Thursday, January 31, 2013


Vegetarian Chili from Martha Stewart's Meatless

Here's a confession.  I don't, and have never, kept a food log where I write down everything I eat in an attempt to lose weight.  The confession part is that I don't do it, because I don't actually want to see what I eat each day.  I've shied away from the accountability aspect of that.  

I was, however, inspired last week by something I saw, but didn't accurately remember, on Facebook.  In my faulty memory, I have adapted it to be a challenge to my kids to see how many different plant foods they can eat in one week.  (The goal is between 30 and 40.)  

On the top of a piece of paper we wrote each boy's name, and then they started adding fruits, vegetables, grains, legumes, seeds, etc. as they eat them.  If something's on the list already, it doesn't get added.  We don't add processed food ingredients, for example the ingredients in Daiya dairy-free cheese.

It's going great!  They are excited to add new foods to the list, and we're really stunned by all the diversity that they eat in a regular week.  Sometimes it seems that they only eat vegan boxed mac and cheese and pizza, but it turns out that's not true!

If you want to boost the diversity of plant foods in your diet, I strongly encourage that you give this a try!

Another way to add diversity to your diet is to add a new cookbook to your library.  The generous folks over at Martha Stewart Living sent me a couple of copies of their new book, Meatless.  I have had a blast looking through it, and I know you will, too.  Although not every recipe is exactly right for our nut-free, vegan diet at my house, most of the recipes can easily be made to work for us.  This book is also chock full of gorgeous photos that will have you inspired to start cooking right away.  I also really liked that although everything looks absolutely delicious, nothing seems to difficult to pull off.

If you would like to enter to win the copy they sent for giveaway, please leave a comment with your name and a way to contact you in the comments.  You can have an additional entry if you like Welcoming Kitchen on Facebook, follow Welcoming Kitchen (@welcomekitchen) on Twitter, or follow me -- Kim Lutz -- on Pinterest (kitchen1).  For each additional entry, please leave a separate comment.  I will pick a winner by randomly selecting a number through after noon on Tuesday, February 6, 2013.

They also shared a recipe from the book to get you excited!

Versatile Vegetarian: Chili (Reprinted courtesy of Martha Stewart Living)
Vegetarian Bean Chili
Serves 6


2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 poblano chile, ribs and seeds removed, chopped
4 garlic cloves, minced
Coarse salt
1 can (4 ounces) diced green chiles
1 tablespoon plus
11/2 teaspoons chili powder
2 teaspoons ground cumin
3 cups cooked kidney beans (see page 365), drained and rinsed
3 cups cooked pinto beans (see page 365), drained and rinsed
1 can (28 ounces) diced tomatoes, with juice
Assorted toppings, for serving


1. In a large Dutch oven or other heavy pot, heat olive oil over medium-high. Add onion, poblano, and garlic; season with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is translucent, about 4 minutes.

2. Stir in green chiles, chili powder, and cumin; cook, stirring frequently, until spices are darkened and fragrant, about 3 minutes.

3. Add beans, tomatoes and their juice, and 2 cups water; bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer and cook until vegetables are tender and chili is thickened, 20 to 30 minutes.

4. Remove from the heat. Season with salt. Serve with suggested toppings (see page 148), as desired.

G Per serving (without toppings): 342 calories, 7 g fat (1 g saturated fat), 0 mg cholesterol, 57 g carbohydrates, 17 g protein, 18 g fiber

Happy Cooking!

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


Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Vegan Quinoa Breakfast
Avocado Quinoa Bowl

I am on a one-woman crusade.  

What am I fighting against?  WIND CHILL.  I live in the Midwest where it can get quite cold.  All winter long the weather report not only tells you the air temperature, but then also lets you know how it feels.  I believe that this only makes you feel worse than you already do.  (I do understand that there is some legitimate value to prevent folks from freezing, but for the everyday person ...)

We have had a remarkably (somewhat scary) mild winter so far.  Until yesterday.

This morning the air temperature is 0.  Even without listening to the wind chill, 0 is darn cold.  

I cannot bring myself to drink a cold smoothie or eat cold cereal.

