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TRAVEL: Croatia + Slovenia

How not to overindulge on a trip when you land in Italy? The country of my foodie weakness!? Last time I was there I gained a few pounds on gelato alone. Like most folks, traveling opens the floodgates for anything goes food. I am no exception. For me, turning down the food of a gracious host is hard for me, my philosophy is to always try to find a balance. 

After landing in Italy (after a food stop in the airport of course) I headed to Slovenia where Italian tomato sauce swapped for Slovenian sauerkraut style cabbage dishes, which were not my fave. At all.

There’s something about anything cooked in large amounts vinegar I usually can not enjoy.  Sarma, the Serbian-style Cabbage was the vinegary violator. However the Slovenian -style potatoes called Prazen Krompir were incredible! Despite my mixed feelings, apparently there is a club of people who circle the city dining in these Menza restaurants, which roughly translates into the “working class food” that’s reminiscent of socialist former Yugoslavia.

After a few days in Ljubljana, I headed to Rovinj, Croatia where the groceries were cheaper and the Mediterranean influence was in full swing. I am working with a local Mexican restaurant there revamping a few of their Tex-Mex recipes. I’ll also do some workshops and learn new things about the local cash crops of olive oil and lavender….and anything else I can get into. I’m planning on a few more places before I head back home so give me a shout if you are in the EU! 

 

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The Golden Rules of Travel Food

Don’t skip breakfast. Travelling can raise stress levels (using more energy) and touring around town may burn more calories than your daily grind at home. Use breakfast as an opportunity to eat clean in case you have a mystery dinner. Every town has some sort of market, explore it for your favorite fruits and veggies. Potassium packed bananas, good fat avocados and carb rich apples are pretty practical since thicker skinned fruits are easier to eat, spoil slower and will avoid crowding your hotel or host’s fridge.

 

When in doubt, go with the grilled (or sautéed or raw) veggies. This quick and easy plate translates to every chef, even if it’s not on the  menu. From there you can add a grain or a protein of your choice. It’s pretty foolproof in my experience.

 

Can’t quite escape Mexico!  Reporting live from my consulting gig @ La Concha Croatia

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Inside “La Concha” bandshell by night, workshell by day

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Cherries are in season! There have been good studies on the melatonin content of cherries to help fight jet lag so I’m all in.

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A typical working class plate: Sarma and Prazen Krompir with Salad. 

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Chick-peas for cheap, about 2.5lbs for $6.50 USD.

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Even better I got all of this at the Konzum grocery for $20 USD.

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Salad on the Adriatic

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Well plated and compliments of the chef

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Fenugrek, celery seed and chilies, bagged to order

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On the fitness front, I had no soft place to yoga so I simply stretched…

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…and took advantage of the city’s booming bike culture

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Asparagus is big here, it even grows wild on the road + I LIVE for cool packaging

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So much wild lavender here in Croatia I had to get my lavender tea on…in fact it’s this week’s drink recipe. 

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Super happy to spend the past few weeks helping to solve foodie problems at La Concha Mexicana Resterauant in Rovinj, Croatia – I’m even happier to share a variation of an excellent guacamole recipe especially for my Euro friends who don’t always have good avocados. 
2 Onion
3-4 tb of a Mexican Style Fajita Seasoning
Juice of 1 Lime
Handful of Cilantro

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A green smoothie cheers to a great trip!

 

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