Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Homemade Mixed Berry Soy Ice Cream

Last summer, I went to a fundraiser for The Last Resort Animal Rescue and Sanctuary and bought a Donvier Ice Cream Maker (manual version) for $4 - which turns out to have been an amazing deal! I remember thinking that you needed a special type of salt to make ice cream, so I put it away in storage and forgot about it.

Over the past few weeks, I've seen a lot of different recipes - not using salt - but they all called for an ice cream maker which I (thought) didn't have. That is until I paid a visit to my storage room the other day and saw it sitting there! So I picked it up, brought it home and made myself some vegan ice cream. It was delicious, creamy and so simple that I can't wait to test out other flavors!

Mixed Berry Soy Ice Cream

2 Cups Soy Milk (I used Silk DHA Omega-3 & Calcium)
2 Cups Mixed Berries (frozen are fine, but make sure they're slightly thawed)
3/4 Cups Sugar (I used Evaporated Cane Sugar)

1. Freeze the metal freezer bowl for at least 7 hours before use.
2. In a blender, blend together soy milk, mixed berries and sugar until combined well.
3. Remove the metal freezer bowl from freezer and place into ice cream maker. Place the blade in the bowl, pour in the berry mixture and then cover with the lid and attach the handle.
4. Rotate the handle 3 to 4 times and then let sit for another few minutes. Repeat this process for about 20 minutes or until mixture reaches an ice cream consistency.
5. You can eat the ice cream right away of if you want a firmer consistency, transfer the ice cream to a freezer safe bowl and freeze for another hour or so.

That's all there is to it!

Makes about 1/2 quart of ice cream

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Perfectly Golden Tofu

For the longest time, the proper way to cook tofu eluded me. Every method I tried never seemed to work; it was either not cooked enough, too dry, not flavorful or just a complete disaster. Then finally, one day I figured it out! This recipe has worked quite well for me, so hopefully it will help you if you've been trying to tackle the art of cooking tofu too!

Perfectly Golden Tofu

1 120z package of Extra Firm Tofu (I use House)
Your choice of seasoning (I used Adobo for this recipe but if you want something simple, you can also use just salt & pepper as well)
1 tbsp Garlic
1 tbsp Soy Sauce

1. Squeeze the water out of the tofu. Pat dry and then cube.
1. Pour a thin layer of oil into a skillet and spread tofu in the pan in a single layer.
2. Sprinkle seasoning (of your choice) lightly over the top of the tofu cubes and then cover and cook on medium heat for about 8 minutes (or until golden brown)
3. Flip the cubes over to cook the other side. Cover and cook for about another 5 minutes (or until that side is also golden brown)
4. Add about 1 tbsp of garlic and 1 tbsp of soy sauce and stir around to mix a bit and then cook for an additional minute.
5. Remove from heat and place tofu in a bowl (or plate) on a paper towel (or paper bag) to absorb any excess oil. Serve and enjoy!

You can also use the same basic recipe to make tofu steaks. Instead of cubing, just the block of tofu in half twice.

To give the tofu a more meaty texture, freeze tofu in the package and then defrost it a few hours before you're ready to use it. Be sure to remember to squeeze the water out of it before you cook it.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Peanut Butter Fluffies

The other night I was craving peanut butter cookies, so I threw together a few ingredients and made one for myself in the toaster oven. It turned out so well, that I decided to try to recreate it. I tend to like my cookies on the fluffy side, and not flat and crispy, so that's why I named these 'fluffies'. Let me warn you, though; these are definitely not low calorie but they are quite delicious.

Peanut Butter Fluffies

1 1/2 C Whole Wheat Flour
1/2 C + 2 tbsp Sugar
1/2 tsp Baking Powder
1/2 tsp Baking Soda
1 tsp Vanilla Extract
1 Cup Peanut Butter
1/2 C Water

1. Preheat oven to 375 Degrees.
2. Mix dry ingredients together. Add in vanilla extract and peanut butter and combine.  Then add water and stir until dough is thoroughly mixed.
3. Using an ice cream scoop, scoop out cookie dough onto a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper. Press lightly down with fork, making cross marks on top of the cookie.
3. Bake for 15 minutes. Take out of the oven and let cool for at least 10 to 15 minutes. Cookies should be fluffy and moist in the middle.

