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Everything posted by Ellie84

  1. Hopefully this topic will contain some helpful hints for people who want to visit our lovely country. The Netherlands isn't the most ideal country for people with celiac disease when compared to the UK, France or Italy, but there are still a lot of possibilities for gluten-free travellers. Luckily, most Dutch people have an acceptable knowledge of foreign languages, most people are reasonably fluent in English, especially the younger generations. We won't force our horrible language onto anyone. Seriously, to the untrained ear, the average Ducthie sounds like an orc choking on a fishbone [shameless regional pride] If you're visiting us and are up for something a little different, come visit Twente. Most people only visit the west of the country (North and South Holland) and skip the rest of the Netherlands. Twente has lots of things to offer like beautiful nature, historical towns and castles, regional delicacies and all sorts of countryside activities like horse-riding or visiting farms and cheesemakers. The city of Enschede also has a lot to see and do for art-lovers and history enthousiasts.[/pride] Sorry, really let myself go there. No, I don't work at a tourist office, I'm just a proud "Tukker" from Twente. If people ask me if I'm from Holland, the answer is always "no". Every Hollander is a Dutch person, but not every Dutchie is a Hollander. Hopefully this will clear up some things Right, were was I again? Hotels and restaurants Gluten-free products are fairly easy to come by, especially in the larger cities. If you're staying in a rural area, best stock up on basics. The main problems with eating gluten-free in the Netherlands are hotels and restaurants. Many of them aren't well-prepared for coeliac guests, so it's best to inform them at least a day in advance that you'll require a gluten-free meal. You can find a list of restaurant reviews here: http://livaad.nl/zoekenhorecaeng.php Diet information cards can be downloaded from the Dutch coeliac organisation NCV: http://www.glutenvrij.nl/uploaded/FILES/01_NCVfolders/NCVfolder_dieetinformatie.pdf (In Dutch). On the go Fries are a popular snack, you can buy them everywhere at small eating houses called cafetaria's. Always ask if the fries are baked separately from the snacks, because all other snacks will contain gluten. Also check your sauces, and try not to be spooked: most Dutch people eat mayonnaise with their fries Ketchup is also widely available and so is "curry" sauce, which is a lot like ketchup but with a lot of spices. "Pannekoeken" or pancakes are so popular that entire restaurants are dedicated to them, those restaurants are favourite resting points on family daytrips. Call them a day before you go on a trip and discuss your diet with the cook. Some offer gluten-free pancakes, you can find them on the Livaad website linked earlier in this text. It's always wise to bring a small amount of snacks like fresh fruit, veggies, eggs, nuts, rice wafers and gluten-free muesli bars. It can be difficult to find gluten-free food on the go. Gluten-free products Gluten-free products are available at supermarkets, organic food stores and fit&health stores like "de Tuinen". Albert Heijn is the biggest chain of supermarkets in NL, they all have a gluten-free shelf filled with mostly Schär products and a Dutch brand called Consenza. Albert Heijn also has a gluten-free logo on all its gluten-free products from their own brand. Don't be surprised to find a gluten-free logo on a bag of apples here Jumbo is also a big favourite with Dutch coeliacs, they sell Consenza and Lhian's Kitchen but also have a great assortment of frozen goodies. Check out typical Dutch delicacies like frikandellen (spiced meat roll to be baked or deep-fried) and kroketten (crispy roll filled with a creamy ragout, to be deep-fried). Always search for the logo on products, and don't buy flours without such a logo from a supermarket. They'll usually be contaminated. Under Dutch law, all products that contain less than 20 ppms of gluten are considered gluten-free. However, and here comes the big BEWARE: gluten-free is not automatically wheat-free. Some brands like Damhert and Fria have a weird obsession with wheat starch, nearly all of their products contain wheat starch. Sensitive coeliacs, beware here. The approach towards wheat starch is very different from surrounding countries. When