Sophies Foodie Files

Mostly healthy & tasty colourful cooking with Sophie's twist!

Can I serve you a glass of chocolate hazelnut milk? Vegan + Gluten-free!

A Delcious home-made Food Gift! x

A Delcious home-made Food Gift! x

I made this tasty home-made chocolate hazelnut milk with soaked hazelnuts. This chocolate version has a deeper, rich & tasty chocolate flavour but isn’t too sweet. I didn’t use medjool dates because I am not very fond of them. I used maple syrup, grade C to sweeten & also used coconut sugar sweetened raw cacao nibs. Yummmmm!  :)

Why do you need to soak your raw nuts for 8 to 24 hours?

The nuts become less raw & they are easily digested in the stomach. When these nuts are soaked, then well-drained & rinsed, they become more useful to use in raw vegan cheesecakes, in baked desserts, in muffins or in bread. Or you can make your own vegan cheese or spread.

You can make nut milk from every nut or a mix of nuts that you like & love. You even can make milk out of seeds like sesame seeds, pumpkin seeds, etc. Most recipes on the internet say that you use 1 cup of raw nuts & 3 to 4 cups pure water. In this recipe, I used 3 cups of water. Why? because I like it this way & the nut milk is thicker & creamier too.
You can make your own nut milk & add whatever ingredients you want, vanilla, sweeten it with dates, agave or maple syrup, add extra yummy things like chocolate, cacao nibs, coconut sugar sweetened cacao nibs, carob, cacao or add in spices: it is up to you! I will not strain my pulp because it is more healthy to drink up your pulp & my Vitamix mixes it all in really well. If you have a normal blender, it is better to strain your nut milk. See this post before on how you should do that!
Recipe: For 1250 ml = 5 cups

Ingredients:

1 cup raw, unsalted hazelnuts, covered in 2 cups clean water, soaked in water for at least 8 to 24 hours, kept in the fridge, nuts well rinsed & drained/ I always soak them overnight in the fridge.

3 cups clean water

1 cup of coconut sugar sweetened cacao nibs

2/4 cup maple syrup, grade C + 1 tablespoon

Method:

Since I got my Vitamix TNC 5200, I have made my all of my nut milks & seed milks in this fabulous machine. Because I use my Vitamix, I don’t have to strain my hazelnut pulp. It is all well & finely mixed into the liquid. It has more flavour, is thicker, has more power & is much healthier that way!! If you don’t have a power blender like I do, then you will have to strain your milk by using a nut milk bag. How to use it & step by step guide, you will find, on one of my earlier posts:Here!

1. Place your soaked, rinsed & well-drained hazelnuts in your Vitamix blender & add 3 cups of clean water. Add coconut sugar sweetened cacao nibs & 2/4 cup of maple syrup too. Place your fitting lid on with the tamper in it. Now, turn your machine gradually on from speed 1 to 10 & then, turn on high power. Mix your nut milk for 1 minute or 2 or until completely mixed. Do this, by pushing the tamper up & down to make the ingredients go into the running blades. Now, taste. It has to have a more deeper, rich chocolate flavour & it has to be sweet but not too sweet. I added that 1 tablespoon of maple syrup, like mentioned on the list. Mix again.

2. Now, pour the tasty home-made vegan chocolate hazelnut milk in a clean bottle & turn the lid on. Label it. Keep in the fridge for most 4 to 5 days. Everytime, you want to drink it, you must shake your bottle up & down because otherwise the heavily parts will sink to the bottom. You need a smooth drink all the way! You will be left with 1/2 glass of chocolate hazelnut milk. You can drink it straight away!

You can decorate this lovely bottle with a nice lint & give it away as a lovely home-made food gift.  :) MMM,…too!  :) Enjoy! The uses are endless!

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Vegan spelt crunchy double chocolate cookies!

Yesterday, I made these divine wonderful cut-out cookies! They are very simple to make! They are crunchy cookies & I added chopped vegan white chocolate & chopped vegan milk chocolate to it all! So they are like Heaven!

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Recipe: For 30 small to medium-sized cookies

Ingredients:

150 gr softened salted vegan butter (1 cup + 1/8 cup)

225 gr wholemeal spelt flour (2 cups)

60 gr coconut sugar (1/3 cup+less than 1/8 cup)

1 tablespoon unsweetened almond milk

40 gr vegan white chocolate pieces (1/4 cup)

40 gr vegan milk chocolate pieces (1/4 cup)

Method:

1. Take your Kenwood & place your bowl & K-paddle in. Add softened butter & coconut sugar. Cream until fully mixed & creamy on medium-speed. Check often! It will be beige-brown in color. Add spelt flour. Mix until fully mixed in. Sometimes, stop the machine & scrape the sides & mix again & again. Add almond milk & mix in.

2. I took my food processor & added the vegan white chocolate pieces & the vegan milk chocolate pieces & pulsed until they were to my liking. I ended up with smaller bits of chocolate & a bit of chocolate powder. This is what I wanted! Add this chocolate mix to your dough. Mix on medium to high-speed until joined.

3. Take your dough out of the bowl & mix with your hands together. Make a ball-shape & place in cling film in the fridge for about 35 minutes. Do the cleaning up or pour yourself a glass of wine,…go on, you deserve it! ;)

4. Preheat your oven to 180° C ( 350 F ) for 10 minutes. Take your dough out of the fridge & out of the cling film & cut your dough into 2 equal sides. One, you are going to work with & the other, place it back into the fridge, in the cling film, for later on. Flour your kitchen counter with some of the whole-wheat spelt flour. Flour a rolling-pin too, to prevent sticking to the dough! Place this dough on your kitchen counter & flatten it out with your hand palms & with your rolling-pin! Roll the dough into 4 directions until you end up with a dough, equal in thickness, about 0.5 cm thick. You can make the cookies thicker, if you like, but I like mine this way! :) When you have the right thickness, place your cookie cutters into the dough & push them really into it. With help of your hands, push the dough, right into the sides & all over the base of your cookie cutter.

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With help of a knife, cut outside the cookie cutter, the remaining dough. I like to push many cookie cutters besides each other & when you have cut them out, carefully remove them with your hands, shake off excess of flour & place them, spaced apart on a Silpat or cookie sheet, directly on an oven rack! Bake in the middle of your oven for about 12 minutes. Your cookies will have darkened, browned & your house will smell amazing! Take them out of the oven & leave them for 15 minutes on the Silpat to cool down a bit & to firm up further! After 15 minutes, carefully remove them from the cookie sheet & place them on a wire rack, spaced apart, to cool down completely! Re-use all of the dough. Do the same with the remaining cookie dough. You will love them too! They are a bit sweet but not too much but just right! They are perfect on their own, lovely with a good vegan café latte or a mug of tea! They also make a Fantastic Food Gift! Enjoy! :) xxx

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You might like:

1. Lovely lemon shortbread cut-out cookies!

2. Vegan chocolate chip cream cheese cut-out cookies!

 

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Pecan Chocolate Cake Slices!

