Tuesday, September 29, 2009




This cider is fantastic on cold fall or winter days. The pomegranate juice kicks up the antioxidant content a little bit and provides a new twist on an old favorite. This is great in the crock pot all day long for parties. A side bonus is that your kitchen and house will smell fantastic with this simmering.

Yield: approximately 7 cups

Ingredients:

6 cups organic apple cider
1/2 cup 100% pomegranate juice
1 large apple, diced
1 orange, peeled and diced
1 cinnamon stick
6 whole cloves

Preparation:

Combine all 6 ingredients into a crock pot. Begin heating on high for 2 hours and then turn down to simmer. It is not necessary to strain out the fruit but you will want to remove the cinnamon stick and cloves prior to serving. It is also helpful to place the spices in cheesecloth when you place it in the crock pot which makes for easier removal but it is not necessary.

Happy Cooking!

Kim & Megan




Rice puddings are a perfect Welcoming Kitchen food. They are naturally gluten-free and are easily made vegan and free of allergens. This version fills your kitchen with the smell of apple pie and your belly with sweet, warm yumminess!

We shared this recipe as part of Cybele Pascal's Allergy Friendly Fridays.

Serves 6

4 cups rice milk
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon allspice
2/3 cup packed dark brown sugar
1 cup arborio rice
1 apple, peeled and chopped

Preheat oven to 325.
In a medium saucepan, combine rice milk, salt, spices and brown sugar.
Bring to a boil.
In a covered casserole, combine hot liquid and rice. Stir to combine.
Cover and bake for one hour.
Mix apples into rice pudding.
Let pudding sit for a couple of minutes until it thickens slightly.
Stir before serving.

You can use dried, sweetened cranberries, dried cherries or other fruit in place of the apples. The pudding is also creamy and sweet without the fruit.

Happy Cooking!

Kim & Meg

Monday, September 28, 2009

This is a simple and no-cook summer dish. It is especially great at the end of summer when the tomatoes are perfect! It is also something that you can easily adapt to any one's tastes. Try it with red wine vinegar or other types of vinegar. Add extra vegetables or cilantro too...



Ingredients:

1 medium cucumber, diced
3-4 large ripe tomatoes, diced
1/2 onion, diced
1 Tablespoon olive oil
2 Tablespoons balsamic vinegar
3-4 minced garlic cloves or 1 Tablespoon prepared minced garlic
Sea Salt and Pepper to taste

Preparation:

Combine all ingredients into large bowl or baking dish. Mix well!
Serve with corn chips, corn tortillas, on top of rice cakes or gluten-free bread.
This is also nice over jasmine or brown rice.

Happy Cooking!

Kim & Megan
The way to this Welcoming Kitchen began at the doctor's office. My son, Casey, was one of those stop-you-on-the-street beautiful babies from his first day. He had enormous wise blue eyes and bright golden-red hair. Within a couple of months, his skin was scaly, scabby, and bloody. He had several trips to the emergency room with breathing trouble. It took us several months to discover that he had multiple food allergies.

Rather than give up in the face of overwhelming diet changes, I learned to cook for my family and friends in a way that was safe for him. It turned out that there were people all around us who were also living with restricted diets for one reason or another. I learned how to cook so that everyone felt comfortable, safe, and joyful around our table. As I started writing recipes, the idea for a cookbook was born...

I started working on Welcoming Kitchen (to be published September 2010 by Sterling Publishing) three years ago. A couple of years ago, I was incredibly fortunate to make friends with my neighbor, Megan. Not only is Megan a great friend, but she is also a dietitian. She joined me, and together we formed the Welcoming Kitchen team.

In keeping with our philosophy that everyone should feel welcome at the table, each Welcoming Kitchen recipe is free of the eight common allergens (dairy, eggs, soy, tree nuts, peanuts, wheat, fish and shellfish), gluten-free, and vegan. You can always change up the ingredients if your guests can enjoy other ingredients, but we want to make sure that there are lots and lots of recipes that taste fantastic and are safe for almost everyone.

As we were waiting for a publisher for Welcoming Kitchen, we wrote two other cookbooks: The Everything Organic Cooking for Baby and Toddler Book (Adams Media, 2009) and The Everything Guide to Cooking for Children with Autism (Adams Media, 2010). Although they don't follow the Welcoming Kitchen format, we put in a lot of ingredient suggestions to make them appealing for a wide audience.

We hope to create a place where you can learn some great recipes, discover fantastic products, and pick up a few tips with this blog.

Happy Cooking!

Kim & Megan

Kim Lutz


Megan Hart MS, RD

Friday, September 18, 2009

Megan Hart is a master’s level registered dietitian, author, and co-founder of Welcoming Kitchen Consulting LLC. She obtained her undergraduate degree at Arizona State University and completed her master’s degree and dietetic internship at Colorado State University. Currently, she is a senior clinical nutritionist at Children’s Memorial Hospital in Chicago. She has over 10 years of pediatric nutrition experience working with many special needs populations including food allergies, celiac disease, cystic fibrosis, gastrointestinal diseases, and oncology.

Megan has a dynamic personality and likes to gather her friends and family around the table to celebrate life with great food and wine. In addition to enjoying local fare, she is an avid traveler and loves experiencing foods from other countries. She lives in Chicago with her husband and son and thoroughly enjoys being a mother of crazy and lovable toddler!

Kim Lutz is a mom-taught cook, author, and co-founder of Welcoming Kitchen Consulting, LLC. Kim has developed hundreds of allergen- and gluten-free vegan recipes over the past six years. Kim lives in Chicago with her husband and two sons. She has learned about cooking for a child with food allergies through the trial-and-error of everyday meal preparation. It is Kim’s passion to help make every kitchen a Welcoming Kitchen where everyone can enjoy a meal together, regardless of food restrictions.

Megan and Kim are the co-authors of three books including, The Everything Organic Cooking for Infants & Toddlers Book (Adams 2008), The Everything Guide to Cooking for Children with Autism (Adams 2010), and Welcoming Kitchen (Sterling 2010).

Welcoming Kitchen Consulting, LLC was born after seeing many families struggling to initiate restricted diets safely. With the help of Welcoming Kitchen Consulting, families find practical solutions for living on restricted diets. They provide resources to show that foods can be prepared in a way that are free of all allergens yet still taste terrific. They accomplish this through an active blog (www.welcomingkitchen.blogspot.com) and via private consultations.

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.