Friday, August 21, 2015


George and I recently moved to Franklin, Tennessee, a lovely, historic suburb of Nashville.  We attended our first pot luck since arriving last night and I thought I'd try my "nightshade free" sweet potato salad on my new friends. It seemed to be a hit and since I've updated it somewhat from the recipe in "Caroline's No Nightshade Kitchen" cookbook, I want to share it with you here. Hope you enjoy!!
Be well......with all my best wishes!

Potato salad has been a staple at summer barbeques, picnics, and reunions, in our family for decades. But, without white potatoes? Try this recipe which has everything traditional potato salad has, but sweet potatoes replace white potatoes, making this version “nightshade free.”         Serves 8-10.
4 cups sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in large dice
Kosher salt and black pepper, to taste
2-3 tablespoons dried Italian herb mix
2 cups celery, minced
1 cup white onion, medium dice
                     3/4 cup mayonnaise, or as needed
2 heaping tablespoons Dijon mustard
3 hard boiled eggs, chopped
                     1/2 cup dill relish
1/8 cup fresh lemon juice, to taste
 (Substitute:  1-2 slices preserved lemons, minced)
Place potatoes just covered in water, with salt, pepper, and herb mix. Bring mixture to a boil, then simmer until tender but firm, or about 20-25 minutes.  Drain well and mix with remaining ingredients while potatoes are warm.  Adjust seasoning before serving.
Nightshade free
Gluten free

Lactose free

Friday, May 1, 2015

Want to share a conversation I recently had................

Hello dear friends!  
I recently heard from a woman in North Carolina who had a question about potato starch in fat-free half and half. She had noticed I use this milk product in some of my recipes in Caroline's No Nightshade Kitchen:  Arthritis Diet.  I wanted to share part of what I wrote to her in hopes that this may be helpful to you as well.

I'd love to hear from you too!

(This is part of that recent email.)
I checked my fat free half and half this morning to see if it contained potato starch.  It doesn't, but it does contain corn syrup solids, which may have potato starch.  Food products can be tricky and I'll keep searching.  FF half and half doesn't bother me, but if you're getting a reaction to it, please avoid that as well. I may have mentioned that even a few potato chips sets off a reaction for me, but potato starch in canned soup, for instance, does not. Odd crossover for sure.

Have a question for you though. Do you get a reaction "quickly" after eating certain foods, such as nightshades, or does it take a while. My reactions come quickly and with a vengeance, about 35-40 minutes after accidentally ingesting something.  But I know that's not the format for everyone. Unfortunately, the reactions can be different for many of us, including timing.

I've also found people who are sensitive to nightshades, are sometimes very sensitive to gluten, sugar, and lactose.  Then, I've talked with others who are sensitive to strawberries, spinach, and corn, as well.  I don't find a correlation to the nightshades family, other than causing inflammation (which can be a strong factor), with these particular foods, or with gluten, sugar, or lactose, however. But I know all of these can be destructive and and cause extreme pain. This problem we share is complex and difficult on several levels. Our bodies are very diverse.  

The most difficult situation I have to contend with is eating in restaurants. Even when the waiter assures me that there are no nightshades in the choices I make, and reports that the chef concurs, I often get stung with some seasoning in the sauce, salad dressing. or marinade for the meat or fish. It's frustrating and has a painful outcome. But at the same time, I've had some positive results in talking with the waiter and/or chef about nightshades and consider that my part in the big picture of spreading the word.  I encourage anyone with food allergies or associated problems to bring it to the attention of wait staff in restaurants and with your friends when  you're invited to their home for dinner. 

Well, dear friends.........that's it for now, but I would love to hear from you and talk about your individual situations and how you're doing.   Follow me on Facebook under "Caroline's No Nightshade Kitchen:  Arthritis Diet,"  or email at  I look forward to hearing more from you.

all my very best,....and be well!

