Nightshades are chock full of alkaloids, which distinguish this food family (whose father is the Dark Lord of the Sith) from others on the block. This quirky kin clan includes: peppers, eggplant, tomato, potatoes, paprika, tobacco, and more (lotsa infos there).
Nightshades are my etymology QoftheDay. Taken from the OED (Online Etymology Dictionary):
"O.E. nihtscada, lit. "shade of night," perhaps in allusion to the poisonous berries. A common Germanic compound, cf. Du. nachtschade, Ger. Nachtschatten."
Nightshadess I may be (since I am female who enjoys nightshade society), but alkaloids fail to settle well with many a tummy. Also, many a nerve and many a joint may be suffering. Generally speaking, nightshades don't upset too many an organ unless one takes a doozy of a dose. Rule of thumb (or paring knife, potato peeler, whatever): slyly slice the offending extra alkaloid-rich greeneries protruding from your potatoes and green tomatoes (find the best nightshade site I found here).
Nighshadessness has overtaken me 2 nights this past week. Below you will find 2 adventures into the dark, seedy, and nutty underbelly of vegan cuisine. Will you dare to delve into the depths, swim toward the dancing light, and surface with 1 of these dishes, the pot's handle gripped in your jaws of hunger?
Nightshadelessness is not an option. Emerge from the deep sea (or woods, mountains, whatever) with a dinner. No one wants to see you arrive empty-mouthed.
Saffron Spinach with Macadamia Nuts (gf&vegan)
1 package frozen spinach (16 oz. bag from Trader Joe's)
2 small onions, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 Tablespoon oil (I used grapeseed)
handful chopped pepper
handful roasted salted macadamia nuts
1 generous pinchful of saffron
1/4 teaspoon pink salt
First put the oil, garlic, and onions in a saucepan over medium heat. Let sizzle and stir them about until they start to brown. Then add frozen spinach. Keep stirring and cooking it together. Once spinach is no longer frozen, stir in pepper, macadamia nuts, saffron, and salt. Cook for about another five minutes to infuse the saffron into the dish, then serve!
Tomatoed Chickpeas with Sesame Seeds (gf&vegan)
handful chopped bell pepper
1 Tablespoon oil (I used olive oil)
In almost no time, you'll have a dark side dinner to mwahahaha over with the fam'!