Yummm!

Yummy!

Every year round Christmas, I make these delicious easy to make Pecan Chocolate Cake Slices! They are always a success wherever I bring them! :) So, now you can enjoy them too!  They are a Great Tasty Food Gift! 

Recipe: For 50 biscotti

Ingredients:

150 gr coconut sugar

150 gr self-rising flour

90 gr raw cacao powder

85 gr lightly salted softened butter

75 gr pecan halves

50 gr molasses

2 eggs, beaten

zest of 1/2 orange

Method:

1. Preheat your oven on 180°C ( 350 F ) for 10 minutes. I always use a fan oven. Adjust your oven to the right temperature.

2. Roast your pecan nuts in a dry pan on low-heat until your pecans turn brown on all sides & your house will smell amazing! Lower the heat if you need to! Watch them closely! Turn heat off & remove the pan. Place your pecans on a chopping board & cut up.

3. Take a large bowl & add sugar, molasses & orange zest. Mix & add beaten eggs. Whisk it all together until foamy!

4. Now, add softened butter & mix well. Take a sieve & place it above the bowl. Sift cacao powder & self-rising flour! Mix gently! Finally, fold in the chopped pecans.

5. Make the dough. Take your kitchen counter & scatter some flour over it. Place your sticky dough on here, flour your hands & rolling-pin too! Divide your dough into long rolls. Flatten them a bit with your hand palms. Place the longer rolls on 2 clean Silpats or on baking sheets on 2 oven racks & bake for about 20 minutes in the hot oven. Now, take them out & let them cool down for about 10 minutes on the Silpats or on the baking sheets. Place the rolls on a chopping board & cut into 0.5 cm to 1 cm thick slices. Carefully remove to a wire rack to cool down completely! Enjoy with a god café latte or some nice tea! xxx

Crunchy on the outside & soft on the inside!

Crunchy on the outside & soft on the inside!

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Vegan maple scones with pecan & cranberries served with maple’s butter! :)

Today, I made these Festive Vegan Maple scones with pecans & cranberries! The scones itself are Vegan!! The maple’s butter is not! Maple butter is pure maple syrup with some added unsalted butter that is boiled, cooled & whipped into this tasty Canadian spread! Very rich but surely delicious! It is very sweet so it is good that my scones are not! ;) So use it for a long time in small portions!

Vegan Deliciousness!

Vegan Deliciousness!

I just looovvveeee these tasty scones! I used white spelt flour in them & vegan margarine! They are also topped with a maple glaze! You will love them too, even as a nice breakfast in these lovely cold days before Christmas,…or they are great eaten as a nice brunch on Christmas day,…;)

Canadian Maple Butter!

Canadian Maple Butter!

Recipe: For 21 round scones

Ingredients:

440 gr white spelt flour  (3 +1/2 cups )

4 teaspoons of baking powder

88 gr pecans, cut up finely (1/2 cup + 1/8 cup)

50 gr of apple sweetened dried cranberries (1/3 cup )

160 gr vegan margarine, I used 100% Planta (1/2 cup + a bit less than 1/4 cup)

250 ml unsweetened soy milk  (1 cup)

125 ml pure maple syrup, I used grade C, (1/2 cup) divided into 6 tablespoons + 2+ 1/2 tablespoons

* To serve: Canadian Maple Butter

Method:

1. Take 1 or 2 oven racks out of your oven & preheat it to 200° C ( 400 F ) for 10 minutes.

2. Place a sieve over a larger bowl. Sieve your spelt flour & baking powder. Mix lightly with a spoon. Fold pecan pieces & cranberries gently into the flour-baking powder mix. Now, add baking margarine & with help of your hands mix it together until it resembles breadcrumbs. Now, you have a crumbly dough. Add soy milk & 6 tablespoons of your maple syrup. Mix with a spoon. The dough will stick & is a bit wet.

3. Place the dough with floured hands on a well-floured Silpat. Use white spelt flour for this! Knead the dough for 5 to 6 times until you end up with a real elastic dough! You can use a bit more spelt flour to prevent sticking! Divide the dough into 2. With your hands, flatten the dough. You don’t need a rolling-pin, it is not necessary! My dough was about 1 to 2 cm thick. I used my round 5cm diameter cutter to make equal sized round scones!

4. Take an oven rack & place another unused Silpat or baking sheet on it. Place your scones, well spaced apart, on it. Prick the top of each scone, a few times, lightly with a fork. With the rest of your maple syrup, glaze aka brush the top & sides of each scone. Bake into the lower part of the oven for about 12-15 minutes until they are golden & browned. Take them out of the oven & repeat with the rest of the scone dough. When ready, test with a small pin, inside of the scone. If it comes out clean, they are ready! Now, carefully take them out of the oven & place on a wire rack to cool down completely! When completely cooled, place them in a lovely cake tin & enjoy, sliced open horizontally with some good Maple Butter or with something else!

Enjoy, my sweeties!

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You might like:

1. Cranberry pecan orange muffins!

 

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Vegan Christmas stollen, my way!

Hey folks,

I just love the few weeks before Christmas, don’t you? It is my favorite time of the year,…ho,..ho,..ho,..!! How about you? T’s the season to be jolly,…falalalalaaaa,..la,..la,..la,..laaa! :) I put on some great old Christmas songs of Frank Sinatra, Nat King Cole of Ella Fitzgerald,…In Belgium, we didn’t grew up with these cool old-fashioned great Christmas songs! :(

Every year, my husband Peter & I get a real cool Christmas tree & we decorate it with gold & red balls of glory! Last year, we got this new wooden crafted Christmas Stable,…Just look at it: pretty cool, hey?

My new ecological wooden carved out Christmas Stall!

My new ecological wooden carved out Christmas Stall!

This fantastic home-made Vegan Christmas stollen was all invented by me, myself & I aka 2 years ago, but because it is so delicious & amazing, you all must make it this Festive Christmas Season! Even, if you are not a vegan, you will love it! It is a more healthy recipe with a bit of a twist! ;) A little bit naughty but nice,… Like you all know me!

An excellent food gift!

An excellent food gift!

