Lifeway Feeds Hungry Foodies at the 2016 Taste of Chicago

Taste of Chicago 2016, the nation’s premier outdoor food festival, kicks off today, July 6th, at Chicago’s Grant Park. The festival features a wide variety of food trucks, live music, and local designers. Seeing as we’re all foodies here at Lifeway, we definitely wouldn’t miss it! Not only are we sampling our kefir at the event, but we are also having Seamus Mullen prepare three recipes with our very own kefir in the Lifeway Foods Taste Kitchen.

Taste of Chicago Kick Off Blog


Seamus Mullen:

Chef Seamus Mullen is an award-winning New York chef who is known for his inventive approach to Spanish cuisine. He is also a leading advocate for health and wellness. Seamus is a seasoned contributor to our Lifeway website (see his latest blog here), and you may recognize Seamus Mullen’s Power Granola from our recipe page.

At Taste of Chicago, Seamus Mullen will be conducting four live kefir cooking demos at the following times:

Friday at 1:30 pm and 3:30 pm
Saturday at 11:30 am and 1:30 pm

The demos will feature our fabulously fermented Lifeway Kefir in three different recipes (recipes can be found at the bottom of this page):

Chilled Pea Soup with Herbed Kefir
Grilled Chicken Skewers with Lifeway Cucumber Raita
Lifeway Kefir, Watermelon, Cucumber and Ginger Smoothie

Chef Mullen will also be signing his new cookbook Hero Food:

Friday at 2:30 pm
Saturday at 12:30 pm


Other Chef Demos You Shouldn’t Miss:

Wednesday, July 6

12:30 p.m.
After School Matters‘ Gloria Hafer
Chicken and Grape Salad with Lifeway Kefir Creamy Dressing

3:30 p.m.
Wilbert Jones from A Taste of Africa
Bacon Hoecakes with Lifeway Kefir

Friday, July 8

11:30 a.m.
The Chopping Block’s Chef Carrie Bradley
Crab Cake Sliders with Pickled Fennel and Roasted Red Peppers using our Organic Whole Milk Plain Kefir

Sunday, July 10

2:30 p.m.
Sister Alicia Torres from Chopped
Lifeway Kefir-marinated Chicken Pita Sandwich

3:30 p.m.
Chris Tong from My Private Chef
Cucumber Cilantro Zucchini Gazpacho with Lifeway Kefir

Don’t miss the chance to see these talented chefs! Come to Taste of Chicago July 6th-10th in Grant Park. Check out the map to see where we’ll be located during the event.

Chef Mullen’s Recipes

Chilled Pea Soup with Olive Oil and Herbed Kefir

A great starter or canape: serves 6 as a starter or 18 as a canape.

  • 1 cup Lifeway Organic Whole Milk Plain Kefir
  • 1 Tbsp + ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 shallots, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ½ lb. sugar snap peas, blanched for 1 minute in well salted water and shocked in an ice bath
  • ½ lb. shelled English Peas, blanched for 1 minute in well salted water and shocked in an ice bath
  • 1 Tbsp Fino Sherry Vinegar (can substitute white balsamic vinegar)
  • 5 cups vegetable stock
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • 1 cup loosely packed mint leaves
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Herbed Kefir

  • 1 cup Lifeway Organic Whole Milk Plain Kefir
  • 1 clove garlic, grated on a micro plane
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup minced mint leaves
  • ¼ cup minced flat leaf parsley
  • 1 Tbsp thyme leaves
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh pepper to taste

For the Herbed Kefir: Combine all ingredients in a large bowl and mix well with a wire whisk. Set aside.

For the Chilled Pea Soup: In a medium sized sauce-pot, heat 1 Tbsp olive oil over medium low heat and gently sweat the shallot and garlic until translucent, about two minutes. Deglaze with the vinegar and set aside to chill.

Combine the shallot and garlic mixture in the blender along with peas, mint and vegetable stock and blend on high until smooth. Add kefir and process until smooth.

Lower the speed and drizzle in remaining olive oil until fully incorporated. Season with salt, pepper, lemon juice and lemon zest and set aside to chill.

To serve, ladle into bowls and drizzle with herbed kefir.

Grilled Chicken Skewers with Cucumber
and Lifeway Kefir Raita

Serves 6 as a starter

  • 1 pound boneless chicken thighs, cut into 1” cubes
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups Lifeway Organic Lowfat Plain Kefir
  • 1 Tbsp fresh turmeric, finely grated OR 1 tsp powdered turmeric
  • 1 Tbsp ground coriander seeds
  • Zest of 1 lemon
  • 2 cups cherry tomatoes
  • 2 cups eggplant, cubed into 1” pieces

Season the chicken with salt and pepper and then combine remaining ingredients in a large bowl and add the chicken. Cover and refrigerate for at least an hour and up to overnight. While chicken is marinating, make raita (recipe and directions below).

Kefir Raita

  • 2 cups Lifeway Organic Whole Milk Plain Kefir
  • ½ clove garlic, grated on a micro plane
  • 1 Tbsp fresh ginger, grated on a micro plane
  • zest and juice of 1 lemon
  • ¼ cup minced mint leaves
  • ¼ cup minced cilantro +  ¼ cup minced cilantro to garnish
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled seeded and finely diced
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • Sea salt and fresh pepper, to taste

Add all ingredients into a bowl and mix well. Allow to rest until ready to serve.

For the chicken skewers: pre-heat the grill to medium-high. Skewer the chicken, eggplant and tomatoes, alternating as you go, then grill for 3-4 minutes per side.

To serve, place the skewers on a large platter, drizzle with the raita and sprinkle with the cilantro. Enjoy immediately.

Watermelon, Cucumber, Ginger and Kefir Smoothie

Serves 4

  • 2 cups watermelon, seeds removed
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled and seeded
  • 2 Tbsp peeled ginger, coarsely chopped
  • 1 cup Lifeway Organic Lowfat Plain Kefir
  • 1 cup ice cubes
  • Pinch of sea salt
  • Fresh mint sprigs, to garnish

Add all ingredients to the pitcher of a high-powered blender. Blend on high until smooth, or until desired consistency is reached. Garnish with fresh mint and enjoy!