26 October 2008

From now on sorbitol-free

It is really amazing how much better I feel after cutting gluten out of my diet. I’m still monitoring my iron levels but the results of my last blood test were really good. After all these years I finally have good iron levels!

However, after some time being gluten-free I got stomach aches again. It feels different though. Not the pain I have after being glutenised. So I’m back on the road looking for food I can’t have.

I was told that this might happen. It seems that the body is focussing on gluten which covers other intolerances or allergies you might have. But once you are on a gluten-free diet the body suddenly notices that there are much more foods it can’t cope with.

I tested negative for lactose intolerance. However, I tested positive for sorbitol intolerance this week.

I’ve been reading quite a lot about sorbitol on the internet. I have been browsing food lists about sorbitol content of fruits. But I’m still a bit confused about what I can and can’t have. So I would be more than happy if anybody has some recommendations for me!

The fructose test is yet to come. Keep your fingers crossed it is negative!

Last weekend we had Flammkuchen. It is actually quite easy to prepare and you can vary it any way you like. The traditional one is with onions and bacon but it is also great with veggies. You can also serve it with apples for dessert. Unfortunately, I can’t anymore. Apples contain sorbitol.

For the crust:
(You can basically use any pizza crust recipe you like.)

2 cups of Schär Mix B
1 package of dried yeast
4 tablespoons of olive oil
½ a teaspoon salt
¾ cup lukewarm water
Combine the flour and the yeast and add some salt. Slowly add the water and olive oil using your food processor. Knead well. If the dough is too sticky, add some more flour. If it’s to dry, add some more water. Let the dough sit for about 1-2 hours in a warm place. (I usually heat my oven to 50°C, switch it off and let the dough rest in the warm oven. Works great!)

For the traditional topping:

1 cup onions, minced
1 cup bacon, cut into small cubes
½ cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 250°C or as hot as possible. If you have special baking trays for pizza you can use them for Flammkuchen as well. Otherwise use your regular baking tray.
Grease your baking tray with a little bit of olive oil. Roll the dough really thin as you would do for pizza. Smear the sour cream on top of the dough (as you would do with tomato sauce for pizza). Scatter the onions and bacon on the Flammkuchen and season with salt and pepper. Put the Flammkuchen into the oven and bake it for about 25 minutes. Serves 4.

For a sweet version cut 2 apples in half. Remove the core and finely slice the apples. Smear the sour cream on the Flammkuchen as you would do in the traditional recipe. Put the apple slices onto the Flammkuchen and season with sugar and cinnamon. Let it bake for 25 minutes.

If you like you can flambé the sweet Flammkuchen before serving. Sprinkle some Calvados over the Flammkuchen and light it up. Enjoy.

Good bye apples.

19 October 2008

Vacaciones sin gluten

For me going gluten-free is learning to plan ahead.

I have never enjoyed planning too much. Well, now I have to. No matter where I go I always have to think about food. Will there be gluten-free food for me? Can I rely on the people serving the food? Do I have to take food with me? How much food do I have to take so I won’t starve?
Especially on holidays. I have never really managed to travel with light luggage. But now with all the food I have to take with me? It’s even worse.

Early in October I went to Gran Canaria for a week. I had called the airline to request a special gluten-free meal. I took enough food with me to survive one week in a foreign place.

We had a small apartment so we were able to have breakfast at our place. Although we also had the chance to have dinner at home, we went out for dinner every evening. And guess what? I didn’t get stomach ache or any other signs of being glutenised once!

Fortunately, I have been to Gran Canaria quite a few times and know my way around. Even though this was my first gluten-free stay there, I knew what kinds of food to expect when dining out.

My parents were spending their holidays on Gran Canaria as well. They arrived one week before we did so they already checked with their favourite restaurant Chez Luigi if I was able to eat there. Fortunately, the head waiter was well informed and told me which food I can eat safely. It was even possible to adjust some of the sauces to my needs. So if you ever happen to be around, ask for Manolo.

I don’t know how you feel but when I’m going to another country I am always excited about new gluten-free products. And no matter if I need them or not I have to try all of themeverything. So one day we went to the capital Las Palmas. El Corte Inglés is the biggest store around and I heard that they offer a variety of gluten-free products. It took quite some time to find the special dietary needs section but oh my god, they had plenty of gluten-free things! They even had a frozen food section and if I had been able to take them with me I would have spent quite some money in that store!

We didn’t do anything really but relax. But what do you need on a holiday besides your loved ones, sunshine, the beach, the sea, a couple of good books and, needless to say, awesome food?

Ristorante Chez Luigi
C.C. Sandía
Playa del Inglés

El Corte Inglés
Avenida José Mesa Y López 18
35007 Las Palmas De Gran Canaria

Parafarmacia Oasis Beach
C.C. Oasis Beach Local N102
35506 Maspalomas