Monday, March 27, 2017


Recently, I hosted  "Souper Supper for Super Women" at my home and served 
India Spicy Lentil Soup
Blue Cheese Chicken and Rice Soup
Salmon Chowder with Vegetables Galore......

Caesar Salad, French Bread, and Carrot Cake Squares completed the dinner. The first "souper suppers" were held in Boulder, Colorado many years ago, followed by a couple more in Memphis, Tennessee, and this was the second in Franklin/ Nashville, Tennessee. It's a fun way to get a group of friends together for a girl's night out, eat some good food, and laugh a lot.  The recipes for the soups are below........... and of course, all are nightshade free.  

India Hot Lentil Soup
1 cup brown lentils, washed and drained
2-3 tablespoons ghee or coconut oil
1 medium onion, minced
2 – 3 teaspoons fresh ginger, grated
½ cup preserved lemon, minced
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 - 3 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon ground turmeric
1 teaspoon white pepper, or more to taste
4-5 tablespoons sweetened grated coconut
1-2 tablespoons brown sugar, to taste
4-5 cups water, more as needed
2-3 teaspoons tamarind concentrate, to taste
3 cups cabbage, thinly sliced
1+ tablespoon nightshade free curry
1 cup cilantro
½ lemon, juiced
Fresh mint, to garnish individual bowls, optional
Salt if needed
Place lentils in soup pan, cover with water, bring to boil and simmer, uncovered about 20 minutes, until tender. Drain well. Heat ghee or oil in a large pot; add onion and ginger, cooking until transparent. Add preserved lemon, cooking for 3-4 minutes, then add lentils and remaining ingredients except cilantro, lemon juice, mint and salt.  Return to boil and simmer for approximately 15 minutes. When done, add cilantro and lemon juice; mix and let stand slightly covered 10 minutes before serving. Individual bowls may be garnished with additional cilantro or fresh mint.

Nightshade free

George made the appetizers for the ladies, which were greatly enjoyed by all. These are delicious and easy to make. Simply place a piece of salmon lox on a favorite cracker. Mix cream cheese with a little fresh lemon and capers, placing a dollop on top of each appetizer. Press slightly, then top with a couple slices pickled ginger and a bit of wasabi cream.

Blue Cheese Chicken and Rice Soup
This recipe came to life when I decided, for some unknown reason, to add blue cheese crumbles to an humble chicken and rice soup. It seems to have worked and I hope you enjoy!  Note:  This hearty soup is good for a large crowd, but would be special for a football afternoon, Christmas Eve or New Year’s Day, or greatly appreciated by a friend who has a cold!  Can be made 1-2 days ahead.  Oh, did I say, this is nightshade free? Serves 16-18

8 cups cooked rice (prepared and set aside)
3-4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
5 garlic cloves, minced
3 quarts chicken stock (reserve one for later)
2 tablespoons dried savory herb mix
1 teaspoon coarse black pepper
3 teaspoons ground sage
1 bay leaf
Sprinkle white pepper, or to taste
Salt, to taste
14 mushrooms, sliced
2 cups celery, sliced
6 cups carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
1 cup frozen green peas
4 skinless/boneless chicken breasts, cut in bite size pieces
Juice of ½ lemon
2-3 cups blue cheese crumbles
Reserve cooked rice.  In a large pot, add olive oil, onion and garlic. Saute until onion is transparent. Add 2 quarts chicken stock with the dried herbs, black pepper, sage, bay leaf, white pepper and salt. Boil 3-5 minutes. Add mushrooms, celery, carrots, and peas, return to boil and simmer about 20 minutes.  Add ½ quart of stock with the chicken breast pieces. Boil, then simmer 10 minutes. Test for salt and other seasonings, adding the lemon juice. Turn off heat and add cooked rice, with additional stock if necessary. While the soup is very hot, add the blue cheese crumbles and blend gently. Serve immediately, or cook and refrigerate. 

