Each of our six of our finalists for the Food Blogger Budget Recipe Challenge opens in a new tab will be featured in a blog post here. Read about them and check out their featured recipe. By posting a comment on their recipe page opens in a new tab, you help determine the winner in our Challenge AND you'll be entered in a drawing to win a $500 gift card!
Karina Allrich is a creative cook who enjoys developing easy rustic recipes featuring seasonal ingredients and Mediterranean inspired flavors. Her illustrated blog, Karina's Kitchen: Recipes from a Gluten-Free Goddess opens in a new tab showcases delicious family recipes for the gluten-free lifestyle with Mediterranean diet, casein-free, vegetarian and vegan recipes galore. She is the author of two cookbooks- Recipes from a Vegetarian Goddess (reprinted as Cooking By The Seasons) and Cooking By Moonlight.Don't lie: what did you have for dinner last night?
“A bowl of pumpkin-apple soup with a slice of homemade gluten-free multi-grain bread (testing a new recipe) grilled in a dab of extra virgin olive oil. Yum!”
Remember: Don’t comment here if you want to support Karina in our contest. You have to comment on her recipe page opens in a new tab. We turned comments off to help you remember!Can you give us 3 to 5 of your favorite money-saving tips when it comes to cooking and eating?
“1. Eat in season.2. Make soup! Soup is a fabulous way to feed a lot of people- and if you make enough for leftovers, the soup tastes even better the next day.3. Dust off your Crock Pot or slow cooker. I love to simmer less expensive cuts of meat in savory sauce all day until it melts in your mouth.4. Make your own snacks- pop your own popcorn, fry your own corn chips from stale tortillas, whip up your own hummus from cans of beans on sale. Marinate your own olives.5. When a product you love is on sale- stock up. Whenever Muir Glen Fire Roasted Tomatoes go on sale, for instance, I buy as many as I can carry home.”
What inspired you to start your blog?
“Six and a half years ago I discovered I had celiac disease. Translation? I needed to be gluten-free for the rest of my life. Learning to cook gluten-free was a challenge, but I rolled up my sleeves and tackled it head on. I'm lucky. I love to cook. Learning to bake gluten-free was a tougher challenge. There were, what? Two- maybe three- gluten-free cookbooks out there. And they were less than inspiring. The gluten-free diet was presented without humor or passion (or even, if I am honest, anything approaching a tempting recipe). I began blogging in 2005 as a way to not only share my growing pile of gluten-free recipes but to help others starting out on their gluten-free journey- I wanted to let folks know that cooking gluten-free is not only doable- but delicious- that gluten-free doesn't mean dreary, tasteless or boring. And I posted sexy photographs of my recipes to prove it!”
How do you continue to come up with fresh ideas to share with readers?
“It's easy when you have dedicated readers. They inspire me. I receive so many heartfelt personal e-mails- and blog comments- thanking me for a particular recipe that they imagined they'd never be able to enjoy again, or to tell me a sweet story about their child loving one my cookie bar recipes. I also have a large vegan and vegetarian following because I develop gluten-free vegan and vegetarian recipes; if you think living gluten-free is a challenge, try gluten-free and casein-free. And egg-free. Fifty percent of those with celiac disease are intolerant to dairy products, and more and more folks (myself included) are discovering additional food allergies coexisting with gluten intolerance. I'm one of the few food blogs who develops recipes for those with multiple food allergies. I thrive on the challenge of it. It keeps me inspired.”
What's your favorite comfort food?
“Why Sweet Potato Black Bean Enchiladas, of course! Seriously? Potatoes- white, gold or sweet. Mashed, baked, sliced into fries, mixed into a potato salad- it's all good.”
How do you spend your time when you're not cooking, eating or blogging?
“I'm an artist- I paint large abstract expressionist paintings. I love to read. And watch movies. I'm a home body.”
Comments on Karina’s recipe from her Budget Recipe Challenge opens in a new tab page:
“princessmorgan72 wrote:I just made this with a couple of other girls in my dorm as one of our "Sunday Night Specials," and it was amazing! It's hard to deal with Celiac Disease in college, but having these leftovers in my fridge will make it just a little bit easier (for this week, anyway). Thanks for the recipe!Dana wrote:I served this two days ago to my husband (who doesn't like sweet potato), my father-in-law (who doesn't like beans), my mother-in-law (generally health-conscious) and myself (allergic to gluten, dairy, and eggs), and made everyone happy! Thanks, Karina and Whole Foods.P.S. Karina's gluten-free vegan cornbread is also fabulous.”
A lovely shot of one of Karina's works-in-progress.Remember: Don’t comment here if you want to support Karina in our contest. You have to comment on her recipe page opens in a new tab. We turned comments off to help you remember!