I did say in an earlier post that I was going to keep you updated on how we are trying to stay with the Paleo way of eating while enjoying all the finest foods that Europe has to offer.
Grocery shopping certainly has its challenges when in a country that you don’t know the words for the food you want to buy. And even though everyone tells you that it’s easy in The Netherlands because they all speak English, many people working in the stores don’t know what you are asking for…for example, the sauerkraut question….the young girl working in the store had to consult her smart phone for the translation to Dutch….zuurcool….and even then she didn’t know where to find it! Then there was the baking powder. Of course, everything is packaged and organized differently on the shelves than what we are used to. Baking powder, just called Bakin, is in little teabag size paper envelopes in packages of 5, and there is only the one kind, that’s it! I have managed to find flaxseeds, sunflower seeds, almonds, cashews, pecans, coconut. And yesterday at the Ouddrop Market (Tuesday) there was a booth with nothing but nuts and dried fruit and we splurged on some dried apricots! The best grocery store I have found here is ‘Albert Hein’…it has a section for ‘International’ foods ( yeah, coconut milk, coconut oil and curry) as well as a good selection of organic foods….produce, seeds and nuts, chicken(‘kip’ in Dutch) and dairy. And yes even organic zuurcool(in the fresh produce section vacuum packed in plastic bags) for only €1!
so now I have a full pantry, how do we eat all this stuff? Well, for example, for breakfast with our morning Java I have been experimenting with flaxseeds. I soak 1/2 cup overnight in 2eggs. In the morning I mix in 4 Tbsp coconut oil, 1/4 c fine coconut, 1/4 c almond meal, 1 tsp baking powder and 1-2 Tbsp milk. Then spread out about 1/4 cup in a hot frypan in melted coconut oil (or butter) so it looks like a 3 inch pancake. Flip over when golden brown and fry for about a minute til golden. Spread with Prindenkraas and some of Lisa’s wonderful strawberry jam. With 2 of these under your belt you’re ready to go for at least 15 kms!
Lunchtime is usually a picnic with raw carrots, cucumber, olives, cheese, hummus or tapenade, smoked fish or sausage, nuts, fruit and sometimes dark chocolate!
I try to keep dinner simple….for example, yesterday we had cod( wild Atlantic, fresh ) coated with sesame seeds and fried in coconut oil, fresh green beans and (I always seem to make too much) salad. The heads of butter lettuce here are huge! I also have arugula and spinach, sweet peppers, sweet onions, avocados, cherry tomatoes, feta cheese with a balsamic vinegar and virgin olive oil dressing. (Occasionally, I put sauerkraut in the salad for a bit of zing.)
I have also tried a similar thing with chicken(have been able to get organic raised chicken breasts).ie, coating in sesame seeds, searing in the fry pan and then bake in the oven. The convection ovens here are great. The chicken breasts cooked very quickly.
Sometimes we have a mushroom and cheese omelette with sauerkraut, avocado, tomatoes or a salad. And when we have a ‘short day’ like a few days ago, I made a double batch of curried chicken with 1/2 of that huge squash I bought at the Market on Saturday as well as a few other veggies. So that was good for 2 dinners.
Oh yes, and the 2 liter bottles of carbonated mineral water are only €.49 (cents)! I have also been sampling the alcohol free beer just for something different and it’s pretty good. Mark’s favourite beer is Heineken, although he has tried many other kinds.
So there you have it! It’s pretty easy when you have your own kitchen facilities and a grocery store within a short bike ride away! We have only eaten in restaurants twice so far, in Amsterdam, we overdid it on ‘all you can eat’ bbq spare ribs ( with salad) and they were really delicious!