Monday, November 30, 2009


Who says cranberries have to be a Thanksgiving-only treat? These hardy muffins pair tart cranberries with sunny clementine tangerines. It's a great way to enjoy that cranberry goodness all year round. Although this recipe calls for oat flour, you can substitute GF all-purpose flour and 1 teaspoon xanthan gum for an oat-free breakfast treat.

Cranberry Clementine Mini Muffins

Makes 32 mini muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups fresh whole cranberries
1/2 cup orange juice
1/2 cup sugar
(Or you can substitute 1 1/2 cups prepared cranberry sauce, divided)

1 1/2 cups gluten-free oat flour
1/2 cup potato starch
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, divided
4 clementines, peeled
1/3 cup packed light brown sugar
1/2 cup flaxseed meal
1/2 teaspoon vanilla

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 350.
Lightly oil a mini muffin pan.
In a small saucepan, combine cranberries, orange juice and sugar. Bring to a boil.
Reduce heat; cook at a high simmer until berries pop. Remove from heat.
(If using prepared cranberry sauce, start here.)
In a medium bowl, combine oat flour, potato starch, salt and 1 teaspoon baking powder. Stir with a whisk.
In a blender or food processor, puree clementines.
In a large bowl, combine 1/2 cup cranberry sauce with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.
Add remaining cranberry sauce, clementine puree, brown sugar, flaxseed meal and vanilla. Stir to combine.
Slowly mix dry ingredients into wet.
Spoon batter into prepared muffin pan.
Bake 12 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Happy Cooking!

Kim & Megan

Wednesday, November 25, 2009













In addition to our pies, we're having cupcakes this year at our Thanksgiving. We wanted something that had an autumn feel without competing with apple and pumpkin pies. My sister and I racked our brains and came up with a super-yummy frosting. Start with 2 tablespoons cinnamon, and then add more if it's not cinnamon-y enough for your taste. (We sprinkled lots of cinnamon into ours!)

Makes more than enough to frost 6 cupcakes or a one-layer cake.

We shared this recipe with Allergy Friendly Friday.

Laura's Cinnamon Frosting

Ingredients:

1/2 cup soy-free non-hydrogenated buttery spread, like soy-free Earth Balance
1 teaspoon vanilla
3 tablespoons rice milk
1 pound powdered sugar
2+ tablespoons ground cinnamon

Preparation:

In a mixer, blend together buttery spread, vanilla, and rice milk.
Slowly mix in powdered sugar.
Blend in cinnamon.

Happy Cooking!

Kim

Thursday, November 19, 2009

vegan apple crisp, gluten-free, vegan, oat-free, refined-sugar free


I was thinking about Thanksgiving (and who isn't?), and thinking about desserts (again, who isn't?), when I thought about what would make a great alternative to pie this Thanksgiving. Yeah, we'll definitely have pies, but sometimes you want to have something a little different. I don't mean really different, just a little different. 

 So, here's a Welcoming Kitchen apple crisp that not only is gluten-free, but also oat-free. The coconut oil gives it a hint of coconut flavor and the topping is really crispy.

Serve this apple crisp on its own or with sorbet or coconut-based ice cream.

We wish you the happiest holiday season.

Crispy Apple Crisp  (gluten-free, vegan, refined-sugar-free, allergen-free)
Makes 6 servings (or 4 more-generous servings)

Ingredients:

6 medium-sized apples
1 1/2 cups gluten-free crispy rice cereal
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil

Preheat oven to 400.
Lightly oil a 2-quart baking dish or square baking pan.
Finely crush 1 cup of crispy rice cereal into a powder. (A food processor works well for this.)
Peel and thinly slice apples.
Lay apple slices into the baking dish.
In a small bowl, combine cereal flour, remaining cereal, syrup and coconut oil.
Pour topping over apples, pat to cover.
Bake 40 minutes or until golden brown and bubbly.

We shared this recipe as part of Allergy Friendly Fridays.  Please check out the other great recipes.

Happy Cooking!
Kim 

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

What an unexpected surprise! Our newest book,The Everything Guide to Cooking for Children with Autism, came in the mail at the end of last week. We weren't expecting them until January, so we were really excited to see them in print so soon. We think they look great!

Although this book is not a Welcoming Kitchen book, (it's not free of all 8 allergens or vegan), it is gluten- and casein-free. Also, because one of the co-authors is vegan (Kim), it is very veg-friendly.

When Adams Media approached us to write this book, we really gave it a lot of thought. Although there is a lot of anecdotal evidence that the GFCF diet can make a difference to people living with autism, there is not a lot of strong science yet supporting these beliefs. (There are more extensive studies in progress.)

We decided to go ahead with the project, hoping to aid the many struggling parents out there who would like to try the diet to see if it helps their child. We thought that we could provide a strong resource for these families. We have created hundreds of easy-to-follow, yummy recipes and informative text to make it easier for families who want to give the GFCF diet a try.

We think that The Everything Guide to Cooking for Children with Autism will be helpful to families living with autism, and also for people looking for delicious and easy gluten-free, dairy-free recipes. We hope you think so, too.

Happy Cooking!

