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Chocolate sheet cake and frosting with hidden veggies


Good morning dear friends!

We are still in Belgrade, enjoying the beautiful Spring days with our family and taking daily strolls with Luka and Zoe around the city.

Everything has been very quiet around here these past days because of the extended holiday of Labor Day and the Orthodox Easter, so the city, which is normally booming with energy, has had a lovely calm, leisure-like feeling, pretty much like the one you get on a vacation resort by sea. Really, really nice and relaxing ūüôā

Claire's opt in1

Today’s post, however, is not about Belgrade. It is a recipe I came up with in my quest to get my children to eat vegetables! ¬†I had seen online and read about different cakes and brownies made with veggies inside, but all the recipes I could find used dairy which, as you know, is an ingredient that Luka and I shouldn’t eat. ¬†So I decided to experiment a bit, and, after a few trials, I came up with this recipe. To make it even yummier, I also made a frosting that, instead of butter and tons of sugar, uses avocado and honey. And the best part? It tastes delicious!

I like to make this cake in a sheet cake or brownie pan because it’s ideal for cutting into small bites. One word of caution, though: The addition of the veggies makes this cake EXTREMELY moist, so make sure that it’s cold when you cut it. It is actually a good idea to put it in the fridge for 20 minutes before doing so, and to use a sharp knife dipped in hot water to do so.

And don’t worry: this cake does not taste like salad! If you let it cool down appropriately, you won’t be able to tell there are veggies inside. I advise you, though, to make it with your children because I think it is a good idea for them to get used to the idea that vegetables can be part of the food they like. The more they get used to you making vegetables a part of their diet, the more normal they will seem to them and, hopefully, they will be willing to try them in other ways as well.

The Celebration Girl

Here is the recipe:

Chocolate sheet cake and frosting, with hidden veggies (dairy free, egg free)

Ingredients: 100 grs dark chocolate (70%), 1 cup vegetable milk, 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar, 1/3 cup oil, 1 cup sugar, 2 teaspoons vanilla extract,  1 cup beet puree, 1/2 cup carrot puree, 1/4 cup spinach puree, 1 1/2 cups flour, 1/2 cup cocoa, 3/4 teaspoon baking soda, 1/2 teaspoon baking powder, 1/4 teaspoon salt. For the frosting: 1 avocado, 1/2 cup honey (or agave), 2 tablespoons cocoa


1) Put the chocolate in a bowl, then place the bowl over a pot of boiling water and let it melt.  Once it has melted, set aside and let it cool.

2) Put the milk in a bowl and add the vinegar. Wait  a few minutes, until it curdles.

3) Add oil, sugar and vanilla and beat until incorporated.

4) Sift flour, cocoa, salt, baking powder and baking soda.

5) Add 1/2 the flour mixture to the liquid ingredients and mix well.

6) Add the vegetables to the batter. Mix well.

7) Add the rest of the flour. Mix well to incorporate fully.

8) Add the melted chocolate and mix very well for a few minutes.

9) Grease a pan and dust it with cocoa. Pour the batter in it, tap it against the counter to divide it evenly and remove any air bubbles, and place it in the oven, pre heat at 175 degrees celsius, for about 1 hour, or until a knife stuck in the middle comes out clean.

10)Once fully cooked, remove the cake from the oven and let it cool.

11) Make the frosting: Peel the avocado, remove the flesh and mash it with a fork. Add honey and cocoa and beat until light and fluffy. You may use an electric mixer if you have one.

12) Once the cake has cooled down, add the frosting on top. Place it in the refrigerator for 20 minutes, cut into small square bites and enjoy!

Do you hide vegetables in desserts? Which is your favorite recipe? Please share in the comments!

Raw vegan truffles with dates, nuts and berries

Raw truffles by The Celebration Girl

Good evening dear friends!

I am writing today’s post from Belgrade, Serbia, where we are currently visiting my husband’s family. Cyprus follows the Orthodox calendar, according to which Easter falls on May 5th this year, so we are taking advantage of Luka and Zoe’s brief break from school for a short family trip. I will tell you all about it when I get back home!

