Dairy Free

Ballin' on a Budget: Lemon Asparagus Risotto by audrey gebhardt

I moved away from the home I lived in my whole life a bit less than a year ago. Some things have felt like a huge adjustment (not having a beach, not having a dozen houses nearby I can walk into unannounced, not eating pizza four times a week).

One of the things that I didn’t think about when I moved was the crocuses. The tiny white flowers that would pop up through the frost right outside my front door! The little flowers that could! Like clockwork, they’d show up within the first few days of March every year, snow or sunshine.

They were like the lighthouse bringing us to shore. The microwave minute nearing an end. The last hour of a red eye flight. And I miss them! I miss their cute lil faces popping up to remind us that one day we’ll be barefoot again.

So today, in Colorado, I’m calling in the crocuses of home with this Lemon Asparagus Risotto. This creamy, bright, flavorful dish comes together in about 30 minutes and pops in your mouth with a zing. All of the flavors of spring with the comfort of a still needed warm bowl of food.

In this recipe you can absolutely swap out the asparagus for whatever dark leafy green you have on hand, or even broccoli if that’s what you have! Risotto is extremely forgiving so this is a very loose recipe.

Lemon Asparagus Risotto

Lemon Asparagus Risotto (vegan optional)
Makes enough for 4 as a side dish

1/3 c diced onion
1 bunch asparagus, chopped into 3/4-1” chunks
1 lemon
1 c arborio rice
4 c vegetable stock (room temperature or warmed up-not cold!)
1 c water
2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp salt
1 tsp fresh ground black pepper
1/2 c grated parmesan cheese (optional)
2 Tbsp butter (optional)

Toast the rice. In a large saucepan over a medium low flame, place the dry cup of arborio rice. Allow the rice to toast, moving around every so often so it doesn’t burn on one side. It will turn light brown and smell super nutty- remove from pan and place aside for now.

In the pan you just used, add the olive oil and onions over a medium flame. Sauté for about 5 minutes, until the onions are soft and translucent. Add the toasted rice and two cups of the vegetable stock. Bring to a simmer and allow to simmer, stirring occasionally until almost all of the liquid is absorbed.

When almost all of the liquid is absorbed, add another cup of stock and repeat the simmering process.

Repeat with the final cup of stock. At the end of this simmering point, the rice should be nearly finished cooking.

Add the cup of water and the chopped asparagus, cook for another five minutes until all of the liquid is absorbed and the asparagus is bright bright green.

Stir in the lemon zest, salt and pepper (and at this point you can add the parm + butter if you’re using them! It’s still creamy and delicious without it but that definitely adds an extra layer of flavor!).

Serve immediately.

xo,
Audrey

Ballin' on a Budget: Feelings Pudding by audrey gebhardt

What do you do when you’re overwhelmed with emotion? Aside from crying, I mean. What do you do with your body?

Do you go for a run (lol)? Turn on really loud music and dance? Fall into a netflix hole?

I make pudding.

Feelings Pudding

There’s something so meditative to me about stirring a milk and eggs over a low flame until it turns into a luscious creamy chocolate pudding.

I’ve made this when I’m falling in love, when I’m heartbroken, when I’m scared, when I’m excited- really anytime I have extra feelings in my body that I’m not quite sure what to do with. I just stir them into pudding.

The other amazing thing about this recipe is that it can be made pretty much anywhere- it requires so little equipment and so few ingredients which makes it a perfect recipe for you to make as a houseguest- I love leaving these behind when I stay with friends! The vessel you put it in doesn’t matter so much, this recipe is pretty forgiving and can be made in a pot, a pan, a tart shell, a 9x13” pan or a cauldron.

It’s dairy free, costs about $8 to make and comes together in about fifteen minutes of active prepwork plus about 45 minutes of chilling time in the fridge. This can be made a few days ahead of serving and kept covered in the fridge until you’re ready to serve.

THE ONLY RULE WITH FEELINGS PUDDING: You MUST eat this straight out of the container. The only way you can serve it is by handing people spoons. If you are not comfortable eating this straight out of the container with the people you are serving it to, they are not close enough to you to eat feelings pudding with.