Normally, a Christmas stollen has dried glacé cherries, nuts, candied peel & dried fruit like sultanas in them. I don’t like a lot of these ingredients so I had to make & invent one, my way. Every Christmas, I have to make this for my hubby Peter & family members,…It is not a request, it is a necessity!  I know that you all will love it too!  :)

Normally, a Stollen is a fruit cake, more like a bread, containing dried fruit and often marzipan and covered with sugar or icing sugar. The cake is usually made with chopped candied fruit and/or dried fruit, nuts and spices. Stollen is a traditional German cake, usually eaten during the Christmas season. It is made with yeast, water and flour, and usually with zest added to the dough. Candied orange peel and candied citrus peel, raisins & almonds, and different spices such as cardamom & cinnamon are added. Other ingredients, such as milk, sugar, butter, salt, rum, eggs, vanilla, other dried fruits, nuts and marzipan can also be added to the Stollen dough. Except for the fruit added, the dough is quite low in sugar. :) The finished cake or bread is mostly sprinkled with icing sugar. The traditional weight of a Stollen is around 2 kg, but smaller sizes are now available. I didn’t add icing sugar on top! I did it this way:

Vegan Deliciousness!

Vegan Deliciousness!

Recipe: For 1 very large Vegan Christmas Stollen

Ingredients:

65 gr organic light spelt flour

435 gr organic white bread flour

1 flax egg (= 1 tablespoon ground flaxseed + 3 tablespoons water, whisk well together, leave to be for 10 minutes, to form a sort of gel-like consistency, to thicken a bit instead of 1 egg! )

100 gr vegan dried unsweetened cranberries

50 gr unsweetened coconut flakes

50 gr roughly chopped walnuts

100 gr dried soft apricots, finely diced

50 gr dried mixed tropical fruit, ( I used a mix of papaya, mango & banana )

50 gr dried dark sultanas

150 gr dark cane sugar

100 gr vegan butter, room temperature, cut into smaller knobs

225 gr warm soy milk, not hot!!

1/2 teaspoon of sea salt flakes, crushed + 1/8 teaspoon extra

1 teaspoon of ground ginger

1/2 teaspoon of ground mace ( foelie in Dutch )

1 teaspoon of cinnamon

3 teaspoons of dried yeast

2 teaspoons of home-made pumpkin pie spice

200 gr of a good Vegan & Gluten-free almond marzipan

Method:

1. Take your Kenwood & attach the dough hook. Place the 2 flours into the Kenwood bowl & mix. Add dried yeast, flax egg, vegan butter, brown cane sugar, warm soy milk & sea salt into the bowl. Knead until you have a soft dough, for a few minutes on medium to higher speed. You can also do this by hand. Stretching & kneading the dough well until you have an elastic dough but still soft. I took the dough, with floured hands, out of the bowl & scattered some flour onto my Silpat. I kneaded the dough for a few moments extra with my hands. It was perfect. I put it back into my bowl. While the dough hook was o & working, I added the dried cranberries, the soft apricot pieces, the coconut flakes, the dark sultanas & the tropical mix too. I also added the chopped walnuts to the dough mix. Mix well until all is beautifully incorporated. Stop the machine from time to time, to add the dough that is on the sides of your bowl & mix again. Add cinnamon, ginger, mace & home-made pumpkin pie spice. Mix well into the bowl. Flour your Silpat or your kitchen counter & flour your hands a bit. Take the dough out of the bowl & knead a bit with your hands until ready. This took only 1 minute. See that the dried fruits are all well mixed into the dough. Place the dough back into the bowl & place cling film over the top of the bowl & place in a warm place or above your central heating. That’s what I did. Leave it there to rise for the 1st time. I needed 90 minutes. If you have a very warm place, you will only need 60 minutes or so. The dough must be risen 2 its size! Check often!!

2.  Put the dough back onto your floured kitchen counter or floured Silpat & knock the dough back & flatten it out. See picture:

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3. Shape your 2 rolls of marzipan, into a longer finer sausage shape & place them neatly in the middle of the dough, horizontally too. See picture:

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4. Now, fold your dough around the marzipan pieces. Tuck, the ends of each dough side well over the marzipan pieces, like this:

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5. Shape the dough like a bread. Place it on a special Silpat, especially for baking breads. Place it onto a baking tray. Place cling film over the top, loosely & place near a warm fire, to let it rise for the 2nd time.

You want it to rise for 45 minutes or a bit more. When the dough is nearly well risen, preheat your oven to 180°C (350 F ) for 10 minutes. Place the dough onto your baking tray, in the middle of your hot oven & bake for about 30 to 35 minutes. My Christmas Stollen was ready after 35 minutes. My Stollen baked for 20 minutes on 180°C ( 350 F ) & then 15 minutes on 175°C. Test with a little pin into the center of your Stollen, to see if it has baked properly. It was! Otherwise, put it back into the hot oven. Transfer carefully to a wire rack or 2, to cool off completely. Just before serving, dust with icing sugar or not! Your choice!  :) Enjoy it too, my lovely ones! xxx

An Excellent Food Gift! :)

An Excellent Food Gift! :)

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It is time for,…

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Yesterday afternoon, I made this Warm

                                                             Filling    

                                                                Vegan  

                                                                    Gluten-free 

                                                                       Winter 

                                                                           Spiced

                                                                                  Soup.

I received some fresh stalks of curly kale ( boerenkool in Dutch ) from our friends’ allotment. ;) This is a spiced up filling good-for-you soup filled with vegan gluten-free goodness! It is more a meal then a normal soup! I didn’t mix the soup! Enjoy! :) You will love it too!

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Recipe: For a whole lot of soup

Ingredients:

155 gr cut up, peeled carrot rounds ( 1 heaped cup )

45 gr red long sweet paprika, deseeded & cut up ( 1/2 cup )

42 gr red onion, peeled & finely cut up ( 1/3 cup )

2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled & finely cut up

120 gr peeled cut up sweet potato (1 cup )

185 gr of cooked, rinsed pinto beans ( less than 1/4 cup )

1200 ml hot vegan gluten-free stock ( less than 5 cups )

coconut oil to fry your veggies in

1 teaspoon smoked spicy smoked paprika

2 teaspoons tomato concentrate

500 ml tomato passata, no seeds ( 2 cups )

2 stalks of curly kale, stalks removed, well-washed, spun dry, green parts cut up ( 3 cups, really pushed into the cups )

30 grins of finely milled black pepper

10 grins of grinned Himalayan pink salt

Method:

1. Take a large soup cooking pot & add 1 tablespoon of coconut oil. Let it melt & heat up on medium-high. When hot, add cut up red onion, garlic & carrots. Add 1/2 teaspoon of smoked spicy paprika & fry until the veggies are nearly tender. Stir often. Now, add chunks of sweet potato. Add some more coconut oil, if you need to. Fry for a few more minutes. Add 1/2 teaspoon of smoked spicy paprika & add tomato concentrate. Fry for a few more minutes. Now, pour your tomato passata all over your fried veggies. Add hot stock & beans & bring to the boil. Boil for maximum 5 minutes or boil until your veggies are just cooked. You must taste the tomato & the spicyness. I added 30 grins of finely milled black pepper & 10 grins of finely milled pink Himalayan salt. Finally, add your chopped curly kale & boil for about 1 minute or 2.