Sunday, October 26, 2014


If I had to pick only one favorite food, it would have to be eggs, because there are a zillion ways to create exciting and delicious entrees, appetizers, soups, sandwiches, and of course, breakfasts!  However, at our house, we often enjoy eggs at any meal. Capers in this combination, makes this dish particularly a favorite and this recipe zings with flavor.  And of course, this selection is nightshade and gluten free.  Serves 2-3.                                    
5-6 range free eggs
1-2 tablespoons fat free half and half
Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
1 medium onion, diced large
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
Vegetable oil spray
2 heaping tablespoons capers, drained slightly
½ cup black olives, halved
1/3 to ½ cup Parmesan, grated
1 heaping tablespoon dried dill weed
Whisk the eggs with fat free half and half, salt and pepper, to taste. Set eggs aside.  In a large skillet, prepare pan with olive oil and vegetable oil spray. Place over medium high heat, add onion. Sauté until onion is nicely browned. Add capers and stir until slightly crisp. Top with black olives,
Parmesan, egg mixture, and dill weed.  Stir in a lifting motion to cook eggs and serve.
Nightshade free
Gluten Free

Monday, March 17, 2014

Comments from a Friend

Happy St. Patrick's Day......hope it's a fun, delightful day! But on a more serious note......

A Denver Friend just wrote a lovely note about her progress with Caroline's No Nightshade Kitchen: Arthritis Diet. Thought I'd share some of her comments:

She wrote, "I went off my meds three months ago and I'm going to continue until....??? I do once in a while break the rules, but pretty much hold to your suggestions. Last week, I made the boeuf bourguignon for company and they loved it. Other favorites are the quinoa with apricots and raisins; meatloaf with vegetables; spaghetti with lemon, garlic, and bacon; and the preserved lemons are the best!" 

Thank you, dear friend, and I'm thrilled to know that avoiding nightshades have allowed you to go off your medications. This is big! Please keep me posted as to how you're going.  

But, your note has made me very hungry!

All my best wishes!

(If you'd like to write comments, please feel free to send those to me at,  and your remarks will be posted anonymously, if you wish.)

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Pan seared  mini Salmon Cakes make wonderful appetizers for your next tapas or cocktail party, but they are delicious as a main course served with your favorite side dishes. However, you will enjoy a tangy remoulade sauce, which also makes "nice dipping" for roasted Brussels sprouts, as seen above.  Enjoy!!!  

1/2 cup Miracle Whip or mayonnaise
2 tablespoons NF Worcestershire Sauce
1 tablespoon Dijon
1 tablespoon yellow mustard
1 teaspoon horseradish
juice of 1/2 lemon
Blend well and enjoy! Makes 1 cup. xoxo

P.S. Nightshade free Worcestershire sauces are available at major food markets, but I recommend store brands from  Krogers, King Soupers, and Safeway. Check labels to avoid chili extract, which exacerbates many forms of arthritis.

Caroline Thompson is author of CAROLINE'S NO NIGHTSHADE KITCHEN: ARTHRITIS DIET, available in Boulder at Boulder Book Store and Savory Spice Shop, and in Denver at Savory Spice Shops and The Tattered Cover Book Stores. 

Thursday, January 16, 2014

Poached Tilapia in Lemon Caper Sauce

Here's a very simple fish dish for the new year. It came together quickly last night for dinner and was really tasty. The sauce made the dish and it would be a lovely addition to salmon or trout filets, as well.
Happy New Year!! And may it be healthy and happy!

A very easy midweek supper or for weekend guests, that comes together quickly and tastes delicious!                                             Serves 2.
2 tilapia filets, wash and pat dry
1 cup chicken stock
Splash white wine
Ample squeeze fresh lemon juice
Salt and pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons butter
Season tilapia with salt and pepper, set aside.  Place remaining ingredients in a large skillet with lid and bring to boil.  Lay the fish in the sauce, cover pan, and poach for about 3-4 minutes. Gently turn tilapia over, cover, and cook an additional 3-4 minutes, depending on size of fish. Remove each filet to a serving dish and keep warm.
1/3 cup cold water
1 rounded tablespoon cornstarch
2 tablespoons capers
Quickly bring liquids to boil. Mix water and cornstarch, then add to the sauce. Blend until lightly thickened and add capers. Adjust seasonings. Immediately pour over tilapia and serve.
Nightshade free
Gluten free
Lactose free (omit butter)