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Pizza For Dinner

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

My recent European Adventures inspired me to create some more complicated dishes especially because I’m anticipating the days to turn cooler, when we all feel like eating “heavier” or more substantial foods. Also, people’s interest in raw foods is ever-growing and so does the need for transitional* foods on my blog! I had the best raw pizza at a restaurant in Copenhagen, which I wanted to duplicate ever since.


This pizza is even more amazing than I imagined it could be. The end result is just absolutely delicious cold and when put in the dehydrator for 20 minutes to 2 hours your guests might not even be able to tell that they're served a raw dinner!

*Transitional raw foods are those that help you convert to a raw (or high raw) lifestyle by their resemblance to cooked dishes. They usually have more ingredients, are more complicated to create, heavier on nuts and/or seeds, and very often dehydrated and/or even served warm straight out of the dehydrator. It is often very helpful to rely on foods as such for the first days/weeks/months (or however long it may take) because of the satisfaction and fullness they provide.

Raw Pizza Crust
(Makes 6 pieces)
1 cup buckwheat groats
½ cup sunflower seeds
1/6 of an onion (or garlic, if preferred)
splash of olive oil
splash of water
~ ½ tsp salt
basil, oregano to taste
½ cup flax seeds


Soak the buckwheat for a few hours or overnight. Rinse and drain them. Grind the flax seeds until fine. Using a food processor, combine all of the ingredients but the flax seeds. Salt to taste and transfer ingredients into a mixing bowl. Fold in the flax seeds and mix well. Spread the mixture on a teflex sheet (you will get just enough to cover one sheet at a thickness of about 1/3 in or 8 mm). Score as desired (I made it into six triangular slices) and dehydrate at ~130 °F (54 °C) for about an hour then lower the temperature to 115 °F (46 °C) and keep dehydrating until you can flip them over to a mesh sheet. Dehydrate for a few more hours to pizza crust-like consistency.
Now that you have the base, you can store them in the fridge (or freezer) to use later, or you can assemble pizza right away using the recipes that follow.


Raw Marinara (Pizza Sauce)
 (Makes about a cup)
Blend the following ingredients:
½ cup sundried tomatoes*
2 small tomatoes
juice of half a lemon
couple of slices of red onion
2 cloves of garlic
salt to taste/splash of soy sauce
splash of olive oil
basil, oregano

*soaking the sundried tomatoes beforehand helps a lot, especially if you (just like me) don’t have a high-speed blender


Raw Seed Cheese
(Makes about a cup)
1 cup sunflower seeds
juice of half a lemon
2 cloves of garlic
3 tbsp soy sauce/nama shoyu/1 tbsp umeboshi vinegar + some water (if you avoid soy)
optional: dash of turmeric for color

Grind the seeds as finely as you can. Blend the rest of the ingredients and add the seed “meal” to the blender. Add some water if necessary for desired consistency. I like it more runny than thick but everybody’s different.

Both, the pizza sauce and the seed cheese will keep in the refrigerator just like the crust, so guess what, once you prepare them all you'll have some grab-and-throw-together lunch waiting for you for days!


This is where you can go as simple or as crazy as you wish! I put spinach, tomatoes, and marinated mushrooms on these (above), and the first image shows the one with herbed walnuts and lemon boy tomatoes. You may put pineapple for Hawaiian or pesto for a green pizza. It’s hard to go wrong…

So grab a piece of crust, spread some pizza sauce on it, add your favorite toppings, and drizzle with some seed cheese. You may put the assembled pizza slice(s) into the dehydrator for a few minutes to warm up or for a couple of hours for more of a “baked” feeling.


Dinner is served!

What are YOUR favorite toppings??

Yam Chips

Friday, September 23, 2011

It’s always good to have some savory snackables on hand too, right? Here’s one that will replace the ever-so-addictive, store-bought, chips and will satisfy even my vegan (but not all raw) husband! : ) Truth be told, he was the one who made the first batch of these! 


Yam Nutrition
These sweet tubers are full of health benefits. They have anti-cancer properties, loads of beta-carotene for your eyes and plenty of B vitamins, especially B6, which is good for your skin and keeps your nerves healthy. Thanks to high amounts of potassium, they can help stabilize your blood pressure and maintain normal heart functions, and since yams are very rich in copper they might even help you get rid if gray hair!

Raw Yam Chips
Olive oil
Optional: Red or chipotle chili powder/your favorite spice


Shave yams (using a peeler) or slice as thinly as possible. Toss with olive oil, salt and chili powder (if you choose to use it) and lay on teflex sheets. Dehydrate at 115 °F (46 °C) for several hours, until desired crispiness.
Alternative: if you don’t have a dehydrator, you may use your oven with just the pilot light on, or on the lowest setting (keep in mind though, it won't be raw if you go above ~ 115 °F). Share with friends!

