Vegetarian Low Iodine Diet: Weeks 2 and 3

So much for food blogging.  I was spending too much time cooking.  And for the last week I have felt pretty crappy. Today was my first “good day” in just about a week.

Tomorrow I expect to be released from the low iodine diet after my 8:30am scan.  It hasn’t been that bad this time.  I really miss milk in my morning tea, and yogurt with breakfast.  I really crave a pizza.  But that’s about it.  Oh, I did have a stray thought about eclairs the other day.

The cost, of course, was spending tons of time in the kitchen, and eating a fairly repetitive diet. It turns out Mexican and Indian work really well for vegetarian low iodine.  I’d say my legume intake went WAY up over the last 3 weeks, which I could probably stand to stick with.

The first thing is that everything from week one got us to week 1.5.  After that, we did a few other things that were quite good. And a big portion of last week I was by myself.

Ubuntu’s Bean soup — which goes very well with salad and fresh bread, and/or roasted vegetables. This is without question the best soup we have ever made, or tasted. I would like to tell you that the co-op’s great northern or navy beans are just as good as the super expensive mail order rancho gordo yellow eye heirloom beans. But it turns out those are pretty delicious. Nevertheless, with great northern beans it’s still the best soup we’ve ever had.

I made a pasta that lasted 3 or 4 meals:

1 onion
several nance carrots (the super sweet ones)
24 oz mix of button and cremini mushrooms
plenty of crushed garlic
salt, pepper, thyme and oregano to taste, plus some crushed red pepper for kick
big handful of dried porcini, soaked in boiled water for 30 minutes, then strained (reserve the liquid, rinse off the porcinis, chop them)

Sautée carrots and onions till soft, add fresh shrooms and garlic until they give up their juice, add in soaked porcinis and reserved liquid and cook the liquid down until it’s a thick sauce.  Meanwhile, boil a pound of whole wheat pasta.  Toss everything together, serve.  Truffle oil is a nice topping if you can’t put a little parm on.

“Cuban” black beans and rice (from New Recipes from the Moosewood) NOTE: although this is a delicious recipe, I am very skeptical of their “Cuban” origin.  I prefer to use orange juice rather than tomato juice, and instead of plain brown rice, we make a Mexican red rice recipe from The Border Cookbook (naturally, with veggie stock rather than meat stock–actually, The Border Cookbook is an amazing vegetarian cookbook despite the fact that most of the recipes require meat).

Tonight I made tacos with the leftover beans and some sautéed veggies.  I topped them with a red onion I’d sliced thin, and cooked in half a cup of cider vinegar and half a tablespoon of sugar (then I added more sugar).

For breakfasts, it’s been grits, or quick breads.  Especially: a couple rounds  of whole grain banana bread, modified from this recipe: 1/4 cup coconut oil instead of butter (I think that may improve it), no nuts, no chocolate chips, and egg whites only, oh, and 2T wheat germ. It’s definitely heavier than your regular banana bread, but I really like it. The corn muffins from the Low Iodine Cookbook have also been good, though I got a bit tired of them. And now I’m enjoying some banana and blueberry oat bran muffins.

There were a lot of lunches of toast with peanut butter and fruit (or jam), and snacks of carrots and hummus.

That’s about it. I will NOT miss rice milk in my tea. Most of the rest of this stuff, I would eat for pleasure anyway. So it’s worked out okay.

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