Feelings Pudding

Feelings Pudding
(makes enough)

20 vanilla oreos
2 TBSP coconut oil

1 can full fat coconut milk
2 egg yolks
1 12oz bag bittersweet chocolate chips (I like Ghirardelli)

flaky salt

Crush the oreos. I did this in a large ziplock with a rolling pin but you can use a food processor- you just want them to be in fine crumbs. Combine the oreo crumbs with the coconut oil and press into your pan. I used a 9” pie dish, but this will really work in any shape pan- a bread pan, an 8x8” pan, a small pot- whatever you’ve got! Place the crust in the freezer to set up while you make the custard.

In a saucepan over a low flame, combine the whole can of coconut milk and egg yolks. Whisk, constantly, until the mixture coats the bottom of a spoon (this means that when you dip the spoon in and run your finger through it, the custard holds its place and doesn’t fill in where you’ve run your finger through). Remove from heat and pour the chocolate chips in. Cover them completely with the liquid and let them sit for a minute to soften, then whisk until he mixture is smooth and shiny.

Pour the custard through a fine mesh sieve and then into the crust, which should be fairly set by now. Put the feelings pudding back in the freezer for 20 minutes or in the fridge for 45 minutes-1 hour until it doesn’t wiggle when you move the dish. Top with flaky sea salt, give everybody a spoon and have some feelings about it.

xo
Audrey

Ballin' on a Budget: Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup by audrey gebhardt

HOMIES. DO YOU EVEN KNOW HOW CHEAP CARROTS ARE?!

Omg. I got an enormous bag that I can make 4x this soup with for $4. ORGANIC!

I’m gonna have the best eyesight in town.

For real though this soup is fool proof and so budget friendly. The one tip I want to leave you with is the note that carrots will dye your white counter orange if you leave them on there too long- so make sure to wipe that up ASAP!

Let’s get it.

(Also also, this recipe may look like it has lots of ingredients but most of them are water and salt and pepper. You shouldn’t have to buy more than 6 things to make this!)

Vegan Carrot Ginger Soup

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Carrot Ginger Soup
(makes 1 quart)

1.5 lbs carrots (about 7 large)
1/2 vidalia onion (or one whole medium onion, about 1 C diced)
1 TBSP grated fresh ginger
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
3 c vegetable stock
1 c water
2 TBSP olive oil

1/2 c raw cashews
1/2 c boiling water

1/4 c pumpkin seeds (raw)
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBSP olive oil

First, dice the onions and the carrots. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over a medium low flame and sauté the onions in the oil for about a minute before adding the diced carrots. Add the carrots and sauté for another 5-7 minutes or so, until the onions are translucent and soft. Keep an eye on the mixture and move it around every so often so nothing browns on the bottom. Add the ginger, salt and pepper and sauté for another minute or so before covering the vegetables in the stock and 1 c water. Bring to a simmer and cover the pot. Simmer, covered for about 30 minutes or so.

While the soup is simmering, toast the pumpkin seeds. Mix the pumpkin seeds with 1/4 tsp salt and pepper and 1 TBSP olive oil and spread out onto a baking sheet. Bake at 350 (I did mine in the toaster oven) for 12-15 minutes until golden and they are making popping sounds in the oven.

Make the cashew cream while the soup is still simmering. This will serve as a way to make the soup creamy as well as a garnish for the top of the soup! Put the cashews into the container of a blender and boil enough water to just cover the top of the cashews, cover cashews with boiling water. Screw the lid on tight or hold a towel over the top of the blender and blend for at least one minute, until the mixture is silky and smooth.

After about a half an hour the carrots should be fork tender and should’ve absorbed some of the liquid. Transfer the entire mixture to a blender with 1/4 c of the cashew cream and blend until smooth. Top with remaining cashew cream, toasted pumpkin seeds and a crank of fresh black pepper to serve.

This can be frozen!

xo,
Audrey

Ballin' on a Budget: Tortilla Espanola by audrey gebhardt

Eggs are something that never held any appeal for me. They were always too ‘wiggly’ and I had no interest in them.

And then I had Tortilla Espanola.

Tortilla Española

I was on a yoga retreat in Spain, staying at the house of an incredible chef who would cook us these grand brunches every single day. One of those days he was serving Tortilla Espanola, and I had no idea what it was but I was intrigued. It looked like a frittata made of mostly potatoes and a little bit of egg to hold it together and you put a potato in front of me, I’ll eat it.

So I took the tiniest sliver possible. 1/2 inch of tortilla slice. And then another one. And another. I was obsessed.

