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Monday, August 10, 2020

I am so excited about my new book, The Oat Milk Cookbook! Oat milk is so versatile and delicious. The book is chock full of recipes from coffee drinks to entrees to baked goods and desserts. 

The Oat Milk Cookbook has recipes for almost every dietary need:
  • All of the recipes are vegan.
  • Most of the recipes are gluten-free or have a gluten-free option.
  • Most of the recipes are soy-free.
  • Most of the recipes are either nut-free or have a nut-free option.
Most importantly, all of the recipes are easy and delicious. 

You can purchase a copy from your favorite bookstore or online at:

Thank you for your support over all of these years!

Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Creative Solutions for Food Allergy Problems

All cooks face the question, "What should I make?"

Answering this question takes on added challenges when facing the constraint that is the reality of cooking for someone with food allergies (or other special diets).

You can see the challenge as a hurdle, or you can view it as a puzzle that requires creativity to solve.

I choose to embrace the challenge that multiple food allergies has provided our family.

What are some of the tools that I have utilized to meet the test of food allergies?

Creative Solutions for Food Allergy Problems

  1. I take full advantage of the ingredients that are still available to us. I relish the many flavors and textures of foods that are safe for our family. There is a wide world of fruits, vegetables, proteins, grains and seeds that are absolutely safe for my son and our family.
    Creative Solutions for Food Allergy Problems

  2. I seek out new ingredients (new to me) that make it easy to substitute for foods that are not safe for our family. That is what has led me to embrace chia seeds and flax seeds as egg substitutes or hemp seeds and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) as a nut alternative and sunflower seed butter instead of peanut butter.
    Creative Solutions for Food Allergy Problems

  3. I also adapt recipes from traditional sources to make them safe for my family and guests. For example, I substitute gluten-free oat flour for all-purpose flour; I use non-dairy milk (coconut, oat, hemp, etc.) for cows' milk; and I use safe ingredients like allergy-free chocolate chips instead of brands that aren't safe.
    Creative Solutions for Food Allergy Problems

  4. I make from-scratch alternatives to processed foods that my kids covet and can't have. Added bonus -- when I make my own versions I have complete control over the ingredients!

Happy Cooking!

My new book,  Ancient Grains: A Guide to Cooking with Power-Packed Millet, Oats, Spelt, Farro, Sorghum & Teff (Superfoods for Life), and  Super Seeds are available now! You can also find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes.



Monday, October 22, 2018

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

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!

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


blend all ingredients thoroughly.

Happy Cooking!

My new book,  Super Seeds, is available now! You can also find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes.

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Classic Gazpacho - vegan, gluten-free, and food-allergy friendly -

One of my favorite memories is having lunch in the summer with my stepmom. We would have cold gazpacho and talk about everything that was on our minds. 

I still love the fresh, spicy zing of this cold vegetable soup. After a quick trip to the farmers market, I can have lunch for days -- I make a double batch, so I don't eat it all up at once! 

If you think that a cold soup sounds weird, I ask you to give this one a chance. It's delicious and the perfect alternative to a salad on a hot day. Because it's naturally vegan, gluten-free and allergy friendly, it's a great option if you're having friends over for lunch, too.

Classic Gazpacho - vegan, gluten-free, and food-allergy friendly -

Gazpacho (from Welcoming Kitchen)
Makes 4 servings


  • 4 roma (plum tomatoes)
  • 1/2 green bell pepper
  • 1 cucumber
  • 1 jalapeño pepper
  • 2 tablespoons diced chives
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon fresh thyme
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt

1. Seed and chop tomatoes
2. Chop green pepper.
3. Peel and seed cucumber; then chop.
4. Remove seeds from jalapeño and dice.
5. Toss all ingredients together. Pour into a food processor or blender. Blend until very finely chopped and well blended.
6. Chill for at least an hour before serving.

Happy Cooking!

My new book,  Ancient Grains: A Guide to Cooking with Power-Packed Millet, Oats, Spelt, Farro, Sorghum & Teff (Superfoods for Life)is available now! Super Seeds, is available now! You can also find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes.

