gluten 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

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

Cheddar Grits with Roasted Baby Broccoli by audrey gebhardt

One of the greatest compliments I've ever gotten was from a coworker who grew up in Alabama. 

Cheddar Grits with Roasted Broccoli GLUTEN FREE

She said to me, 'you're the closest I've found to a Southern Belle outside of the south.'

I have been trying to live up to that title for about five years now, wearing the fullest skirts whenever possible, drinking everything out of fancy glasses, never arriving to somebody's home without full arms, and eating grits for breakfast perhaps a little too often.

The first time I had grits was in Charleston, on a trip dripping with mystery and charm. Since then I've realized that cheesy grits are basically the next best thing to mac n' cheese when you're gluten free! Not only do I love the flavor of roasted broccoli with cheddar, I also feel much better about eating a bowl of cheesy carbs when there's something green in the mix. 

This recipe comes together in a half an hour and though I find it to be a perfect cozy breakfast, it's also a great side dish!

Cheddar Grits with Roasted Broccoli GLUTEN FREE

Cheddar Grits with Roasted Baby Broccoli
makes two hearty servings, four sides

1 1/2 cups vegetable stock
1/4 tsp salt
1 TBSP butter
1/2 c stone ground grits (I got mine at Trader Joe's)
1/2 c milk
4 oz mild cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 tsp black pepper

1 bunch broccolini
2 TBSP olive oil
pinch salt
pinch pepper

Preheat the oven to 425 and trip the ends off of the baby broccoli.

Toss the baby broccoli in olive oil, salt and pepper and place on a baking sheet in the preheated oven.

While the broccoli is roasting, prepare the grits. Bring the vegetable stock, salt and butter to a boil. Stir in the grits and bring the temperature all the way down to the lowest temperature possible (low and slow is the secret to creamy grits!) so it's just gently simmering. Stir quite often for about 15 minutes, until most of the liquid is absorbed. Stir in the milk and cook for about ten minutes more before stirring in the cheddar and black pepper to serve. 

Remove the broccoli from the oven when it's crisped and the flowerheads are just browned. Serve over grits in delight.

xo
Audrey

Grilled Cinnamon Pineapple Shortcakes (GF) by audrey gebhardt

I went to Hawaii kind've on a whim this week last year.

Grilled Pineapple Shortcakes

I was on a 'finding myself, I'm gonna buy one one-way ticket at a time and see where I end up' trip.

I showed up on Oahu at the same time that the first swell in months had shown up, which meant that the friends I had there were in the water for 18 hours at a time, surfing way above my pay grade while I explored alone.

The first day, I drove up to the North Shore and stopped at this roadside smoothie shack. I had heard such phenomenal things about the pineapples there that I ordered an entire pineapple and ate it all while chatting with the girl who worked there. I made plenty of friends that week exploring on my own, some of them I'm still in touch with!

Grilled Pineapple

An hour later I found myself writhing in pain on the beach, like my stomach was eating my body from the inside out.

Dear reader, do not eat an entire pineapple by yourself. You will probably regret it. 

Since then, I've discovered that if the pineapple is cooked (grilled), my stomach can handle more of it than if it's raw! I guess the heat changes the levels of acid or something like that. 

Not only that, but grilling pineapple gives it this caramelized sweetness. In this version, I added some cinnamon sugar just to up the dessert factor since the biscuits and whipped cream are not all that sweet.

Grilled Pineapple Shortcakes

Grilled Cinnamon Pineapple Shortcakes
makes 6

gluten free biscuits
6 Tbsp butter
2 1/2 c gluten free flour (I like Bob's Red Mill)
1/2 c brown rice flour
1 Tbsp baking powder
1 tsp salt
2 Tbsp sugar
1 egg
1 c almond milk
3 Tbsp heavy cream
1 tsp white vinegar

grilled cinnamon pineapple
1 whole pineapple, peeled and sliced into 1" thick rounds
1 Tbsp white sugar
1 tsp cinnamon 

whipped cream
2 c heavy cream
1 tsp vanilla bean paste

Make the biscuits:
Preheat the oven to 450, line a baking sheet with parchment. 

Dice the butter into 1/2" cubes, freeze for fifteen minutes.

In a medium bowl, combine the gluten free flour, brown rice flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Whisk to combine.

In a small bowl, combine the almond milk, heavy cream and vinegar. Allow to sit for five minutes or so (this will cause the milk to curdle, you want that! This adds the traditional buttermilk flavor you're looking for). Whisk in the egg until combined.

Using a pastry blender, mix the frozen butter chunks into the flour mixture until it's all cohesive and the butter is the size of small peas. 

Fold in the milk/egg mixture juuuuust until combined. 

Turn out onto a lightly floured surface, pat the mixture out until it's about 1 1/2" tall. Use a 3" round cutter to cut the biscuits (or just slice into squares, we're not picky here).

Transfer the biscuits to parchment lined cookie sheet, bake for 15 minutes until they just begin to lightly brown around the edges. Cool completely.

Grill the pineapple:
Heat the grill to medium high, place the rounds of pineapple on the grill & close it.

In a small bowl, stir the sugar and cinnamon together.

After about ten minutes on the grill, flip the pineapple over (it should be pretty caramelized with nice char marks on this side already, if it's not give it a few more minutes).

Gently spoon the cinnamon sugar mixture on top of the already grilled side of the pineapple (from this point on you won't flip it again or your grill will be hella sticky). Close the grill and cook for another ten minutes or so, until the cinnamon mixture is bubbling on top and the bottom side of the pineapple is nice and caramelized as well.

