Swiss Retro Recipe: Riz Casimir

Riz Casimir 2736x3309

An easy meal for kids, I’ve created a dairy-free version of a popular Swiss dish from the 1950s: Riz Casimir.

I first discovered Riz Casimir at Zurich’s Hiltl Restaurant in December 2013. When I saw it on the menu, I didn’t realize this curry dish was actually over a half-century old and known throughout Switzerland. Only after trying Hiltl’s vegetarian version did I start noticing this dish in other restaurants and among the prepared meals from Coop and Migros. Finally, after I came across a simple recipe for Riz Casimir in my Swiss cookbook for public schools, Croqu’menus, I decided to try making it myself.

Riz Casimir Coop 2951x2045.11

According to Betty Bossi, Riz Casimir is often mentioned as a favorite dish by people of all ages in Switzerland. The founder of the Mövenpick restaurants, Ueli Prager, developed this recipe in 1952 with ingredients considered exotic for the time: curry, pineapple and banana. Ultimately, it seems Riz Casimir is the Swiss interpretation of Kashmiri Rice, a northern Indian dish.

Instead of using cream, I’ve been making Riz Casimir with coconut milk. I also added a few other ingredients, like fresh garlic and ginger, and some optional toppings, like chopped cashews and cilantro, to give it a little more flavor and texture. My 3-year old isn’t a huge fan of curry, but this is a very mild recipe.

In terms of presentation, I modeled my version after the photo in my Swiss cookbook of a wreath of rice decorated with banana, pineapple and cherries, and the curry nestled in the center. Honestly, it feels a little ridiculous arranging the fruit like this on the platter, but if it helps my finicky kids find it more appealing, I’ll continue to do it!


Riz Casimir

Recipe adapted from Croqu’menus (9th edition, 2005, p. 91).
(dairy-free, egg-free)
Serves 4-5 people

Ingredients:

1-2 teaspoons sunflower or canola oil
2 shallots, finely chopped
1-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
1 thumb-sized knob of fresh ginger, peeled and finely grated or chopped
4 chicken breasts, sliced into thin and bite-size pieces
100 ml white wine or allergy-friendly chicken/vegetable broth
250 ml coconut milk
1 tablespoon curry powder
1-2 teaspoons cornstarch
salt, to taste

Optional toppings: chopped cilantro and cashews, pineapple rings and apple slices

Serve with hot basmati rice

Instructions:

1. Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Saute the shallots, ginger and garlic for a few minutes until tender and fragrant.

2. Cook the chicken for about 5-10 minutes, stirring frequently, until its nearly done. Remove from the pan and set-aside. Add the wine (or chicken/vegetable broth) and simmer for a few minutes.

3. Add the coconut milk and curry powder to the wine in the pan, and whisk it together until well-incorporated.

4. Whisk in the cornstarch and return the chicken to the pan. Simmer for about 5 minutes more until the sauces thickens slightly.

5. Serve immediately with basmati rice and optional toppings.


Advertisements

Homemade Dairy-Free Chocolate and Marzipan Penguins for Valentine’s Day

The professional version of chocolate-marzipan penguins

Our local chocolate shop always makes these cute little chocolate and marzipan penguins for Valentine’s Day. This year, I decided to tackle a homemade version.

After my son’s successful food challenges for eggs and almonds last year, marzipan is one of my new favorite ingredients (remember the Swiss Stollen at Christmastime?). Even thought it’s a major improvement, his milk allergy still prevents him from enjoying store-bought chocolates at this time.

To prepare for my confectionery experiment, I bought some dairy-free marzipan and food coloring. After shaping the penguins’ bodies and wings out of the marzipan, I spread some melted Enjoy Life Foods chocolate on their backs. Then, I dotted some chocolate on small drops of powdered sugar icing for the eyes (they seem a bit scared, don’t they?). My family of penguins certainly look homemade, but they taste really good, and the kids are excited to try them on Valentine’s Day.

