Tamarind Chutney (LID)

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Tamarind Chutney is a delicious sweet and sour Indian condiment. I especially like it with samosas. There is a good chance you can find a prepared tamarind chutney that is LID-safe at the grocery store in the ethnic aisle. Buy it. That would be so much easier. : )

If you just like to cook and want to try something different, give this recipe a try. It is worth the effort. The tamarind chutney keeps well. Store it in the fridge for up to 3 months. After you are done with LID, Tamarind Chutney is a nice accompaniment to a cheese tray.

Tamarind comes in many forms. Sometimes  you can find the dry pods in Mexican or Indian markets. I have also seen tamarind concentrate. I get “wet” tamarind (from Thailand) at the Asian market. It comes in a solid block. It’s sticky and full of seeds and pod pieces. I use about 1/4 of the package for this recipe (a little over 4 ounces). I cut up the tamarind block so more surface area can be exposed to the hot water.

Wet Tamarind

Tamarind Chutney

4 ounces of wet tamarind, cut into pieces
1 1/2 cups hot water
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 1/2 teaspoons garam masala
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (or to taste)
pinch of salt

In a bowl, soak the tamarind in the hot water for 15 minutes. Using a spoon or your hands, break up the tamarind and work as much of the pulp off the seeds and pods as possible. It doesn’t look pretty.

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Pour the mixture through a fine mesh strainer set over another bowl or measuring cup Work the tamarind through the strainer with a spoon or spatula.

Tamarind Sieve

Discard the seeds and pods left in the strainer. You will have about 1 cup of a somewhat thick tamarind liquid.

In a saucepan, combine the tamarind liquid, sugar, spices, and 1/2 cup of water. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Simmer gently for 10 to 15 minutes, or until it is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. The chutney will still be fairly thin, but will thicken slightly when it cools.

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Cilantro Chutney (LID)

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This is an excellent Indian condiment that can be used while on a low iodine diet. It would be perfect as sauce for Trader Joe’s Vegetable Samosas. It is also good as a sauce for grilled chicken.

Samosas

This chutney is versatile too.  You can toss it with hot pasta (or with cold pasta and veggies for a pasta salad) or use it instead of tomato sauce for a pizza topping. You can usse it as a condiment for sandwiches or wraps. It is also wonderful as a marinade for chicken or pork tenderloin. I like making cilantro chutney the day before I want to serve it so that the flavors have time to meld and intensify.

Cilantro Chutney

1 bunch cilantro, washed and dried, most of the bottom stems removed
1 or 2 small green chiles, stems removed, seeded, and cut into chunks
juice of one lemon (or lime)
1 clove garlic
1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 pinch of black pepper
non-iodized salt to taste (not more than 1/2 teaspoon)

Put all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and puree into a paste. Add water, a teaspoon at a time until you get the consistency you want (not too thick, not too thin).

A Note About Salt

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I use Morton’s Coarse Kosher Salt when I am on LID. In general, kosher salt does not contain iodine. I have assumed that most people know what kosher salt is, but I may have been wrong to do so.

A recent commenter on this blog expressed concern that I use kosher salt on LID and list it as an ingredient in my recipes. He was concerned that kosher salt could contain sea salt or iodized salt. Sea salt and iodized salt can be certified as kosher, but they are not safe for LID. I have never seen sea salt or iodized salt that has been certified as kosher labeled as “kosher salt”. That doesn’t mean it can’t happen. ALWAYS READ LABELS.

On a low iodine diet, you can not have sea salt or iodized salt, even if it is certified kosher. You can’t have Himalayan rock salt, gray salt (sel gris), bay salt, solar salt, fleur de sel, bamboo salt, smoked sea salt, black salt, or iodized table salt. Avoid fancy, gourmet salts, just to be safe.

You can have non-iodized (table) salt, and non-iodized kosher salt.

Here’s the deal, you can not eliminate salt completely from your diet while you are on LID. It is very dangerous to do so. Your body needs salt and if it doesn’t get it, you could die. Do not eliminate salt from your diet. 

I am in the process of changing all my LID recipes on this blog to list “non-iodized salt” as an ingredient instead of “kosher salt”.  I don’t want someone to have a non-productive LID because I assume everyone knows what kosher salt is.

Buffalo Cauliflower (LID)

LID Buffalo Cauliflower

When I’m not on LID I make this recipe with butter, but it’s just was good with the Earth Balance Soy Free Spread. Frank’s and Texas Pete hot sauces are both LID-safe (of course, always check ingredient list, as ingredients can change). Alternatively, you can use the Buffalo sauce on baked chicken wings (just make sure that the chicken wings have not been injected with a salt solution….ask the butcher).

