Friday, January 29, 2010

Caramelized Pineapple With Vanilla Coconut Yogurt -

I just love treats. Lucky for me this one combines warm fruit and cold, sweet yogurt "ice cream." It's a dessert I can even eat for breakfast. Now that's what I call a treat!

Caramelized Pineapple With Vanilla Coconut Yogurt

Serves 2

1 container of vanilla-flavored coconut-based yogurt (I like So Delicious Dairy Free)
1 cup pineapple chunks

Transfer yogurt to a freezer-safe container.
Freeze for one hour, stir, and return to freezer.
Preheat oven to broiler setting.
Broil pineapple until slighty browned, approximately 10 minutes.
Serve broiled pineapple topped with frozen vanilla yogurt.

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.

Sunday, January 24, 2010


Valentine's Day?

The weekend ... finally?

There are times when you just might want a drink (or you don't, so this might not be the post for you). If you or your guests follow a restricted diet, this can be a surprising challenge. What kind of challenge, you might ask?

If you're looking for a drink that's good for vegans or free of dairy, egg, fish or shellfish, you might think that's a no-brainer. What kind of cocktail has fish in it? Sometimes wine and beer! Can you believe it? Brewers and winemakers use a variety of ingredients to filter or fine their products. The question about safe beverages is equally tricky for gluten-free drinkers. How can you know if what you want to serve is appropriate?

Luckily, there are some great resources on the web. For information on whether a product is vegan (and therefore free of dairy, egg, fish or shellfish -- or any other animal product), visit the folks at If you're looking for information about gluten-free drinks, check out

Please let us know if you have other resources that would be helpful. The more we can share what we know, the safer and happier we can all be!

Happy Cooking!
Kim and Megan

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Substitutions (Food Allergies, Vegan, Gluten-free) -

When my son was first diagnosed with multiple food allergies over six years ago, I started looking for cookbooks to meet our new needs. I was just getting used to the "can't have its" of our new life, and I was looking for something that seemed like a green light. Even though there were some really good resources out there, I still felt that there was a great deal that highlighted what we couldn't have, more than showing us what we could. Because, really, is a cookbook allergy friendly if the recipe calls for nuts, and then the note says "omit the nuts if you have a nut allergy." (Even early on, I could have figured out that adaptation on my own!)

That's why when I started writing Welcoming Kitchen recipes, and I decided that I would stick with what would work for most folks. I decided on bringing cooking down to the lowest common denominator. You can enjoy these recipes as they are, or you can "substitute up" by adding or substituting ingredients that are safe for the crowd you're serving.

For example, if nuts aren't a problem for you, you can add them in to the chocolate chip cookies. If you can tolerate gluten, you can substitute all-purpose flour or white whole wheat flour in the muffins. (Remember, if you're substituting oat flour or wheat flour for gluten-free all-purpose flour, you need to omit the xanthan gum.) So, please enjoy our recipes just as they are, or experiment with changing them up to suit your needs. You can also feel free to ask our help in suggesting alternate ingredients.

We hope that we can help your kitchen become a Welcoming Kitchen, too!

Happy Cooking!

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.

Monday, January 18, 2010

Vegan Shepherd's Pie (GF and Food-allergy Friendly) -

As we keep saying -- in our Welcoming Kitchen -- winter means comfort food.
What could be more comforting than a hearty casserole topped with mashed potatoes?

Not much, in my opinion. (Unless you top said casserole with your favorite gravy!)

Vegan Shepherd's Pie (GF and Food-allergy Friendly) -

This shepherd's pie is a little different (and we think a lot better) than your average shepherd's pie that traditionally relies on ground meat -- or soy/wheat veggie burger -- because this one is gluten-free, soy-free, dairy-free and vegan. The combination of kasha and garbanzo beans contributes to a filling, protein-rich base that is good for everyone to enjoy. How's that for comforting!

Vegan Shepherd's Pie

Makes 6 servings


1 cup kasha (roasted buckwheat)
1 gluten-free, vegan boullion cube
1/4 cup flaxseed meal (or ground flaxseed)
1/4 cup onion, small diced
2 teaspoons olive oil, divided
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 peeled carrots, medium dice
1 15-ounce can garbanzo beans, drained and rinsed
3 medium baking potatoes
1/4 cup non-dairy milk
1/4 teaspoon salt


1) Preheat oven to 375.
2) In a small saucepan, combine kasha, boullion and 2 cups water.
3) Bring to a boil, then cover and reduce heat to a simmer.
4) Simmer 10 minutes then remove from heat. Set aside.
5) Peel and cube potatoes.
6) In a medium saucepan, add potatoes and water to cover.
7) Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer.
8) Simmer uncovered until potatoes are fork-tender (How long this takes depends on how large you cut your potatoes.)
9) In a small bowl, combine flaxseed meal with one cup warm water. Set aside.
10) In a small skillet*, heat one teaspoon olive oil over medium flame.
11) Add onion and garlic, cook until fragrant and softened -- 2 to 3 minutes.
12) In a 2-quart casserole or baking dish, combine cooked kasha, onion and garlic, carrots, drained and rinsed garbanzo beans, and flaxseed slurry.
13) Press down on mixture with the back of a spoon or your hand. Set aside.
14) When potatoes are fork-tender (easily pierced with a fork), drain them and place them in a large bowl.
15) Add non-dairy milk, remaining olive oil and salt.
16) Mash with a potato masher or fork.
17) Spread mashed potatoes over kasha mixture.
18) Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until potatoes are lightly golden.

*Sometimes I use my large cast iron skillet at step 10, following the same instructions.  I just bake everything together in the skillet.

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! You can also find tasty recipes in Super Seeds and Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

I adore artichoke fritters (so do my husband and sister). This treat easily conforms to Welcoming Kitchen standards (allergen- and gluten-free and vegan). I don't fry food too often, but these crunchy/tender delights are worth the effort and extra indulgence.

