Being paleo in Southern California


Being paleo is very easy after a few years but it still can be a challenge when eating out. And especially when traveling. The US is the ‘home country’ of the paleo movement and so I was super exited to learn how easy or challenging it would be coming to Southern California. And I am really surprised how easy it is!


One of the first places I visited was the “Paleo Treat Factory”. A very small place, one room, where you can buy paleo treats. At the time I was there they had four different treats. I tried them all. I like them but think it is nothing really special. That is my super personal opinion. The difference maybe is that I like to bake and cook. For people having an event or maybe want to have from time to time some real yummy treat then they are in the right place.

At “Whole Foods” I found a wide range of gluten-free granola selection. And many other things like bread, ice cream, flour and much more. I liked a lot the coconut flakes, they were my favorites.


I love the “Wella bars” with almond butter and wild flower honey. Could live with them! So good! A good alternative are the “Perfect bars” with almond butter, much easier to find for example at “Sprouts”.

I love smoothies and can find them nearly everywhere. Most of them offer also a wheat grass shot, for example at “JuiceKaboose”. Available also a ginger shot or a BrainOn. I had a lot of smoothies last summer instead of lunch or as a second breakfast.


Of course I couldn’t resist to try out the dairy-free ice cream I found – I think as well at “Whole Foods”. Very ‘anti-paleo’ was the Bailey’s I put over the ice cream. Well, sometimes I do exceptions too.


Baking at home? Yes, I like that from time to time. So I was delighted to find some all purpose flour. And liked it. Very easy to work with and nothing to mix at home. “Bob’s Red Mill” was the brand I found.


Going out for lunch or dinner has never been a problem for me. I am not ‘picky’ and I always find something on the menu that I like to eat.

Definitely “Burger Lounge” is a real great place for a healthy burger. And there is also a paleo version. Just ask! I even asked for the bison burger paleo friendly: they made it for me without any problem.

In nearly all restaurants I just asked for gluten-free versions and very often it happened that the waiter was paleo as well or at least knew what I meant. My personal highlight is the Italian restaurant “Old Venice” were we have been a few times and they serve a special lunch for a reduced price sometimes. The pasta is always available gluten-free and they simply omit the cheese when I ask for. Perfect!

Looking for a great super yummy fast-food lunch? Go to “Wahoo’s Fish Tacos” and order the paleo bowl. Sliced avocado, citrus slaw, sauteed veggies and protein choice of chicken breast or carnitas, or wild caught fish or salmon or shrimp. Also available is tofu for vegans.


As we are talking about cheese we found vegan cheese in a few places. Sometimes the vegan movement is in favor of the paleo movement. So I tried out a few cheese as well. I know soft cheese and a kind of mozzarella made of rice milk I buy sometimes in Italy and I think that is a perfect alternative when I want to have a Caprese salad in summer for example.

These cheeses I found here are Cheddar, Jalapeno Jack style, Mozzarella and others made with rice or almond milk and they are really super tasty.


I found a few places to have great paleo or bulletproof coffee. At “GoodOnYa” for example they make it with grass-fed butter or ghee. Some time I have to try the golden milk with coconut milk, turmeric, raw honey and cinnamon. They also offer a gluten free breakfast and all is GMO free and organic.

Of course there are many other places where to find the paleo coffee. My first one I ever tried (I am from Italy and drink only espresso, not coffee with FAT in it!) I had in Santa Barbara and I LOVED it!!!


The paleo bread was a disappointment for me. Not tasty at all, so crumby and so watery I could not spread anything on the top. I didn’t like it. The price of course is not to discuss! I make my own bread at home that is super yummy and works perfectly also with spreads on it!

Of course there are a million other experiences around my ‘paleo’ adventure in the United States. And every time I come back I continue to explore and find new places. I am very happy not to feel like an alien with my food needs, I have so many possibilities of different food. I am totally in love with Mexican food, particularly with the guacamole and the corn tortillas. I wonder when I will start to turn green from all that guacamole (fresh made in a store near to our house) I have every day…

My advice: wherever you go in the United States ask for a gluten-dairy-free version of the dish you would like to have. Your server will say ‘I will double check’ and soon you will have the answer. Try not to be too picky. Just stick to what you really have health issues with and not what you try to avoid as well. You don’t go out every day and to ‘cheat’ once in a while is perfectly acceptable if you don’t have any health problems afterwards.


