A Blog About Health and Alternative Living

Nightshade-Free Curry (Paleo/Primal/GAPS)

I’ve had to give up a lot of different foods over the last year or so – gluten, dairy, caffeine, almonds, pork, alcohol, sunflower/pumpkin seeds, and nightshades.  Surprisingly, the hardest food type for me to do without, by far, has been the nightshades.

What is a nightshade, you ask?  It is a type of plant that grows a little cap on the top of the fruit, and includes tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, and eggplant.  These plants contain chemicals that can be toxic in large quantities – or if you’re like me and have chronic Lyme or another infection, your liver just can’t process them normally.

Now think about world cuisine in respect to the nightshades.  Italian, Mexican, Chinese, Thai, Indian – they ALL rely on nightshades to create their distinct flavors.  Even American food revolves around nightshades (chili, french fries & ketchup).  One also has to watch out for any food that has peppery spices – cayenne, paprika, crushed red pepper, etc.  It really does make eating out almost impossible!

The good news?  Black pepper and sweet potatoes are not nightshades.

It took me about six months and a loooong winter with none of my favorite foods before I got desperate enough to try making curry with no spicy spice.  Thankfully, I was completely satisfied with the result.

Here I pass it on to those of you out there who are also whimpering with desire for a little ethnic food!
This makes a large pot, big enough for a crowd.  Or big enough for you to eat lunch on all week.    The base recipe uses mostly root vegetables, and then I add something green to right before serving or reheating.

Makes a big pot
20-30 min prep, 10-15 min cook

2 quarts chicken bone stock – homemade preferable
1 can organic coconut milk (free of carrageenan)

1 large or 2 medium sweet potatoes, cubed
1 medium rutabaga, cubed
2 carrots, chopped in 3/4″ pieces
3 medium turnips, cubed
1 medium onion, chopped
3-5 cloves garlic, smashed and chopped
1-3 inches fresh ginger, minced (optional 1-2 T ground ginger)

1 T ground cumin
2 T ground turmeric
2 T ground coriander
1 T ground cinnamon
Salt to taste (will depend on if you are using salted broth or plain stock)

Heat chicken stock and add vegetables as you chop.  Add all spices and stir well.  Simmer until vegetables are soft, about 10-15 minutes.  Add coconut milk, stir, and remove from heat.  Taste – add more salt and/or more spices to your preference.

Lotsa options:
* Just before serving, stir in fresh spinach, swiss chard, or other green vegetable of your choice.  I like to add them late so they still retain some bite and bright green color – if you add them and then reheat later, they will be mushy and dark.
* Feel free to use chicken or any other meat in this recipe as well.  You could cook the chicken beforehand and make the broth at the same time!
* You can also serve over rice or quinoa, if you aren’t avoiding grains, and still keep this gluten free.
* Finally, omit the coconut milk if you don’t like coconut flavor.  It is still delicious!  I actually prefer it this way sometimes (and that is the way it’s pictured above).



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