About a year went by and I had no idea what this thing was, I didn’t know how to research it, I didn’t know what to call it. All I knew was it was a giant round omelette filled with potatoes and I looooved it.

This past fall, I was reminiscing about my trip to Spain with my new boyfriend who had spent a good amount of time there and loves loves loves the food culture there. I was like, '“Did you ever have that thing that’s like an omelette but not really and it’s all potatoes and it’s so good?” He immediately knew what I was talking about and made it for me that night.

That was it for me folks. Hook. Line. Sinker.

Tortilla has become a staple in our diets these past few months, it’s delicious, simple, can be made ahead of time, takes three ingredients, and best of all we get to put ketchup on it.

Tortilla is the thing that got this picky girl to even eat omelettes that don’t have potatoes in them- I’ll even eat plain old eggs now if they’re cooked just right!

You can add a few slices of onion in when you’re cooking the potatoes but I love it just how it is.

Personally, I can’t get enough of Vital Farms eggs (this is not an add, I just taste the difference in pasture raised and you can even see it- the yolks are a completely different color). It’s worth paying the $5-6/dozen. The recipe will still be under $10 for a tortilla that will feed at least three maybe four.

Tortilla Española

Tortilla Española
(makes one 9” tortilla)

6 eggs
1 lb Yukon Gold Potatoes (about 3 small-medium)
1/4 c olive oil
salt & pepper to taste

Start by slicing the potatoes (longways, you want the slices to be long so they stack better) a little less than 1/4 in thick. If you have a mandolin, even better! You don’t have to peel the potatoes as long as they’re cleaned well.

In a 9” NONSTICK saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium heat for about two minutes. Drop the potatoes in all at the same time, season with salt and pepper and let them cook over medium heat for about 20 minutes, flipping the potatoes every 3-5 minutes or so until they’re just about cooked through. You don’t want the potatoes to brown, you just want them to be a little bit tender.

Crack the eggs into a separate bowl and beat the heck out of them for about a minute before pouring the eggs over the potatoes in the pan. Lower the heat to low and allow to cook, uncovered, for about ten minutes until the eggs begin to set. If you’d like, you can run a rubber spatula around the edges of the pan to make sure the eggs aren’t sticking.

Once the eggs are about set in the middle, flip the whole tortilla onto a plate, (do this over the sink just in case!!) slide it back into the pan, cooked side up, and cook over low flame for another 5 minutes or so until the bottom is set well.

Serve hot, at room temperature, or even cold straight out of the fridge the next morning!

xo
Audrey

Peach Apple Pie (V) by audrey gebhardt

Let's talk about making people feel special for a second. 

Vegan Peach Pie

The other day I was at the doctor for my annual when she asked me to hop on the scale.

I do not own a scale, I don't much care about the number and I don't really feel a need to obsess over it the way I did when I was 14. I care so much more about how I feel in my body and my clothes.

Anyway, I hopped on the scale and the doctor immediately looked at the number and subtracted two pounds and said, 'how do we feel about this number'. And I just couldn't get over her willingness to overlook science for how someone might feel. I thought it was the simplest thing ever that could make the majority of women standing naked on a scale feel so so good, that she's willing to record the weight as a lower number because at the end of the day those two pounds don't really matter. 

It got me thinking about where else could we make people feel special when it's not really expected- which got me thinking about injecting small kindness everywhere. I can't even tell you how many grocery store check-out clerks are astonished when I make eye contact and ask them how their day is and actually listen to the answer on the other end of that question. 

Palisade Peaches

Tiny things like when someone holds the top of the receipt for you when you sign it make me feel so human to human with other humans. And my faaaaavorite- when someone holds your hand in both of yours when you shake their hand for the first time. Omgggg that is the best way to make a person feel special.

How else can we make people feel special? What if you baked this pie and left it cooling in the windowsill and then invited your neighbor over for a slice and some tea this afternoon like it was 1956? Would that be so strange? Could it also be SO GOOD?!

Vegan Peach Pie

Peach Apple Pie (Vegan)

1 Olive Oil Pie Crust, divided in two

3 medium ripe peaches
3 medium apples (I used Gala because it's what I had, anything super crisp will do-- honey crisp, gala, green)
1 TBSP cornstarch
1/3 c sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp nutmeg

1 TBSP almond milk
1 TBSP maple syrup

Prepare the crust, separate into two parts and wrap tightly before setting aside while you prepare the filling.