Ginger Snaps

Wednesday, September 21, 2011


Um, without the sugar, white flour, butter, or baking soda, that is…

I'm back home, which means I'm back in the kitchen. : ) I’ve been busy stocking my cabinets with all kinds of stuff because classes are starting soon, which means two things: I want some already made afternoon snacks to reach for, and I will have less and less time to make anything really creative for the next three months.
I haven’t made anything sweet for a long time because I always get them at the store but I’m determined to change that. It’s time that I made my own desserts as well. Why ginger snaps? I didn’t expect these to come out as wonderful as my grandma’s, of course, after all the only matching ingredients are the spices! However, I love ginger and I knew I would like the results either way.

What’s in ginger?
This spicy root has a long list of health benefits. It’s got anti-inflammatory and anti-cancer properties, it will boost your immune system, it’s an effective digestive aid and can provide heartburn relief, and treat nausea. Ginger is a yang food with warming energy that’s very good for the kidneys and a good spice to use during colder months. So good and so good for you!

Raw Nut-Free Ginger Snaps
(Somehow, it always makes a baker’s dozen)
1 cup buckwheat groats (I used some that were sprouted and dehydrated)
2 tbsp coconut sugar/date sugar/your favorite solid sweetener
½ tsp cinnamon
½ tsp cloves
pinch of salt
pinch of nutmeg
2 tbsp flax seeds
3 tbsp water
¼ cup maple syrup (not raw) or your preferred liquid sweetener
~ 1 tbsp grated ginger root*

*if you don’t have any on hand you may use dry powder instead

Grind the buckwheat into flour (it’s ok if it’s coarse) and mix with the rest of the dry ingredients. Grind the flax seeds and add the water to it, then the maple syrup, and the grated ginger. Mix the wet and dry ingredients with your hands and add more maple syrup or water if necessary for it to hold together when pressed into your palm. Form balls and flatten them before placing them on a teflex sheet. Dehydrate them for an hour at 130 °F (54 °C) then lower the temperature to 115 °F (46 °C). Turn them over after a couple of hours and place them on just a mesh sheet for quicker “baking”. Dehydrate till the desired texture (several hours) is achieved. Don't forget to share!

Europe in The RAW 2011 ~ London

Monday, September 19, 2011

“The best for last?“ The last city we visited during this European vacation has certainly made it to my favorites list, just like Copenhagen and Amsterdam! London is very city-like, versatile, exciting, AND English speaking….yay! Before we left for our journey, I asked around for advice on where to get good quality raw foods in all of the places we were going to visit. The most negative warnings I got referred to London. I was told, all people eat in this city is white bread and fish and chips. This couldn’t be further from the truth! While I’m sure the above-mentioned foods are the most favored by the majority of people, if you seek out organic raw foods, you’ll find them. So that’s what we did and we booked a tiny apartment in Notting Hill near a three-story organic store (the one chain that has many stores all across the U.S. as
The View from Our Room
benefitsofcoconutsthamesfestivallondonwell but I don’t wish to advertise) that we visited three times during our two-and-a-half-day stay! And that is just the beginning…

The first day we met up with some of my husband’s friends and they took us around town to show us as many of the main attractions as possible. We were so lucky to have the nicest weather. The rain did catch us but only for a few minutes and the rest of the day the sun was playing hide-and-seek with the clouds.
I learned from my horrible experience in Amsterdam and was smart enough to make a salad and also packed some snacks to take with me just in case! It was the simplest salad but it saved me from having to eat out. Ironically, we walked through the most impressive line-up of vendors’ shops, including an endless number of international food stalls, at the Mayor’s Thames Festival right along the river. It was such an amazing event and there were several places where I could have gotten some quality raw foods, one of them an all-raw, organic place. Unbelievably, there was even a coconut stand there (of which I did snap a picture) with wise words at the front to teach the masses the benefits of fresh coconuts. The city center was quite beautiful, full of memorable architecture. We started at The Clock Tower of the Palace of Westminster (commonly referred to as The Big Ben, see above) and then saw the London Eye, which I find a very impressive structure. Look how beautiful it is, and no matter where you are in the city you can see it “watch” you. It’s so enormous!                      
London Eye

Next, we passed by the Millenium Bridge (instead of marching across it ; ) so it didn’t sway), then saw and crossed the beautiful Tower Bridge to get to the Tower of London. Later, we took a detour to see the Buckingham Palace and its gorgeous gardens,
before heading home through Hyde Park. It was such a beautiful walk. We got to feed a lactating squirrel (luckily, I had organic walnuts on me), photographed some ducks, and saw some of the art, such as the statue Isis, there. Our little tour covered just a small part of what’s to see in London. There are reasons to go back : )