2. Enjoy instantly with a loved one! This is a warm soothing nourishing good-for-you soup! It really fills you up too! xxx

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Vegan spelt pecan pie!

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This morning, I made my first invented pecan pie! I saw many unhealthy recipes on the internet & on other blogs so I tried to make it much healthier & I think I succeeded! The only not so healthy ingredient in here is vegan butter! ;) This is a pure sweeter indulgent of a fine dessert, something new in flavors for Peter & me! I didn’t make it too sweet. I don’t like my tarts to be too sweet. Instead of corn syrup I used maple syrup, grade C!

The next time, I will make it into a tartlet tin with loose bottom, much easier in getting the pie aka tart out of the pan!

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Recipe: For 1 medium pecan pie!

Ingredients:

* For the pie base:

1 cup + 1/3 cup organic wholemeal spelt flour ( 120 gr + 37 gr = 157 gr )

2 tablespoons coconut sugar

1 cup vegan butter ( 130 gr ) , you will melt it & use 1/2 of it.

* For the pecan pie topping:

1/2 cup coconut sugar ( 82 gr )

1/2 cup whole pecans ( 65 gr )

1/2 cup maple syrup, grade C! ( 250 ml )

1/4 cup not so sweet apple sauce

1 teaspoon vanilla extract / I used home-made sherry vanilla extract ( 5 ml )

1/4 teaspoon Himalayan pink salt, grinned finely

1 tablespoon solid coconut oil ( 15 ml )

1/2 of the melted vegan butter

Method:

1. Make your pie base & preheat your oven to 180° C ( 350 F ) for 10 minutes. In a medium bowl, add whole-wheat spelt flour & coconut sugar. Mix with a spoon. Melt your vegan butter on low-heat. Pour 1/2 of the melted vegan butter to the flour-coconut sugar mix. Mix with a wooden spoon until it resembles crumbles that stick together. With a wooden spoon or with your hands, mingle it together. Use a pie pan & smear it in with vegan butter, also on the sides! Push your base into the pie plate. Push it until it forms an equal thick base. Push with your fingers into right into the corners. You mustn’t see any spaces open. Bake into the lower shelf of the oven for about 12-15 minutes. Take out of the oven & set aside. Close the oven door.

2. Make your pecan pie topping. On a chopping board, chop your pecans finely & add to a bowl. Also add sherry vanilla extract, the other part of the melted vegan butter, maple syrup, coconut sugar, apple sauce, pink salt & finally, the solid coconut oil. Mix well with a wooden spoon & taste! It tastes heavenly & the salt in here takes it all to a whole other level of flavor! ;) MMM,…Pour this batter over the base top & spread it evenly all over the pie base. This means also the cut up pecans. Bake in the lower end of the oven for about 22-25 minutes until the edges are browned & nearly set & there is a lovely caramel over the pecans! 

3. Carefully, take out of the oven & place on a wire rack to cool down completely. When cold, with the help of a knife, go around the edges of your pie pan & loosen the base sides with a knife. Cut your pecan pie into serving sizes, not too big because it is a rich dessert! Enjoy with a;loved one! My husband Peter gave it a 10/10!!! A new family favorite! Do store cool but not in the fridge! :)

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Travelling Sophie: Mechelen, part 2!

Hey, folks! A while ago, I gave you Travelling Sophie, Mechelen, part 1. You can read all about it here!

Schermafbeelding 2014-12-03 om 3-12-14 om 21.15.44 u

We will start in De Hoogstraat. It is one of the stress that lead into the center of the city.  From where I live, this is the way, into the city center. We have 2 African shops here, close to each other. Just before going in De Hoogstraat, you can find this African Asian shop. Here you can buy your chili peppers, kilo’s of rice, manioc, spicy sauces, etc.

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Here is the mini-competition:

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On the other side of the street, is a new candy shop! But they don’t have any vegan candies though,…:(

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Yummy unhealthy candy!

Yummy candy!

Snoep Goed, Hoogstraat 84, 2800 Mechelen. Open? Monday till Saturday from 10 AM till 5 PM. This candy shop has old-fashioned candy, bio or organic candy, sugar-free candy & special candy.

We are walking further in the road. Here on the right side, you have a really good butcher! :) What a beautiful building too! Hoogstraat 25, 2800 Mechelen.

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A bit further on the left side, you find a really good wine & spirit shop called Semprevino. Hoogstraat 2, 2800 Mechelen. This is a great wine, spirit shop. When I want to give a wine present or so to myself or friends, we go here & get great advice too. The wines are a bit more pricey then in the supermarket & but you will find great smaller top wines, champagnes, proseccos, etc. Little & larger drinkable jewels,..:) So it is worth it!

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Now, we are moving to de Korenmarkt.

De Korenmarkt on the right side & left, de Onze-Lieve-Vrouwenstraat!

De Korenmarkt on the right side & left, de Onze-Lieve-Vrouwenstraat!

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Moving along, we arrive at De Zoutwerf with a cool coffee & teashop, called Simon Lévelt. This is a Dutch chain of coffee-tea shops. They well more than 130 teas & a lot of coffees too. I love their coffee, coffee mugs, chocolates, syrups to put in my coffee, etc.

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At the other side, you will see this lovely view:

You see the back of the Spanish restaurant Madrid!

You see the back of the Spanish restaurant Madrid!

Moving along, you come at De Yzerleen. 

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Beans Bar & Le Pain Quotidien!

Beans Bar & Le Pain Quotidien!

This is one part, on the right side. I reviewed these 2 cool hang-outs before, tea & coffee shops like Le pain Quotidién & in my part 1 & in review: Beans bar!

Moving along, you will see this:

A cool large cookery shop: Denies!

A cool large cookery shop: Denies!

Denies is a cool long large cookery shop! Denies, Yzerleen 27, 2800 Mechelen. They have been here since 1907,…that is 4 generations! They well something like this:

I want it all,...;)

I want it all,…;)

And something like this:

More cool cookie stamps, Sinterklaas cut outs,etc.

More cool cookie stamps, Sinterklaas cut outs,etc.

And beautiful English & French Christmas china:

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I have a long wish list from this shop! :)

Further along De Yzerleen!

Further along De Yzerleen!

On the other side:

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Can you see de Sint-Rombouts Toren? The Sint-Rumbolds Tower  aka de Sint-Rombouts Toren? peeping? :)

At the end of this street, you have this glorious building.

Het Schepenhuis, city museum!

Het Schepenhuis, city museum!

When you see this picture, on the right hand side, you have 2 great patissiers, Vanderbeek & a bit further Savarin! Vanderbeek is known as the best patissier in Mechelen. Here are some tasty pictures.

Tasty tarts!

Tasty tarts!

MMM,...