My very homemade-looking penguins

If you’re looking to make some allergy-friendly Valentine’s Day treats, here are some recipes I’ve shared during the last few years. All of them are dairy-free, egg-free, peanut-free and tree-nut free.

And, for another super-easy and no-bake recipe, check out Allergy Shmallergy’s Sweet Strawberry Hearts.

What allergy-friendly treats are you planning on this year for Valentine’s Day? Please share your suggestions and recipes by leaving a comment below. Thanks so much! 

Recipe: Swiss-French Red Cabbage Salad with Apples and Raisins

It’s that time of year again, when I try to serve more vegetables to my family after weeks and months of feasting on baked goods—and I’m usually the worst offender!

My latest plan involves trying to work vegetables into all three meals, and ideally in at least two dishes. For breakfast, that means scrambled eggs with spinach. At lunch or dinner, we’ll have a salad and steamed green beans with lemon, for example. With more and newer options, I’m hoping my kids’ interest increases so they actually like eating vegetables, instead of viewing them as a necessary evil.

After a recent Sunday walk, I tried out a new a new red cabbage salad recipe from a local Swiss-French cookbook. I served it as part of leisurely brunch during our last day of the holiday break. My husband, who usually HATES mayonnaise, liked this salad. Unprompted, my 7-year old said it tasted good after his first bite. My 3-year old gave it a thumbs up, but I think he really only liked (and ate) the raisins, to be perfectly honest. We’ll keep this cabbage salad in our mealtime rotation, and I’ll have to try another one I saw recently from Migros’ Saison.ch made with orange juice (here’s yet another salad recipe with cabbage, orange and fennel that also looks good).

DSC08148

Sunday walk on Mount Vully


Salade de Chou Rouge (Red Cabbage Salad)

Recipe adapted from Recettes du terroir neuchâtelois by Francis Grandjean (2002).

(dairy-free, egg-free, nut-free)

Serves 6-8

DSC08154

Salad:
500 grams red cabbage (about 1 cabbage)
1-2 apples, diced
about 1/2 cup raisins (I like golden raisins)
Optional: finely chopped chives and lettuce leaves

Sauce:
100 ml vegan mayonnaise (use really mayo if you can!)
3 tablespoons sunflower oil
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
2 tablespoons shallots, finely chopped
2 teaspoons mustard
salt, to taste (I used about 1/2 teaspoon)

Instructions:

1. Slice the cabbage into thin strips and place in a large bowl.

2. Prepare the sauce by whisking together all the ingredients until smooth. Pour the sauce over the cabbage and toss until well-incorporated.

3.Stir in the raisins and diced apple(s). Best served the same day. Top with chopped chives and serve with fresh lettuce leaves, if desired.

For 2015, we have lots to look forward to in terms of managing my son’s milk allergy, like a food challenge next week and starting school in August. I hope you do too! Happy New Year, and Bonne Année, everyone!

Recipe: Magenbrot – Chocolate Gingerbread

‘Tis the season for Christmas markets in Switzerland, and I hope to visit one soon! To date, I’ve strolled through these festive markets in Montreux, Neuchâtel and Zurich. With a steaming mug of vin chaud in my hands, I have to always stop and admire all the sweet Swiss treats. I still have many to try, but one of my favorites is Magenbrot—small cocoa gingerbreads coated with dark chocolate icing.

Christmas market stall - Zurich

Zurich Christmas Market, December 2013

magenbrot - onion festival

Onion Market in Bern, November 2013

Magenbrot means “stomach bread” in German. According to Patrimoine Culinaire Suisse, the name developed because the spices and sugar contained in the bread were supposed to aid digestion. Instead of wheat flour, recipes for Magenbrot call for rye flour, which gives the gingerbread a little more texture. You can typically find these at fall festivals in Switzerland, like the Bern Onion Market, and at Christmas markets. Bakeries that make Magenbrot traditionally sell them wrapped in pink paper.


Magenbrot

(dairy-free, egg-free and nut-free)

Recipe adapted from Betty Bossi.

