Wednesday, August 29, 2012


glutenfree vegan cookbook giveaway
Don't you want to win this?

As you probably can guess, I think way too much about food.  Besides feeding my family on a daily basis, I'm usually thinking up some new recipes, working on an article or two, pinning good-looking eats from other websites .... you get the picture.

One recipe that has eluded me through all of this food obsession was a good recipe for vegan corn pudding.  What is corn pudding you might ask?  It is kinda like mushy cornbread, but better.   My mom went through a phase of serving it up as a side dish for a while when I was a kid.  Every recipe I have looked at uses too many eggs for me to easily substitute, and my attempts have not yielded what I am searching for.

That is just one of many reasons that I jumped for joy when I received a copy of Great Gluten-free Vegan Eats to review.  This delightful cookbook is written by Allyson Kramer, the blogger behind Manifest Vegan, a completely awesome website.  Great Gluten-free Vegan Eats is just what I would have expected from such a talented recipe writer and food photographer.  The book is gorgeous and filled with dishes that I think most anyone would want to rush to cook.

Vegan Gluten-free Corn Pudding
Baked Corn Pudding

Some standouts include:
  • Baked Corn Pudding
  • Asparagus and Mushroom Tacos
  • Vanilla Bean Ice Cream
  • Wendy's Zesty Black Eyed Pea Salad

You get the picture.  

And, by the way, the corn pudding was just as good as I remembered it.  

Don't you want a copy of this cookbook, too?  Good thing the publisher will send one to one of my lucky readers!  

To enter, leave a comment about why you'd like to win this book after this post.  For another chance, "like" Welcoming Kitchen on Facebook and leave another comment saying that you did (or already do), for another "follow" Welcoming Kitchen on Twitter (@welcomekitchen) or Pinterest and leave comments with that info, too.  

Remember, I need to be able to let you know that you won.   Either check out this post or the Facebook page on Wednesday, September 5 or leave contact info in your comments.  I will pick a winner after noon CST on Wednesday, September 5, 2012 using a random number generator.  

Good luck!

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

Monday, August 27, 2012

kids triathlon
Chicago Kids Triathlon Start

I grew up with asthma.  Although, I'm pretty much completely symptom free, it played a significant role in my childhood. 

My parents never made too big a deal about it though.  Of course, we went to the doctor, and I took medicine, and all that, but they never made it a reason not to do something.  I don't think they ever said, "You can't do that.  You have asthma."  I played soccer in high school and took up running in college.

Now, I have a child with asthma, too.  I have chosen to follow my parents' lead and not pre-emptively limit what Casey can do.

Good thing!  This weekend, my amazing 9-year-old son completed the Chicago Kids' Triathlon.  (I'm still a little teary with pride as I type this!)  After swimming on swim team all fall and winter, he and a couple of buddies joined a triathlon training club.  They trained at the beach once a week all summer.  

Not only has all of this hard work made him so much stronger, it has reinforced his confidence in his own health.  He is looking forward to new challenges.  I know that he will meet them with his fierce spirit, strong body and a belief in himself.

Stay tuned, I have an announcement for an awesome giveaway coming up later this week!

Happy Cooking!

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

Monday, August 20, 2012

Hemp Heart Oatmeal
Manitoba Harvest Hemp Hearts

When nuts are not on the menu, do you have to give up that nutty, crunchy, healthy goodness altogether?

Of course not.  As I keep saying, even when there are foods (sometimes lots) you can't eat, there are always way more that you can.

Case in point ... Hemp Hearts.  I just bought a bag of Hemp Hearts from Manitoba Harvest at Whole Foods yesterday.  I've been wanting to try them, and when I found out that Manitoba Harvest has a facility that is free from dairy, soy, nuts and gluten, I felt comfortable giving these little lovelies a try.

They are so good.  We tried them right from the bag, and they were pretty good.  I would definitely sprinkle some on salad.  What I really enjoyed, though, was toasting them up in a dry frying pan for a minute or two.  They achieved a lovely, nutty flavor.  I can't wait to cook with them.

I also am going to whip up some of Ricki Heller's Hippie Dippy Hemp Milk, because like Ricki, I don't care for boxed hemp milk, but think that fresh could be wonderful.  

For my first foray, I added some toasted hemp hearts (raw shelled hemp seeds) to oatmeal for a power breakfast.  (Of course, I added blueberries since they're still delectable at the farmer's market, though diced apples would also be delicious!)