Buffalo Cauliflower

1 head cauliflower, wash and dried, separated into florets
1/2 cup flour
1/2 cup water
pinch of non-iodized salt (I use Morton’s Coarse Kosher Salt)
1 tablespoon oil

1/4 cup Frank’s Red Hot Originial Cayenne Pepper Sauce (Texas Pete is also LID-safe)
2 tablespoons Earth Balance Soy Free Spread, melted
pinch of non-iodized salt

Preheat the oven to 450° F. Spray a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.

Combine the flour, water, and non-iodized salt in a large bowl. Add the cauliflower florets and mix to coat. Using tongs, place the battered cauliflower on the prepared baking sheet. Throw out any left-over batter. Bake at 450° F for 20 minutes or until the batter becomes crispy and golden. I flip the cauliflower halfway so that it browns evenly.

Meanwhile, combine melted Earth Balance Soy Free Spread, Frank’s hot sauce, and non-iodized salt in a large bowl. When the cauliflower is done baking, add it to the sauce and toss to coat. Serve immediately.

Overnight Oats (LID)

Towards the end of this round of the low iodine diet, I used the last of the So Delicious Coconut Creamer and Trader Joe’s Coconut Creamer to make Overnight Oats. I was really happy with the way they turned out. Creamy and filling, but without an overwhelming coconut flavor. I kept mine fairly simple, only added shredded coconut and pecans.  You can customize you overnight oats however you want them. The sky is the limit. You can also make them ahead of time and keep them in the fridge for up to a week. I would suggest adding the fresh fruit right before eating.

Overnight Oats (LID)

1/2 cup rolled (old-fashioned) oats
LID-safe milk or creamer substitute
sweetener of choice, to taste
1/4 teaspoon vanilla

Combine the oats, dairy substitute, sweetener, and vanilla in a Mason jar. You can include your add-ins now or wait until you are ready to eat your oats. Stir to combine. Place the lid on the Mason jar and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Add-Ins
.Nuts and Seeds
-pecans
-sliced almonds
-walnuts
-pistachios
-sunflower seeds
-chia seeds
-pumpkin seeds
-sesame seeds
-flax seeds

.Dried Fruit
-raisins
-cranberries
-coconut
-apricots
-dates

.Spices
-cinnamon
-nutmeg

Fresh Fruit
-pineapple
-berries (strawberries,blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, etc…)
-apples
-bananas
-peaches
-mango
-kiwi
-pumpkin puree

Other Add-Ins
-peanut butter
-cocoa powder

-dairy free chocolate chips (or break up a dark chocolate bar0

Crockpot Pepperoncini Pot Roast (LID)

Crockpot Pepperoncini Pot Roast

This is a super easy and delicious recipe. I love the little kick the pepperoncinis provide. I based this recipe on the Mississippi Pot Roast recipe that’s everywhere. That recipe calls for butter, ranch dressing mix, and a package of au jus or gravy mix, none which are LID-friendly. I do not use those ingredients even when I am not on LID. The pot roast turns out so flavorful, I don’t think you will miss any of those ingredients.

Vlasic does not use iodized salt in their products, so Vlasic brand pepperoncinis are perfect for this recipe.

You can eat the Crockpot Pepperoncini Pot Roast over mashed potatoes, as a sandwich filling, or in a flour tortilla. I made a burrito with the pot roast, pinto beans, and barbecue sauce in a flour tortilla.

Crockpot Pepperoncini Pot Roast (LID)

1 2-3 pound beef pot roast (chuck roast, mock tender roast, brisket are all good for pot roast)
non-iodized salt (I use Morton’s Kosher Salt)
black pepper
1/2 16-ounce jar of whole pepperoncinis with pickling liquid

Place beef in the bottom of the crockpot. Season with non-iodized salt and pepper. Pour 1/2 a jar of whole pepperoncinis and their liquid over the beef. Cook on low 8 hours or on high 4 hours until very tender. Use a fork to shred the beef and keep in the cooking liquid until ready to eat.

LID Round 3, Day 17

My whole body scan was this morning. I arrived at the Nuclear Medicine Department at 8:30 am. The first scan was of my neck.  It took about 20 minutes. Afterwards, I went to another room for a 3-D whole body scan. That took about 30 minutes. They didn’t have the 3-D scanner the last time I had a whole body scan in 2015. I was told it gets a better picture. Now I just have to wait for results. They told me if I haven’t heard from my oncologist by Wednesday, to give her a call. I’m looking forward to hearing I am clear. Fingers crossed.

I was able to stop the low iodine diet after the scans. I stopped at a grocery store on the way home and bought a can of Rico’s Nacho Cheese Sauce and a pint of Ben & Jerry’s Everything But…

I can’t even explain why I got the canned cheese. It wasn’t planned. I got home and made ballpark-style nachos and they were delicious! After lunch, I made coffee and put real creamer in it. I am soooo glad to finally be off LID!

What I ate today:

Breakfast:  Leftover spaghetti with Newman’s Own Tomato & Basil Pasta Sauce, Coca-Cola

Lunch and Dinner – officially off the low iodine diet!! Yay!!

