Thursday, March 15, 2018

low Iodine Diet info and tips

Low Iodine Diet for whole body scan prep

Let me start by stating this caveat: this was my diet based on the guidelines given to me by my nurse. You may be given other guidelines by your clinicians. Always refer to what has been given to you by your team first.

What makes me an expert?  I'm not!  But what I am is a food blogger who has many food sensitivities and has become skilled in food substitutions, especially on a tight budget.
I was diagnosed with papallary thyroid cancer in late November 2014.  I had a total thyroidectomy because I had a mass on each hemisphere, a "sticky" 4cm on the left. The removal was not 100%.  I'm considered persistent. In July 2018 I will be facing my 3rd stimulated whole body scan needing low iodine diet (l.I.d.) prep of at least 2 weeks.

Why low iodine diet?  Iodine is a naturally occurring mineral that is needed to produce a hormone in your thyroid called thyroxine. By going on l.I.d. the thyroid will be starved of it so, when given radioactive iodine, any remaining thyroid cells will soak up that iodine and light up under the whole body scan.

Iodine isn't just in iodine salt. Broad list of other foods to avoid:

  • Egg yolks
  • dairy
  • Anything from the sea
  • Canned foods
  • Seasoning mixes
  • Soy
My nurse is always keen to point out that it's "low" iodine not "no" iodine. Obviously, don't eat your way through the Cheesecake Factory's menu but don't put yourself under the pressure to not eat one tiny bit of iodine. It's hard. It's especially hard these days when we eat a lot of processed food. 

  • Find a friend or family member to help
  • Meal planning and prep is key
  • Take a field trip to the market ahead of time
  • Never hesitate to call your medical team
  • Read labels
  • Google is your friend, bring it shopping with you to help decipher ingredients
  • Don't eat out
  • Have non-iodine salt will travel
  • Find a splurge substitute (for me it's sorbet)
  • Remind yourself that a bottle of pinot gris is iodine free!..... ok, Maybe that one is for me

Most recipes on my blog are from scratch and can easily be made l.I.d. friendly just by switching out salt or using vegan/soy free substitute.  I will be posting more specifically l.I.d. menu plans and recipes very soon. 

Sunday, June 26, 2016

Hearty Egg Drop Soup

I've been stocking up on eggs lately.  In my area, upstate NY, eggs at Aldi grocery store have been running at $0.79.  I was trying to think of different things to do with eggs for dinner, I think my husband is getting sick of quiche.  Then my grandfather popped into my head.  He loved soup.  After my grandmother passed and he was diagnosed with lung cancer, it was about all he ate.  He spent the summer with us the year before he died and taught me how to make egg drop soup.  Egg drop soup, although super delicious, is not a meal in and of itself.  Time to use my CSA to make a nice hearty egg drop soup.  This recipe is super quick and easy.  Start to finish it only takes about 20 minutes.

Hearty Egg Drop Soup

32oz stock, chicken or vegetable 
32oz water (I refill the stock container with water)
4 leaves Napa cabbage, chopped, about 2 cups
3 spring onions, chopped, about 1/2 cup
3 garlic scapes, chopped, about 1/2 cup
     *minced garlic can be subbed
1/4 soy sauce (I use Kikkomen gluten free)
salt and pepper to taste
3 large eggs, lightly beaten
 2 chicken sausages **optional

 In large pot bring to boil all ingredients except eggs.  Reduce to simmer and simmer about 5 minutes.
 Lightly beat 3 eggs

Slowly pour eggs into pot.
Simmer another 5 minutes.

Eat and enjoy!

This served my husband and I but could probably easily feed 4 people.  

Thursday, June 16, 2016

Early Summer Cobbler

Its summer again!  Summer for me means CSA.  Now that this is my 4th summer of CSA, its getting a bit harder to discover new veggies and new ways to make them.  Just when I was worried my cuinary adventures were over, rhubarb happened!  Rhubarb!  I think I've only hadd it once or twice in my life.  I know it goes well with early summer berries.  My mother informed me she had blueberries and stawberries rotting in her fridge while she was out of town.  Rhubarb, bueberries, strawberries?  Sounds like the makings of a pie to me.  The problem with pie in my world is that I'm gluten intollerant and despise making crust.  Cobbler it it!

