Friday, January 31, 2014

 Smoky Cauliflower Popcorn - Kim's Welcoming Kitchen
Smoky Cauliflower Popcorn

Are you looking for a healthy snack to add to your game-day spread?

Smoky Cauliflower Popcorn needs to be on your menu.

Hummus, guacamole and salsa all are great options for snacking. Popcorn, even chocolate-covered popcorn, adds whole-grain crunch to your buffet.

One of my new favorites are these smoky, roasted cauliflower bites. The trick is to cut or break your cauliflower into little bits, toss them in a flavor-filled spice mix, and cook them up until they are still tender, but have a bit of crunch.

Smoky Cauliflower Popcorn - Kim's Welcoming Kitchen

Smoky Cauliflower Popcorn (vegan, gluten-free, allergen-free)
Makes 2 generous servings

  • 1 head cauliflower, cut into small bits (about 1/2-inch or so)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoon nutritional yeast

  1. Preheat oven to 425.
  2. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  3. Spread olive oil on paper.
  4. In a small bowl, combine seasonings.
  5. Spread cauliflower on paper
  6. Top with spice mixture.
  7. Stir to evenly coat cauliflower with oil and spices.
  8. Bake 30 to 35 minutes, stirring halfway through.
  9. Cauliflower is done when it is dark brown in spots, but not burned. 
I shared this with Gluten-free Fridays and Showcase Your Talent Thursday!
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.

Friday, January 24, 2014

Vegan Stock or Broth, glutenfree,
I reuse jars from jam, coconut oil, etc. to store my stock.

I told you about the slow cooker class I ran at our local food pantry.  

One of the things we talked about in the class was how to turn your kitchen scraps into a rich, flavorful vegetable stock.

Kitchen scraps? I mean the odd bits of carrots, onions, onion peel, garlic bits, broccoli stems, scallion greens, etc., that you don't need for a recipe and that often end up in the trash or compost.

Vegetable Broth or Stock, gluten-free, vegan
Kitchen scraps straight from the freezer ready to become stock.

Instead of tossing all those odds and ends, gather them up in a freezer-safe bag or container and put them in the freezer.  Keep adding to your container any time you have some vegetable scraps. You can even include the papery exterior of onions and garlic. Just make sure everything is washed before you cut them up, and you will know that your scraps are clean.

Once you've collected a fair amount of scraps saved (for this batch, I used two quart-size freezer bags), you're ready to convert them into a lovely stock.

Dump the frozen vegetable scraps into your slow cooker. Top with water, leaving a couple of inches at the top. You could be done with it cooking on high for 4 hours, but the flavor will be deeper if you let it cook for 6 to 8.
Slow cooker vegetable broth or stock, vegan and glutenfree
Just add water!

When it's done cooking, strain it through a colander. Use the back of a spoon to press down on the vegetables and get as much liquid out as you can.

You can refrigerate it in jars or freeze it in 2-cup batches for later use.  

This is a basic, unseasoned stock. You can add salt, pepper and other flavors to your liking either when you're making the stock or after it's finished.

With 2 quart bags full of scraps, I got over 3 quarts of vegetable stock. 

You can use your stock as a base for soup, as a cooking medium for rice, quinoa or amaranth.

I shared this post with Wellness Weekend and Gluten-free Fridays.

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 16, 2014

A recipe for pumpkin pie muffins that are gluten free, allergen free and vegan - Kim's Welcoming Kitchen

Over the years that I have been writing cookbooks and this blog, I have been on a journey.

Part of this journey has introduced me to ingredients that I had never heard of before. Some of these ingredients have changed the way that my family and I eat (oat flour, coconut palm sugar, date paste, and on and on). Some have not been good fits for us. (I'll keep those to myself in case they're on your new favorites list.)

Friends have brought new ingredients into my kitchen. For example, Ricki Heller and Amy Green encouraged me to try stevia through their creative recipes found in their books (Naturally Sweet and Gluten Free and Simply Sugar and Gluten Free, respectively) and websites.

I'd like to introduce you to a new friend, Debbie Adler and the ingredient she brought into my kitchen.

In her beautiful new book, Sweet Debbie's Organic Treats: Allergy-free & Vegan Recipes from the Famous Los Angeles Bakery, Debbie Adler crafts cookies, cupcakes, donut holes and muffins from organic whole food ingredients and using low-glycemic sweeteners.  Each of the recipes is vegan, gluten-free and free of the top 8 allergens.

