Sophies Foodie Files

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

Vegan beetroot appetizers! With a Gluten-Free option!

MMM! :)

MMM! :)

These lovely appetizers are a big hit in my family & friend connections! To whom I served it, they asked me straight for the tasty recipe! ;) I have written about these tasty appetizers before, but I will happily do that again! :) This recipe is a monthly hit in my stats! :) Beetroot appetizers served in a witlof leaf ( Belgian endive ) ( Vegan, vegetarian )

Recipe: For about 20 appetizers


1 medium-sized beetroot with skin on ( mine weighted 250 gr )

4 tablespoons of walnuts, chopped into little pieces

30 gr of white breadcrumbs/ I used sourdough bread, no crusts!, shredded into little pieces/ Use Gluten-free bread to make it completely Gluten-Free!

1 fat clove of garlic, peeled & finely chopped

1/2 teaspoon of Maldon sea salt

4 teaspoons of a good red wine vinegar ( This enhances the flavour of the beetroot )

6 tablespoons of a good fruity EVOO ( Extra Virgin Olive Oil )

2 bigger witlofs ( Belgian endive ), the end cut off & leaves pulled apart/ cleaned


1. Cook your beet in boiling water until you can insert a knife all the way through. When you cook the beet, the beetroot must be covered completely by water before cooking it.

In my case, it took about 20 minutes. Drain well & let it cool off. When cooled, put plastic gloves on & peel the beetroot. Cut into smaller pieces & place in a food processor.

2. Add other ingredients except the witloof. ( Belgian endive ). Mix everything until it al comes together. It will be this colour ( see picture above ). Taste! It has to taste fab!

3. Just before serving: Take a nice clean plate & place a lovely napkin on it. Fill each beginning of the witlof with this tasty mix. Serve & enjoy! This is greatly enjoyed with a great French Champagne, like a Vranken Brut, Grande Reserve. This Champagne is named after the Belgian Paul Francois Vranken  who went to France to create his own Champagne brand. He established this in 1976. This company is situated in Reims, France. His company is the 2nd largest Champagne & wine company in whole France.

Note: I made this mix the day before serving, so that all the different flavours could develop even more into each other !! This is worth it! ;) Just mix with a spoon through the purple-pink mix before serving it. :) I know that you all will love it as we do! :) Enjoy, my lovely one’s!!!!

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Why we blog.. Sophies Foodie Files


A few days ago, Elaine@Foodbod blog interviewed me about me & my blog! Yesterday, she published it! Go on, go to her blog & check it out! It is worth it! Thanks again, my dear friend, Elaine for this cool interview, yeahh!

Originally posted on foodbod:

Today, be inspired by healthy wonderful recipes from the lovely, Sophie at Sophies Foodie Files ..

How long do you have your blog & what is your reason for starting it?

I have had my blog since mid November 2008. I started my blog, first on & then 2 years later, I moved it to wordpress. I have chronic pain & first, I couldn’t move much around. I started my own blog to see what I have made & to document my recipes with pictures, etc. I also loved the writing so much & after a few months, I gained a lovely bloggers audience!

What is your constant inspiration?

I was inspired by my late grand-mother on my father’s side. She was very creative. Now, I am
inspired by everything & everyone,…also, in the morning, I already think what I am going to make as breakfast, as a nice…

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My mom’s wholesome cookies! :)

A wholesome food gift! :)
A wholesome food gift! :) Tasty, tasty, tasty too!

A few days ago, my mom & dad came to visit me. We all drank coffee together. She presented me with her home-made wholesome cookies. They were superb. They are softer cookies filled with great tasty ingredients like unsweetened dark chocolate, unsweetened dried cranberries & flax seeds. She even made them with wholemeal spelt flour! They also make a great breakfast & are filling! ;) Yummmm! They are a great food gift too, I agreed here! ;) Check it out:

Yum Yummm!

Yum Yummm!

Recipe: For about 20 larger cookies!


150 gr organic butter, on room temperature

150 gr coconut sugar

2 organic eggs

225 gr organic wholemeal spelt flour

1 teaspoon fresh yeast

a bit of lukewarm water to dissolve your yeast in, not too much!

1/4 teaspoon baking soda

a pinch of sea salt

100 gr dark chocolate, at least 72% cacao, cut up roughly

100 gr of dried unsweetened cranberries

80 gr broken flaxseed


1. Take your food processor & add S-blade. Add cranberries & chocolate. Pulse until they form smaller pieces, or pulse them just to the size that you want them to be. You also can do this by hand, cutting with a knife,…it is up to you!

2. Take a larger bowl & add butter, sugar & salt. Cream it all together. Mix the eggs through it. Add flour, dissolved yeast, baking soda & chocolate pieces & mix for about 2 minutes, until fully incorporated. With the help of a spoon, stir the cranberry pieces & flax seeds through the dough. You can also do this in your Kenwood bowl with your kitchen robot! It makes my life easy! Roll this dough out into a larger sausage shape with a thickness of about 4 cm. Place cling film over it & place in the fridge, to stiff up a bit, for at least 2 hours!

3.  Take 2 baking trays out of your oven & place a Silpat over it. Preheat your oven to 180°C ( 350 F ) for 10 minutes. I always use a fan oven. Adjust your oven to the right temperature! Place the baking trays with the Silpats on it , close to you. Take your stiffened up dough out of the fridge & remove the cling film. On a lightly floured kitchen counter, with the same spelt flour, of course, cut up the dough into larger or smaller cookie shapes, just the way you like them. My mom made them larger, see picture above. She flattened them a bit & placed them well spaced apart on the Silpat. Do the same with the remaining dough. Bake them for about 12 minutes & let them on the Silpat for about 10 minutes. This will give a lovely shine on the bottom of your cookies. After that, transfer them to a wire rack to cool down completely! If you have leftovers, place them in a lined cookie box! :) They are excellent with fresh cup of coffee! You don’t taste the yeast at all! ;)

My mom's wholesome cookies & in at the end , my dad's wholemeal spelt apple tart ;)

My mom’s wholesome cookies & in at the end , my dad’s wholemeal spelt apple tart ;)

You might like:

1. My dad’s wholemeal spelt apple tart!

2. Sophie’s cranberry, pecan oats wholemeal spelt cookies!

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My Dad’s wholemeal spelt apple tart!

