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Strawberry coconut ice cream, for Petit-On (dairy free, egg free)


Good morning dear friends!

Today’s recipe was my monthly contribution to the Spanish website Petit-On. As I have mentioned before, each month I contribute a recipe based on an ingredient chosen by one of the blog’s contributors. To my utter delight, the ingredient for April was strawberries!

I love strawberries and, each year, I wait anxiously for April to arrive because I know that it’s strawberry season. I love their fragrant smell, their sweetness that goes so well with slightly tangy flavors, and the deep red of their skins. They are delicious and beautiful, a real  feast for all senses.  The funny thing is that I hated them when I was a child…but fortunately I have come to my senses since then!


Loving strawberries as I do, it took me a while to chose a recipe, but I finally decided to make this one, because what better way to greet the warmer weather and celebrate Spring than with a delicious ice cream?

As you will soon see, an added beauty of this recipe is that it takes very few ingredients: coconut milk, fresh strawberries, sugar and a splash of good vanilla, to enhance the strawberries natural flavor  (I use vanilla bean paste but you may use vanilla extract if you want, or a vanilla pod). Yes, no milk, no cream and no eggs, which also means no need to make a custard, beat ingredients or anything like that. I warm up the milk with the sugar for a little while, so that the sugar cristals dissolve but you can also make it raw and just out all ingredients in a blender or food processor at the same time, process and refrigerate for a couple of hours before churning in an ice cream maker.


Here is the recipe:

Strawberry and coconut ice cream

Ingredients: 2 1/2 cup of strawberries , 1 can of coconut milk, 1/2 cup of sugar, 1 teaspoon of vanilla bean paste/the seeds of 1 vanilla pod or 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract.


1) Wash the strawberries, remove the leaves, cut them in half and put them in the bowl of a food processor or blender.  Process and blend until they transform into a purée. Reserve.

2) Put coconut milk and sugar in a saucepan and bring to moderate heat for about 5 minutes, so that the sugar crystals dissolve. Remove from the heat, let cool down for a while and add vanilla.

3) Pour the sugared milk in the food processor/blender, together with the strawberry purée and pulse a few times to to integrate well.

4) Pour the preparation in a tall glass/bowl, cover with foil and refrigerate for at least 4 hours before churning.

5) Remove the preparation from the refrigerator and churn in your ice cream maker according to the manufacturer’s instructions. I use the KitchenAid ice cream attachment, with which it takes 15-20 minutes for the ice cream to reach soft consistency.

6) Remove the ice cream from the machine, put it in an airtight container and place it in the freezer for a couple of hours so that it reaches scoop consistency.

If you don’t have an ice cream machine, you can still make this recipe. In that case, instead of refrigerating the preparation as is required before churning, put it directly in the freezer, and remove it every 30 minutes during 2 hours, beating it vigorously every time, so as to break the ice crystals. You may also use it to make ice lollies, if you have the molds.  They will be delicious either way!

Do you like to make ice cream at home? Do you have any food allergies that prevent you from eating ice cream at a shop? Let me know in the comments below and I promise I’ll do my best to come up with a recipe you can eat!

How to make almond milk


One of the questions that I get asked the most whenever someone finds out that I don’t eat dairy is: “what do you drink with your coffee?”. When I reply saying that I can chose between soy, nut, oats  or even date milk, people normally mention how expensive these are.

And it is true, store-bought vegetable milks are expensive. But the good news is that they  are also very easy to make at home!

I made this batch of almond milk a week ago, when I was preparing for my detox and it took me no longer than 15 minutes. When I was making it, I thought that some of you may like to learn how I do it, so I decided to write this DIY.  In this occasion I made 100% almond milk, but you can replace almonds  with hazelnuts, cashews, pistachios, walnuts…any nut! And the beauty of it is that the proportions remain the same. You can even mix different nuts (almond and hazelnut milk is delicious) to experiment and add variety. Oh! And there’s an added bonus: nut flour! The traces of nut that remain after straining the milk can be dried in the oven and used as nut flour in baking! Isn’t that great?


So, what do you need to make nut milk? well, nuts of course, water, a blender and a cheesecloth. If you have a mesh strainer, so much the better but if you don’t, that’s ok too.