Dry ingredients:
300 grams rye flour
2 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon cloves
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:
125 grams sugar
150 ml rice milk
1 tablespoon kirsch

1. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a large bowl until well-blended.

2. In a separate container, whisk together the wet ingredients and then pour into the large bowl with the flour mixture. Stir until a dough forms.

3. Turn the dough on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Roll with a floured rolling pin until you have a rectangle, about 2 cm thick. Cut the rectangle into about 5 strips of dough with a sharp knife. Please note: The dough will be a bit sticky, so use a little extra flour to help shape it.

Magenbrot dough

4. Bake at 180°C/350°F for about 20 minutes. Let cool slightly on a wire rack. When still warm, cut into pieces, approximately 2 x 4 cm. Let the pieces continue to cool while you prepare the glaze.


Magenbrot Glaze

100 grams allergy-friendly dark chocolate
20 grams dairy-free margarine
100 ml water
250 grams powdered sugar
1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
1/8 teaspoon cloves
a pinch of nutmeg
a pinch of salt

1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, mix the first three ingredients together, just until the chocolate is melted and well-blended. Remove from the heat and whisk in the remaining ingredients.

2. Put the cooled Magenbrot in a large bowl and pour the warm glaze over them. Toss them gently in the glaze until well-coated.

DSC07850
3. Place the Magenbrot on a wire rack to cool and for the glaze to harden. Store in an airtight container.

DSC07875


I just froze some homemade Magenbrot so my son can have an allergy-friendly treat during our next visit to a Swiss Christmas market. They’re easy to make and highly addictive!

Recipe: Lemon “Ricotta” Pancakes

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes 2713x2971

My oldest son—who doesn’t have food allergies, had previously stopped eating the vegan pancakes I made for his brother. He claimed to no longer like ANY pancakes. Thankfully, he’s changed his mind in the last few weeks. With a new ingredient, I’ve developed a recipe that both my sons really like: Lemon “Ricotta” Pancakes sans dairy, eggs and nuts.


MozzaRisella Vegan Cheese

While I don’t usually share recipes that call for specific brands of food products, I make an exception when I find something really great, especially if it could be helpful to others living with food allergies. My latest discovery here in Switzerland is MozzaRisella—a vegan cheese made from germinated brown rice. I’ve seen it in our small Swiss city at several bio (organic) shops, and I know you can also find it in the UK.

MozzaRisella1 3098x2370

We started buying MozzaRisella to make dairy-free pizza for our son. Compared to the frozen pizza with fake cheese we tried last summer in the US, the homemade pizza with MozzaRisella is so much better. This product even tastes good uncooked and straight from the package. My boys and I were sampling pieces last night when I was making pizza again, and my 3-year old with food allergies kept asking for more.

In addition to pizza, we also tried using MozzaRisella for nachos. I would have never considered this before, but we recently had nachos with mozzarella at our local Swiss-Mexican restaurant. We hadn’t made nachos for years, but during the World Cup, we ate dairy-free nachos with black beans and corn and topped with cilantro and thinly sliced radishes. Not as good as ones made with real cheese, but still an excellent alternative.

The Italian company that makes MozzaRisella also makes CreamyRisella, but I didn’t start buying this other product right away. Then, The Kitchn posted their easy recipe for Fluffy Ricotta Pancakes, and I wondered about using the CreamyRisella as a substitute for the ricotta. It worked from the start, and with a few other modifications, I now have a pancake that even my oldest son will eat. On Sunday, I served them for brunch with fresh raspberries and a side of bacon.


Lemon “Ricotta” Pancakes

Serves 3-4 people

(dairy/egg/nut-free)

zest of 2 lemons
3 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed with 1 tablespoon flax meal
1 package of CreamyRisella (200 grams)
2 tablespoons canola oil
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla sugar (or vanilla extract)
1 cup flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/8 teaspoon salt
1 1/4 cup soy or rice milk (I’ve been using Alnatura’s Soja Drink-Vanille from Migros)

1. In a large bowl, stir together the zest of the 2 lemons and the lemon juice with the flax meal and set aside for a few minutes.

