Lauren Boehme was running a vegan bakery in Tallahassee when she decided she wanted a change: more freedom, the ability to work from home and the opportunity to take off time when she wanted. So, in 2016, she started a blog, Rabbit & Wolves, and began posting recipes.
The name of the site comes from the fact that Boehme is often the only vegan (or "rabbit") in her circle of friends and family (the "wolves" who eat meat). Boehme was born in Sarasota, and never liked meat as a kid. "It just grossed me out," she says. She was a vegetarian for years before deciding to become a vegan 15 years ago.
The idea of vegan recipes might conjure images of health food, but Boehme concentrates on coming up with dishes that represent what she calls "vegan comfort food." That might mean a fried "chicken" sandwich that uses a patty made out of chickpeas instead of meat, or vegan "bang bang" broccoli that riffs on fried shrimp, or sweets like vegan pumpkin snickerdoodle "cheesecake" bars.
Since launching Rabbit & Wolves five years ago, Boehme has published hundreds of recipes, and built a substantial online audience, with nearly 400,000 followers on Instagram and more than 82,000 fans on Pinterest. Her dishes have been featured on BuzzFeed multiple times.
Boehme says it took 18 months of consistently posting new recipes before the site caught on.
"People ask what my advice is on how to become a full-time blogger," she says. "You just can't give up. Just pretend everyone cares about what you're writing."
Now, Boehme, 36, is a full-time recipe blogger. She moved back to Sarasota last year to be closer to Julie Grace, who helps Boehme manage the site and takes photos of her dishes.
To come up with recipes, Boehme brainstorms at the beginning of each month, thinking about the season or specific ingredients she'd like to incorporate. She also draws ideas from traveling and eating out, and tries to reimagine dishes with animal products so that they're vegan.
For an example of a vegan adaptation of an autumnal dish that's perfect for right now, try Boehme's vegan creamy Marsala soup. She shared her recipe for the earthy, rich soup, as well as a how-to for black pepper and thyme biscuits that pair perfectly with it. It's an ideal example of comfort food—vegan style.
Vegan Creamy Mushroom Marsala Soup
Prep time: 15 minutes. Cook time: 20 minutes. Total time: 35 minutes. Author: Lauren Boehme.
For the Black Pepper and Thyme Drop Biscuits
2 cups all-purpose flour
1 Tbsp. baking powder
1 1/4 tsp. salt
1/4 tsp. black pepper
1 Tbsp. fresh thyme (just the leaves) or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
3/4 cup non-dairy milk, unsweetened (I used soy milk)
1 tsp. lemon juice
1/2 cup vegan butter, cold (I used Earth Balance)
For Vegan Creamy Mushroom Marsala Soup
1/4 cup vegan butter
1/2 of a sweet onion, diced
6 cloves garlic, chopped
1 1/2 pounds mushrooms, sliced (Boehme uses baby bella, shiitake and oyster mushrooms)
1 tablespoon fresh thyme (just the leaves)
1/2 cup sweet Marsala wine
8 ounces vegan cream cheese (Boehme uses Kite Hill)
6 cups vegetable broth
Salt and pepper to taste
Make the biscuits first. Preheat oven to 450 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a large mixing bowl, sift together flour and baking powder. Then stir in salt, pepper and thyme.
Whisk together non-dairy milk and lemon juice, either in measuring cup or small bowl. Set aside.
Cut butter into small pieces or break apart with your fingers. Drop butter into bowl with dry ingredients. Cut in butter, using pastry cutter, fork or your fingers. Continue cutting in butter until mixture resembles sand or dirt and all the butter is evenly distributed.
Pour in non-dairy milk and lemon juice mixture. Stir to combine until everything is fully incorporated. If mixture seems dry, add a splash more milk.
Scoop large dollops (about 1/4-1/3 cup) of dough onto sheet pan lined with parchment paper or silicone mat. You should get 7-8 biscuits.
Bake for 15-18 minutes or until golden brown and firm inside.
While biscuits bake, heat vegan butter for soup in a large soup pot on medium high.
Add onions, garlic and mushrooms. Sauté, reducing heat to medium or medium low. Sauté until mushrooms are brown. They should release their liquid and then brown. This will take about 10-12 minutes. Season with pinch of salt and pepper.
Add thyme and Marsala wine. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes. Mushrooms will absorb most of the wine.
Add vegan cream cheese and whisk into mushrooms and wine until it has mostly melted. This will help it blend with broth. Season with another pinch of salt and pepper.
Pour in broth. Whisk until cream cheese is fully incorporated with broth.
Reduce heat to low and simmer for 10-12 minutes, stirring occasionally, or until soup has thickened slightly.
Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt and pepper if needed.
Serve bowl of soup topped with a black pepper and thyme drop biscuit.