Ready to get started? Here’s the recipe:

Almond Milk (makes 1 litre)

Ingredients: 1 cup almonds, 4 cups water.Optional: 1 tablespoon of honey/agave or other sweetener.


1) Soak the almonds in water for at least 4 hours (I leave them overnight)

2) Drain the almonds and put them in a small bowl. Pour boiling water over them and let them rest for 5 minutes. This will  allow the peel to come off easily, just by rubbing it off the almonds.

3) Put the blanched almonds in a blender and add 4 cups of water. Blend until the almonds are not visible anymore.

4) Put a cheesecloth over a bowl and pour the milk on it. The cheesecloth will capture the pieces of nut that are too big.

5) Pour the milk in a bottle and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

6) Put the nut pieces on a baking tray and place it in the oven at 115C  until they are dry (it can take a while, just be careful not to let them brown). Store in an airtight container and use in baking!

Did you like this recipe? Had you even make nut milk at home before? Please, share in the comments below! 


Con sabor latino…

Una de las preguntas que más recibo, cada vez que menciono que no consumo lacteos, es “¿con qué tomas el café?”. Y cuando respondo que hay muchas leches vegetales diferentes, como la de soja, avena, nueces y hasta dátiles, la gente suele comentar cuan caras son las mismas.

Y es cierto, las leches vegetables que venden en el supermercado son caras. Pero la buena noticia es que también son facilísimas de hacer en casa! Esta tanda de leche de almendras, por ejemplo, la hice cuando estaba preparandome para el detox de comienzos de mes y me llevó no más de 15 minutos. Mientras la hacía, se me ocurrió que a algunos de ustedes podría resultarle util esta receta, y por eso decidí escribir este post.

En esta ocasión, hice leche 100% de almendras, pero con la misma receta pueden hacer leche de avellanas, de pistachios, de nueces pacanas, de nueces comunes (walnuts), de castañas de cajú (anacardos)…cualquier nuez, la que tengan en casa y les resulte más barata! Tambien pueden incluso mezclarlas (la leche de almendras y avellanas es deliciosa) para experimentar y agregar variedad.  Y ¿saben qué es lo mejor? Cuando terminen, tambien habrán hecho harina de nuez, porque los restos que quedan en en liencillo pueden secarse en el horno a temperatura baja y utilizarse luego como harina, al hornear. ¿ No es maravilloso?

Qué necesitamos para hacer leche de nuez? Nueces, claro, agua, una licuadora, un bowl y liencillo (la tela finita que se usa para hacer queso). Si tienen un colador grande, de esos que se usan para cernir, suele venir bien para sostener el lienzo, pero si no tienen no se hagan problemas!

Listos para comenzar? Aquí está la receta

Leche de almendras (rinde 1 litro)

Ingredientes: 1 taza de leche de almendras, 4 tazas de agua. Opcional: 1 cucharada de miel/agave u otro endulzante.


1) Coloque las almendras en un bowl, cubra con agua y deje reposar por al menos 4 horas (yo las dejo toda la noche, pero es más por costumbre que otra cosa)

2) Seque las almendras, coloquelas en un bowl seco y vierta encima de las mismas agua caliente (hirviendo). Deje reposar 5 minutos. Esto hará que sea facil pelar las almendras, verán como la piel sale entera con solo frotarlas con las manos.

3) Coloque las almendras peladas en la licuadora. Agregue 4 tazas de agua y licue todo hasta que las almendras se pulvericen.

4) Coloque liencillo sobre un bowl, dejando que sobre a los costados. Vierta la leche de almendras sobre el mismo. El liencillo atrapará los pedacitos de almendra que sean demasiado grandes.

5) Retire el liencillo y vierta la leche de almendras en una botella (yo prefiero de vidrio). Guarde en la heladera (refrigerador) hasta una semana.

6) Coloque los restos de almendras en una placa para horno(los que quedaron atrapados en el liencillo), y lleve a horno suave (115C) hasta que se sequen, teniendo cuidado que no se tornen marrones. Una vez seca la harina de almendras, guardela en un recipiente hermético y utilicela al hornear!

Les gustó esta receta? Alguna vez hicieron leche de nuez? Cuentenme en los comentarios!

