Becky’s Lentil Soup



In my family, the phrase “lentil soup” reminds us all of a running joke about the horror of “bean weeks”.  When my clan ran low on cash, us nine kids were urged on to eat bowls of cheap beans with stories of “Esau selling his birthright for a pot of lentils.”  Trust me.  None of us wanted to sell our birthrights for a pot of lentils.  Esau … you crazy.

In fact, I rank lentil stew as the top #4 grossest food in the world, coming in right behind my personal ranking of 1) Corn Pudding 2) Sloppy Joes and 3) Shepherd’s Pie.  Apologies to Becky and Sarah, who make a Mean Sloppy Joe!  🙂

But BECKY’S LENTIL SOUP … ah, that is another matter entirely!  It has COMPLETELY changed my mind on lentils.  I ate this stuff as fast as I could.  Warm, filling, and the chicken was soft and smooth and buttery.  Yum yum yum yum yum yum yum.

Here is the amazing recipe.  You’ll want to stock up on some Beano (let’s keep it real), BUT sosogood.  I’m going to make a batch later this week — it is that addictive.  And did I mention it helped me lose a pound or two?  Protein, veggies, Bible stories, delicious fall soup recipe, salicylate/sulphite free … what could be better?

The Lentil soup is a three part recipe, here goes:

Becky’s Lentil Soup

Garbanzo (Chick Pea) Beans

Soak a bag of garbanzo beans overnight (or at least 8 hours).  Drain and rinse.  Fill large pot with water and boil beans until tender.  (Scoop off foam to cut down on gas and add water as necessary).  Three cups are needed for the lentil soup recipe — remaining beans can be used in SSF Hummus (recipe to come) or as an add in to pasta (I like mine with orzo).  Can be prepared at the same time as the …

 Homemade Broth:
5-7 lbs Chicken thighs or legs
3 large stalks of celery (or the center of a head of celery including the leaves)
3 Tablespoons sea salt
Water to fill Pot
In a large pot combine all ingredients. Bring to a boil. reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Taste broth for saltiness and add more if needed. It just be just a little too salty for use to properly flavor the chicken. Continue simmering for 45 minutes. Strain into another large pot. 
Cover chicken so it doesn’t dry out and let cool until you can handle and then remove all of the bones, skin and fat. Set aside and use in soups and as desired. (DOUBLE MEAL TIP FROM BECKY: We used to eat the boiled chicken as we de-boned it dipped in soy sauce with a side of steamed potatoes and broccoli for dinner all the time growing up.)
Lentil Soup:
8 cups homemade broth (recipe above)
1 1/2 cups red or yellow lentils, raw
3 large stalks of celery, chopped
3 cups cooked garbanzo beans
Yield from 8 boiled chicken thighs (reserved from making broth)
In a large pot combine all ingredients except chicken and garbanzo beans. Bring to a boil and simmer 12 minutes or until celery and lentils are soft. Add chicken and garbanzo beans and salt to taste. 
The best part about this soup is that it freezes really well, so if you portion it out you can have healthy low-sal, low-sulphite lunches (or dinners, or lunches AND dinners) for a week or more!

October 21, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 3 comments.

Becky’s Caramel Apple Sticky Buns


(Note the missing sticky buns … this recipe didn’t last long enough for the photo — ha!)

Golden Delicious Apples are one of the only fruits in the entire world that I can still eat — and even then they have to be sweet, ripe, and peeled!  But Becky came up with a deliciously simple way for sulphite/salicylate intolerance sufferers to enjoy the flavors of fall with her amazing Caramel Apple Sticky Buns.  They are soooo yummy, and travel well as a snack when you don’t have time to heat up a meal.

The first step is to make an amazing bread dough — it takes a few hours of inactive cooking to get it going, but the result is WELL WORTH IT!  If done right, you will emerge with two preservative-free loaves of bread (that will last you for lunch all week … sandwich recipes to come in future posts!) AND a slate of sticky buns for a sweet treat or snack.

I must admit, I was a little intimidated to try baking my own bread, but it really wasn’t hard at all, and the sticky buns only took a minute or two to put together once the dough was made.  Worth it, worth it, worth it!  A new staple at my house, for sure!

If you are sulphite/salicylate sensitive, I will warn you that even Golden Delicious apples can sometimes lead to minor reactions (drowsiness and small rashes in my case), so I caution you to enjoy this meal in moderation (although it is so good that it may be too tempting to overindulge!).  Besides, there HAS to be SOME FRUIT in the world we can eat!  Right??  Sigh.

Here you go!  Enjoy!!!!!!

