One of the issues I have been fighting for the last couple of years seems to have found its cause. I have an allergy to peppers. Not peppercorns, which are not the same thing at all, but peppers. Bell peppers, chili peppers, cayenne peppers, ancho peppers, Anaheims, poblanos, jalapenos, and much to my dismay, paprika. I have a sensitivity to tomatoes as well, but nowhere near as severe. Potatoes seem to be okay. So I’ve had to eliminate peppers and reduce the use of tomato products. This has, as you can imagine, turned my kitchen life upside down. And my garden planning as well, because my garden for the last couple years was built around tomatoes and peppers, and now it can’t be.
One of the things that made me wonder about this early on is the fact that my hands would hurt so much after simply dealing with tomato and pepper vines. Especially if I was pruning tomato vines and the juice leaking from the stalk got on my skin. The joints in my fingers would be painful and the skin would erupt anywhere the vines or the peppers touched. The outsides of the peppers. This had nothing to do with the seeds or membranes at all as I always wear gloves when dealing with those. Even bell peppers were a problem now.
I’ve been working to discover ways to try to eat some of my old favorites, using herbs, spices, and different peppercorns to try to come up with new recipes. I have had some successes and some failures, but I thought I’d share a couple of the successes with you today. The first is a nightshade free taco seasoning and the second is a nightshade free barbecue sauce. The taco seasoning is mild and if you want to kick it up a notch you can add 1/2 teaspoon of ground Szechuan peppercorns. I also cook my taco meat with 1 cup of diced yellow onions and I used to add in a pint of diced tomatoes with the juice, as the juice would be what would help the seasoning spread all around. Haven’t quite found a substitute for tomatoes there yet, but it is good without and I just use water instead for the liquid.
Taco Seasoning Ingredients:
1 Tbsp (or less) of salt
1 Tbsp onion powder
1 Tbsp cumin
1 Tbsp coriander
1 Rbsp oregano
1/2 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
Optional: 1/2 tsp ground Szechuan peppercorns for heat (measure after grinding)
Barbecue Sauce Ingredients:
For sweet sauce–
1 cup honey
1 cup apricot jelly (or preserves)
1/2 cup coconut aminos or low sodium soy sauce
2 Tbsp minced garlic
1 tsp black pepper
Add 2 tsp Szechuan pepper to the above ingredients. Adjust to your heat tolerance from there.