Cashew, quinoa, millet and vegetables burgers {Flourless, dairy free, egg free}


Ever since I stopped eating meat*, about 12 years ago, I had been looking for a delicious  veggie burger recipe, one that I would actually crave and not just eat because I had made a whole batch.  Early on, I adapted my mum’s recipe for soy burgers  and that became my go-to recipe, but I wanted one that would use more vegetables and different grains, to add variety.


A few months ago, when browsing recipe books, I came across a couple of recipes that seemed interesting  but they each had ingredients that either I don’t like or can’t eat (such as cheese). So I decided to do some mix and match and came up with this recipe after a couple of tries.

As you can see from the ingredient list below, these burgers don’t take any eggs, cheese, or dairy. To bind the ingredients, I used chia seeds hydrated 2 tablespoons of water for a few minutes, before adding them to the preparation.  You will probably also notice that I didn’t use  any breadcrumbs or flour to shape them which is why they are not the traditionally perfectly round burgers that you may be used to seeing. If you prefer perfectly shaped burgers, add a little of the flour of your choice.


One word of caution regarding this recipe: even though it doesn’t use flours, this is not a recipe that is 100% safe for people with celiac disease, because it uses onions and garlic, to which many celiac people have intolerance to. So, if you are making this for a friend with celiac disease, make sure that you omit those ingredients!


Here is the recipe:

Cashew, quinoa, millet and vegetables burgers

Ingredients: 1 big zucchini, 1 big carrot, 1 big red onion, 1 garlic clove, 50 grs quinoa, 50 grs millet, 2 tablespoons chia seeds, 2 tablespoons water, 50 grs toasted cashews.


1) Fill a saucepan with water and bring it to the boil. Add the quinoa and millet and cook until ready (you can see a video   from Sarah Britton, on how to cook quinoa HERE). Strain and reserve.

2) Slice the onion, chop the garlic, shred the carrot and zucchini. Put a tablespoon of oil in a skillet or frying pan and stir-fry the onion and garlic until transparent, then add the rest of the vegetables and let them cook for a few minutes, until tender.

3) Process the cashew nuts until finely chopped (but don’t turn them into flour!).

4) Add the cashews to the vegetables and stir-fry them together for a couple of minutes. Remove from the heat.

5) Add the strained quinoa and millet, as well as the chia seeds, salt and pepper, and mix well.

6) Take the mixture using a spoon and press them to shape them. Refrigerate the burgers until time cook them.

7) Heat a tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and cook them for about 15 minutes, watching them carefully and turning them halfway through the cooking time.

 I hope you like this recipe!

Do you like veggie burgers? If you do, do you have a favorite recipe that you would like to share with us in the comments?



Con sabor latino….

Desde que dejé de comer carne, hace ya 12 años, había estado buscando una receta de hamburguesas vegetales que me encantara, una receta tan deliciosa que me diera antojo comerla.  Tenía en mi repertorio una receta de hamburguesas de soja, adaptada de la de mi mamá, pero quería incorporar a mi repertorio una versión que utilizara más vegetales y granos diferentes, para así poder aportar variedad a mi dieta.

Hace unos meses, mirando libros de recetas que tengo en casa, encontré un par que me parecieron interesantes, pero todas tenían ya sea algo que no me gustaba o algo que no puedo comer (como el queso). Así que decidí experimentar por mi cuenta y terminé con esta receta que hoy les traigo, y que me encanta.

Como pueden ver en la lista de ingredientes de más abajo, esta versión de hamburguesitas vegetales no usa huevos, ni leche, ni queso. Para ligarlas, utilicé semillas de chia hidratadas en dos cucharadas soperas de agua durante un par de minutos. Si se fijan en los ingredientes, tambien notarán que tampoco utilicé harina ni pan rallado, motivo por el cual no tienen la forma redondita de las hamburguesas comerciales. Si ustedes prefieren que las suyas tengan una forma perfecta, agreguen un poquito de su harina preferida.

Antes de dejarlos con la receta, les hago una pequeña advertencia: a pesar que estas hamburguesas no utilizan harina, no son aptas para celíacos porque utilizan cebolla y ajo, dos ingredientes a los que muchos celíacos presentan intolerancia. Por ello, si van a realizarlas para un amigo que tengan esta condición, omitan estos ingredientes de la preparación!