These truffles, which are ridiculously easy to make and are full of food that is good for our bodies, were made before I left and devoured by my family. If you read the two last posts, you already know that my children are picky eaters and that I keep looking for ideas to get them to eat food that tastes delicious but that also provides them with the nutrients they need in order to grow up healthy, food that helps them thrive.

These little balls of goodness may do just that. I came up with them while playing in the kitchen, trying to recreate my favorite store-bought nut bars (which are way too expensive for me to buy them too often). I looked at the list of ingredients in the package, figured out the percentages that seemed more accurate to me, added a few super foods and decided to try the method that I detail below. I
considered for a while whether it would be better to soak nuts and dates before hand, but didn’t, even though I will probably try ¬†that method ¬†in the future as well, at least to compare which one I like best.

Raw vegan truffles by The Celebration Girl

These truffles are ideal to make with kids, because of their simplicity. If you don’t like any of the ingredients, feel free to replace it for something similar (I do that all the time). And did I mention that they have no added sugar?

Do you want to try them now?

Here is the recipe:

Raw vegan truffles with dates, nuts and berries (makes around 40)

Ingredients: 250 grs dates, 160 grs cashews, 100 grs currants or raisins, 15 grs goji berries, 15 grs dried cranberries, 1 tablespoon chia seeds, 3 tablespoons water,shredded coconut for rolling the truffles in it (optional)


1) Put the cashews in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until they turn into flour.

2) Add the pitted dates, currants or raisins, berries, chia seeds and water. Process until you get a dough that separates from the sides of the bowl.

3) Put the dough in an airtight container and put it in the refrigerator for 1/2 hour.

4) Remove from the refrigerator. Take small pieces of dough with a teaspoon and form them into balls. You may then roll the balls on shredded coconut, as in the pictures, or leave them without. It’s your choice.

5) Keep stored in an airtight container, in the refrigerator, for up to a week.

Have you ever made raw truffles or cookies before? Please share in the comments below!

Raw truffles by The Celebration Girl

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 m√°s recibo, cada vez que menciono que no consumo lacteos, es “¬Ņcon qu√© tomas el caf√©?”. Y cuando respondo que hay muchas leches vegetales diferentes, como la de soja, avena, nueces y hasta d√°tiles, 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 ocasi√≥n, 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 casta√Īas de caj√ļ (anacardos)…cualquier nuez, la que tengan en casa y les resulte m√°s barata! Tambien pueden incluso mezclarlas (la leche de almendras y avellanas es deliciosa) para experimentar y agregar variedad. ¬†Y ¬Ņsaben qu√© es lo mejor? Cuando terminen, tambien habr√°n 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. ¬Ņ 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 m√°s 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 har√° que sea facil pelar las almendras, ver√°n 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 atrapar√° 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 dej√© de comer carne, hace ya 12 a√Īos, hab√≠a estado buscando una receta de hamburguesas vegetales que me encantara, una receta tan deliciosa que me diera antojo comerla. ¬†Ten√≠a en mi repertorio una receta de hamburguesas de soja, adaptada de la de mi mam√°, pero quer√≠a incorporar a mi repertorio una versi√≥n que utilizara m√°s vegetales y granos diferentes, para as√≠ 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 peque√Īa advertencia: a pesar que estas hamburguesas no utilizan harina, no son aptas para cel√≠acos porque utilizan cebolla y ajo, dos ingredientes a los que muchos cel√≠acos presentan intolerancia. Por ello, si van a realizarlas para un amigo que tengan esta condici√≥n, omitan estos ingredientes de la preparaci√≥n!

Aquí está la receta:

Hamburguesas vegetales con casta√Īas de caj√ļ, quinoa y mijo

Ingredientes: 50 grs de quinoa, 50 grs de mijo,¬†1 zucchini grande, 1 zanahoria grande, 1 cebolla colorada grande, 1 diente de ajo, ¬†50 grs de casta√Īas de caj√ļ tostadas, 2 cucharadas de semillas de chia, 2 cucharadas de agua.


1) Colocar agua en una olla, y llevar a ebullici√≥n. Agregar la quinoa y el mijo y cocinar a fuego lento. (AQUI tienen ¬†un video que ense√Īa 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 casta√Īas de caj√ļ en trocitos peque√Īos, pero con cuidado de no transformarlas en harina.