(Vegan/Gluten Free) Early Summer Cobbler

4 C rhubarb, blueberry and strawberry, cut
      (foor exact copy I used 2c rhubarb, 1c blueberry, 1c strawberry)
2 tsp lemon juice
1/3 C sugar
1/3 C maple syrup
2 Tbs corn starch

1/3 C brown sugar (or 1/3c sugar plus 1tsp molasses)
3/4 C rolled oats
1/2 C sorghum four
pinch of salt
1/3 C melted "butter" (I use Earth Balance soy-free)

Preheat oven to 350
Grease 8x8 glass pan or baking vessel of choice, I used large ramekins

Mix together all filling ingredients except fruit.  
Once well incorporated, toss fruit in mixture until evenly coated.

 Pour into baking dish.

Mix together all topping ingredients except "butter".  Once ingredients are well mixed, add melted "butter" and stir well.  Evenly top fruit mixture with topping.
Bake 35 minutes until topping is golden and fruit is bubbling.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Gluten Free, Vegan Carrot muffins

Carrots!  So many carrots!  We got carrots in our Shared Roots Farm share and some donated at an event I attended, on top of the leftover carrots from the week before.  My philosophy is usually to make soup and/or freeze things but our freezer was full this week.  Im a big fan of carrot cake.  I have also had to eliminate eggs and dairy from my diet from time to time because of medical treatments I am going to do.  I sort of based this recipe on the recipe for zucchini bread that I previously posted.  There is no animal products, no gluten, no added sugar.  These muffins freeze and defrost very well in the car on a road trip or in a lunch box.

Carrot Muffins:
makes 10 - 12

1 c carrots, grated
1 c natural applesauce
1 tsp vanilla
1 c oat four (make sure its gluten free)
1 c rolled or steel cut oats (again, gluten free)
3/4 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp clove
1/2 c raisins
**can add 1/4 c sugar for sweeter muffins

Preheat oven to 350f and grease a 12 muffin tin

In a bowl mix together carrots, applesauce, vanilla (sugar).
In seperate bowl mix together oat flour, oats, baking soda, powder, cinnamon, nutmeg and clove.
Add wet ingredients into dry and mix well, making sure all flour and oats are well incorporated.  Mix in raisins.

Divide muffin mix into tin.  Shape muffins *these muffins wont have a lot of rise that helps make that "muffin shape".  
Bake 20 - 25 minutes until golden.  Allow to cool in tin 5 minutes before removing.

Dijon dill dressing and scape & scallion dressing

They say that variety is the spice of life.  Sometimes, especially in early weeks of receiving my Shared Roots Farm share, I got a lot of the same thing; it's the nature of farming.  I've had to come up with many new ways to keep the same things "different", and no one wants a boring salad.  I came up with 2 new saad dressings this year, a dijon dill and a garlic scape & scallion dressing (using my go-to pesto ingredients to make a dressing).  Each of these recipes will be enough to dress a large salad for 4 people.

Dijon Dill Dressing
2 tbs Dijon mustard
3 tbs olive oil
5 tbs vinegar
1 tbs honey
1 tbs lemon juice

Whisk together all ingredients.  Refridgerate 1 hour before using.
**Goes well with a simple salad and dill turkey burgers

Scape and Scallion dressing
2 tbs scallions, finely minced
2 tbs garlic scapes, finely minced
1 1/2 tbs mustard
1/4 c olive oil
1/8 c vinegar
1/4 c orange juice

Whisk together all ingredients.  Refridgerate 1 hour before using.
**Goes well with a citrus salmon

Monday, August 17, 2015

Tomato Vegetable Soup

This week I got another "new" vegetable in my CSA from Shared Roots Farm, tomatillos.  Tomatillos are a South American husked tomato, they can be a variety of colors.  They are slightly sweeter then a traditional tomato.  Tomatillos are what are used in salsa verde.
Im not a huge fan of Mexican food, I dont like the heat.  Making salsa verde with the tomatillos was kinda out of the question since I dont eat chilis.  When in doubt, make soup!

