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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Seeds are Super, Chicagoan’s cookbook shows


Hemp Seed Hummus

Hemp seeds stand in for tahini in a party-pleasing hummus. | Reprinted with permission from Super Seeds © 2014 by Kim Lutz, Sterling Publishing Co.  Photography by Bill Milne

We often hear that seeds are packed with nutrients. We want to include them in our diets, and often wonder what to use where.

Well, Chicagoan Kim Lutz provides a wealth of answers in her cookbook “Super Seeds” (Sterling Publishing, $14.95).

Head Shot Kim Lutz

Lutz’s name may sound familiar. She is the Kim behind Kim’s Welcoming Kitchen, a site popular for its allergy-free, gluten-free, and vegan recipes.

She starts with a quick primer on the good points of each of the seeds — chia, quinoa, flax, hemp and amaranth . For instance, did you know the vitamins in them all can contribute to shiny hair and good skin?

Because they are natural pairs, Lutz includes in her more than 75 recipes several for salads and smoothies that include them. But then she includes chilis, patties, soups and desserts where the seeds share the spotlight.

There are things you don’t often see, such as heating up a taco-flavored stuffed avocado. That intrigues me.

Super Seeds Cover

She also includes other recipes that can be used with the seeds, such as a DIY spice mix for taco flavoring (instead of those in the package) and a recipe for a richer broth that doesn’t rely on cream.

Throughout the book she sprinkles in little facts about seeds and other ingredients as well as tips about usage. There are a lot of solid tips for people wanting to embrace seeds in their diets in ways I hadn’t particularly considered.  (I liked her easy method for making flour.)

It’s party time, so I thought Lutz’s recipe for a hummus that uses hemp seeds instead of tahini would be a good choice. Those of you with sesame seed allergies will appreciate her take on hummus. And for those of you who don’t, just serve this without blabbing about the ingredient switchup. Your guests will find a fresh and intriguing dip.


Hemp seeds do double duty in this recipe. First, they take the place of the traditional ingredient in hummus, tahini (some people are allergic to sesame seeds). Second, they bring crucial phytonutrients, including zinc and magnesium, to this tasty, satisfyingly textured dip. It makes a great snack, served with crudites
such as baby carrots, cucumber slices, celery sticks, and strips of crunchy bell peppers. In addition to making superb sandwiches, hummus is also a salad’s
best friend. Try adding a healthy dollop on top of your green salad and you
will have a flavorful, filling meal.

1¾ cups cooked garbanzo beans (or one 15-ounce can, drained and rinsed)
2 tablespoons hemp seeds
2 tablespoons lemon juice
¼ teaspoon ground cumin
½ teaspoon salt
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons water

Blend all ingredients together in a food processor or blender until smooth.

Reprinted with permission from Super Seeds © 2014 by Kim Lutz, Sterling Publishing Co.

Friday, December 5, 2014

Holiday Coffee Blend, and Easy DIY Gift
Dress your homemade coffee blend in a pretty bow with a spoon for a hostess gift!

I like to think of myself as pretty crafty. I enjoy making gifts for family, friends and neighbors during the holidays. There is nothing I like better, though, than a quick-to-come-together gift that everyone loves.

My friend, Karen, is a star at the holidays, because she puts together a coffee blend that everyone looks forward to. Holiday Spice Coffee is a great gift to have on hand, because it takes only minutes to stir up. Put it in some coffee bags, tie it with a big bow, and attach a tablespoon, and you have a gift that will thrill every coffee drinker on your list!

Holiday Coffee Blend, and Easy DIY Gift
You probably will want to keep a bag for yourself, too!

Holiday Spice Coffee

These are the proportions for a pot of coffee.  Make as much as you want to gift, but keep these proportions.


  • 10 tablespoons ground coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 cinnamon stick (Ground cinnamon will clog your pot.)

  1. Mix all ingredients together, and bag up in a sealed coffee bag.
Happy Cooking!

My new book, SUPER SEEDS, is available now! You can also find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes. 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!  

We continued our new tradition (started last year) of "adopting" a turkey from Farm Sanctuary. This is a picture of Gable, the turkey my boys chose to support at this fantastic farmed animal rescue.

Wishing you and yours a love-filled holiday season!

Happy Cooking!

My new book, SUPER SEEDS, is available now! You can also find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes.  

Thursday, November 20, 2014

Wow! I can't believe how exciting this past month has been. 

The launch of Super Seeds has been filled with joyful moments. I am thrilled that my friends have shared my recipes with their readers, and I want to be sure that you get a full sampling of all that Super Seeds has to offer! 

I wrote Super Seeds so everyone would have the ability to easily up the nutrition in delicious foods just by incorporating these little power-packed ingredients. Flax, chia, hemp, quinoa and amaranth are seeds that add flavor, texture, protein, fiber and a host of vitamins and minerals to everything from soup to dessert! Want to get started? Check out these recipes from Super Seeds

Want to cook more up at home? Enter below to win your own copy of Super Seeds plus a four pound package of Gerbs Raw Super 5 Seed Mix (chia, flax, hemp, pumpkin and sunflower seeds). Gerbs is a fabulous resource for anyone who is looking for healthy seeds, but especially for food allergic customers, because everything they sell is free of the top-8 allergens.

