Monday, October 31, 2011

My son just turned 9 yesterday.  I can't believe it!  We had lots of fun celebrating. 

But, what did we eat?  We had chocolate cupcakes with either vanilla or coconut frosting and marble cake (vanilla and chocolate swirled together) with an awesome picture of a soccer ball floating on water decorated by Casey's Aunt Laura.  We had these treats because these were the desserts that our family NEEDED to have when our diets changed due to lifestyle (we're vegan) and necessity (Casey's allergies).  Since then, I've developed hundreds of recipes that make delicious food safe and accessible to everyone, including those folks with restricted diets.  We have had donuts and lasagna and pancakes and cookies.  When we see something we must have; we figure out a way to have it.

Now, I want to hear from you.  Is there something that you or your family would really love to eat, but you can't figure it out with your new diet?  I'm up for a challenge.  Leave us a comment here or on Facebook, and I'll put my mind to figuring out how to make what you want Welcoming Kitchen-friendly (vegan, allergen-free and gluten-free).

You already do so much for me, but I'm going to ask you to do something else.  Can you please vote for Welcoming Kitchen as a top Food Allergy Mom Blog on Circle of Moms?  You can vote once a day until Nov. 16.

I'm a little uncomfortable with the popularity contest nature of this.  I think it's worth pursuing, though, because we can get the word out to so many new people that you can make any kitchen a Welcoming Kitchen.  I have already heard from people who were happy to find a place that met their needs on the web because of this contest.  Will you help us reach some more people, please?

Thank you!

Happy Cooking!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal - Kim's Welcoming Kitchen

What could be more autumnal than pumpkin, maple syrup and cinnamon applesauce?

Not much.  Put all these yummy delights into a warm bowl of oatmeal and you've got a breakfast that the whole family can't get enough of.

Seriously.  My younger son had three bowls.  (Though he did have a small sprinkle of brown sugar and some rice milk with his.)

If you've read our book, Welcoming Kitchen, you know that I love the way that oatmeal can be a versatile vehicle for all sorts of good stuff (fruit, seeds, etc.).  This pumpkin-apple comfort bowl gives you one more reason why you should forgo instant oatmeal packets (if they're even an option for you) and quickly whip up your own delicious concoction!

I made a very big pot of oatmeal and refrigerated the leftovers.  The next day I heated it up with some non-dairy milk.  It was every bit as popular as the first day.

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal (vegan, gluten-free, food-allergy friendly) -

Pumpkin Pie Oatmeal
Makes 8-10 Servings

6 cups water
1/2 teaspoon salt
3 cups quick cooking gluten-free oats
1 cup applesauce (I used chunky cinnamon applesauce.)
1 cup cooked pumpkin (canned or baked and pureed)
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
3 tablespoons maple syrup

In a medium pot, bring water and salt to a boil.
Add oats, turn down heat and simmer for 3-5 minutes.
Stir it up, then mix in remaining ingredients.
Serve warm.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Vegan Chocolate Rice Pudding (gluten-free, food-allergy friendly) -


The problem with being a technically deficient blogger is that sometimes you can really mess up your site.  

Today, somehow, I deleted this entire post including the video of me cooking Chocolate Rice Pudding on WGN-TV.  

Take my word for it, because that's all I can show you now, it went pretty well.

I can't show you that anymore, but I can still provide you with the recipe.  So, without further ado ....

Chocolate Rice Pudding (from Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes.) 

Makes 6 Servings

3 cups rice milk
1 cup brewed coffee
2/3 cup turbinado sugar
1 tbsp. vanilla
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 tsp. salt
1 cup rinsed arborio rice
2/3 cup allergy-free chocolate chips 

  • Preheat oven to 325.
  • In a medium saucepan, combine rice milk, coffee, sugar, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt.  Bring to a boil.
  • Combine rice and chocolate chips in a 2-quart casserole.  Add milk mixture; stir to combine. 
  • Cover and bake 1 hour.

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

Monday, October 17, 2011

  • Maybe you've noticed the super-cute XGFX badge on our site and wondered what it's all about.  
  • Maybe you've heard of Vegan Mofo and wondered what that's all about.  
  • Maybe you've been wondering about a recipe for a sophisticated chocolate cake just right for a dinner party.

If so ... today's your day for answers! is a home for all things gluten-free and vegan.  So, it's a great second home for us!  We're proud to be part of the gluten-free vegan community that's coming together over at  If you are looking for resources that make life a little sweeter living with a restricted diet, check out their info-packed site.

Vegan Mofo is a month-long blogging event where different bloggers commit to writing about vegan topics for at least 20 days out of the month of October.  Lots of bloggers agree to this massive task and bring out jillions of great vegan tips, recipes and ideas.  My month of October has been swamped with the Chicago Parent article, creating a game-day menu for the VegNews website (more about that later), getting ready for my TV appearance on WGN (Oct. 20) plus all the daily stuff of life.  There was no way I could make such a big commitment right now.  Lucky for me, I can still participate in Vegan Mofo through the xgfx site.

Today, the blog post for Vegan Mofo is a Welcoming Kitchen post.  For this assignment, I baked up a beautiful chocolate cake inspired by the lovely food site, smitten kitchen. Although the original recipe is decidedly not Welcoming Kitchen-friendly (gluten, dairy, egg), it got my mind going on how to make one that could work for everyone.

The Welcoming Kitchen end result was even better than I imagined.  To see the recipe, check out my guest post. 

We shared this recipe as part of the Fork and Beans Valentine's Day Bake-Off.

Enjoy a month of good eating!

Happy Cooking!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

I am one of those crazy Midwestern gals who loves each of the seasons.  People are always saying something like, "How can you live there with those freezing winters (or broiling summers)?!!"

You know what?  I love summery summers ... hot and sweaty, pools and ice pops, playing outside and eating outside every day.  I adore wintery winters ... cold and bundled up, sledding and snowball fights, huddled on the couch watching movies and eating soup.

But, a couple times a year we really get it right.  Spring and fall with their warm days and cool nights make you really appreciate living in the heart of the country.

Every year, we make a family trip to go apple picking.  This year, our weather was spectacular!  It was in the high 70s, sunny and dry.  Five kids and four adults picked a variety of apples.  We got some Macintosh, Jonagold, Empire, Red Delicious and Braeburns.  Quite the haul!

When we got home, we started peeling, chopping, Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes and cooking!  We made two huge pots of applesauce -- one for eating (chunky with cinnamon) one for cooking (plain and blended smooth).  I made a big apple crisp while my sister baked Apple Pie muffins.  Sound good?

You, too, can bake up a batch of these allergen-free, gluten-free and vegan apple muffins.  Of course, just look up the recipe in your Welcoming Kitchen cookbook.  If it's not handy, though, you can get the recipe in this month's Chicago Parent.  Jenny Kales, the Nut-free Mom, wrote a helpful article about the ways that schools are working to keep allergic kids safe and included in light of classroom parties.  As an allergy mom, I am grateful that she is out there doing such good work!  Our recipe for Apple Pie Muffins was included along with the article!

On another note, we are very honored that Welcoming Kitchen is included in parenting guru, Elizabeth Pantley's new book, The No-Cry Picky Eater Solution.  Elizabeth is a life-saver with her No-Cry approach to parenting.  (I devoured The No-Cry Sleep Solution when Casey was little.)  Two recipes from Welcoming Kitchen are included with recipes from several other kid-focused cookbooks as part of this resource for any mom or dad who has tried to figure out how to feed their child without a fight!

Good luck!

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.