I was on vacation in France I never needed to check a label on a gluten-free product because I could always eat it safely. Hopefully they'll turn around soon in the NL, because 44% of Dutch coeliacs can't eat wheat starch, not even when under the 20 ppm limit. If you're sensitive, always explain to cooks that you can't have products with wheat starch. Some words in Dutch: Tarwe - wheat Rogge - rye Gerst - barley Haver - oats Gluten - gluten Coeliakie - coeliac disease (also called gluten-allergie in daily speech) Zetmeel - starch Bloem - flour Paneermeel - breadcrumbs Griesmeel - pudding made from milled wheat. Traditional Dutch dish but not safe for coeliacs. Kan sporen van ..... bevatten - may contain traces of ...... Bevat (sporen van) ..... - contains (traces of) ..... Glutenvrij - gluten-free Tarwevrij - wheat-free The Dutch kitchen is a farmers' kitchen. Expect simple yet hearty meals. Main ingredients are potatoes, pork, beef, cabbage, fish and dairy. Dutch delicacies for coeliacs: Dutch cheese of course. For best cheeses, visit a market or a cheesemaker. Dutch cheeses are hard and especially the mature and old ones have little lactose in them. Stamppot: a dish of potato and vegetables which are mashed. With curly kale for the classic "stamppot boerenkool", carrots and unions for "hutspot" and lots of other varieties. These include sauerkraut, sprouts, spinach, endives, lettuce and even beets. The Dutch sure love their stamppot Sausage and meat products: no stamppot is complete without it. Especially our smoked sausages like "rookworst" are popular. These will usually be gluten-free, but remember to read labels. Apart from these rookworsten there are a lot of dried sausages in all their regional varieties. Meatballs and stewed beef are also served often but will often contain breadcrumbs (meatballs) or flour (beef). Pannenkoeken: mentioned in the article above. A favourite dish for breakfast, lunch, snack or dinner. It always hits the spot when the weather is... being Dutch again.
  2. We're looking for another house to rent, and this morning confirmed why we should move quickly I woke up to the sound of someone shouting and crying kids... again... for the 3rd time since the start of the month. We've lived here for nearly 4 years and never really had problems with the neighbours, but the last year they've been getting very noisy. Shouting to someone else on the other side of the house, shrieking kids, bickering parents when dad's at home. We live in a very old flat building with noise insulation that's infamous in our town. Normally you'd try to talk to the neighbours and your landlord. We tried to invite them for coffee 3 times, but they never showed up so it appears they don't want to talk about it. Next stop should be landlord, but they have bought their apartment and we rent it. The police also has enough on their hands, they don't think it's worth the effort. (As a renter you have fewer rights than a home-owner, so it's easier to just move than to take it to court.) Because of our low incomes we need to find a house with a social rent corporation, they have cheap houses. One problem is that 400 families in our city have the same plans, so it's basically playing the lottery. There are houses on their website and you can subscribe to one. At the end of the week they draw lots to decide who has the first right to the house. With the way this is going, it could take months... I don't want to spend Christmas in someone else's fights...
  3. This idea is form a Dutch coeliac forum that I also visit. It's guaranteed to bring a smile to your face anytime. Right, let me start off. I'm happy today because it's Sinterklaas, a traditional Dutch holiday. When I arrived at work today Sinterklaas was at the factory gates, together with a lot of Pieten. Every worker got a present, it was a wind-up flashlight which can be used without batteries. Very handy for emergencies or camping trips. Thank you Sinterklaas! We also got a chocolate initial, which luckily was gluten-free. This weekend I have baked kruidnoten, tiny spiced cookies which are traditional at Sinterklaas. My co-workers loved them and said they never expected a diet-food product to taste this good. It may be food intended for a medical diet, but it shouldn't have to taste that way Tonight there are friends coming over for dinner. I've bought them each a small present and dressed those up like Sint and Piet.
  4. Ellie84