 Salmon Chowder
Serves 6-8
1/2 cup butter (extra for finish)
3-6 cloves garlic, minced
¾ -1 onion, coarsely chopped
2 cups celery, sliced
2 cups carrots, in small pieces
3-4 cups baby portabella mushrooms, sliced
2-3 tablespoons dried mix of savory herbs
1 teaspoon sage
Kosher salt and black coarse pepper, to taste
1 quart chicken stock, or more if needed
8 oz. clam juice
4 cups cauliflower, sliced
3 cups frozen corn
2 cups frozen peas
3 tablespoons preserved lemon, minced
4 tablespoons capers
3 cups fat free half and half
3 tablespoons corn starch in 1/3 cup cold water
2-3 cans boneless/skinless salmon and liquids
   (or use fresh salmon or steelhead trout)
1 cup Marsala wine
Crushed whole black peppercorn and white pepper, optional
Saute garlic, onion, celery, carrots, and mushrooms in butter until slightly softened. Add dried herbs, sage, salt, pepper, chicken stock and clam juice. Bring to a boil.  Add cauliflower, corn, peas, preserved lemon and cook over medium heat until cauliflower softens and reduce liquid slightly.  Add capers, fat free half and half and simmer 3-5 minutes.  Add corn starch mixture to slightly thicken, then the fish and Marsala wine. (If using fresh fish, cut into small pieces and cook 1-2 minutes.) Adjust seasonings and add a dollop of butter,  crushed black peppercorn and white pepper, if desired. Thin with additional stock if needed. Cover and let the chowder set a couple hours before serving.
Nightshade free

Dear Friends..........Living without nightshade foods and seasonings can be challenging, but with a little planning and changing some of the ingredients in old or new favorite recipes, you can continue to enjoy foods that are delicious and full of exciting flavors. But without the pain that can be associated with tomatoes, peppers, white potato and eggplant. My goal is to give you options on what you cook and eat, and I hope the information you find on my blog is helpful. I'd love to hear from you as well.

All my best wishes!

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Boeuf bourguignon
Most things change around my house, especially in the kitchen, as did my original boeuf bourguignon, included in my earlier cookbook.  I prefer turnips in this stew as to parsnips (from the first recipe) and the addition of a little instant coffee adds richness.  And of course, this stew is still nightshade free. 
Serves 10-12
3 lbs. eye of round roast, rinsed, dried and cut in
   1-2 inch squares
Sea salt and course black pepper
2 cups flour
4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, more if needed
¾ cup dry vermouth
12 large mushrooms, sliced
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
5-6 garlic cloves, minced
2 white onions, coarsely chopped
1 bay leaf
1 ½ teaspoon instant coffee
3 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce (nightshade free)
2 teaspoon dried thyme
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
2 tablespoons dried parsley
1 bottle dry red wine
4 cups beef stock, more as needed
Juice of half lemon, and more to finish if desired
2-3 large turnips, peeled and cubed
5-6 cups carrots, peeled and cut in 1” pieces

Salt and pepper beef well after cutting into squares. Dredge in flour and brown in batches with the olive oil, being careful not to crowd. When all the meet is browned and placed in a large bowl, remove any excess oil if needed, and deglaze pan with vermouth. Pour over the beef. Place beef, mushrooms, celery, garlic, onion, bay leaf, coffee, Worcestershire sauce, thyme, cloves, parsley, red wine, stock and lemon in a large pot. Bring to boil, then reduce to medium heat and simmer slightly covered for 1 hour. Add additional stock if necessary. At this point, add turnips and carrots and simmer for approximately 1 ½ hours. More time may be necessary. Adjust seasonings and additional lemon juice as preferred. If beef and vegetables are tender, set aside to cool, and refrigerate overnight or several hours, if time permits. The boeuf bourguignon is delicious if you serve immediately, but the flavors are greatly enhanced by the cooling process. Serve hot with crusty bread and enjoy! 

Sunday, March 12, 2017

Hot and Sour Soup
Something to tingle the taste buds, bring delight to your family and guests, but is nightshade free. Chinese hot and sour soup has been a favorite of mine for many years. And now, we can have hot and spicy without joint pain. White pepper, which is not a nightshade seasoning, fires up the heat on it's own. Want it hotter, increase the white pepper!!  Try this soup with chicken, shrimp, or without for a lighter soup. Enjoy! 