San Diego, California/USA:

For further information:
JuiceKaboose
GoodOnYa
Paleo Treats
Bob’s Red Mill Paleo
Wahoo’s Fish Tacos
Bulletproof coffee in San Diego


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Castagnole – a Traditional Italian Treat for Carnival


During every season and event there are so many typical and traditional treats in Italy like for sure in all countries. For the time of carnival I personally like a lot the chiacchiere. But this year I wanted to try castagnole. A typical soft cookie with a light taste of vanilla and lemon. They are easy to make and can be done in the oven or fried. I chose the oven. Fresh made, still warm and soft, they can be rolled in coconut sugar or any other paleo friendly sugar, dusted with paleo friendly icing or just leave them the way they come out, like I did. They have a great taste and one calls the other!


Castagnole di Carnevale
Castagnole di Carnevale
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
40 castagnole 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
40 castagnole 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Castagnole di Carnevale
Castagnole di Carnevale
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
40 castagnole 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Servings Prep Time
40 castagnole 30 minutes
Cook Time
20 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: castagnole
Instructions
  1. In a big bowl put the rice flour and the starch and mix well.
  2. In another bowl add the coconut flower sugar and the butter and mix again well
  3. Add the lemon zest and the eggs, mix well and add then slowly the flour mixture. Stir first with a wooden spoon, then take your hands to kneel the dough. It will be a soft but firm dough ball.
  4. Preheat the oven to 225°C/350°F and put a parchment paper on a baking sheet.
  5. Now form small balls out of the dough and put them on the baking sheet.
  6. Bake for 10 minutes or until golden.
Recipe Notes

They should be eaten while they are still warm. 

Roll them in pure sugar (paleo friendly), in a sugar mix with cinnamon or leave them 'bare' like I did.

You can fry them as well. In this case take a frying pot, add frying oil and put a few dough balls at a time into the hot boiling oil. Take them out when they begin to turn golden brown, put them on a paper towel to absorb the excess oil and then roll them in the sugar/mix or leave them 'naked'.

You can dust them also with colored icing to make them more fun.

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Vernissage “aus 2016” – Gunnar Asmus and His Photography


Everyone knows I love photography and I am so lucky to know some amazing photographers. Some of them are maybe not known wordwide until now but they are on the way to be. One of these amazing photographers is Gunnar Asmus. And he stated today an exhibition of his photos of the last year.


The vernissage was held in the Kulturcafé Klausberger in Eutin. Eutin is a pretty little town in the heart of Schleswig-Holstein, the northernmost region of Germany. The surroundings are famously known as the ‘Holsteinische Schweiz’ (Holstein Swiss).

The Kulturcafé Klausberger is a tiny cafeteria where one buys fresh baked bread, has his morning coffee and can enjoy also a wonderful exhibition now.


When I arrived the cafeteria was packed with people. I knew I was in the right place!

I was lucky to have had the chance to talk to the artist for a few minutes. Everyone wanted to ask him, talk about the photos, where and when shot.

He presents a great mixture of themes. Black and white, urban photography, landscape, sea and beach photos, expresso in the making… he immortalizes all what he sees and thinks it is worth to remember. He has a great eye and captures the most interesting things.


I had a talk with a few people, didn’t know anyone but Gunnar and his wife but we all had the same interest: photography. Some were talking about his photos, what, why, where he got a shot.. that was interesting as well.


I am happy that I went tonight to wish him luck, to see his photos and the many people coming to see his art.

The exhibition will be from 16th February to 17th May 2017.


Kulturcafé Klausberger, Eutin, Schleswig-Holstein/Germany:

For further information:
Kulturcafé Klausberger
Gunnar Asmus on Facebook


Posted in Europe, events, Germany, ON TRAVEL, Schleswig-Holstein | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chocolate Kisses For Your Valentine


Today is the day all love birds are waiting for to celebrate their feelings for the one and only. We should celebrate every day of the year. I thank every morning for having the most amazing person of the universe in my life!