Luckily, I had some leftover quinoa.  Heating that up with some non-dairy cheese and topping with avocado gave me a nutrient-dense, warming breakfast.

What do you like to eat to warm up? 

Happy Cooking!

Monday, January 14, 2013

Sweet Potato with Chai Spice and Hemp Seeds
Chai Spice Sweet Potato

One of the tricks of healthy eating is to make sure that your healthier food options are jam-packed with flavor.

As I seem to be on a sweet potato kick (like my sweet potato and carrot smoothie from last week), I thought I'd show you how you can up the flavor of a baked sweet potato and transform it into a satisfying lunch or side dish.

The secret ingredient in these mashed sweet potatoes is spiced tea or chai!

I brew up a strong cup of tea using an herbal spiced tea and use some of the liquid to mash up a baked sweet potato.  Topping this mixture with some lightly toasted hemp seeds makes for a vitamin-, fiber-, and protein-rich small dish.  It's a lovely alternative to a cup of soup or salad for lunch.

What are your tricks for adding flavor without adding stuff you don't want?

Chai-Spiced Sweet Potato
serves 1

1 baked sweet potato
1-3 tablespoons brewed spice tea, like chai 
2-4 tablespoons shelled hemp seeds

Scoop flesh from sweet potato.
Mash with a fork.
Stir in a little tea at a time until you have your desired texture.
In a dry skillet, heat hemp seeds over medium flame for 30 seconds or so; until fragrant, but not burned.
Sprinkle hemp seeds over potato.

I shared this with Gluten-free Fridays and Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays.

Happy Cooking!

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

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Creamy Carrot and Sweet Potato Yogurt Smoothie - Kim's Welcoming Kitchen

My efforts to recommit myself to healthy living are not just limited to my physical health.  They also include trying to foster a peaceful home environment to ensure greater mental health for my family.

How am I going to do this?

I am going to remember that spending time with my children where they have my full attention is better than anything else I can do with them.  (When I need reminding of this, I read this lovely piece by my dear friend, Stacy Snyder of the couldn't-be-truer Parent Unplugged.)

I also am going to choose my battles.  As I've written before, my kids can be picky eaters.  Even with my older son's limitations, they can still turn their noses up to food that I prepare.  If I turn to my tried-and-true friend the smoothie to start out our days, I can allow them a greater say in what they eat later in the day, because I know we've started out with a good dose of fruits, veggies and other good stuff.  Allowing them to weigh in on what we eat, provides us with much more peaceful meal time.  

While we still are going to try new stews, soups and casseroles each week, my boys will have a say some of the time on what we try, and they can even choose the dinner sometimes.  Make your own pizza night?  No problem.  Pick whichever toppings you like, I know you've already had carrots and kale, blueberries and strawberries.

This is the smoothie that lit up our breakfast table this week.

Carrot and Sweet Potato Yogurt Smoothie
makes one blenderful
(amounts are approximate)

one baked sweet potato, skin removed
3 carrots, cut in chunks
3/4 cup frozen pineapple chunks
3/4 cup frozen mango chunks
2 tablespoons ground chia seeds
large dollop (~3/4 cup) non-dairy vanilla yogurt
unsweetened coconut milk beverage and apple juice (enough of both to get desired consistency)

Blend thoroughly. 

This recipe was shared with Allergy Free Wednesday.

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.

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Vegan, Gluten-free Lemon Artichoke Hummus
Lemon Artichoke Hummus

Like most everyone, I'm thinking about the new year and starting off on a healthy foot.

This year, though, I'm trying not to make a list of resolutions, which will inevitably fall by the wayside.  Instead, I want to remind myself that living healthfully is what I prefer.  I will recommit myself to the healthy-living mindset.  

My post on The Balanced Platter today is all about recommitting myself, rather than making resolutions.  It also includes the recipe for Lemon Artichoke Hummus.  Please check it out and join the conversation about how you plan to live healthy this year.

Without planning on it, I ended up taking about a month off the blog and social media to recharge my batteries and focus on my family during the holidays.  I am so glad I did.  I'm back now and will have a yummy new recipe to share in a couple of days.  Please check back.

Happy Cooking!

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