Kim has arthritis in her hands. As a musician, that’s not a great thing but the good news is that she has found a way to keep flare ups under control – by avoiding nightshades.
Nightshades contain alkaloids, which have been shown to cause issues for some people with arthritis. Nightshades include potatoes, tomatoes, tomatillos, eggplant & peppers. Not a great thing when you’re someone like Kim who loves Mexican, Thai and Indian food.
While there’s no way she’s going to give up curry (made with hot peppers) we don’t have it as much as we used to. Potatoes are not a huge loss. Tomatoes are more of an issue, but she’s found that pesto pizza, creamy pasta and white chili (a recipe for another day) are all acceptable substitutes.
What has been a problem is salsa. Tonight, we are having tongue tacos (another day as well) and a taco without salsa just isn’t right.
With a few ingredients in my fridge I think I’ve come up with a salsa substitute that is really good. So good that it’s worthy of the “not because it’s free of, just because it’s good” label.
1/2 cup finely diced cucumber
1/4 cup finely diced onion
1 tsp white vinegar
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp coarse ground black pepper*
1/2 tsp lemon juice
Finely chopped cilantro to taste
Mix all ingredients in a bowl and let sit for at least an hour.
To make the salsa hotter add more pepper.
*black pepper is actually a dried fruit (!!) and is not a nightshade.