2. Then, add the next five ingredients to the flax meal mixture and whisk together until smooth: CreamyRisella, oil, sugar, cider vinegar and vanilla sugar.

3. Whisk together the dry ingredients in a separate bowl. Next, gently whisk the dry ingredients into the wet ingredients in about 2 batches, alternating with the soy or rice milk. Do not overbeat.

4. Using a measuring cup, pour pancake batter on a medium-high heated skillet. Flip the pancake once air bubbles throughout the pancake begin to burst. Cook about 1-3 minutes on each side, until light golden brown, and serve warm.

Lemon Ricotta Pancakes 2 2736x2726
Full disclosure: This is not a sponsored post, nor did I receive any compensation. The opinions expressed on this blog are solely my own.

What’s your favorite vegan cheese? Have you tried MozzaRisella? I’m curious to hear about other vegan cheeses in Switzerland and beyond. Please leave a comment below or send me an email. Thanks!

Recipe: Salade Estivale for Summertime

The signs of summer are apparent here in Switzerland. Outdoor music festival season started locally with Festi’neuch. Swiss summer trail racing is also underway, and I’ll be attempting my first one next weekend. Most importantly, my son’s summer vacation from school starts in one week. And in terms of food, I’ve noticed restaurants around town are advertising their summertime salads or salades estivales.

Salade Estival Sign  2736x3648-001

My research indicates there’s no set rule for making a Swiss salade estivale, other than it should contain some sort of fresh summertime vegetables. Since I’m always trying to get my boys to eat more vegetables, we’ll be making lots of salads again during our summer vacation. The first Swiss salad recipe I’ve been making this summer is appropriately named Salade estivale, which I came across a while back in one of my Suisse romande cookbooks.

With seven vegetables to choose from in this salad, my boys tend to pick out the ones they like and leave the rest, but I still try to see it as progress. I was reminded this week by registered dietician Julia Marriott of Alimentary Bites that when it comes to serving vegetables to picky eaters, “perseverance and patience” are the only way. As with many salad recipes, the directions below serve as a guide, so feel free to swap in your favorite vegetables or mess with the quantities a bit, depending on the preferences in your household.


Salade Estivale

Adapted from Les recettes de Grand-Mère, Tome 4. Published in 2010 by the Association Alzheimer Suisse, Yverdon-les-Bains.

(dairy/egg/nut-free)

Salad:
1 cup kohlrabi, peeled and diced
1 cup carrots, peeled and diced
1 cup potatoes or sweet potatoes, peeled and diced
1 cup corn kernels, fresh or frozen
1 cup green beans, chopped
1 cup red pepper, diced
1 cup peas, frozen

Dressing:
4 tablespoons colza/canola/rapeseed oil
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
2 tablespoons parsley, finely chopped
2 tablespoons chives, finely chopped
1 tablespoon tarragon, finely chopped
1 tablespoon soy yogurt
salt and pepper, to taste

1. Make the dressing. Put all the ingredients in a sealed jar and shake vigorously. Add salt and pepper to taste. Set aside.

2. Cook the vegetables. Bring a pot of water to a rolling boil and cook kohlrabi, carrots and potatoes together until fork tender, about 5-10 minutes. While these vegetables are cooking, use a steamer basket to steam the corn, green beans, red pepper and peas, just until tender. Do not overcook.

3. Put all the warmed vegetables in a large bowl and toss gently with the desired amount of dressing. Sprinkle with some fresh herbs and serve immediately, while still warm.

Salade Estival Sign

 I’m always grateful for the good advice and support of other food allergy parents. Many thanks to you all, and bon week-end!

Recipe: Mocha-Cardamom Snack Cake

DSC04992

Ever since our winter vacation back in February, when we drove across the border to do some exploring in France, I’ve been wanting to make a chocolate cake flavored with coffee and cardamom. I discovered this wonderful combination at a French chocolate shop in Morteau: Chocolaterie Klaus. After baking many test cakes, I’ve found an easy recipe to share that’s dairy, egg and nut-free.