The Millenium Bridge
Tower Bridge

The Tower of London & The Royal Garden
Hyde Park

Raw Food in London
The next day we were left to ourselves to do whatever we wanted on our last day in Europe. We decided to check out another part of the city, Camden Town. It turned out so well because we loved the area, we got to eat in a great restaurant, and there were tons of stuff to see so we spent the entire day there! Camden is famous for shopping, especially for its Stables Market, full of antiques and  
international food stalls. It is loads of fun to walk through this maze of shops and look at art and treasures from all over the world. But before we did that, we had lunch in a wonderful place across the street called inSpiral Lounge. This lovely place is an organic, vegetarian, high raw heaven. We didn’t know of its existence so it was a very lucky find, to say the least!

inSpiral Lounge – Review
As they say, a good first impression is invaluable. Mine was at least good. When we walked in we were greeted by lovely staff who were ready to serve us and didn’t hesitate to answer all my questions before figuring out what I could order. Andrew had (cooked) lasagna as his entree along with salads and I started off with a shot of wheatgrass and ordered a burger for my main meal that came with my choice of three side salads, yes, you’re reading that right, not one, not two, but three! I really enjoyed my first-ever raw burger, which was served on a bed of spinach and topped with some marinara sauce. The three salads I had were: a red cabbage salad, which had a creamy dressing, a maca & goji salad that was beet and carrot based, and caeser salad (my first ever caesar and my favorite of the three), which was nutty and savory, and so delicious.
As you can see the portions are quite generous too but that doesn’t mean I skipped the dessert. I wasn’t hungry at all but I had to try as much of their stuff as possible! So I ran back to take a look at the cakes and the ice-cream case (which you must pass by as you enter) and looked at what was raw. I went with the key-lime pie and since there were quite a few flavors of ice cream that were raw vegan I sampled
them and chose the lucuma-maple-pecan (ok, it had some maple syrup, not quite raw but we’re talking ice-cream anyway…) and the chocolate to go along with the cake. Whew, that was a good amount of sweets to share after such a meal. We cleared the plate though and we enjoyed every single bite. I loved everything at this place and I wish I could go back soon!



Goodies at inSpiral (and a bit of glare : J)

After lunch, we walked around a little more and as if we had any room left, we had some fresh sugar cane and young coconut. Andrew lived on Hawaii for a while so it was nothing new to him but it was my first trying both of them (besides a sip of coconut water before).

Are you impressed yet? What else would a raw foodie ask for all in one place??? London, or at least Camden, has got it all!
It was time to head back to our apartment so we got on the tube for our last ride before flying home the next morning.

Andrew & I - Maybe a LITTLE Run Down But Full of Experience!

I just remembered that night that there is a raw restaurant at the upper level of the gigantic organic store in the area we stayed so we went back to take a look at it right before closing. Saf is vegetarian and most of the stuff on the menu is raw. Since they had a table out front with their “snackables” I got to try some of their crackers. The superfood crackers were quite flavorful and had no added salt in them so they’re great if you avoid salt or high sodium foods.


I can’t believe how fast the three weeks passed. Six days in Barcelona and then five countries in fifteen days. It was the best vacation, ever! I got to see my family and a bunch of new places. I’m already sitting at home in L.A., typing away, and daydreaming of our next adventure somewhere far in a different world.

The funniest thing, and a closure to our trip, was the picture I saw at LAX airport upon arriving:


Having been the biggest dreamer my whole life, I always said I lived in La La Land. Little did I know that I literally did for the past year and a half! I love Europe and I love Los Angeles. The first time ever I didn’t mind coming home! : )

Europe in The RAW 2011 ~ Amsterdam

Friday, September 16, 2011

As if this town was a continuum of Copenhagen (no offense to anyone living in either of these lovely places), my first impression was that it would be my new favorite! Its beauty, its charming city center with the canals and the sinking buildings, its wildlife, and the kind people are hard to not fall in love with. The only part that was hard was finding raw or even vegan restaurants in the city.

Raw Food In Amsterdam
We only had a couple of days and after breakfast we headed to the city to see as much of it as possible. I made a big mistake by not bringing food with me! There are many juice bars where you can get wheatgrass shots and some raw brownie bars (I got a Pulsin‘ RAW CHOC Brownie) and the second day we found organic grocery stores too but other than that we were out of luck. The nicest “bio” supermarket is BioMarkt, I wish we had known about it the first day. We stayed a few miles from the center near a mall where there’s an all-organic, mini grocery store.
They carry a good amount of produce and some raw chocolate. It was nice to have the opportunity to stock up 
Raw Choc: rich, soft, and delicious brownie 
for breakfast and to try some new chocolate, such as the Lovechock’s cacao nib bar.