Serves 3-4 as main course or 6-8 appetizer soups
6 cups chicken stock
2 cups beef stock
3 cups favorite mushrooms, thinly sliced
1 boneless/skinless chicken breast, cut in thin 1 inch strips,           
16 oz. firm tofu, small diced
3+ tablespoons rice or red wine vinegar, to taste
1/3 cup Chinese wine or dry vermouth
3-4 tablespoons tamari or soy sauce
½ teaspoon Thai fish sauce
1 teaspoon white pepper, or more
2 teaspoons fresh ginger
1 teaspoon white pepper, or more
1/2 cup onion, minced
1 cup green onion, thinly sliced
2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
4 medium carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
3 cups Napa cabbage, thinly sliced
½ lemon, juiced to finish
1 cup cilantro, chopped
1 ½ tablespoon cornstarch in ¼ cup cold water, blended
    (to thicken if needed)
Place both stocks in large pot and bring to boil. Add remaining ingredients except cabbage, cornstarch mixture, lemon and cilantro. Return to boil, then reduce to simmer. Cook soup until vegetables are desired tenderness, about 8-10 minutes. Add cabbage, lemon and cilantro, cooking 3-5 minutes longer. If preferred, add cornstarch mixture and stir, to slightly thicken. Place white pepper and tamari at table for those who want extra spice.
Nightshade Free
Gluten Free
Lactose Free

Monday, March 6, 2017

Caroline Thompson's Caesar Salad........hint of Thai Fish Sauce

Over the years, I've changed this recipe a dozen times. When you marry anchovies, fresh lemon juice, yellow mustard, garlic, and Worcestershire (nightshade free), magic happens! I favor the addition of Thai Fish Sauce, added to this recipe.  Serves 3-4

Special note:  Worcestershire Sauce in your local grocer brand, often is made without chili extract. There are brands of yellow mustard that are prepared without paprika, however I’ve found that regular yellow mustard, with paprika, doesn’t affect some people who have sensitivity to nightshades. 
1 tin flat anchovies, drained slightly and minced
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 teaspoons black pepper, rounded
2 tablespoons yellow mustard, rounded
3/4 cup olive oil
1/3 cup fresh lemon juice
3 tablespoons Worcestershire Sauce (without chili extract)
1 teaspoon Thai Fish Sauce, or to taste
6 cloves garlic, minced
1 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
1  1/2 large heads of  leafy romaine lettuce, washed and dry
Croutons, optional
In small food processor, add first 8 ingredients, blend until smooth.  Dressing better if prepared about an hour in advance and keeps refrigerated for a couple days. Toss dressing with romaine, Parmesan, and croutons, but be careful not to over-dress. Serve immediately, as lemon juice tends to wilt the lettuce.
Nightshade free

Wednesday, February 15, 2017


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. 

Always a favorite at our house, this soup is better the next day
and freezes well.   (If there's leftovers?)                       Serves 6-8
Stick of butter
8-9 large sweet onions, thinly sliced
1 quart of beef stock
1 quart of chicken stock
½ cup Madeira sherry, or to taste
Salt, black and white peppers, to taste
3-4 tablespoons dried Italian herb mix
½ cup softened goat cheese, cut in pieces
½ 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. SautĂ© 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.

Nightshade free

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

PAELLA...........SUCH A VERSATILE DISH.............


This dish was inspired from a Daily Camera, Boulder, Colorado, recipe created by Dakota Soifer of CafĂ© 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 5-6.
Olive oil to cover bottom of pan (1/2 inch)
                    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, sliced
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 preserved lemons)
1 ½  cup frozen green peas
Fresh Italian parsley, minced (and/or green onions)
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.

Nightshade free
Gluten free
Lactose free

Tuesday, February 7, 2017


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 sherry
   (or ¼ cup dry vermouth)
¾ cup buttermilk
½ cup goat cheese, softened
2-3 tablespoons Greek cream cheese, softened
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 consistency.)
Nightshade free
Gluten free