Cut the peaches in half, remove the pit and then cut each half into eighths lengthwise. Cut the apples into quarters, cut out the core and then cut each quarter into thirds. (You read that right. We are barbarically not going to peel these fruits because you won't event notice the peel after it's baked and you will do like a tenth of the work to make this pie.)

In a small bowl, stir together the cornstarch, cinnamon and nutmeg. 

In a large bowl, toss together the spice mixture with the cut fruit.

Preheat the oven to 375.

Roll out one half of the dough so it's 1/8" thick (about the thickness of a nickel) between two pieces of parchment. Peel away the top layer of parchment and use the bottom layer to help you flip the dough into the 10" pie plate.

Roll out the other half of the dough and if you plan on losing your mind and making yourself crazy cut it into 1/4" strips but if you want to stay sane just use it like a regular pie crust.

Top the crust with the fruit then top the fruit with the crust however you see fit! To make it look how I did there's a bunch of pinching and twisting and crust breaking and tears involved. To make it look like a regular pie, just run a fork around the edge of the pie to seal it all together.

In a small bowl, mix together the almond milk and maple syrup.

Bake at 375 for 30 minutes until the fruit just begins to bubble then remove from the oven and brush with the almond milk/maple syrup mixture. 

Bake for another 10 minutes until it's golden brown on top and let cool before serving! 

This pie is BOMB the next day after it's been in the fridge. Or maybe it's just me. I love cold pie. I love you!

xo
Audrey

Sweet Potato Waffles (V + GF) by audrey gebhardt

Two of my Christmas gifts from the year 2000 have proven to be timeless so far.

Vegan + Gluten Free Sweet Potato Waffles

My bike (I'm still riding a kid-sized 21 speed Raleigh and I LOVE it), and my Grinch Waffle Iron.

This waffle iron made our house the sleepover house. That, and my mom was the sleepover queen. We could stay up as late as we wanted as long as we were dancing with her. She would let us use air mattresses as slides, she would have a craft ready for us to do, she made the comfiest beds on couches to sleep on and in the morning- she always made grinch waffles. 

Much more exciting than your standard belgian waffle, grinch waffles were a topic of discussion. The swirls that the syrup could swim through- the perfect circle in the middle for a pool of butter or whipped cream.

Vegan + Gluten Free Sweet Potato Waffles

My mom was also the cool aunt. The one who let my little cousins and I eat whipped cream straight from the can at 8am. 

My mom didn't have lots of rules, she mostly just did whatever she could to make sure everyone around her was having the most fun at all times. 

Vegan + Gluten Free Waffles

Sweet Potato Waffles (Vegan + Gluten Free)
makes 4

1 c cooked sweet potato
1 c oats
1 flax egg (1 Tbsp ground Flax seed + 3 Tbsp water, let sit for five minutes)
1/2 c almond milk
1 Tbsp maple syrup
1 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp vanilla

cooking spray, for waffle iron.

coconut cream (the top part of refrigerated coconut milk), for serving

In a blender, combine all ingredients and blend until smooth. Add more almond milk a tablespoon at a time if it doesn't seem like it will pour smoothly until it's pourable.

Heat the waffle iron and spray with cooking spray.

Pour about 1/3 cup of batter  into the iron and cook for 3-4 minutes, until golden brown.

Serve with a dollop of coconut cream (which you make by refrigerating a can of coconut milk and scooping off the thick creamy white part from the top) and maple syrup. I serve it like this for the nostalgia of when you get a waffle at a diner served with an ice cream scoop full of butter. 

This batter can be refrigerated for up to 2 days! Add a bit more milk to thin out before using.

xo
Audrey

Penne Ala Vodka (V) by audrey gebhardt

Penne Ala Vodka is the first dish I mastered. 

Vegan Penne Ala Vodka

I've been whipping up pots of orange pasta for crowds for over a decade now. I remember one of the first times I made this for more than just my immediately family, we were out in Montauk having a beach vacation with a bunch of friends. 

It was late September and grey and chilly and foggy and rainy, much like it's been in Denver these past couple of days. I had the windows open when I made the sauce because I'm neurotic about the house smelling like onion and people staying at the condo a few doors down knocked on the door because they could smell how good this sauce was. If that's not a testament to how bomb this sauce is, I don't know what is! That version of it had a good bit of butter and heavy cream, but I've swapped those out for homemade cashew cream and olive oil and can't even tell the difference.