MMM! Such deatail!

Such detail!

This glorious tasty easy to make wholemeal spelt apple tart looks amazing & is pretty tasty too! My dad likes his flavours plain & simple but you could jazz it up a bit, by adding raisins, cinnamon or almond flakes or whatever you like,…it is up to you! :)

This is a more healthy dessert apple tart, using yeast. Check it all out:

Yum Yum Yumm!

Yum Yum Yumm!

Easy as pie, like you all say! ;)

Recipe: For 1 larger apple tart


200 gr wholemeal spelt flour

100 gr unsalted butter on room temperature

1 egg

25 gr fresh yeast

1 egg white, shaken loose with a fork

home-made unsweetened apple sauce, for the base of the tart. How to make it? I explain it later on!

2 juicy apples, Unpeeled, cored, cut up finely in thinner wedges, see pictures, these thinly sliced apples will top the home-made apple sauce, for decoration!


1. First, make your home-made apple sauce ( appelmoes in Dutch! ). Unpeel but core a few apples. Stew them together with a bit of water until they become an apple sauce, like a sort of mousse. My father didn’t sweeten them at all, it is only sweetened with the apples themselfs. Stir often & lower the heat if you need to. Set aside.

2. Take a fitted bowl & ad fresh yeast. Add enough lukewarm water to it, to resolve it completely. This is about 1/2 glass. Whisk it all loose. Let it stand for a few minutes. Take a larger bowl & add spelt flour. Make a well in the center. Break the egg in here. Add resolved yeast & water too. Slowly, mingle egg & yeast-water mix into the dough, like with bread making. Incorporate it all together & finally, add the butter. Knead it all into the dough. Knead well & form a bread like dough. Place it into a bowl & cover it with plastic foil. Leave to rise for about 30 minutes in a warm place.

3. Preheat your oven to 180° C ( 350 F ) for 10 minutes. Smear your tart tin in with butter but if you use a silicon tart form, you do not need to do that! ;) Add a bit of spelt flour too. Take your risen dough & roll it all out to fit your tart shell. The dough must be, over the edges of your tart shell. Push the dough good into the tart shell. My father had a bit of dough left & he used it again for a thicker crust, see pictures above! I wouldn’t do that, it is just  a bit too thick for me & it is just plain yeast dough flavour! It is best to use a tart shell with a loose bottom, for easier use after baking. Prick the tart dough bottom with a fork. Spread your cooled home-made apple sauce over here & arrange your thinly sliced apple pieces all on top of it. You arrange it just like you want to,…You can be creative here,…or not! ;) Finally, brush the whole tart, including apple slices & tart shell with beaten eggwhite, to give it a lovely shine! Bake your tart for about 30 minutes. Take it out of the oven & leave it in the baking tin for about 10 minutes. Carefully remove the loose bottom & place the warm tart on a wire rack to cool down completely! Enjoy!



You might like:

1. My dad’s tasty Gluten-Free dinner with a vegetarian option!

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Coriander walnut pesto pasta!

Yum Yummm!

Yum Yummm!

Yesterday evening, I invented this tasty Vegan + Gluten-free coriander & walnut pesto! The pesto itself is vegan & gluten-free! It is a really power pesto with sharp flavours!! Check it out below! You only need 1/2-1 tablespoon pesto on your hot spelt penne pasta. Just mingle it into the hot penne tubes pasta! Yum Yum Yumm! To make this dinner completely Gluten-Free, use GF penne!! I made my pesto cheese-free because I wanted to. Delightful, I assure you! ;)

This coriander-walnut pesto is Vegan + Gluten-Free!

This coriander-walnut pesto is Vegan + Gluten-Free!

Recipe: For 2 persons


* For the coriander-walnut pesto:

3 big handfuls of fresh cleaned coriander leaves & stalk

Maldon sea salt: 1/2 teaspoon, crushed finely

black pepper: 20 grins finely milled

1 fat clove of garlic, peeled & cut up

2 tablespoons organic walnut oil

2 tablespoons organic canola oil

1 tablespoon toasted sesame oil

16 halved walnuts, toasted & a bit cooled off, crumbled/ How to toast them?  In a dry non-stick pan for about 2-4 minutes on low fire, flip them over too, just to toast them & you can smell their lovely aroma. Watch the nuts carefully, you don’t want to burn them! )

* For the rest:

280 gr organic chicken fillets, cleaned, cut into bite-sized pieces

black pepper

sea salt

toasted sesame oil

300 gr organic light spelt penne, You need this penne pasta because the pesto will get into the pasta tubes & that’s what you want!/ To make it completely GF: Use GF penne!!

1/2 green paprika, seeds& white bits removed, cut into smaller strips/ Note: it is better to use a yellow or orange bell pepper in here because the green one is a bit too bitter in this pasta!!!