Lovechock Is Almost Too Rich

Inside BioMarkt

BioMarkt Review
This little market is an organic grocer that even has a raw section with crackers, superfoods, nuts and seeds, and a raw deli case full of desserts that will surely satisfy your needs whatever special diet you may follow. We got some produce and some dessert. I didn’t even feel like sweets but we were leaving the next morning so that was my only chance and look at this case!

The Amazing Dessert Case at BioMarkt

Gula Java Magic Chocolate Pie

Half of the desserts were raw vegan such as cakes, brownie bars, and truffles. I decided to try the Gula Java Magic Chocolate Pie. I know it looks a little imperfect but if you consider that I carried it around for a day in my purse, it held up pretty well, right? 
Ready for the ingredients? It was created using:
Almonds, buckwheat, coconut oil, avocado, dates, cacao powder, Gula Java coconut blossom sugar, camu camu, and salt. It’s quite something, isn’t it? Besides, it was my frirst time eating camu camu. It was creamy and yummylicious with a crunchy sprinkle of coconut sugar on top (that’s melted by the time I got to it after going around town).
Chocolate Explosion Pie

I also got a slice of their Chocolate Explosion Pie, which was more like a very rich and filling cake full of nuts and goji berries. This one was made of dates, coconut, almonds, cashews, buckwheat, avocado, agave syrup, cacao powder, acai, cranberries, goji berries, and camu camu. Believe it or not, I ate them all at once, while on the plane, the next day for lunch! It was a chocolaty day!

Miserable Cooked Food Experience After Months of 100% Raw

And here comes the most
disappointing part of this vacation. We always have a choice to eat raw and even if we don’t we have the option to fast. Over the years my husband and I went to two different restaurants all the time when we went out. One would eat at one while the other just sat there to keep company and vice versa. The reason for it is that he ate meat when I met him, later gave up meat and decided to stick with fish only, then turned vegetarian, and finally vegan. Since I had been a vegan macrobiotic all along and now a raw foodie, my diet has always been more restricted. This time, I could have opted for fresh fruit or juice that’s not organic but I really didn’t like the idea and after spending hours looking for an organic (at least) vegan place with some salads, where we could both eat, and not finding anything, I said to him: “You decide, and I’ll go eat whatever (as long as it’s vegan and not fried food).” And so I did. I joined him for a, by that time, dinner instead of lunch at an Indian restaurant. It was the most expensive Indian food we ever had in our lives, one of the best too, but


extremely salty for me, not surprisingly, and we enjoyed our time. Only later that evening and especially the next day did I realize how sick it made me feel. I was not 100% sure that it was due to eating cooked food initially but I felt horrible feverish, suffered from inflammation, and it felt as if I had the flu. Only after I was back to raw foods the next day and felt normal again did I know that it was the cooked food! There’s no other reason

why I would feel so sick and then bounce back so fast as if nothing had
happened. The following few days were a roller coaster since I “had to" have a few more cooked meals. Every single time I did I ended up feeling very sick and bloated and every time I went back to raw foods I was fine all of a sudden. On one hand I regret horribly, because it was so awful to not feel my best. On the other hand, it was the greatest experiment ever. I never believe what I read/hear, instead, I like to test things and see if they work or they don’t. This experiment was not planned but
what I had heard all along is proven to be true: once you’re raw, it hurts to eat cooked (at least very often).
You may follow your heart, have fun if you want to socialize or you are on vacation and the circumstances are not the most ideal, even at the cost of giving up raw foods. It will probably not feel good but may be worth it and you can go back to your raw breakfast the next morning.
My conclusion: My stomach is still recovering from the experience and I have awful cravings and am constantly hungry. Unbelievable as it is, I feel a little worse I felt the first few days of switching to 100% raw. My body is really confused and

doesn’t even know what it wants. It’s a terrible feeling but I hope it will be just a few more days. I’m sharing this experience for two reasons:
1 - you know what to expect (although everyone is different) if you choose cooked food one day.
2 – I wonder if you’ve had the same experience? How were you affected by cooked food?

Look at the rest of the beauty of this town! I couldn’t get enough of walking down its charming streets and along canals. Feeding and photographing swans and ducks, walking through the greenest parks, looking at boat homes, were just never-ending fun spent with my husband!  I could honestly move here too, I would just have to open a raw restaurant! ; )
But first, we’re off to London, our last stop of this Euro-tour.

