I am in the process of healing my leaky gut and need to avoid all nightshades, including spices (red pepper, cayenne pepper, and paprika). All nightshades cause joint pain. I hope some day to resume eating them, but in the meantime I sure do miss chili on these cold winter evenings.
Does anyone have any suggestions for a nightshade-free chili?
Nothing you'll manage will taste remotely of chili in the traditional sense I'm afraid, but I think you could get away with something like... Ground beef with coconut milk? If you simmered it long enough and cooked off most of the water it might recreate some of the chili stuff you're looking for. Maybe some lemon to cut the fat and some other spices/herbs like garlic, cumin, black pepper, cinnamon... Or you could try toying with different spice blends like an Italian (oregano, garlic, basil, thyme, rosemary) or herbes de provence (majoram, thyme, rosemary, savory, basil, sage, fennel seeds), or maybe a curry (cumin, tumeric, mustard, coriander, cardamom, black pepper) or a garam masala (cumin, coriander, cardamom, black pepper, cinnamon, cloves, nutmeg).
I'm nightshade free too, learn to love spice blends and to cut all your savoury dishes with an acid and you're golden ^_^
1 lb ground beef, 1 chopped onion, 3/4 c chopped celery, 1 c mushrooms (optional),
1 tsp salt, 2 tsp oregano (crushed dry leaves), 2 tsp cumin powder, 1 tsp ground black pepper, 1 tsp garlic powder,
2 c Nomato sauce (Google Nomato recipe or order online), 1/2 c Nomato ketchup (same as above),
1 tsp hickory flavor, 1 tsp balsamic vinegar, 2 cloves garlic, 1 can (14 oz) kidney beans (use juice too), 1 c water, --- fresh ground pepper (liberal amounts!),
Saute first 4 ingredients. Drain fat.
Add rest and simmer 2 hours.
My favorite three nightshade hacks are horseradish sauce (found in the mayo aisle) which I use to make tacos, chili, etc. For any pasta sauce, I mix greek yogurt with any red wine (usually marsala wine - good or dry cooking version are both awesome & easy)in my magic bullet. For meatball subs, I use pesto mixed with ranch dressing (beware of brands - lots have paprika) as the sauce. Out of this world!!!!!
I second Sharon's answer above, specifically the pesto and greek yogurt suggestions.
Also, I'm planning to experiment using tzatziki sauce with a pre-mixed spice blend (such as curry powder or ras al hanout powder). But none really approximates the goodness of the chili taste because of lack of capsaicin!
Also also, I'm going to edit an article I recently wrote about nightshades to include some of these ideas.
The main spice people identify with chili (other than chili peppers) is cumin. You can probably just start with a basic chili recipe and delete the spices that come from chili peppers. You'll also have to omit tomato products. Of course, it's no longer chili once you omit the peppers and tomatoes, but you may still end up with a nice beef and veggie stew nonetheless, and the cumin will keep it chili-ish.
Okay, I think I can help. Cut some lean pork into one inch cubes. Saute in your fat of choice until they get a little color on them. Remove from the pan and sweat some diced onion and garlic for a couple of minutes. Deglaze the pan with a little water or chicken stock, scraping up anything stuck to the bottom. Add the pork back to the pan along with lime juice, cilantro, cumin, salt and black pepper. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cover. Let cook until the pork can be shredded. Shred in the pan with a pair of forks, and let cook uncovered until it thickens.
make a curry with ground beef and coconut milk
minced beef (or lamb, or pork) onions / minced garlic / grated ginger chopped rutabaga (or turnips, or squash) chopped fresh herbs (mint) spices - tumeric, cumin, dry ginger, black/white/green (non-nightshades) pepper
serve over riced cauliflower or lightly boiled cabbage.
You can nudge the chili into mole territory by adding some cocoa or high % cacao chocolate, along with a bit of clove and cinnamon. I agree with a previous answer that cumin stands out as one of the strongest flavors most people associate with chili. With chocolate, it's a very different style, but chocolate has a strong, assertive enough presence to at least provide some of the fullness and depth you'll be missing without the chiles.
If you miss the red color, achiote may be useful. It's a spice used in various Latin American cuisines, and contributes a deep red color with a very mild flavor. It gives up its color and fragrance best in fat, so it would go with the other spices into oil/fat first to "bloom" before sauteing things like onions and garlic. Cilantro is best right at the end to finish it.
You need to watch out for adding cocoa to any recipe, if you are avoiding alkaloids (which is why the nightshades must be avoided. Cocoa is very much saturated with this alkaloid--theobromine. See here:
Both cocoa and coffee aggravate my arthritis symptoms much more than a little paprika or other pepper once in a while.