8 longer cherry tomatoes, cut into 2 or 4


1. Cook your pasta to your packet instructions. Drain well & keep warm.

2. In the meantime, make your pesto. Take food-processor & place coriander leaves & stalks in here, chopped raw garlic, crumbled toasted walnuts, 1/4 teaspoon of Maldon sea salt & 10 grins of finely milled black pepper. Mix until nearly finely mixed. You must still see little pieces in it. Then I poured 2 tablespoons of organic walnut oil in it & blitzed it again & again. Taste! It has to taste wonderful. It was a bit too bland for me so I added 1 tablespoon of toasted sesame oil to it because I know coriander goes so well with toasted sesame oil & blitzed again. Taste! I just wanted a bit more oil in my pesto but without taking all of my coriander & walnut flavour. There was enough walnut flavour in it so I added 2 tablespoons of a neutral organic canola oil. Blitz again & again & it came out just perfect! You must taste the coriander, the pungent toasted walnuts & walnut oil & a bit of the sesame oil! I added 1/4 teaspoon of Maldon sea salt & 10 grins of black pepper to it & blitzed again, one last time! This is one glorious winning pesto!!!Place in the fridge.

This will not give you a lot of pesto, but enough for 2 persons because you only need a little bit in & on your spelt penne!!!

3. Heat a larger non-stick pan on higher heat & pour toasted sesame oil in it & heat up. When hot, add chicken pieces & fry on both sides until browned & cooked through. I seasoned my chicken with black pepper & Maldon sea salt. When chicken is frying, place them on one side of the pan & on the other side, add bell pepper strips & fry them until softened & ready. At the end, I added my chopped cherry tomatoes & fried them too. Finally, I seasoned my veggies with sea salt & some finely milled black pepper. Keep warm. Now, plate up, place your penne pasta into 2 serving bowls. Add 1/2 tablespoon to 1 tablespoon of the fresh cooled pesto on top & in your penne tubes, mingle well. Then, top with chicken pieces & divide your fried tomatoes & green pepper strips over your penne. Serve at once with a loved one! I assure you, you want more. This is a more healthier, lighter pasta dish! :)

You might like other home-made pesto like these:

1. Vegan & Gluten-Free sage walnut pesto pasta with sage roasted butternut pumpkin cubes!

2. Spinach & rocket pesto with farfalle & smoked bacon!

3. Penne with yellow cherry tomatoes, rocket leaves, home-made red pesto & smoked bacon!

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Travelling Sophie: Leuven part 3, All vegan!

I know you all, read about now, Travelling Sophie, Leuven part 1 & Travelling Sophie: Leuven, part 2 & now, finally, in the end, we have Travelling Sophie, Leuven part 3, an all vegan post! Ha! First, I leave you with a few images of Leuven, in that day:

This is when you come out of the Tiensestraat, onto the Grote Markt!

This is when you come out of the Tiensestraat, onto the Grote Markt! At your right side, The Sint-Pieters church!

My first stop, was this cool vegan organic clothing shop called: Hemp Made  Address? Parijsstraat 14, 3000 Leuven. Open? Tuesday till Saturday from 10h till 18h.

Hemp Made: a cool vegan organic clothing shop, the only one in Leuven!

Hemp Made: a cool vegan organic clothing shop, the only one in Leuven!

This is a very interesting vegan + organic clothing shop. A lot of the T-shirts for women & men, are a bit too normal for me. They look like shirts & pants that you would wair on music festivals when you were 15 or so but I also tried a few one’s on that would be great when you practise yoga. You have a man’s department & a woman’s department. All of the clothes are vegan & organic too. I bought 2 cool female shirts & each one of them costed me 29€. They are both made from bio-cotton & from hemp. They are of a great quality. Here they also sell vegan cloths from the Belgian brand: Uprise!

What is hemp good for, I hear you say?

  • There are more than 25000 products that could be made out of hemp  like paper, textiles, paints, foods & beverages, body products, building materials, eco-plastics, polymers, oils, etc….
  • Hemp grows nearly everywhere, also in Asia & Africa.
  • Hemp was used mostly for about 80% for clothing & in the textile industry, before the roaring twenties!!
  • Hemp can always be ecological grown.
  • Hemp is stronger than cotton, it absorbs water better & it is rigid.
  • Hemp seeds are extremely nutritious! After soy beans, they are very high in proteins, but better digestible! The hemp seeds are rich in omega 3-6-9  & vitamin B.
  • Hemp clothing is very comfortable. Hemp cloths are warm in Winter & cool in Summer!
  • 1 t-shirt is made of van 55% hemp + 45% bio cotton, it can save more than 2500 liter (mostly drinkable) water instead of 1 normal t-shirt made from the normal cotton alone!
The beautiful Town Hall, situated on the Grote Markt!

The beautiful Town Hall, situated on the Grote Markt!

Then, It was time for lunch! I was on my own today so I wanted to treat myself to a nice tasty vegan eco lunch @ The Loving Hut Leuven! Address? Tiensestraat 65, 3000 Leuven. You can’t book a table when you are alone or with 3 persons, only if you are with 4 persons or more!! Open? Monday till Friday from 11.30 h until 14 h & from 17 h till 21 h. Saturday from 12 h till 14 h & from 17 h till 21 h! Sunday’s closed! It is a more smaller tiny longer restaurant. You must order at the counter & pay there too. If you have an EVA card, you will get a discount of 5%. You can take drinks & desserts directly out of the fridge.They don’t sell any alcohol here! They also sell vegan dog & vegan cat foods from the brand Ami. A strange combination, I think! The only downside is that they have cute smaller white sitting stools but there isn’t a back for your back. If you sit there for a while, your back hurts a bit! :(

Lovely teas that you can drink or buy & lovely vegan organic chocolate chip cookies on the counter!

Lovely teas that you can drink or buy & lovely vegan organic chocolate chip cookies on the counter! To take-away too!