MMM,…

Saturday, December the 6th, it is Sinterklaas! You all, outside Europe, don’t celebrate him. But I made these tasty speculaas biscuits a few years ago & you can read all about it here & you can make your own speculaas biscuits too: Sophie’s festive speculaas! :) Enjoy!

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Then, you will arrive at my favorite chocolatier: Neuhaus!

Neuhaus Chocolatier!

Neuhaus Chocolatier!

Neuhaus is located close to De Grote Markt. Neuhaus is a famous Belgian chocolatier. Their chocolates are a bit more expensive then other Belgian chocolatiers. They are also Hofleverancier. That means that they deliver to The Belgian Royal family! So, if it is good to the Royal family , it is certainly good for us! :) More yummy pictures:

Tasty chocolates = pralines like we call them!

Tasty chocolates = pralines like we call them!

Lovely chocolate gifts! :)

Lovely chocolate gifts! :)

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Now, you are at De Grote Markt!

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Now, a picture from the opposite side:

You see the Sint-Rombouts Toren aka Kathedraal! The Sint- Rombold's Tower aka Cathedral!

You see the Sint-Rombouts Toren aka Kathedraal!
You see The Sint- Rumbold’s Tower aka Cathedral!

Now, this is the end of our guided tour through Mechelen. Soon, there will be a last part 3, of course! :) I hope you enjoyed the tour! :) See you all soon,…

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You will like:

1. Travelling Sophie, Mechelen part 1!

2. Sophie’s festive home-made speculaas!

36 Comments »

My favorite vegan chocolate!

Hey all, this is my favorite vegan ” milk chocolate” with whole nuts! I first met this tasty chocolate 2 years ago, when traveling in Berlin, the vegan city! ;) I bought this lovely vegan chocolate aka ” milk” chocolate in the vegan supermarket called Veganz! I love all of their chocolate products! I know that you would like them too! But they are hard to find here in Belgium! I bought it @ Shavt! This is a tiny all vegan shop in the city center of Leuven. Shavt stands for Simply Healthy And Vegan Things! I was there yesterday. In a future post, I will review this tiny cool vegan shop.

On one side it will look like this:

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On the other side like this:

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It looks something like this in its package:

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It looks great & so appetizing, hey?

I tasted many vegan chocolates before & I always loved the normal milk chocolate in my life. But being lactose-intolerant, I can’t eat & digest many normal milk chocolates anymore & that is why, I turned to vegan ” milk” chocolates. I tried many varieties with rice milk but loved only a few of them & then, one day, I tasted the chocolates of Vantastic Foods. See here the range in Veganz supermarket in Berlin! Click on the picture below that goes directly to my post: all things vegan in Berlin! 

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This vegan chocolate has so much flavor, with whole skinned hazelnuts in it. The flavor of the chocolate is really lovely & not too sweet with a hint of salt at the end! Super duper! :) Ooh yes!

Now, you like to know, what are the ingredients?

Well, here they are: Sugar, cacao butter, cacao mass, maltodextrin, hazelnuts ( 15% ), Soy protein, salt, vanilla aroma. Emulgator: soy lecithin.

Their chocolate is made without gen tecnetics. This chocolate bar is also vegan, lactose-free & gluten-free! :) It costed me: 3.49€. That is still a lot of money , but the vegan aka “milk” chocolate is sooooo delicious! :)

What is your favorite vegan chocolate???

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28 Comments »

Happy ThanksGiving!

I wish my readers all over the world, who celebrate ThanksGiving, a lovely happy one! :) Yeah! Enjoy it with your beloved family & friends! :)

images

 

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See you all back after your festivities! :) Enjoy! We don’t celebrate it over here in Belgium! :(

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31 Comments »

No-oil granola! Vegan & Gluten-free!

Yummm!

Yummm!

This morning, I made this easy to make no-oil granola! You can change the nuts & use whatever nuts you have in the house, but keep the amounts. You will love it too! I like to serve the granola, still warm, with a good vegan soy yoghurt or with warm home-made cashew milk! ;) This would make an ideal food gift too! :)

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Recipe: For 8 big portions

Ingredients:

60 gr hazelnuts ( 1/2 cup )

60 gr cashews  (1/2 cup )

40 gr pecans  ( less than 1/2 cup )

100 ml maple syrup, grade C ( 1/3 cup + a bit more than 1 tablespoon )

280 gr oats, I used Gluten-free medium-sized oats ( 3 cups + 1/2 cup )

Method:

1. Preheat your oven to 150° C (  300 F ) for 10 minutes. Place cashews & pecans on a chopping board. With a big knife, cut cashews & pecans into 2. Place them into a fitted bowl & ad hazelnuts & oats. Pour maple syrup over it & mix well with a wooden spoon. Take a roasting tin & butter it with vegan butter. Place butter paper in it, push it down & into the sides. Pour your granola to be in it, in 1 even layer. Place into the lower shelf of your oven & bake for about 15 minutes. There is no need to turn the granola over every 5 minutes. When ready, the granola has been roasted & is brown in color & your kitchen will smell amazing! Enjoy, while still a bit hot & leave the rest to cool down & place into a fitted pot & stash away for tomorrow morning or the day after,…:)

2. I loved it with cold straight from the fridge, home-made cashew milk, of course!

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You might like:
1. Vegan gluten-free granola, a tasty food gift! 

2. Sophie’s Christmas granola!

26 Comments »

Curried Jerusalem artichokes yellow carrot soup! Vegan + Gluten-Free!

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Yesterday, I received some fresh Jerusalem artichokes, also named sunchokes, topinambours in French & aardperen in my language aka Dutch! Whatever you call them, these veggies are very under-estimated & under-used here in Belgium. When you buy them organic, they are very pricy!

1. There is nearly no fat in this veggie & it has zero cholesterol!

2. It’s high-quality phyto-nutrition profile comprises of dietary fiber (non-starch carbohydrates), and antioxidants, as well as small proportions of minerals, and vitamins.

3. It is one of the finest source dietary fibers, especially high in inulin, which is a soluble non-starch polysaccharide. The root flesh provides 1.6 mg or 4% of fiber. Inulin is a zero calorie, saccharine, and inert carbohydrate, which does not metabolize inside the human body, and thereby; it can’t be digested the way through so you must fart a lot but hey, it is healthy!!! This makes this tuber an ideal sweetener for diabetics and dieters. So inulin is the opposite of insulin.

4. It also helps to reduce constipation problems!

5. It can prevent colon cancers too!

6. The tuber has small amounts of anti-oxidant vitamins such as vitamin C, vitamin A, vitamin E. These vitamins together with flavonoid compound like carotene helps scavenge harmful free radicals, and thereby offers protection from cancers, inflammation and viral cough and cold.

7. Further, Jerusalem artichokes are a very good source of minerals and electrolytes, especially potassium, iron, and copper. 100 g of fresh root has 429 mg or 9% of daily required levels of potassium. Potassium is a heart friendly electrolyte; aids reduce blood pressure and heart rates by countering pressing effects of sodium.

