about 6 cups of shredded chicken meat.

Preheat the oven to 400º F.

Add the ground cumin, garlic powder, and salsa to the shredded chicken. Season with more non-iodized salt and black pepper, if needed. Mix to combine.

Place 4 corn tortillas on a large microwave safe plate. Microwave on high for about 30 seconds to soften tortillas. Place about 2 tablespoons of the chicken mixture on  bottom third of the warmed corn tortilla. Roll up and secure with a toothpick. Don’t roll too tight. Place the taquito on a baking sheet. Repeat until all of the chicken mixture is used. You will have approximately 18 taquitos. Use two baking sheets if you need to. Spray the taquitos with cooking spray and place in the oven. Cook for 20 minutes, turning after the 10 minutes, until crispy and golden brown. Remove the toothpick before serving.

Baked Chicken Taquitos

Nachos with Black Beans and Veggies (LID)


Nachos on LID? Yes! With Daiya Shreds, you can create the illusion of cheesiness. In all honestly, they taste nothing like real cheese, but they do melt well and provide a creaminess similar to cheese. Daiya Shreds do not contain dairy, soy, or sea salt. Some of the other Daiya products do contain sea salt, so be careful and read labels.

The addition of beans, sauteed veggies, salsa, and jalapenos to these nachos disguises the fact you are eating vegan cheese and you will momentarily forget you are on a restricted diet.

There are so many possibilities when making nachos. Start with the base of melted Daiya Shreds on tortillas and then add beans, veggies, and toppings to your liking. As long as it’s LID-safe, anything goes.

Nachos with Black Beans and Veggies

Sauteed Veggies
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 bell pepper, seeded and chopped
1 zucchini, chopped
1 cup frozen corn
non-iodized salt (I use Morton’s Coarse Kosher Salt)
black pepper

1 15.5 oz can LID-safe black beans, heated

tortilla chips (Tostitos are LID-safe)
Daiya cheddar style shreds (or mozzarella style)

Possible Toppings
LID-safe salsa (Pace and Tostitos brands are both good)
fresh avocado or avocado cream
pickled jalapenos (or try candied jalapenos) (be careful, I’ve seen canned pickled jalapenos that contain iodized salt)
shredded lettuce
diced tomato
chopped cilantro

To make Sauteed Veggies:  Heat a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the canola oil and heat briefly. Add the chopped onions and cook until they just begin to soften. Add the garlic and cook one minute. Next, add the bell pepper and zucchini. Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Add the frozen corn and cook until hot. Season the mixture with non-iodized salt and black pepper.

To make nachos:  Evenly spread tortilla chips on a plate. Sprinkle some Diaya Shreds evenly over the chips. Place in the microwave and cook at full power until the Diaya is melted. This took about 50 seconds in my microwave.

Top nachos with drained black beans, and sauteed veggies. Add toppings to your liking.

LID Round 3, Day 4

I’m a big fan of soups and stews. I have found it to be pretty easy to make soups and stews that are appropriate on LID.


I used Daiya Mozzarella Style Shreds (Cheddar Style would have probably been better) to make nachos for dinner. By adding black beans, sauteed veggies, lots of salsa, and candied jalapenos, I could hardly taste the sadness that is vegan cheese.  Ha ha! I kid. I am happy I have found Daiya Shreds and look forward to experimenting with them.


What I ate today:

Breakfast: Coffee with So Delicious Coconut Creamer, toasted Tuscan Pane with Earth Balance spread

Lunch:  Vegetable Gumbo and rice

Dinner:  Nachos with Black Beans and Veggies

LID Round 3, Day 3

It’s Girl Scouts Cookie season. Several Girl Scout Cookies are LID-friendly. Thanks-a-Lot, Lemonades, Peanut Butter Patties, and Thin Mints are all vegan and do not contain iodized salt.


For breakfast I had a hashbrown patty and scrambled egg whites.


For lunch I had Baked Chicken Taquitos with LID-safe salsa (Pace Picante) and Avocado “Cream”.


For dinner I split a New York Strip steak with my husband. I deglazed the pan with red wine and reduced it down to make a yummy sauce for the steak. I made baked potatoes, but I only ate the inside of mine. A simple salad with Ken’s Zesty Italian dressing and red wine rounded out the delicious meal.


What I ate today:
Breakfast:  Hashbrowns patty, scrambled egg whites, and Pepsi.
Lunch:  Baked Chicken Taquitos, Avocado “Cream”, salsa
Dinner: New York Strip steak with red wine reduction, baked potato with Earth Balance spread (insides only, no skin), salad with Ken’s Zesty Italian dressing
Snack:  Thanks-a-Lot (Girl Scout Cookies)


LID Round 3, Day 2

Eating today was easier with a bunch of store-bought LID-safe products.

Trader Joe’s does not use iodized salt in their products. They do use sea salt often, so make sure to check ingredients lists. Their Tuscan Pane bread is delicious toasted.

Boar’s Head does not use iodized salt in their products. You can get their meat products sliced to order at many grocery store delis. Publix carries Boar’s Head products. You can browse the Boar’s Head products and see their ingredents list (as well as pre-order the deli meats) in the Publix app or online.

Newman’s Own does not use iodized salt in their products. They have a wide selection of pasta sauces, salad dressings, and salsa available in grocery stores nationwide. As long as there are no forbidden ingredients (like cheese), their products are safe to use on a low iodine diet.

Ken’s Foods does not use iodized salt in their products. They have a wide variety of salad dressings that can be used while on LID.


What I ate today:
Breakfast:  Toasted Trader Joe’s Tuscan Pane with Earth Balance spread, Boar’s Head Salsalito Roasted Turkey Breast, cold brew coffee with So Delicious Coconut Creamer
Lunch:  Sopa Ranchera, Tostitos
Dinner:  Penne pasta with Newman’s Own Tomato & Basil Bombolina Pasta Sauce, salad with Ken’s Zesty Italian dressing

LID Round 3, Day 1

I survived my first day of this round of LID.

I just found out yesterday that I was scheduled for a whole body scan on March 10th and that LID was starting today. I was committed to attending a PTSO meeting and a school board meeting last night, so I had no time to plan or shop.

I decided to take today off from work and spend time shopping for LID-safe groceries to get me through the first week. The LID Life Community was a huge resource, although I found that some of the items they had listed as safe actually were not. This can be chalked up to regional differences and recipe changes. Always read ingredient lists!!

I shopped at Earth Fare, Trader Joe’s and Publix. Here are some of the groceries I got:

Since I didn’t have time to prepare or shop, I started the day with a couple spoonfuls of peanut butter, a banana, a mandarin orange, and a Coke. I am a coffee person, but I don’t like black coffee. I need cream. And lots of sugar. Finding a LID-safe coffee creamer is a challenge.

The Sopa Ranchera is becoming a LID tradition. I have made it each time. It’s nice to have a soup on hand for quick meals. It freezes well, so it can be made ahead and kept frozen in individual servings in Ziploc bags.

What I ate today:
Breakfast:  banana, 2 spoonfuls of peanut butter, mandarin orange, Coca-Cola
Lunch:  Salad of lettuce, red cabbage, and carrots with Ken’s Steakhouse Zesty Italian dressing
Dinner:  Sopa Ranchera
Snack:  2 Oreo cookies

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