I was really hungry, so what would I choose from the limited Lunch menu? Let’s see,…;) In the evening, they have more choice & it is less-student like! Then, there are suggestions, written on the blackboard! :)

I chose the juicy Loving Hut soy burger!!! For just 6€, all vegan & organic too, even the toasted bread roll! Just check it out for yourself, hey, doesn’t it looks fabulous & appetizing too???

A Superb juicy vegan & organic soy burger for only 6€!

A Superb juicy vegan & organic soy burger for only 6€!

Now, let’s deconstruct it & check it all out:

Waw, hey???

Waw, hey???

On the outside of the top bun, were sesame seeds & the bun was toasted, inside of the top bun, was a lovely layer of their home-made vegan sour veganaise, topped with a big slice of fresh organic tomato, a few thinly sliced red onions rings, on top of the soy burger, some thin slices of gherkins, aka pickles, the juicy soy burger, shreded crispy iceberg lettuce, good & much tomato ketchup & a toasted bun! Divine! Superb! Waw even! I was stunned! The soy burger didn’t taste as a soy burger, no soy flavour what so ever! The burger looked like a real meat burger too! I gobbled it up nicely! :) Then, after a while, I was ready for a nice dessert, so what did I chose? Just look & see:

I chose a fresh mint tea & a lovely cake of the day!

I chose a fresh mint tea & a lovely cake of the day!

I chose a fresh mint tea, in a large mug & lovely presented too. It costed me 3.5€. The cake of the day, was this fabulous large piece of airy light cake, filled with a soy crème fraîche & a stunning rich vegan chocolate hazelnut spread. The top ganache was melted chocolate with vegan cream & orange,…The cake slice was huge & pretty amazing, rich but light too! I was smiling all the way for a while,… :)

No, no, I won't share it !!

No, no, I won’t share it !!

There were other tasty looking desserts in their fridge like personal chocolate mousse pots, portioned tiramisu’s, a darker more heavy-looking chocolate tart & my cake! ;) Yummmm! They all look delicious, just see for yourself:

Tasty yummy vegan desserts!

Tasty yummy vegan desserts!

I also looked at a new vegan baguette eaterie that recently opened in de Vital Decosterstraat 31, 3000 Leuven, called, V-Rex.( Veganosaurus Rex!! ) Open? Monday till Saturday from 10.30 h till 17 h!

V-rex! Vegan bgaguettes!

V-rex! Vegan baguettes!

This is a tiny all vegan plant-based smaller bread shop, where you can eat at Midday or just till 17 h in the afternoon, your vegan sandwiches or vegan baguettes. I wanted to go there @ about midday , but there wasn’t anyone at the moment. I peeped through the window & it didn’t look cosy or cool at all. There was a light grey seating area with the same colour tables, all made of wood. When I walked past here again, at 16 h in the afternoon, there wasn’t anyone either,…Maybe next time, when I am visiting Leuven with a friend or with my husband, we will check it out!

So, my dear beloved friends, I hope you liked this last post, all vegan, about Leuven! If you are ever in the area, call me or give me a shout on my blog that you are coming to Belgium & we should meet in the loving hut or in de V-rex! xxxx :)

You might like:

1. Travelling Sophie: Leuven, part 1!

2. Travelling Sophie, Leuven, part 2!


Travelling Sophie: Leuven, part 2!

This week, I traveled one afternoon to Leuven, you can read all about part 1 here!

Some other impressions:

Adresse? Kookwinkel Van Eyck, Tiensestraat 15, 3000 Leuven/ Open? All days open, except on Sundays & on Holidays: from 10h-12.30 h & from 13.30 h-18 h.

I was also going to visit a lovely larger supermarket, called Origin O. It is near de Vismarkt. They sell organic & non-organic produce.Check it all out!

Adresse? Origine O, Leuven , Craenendonck 5 , 3000 Leuven/ Open?: Monday till Friday: from 9h till 18. 30 h & Saturday from 9h till 18 h.

They well a large sort of carob & vegan chocopastes!

They sell a large range of carob & vegan chocopastes! The one more expensive then the other! I prefer this vegan one, white & semi-sweet chocolate one. It is not too sweet either._mer7584It is from the Dutch brand: De Rit. Here is their website, in Dutch.

They also sell stevia-sweetened products, like stevia-sweetened Belgian chocolate bars from Cavalier, Stevia-sweetened choco pastes, alternative sugar sweetened speculaas-pastes, etc. There is also a large variety of Diabetic-friendly edible products, like marzipan, etc!

Yum Yum Yummm!

Yum Yum Yummm!

This shop also sells a whole arrange of superfood powders, all Raw, Vegan & Gluten-free! :) They are reasonably priced too, except the raw 100% beetroot juice powder, that is very expensive: 24€ for 1 sachet of 200 gr!!! :(

Here, in this shop, you can also find a large range of gluten-free products, mostly of the German brand: Schär! ;) These are different sort of GF crackers, GF breads, GF cereal, GF breadcrumbs, GF cookies, GF chocolate cookies, GF waffles, GF wraps, etc! Yeahhh!

A large range of Gluten-Free edible products!

A large range of Gluten-Free edible products!

I also bought these lovely looking products that are Rice-whip & Soy-whip, both from the brand: Soyatoo! I am going to test them out soon! They are not so healthy, just read the ingredients, but I saw them 1.5 years ago, when I was visiting Germany, in Berlin’s vegan supermarket, Veganz, but I couldn’t take the whips with me because we were on a Holiday there & I already bought so many other edible vegan things! So, I am so happy that I found it nearby, here in Belgium! Yes! I also bought a vegan, non-soy cheese called, Cheezly!

My last stop, that afternoon, is something special for the meat-eaters among us, was the craft butchery, called De Artisanale Slagerij Rondou! Adresse? Pensstraat 5, 3000 Leuven. Open? Sunday & Monday closed. Open Tuesday till Thursday, from 9h till 13h & from 14h till 18h. Friday & Saturday, open from 8.30h-13h & from 14h-18h, but Saturday they close already at 17h! :) Just click onto the following pictures, to read & see it all better!

