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Low Iodine ... help!


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Dear cooks.... I need some inspiration please!  I have 9 days left on my low-iodine diet and I'm struggling. 

I cant eat salt or anything that may have salt in it... so no pre-produced food.  I can't eat dairy at all ... nor can I have eggs.  Nothing from the sea and nothing with red food colouring.  no soya but 4 oz of meat a day is ok but I have to be totally 100% sure that salt was not used in the butchery/packing process and in France (I've been told) this is normal? 

So basically I'm eating fruit and veg and pulses.  I've made some salt free bread and it's ok... not great though (better if I spread with honey)  I can have small amounts of rice... and I've made popcorn (salt and butter free of course)

I know there are lots of great cooks out there so just wondering if anyone has any great simple suggestions that I could make [:D]

p.s. I cant even wear lipstick [Www]

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I made a huge pan of vegetarian chilli, no artificial ingredients, might suffer a bit without the salt and veg stock but it would still be quite nice I should think.  It's dirt cheap too.  We do huge amounts of things and freeze it in bags so we just nuke it in the microwave and have it with baked spuds or rice.  I'll post the recipe if you want but it contains tinned toms, mixed beans, kidney beans, onions, various veg to suit and lots of spices.

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Veg chilli sounds a great idea... I've got a freezer full of tomatoes so that's not a problem  - thanks Crossy x

I think salt is iodized?  or from the sea?  I'm just following orders in that I have to deplete all my reserves of iodine and salt is a big no no [:$]

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Hi Sweets - thanks for the link.  I was given some information from the hospital and I did download a book but it's american and lots of the ingredients seem to be specific to american shops.  I've tried to search for non-iodized salt but not found any, bit like getting a definative answer about the meat question [:)]

I was also not sure about curry and chilli spices because of the red food colour thing but I do have some home grown dried chilli that I can use.  There are a few things I've looked at and considered but I'm a bit nervous on taking a chance as I want to be as saintly as I possibly can be.  I'm not too worried about going meat free for a couple of weeks so this is not big deal... but I'm stuck for ideas.  I made a soup and it was horrible :)  I'll have a go at the chilli tonight though [:D]

I wondered if Dog had any ideas... but haven't seen him around for a little while [:$]

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Common salt has no iodine in it. Sodium yes, chlorine yes Iodine no unless stated on the packet as 'Iodinised' ie Iodine chloride added.  Maybe trace amounts in sea salt

But in any case, reducing salt intake is a good idea for most people generally-  Most of us comsume far too much.

Non of my business but I assume you are going to be given a dose of Iodine-131 radioisotope, I can sort of see how excessive sodium chloride could interfere with the uptake of that.


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Quite right Pierre ( I think)  radioactive iodine as I know it... my simple understanding is that if I deplete my reserves any remaining thyroid/cancer cells will be so hungry they'll munch up all the radioactive iodine and die... hence why I want to be as saintly as I can to help them all along [:)]

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This recipe will do me and Julie about 10 means so quite a lot, it freezes really well with no drop in heat unlike curry when frozen (I mean it doesn't go bland when reheated).

3 Onions finely chopped.

2 carrots finely chopped

4-5 sticks of celery

6 cloves of garlic

4 tins of chopped toms (substitute for real ones if you have em)

4 tins of kidney beans (400g ish size)

3 tins of sweet corn (200g ish size)

1/2 a litre jug of dried mixed beans (use canned if you're feeling flush or short of time).  I use Pinot, haricot, cannellini and chic peas.

5 small peppers finely chopped

2 courgettes, no need to chop small

2 litres veg stock (use water if salt is an issue)

1/2 tsp all spice.

At least 1/4 a 50g jar of ground cumin seed

1/2 jar chilli flakes

3/4 jar of mild chilli powder

Salt and pepper to taste.

I tend to splash a bit of Tabasco sauce in too just for a bit of complexity but not too much.

Soak your beans over night, don't bother to cook them, they will steep in the chilli for a few hours.

Put a 3 tbsp of olive oil in a pan and fry off the onions, garlic and celery. 

Add the other veg and fry for a bit.

Add all the other ingredients as you want really, it is all going to simmer away for 3-4 hours any way.

Add the spices and tweak to taste.