Aquí está la receta:

Hamburguesas vegetales con castañas de cajú, quinoa y mijo

Ingredientes: 50 grs de quinoa, 50 grs de mijo1 zucchini grande, 1 zanahoria grande, 1 cebolla colorada grande, 1 diente de ajo,  50 grs de castañas de cajú tostadas, 2 cucharadas de semillas de chia, 2 cucharadas de agua.


1) Colocar agua en una olla, y llevar a ebullición. Agregar la quinoa y el mijo y cocinar a fuego lento. (AQUI tienen  un video que enseña a cocinar quinoa). Colar y reservar.

2) Cortar la cebolla, picar el ajo, rallar la zanahoria y el zucchini. Colocar una cucharada de aceite en una sartén y, cuando esté caliente,  saltar la cebolla y el ajo en el mismo hasta que queden transparentes. Agregar el resto de las verduras y cocinar hasta que estén tiernas (tardará solo unos minutos porque están ralladas)

3) Procesar las castañas de cajú en trocitos pequeños, pero con cuidado de no transformarlas en harina.

4) Agregar las castañas a los vegetales y saltarlas en las sarten junto con los mismos, un par de minutos. Retirar la sarten del fuego.

5) Agregar la quinoa, el mijo, las semillas de chía, sal y pimienta a gusto y mezclar bien.

6) Con la ayuda de una cuchara, formar bolitas y aplastarlas para que tomen forma de hamburguesas. Reservar en la heladera hasta que vayan a ser cocinadas.

7) Calentar una cucharadas de aceite en una sarten, y dorar las hamburguesas en la misma, por alrededor de quince minutos cuidando que no se quemen, y dándolas vuelta a la mitad de la cocción.

Espero que les guste esta receta!

Cuentenme: ¿Les gustan las hamburguesas vegetales? ¿Tienen una receta favorita que les gustaría compartir con nosotros en los comentarios? 



* I normally eat meat about three times a year, to accompany my husband.

Self care, yoga, and a honey-caramelized onion tart (with gluten free crust)


This week was a hectic and intense one, difficult at times, tiring at moments, empowering and happy at others. You know the ones: weeks of mixed emotions, lots to do and little sleep. We all have them, right? I know we do.

Last Tuesday night, after a couple of particularly intense days, I posted on the blog’s facebook page about it,  mentioned that I needed chamomille tea to unwind and asked friends to share the strategies that they used to relax during or after difficult times. Most mentioned cooking and baking, some mentioned reading or painting mandalas, having a cup of tea,  and sharing times with family or others that they love. I had only mentioned tea in my post, because it is what I was planning to do right away, but the reader’s beautiful responses left me reflecting about my own resources, my own set of grab and go strategies that have helped me during difficult times and the ones that, until today, I had only shared with those who know me well in my personal life, or who have specifically requested my help. Some of those practices (such as baking, watching a selection of my favorite feel good movies like Amélie or silly ones like Zoolander (it always makes me laugh so hard!), having a nice cup of tea) were put in place during happy times and took a whole different meaning during the bad ones; some others I discovered when things were already tough and I was desperately looking for means to stop me from drowning,  and have stayed with me, as a core part of my life, ever since. This is the case of meditation and yoga.

The first time I remember hearing about yoga I was 17 years old. Our high school literature professor used to mention that he practiced yoga and meditation and I became curious about them but, back home, back then, yoga was considered an “exotic” discipline and it was not easy to find where to practice.  Life continued, time went by, I tried a class at a local gym when I was 21 but run out of money at the end of the first month, and didn’t continue. Then, one day, when I was in the middle of one of the most difficult times in my life, I met the husband of one of my best friend’s on the street and he mentioned that he was going to an amazing yoga class, merely 3 blocks away from my house. I hadn’t thought about yoga in years and I was not looking for a class at the time but I somehow knew it was what I needed. I signed up for the class and fell completely in love with yoga. It was not the asanas, or the pranayams or the meditation…it was all of it together, it was how I felt during the practice but mostly how I felt (as a whole person) after them, the calmness, the peace, the grounding it brought into my life and that I had never experienced before.