Tomato Vegetable Soup:
serves 8
3 tbs margaine/butter
1/4c scallions, minced
3 onions, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
6 oz tomato paste
2 (32oz) boxes beef stock
4 c water
1 c carrots, chopped
1 c celery, chopped
3 tomatillos, diced

In a large, heavy bottom pot, heat margraine.  Saute scallions, garlic and onion until carmelized, stirring often to keep from sticking.

Add tomato paste and stir well.
Add stock and water.  Bring to a boil.
Add carrots, celery and tomatillos.  Simmer 15 minutes.
**for a little extra something add cooked rice or quinoa just before serving

Sunday, August 16, 2015

CSA pro-tips

I start this post with an apology.  When the CSA season began and I started blogging again, I vowed to post weeky.  Life keeps happening.  My husband and I have thrown ourselves into a new hobby, and I have been making dresses for myself.  Meanwhile, I have a small stockpile of new recipes waiting to be blogged.   That being said, off we go with a couple tips that I have learned that will make having a CSA less daunting.

CSA Tips:
I would in no way call myself a "pro" when it comes to this veggie thing, I'm still coming across new foods and researching new ways of cooking.  I have, through trial and error, learned a few things over the last 3 years that I wish someone had emparted to me.
1.  Picking CSA pick-up date: When you get your CSA contract, like my local CSA, they may give you options of pick up days or times.  Choose a day and time that allows you to have time to process through your veggies.  I dont work, when I chose my day/time the first year, I didnt give it much thought.  I use to pick it up on a Friday at 5pm.  This worked for me the first year; my husband could walk to work and got paid on a Wednesday.  I would go grocery shopping on a Wednesday or Thursday but since I didnt know what was in my CSA, I often had to grocery shop again to plan around the vegetables I recieved.  This year I gave it more forthought.  My husband now works Monday through Friday, gets paid on a Friday, I grocery shop pay days.  I chose a Wednesday CSA pick up day this season so I could have my vegetables before I went grocery shopping.
2.  Do some recon:  If your CSA is anything like mine, you may not know ahead of time what you are getting in your CSA each week.  It helps if you can check to see what your CSA posted the same week last year.  I have friends on my facebook who are part of a CSA in a different area in my state, they often post what they recieved.  Check the Farmers Almanac when all else fails, it usually predicts what vegetables will come into season certain weeks.
3.  Be prepared:  Before going to pick up your CSA, make sure you have everything you need or everything ready for when you come home.  This means different things depending on how you work in the kitchen.  Before I leave the house I make sure the kitchen is clean and dishes wash, especialy those I know I will need like my food processor, salad spinner or mandalin.  If you compost, make sure your bin is empty.  I usually put a large pot of water on the stove (not turned on!) in preparation of blanching anything I know I want to freeze.  I also make sure Im stocked on things like olive oil, vinegar and freezer bags.
4.  Know you veggies:  As I said, I wouldnt call myself a "pro" because there are still some veggies I dont know.  Before you leave your CSA pick up, review your vegetables to make sure you can identify everything.  Dont be afraid to ask!  If you dont recognize something, generally, the people running the CSA know what it is.  When in doubt ask facebook or do a Google image search.
5.  Look for recipes or ideas:  Once you know what you have, take some time to look for recipes.  There are times when you get beets three weeks in a row.  Check out some new ways to cook things.  Im constantly surprised with new combinations I have never thought of before.  Carrot greens and swiss quiche, dill turkey burgers, Google can open a whole new avenue of tastes.
6.   Set aside time: This kind of goes with the tip of chosing a day and time that fits your schedule.  Once you get home with your CSA set aside time to do all the prep and processing right away, this will save you time later.  See if you have anything leftover from the week before; if its still good freeze it, make pesto, if its gone bad, compost it.  Once you've gotten rid of the old, start dealing with the new.  Remove butts and wash greens right away, putting them in labeled bags in the crisper so they are ready to go for salads.  Remove herbs from stems and either make pesto or put them in a zip bag in the fridge or even set them up for drying (in dehydrator or a baking sheet on lowest heat in oven).  Wash, blanch and freeze whatever greens you dont think you will use right away.   If you have extra carrots or zucchini, grate it and freeze it for bread or muffins in the winter.