Remove from grill and cool completely.

Make the whipped cream:
In a medium bowl, add the heavy cream and vanilla. Beat with an electric beater for about two minutes until soft peaks form (don't overmix or you'll have butter!)

When the biscuits and the pineapple are completely cool, cut the pineapple into chunks (removing the hard core). Slice the biscuits in half, top them with a nice dollop of whipped cream and pineapple and repeat. 

These keep beautifully in the fridge for about a day in an airtight container! 

xo
Audrey

 

Strawberry Smoothie Bowl by audrey gebhardt

This is the strawberry smoothie bowl that I eat for breakfast every.single.day. It keeps me full, energized and satisfies my morning (all day) sweet tooth!

When I was making this this morning I started to think about routines, and how our body falls into such a pattern that most things we do are unconscious. I really recognized this after I had moved out of the house I lived in for 23 years and went back two months later to pack up a few remaining things. It was so strange how even after two months of not being somewhere, my body had the exact same pattern as it always did. Pull into the driveway, hit the garage door opener, walk in the house as I lock my car with my right hand, kick off my shoes, immediately walk through the kitchen to the living room to open the front door and check the mail. 

The first time I did that it felt like there was a ghost of a previous version that took over my body momentarily and knew what to do for me. It got me thinking about where else in my life my pattern has become unconscious. Kind've like how when you are a commuter your morning schedule is perfected down to the second. You look at the clock in your car at 6:27 each morning as you get out to hop on the train. 

Where in your life are you a zombie? What part of your routine has become so monotonous that you no longer need to think about it? What would it be like to switch it up and make yourself a smoothie bowl instead of just grabbing that same cup of coffee on your way out of the house? Could it feel like a treat?

Vegan Strawberry Smoothie Bowl

Strawberry Smoothie Bowl

1 1/2 c frozen whole strawberries
3/4 c unsweetened almond milk
1/4 c orange juice
1 scoop Plant Based Vanilla Protein

to top:
1 TBSP Justin's Vanilla Almond Butter
coconut flakes (I get the unsweetened ones at Trader Joe's)
chia seeds
raw pecans
strawberries
honey

In a blender, blend the first four ingredients for a little longer than you think you need to- this is the difference between a kind've smooth smoothie and a dreamy fluffy creamy smoothie.

Top with whatever you'd like! Sometimes I add chocolate chips, other times I add granola, sometimes I top it just as it's pictured! The world is your oyster!

xo
Audrey

Chocolate Chip Banana Bread (V/GF) by audrey gebhardt

I have been obsessed with a podcast lately. 

gluten free banana bread

It's called Armchair Expert with Dax Shepard, and half of my favorite duo (Kristen Bell & Dax Shepard) created it. I'm totally not a Hollywood person at all. I don't really pay attention to that world and until recently it felt so distant from my own. 

He tends to interview many of his famous friends who grew up similarly to him, in a lower middle class middle America family with a single mom working two jobs. And all I keep thinking about is that everything ever created came from inside of somebody's mind. The personality that sent him into fame and fortune came from inside of him. 

The Apple computer started with something Steve Jobs imagined. 

The first recipe ever created was something a human made up.

The roads that pave the way to the Palace of Versailles were designed by a human. And another human dreamt up the hall of mirrors and then another human reigned a country for 72 years and resided there. 

Vegan Banana Bread

What I'm getting to is that all of this stuff happened because someone at some point in time had a brain that made it happen. 

If you could use your brain to turn your dreams into the real life that you walk through every day, what would you dream? What is the wildest thing you can't imagine possible that you want? 

WOULD YOU DREAM ABOUT FLUFFY BANANA BREAD STUDDED WITH CHOCOLATE CHIPS TOPPED WITH CRUNCHY SUGARY CRUST? 

Because omg would you look at that you just used your brain to manifest your dreams into reality.

Gluten Free Banana Bread

Vegan & Gluten Free Chocolate Chip Banana Bread
2 c gluten free flour blend (I like Trader Joe's)
1/4 c sugar
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp salt
3 medium super ripe bananas (like, so ripe that your houseguest looks at your counter and says you should probably throw those out)
juice of 1/2 lemon
1/2 c refined coconut oil, melted
1/4 c applesauce
1 c bittersweet chocolate chips
2 TBSP raw sugar

I used a 6" round cake pan for this because I made it for the full moon and I only eat round foods on the full moon because I'm a LUNATIC. You can totally make it in a standard loaf pan!

Preheat the oven to 375. 

In a large bowl, whisk together the gluten free flour, 1/4 c sugar, baking soda, baking powder and salt. 

In a medium bowl, mash the bananas with a fork leaving some chunky bits. The chunky bits will caramelize in the oven and create sugar pockets that you definitely want. Add the coconut oil, applesauce and lemon to the bananas and mix until combined. 

Stir in 90% of the flour mixture. Toss the chocolate chips in the remaining flour mixture before folding in.

Spoon the batter into your greased and floured pan, sprinkle the top with the raw sugar. 

Bake for 35-45 minutes, until it doesn't jiggle when you move the pan and a toothpick comes out clean. 

Serve immediately. Or not. You can also slice into the size slices that your future self wants to eat and freeze! I made the mistake of slicing this into quarters and now every time me (future self) wants this, I have to eat a quarter loaf of banana bread.

xo
Audrey