I left Argentina the following year, first for Spain and shortly after for Ivory Coast. I bought yoga books and CDs and tried for a while to keep up with a regular home practice, but couldn’t. I didn’t know how, and it always seemed that there was something more important that I just had to do before or that I didn’t feel in quite the right mood…and then, as time went by, I ended up never finding the right time and never getting into the right mood. I knew I needed it, I missed it so much and yet, and yet…there was always an excuse. Excuses are ok under normal circumstances but one thing I discovered during those days is that, when everything around us seems to be falling apart, when are exposed to extreme suffering, poverty, chaos and fear, excuses have the potential to be truly damaging. Excuses, in those circumstances, prevent us from seeking that which we truly need, prevent us from connecting to our bodies, our minds and our souls, from finding the necessary calm and ease that is needed in order to do our work and live our life in a way that is healthy, sustainable and useful for those we are meant to serve. Despite my excuses, I knew I had to change and,  by the time I arrived in Cyprus, on 24 December 2007, I was craving yoga. But before I could find a yoga class near my home, I got pregnant with Luka and Zoe and went into bed rest. And then they were born and I couldn’t find the time to attend a class anymore-or anyone to take care of them while I did, for that matter.

Then one day, when browsing the web in search for an article about Indian UN peacekeepers who were teaching yoga to kids  in the Iraeli/Lebanese border, I came across Marianne Elliott’s blog, then called Zen Peacekeeping, and I was hooked. I read one blog post after another, feeling a connection that I had rarely felt before with anyone I had read online. There was a person I could identify with, someone who had been through similar experiences and who had come out of them with similar conclusions as myself. Her articles on yoga and body shame, yoga and real life, her whole series on self care , especially her article on why kindness (and not will power) is key to starting a healthy habit, her articles on courage, and even the ones on using twitter for good -and avoiding twitter overwhelm- all rang a bell and said things I wanted to express, better than I ever could.

And Marianne taught online yoga courses for those who, like me, wanted to establish a home yoga practice, but didn’t know how to get started.

I didn’t sign for her courses right away, because I was getting better at finding excuses (I had years of practice by now). Instead, I waited, and waited, and waited until I almost collapsed from anxiety and exhaustion.

I finally signed up after I saw a video when Marianne announced her course on 30 days of yoga for people who are too busy to do yoga. Do you identify with the title? Yes, so did I. I felt that I couldn’t commit to a full 90 minute class, not even to a 45 minute class…but I could commit, I needed to commit to as little as 5 minutes of yoga every day, 5 minutes of self care, 5 minutes just for myself, 5 minutes doing something I loved but had forgotten how to do. 

If you are wondering how an online yoga course works, here is how it does now:

Screen grab of new 30 Day Course site.jpg


Back then, when I first did it, the interface was different, but basically there are videos with the practices (which you can download and keep forever), daily emails, a Facebook group, conference calls, Marianne’s assistance whenever this is needed and, in some cases, a beautiful ebook at the end of the 30 days.  Not very different from any other online course you may have done in any other discipline. (What makes the courses different is Marianne’s kindness, but I’ll talk to you about that later).

So I made my commitment to myself, and I started the practices, as sent by Marianne and as recommended by her. The first week, nothing happened. “Where’s the calmness I am supposed to be feeling?????” , I kept thinking, because I was, if anything, more anxious than before. The second week, came the tears. The minute I would step on the rug where I used to practice yoga, I would start crying and I wouldn’t stop until after savasana. The practices were short, 10 minutes only, but something inside of me was being released. I cried all second and third week and then, on the fourth and last week, I started to feel at peace. 

I still felt too busy for anything longer, but Marianne’s courses had shown me that I was never too busy to so some yoga and that any yoga was better than none. I had the videos, I had the emails, I had the proof, so I renewed my commitment and maintained my routine, of doing at least 10 minutes of yoga everyday and not beating myself up if that was all the yoga I could do. And it continued to work, to be what I needed. When I felt that I needed some more, I would combine the videos or double the number of sets of each practice. I felt at ease with my routine and I was happy.