    Good News- No Cancer

    Whew, that's indeed good news! Hopefully the rest of the problems will disappear soon as well.
  5. celiac disease is a relatively new disease, it was discovered shortly after the second world war. Before the nineties it was considered a rare disease and doctors didn't learn much about it. It has become more well-known since the nineties, so the knowledge about it is slowly increasing. It's still poor with most doctors though, so it can be useful to drop off a leaflet with information about celiac disease. The Dutch coeliac association offers these leaflets to patients to show to their doctors.
  6. Ellie84

    Musings On The Lunch Room

    Totally agree with you Going gluten-free was a necessity for me, but it also changed my lifestyle for the best. Before I went gluten-free my eating habits were bad, I ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted. When I rented my own place I gained nearly 10 kgs in one year (22 lbs). Going gluten-free made me have to plan my meals and choosing healthier options. A lot of junk/comfort foods I used to eat are either unavailable now or hard to come by and expensive. No more snacks on the go or stopping somewhere for coffee and cake. Cooking also changed: I can't use pre-fab stuff like sauces and spicemixes so I have to cook my own. These are tastier, contain less salt and no flavour enhancers. Going gluten-free also gives me the energy to exercise, I'm totally addicted to strength training now People often think that going gluten-free is very difficult and restrictive, they hardly see the positive side of it. As a matter of fact: I wouldn't want to go back to gluten even if I could.
  7. Some leftover Chinese take-away from yesterday: chop suey with beef and white rice. Very mysterious: everytime I can't cook there's fast food on the table. You'd almost think my BF doesn't like to cook I'm quite happy with our local chinese restaurant: they know exactly what's gluten-free. When I asked about gluten-free dishes they gave me the menu and underlined everything I could eat. The waitress also said I couldn't have their curry soup, because it contained coconut. I was surprised and said that coconut is gluten-free. She then told me that their dried coconut has flour in it to prevent it from sticking. Now that's someone who's well-informed I've given them a very good recommendation in the Dutch gluten-free restaurant database.
  8. I'm not happy today because the shin splint I had in both legs is back and I have to get treatment for it. I have to take medication and it's making me very sleepy and dizzy. Couldn't go to work yesterday because of it, and that really stinks
  9. Sounds like a load of bull to me... I hear this kind of talk often when I visit an organic food store. As if organically grown wheat wouldn't make me ill...
  10. Ellie84

    Holiday Successes And Failures

    The holidays are always a time of mixed feelings for me. The days before I can get quite sad because my own family doesn't care about my diet. Whenever I visit my dad and his new wife I even have to bring my own snacks. Buying a bag of plain salted crisps is too difficult for them, even when I ask for it I just don't feel welcome there, and since my diagnosis I've never spent Christmas with them again. There is a big upside to it all: my boyfriend's family is very supportive and they make a sport out of it to find tasty treats that everyone can enjoy. We were there yesterday and we used a table grill. They had bought fresh meats, chicken and fish which everyone could grill for themselves. It was delicious and gluten-free. For breakfast they usually buy luxury bake-off rolls from Schär for me. I can't express how grateful I am that they are so supportive. It makes me feel very loved and welcome. I can't tell them often enough how much I appreciate it
  11. Yum, sounds delicious! After Christmas I'm cooking a light meal tonight. Baked rice with egg and leek and chicken satay. Yesterday we celebrated Christmas at my boyfriend's parents. We used a table grill yesterday. We had all kinds of veggies, fresh meat, chicken and fish which you could grill for youself. It was fun, delicious and gluten-free! I can't express how grateful I am that they understand my diet and are so supportive
  12. Just finished cleaning the house, glad that's done. We're ready for the holidays, merry christmas everybody!

  13. Ellie84

    What's For Breakfast Today?

    2 thick slices of oatbread with bacon and eggs. 4 hours later and I'm still not hungry Raaawrrr, I'm a munch-monster. If I don't eat heavy/satisfying meals I tend to snack all day.
  14. Ellie84

