Nightshades are a group of vegetables that include:
They are available in Ontario during:
Eggplants -August to October
Tomatoes – July to October however you can get greenhouse grown all year
Bell peppers – June to September
White potatoes – all year!
and others such as goji berries, cayenne pepper, okra and paprika.
Why they are good for you:
I spoke to bell peppers in one of my previous posts which contain high levels of vitamin C and other great antioxidant and anti-inflammatory nutrients.
Eggplants contain antioxidants which may support heart, digestive and immune health
Tomatoes contain high levels of vitamin C and vitamin A and also contains lycopene. This vegetable may support eye, immune, heart and bone health.
White potatoes contain high levels of potassium and manganese. They may support heart and bone health.
Why they might not be good for you:
If you are someone who suffers from digestive issues, autoimmune conditions or allergies, these might not be for you. They contain alkaloids which can cause reactions in some individuals. Most people are fine eating nightshades while others need to be cautious.
How should you prepare them?
-Bell peppers: add them to salads, stir frys, do stuffed peppers, omelettes, add to pasta
-Eggplant: grill on the BBQ, pan fry, add to pasta, bake
-Tomatoes: in the form of pasta sauce, salad and burger toppings
-Potatoes: roasted, baked, and even BBQ’d
Everyone loves a comforting lasagna but if you struggle with digestive issues, have a gluten-intolerance and even a dairy intolerance, lasagnas aren’t so enjoyable.
Below is a quick cheater lasagna that is gluten-free, can easily be made dairy-free AND even vegan!
- 1 lb of ground beef or turkey. Vegan option: two cans of cooked lentils, rinsed
- 1 package of brown rice lasagna noodles
- 1 jar of tomato sauce (I like using a tomato basil flavour). Using a jar sauce cuts out having to use tomato paste, seasonings, etc.
- 1 cup of goat feta or use a dairy-free/vegan alternative
- 1 cup of shredded goat cheese, or daiya cheese
- nutritional yeast for topping
- Preheat oven to 350F
- Cook noodles as per package instructions and drain. Brown rice noodles can be sticky so rinse in cool water and lay separately until ready.
- Add beef or turkey to a frying pan with 1 tbsp of avocado oil on high heat until well cooked. Substitute for lentils if vegan.
- Add 2/3 of the tomato sauce to beef or lentils
- Line a baking dish with a bit of oil or ghee
- Lay down one layer of noodles
- Add half of the beef or lentil mixture
- Add half of the feta and half of the shredded cheese
- Repeat steps 6-8
- Add the last 1/3 of the sauce to the top
- Add the baking dish to the oven for 20 minutes
- Top with nutritional yeast and enjoy!