8. 100 g of fresh sunchoke has 3.4 mg or 42.5% of iron, probably the highest amount of iron among the common edible roots and tubers.

9. It also has small levels of some of valuable B-complex group of vitamins such as folate, pyridoxine, pantothenic acid, riboflavin, and thiamine.

Do you even know what they look like? They will look something like this:

Uncleaned!

Uncleaned!

After being well-rinsed & well-cleaned, they will look something like this:

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I made my sunchokes to be the main part in this glorious Seasonal soup. I added some leek, yellow carrots, garlic & curry to this winning soup!

Recipe: For 7 cups = 1750 ml Vitamixed soup

Ingredients:

310 gr peeled, chopped up yellow carrots ( 2 cups )

192 gr cleaned, rinsed, pad dry on kitchen paper cut up leeks ( 2 cups )

1200 ml hot vegan gluten-free stock

2 teaspoons + 1/2 teaspoon curry powder

30 grins of black pepper

grinned Himalyan pink salt

2 cloves of garlic, peeled & finely chopped up

468 gr well scrubbed fresh Jerusalem artichokes, cut up into chunks ( 2 cups + 1 heaped cup )

a fruity extra virgin olive oil

Method:

1. Take a larger cooking pot & heat up on medium-high. Add a few drizzles of that fruity evoo & heat up. When sizzling, add chopped garlic & leeks. Add 1/2 teaspoon of curry powder & 10 grins of black pepper. fry for about 5 minutes, stirring often.

2. Now, add chopped yellow carrots & chopped up j.artichokes. Stir often & add some more oil if you need to. Add 2 teaspoons of curry powder, 10 grins of black pepper & some pink salt. Stir often. Let it all fry for about 8 minutes or until nearly soft. Pour hot stock & bring to the boil. My veggies were cooked through after 8 minutes. Check the seasoning. You must taste the J. artichokes & then the curry at the back of your tongue! I added 10 grins of black pepper & some pink salt extra. I Vitamixed my soup until completely smooth & served it straight away at my dinner table! MMM,…:)

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You might like:

1. Jerusalem artichoke fennel soup!

2. Delia’s carrot & Jerusalem artichokes soup!

3. Vegan, Gluten-free sunschokes latkes!

 

35 Comments »

My husband’s bacon, mushroom & red onion quiche with a side salad!

Yum!

Yum!

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One evening, I was too tired to make dinner! My husband had the afternoon off & offered to make us dinner! It was this lovely combined dinner! So delicious too! A Speedy tasty quiche with a seasonal side salad! :) Yum!

Recipe: For 1 quiche, 4 large pieces

Ingredients:

* For the quiche: 

1 prerolled sheet of puff pastry, ( dairy-free )made with margarine

250 gr of white mushrooms, cleaned & sliced into thicker slices

3 medium red onions, peeled & sliced thinly in wedges

100 gr of bacon pieces ( salted )

a bit of Maldon sea salt

Grins of black pepper

2 large eggs, my husband used Omega 6 eggs, loosend with a fork

150 ml soy cream or sour cream

1 sheet of parchment paper

tart tin with removable base: 24 cm diameter

* For the tomatoes:

3 large Kumato tomatoes, cleaned & finely cut up into little pieces home made or bought chili oil : a few splashes, according to your taste

Chili oil is made by using whole fresh chili’s, dried or not, cut open, green er red ones, about 10 of them, by putting them together in a small bottle. Then you pour a neutral olive oil over them. Put a lid or a pouring tip on it & place into a dark place for about a few weeks. Stir from time to time, the chilli’s around. You can use the oil after a few weeks of waiting. Lovely stuff & it is so easy to make!

* For the mixed salad: 2 or 3 sorts of your favourite salad leaves, well washed, spun dry & cut up into little pieces I used Red radicchio, frisée & lamb’s lettuce 10 sprigs of chives, cleaned & cut into little pieces 2 long sprigs of fresh garlic leaves, cleaned & cut up into little pieces The young garlic leaves have a lovely garlic flavour… MMMM…

* For the home made cocktail sauce: Home made mayonaise or store bought: 60% Heinz tomato ketchup: 40 % Worchester sauce: a few dashes, according to your taste a bit of salt a bit of sugar

Method:

1. Take your roll of puff pastry out of the fridge, 20 minutes before use.

2. Preheat the oven to 200°C , ( 392 F ) 10 minutes before placing the quiche into the oven. Take a large non stick pan & pour liquid margarine in it. Heat up on high. When hot & sizzling, add the slices of mushrooms to the pan. Fry until lightly golden, but not completely cooked trough otherwise the mushrooms will get dry when cooked into the oven. Grind some black pepper over them according to your taste. Take the mushrooms out of the pan.

3. Heat up on high again. Add baking margarine. Add the 3 medium sliced onion wedges & fry until golden & cooked trough. Take out the onion parts & set aside. Heat up on high. Add the baking margarine & when hot, add the bacon pieces. Fry until golden. Turn the heat off. Drain on 2 kitchen papers. Set aside.

4. Take your tart tin & line with parchment paper. Place your prerolled pastry in the tin & let the pastry hang over the sides. Now, with your fingers, with your tumbs, line the pastry neatly into the tin. Cut the excess pastry off. Roll with a rolling pin over the tarte tin. The excess of pastry will fall off.

5. Prick with a fork several times into the dough. You haven’t got to prebake the dough.

6. Spread the onion wedges all over the pastry, evenly divided. Add the mushroom slices, also evenly divided. Now, add the bacon pieces. Pour the mixed eggs with the cream all over the tin. Grind some black pepper & some Maldon sea salt over the top.

7. Now, place carefully into the center of the oven & bake for 15 minutes on 200° C until golden & baked trough.

8. Take out of the oven. Place a large cup under the removable base. The outer tin side will fall off. Now, place the tart onto a plate & remove the base with a palette knife. Place onto a serving plate & cut into 4. Then remove the parchment paper. Don’t forget this!

9. Serve on a large plate with the mixed side salad, the chili Kumato tomatoes & the home made Cocktail sauce. Enjoy!!

This is lovely enjoyed with a glass of Spanish wine like Rias Baixas, Miudiño, Albariño 2011!

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30 Comments »

Ricotta dessert topped with Licor 43 marinated kaki’s!

Yum!

Yum!

Kaki is the Dutch word for Persimmon fruit. What are persimmon fruits? 

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Recipe: For 2 persons

Ingredients:

200 gr fresh low-fat sheep’s ricotta

15 gr icing sugar

2 ripe, but not overripe kaki’s ( Persimmon fruit ), cleaned, washed, pad dry on kitchen paper, cut into bite-sized chunks, like picture above! ( The hard white bits on the interior removed!! )

2 to 3 tablespoons of Liqueur 43 in Spanish: Licor 43 ( Quarenta y tres ) (30-45 ml ) This is a bright yellow, sweet Spanish Liqueur with 43 flavors in it.