Then, at the beginning of 2012, when our world fell apart, and I started feeling again like I had no time to sit on the mat, this time I knew (having practiced long enough the year before)  that what I needed was, in fact, the exact opposite: I needed more yoga. So I registered for Marianne’s standard 30 days of yoga course (She also has courses for Beginners and classes of Curvy Yoga) and I committed to 45 minutes practices, 4 times a week.

Why am I talking to you about yoga and my experience today? Why am I talking to you about Marianne? Because this year I want to share with you everything that is good in my life, all the resources that have worked for me in the past, and that continue to support me in many ways.  I wanted to share this with you so that you could get to know Marianne and her work, which I greatly admire . More importantly, I want to share Marianne’s courses  with you because they have supported not only me, but also my children, who love the short routines of Busy Yoga and practice them on their own (please turn off the volume if you don’t to hear Luka and me singing Elmo’s songs while Zoe practices yoga in the video). I want to share her courses  with you because they are the only ones to which I have been able to commit consistently and for a long period of time, and I want to do it because I know how important this can be and what a difference it can make to one’s life.

I want to share this with you because I know how easy it is to fall off the self care wagon and how damaging this can be. I want to share Marianne’s courses with you because, after I fell off,  I needed a course rooted on  kindness towards myself  and others to get back on track, and because this may be your case too.

I wanted to share this with you today because Marianne’s latest edition of her yoga courses start tomorrow and I will be in them, again, and because it occurred to me that, perhaps, you may need something like what she offers, and you would like to join me there as well.  And finally, I wanted to share this with you today to let you know that I know how it feels to let go of our good habits, to struggle to keep up with what is good for us, but that is never too late to get back on track.

Please, share with me in the comments below:  which practices are essential to your well being? Do you also struggle to find time for them?

Now, while we talk,  let’s cook something yummy, shall we?


I made this tart a couple of weeks ago, on one of those lovely early Spring days that are so beautiful in Cyprus. Last December, my husband bought me Aran Goyoaga’s new book, Small Plates and Sweet Treats: My Family’s Journey to Gluten-Free Cooking, (which is one of the most beautiful cook books that I have ever seen) and I started looking forward to experimenting with gluten free cooking. I was so eager to start trying her recipes that, on the day of our wedding anniversary (January 26th), we traded our traditional fondant au chocolat, for Aran’s Almond butter, chocolate and beet molten cakes -and I believe these will be our new anniversary staple dessert.

I was a little bit scared of gluten free savory food, so it took me a while longer to begin experimenting with the small plates part of the book. I can find my way pretty easily around desserts and I have a natural instinct for knowing how to adapt sweet recipes, but I can’t really say the same about tart crusts, crackers, breads and other savory food. But I felt encouraged by the molten cakes’ success and I decided to try to make this tart (which is a classic at my home) with a gluten free & vegan crust (adapted from the one  in Aran’s Zucchini,quinoa and goat cheese tart, if you have the book)


The preparation of the crust is fairly simple, but it takes a bit of time, because it has to be chilled twice and cooked for quite some time. I must also confess that, when I saw its texture, I freaked out: It felt like clay! I went ahead and put it in the oven because of how much I admire Aran’s work, but it was honestly a leap of faith- I was convinced I had made a mistake along the way and that it was going to turn out absolutely inedible. Fortunately for me, my fears were unfounded,  based only on my lack of knowledge of gluten free cooking, and the crust turned out to be delicious.  More importantly, this crust and the molten cakes got me hooked on experimenting with different flours (it’s so creative!), so you can expect more gluten free recipes in the future.

One word of caution regarding this crust, before leaving you with the recipe: You will want to respect the refrigerating times and make sure that it cooks well before adding the onion. The crust is delicious if it’s crispy but not so much if it isn’t, so bake it long enough before adding the filling to make sure that the bottom is crispy as well. Remember that, once you add the onion filling, the baking times are very reduced, so the crust will need to be ready before this happens or it will turn soggy. And we don’t want that to happen!


Now without further ado, here is the recipe:

Honey-caramelized onion tart, with gluten free crust


For the crust:  60 grs buckwheat flour, 70 grs hazelnut flour, 140 grs quinoa flour, 140 grs brown rice flour, 1 teaspoon nutmeg, salt to taste, 120 ml olive oil, 250 ml cold water.