I’m trying very hard not to eat cake for my second breakfast this morning…


The French Village of Lods

DSC03800

When we originally planned our little excursion to France, the intent was to visit Lods. This small village alongside the Doubs river has been designated as one of the France’s Plus Beaux Villages (most beautiful villages). In all, 157 villages have this title and receive support from a nonprofit association working to maintain the character of these historic places.

DSC03802

While we enjoyed walking through this quiet town, I didn’t find many options for a fancy French pastry. Instead, I bought some treats in Morteau, a larger town on the border with Switzerland. From what we’ve heard, it’s a common stop for Swiss residents seeking cheaper groceries in France.


Chocolaterie Klaus

DSC03822

As we drove through Morteau on the way back to Switzerland, I spotted a “chocolaterie” sign and requested my husband take a quick turn. Soon after, we arrived at Chocolaterie Klaus. I ran into the small factory store, while my youngest napped in the back seat.

Inside, I found piles of delicious chocolate bars with small dishes of broken pieces to sample. While they had the typical flavor combinations, I saw some new ones too, like grapefruit and piment d’Espelette—a chili pepper grown in Spain and France. I bought some cookies and caramels, and two bars of chocolate, including a milk chocolate one with coffee and cardamom.

DSC03974
Inspired by this chocolate bar, I began experimenting to create an allergy-friendly chocolate cake with the same flavors of coffee and cardamom. After several attempts, I found a quick recipe from my favorite ol’ Betty Crocker cookbook. My mother’s recent visit included a delivery of allergy-friendly mini-chocolate chips from Enjoy Life, so I had everything I needed to make a safe cake for my son (dairy/egg/nut-free). This recipe is incredibly fast and easy—and similar to the one for Crazy Cake. My 6-year old enjoyed helping to mix all the ingredients in the pan.


Mocha-Cardamom Snack Cake

Adapted from my favorite Betty Crocker cookbook, 7th edition (1991).

(dairy/egg/nut-free)

Dry ingredients:
1 2/3 cups all-purpose flour
1 cup sugar
1/4 cocoa
1 teaspoon baking soda
3/4 teaspoon ground cardamom
1/2 teaspoon salt

Wet ingredients:
1 cup strong coffee
1/3 cup canola or vegetable oil
1 teaspoon white or cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (I used dark rum instead)

Topping (added before baking):
1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I used Enjoy Life mini chips)

Use an ungreased square pan, 8×8 inches or about 20×20 cm.

1. Sift dry ingredients directly into the square pan, and stir together with a fork.

2. Add the wet ingredients to the dry ingredients, and use the fork to combine them, just until blended.

3. Sprinkle the chocolate chips evenly over the top of the cake batter.

DSC04948
4. Bake for 30-40 minutes at 180°C/350°F until a toothpick comes out clean when inserted in the center. Cool on a wire rack in the pan. Serve sprinkled with powdered sugar, if desired.

DSC04963


In the United States, May is Food Allergy Action Month. Check out FARE’s calendar of activities which have the purpose to:

“go beyond raising awareness in order to inspire action so that we can improve understanding of the disease, advance the search for a cure, create safer environments and help people live well with food allergies.”

Bon week-end, everyone!

Petits Pains with Bear’s Garlic

Even though it snowed yesterday, there’s a sign that spring is on its way: ail des ours (bear’s garlic). Bear’s garlic supposedly got its name from les Germains (Germanic people). They thought this plant gave bear-like strength to whoever consumed it, since it’s a popular plant for these powerful animals to eat in the springtime, post-hibernation. After learning about this local herb last year, I first used it for an allergy-friendly pesto with pumpkin seeds. There are many ways you can cook this versatile plant, but this year I wanted to try it in savory petits pains for summer sandwiches.

2014-03-16 12.02.07


I remembered the place where our friend took us last spring to pick bear’s garlic, and sure enough, we found a large patch of fresh green leaves poking out of the ground about 2 weeks ago (see this map for where to find bear’s garlic in Switzerland). If you don’t have a place to pick your own, I also saw vendors at the local farmers’ market selling it, and even our local Coop is selling large packages of this fragrant herb.

