Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Library Journal, Xpress-Reviews--First Look at New Books, August 19, 2011

Lutz, Kim with Megan Hart. Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes Sterling. Sept. 2011. 256p. index. ISBN 9781402771859. $17.95. COOKING
Cooking for those with special food needs can make the pantry feel like an obstacle course, and for parents faced with cooking for a group of children with any number of unknown restrictions, the problem can feel almost paralyzing. Thankfully, Lutz and Hart (The Everything Organic Cooking for Baby & Toddler Book) have created this collection. They re-create classic, kid-friendly recipes like lasagna, quesadillas, pizza, and cookies without animal products, gluten, peanuts, tree nuts, eggs, dairy, soy, wheat, fish, shellfish, or sesame. You might wonder what's left after clearing out so many basic ingredients, but Lutz and Hart present a creative collection of recipes for every occasion. Few of the recipes require special items, and many of them are easy and quick to prepare.
Verdict This is a thorough collection and a great introduction to cooking for those with food allergies, especially children.—Laura Krier, California Digital Lib., Oakland

VegNews, September-October 2011 issue

These days, being vegan is the easy part. For many, food allergies and sensitivities factor into meal planning and dining out as much as ethics do. What’s a soy-free, gluten-free, nut-free vegan to do?  Step one is to avoid potlucks at all
costs. Step two is to pick up a copy of Welcoming Kitchen by Kim Lutz, which boasts 200 such recipes.

Every kind of dish is covered, from tasty apps (remember when this meant “appetizers” and not “applications?”) such as Roasted Fennel Spread and Artichoke Fritters to decadent desserts like Coconut Rice Pudding and Caramel Brownie Sundaes. Does that sound like deprivation to you?  We didn’t think so. After Lutz’s son, Casey, experienced severe allergic reactions to the foods she was eating while she breastfed him, she was inspired to learn to cook “welcoming” meals that anyone—with dietary restrictions or without—could enjoy. With so many yummy recipe ideas, Lutz accomplishes two goals with Welcoming Kitchen. One: She proves that even the most restricted of eaters can enjoy a varied, delicious diet, and two: Lutz shows beyond the shadow of a doubt that vegans eat more than just soy-based meat analogs or endless servings of tofu. The hardcover book’s only downfall is that there aren’t photographs of Lutz’s creations, and that means one thing: You’ll have to make the recipes yourself to see how they turn out!

Living Without, February-March 2012 issue

No Diner Left Behind

No need to feel left out at breakfast, lunch or dinner, thanks to Welcoming Kitchen (Sterling Publishing), by Kim Lutz with registered dietitian Megan Hart.  Tasty vegan recipes totally devoid of the big 8 allergens (free of gluten and sesame, too) allow you and almost any family member and guest to relax and eat just like everybody else.  Drawing from culinary traditions from around the world, from starters to desserts.  This basic little book delivers practical advice and can-do inspiration for every cook who strives to be inclusive.

Renee Shelton at Suite101.com

Cookbook author Kim Lutz has created recipes that are free from common food allergens, and also vegan and gluten-free. Recipes are family friendly. 
For people with any kind of food allergy, a simple chore such as grocery shopping can be a challenge. Those looking for allergen-free and gluten-free recipes and meal planning ideas, can find it in Welcoming Kitchen, which also gives helpful pantry stocking solutions. Menus are included for all occasions, with simple, healthy recipes.
Kim Lutz is a cookbook author and runs the blog, Welcoming Kitchen, with her co-author, Megan Hart, a registered dietitian. All recipes they post there are free of the eight common allergens (dairy, eggs, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, fish, and shellfish), gluten-free, and also vegan. In her book of the same name, Lutz shares the story of discovering her son had a food allergy a couple months after his birth. Because she was still nursing him, she had to find foods she could eat and cook with that agreed with her son: healthy and good tasting yet allergen-free.

Pantry Basics and Shopping Tips

Stocking up on pantry basics should always start with checking the labels. Lutz recommends that labels should always be checked each time before purchasing, even if the canned or dried goods are home favorites as manufacturers may change their recipe for a product. Some items may have hidden sources of gluten, wheat, soy, and dairy products. Choosing a product that is specifically dairy-free, gluten-free, or even tree nut-free, will help eliminate any problems once they are brought home.
Lutz's ingredients in her recipes include items probably already in your pantry. One of her goals was to create recipes with ingredients that were accessible to most readers. Fresh fruits and vegetables, applesauce, pure maple syrup, grains and rice, dried beans, xanthan gum, and vegetable broths, are all relatively easy to find at the store, and make up the bulk of her recipes.
Welcoming Kitchen Cookbook Overview and Chapters
Welcoming Kitchen has 10 recipe chapters, in addition to a listing of different menus created from the recipes, including a cocktail party, holiday dinner, and game day buffet. The recipes cover the basics: Appetizers & Snacks; Salads & Soups; Lunches & Dinners; Grains & Beans; Vegetables; Pasta Options; Sidekicks; Muffins & Breads, Breakfasts; and Desserts. The helpful resource list in the back includes organizations with their contact information that specialize in food sensitivity.

Recommended for Those with Food Allergies

Lutz's goal to find foods that could 'welcome' everyone in the kitchen, no matter what allergy or dietary restriction, was successful. Readers who are vegans, or lactose-intolerant, or even if they have a food allergy, can all cook tasty meals from the same book. Since most recipes include ingredients found easily, anyone wanting to incorporate low fat and healthy foods into family meals would find this book 'welcoming' in their kitchen.


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