For the filling: 3 red onions, 3 yellow onions, 2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons warm water, 1 tablespoon rosemary or thyme, vegetable oil of your choice.


1- Prepare the crust: Put all flours in the food processor and pulse a few times to air them. Add nutmeg, salt, olive oil and cold water and pulse until the dough comes together. Remove from the food processor, wrap it in foil and place in the refrigerator to chill for 1/2 hour.

2- Remove the dough from the refrigerator, and roll it on the counter (previously dusted with your favorite gluten free flour).  Cover your desired tart mold with it, pinch it with a fork and place it in the refrigerator for another 30 minutes.

3- Pre heat the oven at 200C. Remove the tart mold from the refrigerator, cover with baking paper and add pie weights or dry beans (I used alubia beans) so that the dough doesn’t rise much in the oven. Bake the crust for 20 minutes.

4- Remove the beans or weights and continue baking for another 20 minutes, until golden. When ready, remove the crust from the oven and let it chill, but leave the oven on.

5- Prepare the filling: Peel and slice the onions. Put 3 tablespoons of oil in a frying pan and sautée the onions in it. Add rosemary, salt and pepper and let cook for about 5 minutes. Once the onions are tender and  start to turn golden, add the honey (which must be liquid), mixed with two tablespoons of warm water. Stir and let it simmer for another 5 minutes.

6- Add the onion filling to the crust and place the tart again in the hot oven, for a  final 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Have a beautiful week!

Orange and Clementine Cheese Brownies for Petit-On {Raw, Vegan, Gluten free,Refined sugar free}


Good morning dear friends! Happy Valentine’s day!

Do you celebrate this holiday or it is not a tradition where you live? As an Argentinian, I didn’t grow up with Valentine’s day and learn’t about it from movies and American TV shows. It was only in the late ’90s that it became more common to celebrate it, but that was only for those who had someone to celebrate it with and, until I met my husband, many years after that and in a different country, I didn’t.  Most years, I would get together with my best friend (also single at the time) , cook together and watch movies that had nothing to do with romance, like the Lord of the Rings trilogy-extended edition. It was awesome. Rom-Coms could be watched any other day. We were not against the holiday, we were not a Valentine’s Grinch, we just felt that it was not for us. Like “PETIT-ON-raw-vegan-cheesecake4TCG

The day of the secretary” is not for you unless you are a secretary and you don’t expect your life to be different just because someone else is celebrating, I didn’t expect anything from Valentine’s day. But since everything seemed to be taken over by teddy bears and pink hearts, we made it ours by creating our own traditions.

The first Valentine’s day after I met my husband, which happened 3 weeks after we got married, we spent it apart. We were living in Ivory Coast at the moment, and had left to get married in Italy during our vacation time. But the day after we left there were riots that led to the evacuation of all non-essential staff of the organization where we worked and we got married on the day when our colleagues were being transported to Gambia. Then the call came: My husband had to go back, he was essential staff. I was not, so I had to stay behind. Argentina was too far away so, a mere two weeks after the wedding, we traveled to Belgrade (where my husband’s family lives) and I stayed with them for 3 weeks.  My husband’s ethnic group has a tradition (no longer being followed anymore, from what I’m told) of bringing the bride back to her family a few weeks after the wedding, to give her the opportunity to change her mind, so we used to joke that he didn’t want to risk it, so he was leaving me with his family instead 😉



So Valentine’s day went by, uncelebrated, and maybe because of that, we never made a big deal about it. But we always have some treat, even if it’s just a block of dark chocolate, to mark the day, just because we take every opportunity to celebrate all that is good in our life.


Today’s recipe is the one I prepared for my monthly contribution to Petit-On. The ingredient selected  for February was cheese, which presented a problem for me, so I checked with Raquel to see if I could use substitutions, and she encouraged me to write this recipe.