Hemp Heart Oatmeal - Kim's Welcoming Kitchen

Hemp Heart Oatmeal
Makes 2 generous or 4 smaller servings

2 cups water
1 3/4 cups rolled oats (gluten-free, if necessary)
1/4 cup hemp hearts
1/2 cup blueberries
drizzle of maple syrup
non-dairy milk beverage to taste

In a medium saucepan, bring water to a boil.
Add oats, reduce heat and simmer 3-5 minutes or until oatmeal is desired consistency.
While water is coming to a boil, heat hemp hearts in a dry skillet over a medium flame for a minute or two to lightly toast.
Top cooked oatmeal with toasted hemp hearts and blueberries.
Drizzle a little maple syrup and add non-dairy milk to taste.

How do you like your hemp? 

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.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Vegan Trail Mix

My family and I are taking it on the road.  We're going on a real vacation.  A trip where we lay around and swim in a lake and look at stars and play on the beach.  We're also going to hike quite a bit.

All these activities are going to take some fuel.  Since most energy bar-type foods are not safe for my son, we mixed up our own trail mix that's chock full of our favorite flavors.  It's salty-sweet with a little chocolate thrown in for good measure.

(If you're looking for some road trip tips, I wrote about our trip last year here.) 

Wondering what we will be listening to on our trip?  My favorite music of the summer, Homegrown.  You can download it for free!  (It's a side project of my husband's and a couple of bandmates.)

I shared this recipe with Wellness Weekend, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Allergy Free Wednesdays.

Vegan Trail Mix

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes
1 cup pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds)
1/2 cup sweetened, dried cranberries
1/2 cup raisins
1/2 cup allergy-safe chocolate chips
2 cups cereal that's safe for you (We used a wheat-free oat cereal, but rice or corn cereal would work equally well.)
Dash of salt

Preheat oven to 350.
Spread coconut and pepitas in a single layer on a baking sheet.
Bake for 3-5 minutes to lightly toast them.
In a large bowl, combine remaining ingredients.
Add coconut and pepitas when cool.

Happy Cooking!

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

Monday, August 6, 2012

gluten-free, vegan berry crisp
Breakfast al fresco--Vegan, Gluten-free Berry Crisp with Yogurt

When you have dietary restrictions you instantly become brand loyal.

At least, that's how it's worked for me.  When I find a brand that has safe manufacturing practices and is committed to serving the vegan or allergy community safely, I seek it out again and again.  (Always remembering to double check the label to be sure that nothing has changed.)

One of my go-to brands for recipes and out-of-the box enjoyment is the Erewhon brand of cereals from Attune Foods.  I am particularly loyal to the Gluten-free Crispy Brown Rice and the Corn Flakes.  They taste great as they are, and they are super useful in cooking and recipe creation.  I buy them frequently at the store when I'm shopping.  

I have created a ton of recipes using these products, too, like Crispy Apple Crisp.

This week on the Attune Foods blog, they are featuring Welcoming Kitchen in their Build Your Food Allergy Cookbook Collection project.  They are hosting a giveaway of Welcoming Kitchen and showcasing the recipe for Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Cups (a Lutz family favorite).  

To celebrate Attune's support of Welcoming Kitchen, I created a berry-bursting summer crisp!  You can serve this on its own, with yogurt for breakfast, or with ice cream or sorbet for a delectable dessert.  Don't forget to head over to Attune to enter to win the giveaway.  Good luck!

gluten-free, vegan berry crisp

Berry Crisp (Vegan, Gluten-free, Refined-Sugar-free)
Serves 4

2 cups of berries (I used blueberries and blackberries.)
2 cups Erewhon Crispy Brown Rice cereal
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/2 cup maple syrup
1/4 cup coconut oil

Preheat oven to 400.
In a standard (not deep dish) pie plate or a casserole dish, place berries on bottom.
Toss berries with vanilla.
In a medium bowl, combine cereal, salt, maple syrup and coconut oil.  Stir to thoroughly combine.
Spread topping over berries.
Bake in preheated oven for 30 minutes or until golden and bubbly. 

I shared this recipe with Wellness Weekend, Slightly Indulgent Tuesday and Allergy Free Wednesday.

Happy Cooking!

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

Thursday, August 2, 2012

Vegan Gluten-free Strawberry Scones
Gluten-free Vegan Strawberry Scones

My boys and I LOVE scones.  Why?

They are a quick baked treat.
They can feature whatever flavor you are hankering for.  Fruit?  Savory? Spicy?
They are not overly sweet.
They seem a little fancy.

Today on The Balanced Platter (Thursday, hopefully, since I'm writing this a day early), I have a recipe for strawberry scones.  I kept the strawberries in big hunks, so they baked up into juicy globs of summer in a biscuity base.  Yum!

Happy Cooking!

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