2014-03-16 12.09.33
We picked the bear’s garlic before it started flowering, which seems to be the typical practice—when the leaves are still young and relatively fresh. If you can’t find bear’s garlic where you live, I think chives would make a good substitute for the recipe below.

Please note: If you’re planning to forage for wild bear’s garlic, you must be very careful and make sure you’re picking the right stuff! At this time of year, other plants are sprouting that look similar to bear’s garlic, but are toxic. The Centre Suisse d’Information Toxicologique has some helpful information, which you need to review if you’re planning to eat the wild plants.

2014-03-22 14.36.18


Petits Pains with Bear’s Garlic

Recipe adapted from swissmilk (see p. 3).
Makes 8 rolls.

(dairy/egg/nut-free)

500 grams all-purpose flour
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon sugar
7 grams active dry yeast
250 ml very warm water
75 ml olive oil
1-2 tablespoons bear’s garlic (or chives), finely chopped

1. In a large bowl, whisk together the flour and salt.

2. Separately, stir together the warmed water, sugar and yeast. Let set for about 5 minutes until the yeast dissolves.

3. Make a trough in the center of the flour mixture, and pour in the yeast mixture and olive oil. Stir together until a dough forms. Knead the dough for about 5 minutes until it becomes smooth and elastic. Place in a covered bowl and let the dough rise for about an hour, until doubled in size.

4. Punch down the dough, and then divide into eight equal pieces. Form into small rolls and place on a pan lined with parchment paper. Cover with a towel and let rise again for about 20 minutes.

5. Using a sharp knife, cut an “X” on top of the roll and sprinkle with a little flour.

DSC04289

6. Bake in an oven heated to 230°C/450°F for 10 minutes, and then reduce to 180°C/350°F and cook for another 5 minutes until the rolls are nicely browned.

DSC04302

Last week, I made these petits pains for a picnic lunch at our local botanic garden and for American-style hamburgers at home. This recipe makes a small batch. You can throw them together very quickly and with few ingredients. I’ll be using them a lot now for outdoor lunches and when we’re traveling.

DSC04329

What do you make with bear’s garlic? Do you buy it or pick it yourself? Please leave a comment below if you have tips or recipes to share. Thanks so much!

Also, this Thursday is Switzerland’s Journée Nationale de l’Allergie 2014 (National Day of Allergy 2014), sponsored by aha! Centre d’Allergie Suisse. I’ll have more information later this week, so stay tuned. 

“C’est horrible, les endives!”

For his 6th birthday, my son received a wonderful book in French called, “Emile et invisible.” This funny book follows Emile as he tries to avoid eating les endives for lunch by making himself invisible. Emile’s mother tries to make the bitter endives more palatable by smothering them in ham and gruyère, but he still isn’t convinced.

2014-03-08 10.26.28


Endive in Switzerland

According to the Union maraîchère suisse (Swiss vegetable union), the first endive in Switzerland was grown in 1909 in the Geneva region. That seemed relatively recent to me, until I learned about how endive is grown (in the dark) and how it started. The prevailing story of endive’s birth claims it was accidentally discovered by a Belgian farmer, who was storing chicory roots in his cellar. When he noticed the white buds growing from the thick roots, modern endive had arrived.

Today, about 80 percent of the Switzerland’s endive is grown in the canton of Vaud. In German-speaking Switzerland, you’ll find fresh endive used in salads, particularly during the winter months. Cooked endive is more common in French-speaking Switzerland, or Suisse romande, where we live. The process of cooking endive helps remove some of its bitter taste, which certainly helps, but unfortunately that means you lose its fresh crisp texture.

Before last week, I had very limited experience preparing endive. I typically ate them raw and in salads, most often with cheese and nuts. So, when I saw an easy recipe for braised endive in a French-cooking magazine that I could (hopefully) make dairy-free, I figured I would give it a try—even though my boys were less than thrilled.