De Ambachtelihke Slagerij Rondou!

De Artisanale Slagerij Rondou!

This is a really famous craft butchery in & round Leuven. All of the meat that they are selling is gluten-free except when the meat is a schnitzel & or a burger!! yes, yes! :)

They will sell your usual meat but also specialized meat like, calf’s brain, specialized beef sorts, etc! Just read it on & in the picture:

A large sort of different meat products!

A large sort of different meat products!

Waw, hey?

Waw, hey?

I bought these 2 items there: 10 slices of home-made pork roast with herbal spices like rosemary, finely sliced. It costed me: 3.27 € & a jar of regional grain mustard from De Ster, a local mustard maker since 1924 from only 5 to 10 km away! This spiced grain mustard is an acknowledged approved product in Belgium, from this region! This is called in my language: Een erkend Streekproduct!  1 normal pot costed me 3.5€. I will be using it later in my edible posts! They also sell packets of Maldon sea salt & packets of smoked Maldon sea salt here! Each packet costs: 4.5€. That is good to know, because there aren’t that many places in Belgium, where I can buy my favourite sea salt! ;)

A Famous Regional product, grain mustard from De Ster!

A Famous Regional product, grain mustard from De Ster!

So, my friends, I hope you enjoyed the second tour in Leuven! There is still at least 1 part that will follow this sequel! ;) It will be an all vegan post, with 2 main vegan items! See you all later, my lovely one’s! :) xxx

You might like:

1. Travelling Sophie: Leuven, part 1!

2. Travelling Sophie: Part 3, all vegan!

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Traveling Sophie: Leuven, part 1!

Today, I went to one of my favourite cities, called Leuven.The city lies in the Flemish speaking part of Flanders, In Brabant & is the capital city of Brabant. Is is about 35 min by train from where I live. Leuven is very well-known for its international Catholic University, In Dutch:  ( KUL )= Katholieke Universiteit Leuven! It is one of the oldest Universities of the Low-Lands. Leuven is also famous for their brewerie, Stella Artois!! Leuven is also a great foodie destination for me & has many cool foodie restaurants, foodie shops & places where also vegetarian eating is possible. You just have to find them! I also like the variety of many tiny, some larger & cool clothing, flower shops, etc!

Here a few impressions of my afternoon there:

The Bondtgenotenlaan, with in the end, The beautiful Town Hall!

The Bondgenotenlaan, with in the end, the beautiful prestigious Town Hall!

Mok Leuven: A tiny Micro-roasterie since 1992 & a cofeebar too!

Mok Leuven in Diestsestraat.This is a tiny Micro-roasterie since 1992 & a coffee bar too! I have yet to discover this cool tiny coffee bar! ;)

First, I went to the famous IMS-Store, situated in the Diestsestraat 131, 3000 Leuven. This is a large Internationally Magazine Store, hence the name: IMS! This large shop sells an enormous sort of different international magazines. In total, they sell more then 10.000 titles! These IMS-stores are situated in many larger Belgian cities, like in Leuven or in Hasselt, Antwerp, etc. You can get more than 75 culinary magazines , the one more expensive then the other with names, like, Saveur, Donna Hay magazine, Olive, Delicious-magazine,…You can read them of my pictures! See below!

The Culinary department!

The Culinary department! Already 37 different internationally culinary magazines! Do you know a few of them?

And even more,... Do you know a few of them?

And even more,…

And even more,...:)

And even more,…:)

Which one’s of them, do you read? Often, when I visit the IMS-store, I buy the Vegetarian Living, a Uk based monthly, vegetarian & vegan food magazine. It is a really good one. Often, I also buy another Uk-based vegetarian monthly magazine, called Cook Vegetarian. I have an IMS-card, with that card, I get 10 to 12% money reduction on Uk based magazines. It is worth it, you know. I got more than 1€ off per magazine. So, it was more than 2€ less then without a card. You can use your card in any IMS-shop, also in Breda, The Netherlands! ;)

So, if you are in the area, you should visit this cool store. They also sell more than 6 yoga magazine! Yes, yes! :)

3 cool yoga magazines!

3 cool yoga magazines!

After buying, my 2 cool vegetarian cookery magazines, I wanted to go to my lovely Bookstore called : ” De Dry Coppen “, translated: ” The 3 mugs This cool & cosy bookstore sells Dutch literature, Dutch Poems & also other cool books about all cool things in life & real art books too. There is also a top floor where the cooking books are. But they don’t sell the cookery books I long for. They are also a coffee bar! So they like to call themself a Book cafe! Here are a few pictures to lure you all in,…
Cool, hey?

Cool, hey?

Tasty desserts!  Not Vegan though!

Tasty desserts!
Not Vegan though!

Yummy hot & cold drinks to drink! :) Now, how to choose?

Yummy hot & cold drinks to drink! :) Now, how to choose?

You can borrow the books & read them while you enjoy from your daily cafe latte but if you damage them, you must buy them, okay? On the menu board, its isn’t mentioned, but you can replace the cow’s milk with soy milk, but it is an added cost of 0.30€ cent. The first hot drink, I tried was the normal Latte macchiato with soy milk. It costed me 3.30€. I received it in a larger see through glass & they serve alongside your coffee, a lovely individual wrapped praline. Yum Yum Yummm! The praline is not vegan!!! ;) See for yourself, how good is looks:

Yummm! A lovely Latte Macchionata with soy milk!

Yummm! A lovely Latte Macchiato with soy milk! The praline looks tasty too, hey?