Europe in The RAW 2011 ~ Copenhagen

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

I’m soo excited to share with you my adventures in this WONDERFUL town! I’ve been to many places in my life but the people here I’m pretty sure are the nicest people I’ve ever met! The scenery is absolutely gorgeous, the service quality, the technology, such as the smoothness of train cars, the automated subways with a glass front, etc, etc, I could just go on I’m so impressed.  And it doesn’t stop there. You know what else I’m into besides technology: animals and food, specifically RAW food. Now, if we add all these things up Copenhagen still wins the competition. This lovely place has so much wild life and raw food restaurants or small eateries, and the government subsidizes organic agriculture!!! Perfection! Oh, I loved it there so much! Funny thing is that without even knowing all this, just a few minutes after landing I said: “I wanna move here!” You can imagine my first impression.

We stayed with my husband’s friends who are also my new friends now. : ) The evening we got there Rikke took us for a walk in their neighborhood. It’s so beautiful there. There are green fields, wildlife, fresh air, and the opportunity for wild foraging! Yep, I even did that!
There was also a herd of sheep out there and these two just loved getting pet! 
The next day we went back to see them and the same ones started running towards us. They knew they would get pet again…
It was nice to be able to spend some quality time with animals. There’s more to come!

Raw Food in Copenhagen
I did some research to see if there were raw restaurants worthy of visiting. I found several in town with varying reviews, but who are you going to believe? I decided the best thing to do was to go into town and let our friends guide us and wait till we pass by a raw restaurant. The first one I saw was The Raw Tribe. Sticking my head in was enough of a clue. It smelled so good in there so I decided to try it.

“The Raw Tribe” Review
This 100% raw place might be hard to see since it’s quite small and it’s located in a basement. Their menu is not too large either but they
therawtriberestaurantcopenhagen serve fresh juices and smoothies, wheatgrass shots, lunch items like pizza, and zucchini pasta, salads, desserts, and their own protein bars. What else would you need? I’d never had raw pizza before so that's what I chose to go along with a wheatgrass shot, and a hemp protein bar, which was similar to a brownie.

Pizza at The Raw Tribe

All of my lunch was divine! I wish this place were in Los Angeles! The pizza had a flax seed crust, a layer of marinara, baby spinach, pickled red onions, marinated mushrooms, pesto sauce, and “roasted” tomatoes. It was so delicious; I highly recommend it!

The second day we went back in town, just the two of us, to roam around and see more before we had to catch a plane that evening. We were lucky enough to walk by Raw & Rustic. My husband noticed it and while I didn’t even think it would be worth checking it out, we went for it, and I’m glad we did!

Raw & Rustic Review
This adorable place is not a raw restaurant but they had some raw options, and they sell some produce as well. It’s more like a juice bar that has some salads and some raw cookies, chocolate bars, and truffles to indulge in. I ended up with a cookie and some truffles.

Raw & Rustic Inside and Out


The cookie was a raisin-sunflower seed-hazelnut-cinnamon-vanilla creation (if I remember all the ingredients). It was a little hard and very chewy but tasty! The truffles were not my favorite at all. I wouldn’t buy those again. The service, the atmosphere, and the products in the store were all amazing. All in all, it’s a lovely place to visit!

Organic in Copenhagen
I already mentioned how much I loved this town. It’s not just the people, the scenery, etc. It doesn’t stop there. The Danish government subsidizes organic agriculture! There are no specialized organic stores around but any grocery store will have many options for healthier choices and tons of organic produce! Also, walking around in town you can see organic signs everywhere. Coffee shops, delis, even hot dog stands, or fast food places, very often use organic ingredients! Can you imagine??? Still, I didn’t just rely on stores for food! This is a place with so much food available to you, you just have to go and pick it.

Wild Foraging in Copenhagen
For the first time in my life I had wild greens! The beautiful fields pictured above had lots of dandelions and since those greens I do recognize and feel safe to consume, even with no experience, I picked some for my morning smoothie. Rikke also knows of a lot of fruits in the area that are edible so we gathered some tiny yellow plums, and some sour cheery-like fruit, besides blackberries. It’s amazing how much food is just there available to everyone and anyone to eat! I wish I knew more about wild foods!

We shared the fresh greens with our friends’ bunnies. They have three of them, a mom and a dad and their daughter. It was so nice to hang out with them; they're really sweet.

…And the rest of this beautiful and clean city in pictures:

The Round Tower, Built As an Observatory in 1642

The View of Windmills from The Tower




Around Town 

So Many Houses are Settling

Coming Up Next: Amsterdam!