Sólveig Eiríksdóttir, better known as Solla, was recently voted “Favourite Raw Gourmet Chef” and “Favourite Raw Simple Chef” in the annual Best of Raw contest, which accepts nominations and votes through their website bestofrawfoods.com. We got Solla to tell us a little bit about the Raw Food movement in Iceland and the key to her success—which is certainly not a top-secret book of recipes because she happily shares her favourite recipe for all of you to enjoy…
When did the Raw Food concept take off in Iceland? And how did you get into it?
In 1950, the first Raw book, ‘Lifandi Fæða,’ by Kristine Nolfi, a Danish MD who cured herself of cancer, was published in Reykjavík. Kristine’s book sold out, and she came to Reykjavík to give a lecture. But, interest more or less faded by the seventies.I changed my diet in 1980 when I learned about Macrobiotic and started to eat their way. I first heard about Raw Food from a friend in 1996. It sounded interesting so I took the next flight to Puerto Rico to learn more. I loved the food and its influence on my body and I went raw over night.
At that time, there were no active people here. Little by little, however, people have become more interested in the movement. I encouraged people to go to Puerto Rico to check it out, and I started to offer a lot of food prep classes. By 2004, I think it has been a fast growing movement.
Was your restaurant Gló an instant success?
My husband and I took over Gló in January 2010, and it was an instant success. Not only is it a growing trend, but also a number of people like to eat at least partially Raw. They see it as a healthy way to turn raw veggies into a meal.
What separates you from others in the Raw Food business? Your SECRET?
I think that my strength is that I work in the kitchen at Gló every day, starting early morning. So I get a lot of practise and I have to be constantly thinking of new ideas to keep my customers happy. Well, if I have a secret, it is probably that I go to Los Angeles twice a year to meet with all of the wonderful Raw trendsetters. I give a food demo there in front of thousands of people and each time I have to present something new so I have to stay imaginative and creative.
Will you share your favourite recipe with us?
I love Kelp noodles and this recipe is very popular at Gló:
Thai Style Kelp Noodles ♥
1 bag Kelp Noodles
1 green zucchini, made into noodles with a spiral slicer
1/2 cup green cabbage, 1/2 cup red cabbage, very thinly sliced
1/2 cup green onions, thinly sliced
1/3 bunch of each: fresh basil, cilantro, mint
1 1/2 cup thick homemade almondmilk
1/2 cup sesame oil
2 Tbsp of each:fresh basil, cilantro, mint
4 lime leaves
1 stalk lemon grass
1-2 clove garlic, minced
1-2 Tbsp peeled, grated ginger
2 Tbsp lemon or lime juice
2 Tbsp lime zest, grated
1-2 Tbsp agave syrup or other sweetener
1 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 tsp Himalayan crystal salt
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper, optional
Wild jungle peanuts, chopped, avocado in cubes, pineapple in bite size
pieces, 1 tsp of each chopped herbs: cilantro, mint, basil, 1 Tbsp dulse.
Soak and rinse the kelp noodles in fresh water, strain, pat dry and place them into a beautiful bowl. Using a spiral slicer, peel the zucchini down to the core of seeds on all sides, forming “spaghetti” and place these noodles into the bowl with the kelp noodles. Cut the green and red cabbage very thinly and add to the bowl. Finely mince the fresh herbs and place 1/3 bunch of each. For the sauce: Put everything into a blender and blend until smooth.
Toss the noodles with the sauce and sprinkle with the toppings. Enjoy!