Wednesday, January 17, 2018

As I've said before, our pediatrician suspected that my son had food allergies almost right away. He had severe eczema, breathing problems and vomiting. Though she wanted to wait to test him until he was two, he had already gone to the emergency room several times, and she didn't think we could wait to get more information. She referred us to a local allergist when he was around one year old.

Finding the Right Allergist for You -
This started our journey to find the right allergist for us. Although that first allergist was a nice person, she did not fill us with confidence. She skin tested our baby and told us that he was allergic to peanuts, milk, corn and "a little allergic" to eggs. She did not seem very precise in the testing or in her advice. This was all the advice we had, though, and we were terrified. Learning that the food I was eating, and thereby giving my baby through my breast milk, could make him very sick was beyond frightening. I tried to follow her advice to the T. We went to see this doctor a few times, but felt we were getting differing advice every time. This added frustration on top of constant fear. Needless to say, we were not feeling too good at this time.
Finding the right Allergist for You -

We changed allergists. Our new allergist was affiliated with a top hospital. Her office was very clean, and her staff was kind, knowledgeable and precise. They tested his skin and his blood. We learned that our boy was allergic to walnuts, eggs, and milk. We were advised to avoid all tree nuts and peanuts, too. They gave us specific resources to learn how to read labels for each of his allergens. They taught us how to use the Epi-pen. We had the utmost confidence in their care. The allergist herself was not very warm, but that didn't matter to us. 

We continued with that allergist with annual testing and visits for several years. When our son was six years old, his allergist decided that he should have a dairy challenge. The food challenge is the "gold standard" of food-allergy testing. In a food challenge, your child eats or drinks his allergen in ever increasing increments under the doctor's supervision. We were very nervous before his challenge. I wrote about that experience here

Our son drank the first little bit of chocolate milk, and then they left us to wait. Immediately, he said his tongue was itchy. We called in the nurse, and she examined him. She said he was fine. They left us again. He started vomiting on the floor. The allergist came into the room and told us she would have to stop the challenge. She then told us that we had made him so nervous, that was probably why he vomited. She sent us home feeling awful and unsure.

Although we stayed with her for a few more years, we never felt good about our care again. We trusted her authority, because she was a top allergist in the area and the country, but by blaming us for his reaction, she lost our confidence in her as a care provider.

We changed allergists when my son was 9 years old. He is now 15. Since then, he has had several food challenges with mixed results. In every instance, we have been treated by everyone at our new practice with kindness, caring and with the highest level of professionalism. 

My son was supposed to have a milk challenge again this year. They tested his skin beforehand to be sure it was a good idea. He had a pretty significant reaction to that test, and the doctor decided that he was still allergic without the need for a challenge that would put him at risk of an anaphylactic reaction. I'm going to say that again. He is still allergic to milk 9 years after the challenge the last doctor said we caused him to fail by making him nervous. He did not fail because we made him nervous. He failed because he was allergic to milk.

When he failed his challenge to walnuts, his first symptom was an itchy tongue. Then his eye turned red, which was an unusual reaction, so the challenge continued. It ended after he vomited. He then had an anaphylactic reaction that included hives and impaired breathing and only stopped after getting epinephrine. Itchy tongue and vomiting? Sounds familiar.

I am telling you this story because it took us a long time to find the right allergist home for us. I am fighting tears as I type, because I am so incredibly grateful that we found the doctors and nurses that now help us keep our teenager safe and healthy. If your doctor is not the right fit for you, try another one. It seemed crazy to leave such a well-regarded practice, but I am so glad that we did. (Our current practice is also very well-regarded.)

Happy Cooking!


Tuesday, January 9, 2018

A review and recipe from Eat Dairy Free by Alisa Fleming -

My friend, Alisa Fleming from Go Dairy Free, has written a comprehensive book for people who eat dairy free. Not only are these recipes dairy-free, but most have been tested with gluten-free, nut-free and soy-free options, too.

I have really been enjoying cooking from this cookbook. I made a batch of the Rich Thai Dip, but I omitted the sesame oil, because I know that some of our Welcoming Kitchen readers need to avoid sesame. I also used sunflower seed butter to keep it nut-free. It was delicious. The tip about steaming the sweet potatoes instead of baking them made this dip a lot quicker to prepare, too.

