Welcoming Kitchen

http://www.welcomingkitchen.com

Create a Welcoming Kitchen where everyone, including folks living with restricted diets, can eat delicious food TOGETHER. Written by a vegan and food-allergy mom, all recipes are allergen-free, gluten-free and vegan.

What's your favorite vegan or vegetarian friendly product?

What's the biggest misconception people have about being a vegan or vegetarian?

What's your best tip for families who want to start living a vegan or vegetarian lifestyle?

What is an easy vegetable recipe that your kids love?

Kim Lutz

My kids happily drink up smoothies with a bunch of fresh kale blended in.
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What's an easy, kid-friendly way to decorate cupcakes?

Kim Lutz

Since so many kids today have dietary restrictions, either because of food allergies, intolerances or life-style choices, that we bake cupcakes and make frostings that are safe for everyone (allergen-free, gluten-free and vegan). That way we have yummy cupcakes and no one has to feel left out! Sometimes the easiest way to decorate a cupcake is to top it either with safe frosting or powdered sugar and then add a decorated flag or little toy.
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What's a great treat for spring or Easter? (Please include a link!)

Kim Lutz

Easter seems to be all about the chocolate! We make our own candies to be sure that they're safe for all our guests. These allergen-free, gluten-free, vegan candy recipes are absolutely delicious, not mention easy to make. If you put them in pretty spring candy papers, they're perfect for a party or hostess gift! Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Cups http://welcomingkitchen.blogspot.com/2010/04/wgn-lunch-break-recipe-april-2-2010.html and Chocolate Pepita Cups http://welcomingkitchen.blogspot.com/2009/11/chocolate-pepita-cups.html
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What's your advice on setting a food budget?

Kim Lutz

Since I prefer to feed my family organic food whenever possible, I rely on frozen fruits and vegetables as nutritious staples when fresh isn't in season or is out or our budget. I also make big batches of soups and muffins, using ingredients that are affordably priced, so that we will have some on hand when those fresh strawberries are no longer available or low cost! One last money-saving tip is to grind your own gluten-free oat flour. Gluten free oats are available at many well-stocked stores, and you can turn them into flour by grinding them in small batches in your blender. Freeze whatever flour is left over. Vegan Cream of Broccoli Soup -- http://welcomingkitchen.blogspot.com/2010/02/im-in-love-with-my-immersion-blender.html Gluten Free Strawberry Chocolate Chunk Mini Muffins -- http://welcomingkitchen.blogspot.com/2011/05/strawberry-chocolate-chunk-mini-muffins.html
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What's your favorite muffin recipe?

Kim Lutz

We, also, love muffins. In my book (Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen and Gluten-free Vegan Recipes) I have tons of recipes that we make often at our house. One of our favorites from the blog, though, is Strawberry Chocolate Chunk Mini Muffins. They're loaded with good stuff: whole-grain oat flour, flaxseed meal, and strawberries. http://welcomingkitchen.blogspot.com/2011/05/strawberry-chocolate-chunk-mini-muffins.html
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What's a great spring or summer recipe that uses corn?

Kim Lutz

For me, summer is all about easy nutrition-packed dishes. Serving a hearty salsa that's loaded with black beans, corn and avocado turns chips into a meal! Bring this along to your next picnic or barbecue and you'll be the hit of the party! http://welcomingkitchen.blogspot.com/2010/08/quick-and-easy-hearty-salsa-great.html
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Can you share an easy, crowd-pleasing birthday party cake or cupcake recipe? (please include a link to a photo!)

Kim Lutz

One of our favorite cupcakes is a Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffin/Cupcake topped with Cream Cheese Frosting. Because all of our Welcoming Kitchen recipes are free of the top 8 allergens, and are gluten-free and and vegan, they're perfect if you're serving a crowd with different diet needs (and with 1 in 13 kids living with food allergies), everyone these days is hosting someone with a special diet need it seems. Most importantly, they're delicious, though. http://welcomingkitchen.blogspot.com/2012/05/vegan-soy-free-cream-cheese-frosting.html
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Please share a link to a photo of a great birthday cake you made or bought.

Kim Lutz

I recently created a cream cheese-tasting frosting that is safe for food-allergic folks. It's soy free and dairy-free, but still has that creamy, slightly tangy flavor that makes cream cheese frosting so irresistable. Paired with Double Chocolate Zucchini Muffins/Cupcakes, these individual cakes were a delight and safe for everyone! http://welcomingkitchen.blogspot.com/2012/05/vegan-soy-free-cream-cheese-frosting.html and http://welcomingkitchen.blogspot.com/2012/05/double-chocolate-zucchini-cupcakes-for.html
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Can you recommend a great summer snack to feed kids on break or to pack for days at camp? (Please include a link to the recipe.)

Kim Lutz

Cocoa Power Bites are a little bite of nutrition dressed up like a cookie. They are fruit-sweetened and protein-packed with the added bonus of whole-grain goodness. Great for summer, these are a no-bake treat, so you don't have to heat up your kitchen!
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From peach pies and berry cobbler to lemon shortcake and watermelon popsicles, fruity desserts are perfect for summer. Please share your favorite fruit-based dessert, and include a link to the recipe and photo.

Kim Lutz

Our new favorite fruity treat is Strawberry Lemonade Italian Ice made without refined sugar. It's vibrantly colored and super-refreshing.
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What's one of your favorite one-pot recipes? (Soup, casseroles, etc.)

Kim Lutz

We eat gallons of soup in the colder months (or even on colder summer days). Our favorite soups are Creamy Broccoli Soup (vegan and gluten-free), an easy Two Potato Soup (white and sweet potatoes), or a loaded vegetable soup. My kids will eat vegetables in soup that they would never eat steamed on a plate! http://welcomingkitchen.blogspot.com/2010/02/im-in-love-with-my-immersion-blender.html http://welcomingkitchen.blogspot.com/2010/03/soup-in-snap.html http://welcomingkitchen.blogspot.com/2009/10/between-seasons-soup-or-stew.html
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What's a healthy lunchbox menu your child loves?

Kim Lutz

My boys are oh-so-excited to find Chocolate Sunflower Seed Butter Spread sandwiches in their lunch boxes. Though they're nutrition-packed, they feel like a treat. The sandwich is even better if it includes sliced bananas. It's a super-yummy way to get some fiber and protein-rich beans in their lunch. http://welcomingkitchen.blogspot.com/2011/09/finding-inspiration-chocolate-sunflower.html
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What's your favorite muffin, scone, or bread recipe? Please share a link to the recipe and a photo if you have one.

Kim Lutz

Double chocolate zucchini muffins are a favorite at our house, because they double as a cupcake. When we bake up a batch, we eat some right away, but we also freeze some so that we always have an allergy-friendly cupcake on hand in case we need one for a birthday party or other event. These are vegan and gluten-free. Although they're sweet, they also contain good stuff ... whole grain oats and zucchini. http://welcomingkitchen.blogspot.com/2012/05/double-chocolate-zucchini-cupcakes-for.html
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What's a great recipe that uses cranberries?

Kim Lutz

We make a really special cranberry sauce that features naturally sweet pears and coconut palm sugar in place of refined sugar. It's as delicious as it is beautiful! http://welcomingkitchen.blogspot.com/2010/11/cranberry-sauce-with-apples-pears-and.html
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