This recipe is a triple whammy, not only are you learning how to make my favorite sauce- you're also getting recipes for the simplest and most versatile cashew cream and vegan parmesan!

vegan cashew cream

Vegan Penne Ala Vodka
makes enough sauce to 1 pound of pasta

cashew cream:
1 cup raw cashews, soaked overnight (alternately, you can cover them with boiling water for about an hour until they plump up)
1/2 c water

vegan parmesan:
1/4 c raw cashews
1 TBSP nutritional yeast
pinch salt

vodka sauce:
4 TBSP olive oil
5-7 green onions, chopped
3 cloves garlic, grated or chopped
15 oz tomato sauce
1/4 c vodka
1 1/2 tsp oregano
1/2 tsp salt
pinch red pepper
1/2 tsp dried basil or a few fresh basil leaves
1/3 c cashew cream 

Prep the cashew cream: Drain the cashews and blend them with the new fresh water for about 3-5 minutes until silky and creamy. For this recipe, I like this a little bit on the thicker side (you can always add more water to thin it out later). Set aside.

In a medium saucepan, sauté the green onions and garlic in the olive oil over medium heat until the onions are softened, about 3 minutes. Add the tomato sauce, vodka, oregano, salt, red pepper and basil. Bring to a simmer then lower the heat to low and simmer, uncovered, for 30-45 minutes until thickened and fragrant. Add 1/3 c of the cashew cream and simmer for another ten minutes before tossing with your favorite pasta (I use Barilla Gluten Free).

While the sauce is simmering, make the vegan parm. In a coffee grinder or a food processor, blitz the cashews, nutritional yeast and salt for about a minute until the cashews have been broken down to grated parmesan sized pieces (don't blend too long or you'll have cashew butter!)

Sauce will keep in the fridge for up to a week and it freezes beautifully as well!

xo
Audrey

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (V/GF) by audrey gebhardt

It wouldn't be fair to this dessert to call it a brownie. 

Vegan/Gluten Free Peanut Butter Cake

There are hundreds of health food junkies out there running around calling recipes similar to this 'Sweet Potato Brownies' but that's just not okay. 

Because a brownie- a brownie needs to be dense. A brownie feels like dead weight in your hands. It sticks to the roof of your mouth it's so fudgy. It has a crackly shiny top and just a 1" square is enough to satisfy.

That doesn't mean there's anything wrong with what this is- it's just simply not a brownie. It's a light, fluffy chocolate cake with a depth of flavor and ZERO DAIRY, GLUTEN or REFINED SUGAR! 

Are you kidding me? I wouldn't have believed it either. This cake is unbelievably decadent and moist and you won't even miss the sugar- I promise.

vegan gluten free peanut butter chocolate cake

Chocolate Peanut Butter Cake (vegan/gluten free)

1/2 c almond butter
1/2 c cooked sweet potato (from an actual baked sweet potato, not canned puree)
1 flax egg (1 TBSP flaxseed meal + 2.5 TBSP water)
6 TBSP maple syrup
1/4 c cocoa powder
2 tsp vanilla
1/2 tsp baking soda

1/2 c coconut manna
1/2 c creamy peanut butter
1 can full fat coconut milk, chilled overnight
1/2 tsp salt
2 TBSP maple syrup

Start by making the flax egg- in a small bowl combine the flaxseed meal and water and set aside for five minutes until it firms up.

Preheat the oven to 350 and line an 8x8" pan with parchment.

In a medium bowl, combine the almond butter and sweet potato with a fork or whisk until smooth and creamy. Whip in the flax egg and maple syrup until combined. Whisk in the cocoa powder, vanilla and baking soda. 

Pour the batter into the parchment lined baking pan, bake for 25-30 minutes until a toothpick inserted in center comes out clean.

Once the brownies have cooled completely in the pan, prepare the peanut butter frosting.

DO NOT SHAKE the can of coconut milk. Open the can and scrape the top into a small bowl, saving the transparent liquid in the fridge for smoothies at another time. Beat the coconut cream until it's light and fluffy like whipped cream. Set aside. 

In a medium bowl, beat the coconut manna with the peanut butter and maple syrup until completely combined. Fold in the whipped coconut cream until smooth and spread over cooled cake. 

Store cake in fridge until you're ready to serve. Prepare for people to propose to you when they take a bite. And then tell them it's made with all wholesome ingredients!

xo
Audrey