If you are reading these words and have been reading this blog for a while, you are probably wondering why is cheese a problem for me. I have, after all, a recipe for the best cheesecake ever, which is also one of the most visited blog posts. The reason is that I can’t eat dairy without feeling pain in my breasts due to a condition called cystic fibrosis.  We discovered it two years ago when I ran in panic to the doctor after finding a lump the size of a marble in my right breast. The doctor ordered a breast ultrasound and we found out that I have cysts in my breasts, which are not dangerous but fill with liquid during ovulation, which causes pain. Milk makes the pain bad, but cheese, cream and yogurt make it unbearable and, when I do eat them, I know it’s at my own risk and regret it later.  Since then 95% of my diet is vegan (I didn’t eat meat or eggs from before discovering this condition) and I have been working on finding substitutions for my favorite treats (You may have noticed that I normally list ” butter or margarine”in the ingredients, and that is because I used to make it with butter but now use vegan margarine and know it can be done). Now let’s be honest: vegan cheese is not brie or camembert, but when the choice is feeling enormous pain and freaking out when doing my breast exam, vegan cheese does the trick.


This recipe was created by adapting and modifying two recipes from Sara Britton, of the blog My New Roots. I had been wanting to try them for a while and found this to be the perfect opportunity to do so. And I love the result! It is called cheese brownie, because it has a  raw brownie base,made only with walnuts, cocoa, dates and cocoa nibs for added crispiness. As Sara advises, Medjool dates are better because they are sweeter, but if you cannot find them or they are too expensive, simply add more quantity. Also, if you can, use good quality cocoa because it does make a difference.

The cream cheese filling is made with cashews, that were soaked overnight, agave nectar (or honey, if you are not vegan), coconut oil (which hardens at room temperature, so you will need to submerge the closed  bottle in warm water for 10 minutes before using it), lemon juice (to give it the slightly bitter, characteristic “cheese”flavor) and orange and clementine juice and zest. I chose these flavors instead of the more traditional vanilla/fruits of the forest because citrus are in season and the trees that line my street are ripe with fruits. They also combine beautifully with the depth of dark chocolate.


As you will see, the recipe is very, very easy and it only requires a food processor or blender to do all the work. Furthermore, because of its characteristics, it is very versatile, and can be shaped in any form you like and even cut using a cookie cutter. I made little hearts using small heart shaped pans for my children, and a bigger, rectangular one, which I then cut in small squares to eat as “cheese brownie bites”. Since today is Valentine’s day, I placed a few bites in a home made origami box lined with mini cupcake cases, to give as a small present.  Do you like them?


Here is the recipe:

Orange and Clementine Cheese brownies (adapted and modified from My New Roots)


For the crust: 1 cup walnuts, 1 1/2 cup dates (Medjool are best), unpitted and soaked in warm water for 10 minutes, 1/2 cup cocoa powder, 2 teaspoons cocoa nibs

For the filling: 2 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked overnight, 2/3 cup coconut oil, 2/3 cup agave or honey, 1/2 cup lemon juice, 1/2 cup orange juice, juice of 1 clementine, zest of 1 orange and 1 clementine. NOTE: If you like sweeter desserts, reduce lemon juice to 1/3 cup and replace by orange juice.


1. Cover the pan you will use with foil, making sure to leave plenty at the sides. This will help you unmold the cake without needing to invert it (just pull the excess foil and lift, carefully, and it will come up.

2. Place walnuts in the bowl of the food processor and process until they turn into powder. Add cocoa and process 30 seconds to integrate (or pulse). Turn the processor on and start adding the dates,  one at a time, until getting a sand-like dough that compacts when pressed between your fingers.

3. Pour the dough in the pan, extend it evenly and press with your fingers to shape it. Set aside.

4. Wash and dry the Food processor’s bowl and fill it with all the ingredients necessary for the filling. Just dump them all at once. Turn the food processor on, and let it work until the ingredients morph into a smooth cream. How smooth the filling will be depends greatly on how powerful is your food processor, so I joke that if it becomes very smooth, I made a vegan philly cheesecake and, if it’s a bit crumbly, I made a ricotta cake instead 😉

5. Pour the filling over the crust and smooth using a spatula.

6. Wrap the cake in the excess foil and place it in the fridge for at least 6 hours.

7. Take out of the freezer 30 minutes before serving.  Cut with a warm sharp knife while still cold.


Amigos hispanoparlantes: La receta en castellano está  en Petit-On! Pueden verla haciendo click AQUI. 

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