Friday, December 16, 2011

Nightshade-Free Food Ideas

We have been nightshade-free for over a year now...and my husband has never felt better!  I still think there are some other food issues or toxin issues that we still have to deal with, but we need to figure out what those are first!

Through Tony's diet change we have had a chance to share with some friends and family what we are doing and why we are doing it.  Tony has had muscle and connective tissue pain and fatigue for as long as he can remember -- he thought it was "normal".  Through some internet research (thank you Google) we discovered that some people with muscle/connective tissue disorders like arthritis, chronic fatigue and fibromyalgia are helped by going on a nightshade-free diet.  If you want more information, HERE is a great article.

Wednesday night we were asked by a friend for some meal ideas and some tips on how to go "nightshade-free".  She wants to try it for a couple of weeks to see if it helps her pain issues. Here is what I sent her:

  1. Nightshade foods – tomatoes, potatoes, peppers (NOT black pepper), eggplant, pimentos (green olives are stuffed with pimentos), blueberries, paprika, any spices made from peppers (chili powder, curry powder, Mexican spice mixes, etc)
  2. The nightshade spices are the hardest to avoid unless you make everything from scratch – anything with “spices” in the ingredient list probably contains paprika (mayonnaise, salad dressings, etc) and/or some form of peppers.
  3. Replace potatoes with a grain (rice, barley, millet, quinoa, etc) or another starch-y veggie like corn.
  4. Come up with a nightshade-free version of go-to meals:
    1. Beef stroganoff instead of spaghetti
    2. Alfredo sauce instead of tomato sauce (for pasta or pizza) – be careful, most pre-made alfredo sauces contain nightshade spices.  I have a recipe that uses pureed white beans as the base (I just leave out the chili peppers when I make it…it is a bit bland but last time I mixed in some leftover turkey gravy; this really helped!
    3. Olive oil and Italian seasoning can be substituted for tomato sauce on pizza – pizza is the hardest because tomato sauce is  just “part” of pizza – Pappa Murphy’s has a good garlic ranch pizza (probably some paprika in the ranch but it hasn’t caused Tony much problem and we only have it a couple times a year.)
    4. We use a homemade ranch-type dressing on pretty much everything – instead of mayo on sandwiches, on salads, on pizza, instead of catsup, etc
Here is what we had/will have this week:
·  Monday – Turkey Calzones, I used gravy for the sauce – it really just tasted like turkey pot pies.
·  Tuesday – Pasta with white bean alfredo sauce (I added with leftover gravy and it was good!)
·  Wednesday – Youth Christmas party, Tony had meat with onions instead of sloppy joe sauce
·  Thursday – Chicken Wild Rice Soup
·  Friday – Venison and Barley with gravy
·  Saturday – Black Bean and Cheese quesadillas
·  Sunday  -- ??? probably eggs, or pancakes…we usually have eggs at least once each week…often twice!

I try to make stuff with gravy in the winter – it is a good way to get healthy broth into us without making soup (Tony doesn’t like soup, except the wild rice one).  I also try to have beans one to two times a week.  We usually eat eggs one to two times each week.  We eat leftovers or sandwiches (cheese, sunflower seeds, spinach) for lunch everyday.

I hope this helps and gives you some ideas!  Do yo have any favorite recipes that are nightshade-free?

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