We’re getting settled into our new apartment after nearly two months of temporary housing. I’m trying a few new allergy-friendly foods/meals, but unpacking is taking a higher priority right now. I also need to devote more time to studying French, especially after this week’s language school assessment placed me squarely at the “beginners” level. Luckily, I have a few recent success stories to report in terms of our allergy-friendly dining:
Non-Yeasted Cinnamon Rolls
Vegan baking recipes work well for us, and I came across a great recipe from the It Ain’t Meat, Babe blog for vegan cinnamon buns. I LOVE biscuits, and these are essentially cinnamon rolls using biscuit-style preparation. They’re quick, easy and so delicious. I will make these again and again. I ran out of cinnamon, so I made up the difference with cocoa powder. Also, I used wheat flour and skipped the nuts to be on the safe side. We’re looking forward to our next allergist appointment to determine whether or not we need to continue avoiding peanuts, tree nuts and sesame seeds.
Our First Restaurant Meal in Switzerland
In the square just below our apartment, there’s an Italian restaurant that makes homemade pasta. While I was standing outside the restaurant last Saturday with the boys, waiting for my husband to grab something we forgot from the apartment, I asked the manager about their allergy-friendly menu options for my son. Between my horrible French and his very good English, he suggested that they could use oil (not butter) to prepare some veal, pommes frites and veggies for his lunch. When my husband came downstairs, we decided to take the leap and eat our first meal as a family at a Swiss restaurant. I can’t believe it took so long, but I’ve been nervous about eating out. Given our son’s food allergies, it seems our dining options may be pretty limited in our small city.
It shouldn’t have been a surprise, but our 15-month food-allergic son was very distracted during our lunchtime meal by a huge dog seated at the table next to us. However, he did manage to eat small portions of his meal, and without any reactions. Next time, we’ll be more prepared and have some soy milk packed along with us. Overall though, we were very pleased with the experience and hope to find another allergy-friendly restaurant option again soon.
Back in the U.S., before we discovered the milk allergy, I would make homemade pizza about once a week. I used leftovers from the fridge, like steamed broccoli or half-finished packages of prosciutto, to make a quick pizza. Using my go-to pizza dough recipe from my favorite Betty Crocker cookbook, I could prepare this meal very quickly, and it was always a hit with the family.
I really wanted to bring pizza back to our mealtime line-up, so I came up with an idea to use grated tofu instead of mozzarella. I’ve noticed the tofu here in Switzerland from our local Coop seems a bit more dry and firm compared to what we bought in the U.S. As such, I thought that even though the tofu would have a very different flavor compared to mozzarella, the texture and appearance might be similar. Last weekend, I tried this method, and we loved it. My nearly 5-year old who doesn’t have any food allergies had thirds, and we all thought the taste and texture worked well. Yes, the tofu doesn’t melt like cheese, and the taste is different. Yet, it looks like cheese, and tastes good (notice I was pretty light on the tofu, adding just enough to give the appearance of cheese). Saturday nights can be pizza nights once again!
Store-Bought, Allergy-Friendly Bread
I was not anticipating this, but I finally checked some of the Coop-brand bread options and came across at least three different kinds (including a baguette) that our food-allergic son can eat! Since we arrived in Switzerland, I’ve been making homemade bread almost every day. I was so pleased to find clearly-marked allergy labels on the bread indicating gluten as the only allergen. It sounds selfish, but this is a huge timesaver for us. I love making bread, but having a quick and safe back-up option is so comforting. And, apparently the Swiss love their bread, so I’m glad we can at least find a few store-bought options that work for us.
I hope to be posting more frequently now that we’re getting settled. As always, please send your allergy-friendly news and recipes my way at email@example.com. Thanks!