My family has been enjoying the Cowgirl Cookies in their lunches, and I can't wait to try the Roasted Carrot Bisque. There are so many recipes in here that are solidly delicious. It launches today, so I recommend that you run out and get a copy of Eat Dairy Free.

Rich Thai Dip with Broccoli Trees from Eat Dairy Free by Alisa Fleming 
Makes 6 Servings 

From Alisa: While I truly enjoy this savory, sweet, and spicy thick dip with steamed broccoli, it also goes nicely with bell pepper strips, baby carrots, snap peas, or blanched cauliflower. 

  • 3 or 4 broccoli crowns 
  • 1/2 cup cooked mashed sweet potato (see Sweet Potato Tips below) 
  • 6 tablespoons creamy unsalted almond butter (use sunflower seed or pumpkin seed butter for nut free) 
  • 2 to 2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice or rice vinegar 
  • 2 tablespoons non-GMO soy sauce, wheat-free tamari (for gluten free), or coconut aminos (for soy free) 
  • 2 tablespoons coconut sugar or loosely packed brown sugar 
  • 1 teaspoon sesame oil 
  • 1 teaspoon minced or grated fresh ginger 
  • 1/8 teaspoon crushed red pepper 
  • Water or unsweetened plain dairy-free milk beverage, as needed 
1. Cut the broccoli into stalks and steam for 3 to 5 minutes. For dipping purposes, broccoli stalks that are relatively crisp-tender work best. 
2. Put the sweet potato, nut butter, 2 tablespoons lime juice or vinegar, soy sauce, sweetener, oil, ginger, and crushed red pepper in your blender or food processor and blend until smooth, about 1 minute. Taste, and if desired, blend in the remaining 1/2 tablespoon lime juice or rice vinegar. 
3. Serve the dip immediately with the steamed broccoli stalks, or cover and refrigerate it for 1 hour to thicken before serving. If it becomes too thick, whisk in water or milk beverage, 1 teaspoon at a time, to thin. 
4. Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 days. 

Sweet Potato Tips: To cook whole sweet potatoes, peel and cut them into 1/2-inch disks, then steam for about 15 minutes. Steaming preserves more of the flavor and nutrients than boiling. For a super-fast dip, you can use canned sweet potato puree. If you don’t have sweet potatoes or sweet potato puree on hand, squash, carrot, or pumpkin puree makes a tasty substitute. 

Credit for this Recipe: This recipe is reprinted with permissions from Eat Dairy Free: Your Essential Cookbook for Everyday Meals, Snacks, and Sweets by Alisa Fleming (BenBella Books, 2018). Photo by Nicole Axworthy.

Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Vegan Chocolate Date Sauce or Spread - (gluten-free, food-allergy friendly)

I love homemade gifts for the holidays. I make a variety of craft gifts (jewelry, belts and soap) and food gifts, too. I like to give tins of cookies and candies to friends and neighbors. A gift that I'm giving this year is homemade Chocolate Date Spread. It's delicious, different and a little healthier than most goodies from this time of year. 

Coffee really takes chocolate flavor up a notch, so I soak the dates in coffee instead of water to soften them in this recipe. I have a high-speed blender, and it really makes a smooth paste, but a food processor or standard blender will also work.

Vegan Chocolate Date Sauce or Spread - (gluten-free, food-allergy friendly)

You can spread this Chocolate Date Spread on cookies, graham crackers, or toast. If you heat it, it becomes a luscious chocolate sauce to dip fruit or pour over ice cream.

Pack the sauce into clean jars and refrigerate it until gifting. Make sure your recipients know that it needs to stay refrigerated upon receipt. It will stay good in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

Vegan Chocolate Date Sauce or Spread - (gluten-free, food-allergy friendly)

Chocolate Date Spread or Sauce (vegan, gluten-free, sugar-free, nondairy)
Makes approximately 3/4 cup of sauce


  1. Soak dates for one hour in coffee.
  2. Puree all ingredients together in food processor or blender