Many of you will have heard the term “Deadly Nightshades”.
Now deadly is taking things a little far, but the nightshade group of vegetables can cause problems for people if they suffer from a number of conditions (especially those linked to chronic pain & inflammation such as arthritis or fibromyalgia, as well as allergies) due to a number of natural compounds they contain. An example is the glycoalkaloids which are a protective pesticide produced by nightshade plants.
Pesticides?! But all pesticides are terrible we should never eat them?!
In this situation the pesticides we’re talking about are designed to prevent little insects munching away on these crops, so they are detrimental to bugs but when we eat them they should become beneficial, aiding anti-inflammatory & anti-microbial processes as well as having cancer protective properties.
The problems arise in those unable to harness these positives due to chronic diseases that hamper the process. In those situations people will be advised to avoid these foods which as you can see from the abridged list below means they can be facing a slightly bland (& very un-Italian friendly) diet.
- Cape Gooseberries (or ground cherries, different from regular cherries)
- Cayenne Pepper, Chilli Pepper Flakes & Powder, Paprika
- Chinese Five-Spice Powder
- Curry Powder
- Garam Masala
- Goji berries
- Hot Sauce, Ketchup & BBQ Sauce
- Most Spice Blends
- Peppers (including bell peppers, sweet peppers, chili peppers & jalapenos)
- Potatoes (all except sweet potatoes)
Today’s recipe is designed to blow through all those pre-conceptions of ‘without tomatoes I can never have……’ Who needs tomatoes when you’ve got other beautifully sweet veggies to fill the gap I say.
It is suitable for those on a nightshade free or low-histamine diet as well as well as just being generally delicious. It is also hugely versatile and need not be confined to a pasta topping, it works brilliantly when used to gently poach fish or within my Chicken & Spinach Quinoa.
- 2 large beetroot
- 3 large carrots
- 1 large courgette
- 3 cloves garlic
- 1/2 organic vegetable stock cube
- 500ml boiling water
- 1 tsp dried mixed herbs
- 1 tsp coconut oil
- freshly ground black pepper
- Peel the carrots & beetroot (at this point I occasionally don some gloves to avoid pink fingers!) Then use a coarse grater to grate the carrots, beetroot & courgette.
- In a large frying pan melt the coconut oil then add your grated veggies. Sweat on a low heat, stirring occasionally for 10 minutes until soft.
- Meanwhile roughly chop your garlic & prepare the vegetable stock by dissolving the stock cube in the boiling water.
- Add the garlic, herbs & pepper to the pan & continue to cook gently for a further 5 minutes before adding the stock. Bring the pan to a gently simmer then cover with a lid & leave to cook for 25 minutes.
- After 25 minutes you will have a beautifully sweet sauce, you can leave it at this point or use a hand blender to puree until smooth.
- Serve with your choice of pasta, my preference would be one of the Really Healthy Pasta range or King Soba Black Rice Noodles