All I want is to tell my Valentine thank you for loving me so much! And what is better than expressing feelings by kissing? So I created a chocolate kiss. The idea came when I got an email from one of the paleo bloggers I am following. She made a great paleo version of the bacio perugina, famous in Italy and for sure one of the most brought presents from Italy.

I transformed the version into my own interpretation and instead of the hazelnuts I used almond as I like them more. A little rum gives them a special note. If you prepare these kisses for children, simply omit the alcohol.

Ask your love to be your Valentine with a kiss!


chocolate almond rum kisses
Chocolate Almond Baci
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
17 pralines 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
17 pralines 30 minutes
chocolate almond rum kisses
Chocolate Almond Baci
Print Recipe
Servings Prep Time
17 pralines 30 minutes
Servings Prep Time
17 pralines 30 minutes
Ingredients
Servings: pralines
Instructions
  1. In a small saucepan heat the sugar and the cacao together with the water and let it simmer for about 2 minutes. The mixture becomes lightly thick.
  2. Let could the mixture a little bit. Then add the almonds, rum and vanilla and stir well.
  3. Form as much as possible balls and put them on a plate in a way they don't touch each other. Let them cool in the freezer.
  4. Meanwhile melt the chocolate with the pinch of cinnamon.
  5. When the chocolate is melted well take out the chocolate balls and start to roll one after the other in the chocolate until coated. With a fork let drip the excess chocolate and place on the plate. every two/three balls put some pistachio dust on the top.
  6. Place them again in the fridge and let them cool out well until the chocolate forms a hard shell.
  7. Serve cold and enjoy!
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The Basilica of San Petronio of Bologna


Bologna is one of the most livable cities in Italy, a city of universities, very international and it has the nearest airport from where I live when I am in Italy. Here friends arrive when they come over visiting me. Sometimes the flights arrive late or the departure is very early in the morning and I/we prefer an overnight stay as the city is about two hours from the place I stay. This way I had the opportunity to visit the city and see the sights. Like the basilica San Petronio in the Piazza Maggiore in the heart of the historic district.


The 51 meters high religious building is dedicated to San Petronio, a bishop of the 5th century and the patron saint of the Bologna. An interesting fact is that the building is a communal project and not of a bishop. It symbolize the communal power and was only consecrated in 1954 after being transferred to the diocese in 1929.


The building of this amazing master piece started in 1390. Antonio di Vicenzo was commissioned with erecting a Gothic church. At least 8 other churches and towers, the Curis of Sancti Ambrosil and other buildings had to be demolished for giving space to this huge building with a large piazza in front. Only 90 years later the church was ready in its first version.

Just 20 years later there was already a revised plan to get into competition with the Saint Peter’s Basilica in Rome. The church to me still seems to be unfinished as the facade is half with marble and half brownish stones which gives a very special look anyway.


The church inside is amazing and breathtaking. It appears rich in decoration but compared to most of the Catholic churches it doesn’t feel overloaded.

I love a lot the combination of white and pink and the play of the colors. They give the church a great depth and dimension.

Noteworthy are also the stained glass windows. Wonderful colors and very vivid images that come wonderfully out with the sunlight.


The church houses 22 chapels inside. Every chapel is different and all are amazingly decorated. And there are two great organs, completed in 1476 and 1596 and still in original condition.
The church was (and is still) renowned for the instrumental and sacred instrumental and choral music in the middle ages.

Don’t miss the meridian line inlaid. In the left aisle in 1655 it was calculated and designed by the astronomer Giovanni Domenico Cassini, a astronomy teacher at the university of Bologna. It determines the length of the solar year and is one of the largest astronomical instruments in the world.


In the church there is buried Elisa Bonaparte (Napoleon’s sister) and Charles V was coronated here.

Now in modern times in 2002 there was a planed terrorist act to destroy the church but the people were arrested before anything happened.


I was very impressed by the church and I am looking forward to showing it to some other friends when they come to Italy. Oftentimes in summer there are concerts and other events in front of the church in Piazza Maggiore. At the time I visited the place last year they were preparing for an open cinema event.

Sitting under the arcades with a coffee you can admire this masterpiece of architecture and enjoy the sunset over a super busy piazza full of music and dancing people.


Bologna, Emilia-Romagna/Italy:

For further information:
Basilica of San Petronio


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