The coffee is really good, intense but not too strong. Lovely, lovely, I say! This is my favourite book café. There is always good music on, in the background & they have an international clientèle. A few other pics:

Then, I ordered another tasty coffee, called Coffee Nocciolato, a coffee with on the bottom hazelnut syrup, then hot steamed soy milk, some chocolate, then hot coffee, topped with soy foam & smaller bresilienne nut pieces,…Yum Yum, It costed me: 3.80€, just see for yourself:

Relaxed reading  &sipping from a cofee Nocciolate at the same time!

Relaxed reading & sipping from a special coffee at the same time! :)

Yum,... Beautiful!!!

Yum,… Beautiful!!! You see?

All the coffee, they use here is from The Dutch coffee roasterie & tea house called: Blanche Dael. They exist since 1878! That company is based in Maastricht, The Netherlands. Their coffee is really good! MMM,…:)


De Dry Coppen, Schrijnmakersstraat 11, 3000 Leuven

So, my friends, I hope you enjoyed this post! This will be the end of part 1: Traveling Sophie! More posts to follow later in the week! :) See you all then! xxx

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You might like:

1. Travelling Sophie: Leuven part 2!

2. Tavelling Sophie: Leuven part 3, All vegan!


Home-made sunflower seeds milk! Yeah! :) Raw, Vegan, Gluten-free!!

Today, I made this Raw, Vegan, Gluten-free Home-made sunflower seeds milk!  I never made plant-based seeds milk before,…This is great for people who are allergic to nut milks! ;) Check it al out below:

A Tasty Food Gift! :)

A Tasty Food Gift! :)

What is sunflower seeds milk?

This is a non-dairy, gluten-free & vegan milk, often raw, obtained from raw or soaked sunflower seeds, drained & well rinsed too, 3 to 4 cups of water are added. You can add whatever you want with it. You can add vanilla extract, cacao powder or another sweetener like pitted dates or maple syrup, if you prefer that. 

Mostly, people on the internet use 1 cup of seeds & 3 to 4 cups of filtered water. You can add more or less water if you like, but I love using 3 cups of water because you will end up with a lovely darker richer sunflower seed milk, creamy yet yummy!

Most of the time, they tell you to soak your seeds , just add water until the seeds are all completely covered by the water, soak them for at least at night or at least for 8 to 72 hours in water in the fridge. Why? The seeds become less raw & they are easily digested in the stomach. When these seeds are soaked, then well-drained & rinsed, they become more useful to use in raw vegan cheesecakes, in baked desserts, in muffins or in bread.

What do you need?

a good power blender, food processor or mixer

a large bowl to keep the strained milk in when you are using your nut milk bag

a fine nut milk bag or a cheesecloth

a clean bottle with a fitting lid

How to enjoy?

1. This is a fine drink on its own

2. Pour over cereals or muesli

3. Add a bit of it to your yoghurt : lovely!

4. Make a dessert with it.

5. Make smoothies with it

6. Use it in tea or coffee

7. This is also great used in cakes, muffins & in breads for a more added seeds flavour

8. You can use the sweetened or not-sweetened pulp in muffins, cakes, into breads like in banana breads / More recipes on this later/ I am testing recipes on the moment.

 Recipe: For about 750 ml = 3 cups of strained sunflower seed milk!


3 cups of fresh water

How to soak your seeds?

1 cup of soaked raw sunflower seeds ( soaked in water for about 8 to 72 hours ) : When you soak your seeds, place them in a bowl & pour water all over it, until they are all covered up. Place a lid on & place into the fridge for at least 1 night or at least 8 hours. You will see that your seeds will get swollen & are puffed up.  ( I made sunflower seeds milk with seeds that were soaked for 2 nights & they tasted much better then soaking for 3 nights! ), this will look something like this:

1 cup of soaked, rinsed & drianed off sunflower seeds!

1 cup of soaked, rinsed & drained off sunflower seeds!


1. Put your 3 cups of water & soaked sunflower seeds in this order in your Vitamix. Blend on full power, using the tamper to push ingredients into the running blades. Blend on full power for about 30 seconds to 1 minute. Scrape the sides of your blender if you need to & blend on full power again for max 1 minute. Now, you will end up with about 4.5 cups of fresh home-made sunflower seeds milk, but not strained. This means with the pulp still in it. You can drink it like this but this time, I strained it by using my clean nut milk bag. I did it like this:

2. I placed my nut bag into a larger bowl. Then, poured the liquid mix into the bag. Close the bag with the added string & squeeze & squeeze until all the juice is out of your nut milk bag & you end up with only the pulp in the bag & all the liquid into the pot. This will take only a few minutes. I had about 3 cups = 750 ml of milk. Pour milk in a clean bottle with fitting lid & enjoy instantly or place into the fridge. After being in the fridge, you will see separation of the liquid into the bottle. Just shake the bottle well, before using the milk. This tasty sunflower seed milk will keep in the fridge for about 3 to 4 days. Place the leftover nut pulp in a pot with fitting lid & place into the fridge for later use in cookies, smoothies, banana breads & muffins! Enjoy!

I prefer to keep my home-made nut & seeds milks plain & add vanilla, cinnamon, maca powder, cacao or carob later to it when I make smoothies or hot drinks with it. Recipes will be following shortly! ;)

Just before blending the soaked seeds & water!

1/ Just before blending the soaked seeds & water!

2/ The blended water + soaked sunflower seeds with pulp!

2/ The blended water + soaked sunflower seeds with pulp!

3/ Pouring the sunflower seed milk through the milk bag with the pulp in it!

3/ Pouring the sunflower seed milk through the milk bag with the pulp in it!

4/ Closing the nut milk bag with the attached string!

4/ Closing the nut milk bag with the attached string!

6/ Straining the milk, even more!