I was happy with the result, and the recipe below is quick and easy—especially if you’re new to cooking endive and just want to try it out. Also, feel free to double the recipe, if you’re cooking for people who will actually eat it (this is not the case in my home just yet!).

DSC04001


Braised Endives à l’Orange

Recipe adapted from Saveurs magazine, N°208.

Serves 2-3 people.

(dairy/egg/nut-free)

4 heads of endive
1 tablespoon dairy-free margarine
1 orange (half for zest, all for juice)
1 tablespoon of honey

1. Zest about half an orange, and squeeze the juice out of the whole thing. Whisk together half the orange juice with the zest and honey. Set aside, along with the reserved orange juice.

2. Remove outer leaves, if necessary from the endive. Rinse the endive in cold water. Slice off the stems, and then cut them in half, lengthwise.

3. Melt the dairy-free margarine in a large pan. Cook the endive over medium heat for about 3 minutes. Then, pour over the orange and honey mixture and cook the endive for another 10 minutes on medium to medium-low heat.

4. Pour over the remaining orange juice, add salt and pepper, and cook the endive for 5 minutes, so the sauce becomes slightly thickened. Serve immediately.

DSC04132
Similar to lentils, I’m hoping to discover some kid-friendly recipes for endive. How do you prepare this bitter vegetable? Cooked or raw?

Swiss Green Lentils in Coconut Milk

During an afternoon excursion to Château de Vaumarcus, I discovered Swiss green lentils: Lentilles de Sauverny. These lentils are an excellent source of protein, locally-grown and shelf-stable—particularly important for those Sundays when I have nothing to cook and nothing here is open. While I’m sharing a new recipe for an allergy-friendly version of Lentilles à l’ancienne (dairy/egg/nut-free), I must disclose that even though my dear children have tried it twice now, they refuse to eat lentils. If you like lentils, however, this is an easy recipe for a nutritious legume with ingredients you probably already have in your kitchen.

DSC03569

At the castle in Vaumarcus, we found a small store selling produits du terroir, such as local wines, baked goods, and jam, etc. It was a nice surprise, and I found a few Swiss food products I hadn’t encountered before. The lentils immediately caught my eye, so I grabbed a bag to take home. A farm in the Geneva region, Ferme Courtois has been growing green lentils since 1995. Lentils are often paired with la longeole (IGP), a fatty Swiss sausage, also from Geneva, made of gelatinous pork and fennel seeds.

DSC03403

Vaumarcus Castle

2014-02-20 10.32.14

Swiss green Lentilles de Sauverny

On the package, I discovered an easy recipe for Lentilles à l’ancienne. I first made it with olive oil and soy cream, but greatly preferred the version with dairy-free margarine and coconut milk. Since my finicky boys won’t eat it (for now, at least), I’ll continue to use it as a side dish, while searching for new ways to prepare lentils they may actually enjoy…

DSC03580

Lentilles à l’ancienne (Lentils of old)

Adapted recipe originally from Ferme Courtois.

(dairy/egg/nut-free)

1 cup green lentils
3 cups water
1-2 shallots, finely chopped
1 tablespoon dairy-free margarine (vegetable/olive oil works too)
Scant cup of coconut milk
2 tablespoons dijon mustard
salt and pepper, to taste
Toppings: chopped parsley, cilantro or green onions

1. Rinse lentils thoroughly and pick out any debris or rocks. Place in a pot with the water and bring to a boil. Simmer over medium heat for 20-30 minutes, until the lentils are tender.

2. Drain the lentils. Whisk together the coconut milk and dijon mustard and set aside. Then, saute the chopped shallots in dairy-free margarine until they soften a bit and turn slightly translucent.

3. Add the drained lentils and the coconut milk and mustard mixture and stir together. Simmer over medium to low heat for another 5 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste. Top with freshly chopped parsley, cilantro or green onions to add some color.

DSC04072

How do you prepare lentils? Any and all suggestions are welcomed. I just received a recipe this week from a kind reader that I’m looking forward to trying. Bon week-end!