Makes 12-14 Cookies

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Quinoa con Calabacitas

This summer, I went to the June Shindig at Catskill Animal Sanctuary in Saugerties, NY. The day was filled with guest speakers, demonstrations, food and other fun stuff. The CAS Chef, Kevin Archer, did a few cooking demonstrations and gave out the recipes for the dishes he prepared.

They were all extremely tasty, but this dish (in particular) stuck with me. It was something different, delicious and seemed really easy to make. I'm going to a pot luck "Meet Up" tonight and figured that this was the perfect time to make it.

Quinoa con Calabacitas

2 Cups Quinoa, cooked
1 Onion
1 Zucchini
1 2/3 Cups Corn Kernels (frozen [but thawed] or fresh)
1 Avocado
1/3 Cup Lime Juice (or juice from 2 limes)
3 tbsp Cilantro, dried
3/4 tbsp Cumin, ground
3/4 tsp Sea Salt

1. Cook quinoa in a rice cooker. (3/4 Cups of quinoa w/ 1 1/2 Cups water) or you can cook the quinoa on the stove per the directions on package.
2. Dice the onion and zucchini.
3. In a large bowl, mix diced onions, zucchini and corn kernels.
4. Mash (or blend) avocado, lime juice, cilantro, cumin and sea salt to make a dressing. Combine with vegetables and then add cooked quinoa and mix well.

This dish keeps well in the refrigerator for about 3 days.

(Yields about 4 Cups)

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Chocolate Cream Pie

This is one of those desserts that you can make for vegans and non-vegans alike. It's decadent, super simple to make and no one would even be able to tell that it was made with tofu

Chocolate Cream Pie

1 1/2 cups Semi-Sweet Chocolate Chips
3 tbsp Unsweetened Cocoa Powder
1 tbsp Corn Starch
1 Package Silken Tofu (I used Nasoya Lite Silken Tofu)
1/4 cup sugar
1 tbsp vanilla
1 Graham Cracker Pie Crust (I used Keebler, reduced fat)

1. Drain tofu and place in food processor with cocoa powder, corn starch, sugar and vanilla.
2. Melt the chocolate chips in the microwave (or a double boiler if you have one) and then add to food processor.
3. Mix (pulse) together until mixture is creamy and smooth. It should be like the consistency of pudding.
4. Pour filling into graham cracker crust and place in the refrigerator to chill and set for a few hours.

If you'd like to top the pie with a non-dairy whipped cream, follow this recipe:

Non-Dairy Whip

1/4 cup Soy milk
1/4 cup Sugar
2 tbsp Vanilla Extract
3/4 cup Vegetable Oil

1. Pour soy milk into a blender (or magic bullet - flat blade) and then add the sugar and vanilla extract.
2. Start to blend but then slowly add oil through the top hole. The soy milk will thicken to a whipped cream like consistency.

If it doesn't, try adding a little extra oil or a bit of corn starch.

Monday, August 9, 2010


I watch way too much of the Food Network.

On Saturday, I was watching "Secrets of a Restaurant Chef" and Anne Burrell made Caponata. I had just bought an eggplant the day before and was wondering what to do with it, so this recipe couldn't have come at a better time. It's basically an eggplant stew in tomato sauce. It looked fairly easy to make and I only had to pick up a few things, so I decided to make it on Sunday. In true Tracie fashion, I modified the recipe a bit but I don't think it changed the flavor all that much. I'd definitely make this again; it would be great to bring for a pot luck!


1 large eggplant, peeled, alternating with 1-inch strips of skin left on, cut into 1-inch dice
Extra-virgin olive oil
Kosher salt
1 large red onion, cut into 1/2-inch dice
Palm full of chili powder
3 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch dice
3 tbsp chopped garlic
1 red and 1 green bell pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice
2 zucchini, cut into 1/2-inch dice
1/2 cup water
6oz tomato paste (small can)
2 tablespoons sugar
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/4 cup black olives
Palm full of dried mint leaves


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a large bowl, toss the eggplant generously with olive oil and salt, to taste. Spread out on a baking sheet and roast until the eggplant is soft and mushy, about 15 to 20 minutes. Reserve.