5/ Straining the milk, more & more!

6/ Straining the seed milk in the bag, more & more!

6/ Straining the seed milk in the bag, more & more!

7/ The strained sunflower seed milk!

7/ The strained sunflower seed milk!

8/ Pouring the strained sunflower seed milk in a lovely clean bottle!

8/ Pouring the strained sunflower seed milk in a lovely clean bottle!

So, you see, it is so easy to make home-made sunflower seed milk! Go on, go & soak those seeds & make this beautiful creamy sunflower seed milk tomorrow! If I can do it, you surely can! ;) Enjoy, my lovely one’s! xxx

You might like:

1. Home-made cashew milk, 2 ways!

2. Home-made cashew milks in my Vitamix &  refreshing vanilla, cashew & strawberry smoothies!

3. Home-made almond milk & home-made vanilla almond milk

4. Home-made vanilla almond milk, made this time with vanilla seed paste!

5. Home-made chocolate hazelnut milk!

6. Home-made Brazil nut milk & a recipe using it!

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My favourite cookbook of the moment! :)

This year, I am going to give you all, a monthly new post about my favourite cookbook of the month. I have several new cookbooks in my possession but also many old ones that I absolutely love. Each month, I am going to review 1 of them & tell you all, why I love this specific cookbook so much. If I can, I give you a tried & tested recipe of each cookbook & maybe I can convince you too ! ;)

My favourite cookbook of the month!

My favourite cookbook of the month!

This book is from the famous Kriss Carr. She is a former actress & also she is a great cookbook writer, a vegan & photographer. She lives with a rare sort of cancer, type,  epithelioid hemangioendothelioma that is incurable!! She is living 10 years now with her cancer! She has Stage IV cancer, no cure, no treatment, no options. She is one very courageous woman. You can read more about her life-changing story, Here!

I was already following her in her blog posts & her recipes rock! I bought this book 10 days before Christmas & it is a whole vegan, healthy approach to life in general. What she says & does, I believe in. Her vegan recipes are totally inspiring for me & my husband Peter.

First, she explains her way of living & how to do it, with great tips too. Her table of contents, is divided into 4 courses, the 1st course, with recipe names like: Burn, Baby, Burn & I, like it raw, etc, will get your attention! She also explains her lifestyle philosophy & her sexy Crazy Diet too! :) The 2nd course includes tools, recipes & how to prepare your daily foods to eat & prepare them better. The 3rd course is about the kitchen know-how & how to cook your grains,etc. The 4th course is all about crazy sexy recipes! This book has 150 plant-based recipes in it. She also wrote this book together with another chef, Chad Sarno! I never heard of this chef before , over here in Europe! Do you know him?

She also adds tasty vegan recipes from other chefs, who are guests, in her cookbook. This is Kris’s 4th book. Here is an example of one of her many tasty recipes:

In her book you can find, tasty salads, tasty smoothies, lovely juices, great breakfast recipes, with names like Tofu country scramble, French toast with home-made vegan Amaretto crème, etc. You also can find tasty soups & stews like this one:

You can 2 click on this picture & make it straight away!

You can 2 click on this picture & make it straight away!

( I love that she added chopped kale to the final dish for extra vegan plant power goodness! ;) ) Hale to kale!

She also has a chapter on sandwiches & wraps with names like Curried Nada-egg with watercress wraps & save the Tuna salad on rye,… Another cool chapter is sensual starters,…She also has a chapter called sexy sides, dressing, marinades & condiments! It is a really great vegan whole foods cook book!

She explains her recipes very well & I also love her writing, with good tips, under her recipes! ;) She takes her whole book & her top-notch vegan recipes & dishes to a whole new level! She also presents her dishes very well,…I learn a lot from her! :)

I made this recipe from her, on page 189, under the chapter, Main Events, called Teriyaki tofu with wild mushrooms & soba noodles but used some other veggies in here & used 100% buckwheat noodles because I had them in the house. It was a lot of work for me to do, making the marinade for the tofu & making an orange & wine reduction as an extra sauce for the tofu & wokked veggies but in the end, it was really worth it!!! These are my pics!

100% buckwheat noodles with veggies stir-fry!

100% buckwheat noodles with veggies stir-fry!

Tha marinated tofu & afterwards brushed with the orange & wine reduction! Yummm!

Tha marinated tofu & afterwards brushed with the orange & wine reduction! Yummm!

I also want to prepare all of her tasty sounding & looking recipes, just like this tasty easy dessert, Clementine Sorbet, you can find it on page 269, it looks very appetizing, doesn’t it, hey?

It looks very yum yum!

It looks very yum yum! Click 2 on the picture & you can read it & make it!

What about these lovely sounding vegan dessert recipes, with names like berries & cream, super fudge low-fat brownies, chocolate walnut cake, raw apple spiced rum shortcake with maple vanilla glaze???

This book is a really informative, it is a more healthy cook book. If you like to cook vegan or eat sometimes vegan, you will learn a lot from her, I did! :) I bought this American cookbook in my local Waterstone’s shop in Brussels. It costed me: 30.45€. ISBN: 978-1-4019-4104-8

The End! :)     If you liked this post, SUBSCRIBE to Sophie’s Foodie Files: It is free! RSS Feed RSS – Posts


My Aunt Pauline’s celeriac carrot soup with eggless chicken meatballs! :) Yum Yum!

This divine festive soup is a lovely celeriac carrot soup made with a vegetarian stock & topped with fried home-made simple eggless chicken meatballs! My husband & I ate this soup with lovely sourdough bread & butter as an alternative dinner! This soup was invented by my father’s Aunt Pauline. She was an inventive adventurous cook.  This soup is very filling not to mention, delicious too! :) Still in her nineties, she made this lovely smooth soup for all of us, at dinner parties! ;)
Yummm! Ready to attack!