180px-licor_43

Method:

1. About 3 hours before you want to serve your tasty desserts, marinade your kaki chunks into 2 to 3 tablespoons of Licor 43, in a fitted bowl. Mix gently with a spoon, do not damage the kaki chunks. Place a lid on & place into the fridge to marinade. After 1 hour, spoon the marinating kaki chunks over in the liqueur!

2.  In another bowl, add sheep’s ricotta. Mix in the icing sugar with a fork, to loosen up the fresh ricotta. Mix well. Spoon your ricotta into 2 serving dessert bowl or glasses & place cling-film over he top & place into the fridge until 10 minutes before serving, to get a bit colder.

3. 10 minutes before serving, take the ricotta goals & marinated kaki’s out of the fridge. Remove cling-films & fitted lid. Divide the marinated kaki’s over the 2 ricotta desserts. Pour the rest of the licor 43 all over your 2 desserts & enjoy with a loved one! :) MMM! :)

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23 Comments »

An organic pork loin dinner to impress!

Last week, I made this delicious invented dinner! I had a beautiful piece of organic pork loin in my fridge. Now, I wanted to make a more fabulous dinner out of it & I also used mulled ginger wine in here! This is what I made:

MMM!

MMM!

This is a great tasty dinner for a dinner party! You will WAW your guests for sure! :)

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bottle-mulled

Recipe: For 2 persons

Ingredients:

* For the organic pork loin & mulled ginger wine soy cream sauce:

350 gr organic cleaned pork loin, ( that is gluten- & dairy-free!), fat & white membrane removed,  cut into smaller pieces, max.2 cm thick

baking margarine or butter!

a fruity extra virgin olive oil

1 medium white onion, peeled & cut into rings

1 fat clove of garlic, peeled & finely chopped

2 teaspoons of coriander seeds, crushed finely in a pestle & mortar

finely milled white pepper

Maldon sea salt

70 ml mulled ginger wine/ I used Crabbies

1 tablespoon powdered coconut sugar

150 ml soy cream

1 tablespoon freshly squeezed lemon juice

15 gr fresh coriander leaves ( cilantro , cleaned & cut up roughly

250 gr of brow, Swiss mushrooms, cleaned & cut up into smaller pieces

* For the spinach:

300 gr young spinach leaves, washed, spun dry

white pepper

Maldon sea salt

* For the aromatic brown rice:

2 sachets of each 125 gr brown rice, that need 12 minutes of cooking

1 green celery stick, cleaned, cut up into larger chunks

2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled & finely cut up

2 tablespoons of dried thyme stalks

2 dried bay leaves

a splash of white wine

Method:

1. Cook your brown rice sachets in salted boiling water & add celery chunks, dried bay leaves, chopped garlic & dried thyme. Stir often, when rice has been cooked, remove, celery, chopped garlic, bay leaves & dried thyme but add a splash of white wine. Stir it through the cooked brown rice! Keep warm.

2. In the meantime, take larger non-stick pan & heat up on medium-high. When hot, add a few knobs of margarine & some olive oil. Swirl around the pan & add chopped garlic, onion rings & crushed coriander seeds. What a great aroma! Stir often until browned. Set aside & transfer to another pot with fitted lid, to keep warm. In the same pan, add a few knobs of margarine & add mushrooms. Add some white pepper & some sea salt, but not too much! Fry until browned on all sides & cooked through. Transfer this all to the same pot where the garlic & onion rings are,…keep warm! To the same pan, add olive oil & heat up. When hot, fry your pork loin pieces for about 2-3 minutes per side & when you turn your meat over, only season with white pepper & some sea salt on one side of the meat!

Now, return the onion-garlic-mushroom mix back to the hot pan with the meat in it. Stir through.  Add mulled ginger wine, coconut sugar & lemon juice. Stir everything well round into the hot pan. Let mulled ginger wine reduce a bit. Now, pour soy cream into the mulled wine & season with some more white pepper & sea salt. Taste often. Let the sauce reduce to your liking & taste again! Turn the meat over in your lovely sauce. It all has to taste fabulous! Turn heat off  & place a fitted lid on the hot pan. Let the meat rest into your lovely sauce for about 5 minutes before serving! This way the meat will be very juicy & tender!

3. In the last minutes, before serving, steam the spinach for a few minutes. Add some grins of white pepper & some sea salt, to taste. Now, plate up & scatter the chopped up coriander leaves all over your plate, but not too much & enjoy with a loved one! :) MMM,…:)

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34 Comments »

Vegan & Gluten-free spiced avocado chickpea spread!

Yummm!

Yummm!

A few days ago, I invented this lovely spiced avocado chickpea spread! I added some chopped red onions & spiced it up a bit too! How? Just read on,…:)

yummm!

yummm!

Recipe: For a lot of spread

Ingredients:

1 ripe avocado, cut inti 2 , big stone removed & the flesh scooped out with a large spoon

1 tablespoon of fresh lemon juice (15 ml )

1 tablespoon of a fruity extra virgin olive oil (15 ml )

1 red onion, peeled & finely cut up

2 teaspoons spicy smoked paprika ( pimenton picanté )

1 cup of canned chickpeas, rinsed & well-drained

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

20 to 25 grins of smoked sea salt

10 grins finely milled black pepper

Method:

1. Add every ingredient to your food processor except the red onions! Mix or blitz until 3/4 smooth! I still like to have  bait of consistency in my spreads, so it is up to you! ;) Taste! It has to taste smooth with a bit of spice & smokiness! :) If not, adjust the spicing & seas owing to your liking! 

2. To serve! Smear your spread on a lovely slice of fresh spelt bread & top with cherry tomato halves but not too much otherwise the tomatoes overpower the spread ingredients! Keep the rest of the yummy spread in a bowl with fitted lid in the fridge. It will keep for 2 days! Enjoy! xxx

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31 Comments »

Vegetarian Beetroot risotto with 2 cheeses! :)

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Every winter, I make this delicious easy to make vegetarian beetroot risotto with 2 cheeses! Which one’s? Read on,…:)

When you add the 2 cheeses to the risotto, after cooking, the risotto will turn pink red bubblegum color,..cool,..hey?

Recipe: For 4 persons

Ingredients:

400 gr small to medium-sized fresh beets, cooked for 35-40 minutes, or until tender. With plastic gloves on, peeled & cut up into bite-seized smaller chunks

2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled & finely minced

3 tablespoons of a fruity evoo

1 large white onion, peeled & finely minced

1 liter hot vegetarian gluten-free stock

300 gr uncooked risotto rice/ I used Arborio

100 ml white wine or a bit more/ I used Wine Chateau Genoels – Elderen, Chardonnay white 2006 ( that is a top Belgian wine!!!)