I was particularly intrigued by Debbie's use of coconut nectar. She frequently combines coconut nectar with powdered stevia to provide her recipes with some natural sweetness. I had never tried coconut nectar before trying these recipes, and I am so glad Debbie brought this sweetener into my repertoire. It has a caramel-like sweetness and a syrupy consistency. Yum!

We made a couple of recipes from the book, Pumpkin Pie Muffins and Oatmeal Fudge Chocolate Chip Cookies. Both were hits with my boys. They had a nice consistency and good flavor, though, neither was overly sweet.

Debbie is generously offering her Pumpkin Pie Muffin recipe to us, and one lucky reader will win a copy of her cookbook.

Pumpkin Pie Muffins (as featured in Sweet Debbie's Organic Treats, used with permission)
Makes 12 muffins

  • 2 cups all-purpose gluten-free flour
  • 1 tablespoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 2 teaspoons sodium-free baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon guar gum
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 1/4 cup grapeseed oil
  • 1/4 cup coconut nectar
  • 3/8 teaspoon stevia powder
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
  • 3/4 cup unsweetened plain rice milk
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon powder
  1. Preheat oven to 350 F. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper baking cups.
  2. Whisk together the flour, pumpkin pie spice, baking powder, baking soda, guar gum and salt in a large bowl. make a well in the middle.
  3. Add the grapeseed oil, coconut nectar and stevia and stir to combine. Add the pumpkin puree and rice milk, and stir until the liquid is absorbed and the batter is smooth.
  4. Spoon the batter into the prepared muffin tin, dividing it evenly. Each cup should be about three-quarters full. Dust the top of each with a sprinkling of cinnamon.
  5. Bake the muffins for 16 to 18 minutes, or until they are golden orange and bounce back slightly to the touch. Rotate the muffin tin from front to back halfway through baking.
  6. Transfer the muffin tin from the oven to a wire rack and let sit for about 10 minutes before removing the muffins to cool completely.
  7. Keep in an airtight container for up to 3 days, or wrap and freeze for up to 3 months.

Disclosure: I was given a copy of this book to review, but the opinions here are my own.  I did not receive any other compensation.

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.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

As a food allergy mom, I have sent so many pieces of cake, slices of safe pizza and other treats along with my kids as they negotiate birthday parties, play dates and sleepovers.  Sending our own food has made it possible for my food-allergic and vegan children to fully participate in fun times with friends, while remaining safe and well-fed.  After losing one-too-many of my lidded glass bowls, I realized the beauty (and necessity) of the reusable plastic container for these kinds of occasions.  An added bonus: I can easily write my child's name and food allergies on the container so that even if I'm not there, the adult doling out the snacks will know what belongs with my son and why.  That is why I am happy to share with you this guest post from my friends at Hefty.
Happy Cooking!

Sending a kid with allergies to a birthday party is always a little nerve-wracking for mothers. Thoughts of “What if my child eats the wrong thing?” will most likely enter your mind, but giving your kid an alternative lunch or allergy-friendly piece of cake is always a good way to help reduce the risk that your child will eat something that they are not supposed to. Sending alternative meals is probably something that you are already familiar with, but finding the right container can sometimes be tricky. It is always good to have several plastic food containers on hand, because they can be reused while not breaking the bank if one or two is misplaced or lost.

Sometimes the toughest part is encouraging your child to eat the food that they brought with them. Try some of these tricks:

  • Decorate the containers so that your child can feel excited about bringing their alternative meal. For example, try using stickers of your child’s favorite TV show.
  • Ask the parent who is planning the birthday party what the menu will be. You could pack something similar so that your child does not feel like he or she is missing out on anything.
  • Put the lunch together in fun ways, like using cute cutouts of fruit.

These tricks can transfer over to regular school lunches, too. For example, you could look at what the lunch of the day would be in the school cafeteria and make an allergy-friendly version of it. Plastic food containers come in handy for school lunches, too. Healthy lunches are usually harder to pack than prepackaged foods, since items like cut fruit need to be stored in something that will keep any liquids from escaping. Plastic food storage containers rise to the challenge! They can also be great for storing small finger foods, too. In fact, you could even steal these containers for your own use! Potlucks are always fun, but choosing how to bring the healthy item that you just cooked can sometimes be a task. The containers make this a little easier, then.

In the end, managing your child’s allergy is not easy, but it doesn’t always need to be hard, either. Making your child’s favorite foods and sending it with them in their lunch or for a birthday party will help them to accept that eating differently from other kids at school can be fun!

Author Bio: This is a guest post by Katie F. on behalf of Hefty®. Visit to find products like trash bags and more to help you out over the holidays.

Image courtesy of tiverylucky at