Friday, March 11, 2011
Ketchup and pasta sauce with NO tomatoes or nightshades...
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My post today is on the topic of “tomato sauces” that are tomato-free AND nightshade-free. Last month I offered some suggestions on alternatives to using red or green tomatoes in recipes, but most of those unfortunately still use members of the Nightshade Family (of which tomato is one), leaving those of us with allergies to the whole Nightshade Family (Solanaceae) in a bit of a fix.
Two days ago I came across a recipe for red pasta sauce that DOESN’T involve tomatoes OR any other nightshades, and I was so excited, I started searching for similar recipes. The original recipe I found was in a fairly old “International Macrobiotic Cuisine” book called Whole World Cookbook, produced by a group of editors at East West Journal back in 1984, and used carrots, beets, and red miso as its main ingredients. My immediate thought was why didn’t I think of using carrots and beets like that?!?
Already I saw a nightshade-free sauce coming together in my mind – carrots being from the Carrot/Parsley Family (Umbelliferae or Apiaceae) and beets from the Goosefoot/Beet Family (Chenopodiaceae). Red miso is soy-derived and therefore from a sub-family called Papilionoideae or Faboideae and which belongs to the larger Legume Family (Leguminoaseae or Fabaceae). As the amount of miso required was quite small, I would probably leave it out altogether. Alternatively, I could easily imagine adding various other ingredients to replace its saltiness if needed, e.g. coconut aminos or a smidge of yeast extract (Marmite). Basically, the macrobiotic recipe I found called for pressure cooking the carrots and beets with onions and then adding the miso and various Italian-style herbs and spices to get the right flavor, plus arrowroot to thicken the sauce.
Inspired by that recipe, I did a quick websearch for other tomato-free and nightshade-free sauces, and to my surprise there were a number of similar recipes using carrots and beets, and not just for pasta sauce but also for ketchup – those of you who have to avoid ketchup because of tomatoes will no doubt be as happy as I was to finally get that item back on the table!**
Here are a few of the recipes I found (note: one uses yams instead of carrots) – I haven’t tried them yet, but am gearing up to do so. If you beat me to it, please let me know how you liked the results. I even found a company that makes such sauces commercially. The best part is that with carrots and beets, you’re already getting more varied nutrients than you would have been getting with tomatoes or their nightshade siblings anyway!
Tomato-free red pasta sauce:
Commercially sold tomato-free sauces:
P.S. For a long time now I’ve used a sauce made primarily of red lentils (which dissolve and become orange) as a pasta sauce topping that is also nightshade-free. Doesn’t taste much like tomato sauce but is very flavorful and colorful plus a great source of additional protein. I’ll try to post that recipe in the coming weeks.
** Of course, if you are allergic to carrots, beets, or any member of their respective food families, or to any of the herbs or spices used in such sauces, you would have to adapt the recipe(s) accordingly. Fortunately there are a number of other vegetables that can be cooked to resemble carrots in texture and color but hail from different food families (such as sweet potato/USA yam or pumpkin). For beets, you’d most likely have to substitute other red-colored foods, perhaps rhubarb or red plums? Wait till my soon-to-be-published book comes out – it’s FILLED with food substitution ideas!
Posted by Bethany Niazian at 10:32 AM