    Modified Starch

    If a grain containing gluten was used, it has to be mentioned on the package like "modified starch" (wheat-). If not, then they can label it as "modified starch". It will be safe for coeliacs. I hope this answers your question.
  15. You're welcome! I don't know Pamela's brand, not sure if that brand is available here in NL. The flour mix I use most is from Sch
  16. How about this recipe? http://culinaryarts.about.com/od/muffinsquickbreads/r/cinnamnstreusel.htm You could replace the flour with gluten-free flour.
  17. 6 ppm is more than 3 times under the new legal limit for gluten-free here in Europe. The new legal limit is 20 ppm instead of 200 and for most coeliacs this is very safe. I consider myself to be sensitive, as I can't handle wheat starch under the 20 ppm limit, but I've never had a reaction to this one.
  18. That explains a lot... I've had severe reactions to some brands that were officially labeled as gluten-free. They used barley malt. The only exception to that is Estrella Daura, which is filtered to take proteins out. This is my favourite beer now. There are some brands that use sorghum or quinoa, but I find the taste too different from regular beer.
  19. Tonight I eat alone, because my boyfriend has a midwinter celebration. His games club will play boardgames from sun down today (4:30 pm) to sun up tomorrow (8:30 am). This is one of the rare occasions that I'll eat a microwave dinner. I'm having kale stamppot with rookworst today.
  20. Most mature Dutch cheeses are very low in lactose as well. When a Dutch cheese ripens the lactose is broken down. If it's available in your country, ask for a Gouda cheese which has ripened at least 14-18 weeks.
  21. Oats are only safe to eat if they were grown and processed in a wheat/rye/barley-free environment. Always look for a gluten-free logo on oats. My personal experience with oats is very good: I eat oat-products on a daily basis. A Dutch company has a product line of oat bread (which is very soft and tasty) and I often have oat flakes for breakfast. To me it's a great source of fiber and low-GI carbs. There are coeliacs who react to other grains as well, I know people on the Dutch coeliac forum who are sensitive to oats, teff or buckwheat as well. Eating these products causes no damage to them, but brings discomfort like indigestion.
  22. Ellie84

    Going Dutch

    Oliebollen The new year will arrive soon, and with that the tradition of New Year's Eve. People in the low countries will start to bake oliebollen again. Oliebollen are traditional flour dumplings, usually filled with raisins. These are deep-fried and eaten with powdered sugar. This tradition comes from the pre-christian age in which Germanic tribes ruled the north and east of the Netherlands. (The rest of the country, everything underneath the rivers Rhine and Meuse was taken by Romans.) The Germanic tribes had a nature-based religion involving many gods, spirits and non-human creatures. In the darkest days of winter wicked things happened. The goddess Perchta would fly through the skies with evil spirits. To appease these spirits, food was offered, much of which contained deep-fried dough. It was said Perchta would try to cut open the bellies of all she came across, but because of the fat in the oliebollen, her sword would slide off the body of whoever ate them. So please be safe and remember to eat your oliebollen guys! This is how you make them: Recipe from Dutch Coeliac forum. You may want to bake these oliebollen outside, because you'll have to deep-fry them. The fryer will be on for a long time. Ingredients for a lot of oliebollen (30-40) 1 kg all purpose gluten-free flour 2 eggs 22 gr dried yeast 2 tablespoons fiberhusk 1 lt lukewarm milk 1 teaspoon of salt 1/2 lt carbonated water 200 gr raisins and 200 gr currents (put them in hot water before use and let them soak for a while) Powdered sugar for serving Tools: Deep fryer Oil for frying, sunflower seed oil is used most often. (Don't use fat as it will solidify on the oliebollen when they cool. It will give a greasy layer on them and this is not tasty at all...) Clean bucket or very large bowl Large ice cream scoop (needs to look like this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Kitchen-Scooper-Large.jpg) Clean teacloth Large wooden spoon for mixing Recipe: Put half of the milk into a large mixing bowl or clean bucket. Add the flour in small portions and mix well. Also add the fiberhusk and the yeast. When all is equally mixed, add the rest of the milk, the salt and the carbonated water. Mix well again. Drain the raisin/current mix and add them to the dough. Mix again. Cover the bowl or bucket with a teacloth and put it in a warm place, let the dough rise for an hour. After this hour heat up the oil in the fryer to 180 C (350 F). Dip the ice cream scoop in a large glass of water and scoop a ball of dough into the fryer. Dip the scoop in the water again to prevent sticking and scoop more balls of dough into the fryer. Don't put too many balls in simultaneously, because they might stick. The oliebollen will turn themselves while baking, this is a fun sight. Bake the oliebollen for 5 to 8 minutes depending on their size, taste one to check if it has been cooked well. It should be soft but not sticky on the inside. Bake the rest of the oliebollen. Serve them covered in powdered sugar. Happy new year!
  23. The Dutch kitchen is a simple but hearty kitchen with lots of fresh ingredients and oriental spices. A lot of foods are slow-cooked and need to simmer for hours. Imagine the smells in your house when a pot of beef stew is on. Yum! The oriental spices were introduced to our kitchen in the 1600s when the spice trade with Indonesia was started. When Indonesia became independent in 1945 a lot of people moved to the Netherlands, adding even more of their exciting exotic kitchen to our plain farmers' fare. Nowadays Indonesian dishes are so popular that they're fully integrated into the Dutch kitchen. A delicious bridge between east and west Popular ingredients in the Dutch kitchen are: Fresh vegetables - Cabbages, beans, root vegetables, leeks and onions are often used. In summer leaf vegetables and soft vegetables like tomatoes and zucchini are popular. Fruits - apples and pears are very popular, even in warm dishes Dairy - everything you can imagine and more: cheeses, milk, butter and our national pride: vla. This is a very thin custard available in all possible flavours: strawberry, vanilla, chocolate, coffee, caramel and still a lot more. Potatoes - ah yes, even artists have captured the Dutch love for these in their paintings Beef - beef is eaten in various forms, but mincemeat and beef stews are very popular Pork - especially winter meals are often based on pork, such as the: Rookworst - smoked sausage, taste is comparable to bacon Fish: eaten a lot, especially in the sea-bordering provinces. Even after the construction of the Afsluitdijk only 2 out of 12 provinces don't border on the sea or the large IJsselmeer which used to be a sea. Oriental spices: absolute must in the Dutch kitchen, to bring a little flavour to it all. The Dutch kitchen would be very boring without them. Most popular: pepper, nutmeg, ginger, coriander, cumin and cloves.
  24. Ellie84

