Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote

A dairy-free, protein-packed breakfast with no sugar added, this Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote will satisfy every member of the family!

This Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry-Orange Compote is grain- and dairy-free with no sugar added. The perfect healthy breakfast for everyone in the family!

Are you a creature of habit or a fan of change? This is a big debate in our family – the hubby likes to keep things consistent while I’m more of a fan of shaking things up. Take, for example, breakfast. As much as I love the consistent healthiness factor in our daily Power Protein Smoothie, I sometimes long for some other healthy dish such as this Slow Cooker Cherry Pie Oatmeal or this Mediterranean Smashed Avocado Toast.

But even though mom and dad may be sticking to the same old breakfast every morning (and honestly, most often for convenience’s sake) I’ve been really focusing on mixing things up for the little one so she is introduced to a wide variety of flavors and nutrients. I originally made this Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote for her to enjoy, but after tasting it I couldn’t help scooping up a big bowl for myself!

This Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote is the perfect meal prep breakfast that doesn't even need to be heated up to enjoy!

As I mentioned in my Healthy Carrot Cake Pancakes post, we’re following the baby-led weaning method for introducing Raia to food, and have already tested her on dairy, wheat and nuts/nut butters with no adverse reactions. However, this recipe doesn’t contain ANY of those potential allergens, so even if you aren’t doing BLW (or your child has shown some sort of adverse reaction to any of the above) this is the perfect healthy recipe to keep in your arsenal.

Did I mention it’s so delicious you’ll probably even want to make it if you DON’T have any kids?

This Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Compote is the perfect make-ahead recipe for baby-led weaning, but it's delicious enough for the entire family to enjoy!

As all chia puddings do, this recipe does need to be started a day or two in advance, but aside from that the preparation is sooo easy. If you’re any sort of meal prepper, this recipe is for you. You’ll want to get the chia pudding started at least one night before you want to eat it, but I found it got even better with a couple of days in the refrigerator to set up.

As far as the compote, I recommend making it the day before as well since I’m not so sure how a warm compote would taste on the chilled pudding (could be good, though!) You can also use this compote as a no-sugar-added way to make a delicious PB&J for your little ones. Because we all know that’s another go-to for all us busy moms!

I can promise you this – once you taste this Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote, you won’t want to stop making it. It’s tasty, nutritious and, once it’s prepped, takes no time at all to serve. It’s the perfect breakfast for these last few summer days and still a great option once school starts up again in a couple of weeks.

This Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote is the perfect make-ahead back-to-school meal for the entire family to enjoy!

Here’s to easy, healthy, family-friendly meals!

Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote (Baby-Friendly!)
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
1 min
Resting Time
12 hrs
Total Time
16 mins
 

A dairy-free, protein-packed breakfast with no sugar added, this Oat Milk Chia Pudding with Blueberry Orange Compote will satisfy every member of the family!

Course: Breakfast
Keyword: baby-friendly, breakfast, dairy-free, gluten-free, grain-free, healthy, kid-friendly, make-ahead, meal prep
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 90 kcal
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the pudding:
  • 1/4 cup chia seeds
  • 3/4 cup oat milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract or vanilla bean paste
For the compote:
  • 6 ounces blueberries
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons orange zest
Instructions
  1. Combine the chia seeds, oat milk and vanilla extract or paste in a Mason jar with a lid. Shake to combine and place in refrigerator for at least 12 and up to 36 hours.

  2. To make the compote, combine blueberries, water and orange zest in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer, cooking until blueberries break down and mixture is reduced to a jam-like texture. Let cool completely before serving with chia pudding. 

  3. To serve, scoop some chia pudding into a bowl and top with compote.

Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs

We’re stepping a bit outside the Thanksgiving box today.

This Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs is the perfect vegan side dish for Thanksgiving.

Because, although not a traditional holiday side dish, this Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs is completely worthy of a spot on your holiday table. It’s full of dried cranberries, whole grains, white beans and seasonal fresh herbs like fresh rosemary, sage and thyme and literally is a Thanksgiving explosion in your mouth. You’re going to get this one on the menu STAT.

I’ve been a big fan of grain salads for quite a while now, as evidenced by this Spring Fava Bean and Burrata Grain Salad, this Fresh Corn, Leek and Edamame Grain Salad and this Herbed Grain Salad with Broccoli Rabe and White Beans. I love them because they are filled with a ton of healthy ingredients and filling to boot. The whole grains give them plenty of heft to make them completely suitable as an entire meal, although they are equally delicious (and the portions go a bit further) if you serve them as a side dish among all the other delicious things you typically serve up for a holiday meal.

