Bell’s Seasoning, aka poultry seasoning, is one spice blend I’ve come to rely on a lot since I’ve developed an inability to process onions and garlic because of gastroparesis and IBS. After all, I couldn’t use those spices as easy flavor enhancers for my food anymore and I was also eating more meat than ever. This meant I really needed to find a way to make nice with leaner, lower calorie poultry, which has always been my last choice when it comes to flavor and texture. When I started reacting to such a broad range of ingredients last spring, pepper was one of those ingredients. It took me months to come to grips with the fact that I was not imagining having a reaction to Bell’s Seasoning, my go to spice for chicken, turkey and even some pork dishes, but I couldn’t figure out why.
When you react to something you think you shouldn’t, you point to almost everything else as the culprit, like the vegetables adjacent to the meat on your plate. What I was reacting to and had been reacting to for some time was the pepper, only I’d forgotten pepper was even in Bell’s Seasoning. I thought it was salt, onion, garlic and pepper free. Not quite. Once I made the connection and made my own without, I was able to enjoy my fried chicken and Bell’s Burgers once again.
So, I share with you the Bell’s Seasoning recipe and now I’m going to complicate things even more. I had to argue with my immunologist a bit over my reaction to pepper, almost any kind of pepper. He basically laughed at me and pretty much insisted that I get a blood test. I was confused about why since my reaction to pepper started at the same time as everything else. All I can guess now is that it’s because cayenne is the only pepper listed on the low histamine diet, so maybe it’s rare that I react the way I do to other peppers? Only I don’t think so because others I know have the same problem and it’s yet another point of ignorance in the literature, because let’s face it, what they don’t know about us could fill volumes more than what they do.
So I’m sharing the recipe in its entirety for everyone who has those abnormal reactions and needs to eliminate that one unusual ingredient. Maybe yours is ginger or oregano. Who am I to say your problem is pepper? Doctor’s tend to think of spices as negligible since we tend to eat them in tiny amounts, but the MCAD body doesn’t care about doctor’s assumptions. It only takes the tiniest amount of pepper for me to have a terrible few days.
And if it’s any consolation for having to make what you can easily buy in a jar at the supermarket if not for your sensitive spoonie disposition; I find the Bell’s Seasoning I made was better than the ready made and tasted stronger and fresher. This could be because the spices weren’t pulverized into dust and they contain fewer of the non-caking additives since many of the spices I used were organic while the off the shelf mix I was using was not.
- 1 tablespoon rosemary
- 1 tablespoon oregano
- 1 teaspoon sage
- 1 tablespoon ginger*
- 1 tablespoon marjoram
- 1 tablespoon thyme
- 1 teaspoon black pepper*
Measure spices into a spouted mixing bowl or measuring cup. Using a flat butter knife, stir spices until well mixed and pour carefully into a 2 ounce spice jar or 1 cup air tight container, using the knife to empty the bowl and guide the flow if necessary. Close over tightly, leaving room to spare at the top of the container so you can shake the spice before using it to ensure it is well mixed.
*pepper and ginger are probably the two most likely culprits if you find you’re reacting to something in Bell’s Seasoning. Try taking these spices out if you’re having a problem with it.