Welcome to CAROLINE'S NO NIGHTSHADE KITCHEN: ARTHRITIS DIET. If you have an inflammatory disease, or you just love to cook and enjoy delicious food, you've found the right place. We'll explore the effect of nightshade foods in the diet and have fun with interesting recipes. NIGHTSHADES ARE: TOMATOES, PEPPERS, WHITE POTATOES, AND EGGPLANT. If you'd like to follow the blog and get updated recipes and information, please sign up at the bottom. Look forward to hearing from you!
Things are always changing at my house.....where the furniture is placed, where my art hangs, a new twist on an old favorite recipe......and French Onion Soup was next in line. However, this is a good new version. Don't be concerned that there's goat cheese and Greek cream cheese in place of the traditional Parmesan, you may like this better as well.
I hope you enjoy....and of course, it's always nightshade free.
FRENCH ONION SOUP
Always a favorite at our
house, this soup is better the next day
and freezes well. (If there's leftovers?) Serves 6-8
large sweet onions, thinly sliced
quart of beef stock
quart of chicken stock
cup Madeira sherry, or to taste
black and white peppers, to taste
tablespoons dried Italian herb mix
cup softened goat cheese, cut in pieces
cup softened Greek cream cheese, cut in pieces
2 slices of bread or 2 rolls (cut in half), topped with cheese for each bowl
1 lemon reserved
Optional: If you prefer a thicker soup, mix
2 tablespoons cornstarch with ¼ cup
water, add and simmer a few minutes more.
Place butter and onions, in
large stock pot. Bring to medium high heat. Sauté onions for approximately
20-30 minutes, stirring often, until translucent. Add
beef and chicken stocks, or use either stock doubled. Add Madeira
sherry, salt, both peppers, and
herb mix. Simmer for 10 minutes. Adjust
seasonings, including herbs. Add juice of ½ lemon and cheeses, blending well. Simmer
a few additional minutes. When ready to serve, spread one or both cheeses on bread
slices or split rolls, and toast. Ladle soup into serving bowls and float
toasted bread in each. Slightly submerge
cheese toast into soup. Serve hot.
This dish was inspired from a
Daily Camera, Boulder, Colorado, recipe created by Dakota Soifer of
Café Aion, December, 2012. I wanted a
paella to serve on Christmas Eve, however the original recipe contained several
nightshades. After a few additions and
omissions, a nightshade free paella
was born and Christmas Eve dinner was a success. Preserved lemon replaces tomatoes in this
recipe and adds acidity. Serves
Olive oil to cover bottom of pan (1/2
1 cup leek, minced
1 medium onion, chopped
4-6 garlic cloves, minced
10-12 mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 cup celery, diced
1 ½ cup carrots, thinly sliced
1 cup black or other favorite olive,
1 cup Spanish rice or similar other
small grain rice
2/3 cup preserved lemons, minced
A large pinch saffron
2 teaspoons turmeric
½ cup white wine or dry vermouth
1-2 qts. chicken stock, or more as needed
White pepper, to taste
(Little to no salt if using salted
1 ½ cup frozen green peas
Fresh Italian parsley, minced (and/or
Drizzle olive oil, to finish (optional)
In a large flat skillet or
paella pan, add olive oil 1/2 inch deep. Raise temperature to medium high, add
leek, onion, garlic, mushrooms, celery, carrots and olives. Cook until garlic is
translucent and vegetables become al dente, about 8-10 minutes. Layer rice over
vegetable mixture, tossing until rice becomes a beautiful golden brown, about
5-8 minutes (this is referred to as the golden moment). Add a splash of olive
oil, if the mixture becomes dry. Add
preserved lemon, saffron, and turmeric mixing well. If needed raise heat, then add ½ cup white
wine or dry vermouth in pan; combine ingredients. Distribute rice mixture, shaking pan. After
this action, please do not move the rice until finished, but be careful not to
burn. Begin to ladle chicken stock around the edges of the rice, carefully not
to disturb the rice. Repeating this process may take up to 30-45 minutes for
the rice to absorb necessary liquid. (When done, the rice should be tender, but
not sticky.) Season paella with white
pepper, as desired. Add frozen green
peas, fresh parsley and/or green onions, and mix well to cook, over low heat. Top with cooked seafood or chicken, before
serving. Note: The paella can be prepared about an hour
before serving, but when doing this, leave the rice more firm as it will puff-up as it sits.
Partially cover only.
Note: A favorite
way to serve paella is to top with crispy roasted chicken wings. Toss wings in olive oil and season well, or season
with nightshade free dry rub which pares
well with the paella.
Traditional split-pea soup
has been a long-time favorite at our house, but this version adds a bit of
pizzazz with the addition of buttermilk, Madeira
sherry, and a couple cheeses that blend nicely.
16 oz. dried split peas
1 whole onion, coarsely chopped
4 garlic clovers, minced
Extra virgin olive oil
3-4 whole carrots, peeled and sliced
1/3 cup fresh parsley
1 quart chicken stock
¼ cup Madeira
(or ¼ cup dry vermouth)
¾ cup buttermilk
½ cup goat cheese, softened
2-3 tablespoons Greek cream cheese,
3 tablespoons dried Italian herb mix
Salt and black pepper, to taste
Juice of 1 lemon
Wash and drain the split peas
and set aside. In a large pan with lid,
saute the onion and garlic in about 2 tablespoons olive oil, until
translucent. Add carrots, parsley,
chicken stock and bring to a boil. Cover and reduce heat to simmer and cook for
approximately 25 minutes or until peas are tender. Then add the Madeira,
buttermilk, cheeses, and dried herbs.