I’m not joking when I say tell you this Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs tastes like your entire Thanksgiving menu in a bowl. Sure, there’s no turkey in there (although you could easily add some and I wouldn’t be one bit upset about it) but just the cranberries and the fresh herbs alone are enough to mentally transport you to arguably the most well-known food holiday of the year. I love allll the fresh herbs, but there’s also just something about fresh sage in a recipe that really screams fall and all the deliciousness that comes with it.

A bowl of this Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs is filling enough to be a delicious vegan holiday meal.

As far as making the dish goes, it couldn’t be easier. Not only does it come together fairly quickly (the longest step will be cooking up the grains) but it can also be made in advance and served cold or at room temperature, which means it’s easy to fit into an already busy cooking and kitchen schedule once T-day rolls around.

For the whole grains, I used a combination of farro and Italian couscous because they were what we had on hand, but feel free to use other varieties such as quinoa, barley or even wild rice. I also added in some toasted pine nuts, and I highly recommend you do not skip this step, even if you want to sub in some other type of toasted nut for that little extra crunch. (Pecans? Almonds? So many possibilities.)

This Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs is an easy, make-ahead side dish for the holidays.

I would also like to point out that said Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs is completely vegan, which makes it a delicious, healthy, high-protein option for anyone in your group that may have certain dietary preferences. It’s a great way to serve them up some protein and filling flavor without having to bend over backwards making some sort of interesting Tofurkey creation.

Since I was developing recipes so far in advance this holiday season due to our little one’s arrival, I served this up as a side dish at my mother-in-law’s birthday celebration we held down here in Santa Barbara at the beginning of October. Let’s just say my sisters-in-law were already requesting I make it as our contribution to the Thanksgiving meal when we go celebrate with them in a couple of weeks.  I hope you decide to add it to your menu as well!

Serve this vegan Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs as a hearty side dish or light, healthy meal during the holidays.

Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs
Prep Time
10 mins
 

This festive vegan side dish is full of filling whole grains, protein-rich white beans and pine nuts, and the freshest herbs of the season. 

Course: Main Course, Salad, Side Dish
Servings: 6 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 2 cups cooked grains of your choice (I used a combination of farro and Italian couscous)
  • 2 15.5-ounce cans Great Northern or white beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1 shallot, thinly sliced
  • 3/4 cup toasted pine nuts
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 1/2 cups dried cranberries
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
Instructions
  1. Toss all ingredients together in a large bowl. Serve immediately or refrigerate up to two days before serving.

Cranberry, White Bean and Grain Salad with Fresh Herbs | CaliGirlCooking.com

Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette

What’s green and orange and purple all over and tastes perfectly in season?

This Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette is the perfect healthy meal for fall, featuring loads of fresh produce and savory pumpkin spice roasted chickpeas!

This Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette!

I know it’s not technically fall yet (just a few more days!) but after I took a little trip to the Farmer’s Market this past weekend I just couldn’t resist all of the fall produce I was seeing. Okay, maybe I just became obsessed with the fact that here in Santa Barbara we are deep in the throes of a very short fresh fig season, and I can’t help snatching a bunch of them up whenever I see them because I know they may be gone the next time I head out for groceries.

So yes, this salad stars plenty of fresh figs, but it features so many other fun fall things as well. We’re talking sweet potatoes, pumpkin seeds (aka pepitas) and – wait for it – SAVORY PUMPKIN SPICE CHICKPEAS!! You guys, they’re amazing. Perfectly crispy with all that fun pumpkin spice flavor and then a savory hit of garlic. Even if you don’t make the entire Fall Harvest Chopped Salad, please, please, PLEASE make these savory pumpkin spice chickpeas for a healthy, protein-packed snack. You will not be able to get enough!

Savory pumpkin spice roasted chickpeas are the perfect addition to a Fall Harvest Chopped Salad.

And can we talk for a minute about chopped salads? I love salads served in this way (i.e. all of the ingredients already chopped up into bite-size pieces) for multiple reasons, mostly because (a) you can get a taste of every single ingredient in each bite and (b) you don’t have to worry about looking like a complete dinosaur with a giant piece of lettuce hanging out of your mouth when you try to take a bite. Easy to eat, full of flavor – that’s my kind of healthy meal!

Usually I like to keep things simple with salads and keep the cooking to a minimum, but since we’re heading into fall I figured you wouldn’t mind just a little bit of oven/stove time to really make some of these flavors pop.

This Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette is going to quickly become your go-to nutritious lunch or dinner for the season, and those savory pumpkin spice chickpeas are probably most definitely going to become your new favorite healthy snack.

This Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette is the perfect light lunch or dinner to usher in the fall season.

So let’s talk about what all exactly needs to go on here to make this salad come to life.

The only oven time required is for roasting both our sweet potatoes and chickpeas, and the good news is that they can be roasted together, at the same oven temperature, for the same amount of time. How convenient is that?

The only other “cooking” required is toasting up our pepitas, because if there’s one thing I learned during my time as a pastry assistant, it’s that you should be toasting your nuts WHENEVER you are adding them to any sort of recipe. It seriously adds so much flavor and is most definitely worth the extra 10 minutes or so of toasting over the stove.

Aside from the roasting and toasting, all this Fall Harvest Chopped Salad requires is a good tossing in a huge bowl and a drizzle of shallot-tinged apple cider vinaigrette. And speaking of vinaigrette, this one couldn’t be easier. You may have noticed from the other salads I have here on the blog (like this Fall Kale Salad with Easy Balsamic Vinaigrette and this Fresh Fig and Burrata Salad with Toasted Hazelnuts) that I like to keep my dressings simple. I feel like you should really let all of the flavors of whatever produce and other goodies you’re using in the dish shine through and not coat it in a blanket of heavy, creamy, or otherwise overwhelming flavor.

This Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette feeds a crowd!

The apple cider vinaigrette we drizzle over this fall-forward salad adds the perfect touch of acidity (with a nice apple-y hint of flavor) while the shallots add an extra dimension to all of the other flavors in the mix. My only caution would be to wait and add the dressing right before serving. Since we’re using regular lettuce (as opposed to a heartier green like kale) it will wilt quickly if you leave it soaking in the dressing for too long.

But that’s it! Having this Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette prepped and ready for dinner tonight is not just a possibility, it’s a necessity!

This Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette is the perfect healthy meal or side dish for the busy days of back-to-school.

Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette
Prep Time
10 mins
Cook Time
40 mins
Total Time
50 mins
 

This seasonal, healthy salad is full of fresh figs, roasted sweet potatoes, toasted pumpkin seeds and savory pumpkin spice roasted chickpeas. 

Course: Main Course, Salad
Servings: 4 servings
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
For the savory pumpkin spice chickpeas:
  • 1 15.5 ounce can chickpeas, drained, rinsed and patted dry
  • 1/2 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon each salt and pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
For the roasted sweet potato:
  • 1 sweet potato, diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Sprinkle of salt and pepper
Other salad ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds (pepitas), toasted
  • 8 cups chopped red and green lettuce
  • 6 purple figs, quartered
For the apple cider vinaigrette:
  • 1 small shallot, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup avocado oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. In a small bowl, toss together all of the chickpea ingredients. Spread mixture over a small jelly roll pan.

  2. In a separate small baking dish, combine all of the roasted sweet potato ingredients.

  3. Place both the chickpeas and the sweet potato in the oven and roast for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, open the oven and give the chickpeas a little shake. Roast for an additional 15-20 minutes, or until the chickpeas are crunchy and the sweet potatoes are golden brown and fork tender. Remove and let cool while you prep the rest of the salad.

  4. Place the chopped lettuce in a large salad bowl. Add the figs, pumpkin seeds, sweet potato and chickpeas. 

  5. Combine all vinaigrette ingredients in a Mason jar. Seal and give a good shake. Drizzle dressing over salad right before serving. 

Fall Harvest Chopped Salad with Apple Cider Vinaigrette | CaliGirlCooking.com

Matcha Macadamia Latte

Today I present to you one of my newest favorite things!

This Matcha Macadamia Latte is an easy alternative to coffee, and so delicious!

Matcha Macadamia Lattes have completely stolen my heart, and I’m not one bit upset about it.

It’s no secret that nut milks have become one of the hottest food trends over the past decade. They’re now mainstream at Starbucks and often the main form of calcium and protein you’ll find in any semi-health conscious person’s kitchen. In fact, you might be hard pressed to find a gallon of regular milk in anyone’s refrigerator these days.

While the hubby and I are certainly not lactose-intolerant, we keep a stash of unsweetened vanilla almond milk on hand as our main “milk” source for two primary reasons: (1) We love adding it to our morning Power Protein Smoothie and (2) It is shelf stable until opened and keeps much longer than regular milk, so we don’t have to worry so much about spoilage.

