The Nightshade plant family (aka the Solanaceae family) consists of white potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants. Last night's dinner featured roasted eggplant, yellow peppers, and red peppers, all of which was covered with a spicy tomato sauce... it was a nightshade party in my mouth!
Thankfully I'm not allergic or sensitive to them because believe it or not, lots of people have allergies/sensitivities to these veggies because they trigger inflammation and contain potentially aggravating and/or toxic alkaloids. Allergies to yummy and healthy vegetables? Absurd I know! Alas, I will likely treat patients with these allergies (note: reactions to nightshades often present as eczema, acne, rashes, arthritis, chronic pain, and even hives). I have to be prepared to offer them culinary solutions to the nightshade-rich world we live in. As such, I hope to have a nightshade-free section of my future cookbook. So far, here are some substitutions I've come up:
Replace Pizza/Pasta Sauce with Pesto (basil, garlic, olive oil, salt, and pine nuts) or Zattar (a delicious Middle Eastern sauce made of olive oil, sesame seeds, thyme, and oregano... it's great as a base for pizza, our local pizza joint calls it "white sauce" and offers it instead of the typical red marinara sauce).
Replace Tomato-based Chili with White chili (such as this recipe).
Replace Salsa with Guacamole (top burritos, nachos, and tacos with this good stuff instead).
Replace Mashed Potatoes with Mashed Cauliflower (it looks, feels, and tastes like creamy whipped potatoes, only it is made of cancer-fighting cauliflower, see recipe below).
1 head cauliflower, chopped
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 tablespoon olive oil or butter
Boil the veg for 5 minutes in a pot of water. Drain and add the veg to a blender, food processor, or puree using handheld blender, along with the salt and fat of choice. Serve warm with a pat of butter and freshly diced chives. (Pic of bowl of mashed cauli with hot Earth Balance butter).