Yummm! Ready to attack!

I miss her deeply. She was like a great grand-mother to me,…x

Recipe: For at least 6 big portions


* For the soup:

615 gr peeled celeriac, cut into bite-sized chunks ( weighted when peeled )

415 gr peeled carrots, cut up into thinner rounds ( weighted when peeled )

1 fat large white onion, peeled & finely cut up

2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled & finely cut up

1600 ml of a good hot gluten-free vegetable stock

Maldon sea salt

black pepper

a fruity evoo= a fruity extra virgin olive oil

* For the eggless chicken meatballs:

350 gr egg-free, dairy-free, gluten-free organic chicken mince

Maldon sea salt

black pepper

a fruity evoo to fry the meatballs in


1. Take a larger cooking pot & pour 2 tablespoons of evoo in it & heat up on high. When hot, add cut up onion & garlic. Add some black pepper & sea salt & stir often. After 3 to 5 minutes, add chopped celeriac & carrots & fry it all for at least 5 minutes, stirring everything round in the pot. Add some more olive oil too, if you need to. Then, add hot gluten-free vegetarian stock until all the veggies are covered, add more if you need too. I used my 1600 ml. Bring to the boil & let the soup boil for about 10 to 15 minutes or until your veggies are cooked through. When ready, check the seasoning. I added 15 grins of black pepper extra & some sea salt too. I Vitamixed my soup into 2 batches & ladled it into lovely soup bowls.

2. In the meantime, take your organic chicken mince & place into a bigger bowl. Add simple seasoning, like sea salt & finely milled black pepper because you do not want to overpower the chicken meatballs because your soup is the star of the day! ;) With wet hands, make smaller meatballs. Roll them nicely into smaller round meatballs, see pic above, like in the soup. :) Fry the meatballs on all sides in some hot fruity evoo in a larger non-stick pan. Place the fried balls on a clean plate with double kitchen paper to dip off excess fat. Place about 5 to 6 chicken meatballs into the hot soup! Enjoy instantly with your loved ones! I promise you, you want more than 1 bowl & more chicken meatballs too! ;) Yum Yummmm!

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Vegan Morrocan inspired dinner!

Yesterday evening, I made this divine Moroccan inspired dinner. My husband Peter & I also loved it! It wa so gooooodddd & delicious, if I say so myself! ;) Check it out below! I was inspired by my good fellow blogger friend, Laura who lives in Australia, by her recent post called: The Moroccan Table.

A divine Moroccan inspired vegan dinner!

Yummmmmmm! :)

This is a very fragrant, filling, healthy dinner! :)

Recipe: For 4 people


* For the raisins quinoa:

160 gr dry quinoa: rinsed & well-drained

100 gr dark dried raisins, we are going to soak them!

Maldon sea salt

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

* For the coriander spiced carrots:

600 gr peeled carrots, each carrot cut into 2 & then horizontally into 4 longer strips

1/2 teaspoon ground coriander

sea salt

* For the fried chickpea-onion-garlic mix:

1 can of cooked chickpeas, rinsed & drained well

2 fat cloves of garlic, peeled & finely cut up

1 very big white onion, peeled & cut up into finer strips

1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin

1 to 2 teaspoons of garam masala

some Maldon sea salt

some black pepper

* For the fried seitan cutlets:

280 gr of home-made seitan cutlets, I used home-made seitan from a year ago, that I defrosted in the day

a fruity evoo

* To serve: 2 tablespoons of toasted almond flakes/  How to toast your flaked almonds? Take a fitted non-stick pan & add almond flakes in 1 layer into the pan. Heat up on low-heat. The almond flakes will get browner on one side & you must shake the pan up & down & turn the flakes over to toast them equally on all sides. Lower the heat if you need to. They will smell very yummy when they are getting toasted. Do not let them burn!!!! After a few minutes, turn heat off & set aside.


1. Put your dark raisins in some just boiled hot water to cover them completely. Let them soak for at least 15 minutes. Drain well & set aside. Meanwhile, cook your quinoa according to your packet instructions. I added a bit of sea salt & 1/2 teaspoon of ground cumin to the quinoa. Stir & cook, simmer for about 12 minutes or until cooked through & flipped open. Drain the excess of water if you need to. Place the cooked quinoa on the heat to cook off excess of steam. Turn heat off & add drained raisins & stir through the cooked cumin quinoa. Taste. It has to taste good. Keep warm. At the same time, cook your peeled carrot pieces in boiling water with some sea salt added. I also added 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander to the hot water. Cook until just al dente but they must not fall apart!Drain well & keep warm.

2. When all the rest is done, take a larger non-stick pan & heat up on high. Pour 1 to 2 tablespoons of that fruity evoo in it & heat up. Now, add cut up garlic & onion pieces & stir often until browned & nearly cooked through. I seasoned with some sea salt, 1/4 teaspoon of ground cumin & some black pepper. Stir often!! Now, add chickpeas & fry for a few minutes. The chickpeas will get fried on all sides, for extra crispness! ;) Now, add 1 to 2 teaspoons of garam masala, according to your taste. I added 2 teaspoons in total! Stir often to combine it all. Place a fitted lid over the pan & keep warm. Now, fry your defrosted home-made seitan cutlets in some hot fruity evoo for a few minutes per side or until browned & crispy on both sides!

Serve instantly, like picture above & scatter your toasted flaked almonds all over the top of each plate. Best enjoyed with your loved ones! We ate from this dinner 2 days! The next day, the quinoa-raisins mix is even better in flavour! :) MMM!  If you liked this post, SUBSCRIBE to Sophie’s Foodie Files: It is free! RSS Feed RSS – Posts



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