4) Agregar las casta√Īas 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: ¬ŅLes gustan las hamburguesas vegetales? ¬ŅTienen una receta favorita que les gustar√≠a compartir con nosotros en los comentarios?¬†



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

Orange, seeds and oats cookies for Petit-On {dairy free}


Good morning dear friends!

I’m very happy today, because yesterday I sent out my first newsletter!!! I got ¬† great feedback from some subscribers and that had me smiling all day long. Thank you for being there! If you forgot to subscribe but would still like to read the newsletter, I can still send it to you, all you have to do is register in the pink form on the sidebar or in the one at the ¬†end of this post!

Now let’s move to today’s recipe, which was my monthly contribution to Petit-On. ¬†As you know the recipes contributed have to share one common ingredient, and the one for March was¬†oranges.¬†

Orange seed cookies2


I love oranges. I use them a lot in my baking and also when cooking savory dishes (like tangerine beef, or orange scented quinoa, for example). I adore how just a tiny bit of orange zest can completely transform traditional dishes, such as pastry cream or strawberry sauce.

Orange seed cookies

I adapted this recipe from one given to me by my mum, a few years ago. The original one ¬†used self-raising flour and did not require any baking powder nor baking soda or cornstarch, but I modified this because I was unable to reproduce it with the flours that I could find in Cyprus. Self raising flours in Argentina do not require any¬†leavening¬†agents as do, from my experience, the ones sold in Europe so, after ¬†a couple of culinary disasters, I made a few modifications to preserve the cookie’s yumminess. ¬†I also reduced the original amount of sugar and used different seeds because the ones I used to include in my native C√≥rdoba (such as Amaranth) cost a fortune here. This is one of the best things of this recipe: it is very versatile. If you keep the proportions more or less intact, they will definitely turn out tasty and be a success! And they are dairy free!



Here is the recipe

Orange, seeds and oat cookies (makes 3 dozen)

Ingredients:¬†2 cups rolled oats (I use Quaker), 1 cup all purpose flour, 1/2 teaspoon baking of soda, ¬†1 teaspoon baking powder, ¬†¬Ĺ cup cornstarch,¬†3/4 cup of sugar (I used golden) 3/4 cup oil (canola or sunflower), zest of 2 oranges (you may also use lemon or clementines, or a combination) , 2 eggs (M), slightly beaten, juice of half an orange, 1 cup of mixed seeds ( I used 2 tablespoons of chia seeds, 2 tablespoons of hemp seeds, 2 tablespoons of pumpkin seeds and 3 tablespoons of sunflower seeds) .

NOTE: You may also use other seeds, such as sesame, linseed  amaranth, poppy, etc. You can also use only 1/2 cup of seeds and add 1/2 cup of raisins, dried berries, or nuts, if you wish. If you add fruits or nuts, just remember to toss them in flour before adding them to the batter.


1)    In a bowl, mix flour, baking soda, baking powder, sugar, cornstarch and oats.

2)  Add oil, eggs, and orange juice and zest and mix to  incorporate well. 

3) ¬†Add seeds and mix briefly. Be very careful not to¬†over mix¬†or the cookies will turn out hard. Beware that the dough will look very soft and you may be tempted to add liquid, but DON’T. All you have to do is wrap it in foil and place it in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. You can also freeze the dough and bake the cookies later. If you don’t want to wait, you may bake the cookies but keep in mind that they won’t keep their shape.

5)    Remove the dough from the refrigerator, extend it with a rolling a cut, using traditional cookie cutters. Place the cookies on a baking sheet lined with baking paper and bake at 175 degrees/350F until golden (approximately 15 minutes, but this depends on each oven). Keep in mind that these cookies do grow in the oven, so leave space between them when you are placing them in the baking sheet.

6)¬†When they are ready, remove them from the oven and let them rest on the sheet for about 10 minutes. After this, remove them with a spatula and place them on a wire rack until cold (or eat them warm, I won’t tell anyone ūüėČ

I hope you like this recipe and , if you do, please share it!

Now, please tell me in the comments below: which is your all time favorite cookie? 



Para ver la receta en espa√Īol, HACER CLICK AQUI

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