Coat a wide deep pot with olive oil. Toss in the onion and chili powder and season with salt, to taste. Cook over medium-high heat until the onions are soft and aromatic, about 8 to 10 minutes.

Add the celery and garlic and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes. Stir in the peppers and cook for another 5 to 6 minutes. Add the zucchini, season with salt, to taste, and cook until the zucchini and all the veggies are soft and aromatic and starting to come together as a stew, about 5 to 6 minutes. Toss in the eggplant, 1/2 cup of water and the tomato paste. Cook until the water has evaporated. Dissolve the sugar in the vinegar in a small bowl and add it to the mixture. Stir in the olives and mint. Cook for another 5 to 6 minutes.

Let cool and transfer the Caponata to a serving bowl. Serve by itself or over pasta, brown rice, quinoa, a bed of lettuce or bread (as an appetizer).

Serve immediately or even better tomorrow or the next day.

Serves: 6 - 8 People

Original Recipe found here at

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Chesapeake Tempeh "Crab" Cakes

I saw this recipe posted on Olivia Wilde's blog back a few weeks ago and have been dying to try them ever since. They do take a little time to prep, but they're really easy to make.

Chesapeake Tempeh "Crab" Cakes


For the Cakes:

8 ounces tempeh
1 cup water
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp olive oil
1 bay leaf

3 tbsp Vegenaise
1 tbsp stone-ground Dijon
1 tbsp hot sauce (Frank's)
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1/4 cup very finely chopped red bell pepper (orange bell pepper)
3/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp salt
Fresh black pepper
1 1/2 cups panko breadcrumbs, plus extra for dredging
1 sheet nori paper (turn into a powder by putting in the magic bullet w/ the flat blade)
Oil for pan-frying

For the Remoulade:

2 tbsp Vegenaise
1 tbsp stone-ground dijon
1 tbsp hot sauce


First we’re going to steam the tempeh to get the bitterness out and also to give it some flavor with the soy sauce. Crumble the tempeh into a saucepan in little bits. Add the water, soy sauce, oil, and bay leaf. The tempeh won’t be fully submerged, but that’s fine. Cover and bring to a boil. Once boiling, let boil for 12 to 15 minutes, until most of the water has evaporated. Stir once during boiling.

Transfer contents to a mixing bowl, remove the bay leaf, and mash with a fork. Let cool for about 15 minutes, stirring occasionally to hasten the cooling process. Make sure the tempeh is barely warm before you proceed, or the cakes may fall apart when you cook them.

Add the Vegenaise, mustard, hot sauce, vinegar, bell pepper, ginger, oregano, salt, and pepper and mix well. Add the breadcrumbs and nori and use your hands to incorporate.

Once you are ready to form the cakes, preheat a thin layer of oil in a heavy-bottomed, nonstick skillet (cast iron is great) over medium heat. Pour a few tablespoons of panko into a bowl. Scoop a little less than 1/4 cup batter (use an ice cream scoop) into your hands and form into a ball. Flatten between your palms and then roll the sides gently to smooth them. You should have ten 2 1/2- to 3-inch patties. Press them into the panko to lightly coat. They don’t need to be thoroughly covered, just a little bit for some texture.

Fry a batch of five cakes for 4 minutes on one side and flip when dark golden brown. Fry for 2 minutes on the other side and transfer to a paper towel or paper bag to drain. Do your second batch and in the meantime make your remoulade by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl.

Optional: Make ahead. Make the entire mixture and the remoulade the night before. In the morning, form into cakes and pan-fry. (I waited about 6 hours)

Prepping the Mixture: 45 Minutes
Forming Cakes & Cook Time: 30 Minutes
Servings: Makes 10-12 Cakes

(Other Use: Instead of making crab cakes, you can also just use the "crab" mixture for sandwiches or over a bed of lettuce, etc. It's delicious on its own as well.

Adapted from the recipe in Vegan Brunch by Isa Chandra Moskowitz.