Nightshade-Free Beef Stew

Fall is upon us and I am really excited to share this recipe with you. It offers a simple way to swap out nightshade veggies.

I really started to monitor how my body reacted to specific foods when I ate them. I altered what I ate and found that it helped me to feel better.

However, I found myself really missing some of my comfort food recipes. So, I have spent a few years experimenting and perfecting my recipes. My goal was to eat healthier and decrease potential food that caused inflammation in my system.

What are nightshades?

Nightshades are a group of vegetables that include but are not limited to potatoes (not sweet potatoes), sweet peppers, tomatoes, eggplant, Goji berries, tomatillos, paprika, and hot peppers.1

This vegetable group contains a certain type of saponin called glycoalkaloids. Glycoalkaloids are natural toxins produced by nightshades. In nature, glycoalkaloid's job is to help protect the plants from fungi, insects, and plant-eating animals.1

However, some people with autoimmune conditions may be more sensitive and have a reaction to a chemical in the plant "adjuvant" that can increase immune response. This potentially can lead to increased inflammation levels in some individuals.1

Foods to replace nightshade plants

White potatoes are swapped out with a root vegetable mix of sweet potatoes, rutabaga, turnips, and parsnips. Root vegetables are believed to have anti-inflammatory benefits and are generally packed full of folate, potassium, fibers, vitamins A, B, C, manganese, and complex carbohydrates.1

Tomato paste is swapped out for arrowroot powder. Arrowroot powder is a root vegetable and is thought to stimulate the immune system. It is gluten-free and is used in this recipe as a thickening agent.

Pure beef bone broth replaces broth or stocks containing tomatoes. This easy swamp not only eliminates the nightshades (tomatoes), but also increases the nutrients in this recipe.

Bone broth is thought to be a source of beneficial amino acids. It may also help support immune system functioning, help improve overall joint health, and is thought to be good for gut health and your digestion.1

Nightshade-free beef stew recipe


  • 1 pound of organic stew beef, thawed
  • 1 pound of root vegetables cut into half-inch pieces. I use a combination of carrots, rutabaga, turnips, parsnips, and sweet potatoes. You could use 1 pound of any of your favorite root vegetable or a combo of them. (RA-friendly tip: Many grocery stores sell 1-pound pre-cut and cleaned root vegetables. This saves time and energy.)
  • 1/2 cup diced onions (RA-friendly tip: Many stores sell pre-cut or diced onions - again, saving time and energy.)
  • 1 cup of beef bone broth (If buying store-bought beef bone broth, be sure to read the product ingredients. Look for bone broth that does NOT contain tomatoes. You would be surprised at what you find out when you read package ingredients.)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary (if using dried rosemary, use half a teaspoon)
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon of kosher salt (optional)
  • Thickening mixture of 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder and 1 tablespoon of water mixed together. Very important: do not add this thickening mixture until the last 30 minutes of your cook time.

Cooking instructions

  1. Place all the ingredients except the thickening mixture into a crock pot.
  2. Cook on low for a total of 8 hours. Stir as needed.
  3. At 7.5 hours, prepare the thickening mixture. Prepare this mixture right before putting into the crockpot. In a small bowl, mix together 1 tablespoon of arrowroot powder and 1 tablespoon of water. Then, place the thickening mixture into the crock pot and stir.
  4. Continue to cook in crockpot, on low, for an additional 30 minutes.
  5. When finished cooking, recommend removing and discarding the sprig of rosemary and bay leaf before eating, reheating, and/or freezing the stew.

Things to consider

Enjoy!!! The main purpose of this article is to educate about potential inflammatory foods and to share how easy it can be to swap out ingredients found in traditional recipes. 

Reheats and leftovers

This recipe does not require a lot of energy. Grocery stores offer many pre-cut/diced options to decrease the prep time. Gather the ingredients, place them in a crockpot, and cook on low.

In my experience, this recipe yields about 4 servings. It reheats well in the microwave and you can freeze leftovers. It lasts in the fridge for up to 4 days.

This recipe isn't for everyone

Please do note this recipe is NOT for everyone. Root vegetables are higher in carbohydrates and calories. Consuming foods high in carbohydrates can affect your sugar levels. I always recommend talking with your doctor or a nutritionist before trying any new recipes.

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