Simmer until the cheese have blended well. Add salt and pepper to taste with the lemon
juice. Adjust seasonings. (Madeira adds a bit of sweetness to the soup, but if
preferred dry vermouth adds a pleasing flavor. Add water for desired
As some of you know, preserved lemons are a staple in my kitchen. My original recipe, which I have enjoyed for years, has been the "go to" for all kinds of foods: fish, Moroccan and Spanish dishes, many vegetarian choices, stews and soups, and the list goes on. The lemons just add a kick to my cooking choices that no other ingredient offers. However recently, I was getting ready to make a paella and realized I had about 3 small slices of preserved lemons in the refrigerator. Panic of course was my first response as I need 1 1/2 cups minced, but then decided to try something that basically made sense. Here's my very quick preserved lemon recipe which surprised and delighted me. My original recipe takes about 45 minutes to prepare and five days to cure before use. This new version, takes about 8-10 minutes and it's ready to use. This is a no-brain-er!
QUICK PRESERVED LEMONS 1. Wash 3 lemons, trim both ends slightly, and cut in rounds. 2. In a large skillet, add extra virgin olive oil about 1/4 inch deep. 3. Arrange a layer of the lemon slices in the olive oil and sprinkle with a ample coating of sea or kosher salt. 4. Saute for about 4 minutes on each side or until supple. Remove to a clean container with tight cover (do not drain) and cook any remaining lemons slices. 5. When cool, pour remaining olive oil and salt over the lemons and refrigerate. Lemons will keep for a couple months, if they last that long! Let me know what you think, but this version is not only a time saver in preparation, but actually uses much less salt and olive oil. It's a winner in my book. Be well and pain free with nightshade cooking! Caroline
MY SPICY NIGHTSHADE-FREE DRY RUB........... One of the things I'd missed most about being nightshade-free is barbecue which is normally packed with nightshade seasonings. However, the spicy dry rub that I created several years ago, has saved the day in my kitchen. We now enjoy smoked ribs, barbecue chicken, wings, pork, etc. without causing any pain or discomfort from what we are eating. I even have friends who say they prefer my rub over commercial rubs that contain cayenne pepper and paprika. My brother Teddy Burnett, an amazing barbecue chef in Southeast Missouri, suggested that I mix my ingredients (on pulse) in a blender to heighten the flavors. He was right and the taste has greatly improved. Thank you, Brother! Here's the recipe and I hope you'll try it. You can also mix the rub in apple cider vinegar with a little olive oil to make a sauce for barbecuing or a marinade.
When marinating meat or poultry, baste with add olive oil and vinegar before applying rub.
The olive oil is a must! As you know, black and white peppers are not nightshades, but a distant cousin.
tablespoon coarse black pepper
tablespoon Kosher salt
tablespoon garlic powder
teaspoon onion powder
tablespoon Italian herb mix (or dried
tablespoon black peppercorn (crushed)
teaspoons white pepper (more for extra heat)
teaspoons ground ginger
ingredients well in a blender to crush the black peppercorn to a finer spice. Use
the pulse button. This recipe doubles or
triples easily. Store in a tightly sealed container.
So happy grilling.....spring and summer are just around the corner!
Earlier today, I enjoyed a delicious Chinese dish at PF Chang, in Franklin, Tennessee. As I often do, I explained to the waiter that I'm allergic (or actually have a toxic reaction) to nightshade foods that causes great pain in my hands. She sent her manager over to our table, who was terrific. He'd not heard of nightshade sensitives, but explained his chef was very familiar with this problem and would carefully prepare my luncheon selection so it would be totally free of nightshade, even washing the wok to prevent cross-contamination. You can bet, I'll go back to PF Chang and tell my friends. The manager explained they are very careful with gluten, lactose, etc. but seemed to appreciate learning about nightshades as well. In reality, I've found most restaurants very helpful and courteous about helping with the nightshade issue, and I feel it's my job to spread the word. For those of you with nightshade or other food sensitivities, I hope you are finding the same excellent service and reception that I found at PF Chang today. Happy Dining Out! Caroline GINGER CHICKEN WITH BROCCOLI......
POACHED PEARS WITH BLUEBERRY REDUCTION....AND A SURPRISE TO FINISH................ I've avoided sugar for many years, maybe 17, and I'm always looking for desserts that are satisfying and pretty, but are basically sugar free. Agave is a good choice for me, because the sweetness from agave doesn't trigger my appetite for more sweets, that regular sugar does. This pear recipe is interesting because of the blueberry reduction, pretty with so much color and texture, and a surprise finish I discovered recently, that adds a bit more flavor. Check this out! (6 servings) Wash 3 large pears, cut in half and remove center spine, creating a small indentation. In a large skillet with lid, add: 2 cups of water splash dry vermouth or white wine 3-4 tablespoons agave pinch of salt 2 tablespoons butter 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg Bring to a boil and add pears, cut side down. Cover with lid and cook over medium high for about 4 minutes. Turn pears over and repeat for 4 minutes. Use a pick to determine when done. Remove pears, raise heat to reduce liquid to a golden thick syrup. Set aside. While the pears are cooking. add to a small skillet: 3 cups frozen blueberries 1/3 cup agave, or more as needed 3-4 tablespoons balsamic vinegar, or to taste pinch of salt 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon 1-2 tablespoons butter Cook blueberries until liquid is reduced. Taste for desired sweetness and add additional agave if needed. Set aside. PLATING........... Place pears on individual dessert plates. Drizzle the first reduction from cooking the pears over the pears (this finish adds additional color and flavor), then add a spoonful of the blueberry reduction in the indention on each pear. Garnish with a sprig of mint and serve. Enjoy! Happy Cooking Nightshade Free! Caroline