50 gr freshly grated Parmesan cheese

150 gr fresh sheep’s ricotta cheese

black pepper

Method:

1. Take a larger cooking pot & heat up on medium-high. When hot, pour 3 tablespoons of that fruity evoo in it & swirl it all around the pot.

2. Add chopped onion & garlic & fry for about 4-5 minutes. Now, add the rice & stir it all around the base of the pot for about 3 minutes or so. Add beet chunks & stir continuously! Add wine & stir non-stop. Gradually, add the hot stock  & only pour in more stock until the rice has absorbed the stock & do this process again & again until al the hot stock has been used up. This will take about 15 to 25 minutes. Check the rice. It must still have a bite to it but must be cooked through, al dente. Take it off the heat. Your risotto still must be a bit liquid & moist too! Off the fire, add your 2 cheeses & stir it well through the risotto. This will bind the risotto more,…Check the seasoning again. Maybe you must add some grins of finely milled black pepper.

3. Serve at once with a loved one & drink the same wine like the one you have used in your risotto! :) MMM,…& cheers!

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42 Comments »

Sophie’s festive braised Magret duck breast with a cassis & raspberry sauce, served with a parsnip & carrot mash!

MMM!

MMM!

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I am still ill but this was a scheduled post! We love to savor duck at our house & we love this more classical dish, that we at least make 2 in wintertime. I know that you all will love it too! It is that delicious! It is also festive & great to give at a dinner party & that is what we did! ;) Enjoy! xxx

Recipe: For 2 persons

Ingredients:

1 Magret free-range duck breast, with skin on and fat, mine was 348 gr.

Maldon sea salt flakes

grinds of black pepper

** For the Cassis and raspberry sauce:

60 ml of crème de Cassis de Dijon

60 ml of a good balsamic vinegar

4 shalots, peeled and finely minced

2 ( 15 ml ) tablespoons of a good raspberry jam/ I used raspberry jam sweetened with agave

120 gr of fresh raspberries

2 small knobs of Alpro soy baking margarine ( dairy free )

** For the parsnip and carrot mash:

400 gr of carrots, peeled and cut up into equal rounds, weighted when peeled

400 gr of parsnips, peeled and cut up into small chunks, each 0.5 cm x0.5 cm , weighted when peeled

Maldon sea salt flakes

a few grinds of black pepper

some Alpro Soy baking margarine

Herbamare salt 

Method:

1. In 2 separate cooking pots boil the parsnips and the carrot rounds until al dente. I added a bit of Herbamare salt to the boiling water. Drain well. Add the cooked parsnips to the carrots and mash more finely. Add some Maldon sea salt and a few grinds of black pepper to the mash. I also added a bit of Alpro Soy baking margarine to the mash. Taste. It has to taste fab and a bit sweet. Keep warm.

2. Heat a large non stick pan on a lower heat. Place the duck breast with the skin down into the pan without any fat!!! When the skin starts to fry, the skin will release its fat gradually.

Now, time your timer for 12 minutes. It will take about 12 minutes for the fat to render completely. Now, turn the heat a bit higher on moderate heat. Throughout the process the fat will melt. When there is a lot of fat in the pan, pour a lot of it out in a jug.

So, leave the duck into the pan on the skin side for about 12 minutes. Just watch it carefully.

Pour away most of the fat when there is a lot of fat in the pan.

3. When the 12 minutes are over, carefully flip the duck over and fry the breast side for about 10 to 15 minutes. But, turn the heat off. Place a fitting lid onto the pan. Check the duck from time to time. If you want a rarer duck, just let it sit into the pan for about 10 minutes. I always serve my duck pink rosé, so that there is no blood left and let it sit into the pan for 15 minutes. I also seared the duck on all sides well during that time.

4. Warm 2 white serving plates into the oven.

5. Remove the duck from the pan and place it, tuck it neatly in aluminium foil to rest for about 10 minutes. In the meantime, make the sauce. Heat the pan up to a higher heat. You still have duck fat in the pan, if it isn’t enough, add a bit from the jug, where you kept the duck fat. In the remaining duck fat, fry the shalots quickly. Now, add the crème de Cassis. Stir well. Add raspberry jam, balsamic vinegar and fresh raspberries. Reduce the sauce a bit & taste. It tastes fab! When a bit reduced to your liking, turn the heat off and add 2 knobs of Alpro soy baking margarine. This binds the sauce a bit and makes it look glossy and sophisticated. Pour the sauce in a saucer.

Now, place the duck breast on a chopping board and slice it thinly lengthways. You will see that it is cooked to perfection!! It is still rosé on the inside. Take your serving plates and plate up with a cooking ring in the middle of the plate. You fill it with the parsnip carrot mash. Make the surface of the filled ring flat with a knife & carefully remove the ring. Do the same with the other plate. Place 2 slices of duck breast on each side of the middle of the plate. Spoon the warm sauce over the sides of the duck, but not too much so that you still can see the pink rosé of the duck for presentation.

Serve at once and enjoy with a loved one.

This is lovely enjoyed with a good Spanish wine like Viñas del Vero 2005, Colección Cabernet Sauvignon, with hints of blackberries and balsamic vinegar.

MMMMMMMMM,..do enjoy this festive meal!

You can spoon some of the warm sauce again over your duck breasts slices so that the duck will still be hot when you eat it. :)

Perfection!

Perfection!

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43 Comments »

Soothing home-made cinnamon tea!

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Yes, here I am with a new recipe but yes, I am still ill! :( It is a soothing easy to make cinnamon tea to keep you warm in these colder days ahead! I make this home-made cinnamon tea each time when I am sick. It helps really well when dealing with stomach flu! It is really good for you too. ;)

Recipe: For 400 ml cinnamon tea

Ingredients:

3 cinnamon barks

400 ml just boiled hot water

Method:

1. Take a smaller teapot that can hold 400 ml & place your 3 cinnamon barks in it. Pour your just boiled water over it & place the fitted tea-pot lid on. Place a tea warmer over the top & let the tea steep for about 10 minutes. Then, remove cinnamon barks & pour into a large mug your home-made cinnamon tea! Enjoy sipping it & feel better instantly! ;)

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40 Comments »

A news flash!

keep-calm-coz-im-ill-and-need-a-hug

Yes, it is true! I am ill! Ooh no, I hear you say,…I have been to the doctor & she told me that I have stomach flu! I am feeling really sick & really need a hug! :)

So, I will get plenty of rest, let my husband Peter take care of me, drink some good home-made chicken soup, drink a lot of tea to keep me warm,…;)

So, you won’t get any new recipes from me soon,…But I’ll be back in a jiffy! :) That is a promise!

xxx Sophie!

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57 Comments »

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