Golden Corn Soup - Super Seeds
Go Dairy Free featured Golden Corn Soup

Pesto Veggie Burgers - Super Seeds
Cooking Quinoa Featured Pesto Veggie Burgers

Blueberry Coffee Cake - Super Seeds

Lemon Basil Quinoa - Super Seeds
Healthy Blender Recipes Featured Lemon Basil Quinoa

Mama Balance Featured Massaged Kale Salad

Hemp Seed Hummus - Super Seeds
Recipe Renovator Featured Hemp Seed Hummus

Granola Cookies - Super Seeds
Go Dairy Free Featured Granola Cookies

Quinoa Lentil Soup - Super Seeds
Photo by Ricki Heller

Enter to win a copy of Super Seeds plus a 4-pound package of Gerbs Super 5 Seed Mix.  (Open to US residents only, sorry!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Happy Cooking!

My new book, SUPER SEEDS, is available now! You can also find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes. 

Monday, November 17, 2014

 It's that time of year! What can you serve at your Thanksgiving table that will be safe for everyone and taste delicious? Welcoming Kitchen and Super Seeds are both loaded with recipes that will delight your guests.

Here are some good choices from the blog to consider for your welcoming holiday feast.

For appetizer, how about a light dip, like:

Artichoke Lemon Bean Dip or Quick and Creamy Veggie Dip?

Vegan and Glutenfree Thanksgiving Menu

I don't like to fill up too much before the main meal, so a light dip and veggies is the perfect munchy while we're getting started.

For the main event, we like a hearty entree and great sides.

Here are some ideas for your Thanksgiving table:

Mushroom Tartlets with Socca Crust fill the heart of your plate.

Vegan and Glutenfree Thanksgiving Menu
Mushroom Tartlet with a Gluten-free Socca Crust

Vegan and Glutenfree Thanksgiving Menu
Apple, Pear and Cranberry Sauce

 Add some, 

Vegan and Glutenfree Thanksgiving Ideas
Cranberry Clementine Mini Muffins

Finish up with,
To add to the festivities, why not offer a fun beverage?

A pretty, non-alcoholic option is Apple Pomegranate Cider.

For your guests who drink alcohol, I am loving LEAF Vodka. The company sent me two bottles to try: one made with Alaskan Glacial Water and one made with Rocky Mountain Mineral Water. We have had a lot of family parties recently, so there were many tasters of this vodka, and all the vodka drinkers really liked them both.

LEAF sent along a recipe for a holiday-perfect beverage, The Falling Leaf created by Mixologist Juyoung Kang. It's super yummy for this time of year.

Vegan and Glutenfree Thanksgiving Menu

The Falling LEAF

  • 1.5oz LEAF Vodka made with Rocky Mountain Mineral Water
  • 1oz Lime juice
  • 0.5oz Grapefruit juice
  • 1oz Hibiscus syrup (1:1 Hibiscus and simple syrup)
  • Pinch of ground clove
  • Topped off ginger beer 

  1. Put in mixing tin all the ingredients sans ginger beer, add ice and shake vigorously
  2. Strain into a Collins glass, top off with ginger beer, garnish and serve.

Required FTC Disclosure: Global Spirits sent me two bottles of LEAF Vodka to review. No other compensation was provided, and all opinions are my own.

Happy Cooking!

My new book, SUPER SEEDS, is available now! You can also find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes. 

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Lucy and I both like this scarf! Perfect for a day at the park.

I learned so much while I was working on Super Seeds. I wanted to write the book, because I was cooking with these seeds all the time, but in writing it, I learned (and later shared) so many tidbits about these seeds and what they can do.

One of the things I learned was how great hemp is for clothing. It is durable, grows easily and doesn't require a lot of chemicals to flourish.

One of my favorite online retailers, Ecolissa, offers eco-friendly and vegan clothing and accessories.  I love that on their website, you can sort by material, and one of the materials is hemp! Ecolissa has a great assortment of fashions and values. You can absolutely splurge on something fabulous without breaking the bank!

To celebrate the launch of Super Seeds, Ecolissa is offering a discount on their gorgeous clothing and accessories. Use the code "WK20" to get 20% off your order. 

Ecolissa sent me a chunky infinity scarf to try out before this promotion, and they are giving one lucky reader a choice of a chunky infinity scarf or a T-shirt scarf. Lucky you!

To stay up-to-date on what's going on at Ecolissa, follow them on Facebook and Twitter

a Rafflecopter giveaway  

Required FTC disclosure: Ecolissa gave me a scarf to review and is providing a second to the winner of the giveaway.

Happy Cooking!

My new book, SUPER SEEDS, is available now! You can also find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes. 