Really easy meal just bung it all together, the cumin is really important, I added quite a bit more the second time and it did it some good.

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I hardly ever use salt in cooking (except bread, when you do notice if it's left out.)

I've got some pumpkin soup on simmering now, with various veg added, and no salt.

You seem to be looking for filling dishes, so try lentils, or split peas, or dried beans, soaked.

Always start with onions softened in oil, then add the pulses and water, maybe some tomato purée.

Avoid stock cubes because I think they always contain salt - Crossy in last post mentioned the same thing.

Are you allowed rice? you can do the same kind of thing with that.

Onions will always dominate over lack of salt,and give a pleasant sweet/savoury flavour.

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Like Patf, I often cook various pulses added to onion lightly browned in oil, as that gives lots of flavour. I also use tomato, but usually tinned  pulped tomatoes (if that's the right word), as it bulks it up nicely. Of course, if you have a glut of tomatoes from the garden or there are lots on the market you can use those. I add lots of fresh or freeze-dried herbs, which also gives it lots of taste, without adding salt. Home grown peppers and chillies make good variations. I serve all these on a bed of rice; I haven't tried it without salt, so I suppose adding freeze-dried herbs to rice would give that some flavour too. Served on a baked potato is tasty too. Various combinations of vegetables made into soups, sometimes pureed, make up a part of our autumn and winter lunch diet; again usually with pepper and herbs from the garden or freezer added instead of salt.

Rose, your post made me reflect on how much we rely on salt; I add a very little to rice, porrage, bread etc, but I do miss it if it's left out for some reason! And I love a plain baked potato with a little salt, pepper and butter. I do hope you can find lots of good recipes.

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Just reminded me, I added a bit of tomato purée last time too. 

Anyone tried adding a clove of garlic to cauliflower cheese?  God it's to die for (along with a tbsp of salt, need to buy lo salt). 

I melt some butter in a pan (big nob, oooh errr) and add the crushed garlic, fry for a minute or two then add 1/2 a pint of milk, bring to the boil and thicken with cornflour.  Add salt and pepper (way more salt that is healthy but we don't eat much processed food so this is really the only salt laden food we have so I feel a bit better) and grated cheese.  Pour sauce onto pre-boiled cauliflower and sprinkle remaining cheese.  Put in oven for 20 minutes to brown and infuse.

I am reely looking forward to our move to France so I can spend more time cooking.  

Who's up for a chilli cook off then?[:D][B]

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Thanks Crossy - I had a stuffed aubergene for tea (peppers, onions, garlic, courgette and parsnip)  I can have olive oil and Greyman made some chilli olive oil so I used that and loads of pepper... it was ok-ish but what it really needed was some salt and some grated cheese :) 

Greyman is the chilli cook in our house and he's going to make me a veg chilli tomorrow - I can't have anything tinned but do have a selection of dried beans (oddly there are a few I can't have too, including kidney beans... but we'll substitue). 

I made a cauliflowere cheese for the chaps yesterday and I sooo wanted some... and I made christmas cakes today and wanted to lick the bowl.

Before I started this I thought it would be a doddle... after all it's only two weeks... odd how you miss food and tastes so much!  The doctor said that my taste buds could be affected following the RAI for up to 3 months... I really really hope not! [blink]

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[quote user="gardengirl "]

I add lots of fresh or freeze-dried herbs, which also gives it lots of taste [/quote]

Darn... we grew lots and lots of different herbs this year... we should have frozen the last of them before the frosts came!  must remember next year.

By the way... thanks to everyone else too for the ideas [kiss]

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Hello Norman... thanks for the link.  I have been on that site a few times, it's really useful as it deals just with Thyroid Cancer... and I downloaded their book...  Today I hit the halfway mark on the diet and it makes me feel a lot happier as I know I'm on the homeward straight :)  Stupid really as it is only two weeks... I need to get a grip :)

Thanks for thinking of me and I hope you're keeping well!

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[quote user="sweet 17"]

Very good news about Cathy.  Op done and only the chemo remaining.  Her wonderful and lovely OH is with her.  There are people looking after her children, her dog and her house.

So......go, go, go, Cathy!  Get well, pronto!!!!!


Thanks Sweets... so glad the op is over! xx

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