 

LID Round 3, Day 16

I am so tired today. I didn’t have to go to the hospital, though. I ran a couple of errands and went to the grocery store in the morning. I came home and started the Pepperocini Pot Roast in the crockpot.

Dinner was an easy meal. The roast took minimal effort. I reheated some pinto beans that I had in the freezer. I had cooked them several weeks ago in the crockpot and froze portions for later use. I generally cook with kosher salt even when I’m not on LID, so they were acceptable for me to eat today. I put the shredded roast, pinto beans in a flour tortilla and drizzled with barbecue sauce

What I ate today:

Breakfast:  Toasted crumpets with peanut butter and cherry preserves, Stōk cold brew coffee with Trader Joe’s Coconut Creamer

Lunch:  Boar’s Head Sweet Slice ham, Lay’s potato chips, 2 Mandarin oranges

Dinner:  Crockpot Pepperocini Pot Roast, pinto beans, flour tortillas, with barbecue sauce

LID Round 3, Day 15

I got my tracer dose of radioactive iodine this morning. They didn’t give me any restrictions for eating or drinking beforehand, so I ate Overnight Oats and drank some coffee. I made the Overnight Oats to use up some of the So Delicious Coconut Creamer that was left. I was really happy with the results.

At the Nuclear Medicine Department, I was taken to a small room. A nurse came in to check my hospital ID bracelet and then cut it off of me. Another nurse came in with the heavy lead container that held my radioactive tracer dose. She dispensed my RAI pill into a little plastic pill cup and gave me a small bottle of water. She instructed me to take the pill without touching it and to drink some water. She checked to make sure I had swallowed the pill and sent me on my way with a list of precautions. I took the day off from work and went home. Although, I only got 3 mCi of radioactive iodine, there are still precautions I have to take. For instance, I have to flush twice after using the toilet, not use disposable dinnerware, and wash my dishes separately from my family’s dishes for a couple of days. No big deal. I was told it was safe for me to be around my family, but to not let my kids sit in my lap. My scan is Friday. I’m nervous, but ready for this to be over.

For lunch, I made nachos with some of the Daiya Shreds and a little bit of leftover taco meat. I topped them with lettuce, diced tomato, and salsa.

For dinner, I made one of my favorite meals, steak and baked potato. I got a 12 ounce New York Strip steak from Trader Joe’s and my husband and I split it. This is what we usually do. A whole steak is too much for us. I cooked the steak in a cast iron skillet. I pulled out the steak to rest and added some red wine to the skillet to reduce. Makes and awesome sauce for the steak. I ate the my baked potato with Earth’s Balance Spread and didn’t eat the potato skin. A tossed salad and a glass of red wine completed the meal.

I forgot to take pictures of my lunch and dinner today.

What I ate today:

Breakfast: Overnight Oats, Stōk cold brew coffee with Trader Joe’s Coconut Creamer

Lunch:  Nachos with Daiya shreds, leftover taco meat, lettuce, tomato, and salsa

Dinner:  Steak, baked potato (didn’t eat the potato skin), salad with Ken’s Steakhouse Zesty Italian dressing, and red wine

LID Round 3, Day 14

I went to the Nuclear Medicine department this morning to get my second Thyrogen shot. Since I didn’t have to register or get blood work done, I was in and out of there quickly. Fortunately, other than being more tired than usual, I didn’t have any harsh side effects from the Thyrogen. I will go in to get my RAI tracer dose tomorrow morning and then have the scan on Friday. I can see the finish line. So glad this process is almost over.

For breakfast I had a couple of the leftover Baked Egg White Cups with spinach and mushrooms. They can be reheated in the microwave a few seconds for a quick breakfast. For lunch I had some leftover Garbanzo, Potato, and Spinach Curry. Thank goodness for leftovers!

I made tacos for dinner. This time around, I found out that Old El Paso Taco Shells are acceptable for the low iodine diet. Yay!  They are so much more convenient than frying your own (although those are super delicious, way better than store-bought).

Tacos are an easy meal. It can be as simple as ground beef in a crunchy taco shell with lettuce, tomato, and salsa. Add avocado to make up for the lack of cheese and/or sour cream. Avoid a taco seasoning mix, unless you can verify it is LID-safe. Many of them contain dairy ingredients. I use a combination of spices (cumin, garlic powder, salt-free chili powder, cayenne, etc…) to achieve the flavor I want. You can substitute ground chicken or turkey for ground beef when making tacos. Just make sure the ground poultry doesn’t have an added flavor/salt infusion.

What I ate today:

Breakfast: Hashbrown with Baked Egg White Cups with spinach and mushrooms and coffee with Trader Joe’s Coconut Creamer

Lunch:  Garbanzo, Potato, and Spinach Curry and Basmati rice

Dinner:  Tacos

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