Monday, November 3, 2014

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte Smoothie (Gluten-free, Sugar-free)
Photo credit: Julie Han

Love it or hate it, you've got to admit that pumpkin is THE flavor of fall. 

I, for one, love it. I especially love the idea of a pumpkin spice latte. As you know, I also love my smoothies. Of course this led to the absolute need to combine these two favorites!

Williams-Sonoma is kicking off a Smoothie Week! What better way to get in the spirit of off-beat smoothie combos than creating a coffee-flavored smoothie?

Every morning, I make a pot of coffee for my husband and me. We each have a cup, and he takes a to-go cup with him to work. Depending on my day, sometimes I have more coffee, and sometimes I don't. If I don't have a second cup, that can lead to some wasted coffee. So sad.

That got me to thinking. What could I do with that extra coffee if I don't get around to drinking it? The same thing I do with fruit that I won't get around to eating -- freeze it and turn it into a smoothie!

Pour that coffee that you don't need to drink today into ice cube trays. When frozen, transfer those coffee ice cubes to a freezer-safe container for later use.

Vegan Pumpkin Spice Latte Smoothie (Gluten-free, Sugar-free)

Then, when you need a treat in the afternoon, you can grab a few cubes and blend them with some lovely all-natural ingredients. (Have you ever seen the ingredient list of some popular pumpkin spice lattes? Yuck!) What could be better than a pumpkin-y, spicy, frothy coffee treat? Not much!

I blend my smoothies up in my Vitamix 5200, but any blender will work to make this treat. If you're in the market for a new blender, Williams-Sonoma has some blenders to dream about. (I do realize that not everyone dreams about blenders, but hey ...)

Pumpkin Spice Latte Smoothie (vegan, gluten-free, allergen-free, sugar-free)
Makes 1 2-cup smoothie

  • 4 2-ounce coffee ice cubes
  • 1 cup non-dairy milk (You could use the hemp milk from Super Seeds here.)
  • 1 teaspoon agave nectar
  • 2 tablespoons pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice

Blend all ingredients thoroughly.

This recipe was shared with Kitchen Fun and Crafty Friday.

Happy Cooking!

My new book, SUPER SEEDS, is available now! You can also find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes. 

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

alcohol ink ornament craft
Alcohol Ink Ornaments

Not only have I been busy with the launch of Super Seeds, but I also have been expanding my love of crafts and their role in creating community. 

For the past several years, some friends and I have been throwing a big craft swap before the holidays. What I love about this is the sense of creativity and community that comes from friends digging deep to discover long-buried artistic skills and celebrating each other's talents.

memory wire bracelet DIY
Memory Wire Beaded Bracelets

Out of that party came the idea that folks might just like to get together for some fun while making something beautiful. We have had two workshops so far where people crafted, ate and drank while making some really cool stuff! The first one was a beaded bracelet workshop. At the second one, over 20 people made their own super-cool decoupaged glass platters.

Decoupage Glass Platters DIY

If you are interested in what we're doing, follow The Craft Evolution on Facebook or check out our website,

Happy Cooking!

My new book, SUPER SEEDS, is available now! You can also find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes.  

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Silvana's Dairy-Free and Gluten-Free Kitchen on Kim's Welcoming Kitchen

You might know Silvana Nardone from her previous cookbook, Cooking for Isaiah: Gluten-Free & Dairy-Free Recipes for Easy, Delicious Meals. Or you might know her as the founding editor of Every Day with Rachael Ray. Maybe you know her from her blog, Silvana's Kitchen or as a contributor to Food & Wine and However you know her, you know that Silvana is a real food professional.

I have met Silvana and can tell you that she is as lovely as her food. I don't typically review books or products that aren't what I call "Welcoming Kitchen friendly" (vegan, gluten-free, allergen-free), but I am making an exception for Silvana's new book. Silvana's Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen is really a gorgeous cookbook. Not only that, but it can be immensely helpful to folks who are eating dairy-free and gluten-free. 

Silvana has created a variety of flour blends, so that you can get just the right texture depending on what you are making. For example, she has a Gluten-Free Bagel and Pretzel Mix and a Gluten-Free Seasoned Flour plus basic all-purpose blends, etc. She also has a wide range of recipes for dairy substitutes (please note that most of these are nut-based).

Once you figure out those building blocks, Silvana has a host of recipes, many of which are illustrated with beautiful photos, to turn into dairy-free and gluten-free meals. Although many of these recipes include eggs or meat, there are some vegan options and although I didn't try to substitute any of the eggs with my go-to egg substitutes (flaxseed meal, chia seed, applesauce or commercial egg replacer), I suspect that several would turn out well if you did.

Some of the Welcoming Kitchen-friendly recipes in Silvana's Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Kitchen are:
  • Creamy Kale-Cannellini Soup with Garlic Chips
  • Bready Corn Tortillas
  • Moo Shu Vegetables with Sesame Pancakes
  • Cherry Pie Poppers 
Happy Cooking!

My new book, SUPER SEEDS, is available now! You can also find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes.