Rita Serano

Rita Serano

The former Make up artist breathe and talk green inside and out.

Have you always been a green person? 

”I made my first simple plant based dishes when I was 4 years old. My parents were healthy hippies and ate a plant based macrobiotic diet, so this was the ingredients I used naturally and this was also when my interest and passion was born."

"In my teens I still ate plant based, but like a lot of teenagers I started eating fast food and unhealthy snacks, my parents loved me enough to not say anything or to condemn my choices. I could make my own decisions and they gave me the freedom to do so. And in retrospect it was part of my journey that I had to take to bring me to my present point in life. It was the development in my twenties of an autoimmune illness (psoriasis), that brought me real deep into the connection between food and health."

"According to the doctors it couldn't be cured and I would just have to learn to live with it. So basically treating the symptom and not the cause is what is done in normal medicine."

Raw food

"I didn’t accept this and instead turned to raw food, herbal medicine and cleanses, read a lot of books in this area and adjusted my food style accordingly."

"As I changed my food pattern and way of thinking I basically gave my body room too heal, this means not using your body as a garbage bag, but by treating it better, the healing begins automatically."

"Already within a couple of months the psoriasis was gone and never came back again. In this time I also did a lot of Kung Fu, sometimes more then 20 hours a week and I was very aware of what food did for me and how it made me feel. If you train as much as that, you really don't want to put any garbage in your body! What you put in are the building blocks of your health in my opinion."


"This way of thinking has followed me in whatever I do in life, when I later in life worked as a make up artist for magazines like ELLE and Marie Claire, I worked with natural make up brands, because great skin comes from with-in and the products you put on it are important to your health as well, I have my own simple and basic beauty routine such as for example baking soda for your teeth, which makes them whiter and also works as a natural deodorant."

"For my skin I love argan oil or products from Pure Nuff Stuff. To lengthen and thicken my brows and lashes I use castor oil. The mascara is from Earths Beauty. A little blush from Lavera. The best lipstick for special occasions: a classic matte red from Coleur Caramel, with loads of pigment in it."

"For my hair I make my own hairspray by mixing water, sea salt and a couple of drops of castor oil, it tames frizzy hair, fights dandruff, making it ”glow” and can even prevent it from graying."

About climate change:

"Every time I’m going to buy something I ask myself ”Do I really need this?” Instead of ”will this make me happy?” because that happy feeling will go away after a couple of days. I reuse, recycle and buy organic, when I really need something I try to find it secondhand for ex. material for renovating, clothes and even the camera and lenses I use for my food photography. I try to buy quality over quantity and getting things repaired instead of throwing it away. And no fast fashion for me, I buy a couple of pieces each year that are high quality, simple and ethically produced.  Since I have worked in fashion I know that certain pieces of clothing are basics and will never go out of fashion. I have pieces that I wear that are more than10 years old. It is so much easier to have a small wardrobe that you actually wear than having loads that you never wear and still say ”I don’t have anything to wear." Food- wise I buy organic, local and in season. Great tricks to stop throwing away food is to make pickles, fermentation, freeze or use left overs. Fridays are those evenings for us, we make soup (stock), curries or pasta sauces, it’s a great way to use pieces of veggies etc. that won't make a whole meal again."

Plantbased food

"Personally I feel the biggest thing we can do to stop climate change is to stop eating animals. This is the most polluting factor, if you have seen cowspiracy you know what I mean. The use of water and the CO2 emission from meat production is far worse then driving a car for example. Already in my lifetime the climate has changed. When I was young we had real winters, not only a couple of days like now. In France where we have lived and still often visit, temperatures in winter could be hitting -25C at night and the winter would stay for months. That is what the old people tell me, but a real winter has not been seen there the last decade."

Future projects:

"My latest project is renovating my home, I am from Netherlands, dividing my time between France and Netherlands. 

Currently we are renovating our property in the Netherlands near Amsterdam that used to be an old vegetable store from the 1930's and it had been for sale a long time. Everything has to be renovated and we are doing most of it ourselves. It is quite spacious, so perfect for me to use as a studio to arrange food and food styling workshops.

Our property in France is located in the Haute Marne and is an old village farm. A beautiful area with lots of nature, not a lot of cities or tourism. We also rebuild a house on our land where nobody has lived for the last 4 decades. We always respect the building and use natural materials when renovating. During holidays we rent out this home to people and I do table d'hôte if asked. We rent through air-bnb and get people from all over Europe.

I grow my own vegetables in France. I love to see how my own food grows and taste. It always feel so luxurious walking into the garden and pick your own meal. Of course I had some failures too, as I always grow organic vegetables and a few years ago could not win the fight over salads with the snails... But it is great to experiment and to see my daughter picking berries, radishes, carrots and stuffing her mouth. Being healthy and having a healthy family - this is whatmakes me the most happy in life."



Flatbread Pizza with Beetroot and Olive sauce

"Everyone likes a pizza, right?!? However making a dough takes time and getting a pizza from a pizza hut is not always as healthy and far less exciting than baking one yourself. So I created this easy and gluten free flatbread pizza made of chickpea flour, which you can make in advance. Eat the pizza whenever you come home from work or are hungry for something delicious. The beetroot topping is based on a tapenade; a sauce made with olives. Beetroot is quite sweet and earthy tasting, to enhance it use olives, fresh oregano and garlic. All together they are a good flavour combination! You can also use a standard tomato sauce or a pesto of course, but this red sauce will tantalize your tastebuds!"

Ingredients for the flatbread pizza, makes 4 medium sized pizza's

- 1,5 cups of Chickpea flour 

- 2 cups of Water

- 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt

- 1/2 tablespoon of coconut oil

Ingredients for Beetroot and Olive sauce:

- 3 medium sized Beetroots, cooked or ovenroasted and cleaned

- 1 cup of pitted Olives

- 1 cup of soaked Sunflower seeds, drained and rinsed

- 2 tablespoons of fresh Oregano, chopped

- 1 tablespoon of Balsamic vinegar 

- 2 cloves of Garlic, crushed

- Salt and Pepper to taste


Topping suggestions:

- Bunch of asparagus, trimmed and blanched

- 2 handfulls of rocket/arugula 

- 1 chioggia beet, cleaned and sliced in thin strips

- 1/2 cup pine nuts

- Fresh oregano leaves

- Avocado slices

- Vegan cheese


1. Start by preheating your oven on 225 C/ 450 F.

2. Stir the chickpea flour, water and salt in a large bowl. Mix well, until there are no clumps left. Set aside and let it rest for 10-30 minutes.

3. Make the sauce by blending the beetroot, soaked sunflower seeds, olives, oregano, garlic, balsamic, salt and pepper in a kitchen machine. I like it when there is still some bite from the sunflower seeds, but if you want a more smooth result blend some more.

4. Bake the chickpea flatbreads in a non stick ceramic pan on medium heat. Oil the pan with a bit of coconut oil each time you make the bread. Take 1/2 cup of the chickpea batter and pour into the pan and spread evenly. If bubbles appear and the flatbread is dry, gently flip it. Bake all the flatbreads like this.

6. Place 2 flatbreads at a time in the oven on a paper lined baking tray or pizza stone and bake for 6-9 minutes. Now spread a bit of your beetroot sauce on your pizza bottom and bake another 3-4 minutes.

7. Take everything out of the oven and put on your toppings. Ready to serve.

For more inspirational plant based recipes or to book a vacation: http://www.ritaserano.com


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