Hrm. Dunno how I missed this thread back when it was started, but I wanted to share a few things (forgive me if these were already covered - I tried to read all the posts but might still have missed something). My wife isn't necessarily *nightshade sensitive* in the normal sense, but the women in her family share a genetic condition that causes them to develop arthritis early and I've found the more I can cut nightshades from her diet the better she feels (she's a potato addict and a vegetarian so it's hard to eliminate them completely).
Heat Source - Horseradish and Wasabi are fair ways to spice things up, though it is a different kind of burn than that associated with peppers. Dry mustard powder also works well.
Paprika - The most useless yet overused spice on the planet, IMO. Forget about it in any recipe that includes it, but be on the lookout when other people are cooking for you.
Southwest Flavor - From tacos to chili - anything you'd normally use Taco Seasoning (I challenge you to find one without MSG anyway), Chili Powder, Fajita Seasoning, etc - can be replaced with straight Cumin. Adding garlic and/or lime rounds things out nicely. Mustard powder (IMO) is a better heat source than horseradish to add spice to a southwest style dish.
Fruit Salsa - They tend to be annoyingly sweet - which means they do great on fish and chicken, less great on tacos (though they can work well with fajitas (and when I say Tacos and Fajitas, I am - of course - excluding the tortilla or corn shell). But I've found a fix that works fairly well and it's based around garlic and vinegar to replace the acidity and tartness of the tomatoes.
My basic fruit salsa is pineapple based but can include any tropical fruits (mango is very popular, though I hate cutting the bastards up both because of the clingy seed in the middle and because the skin has oils that are very similar in nature to poison ivy oil).
1 cup fresh diced pineapple (if you are heathen enough to use canned pineapple, ditch the juice - or save it to use in a marinade or something - and rinse the pineapple).
1/4 cup fresh diced red onion
2 tbsp chopped spring onion (or 1 tbsp chives or dried green onion)
1/2 tsp dried cilantro (or parsley if you just can't stand cilantro)
1 tsp minced garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1/4 cup each of at least 2 of the following (if you do more than 4 of the following double the ingredients above)
Diced Pear (should be over ripe or roasted so it's really soft).
(note: I do not recommend blueberries, grapes, or raspberries for any salsa that is going to end up as part of a southwest style dish)
For a less sweet version substitute any fairly flavorless vegetable for some of the diced fruit.
Diced zucchini or yellow squash, diced cucumber, diced jicama
To make the fruit salsa more southwest friendly add the following
1/4 tsp sea salt
1/4 tsp coarse to medium black pepper (you can use fine black pepper, but only use 1/8 of a teaspoon
1/4 cup apple cider or white vinegar
1 tbsp minced garlic (in addition to what's called for above)
1tsp ground cumin (or 1/2 tsp whole cumin seed)
1/2 to 2 tsp dried mustard powder if you want it hot
This is a raw salsa recipe. Fruit salsas only get sweeter with heat. So you pretty much just mix everything together in a bowl. Southwest cooking is a pretty big thing in my house, and salsa never goes to waste. If you are cooking for just one or two people you can get by on half this recipe easy. But it does freeze well, so if you have leftovers you know you won't use in the next day or two, toss it in a ziplock and throw it in the freezer.
Guacamole - Not really an issue for Nighshades, just leave out the little bit of tomato some recipes call for, but I always make this with my salsa, so here's the recipe if anyone wants it.
1 tbsp diced onion
1 tsp minced garlic
juice from 1/2 lime
Salt and pepper to taste
Slice avocados in half, pull out the pit, scoop the meat into a bowl and mash with a potato masher or big fork. Stir in remaining ingredients.