Kim Lutz invites everyone, vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free, or with food allergies, to eat together with her cookbook, “Welcoming Kitchen: 200 Delicious Allergen- & Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes.” She’s giving away a copy of her cookbook to one of my readers! (See how to enter below.)
Her experiences with food allergies began when her first baby was small. His severe eczema – she had to put him in a long sleeved shirt and sew the sleeves shut so he couldn’t scratch himself and bleed while sleeping – led to a diagnosis of tree nuts, egg and dairy allergies while she was still nursing. This vegetarian overnight became a vegan for her child’s sake.
Recipes use readily available foods because, Kim says, “I’m lucky I live in a big city and I have access to a lot of specialty ingredients not everyone has that.” While this is a cookbook that could be used every day, it can also be tool for those times when you’re entertaining and need to cater to special dietary needs, needs you don’t deal with every day. She says, “Maybe you’re eating nuts on a different day, these recipes work for you if you’re not. You can substitute up if you choose. You could use one of the main dishes as a side dish. I wanted it to be flexible, easy and relatively affordable.”
In fact, neither she or anyone in her family has to eat gluten-free. Why a gluten-free cookbook? She says, “That is also part of my welcoming kitchen philosophy. My hope would be that the cookbook could be a tool to make life easier for people. For someone who’s newly facing these restrictions, I wanted to make a tool that would take away a lot of that anxiety because it can be so overwhelming. When we came from the allergist the first time with Casey, I went to the grocery store with this new information, and I just stood in the cereal aisle and cried. I thought ‘there’s nothing I can buy.’ That turned out to not be true.” (Casey is now nine and has a younger brother who’s 6.)
If you need to take something to a potluck but don’t usually cook without eggs or tree nuts, here are recipes. Want to entertain but unsure how to work around restrictions? Kim says, “Hey, it’s easy. You can still have a dinner party only making food he [the special person] can eat.” She’s had a buffet meal for 35 people that was vegan and allergen free and says, “Nobody knew, nobody cared. I want this to be a little bit of a sigh of relief for somebody.”
Her baking recipes are different than those you’ll see in most gluten-free cookbooks; they all use oat flour - with a note at the bottom if a gluten-free flour blend will also work – instead of the many flours you’ll often see listed. This is also part of Kim’s welcoming philosophy. “A grandmother’s not going to make a $30 cookie. There’s a need for the grandmother who has to do gluten-free when her grandchild comes over but doesn’t cook that way all the time.” Kim’s plan is that she buy gluten-free oats, grind that into flour and bake with it instead of buying specialty flours. “And, grandma can make oatmeal with those oats and there’s no waste.” When a recipe does say it can be made with a gluten-free flour blend, Kim’s tested it with both with bean-based and rice-based flours.
Her advice for those eating a special diet: “I try to have a positive attitude, there is such an abundance of foods, you’re silly if you don’t embrace the full range of what’s out there.”
I agree. Thank you Kim! Also check out her blog, Welcoming Kitchen where her newest post (as of this moment) has kid-friendly ice pops she managed to sneak spinach into. (Gotta admire that.)
I made Italian Hummus from her cookbook and I have to say it’s one of the best that I’ve ever had. (And I really like hummus.) It’s made with cannellini beans so a bit different than the usual but very creamy. I had some friends taste test it and they all enjoyed it. Kim gave me permission to post the recipe here.
4 sun-dried tomato halves
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans (white kidney beans)
2 Tablespoons fresh basil, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tablespoons olive oil
2 Tablespoons lemon juice
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
Soak sun-dried toatoes in boiling water for 10 minutes. Drain and rinse cannellini beans. Combine all ingredients in a food processor. Blend until smooth.
I used no-salt beans so added a pinch of salt. I also used regular black pepper instead of white pepper. As a tip: if your garlic cloves are oversized, as mine were, use less.
Welcoming Kitchen Cookbook Giveaway
The contest is closed. Congratulations to Jasmine W., the winner of Kim Lutz’s cookbook!
Enter by Thursday, June 28, at midnight Central to win a copy of Kim’s cookbook, Welcoming Kitchen.
To enter, leave a comment giving your favorite food today. (No allergens that have to be avoided. I can’t say Krispy Kreme.) For a second entry, subscribe via email to my blog and leave a comment saying so. You can also follow me on Facebook and twitter for additional entries but please post once for each saying you’ve done that.
I’ll announce the winner on the June 29. Winners must live in the United States or have a U.S. mailing address.