Becky’s Caramel Apple Sticky Buns (and Bonus SSF White Bread Recipe)

Create a full-sized batch of Grandma Vandoren’s whitebread dough, substituting safflower oil for vegetable oil.  Bake 2/3 of the dough into loaves of bread (per recipe).  Congrats!  Sandwiches for a week!
With the remaining 1/3 of the dough, it’s time to make Sticky Buns!  (Or just triple the recipe if you reallyreally love sticky buns — ha!)
1/3 batch of Grandma Van Dorens White Bread
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 PEELED Golden Delicious apple, grated
1 cup + 1/4 white sugar
1 cup whipping cream
For the sticky buns:
Roll the dough to an approximately 24″ square. Drizzle with melted butter, sprinkle generously (1/4 +/-) with sugar and the grated apple. Roll tightly and cut the roll with a sharp knife into 1 inch rounds. Pour the cream and remaining sugar into a buttered 9×13 inch pan. Mix well. Arrange the rolls in the pan. You can then let it rise for one hour on the counter or refrigerate overnight. Bake at 375 for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Invert onto a platter and serve! 
If you aren’t salicylate intolerant, you can sprinkle the dough generously with cinnamon and/or chopped pecans as well.  (Salicylate people, cinnamon will crush you!)

October 16, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. 1 comment.

SSF Brownie in a Mug!



Before I found out I was sulphite-salicylate intolerant, I used to bake brownies every single week for my Very Small Group Bible Study (with the help of able chefs Katie and Colt). Every single week for eight years — or more!

When I found out I couldn’t eat brownies anymore, it was one of my saddest moments. I was so upset about it that I didn’t bake brownies for my family for over a year. It was just too hard. Since then, I can now bake brownies for my family without getting too depressed.

And now, thanks to Becky’s sleuthing, I don’t ever have to miss brownies ever again!!!!!

She found this awesome Brownie in a Mug recipe that you “regular” people can enjoy here:

We’ve adapted it for those who need an SSF recipe. Here it is — and it is amazingly delicious!!! (And easy and quick andandand!)

Becky’s SSF Brownie in a Mug

4 Tablespoons Flour
4 1/2 Tablespoons White Sugar
2 Tablespoons Cocoa powder (Note: don’t use cocoa mix or Quik, it shouldn’t have any sugar)
2 Tablepsoons Safflower Oil
4 Tablespoons milk
Dash of sea salt

Mix all the ingredients together in a mug and Microwave on high for right around a minute. (At one minute mine was too gooey). You may have to microwave it longer or shorter, depending on your microwave, but the brownie should still be wet in the center when done.
Remove from microwave and eat immediately.

Ahh. The perfect comfort food for a cloudy fall day. Thank you, Becky!

October 7, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.

Mango Madness!


Earlier this year, Sarah made a life-changing discovery … a link that listed the salicylate content of a variety of foods.  (This is an invaluable resource, BTW!)

All of a sudden, I realized why making things with honey nearly killed me, or why cinnamon was equally terrible!  But one of the greatest discoveries of all was to learn that in addition to bananas and PEELED Golden Delicious Apples (and some pears, but I haven’t figured out that one yet) I could also eat one of my very favorite fruits …


Well, not a lot of Mango.  The first week I ate one a day and reacted hard core.  But if I have just one Mango (or two!) a week, my system can handle it.  There are so many great possibilities now available due to this addition, but whether you have sulphite/salicylate problems or not, here is a GREAT, EASY recipe that Becky found for MANGO FILLING.

You can put it in home-made crepes, from-scratch-eggless pancakes, on top of home-made ice cream, in PLAIN GREEK YOGURT or even just all by itself.  I’m wondering if we can use it in cobblers or pies or … you get the idea.  🙂

So here it is!

Becky’s Mango Filling

For Mango Filling: 
Ripe Mangoes -3 cups peeled and chopped(Separated)
Sugar – 1/2 cup
****NOTE: The mangoes HAVE to be ripe.  Overripe is yucky, under-ripe is too sour, perfectly ripe is divine!****

Heat 2 cup of mangoes and sugar  in a pot. Let it heat and cook for 5 to 10 mins till the mangoes are cooked and turn thick.  Stir in remaining cup of mangoes, and your filling is done.

For an Indian twist you can add cardamom to the mix and stuff it in an eggless crepe (minus the vanilla!), as shown in our original recipe source:


SEE?  Isn’t that EASY???

The hardest part is just cutting the mango.  If you don’t know how, here is a refresher:

Thank you Sarah for adding mangoes back into my world, and thank you Becky for finding and adapting this amazing, simple, versatile recipe!


August 6, 2013. Tags: , , , , , , , . Uncategorized. Leave a comment.