    Going Dutch

    Kletskoppen Kletskoppen or "chatterboxes" are one of the noisiest cookies to eat. A guaranteed success with the kids These are gluten-free and egg-free. This page contains a picture of baked kletskoppen: http://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bestand:Kletskoppen.jpg And this is how you make them: Ingredients for 50 cookies: - 50 g blanched almonds or hazelnuts, coarsely chopped - 125 g dark brown sugar -
  25. We usually celebrate New Years Eve with our friends at our house. People show up somewhere in the afternoon to hang around, play a board game or read a book. Around 6 pm we have a dinner together, usually it's one or more varieties on "stamppot". This is a name for several Dutch dishes all consisting of potatoes mashed with a vegetable. You have carrot stamppot, kale stamppot, stamppot raw endives, and dozens more. Stamppot is traditionally accompanied by a smoked sausage called rookworst or meatballs. On the day itself we bake oliebollen, these are flour dumplings filled with raisins which are deep-fried and then eaten with powdered sugar. I make them gluten-free of course, and people like them even more than the wheatflour-version. I'll post a recipe later on Oliebollen have a very interesting history. From wikipedia: Oliebollen are a variety of dumpling made by using two spoons to scoop a certain amount of dough and dropping the dough into a deep fryer filled with hot oil. In this way, a sphere-shaped oliebol emerges. The dough is made from flour, eggs, yeast, some salt, milk, baking powder and usually sultanas, currants, raisins and sometimes apple pieces and zest or succade. The dough needs time to rise for at least an hour. Oliebollen are usually served with powdered sugar, or brown sugar. They are said to have been first eaten by Germanic tribes in the Netherlands during the Yule, the period between December 26 and January 6. The Germanic goddess Perchta, together with evil spirits, would fly through the mid-winter sky. To appease these spirits, food was offered, much of which contained deep-fried dough. It was said Perchta would try to cut open the bellies of all she came across, but because of the fat in the oliebollen, her sword would slide off the body of whoever ate them. During the evening we eat these oliebollen and other small snacks. During a celebration the table is filled with small snacks. Nuts, pieces of cheese and sausage, chopped fruit and vegetables, there's a lot to snack and people can pick anything they like. At the end of the evening there is the traditional "oudejaarsconference", this is a special show from a cabaret artist. In this show he/she looks back at the year past and reflects on it humourously. At midnight there is a countdown, at 0.00 promptly we open a bottle of champagne or bubbly white wine. A lot of kisses and handshakes follow. Gelukkig nieuwjaar!