Kim and Megan

Sunday, November 15, 2009

Orange Spice Butternut Squash


Because it's in season in the colder months, we eat a lot of winter squash (acorn, butternut, etc.).  
We usually eat it with soy-free Earth Balance and brown sugar or maple syrup, but sometimes you want something a little different. This variation will be a staple in our menus this fall and winter. Keep this in mind for a Thankgsiving side dish!

We shared this recipe with Wellness Weekend, Gluten-free Fridays and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.  Please check out the other recipes!

Sweet and Savory Winter Squash

Serves 4

Ingredients:
5-6 cups peeled and cubed (approx. 1-inch cubes) winter squash
2 tablespoons orange juice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/2 teaspoon cumin
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon chili powder
1/4 teaspoon salt


Preparation:
Preheat oven to 425.
In a large bowl, combine orange juice, olive oil and seasonings.
Add squash cubes, toss to coat. Let sit for 15 minutes.
Pour squash and marinade onto a baking sheet.
Bake 25 to 30 minutes, or until squash is tender. (After 10 minutes, flip the squash around.)

Happy Cooking!
Kim 

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Even without the complicated factor of a restricted diet, I'm not a huge fan of cookie swaps. I like to make the cookies that I like to make and my family likes to eat at the holiday time. All that baking leaves me with plenty of sweets for every holiday visitor (and more!) who come through our house at this special time of year. Add to that the need for cookies that meet my family's special needs, and it makes the tradition of a cookie swap not so inviting. But, I'm no Scrooge, and I love any opportunity to revel in the holiday spirit. Maybe because I live in a dark and cold climate, but I adore the sparkly brightness of the holiday season. What's a gal to do? Create a new tradition, of course!

This year, we decided to see if anyone wanted to get together for a craft swap. We thought we'd get five or six friends together, each person would bring several handmade gifts, and then we'd swap with each other and end up with a variety of gifts that none of us could have created on her own. Five or six quickly snowballed to an invitation list of over 40 interested ladies! We certainly can't have it in my living room, so we've moved the plan to a local restaurant and limited everyone to bringing 10 gifts each. The restaurant is excited for the business, we're all excited to get a variety of gifts for a very affordable price, and we still get the joyful cameraderie that a cookie swap would have provided, but without the headache!

As many of you know, it is often the best plan to take charge of a celebration to ensure that it is safe and inclusive. This is just one idea of how to take charge in a way that provides lots of fun for all!

Happy Cooking!

Kim and Megan

Monday, November 9, 2009

Vegan Good Health
Now, I can hike without any medicine.



For a little kid living with the stress of food allergies day in and day out, it can seem like he got a raw deal. Obviously, we struggle with the stress of a potentially life-threatening condition all the time, but for our son, we think that it's important to highlight any positives that have come along with the situation. 

"What positives?" you might ask. (Especially if you're facing a newly discovered or diagnosed health problem in your own household.) Well, we've been able to find a few.

For one, as a nursing mother, I had to give up the same foods that my son was allergic to so as not to contaminate my breastmilk. I went from vegetarian to vegan, and my health improved dramatically. 

I struggled with asthma my whole life. I had at least a couple of episodes every year that required prednisone, and I took a steroid inhaler every day. After changing my diet six years ago, I have not had even one asthma attack. I don't even need an inhaler when I run or work out. Also, even though I had been a vegetarian for 15 years and exercised almost daily, I had crazy-high cholesterol levels. Since I changed my diet, my cholesterol is completely normal. So, I'm able to let my son know that thanks to him, I am much healthier.

Another thing that we tell him that allergies have brought us is a greater sense of compassion for others. We say, "Everyone's got something." Food allergy is our boy's challenge, but for someone else it could be color blindness, or trouble reading, or parents who are getting divorced. When you know everyone's facing their own obstacles, it can make it easier to cut them a little slack.

Because so much in the daily life of someone with food allergies focuses on the negative ... "You can't have that," etc., I consciously choose to approach Welcoming Kitchen from a positive place. I am dedicated to highlighting what you can have, can enjoy, can share. I want to help make your kitchen a Welcoming Kitchen!

Happy Cooking! Kim 

Find tasty recipes in Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes. 

Friday, November 6, 2009

I just saw this and wanted to pass on the information about Jelly Belly labels that left peanut ingredients off of an ingredient label.

Jelly bean recall: Jelly Belly says its labels left off an ingredient people are allergic to

Happy Cooking!

Kim and Megan
Gluten-free Vegan Apple Cider Donuts


I started working on Welcoming Kitchen donuts a couple of years ago, when I realized that my at-the-time 5-year-old son had never eaten a donut! Now, we eat yummy chocolate-glazed donuts whenever we need a donut fix. The recipe for those donuts will be featured in our Welcoming Kitchen book that comes out next September. Until then, though, we were inspired by a recipe in Food Network's magazine and came up with another great donut recipe. You can buy a donut pan either online or even at Target. These donuts have a denser, coffee-cake-like texture, and a yummy, apple-cinnamony flavor.