I used a smaller skillet with around 1/4 inch of oil. When the crumbs in the oil became too dark, I dumped the oil out and started with fresh oil to prevent the fritters from tasting burned.

We shared this as part of Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays, please check out the other great recipes.

Artichoke Fritters

Makes approximately 16 fritters.


1 15-ounce can artichoke hearts
1 cup cornnmeal
1 1/2 teaspoons garlic pepper
1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon cayenne (optional)
1/2 cup rice milk
canola oil


Drain and thoroughly rinse artichoke hearts, and then drain again.
Slice artichoke hearts in half.
In a shallow bowl, combine cornmeal, garlic pepper, and cayenne if using.
Pour rice milk into another bowl.
Heat oil in skillet until shimmery.
Dip artichokes, one a time, into the rice milk, then into the cornmeal mixture.
Use a spoon to ensure that all of the artichoke is covered.
Fry until golden on one side, and then turn to cook on other side.
Place cooked artichokes onto a paper-towel-lined plate to drain.

Happy Cooking!
Kim and Megan

Friday, January 8, 2010

It is snowing like crazy here in the Midwest, and I know it's cold all over the country. My friend in Texas said it was in the teens last night!

This weather makes me think of soup, stew and warm bread. Our Welcoming Kitchen cookbook has several bread options, but it won't be available until Spring 2011. That's a long time to wait, so I set out to come up with another easy, gluten-free, allergen-free, and vegan bread that would go great with the soups, chilis and stews that warm up a cold evening.

Inspired by a video I saw on Youtube of Dr. Jeff Hertzberg and Zoe Francois showcasing their basic technique from their book, Artisan Bread in Five Minutes a Day, I played around with some ingredients I had on hand and voila! A gorgeous bread!

I made two small loaves from the dough recipe below. The dough was very wet, almost runny, when I put it into the refrigerator. It was still very moist when I formed the loaves this morning. Although they didn't bake up tall, they have a crunchy exterior and a spongy, moist interior. The flavor was great, too. They have lots of air pockets, thanks to the yeast, but no yeasty flavor or smell. Best of all, they were quick, easy, and no kneading was required.

All Good Loaf


2 cups gluten-free oat flour
1 cup potato starch
1/4 teaspoon rapid-rise yeast
1 1/4 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 cups warm water
cornmeal for dusting (optional)


In a large container with a cover (I used an 11.5 cup plastic container), combine first three ingredients. Mix together well.
Add warm water, and mix with your hand until all the ingredients are incorporated well.
Cover and place in refrigerator for 10-12 hours.
Dust a pastry board or cutting board with a little more oat flour or cornmeal.
Form the dough into to two round-shaped loaves. (The dough will be very wet, so do your best.)
Lightly cover with a clean dish towel.
Let rest for 30-40 minutes.
Preheat oven to 425.
Place dough on a parchment-paper-covered baking sheet.
Score the top of each loaf with an X.
Bake for 40-45 minutes.
Let loaves cool on a cooling rack.

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! You can also find tasty recipes in Super Seeds and Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

I don't know about you, but I love all of the festive drinks that come out for the holidays. It turns out that I loved them a little too much at the grocery store this year and bought more than we needed. I ended up with an extra box of dairy-free nog.

What could I do with it?

Then, it hit me ... a rice pudding would be just the thing. Not only would I get a creamy delight, but I could delude myself that I was following my New Year's resolutions just by eating a treat! I figure that I'm saving myself from being wasteful by using that extra box of nog rather than letting it go bad, and even though I'm still eating a dessert, at least it's not cookies, candy or cake. That's got to count for something. Right?!

If you were a wise shopper and don't have extra nog around, you can probably get it on clearance at the grocery store. That way you can feel good about saving money!

We shared this recipe with Slightly Indulgent TuesdaysShowcase Your Talent Thursday and Allergy Friendly Fridays.

Holiday Nog Rice Pudding

Serves 8


4 cups non-dairy nog beverage (How about So Delicious coconut nog?)
1 cup arborio rice
Sprinkling of nutmeg


Preheat oven to 325.
In a small saucepan, heat nog to almost boiling.
In a covered casserole, combine hot nog and rice. Stir.
Sprinkle nutmeg on top.
Cover and bake for one hour.
(Put a baking sheet under the pot to catch any drips.)
Remove from oven, stir, and let sit a few minutes before serving.

Happy Cooking!

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

Friday, January 1, 2010

Resolutions ... who needs 'em?

Aren't we just going to promise to do better, to be better today, and then forget all about it tomorrow or next week?

Maybe. But, maybe not... if we try to eat a little more healthfully (an inviting proposition after the excess of the holidays around here), and start off with a fruity smoothie. Can eating better really be this easy? And delicious?

You bet! Here's to a happy and healthy 2010! We wish you all the best in the coming year.

What are your New Year's Resolutions for 2010????
Leave us a comment and let us know!
Is there anything we can do here in our Welcoming Kitchen to help you meet your goals??

This smoothie recipe (the first of many, I'm sure) is adapted from our book, The Everything Organic Cooking for Baby and Toddler Book (Adams Media, 2008). (Please note that although that book is packed with delicious recipes and information, it is not a Welcoming Kitchen book, so it's not gluten- or allergy-free, but it is veg-friendly.)

Strawberry, Blueberry & Banana Smoothie

Makes 2 servings


1/2 cup frozen strawberries
1/2 cup frozen blueberries
1/2 frozen banana
1/2 cup apple juice
1 cup rice milk (or other non-dairy milk alternative)


Combine all ingredients n a blender. Blend all ingredients until smooth.

Happy Cooking and Happy New Year!

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