Please note: I made a typo in the quantity of xanthan gum in the original post. The correct amount should read 1 teaspoon. I'm sorry for the mistake. Kim

Apple Cider Donuts

Makes 15 donuts

Ingredients:

2 medium apples
2 1/2 cups apple cider, divided
3 1/2 cups gluten-free, all-purpose baking mix (like Bob's Red Mill)
1 teaspoon xanthan gum
3 1/2 teaspoons baking powder, divided
1/4 teaspoon baking soda
3 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon, divided
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1 1/2 cups turbinado sugar
1/4 cup non-hydrogenated vegetable shortening (like palm oil shortening), divided
1/2 cup applesauce
1/4 cup rice milk
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup confectioners' sugar
2 tablespoons granulated sugar

Preparation:

Preheat oven to 325.
Grease a standard-size donut pan with shortening.
Rough chop apples (no need to peel them).
Combine apples with 1 1/2 cups apple cider in a small saucepan.
Cook over medium heat, until apples are soft and apple cider is almost completely reduced. This should take about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the apples.
Puree apples in a food processor.
In a medium bowl, combine GF flour, xanthan gum, 1 tablespoon baking powder, baking soda, 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Whisk together well.
In a large bowl, combine applesauce with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.
Add sugar, 3 tablespoons shortening and vanilla to applesauce mixture. Blend well.
Combine rice milk with apple cider vinegar. Add to applesauce mixture. Combine well.
One-half at a time, mix dry ingredients into wet.
Mix one cup of the pureed apples into the batter.
Fill donut pan 2/3 full.
Bake 12 - 15 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted into the center of a donut comes out clean.
While donuts are baking, heat remaining apple cider in a small saucepan over medium heat.
Bring to a high simmer. Cook until reduced to 1/4 cup.
Whisk confectioners' sugar into reduced cider.
In a shallow bowl, combine 2 teaspoons cinnamon with granulated sugar.
Remove donuts to a cooling rack.
Dip top half of each donut into the glaze. Let extra glaze drip off.
Spoon cinnamon-sugar over glaze. Shake off excess.



Happy Cooking!

Kim and Megan

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Our friend, Jenny, the Nut-Free Mom, brought some good news to our attention. Check out her post at nut-freemom.blogspot.com about what Emeril's doing to bring attention to the cooking needs of folks living with food restrictions. Thanks, Jenny, for keeping us informed!

Happy Cooking!
Kim and Megan

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

vegan snickerdoodle


Who wants a light, crispy, sweet cookie? Well ... it turns out everyone who tried these cookies! Kids love them, but so do grown-ups with a cup of coffee or tea. Non-hydrogenated vegan buttery spread (like soy-free Earth Balance) adds a great flavor to this simple-seeming cookie. These cookies spread quite a bit, so make them small and spread them out. Also, let the cookie sheets cool between batches.

We shared this with Allergy Friendly Lunchbox Love.

Snickerdoodles

Makes 60 cookies

Ingredients:

2 1/4 cups oat flour (GF oats blended to a fine powder)
1/2 cup potato starch
1 tablespoon plus 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, divided
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup applesauce
1 cup non-hydrogenated, vegan buttery spread
1 1/2 cups plus 1 tablespoon sugar, divided
1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation:

In a medium bowl, combine oat flour, potato starch, 1 tablespoon baking powder and salt. Whisk together.
In a large bowl, combine applesauce with 1/2 teaspoon baking powder.
Mix in buttery spread and 1 1/2 cups sugar. Blend well.
Mix dry ingredients into wet.
Chill dough in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour.
Preheat oven to 350.
Line cookie sheets with parchment paper.
In a small bowl, combine 1 tablespoon sugar with 1 teaspoon cinnamon.
Drop batter by the teaspoon onto cookie sheets.
Sprinkle with cinnamon-sugar mixture.
Bake 10 minutes.
Transfer to cooling racks.

Happy Cooking!

Kim and Megan

Monday, November 2, 2009

Vegan, Gluten-free Chocolate Recipe


Last week was a whirlwind, with my son's birthday and Halloween. So, I'm back in the kitchen, and the first thing I wanted to whip up was something using those pepitas I wrote about last week. This easy candy is a fantastic use for pepitas. Keep these in mind for holiday gifts. If you put them in a festive mini muffin paper, a box of these will delight even the most finicky person on your list.

We shared this recipe with Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

Chocolate Pepita Cups

Makes 24 candies

Ingredients:

1 cup pepitas (pumpkin seeds without shells)
1 cup allergen- and gluten-free chocolate chips

Preparation:

Fill a mini muffin pan with 24 mini muffin papers.
In a dry skillet, heat pepitas until toasty warm for 1-2 minutes. (Pull them off the heat before they start to pop.)
Chop the pepitas. (A food processor works really well for this.)
In a small saucepan, heat the chocolate chips, stirring continuously, until about half-way melted.
Remove saucepan from heat, and continue stirring until all the chocolate chips are melted.
Mix pepitas into chocolate.
Spoon equal amounts of chocolate into each paper.
Refrigerate for at least one hour.

(You can make bigger candies by using standard muffin papers. This recipe will make 12 big candies.)

Happy Cooking!
Kim and Megan