Almond and cashew milks have proven to be the reigning stars of the nut milk world, but on our trip to Kauai this past July, I ordered a Macadamia Latte and was soooo excited to learn that no, it was not flavored with overly sweet macadamia nut flavored syrup, but it was in fact made with macadamia nut MILK. I knew I had to get my hands on some as soon as we got home, and get my hands on some I did. I found this Milkadamia brand on Amazon, and also discovered that our local, slightly more “upscale” grocery store stocked the same brand.

A Matcha Macadamia Latte made with Milkadamia, available on Amazon!

Since we don’t own an espresso machine (yet), I started out by adding it to my regular ol’ cup of half-caf joe in the morning in lieu of creamer, but I was still craving more of that macadamia flavor. I started brainstorming how I could make my latte without an espresso machine, and remembered that I had a stash of matcha in the pantry alongside a brand new matcha whisk. I immediately knew what I wanted to do with my macadamia nut milk and I had to do it ASAP!

Really, though, this is another “recipe” that could almost not even be called a recipe. We’re talking three ingredients that even the biggest novice in the kitchen could throw together. But it’s way too good not to share! Seriously, get yourself on Amazon right this instant and order the ingredients (and maybe a matcha whisk, because we’re trendy like that) so you can whip up a Matcha Macadamia Latte STAT. You will most definitely not be sorry (and your Instagram feed will look fab as well.)

Whip up this easy Matcha Macadamia Latte with macadamia nut milk, matcha powder and a matcha whisk!

So aside from making Matcha Macadamia Lattes all day every day this weekend, what else have you got planned? We’re taking it easy with a quiet Saturday at home, then we’re headed to Ojai on Sunday for a quick overnight stay – our last little getaway before baby comes! We won’t have too much time there but are trying to squeeze in as much as possible. Any suggestions for what we should do or, more importantly, where we should eat?

Have a great weekend, friends!

This post contains affiliate links. As always, all thoughts and opinions are my own. Thank you for continuing to support the brands that make CaliGirl Cooking possible!

Matcha Macadamia Latte
Prep Time
10 mins
 

Your matcha will never be the same when you turn it into a latte with creamy macadamia nut milk and a touch of honey. It's to die for!

Course: Breakfast, Drinks
Servings: 2 lattes
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 12 ounces macadamia nut milk
  • 1 teaspoon matcha powder
  • Honey, if desired
Instructions
  1. Heat up milk (either on the stovetop or in the microwave) and then whisk in matcha powder. Divide among two mugs and sweeten with honey, if desired.

Matcha Macadamia Latte | CaliGirlCooking.com

PB&J Quinoa Bowl

The best Monday breakfast you could ever hope for.

This PB&J Quinoa Bowl is the perfect healthy breakfast to get your week started on the right foot.

That’s right. This PB&J Quinoa Bowl will change the way you view beginning-of-the-week breakfasts forever, and I don’t think you’ll be one bit mad about it.

I don’t know about you, but the weekends always feel like a crazy whirlwind of fun for me, and it’s always just a little bit tough to go to bed on Sunday night knowing I have to wake up and face the “real world” the next day. Yes, I work from home and yes, many feel that’s quite the luxury, but I promise it’s still not easy. If anything, I feel more accountable for being productive, especially after an event-filled weekend like the one I just had.

I’ve been up north at the parents’ house since last Wednesday and I’ll actually be working from up here for the next week due to a heavy influx of close friend and family obligations. I helped cater one of my good friends’ baby showers this past Saturday and next weekend we have a family birthday party, so I just decided to forego 8 extra hours in the car (no bueno for a pregnant mamma!) and stay up here for the week.

The downside of that is, now I’m here surrounded by family, and they all have fun, exciting things that they want to do, yet I still need to be sure I find the time to actually WORK and get done what I need to get done since I’m still held accountable for doing my job, even when I’m not physically at my “home base.” Does anyone else struggle with this? Please tell me you do and give me pointers!

But enough about my time management/life balancing skills, let’s talk about what we REALLY need to get out on the table today (both literally and figuratively) – these PB&J Quinoa Bowls!

Two PB&J Quinoa Bowls ready to be enjoyed on any weekday or weekend morning!

Real life talk: this is another recipe where I have to give all creative credit to a favorite eating establishment of mine. When I first moved to Santa Barbara, one of the things I remember being most excited about was the fact that they had an entire eatery based around the concept of one of my favorite breakfasts – the acai bowl! Yes, I get excited about these things because, hey, I am a food blogger. And there most definitely were no such places in Napa, where I lived previously.

Let me tell you a little bit about Backyard Bowls and why it is so amazing. Well, they literally have any sort of acai bowl you can imagine – green bowls, power bowls, tropical bowls – you name it! Then on top of that they have a whole list of smoothies, PLUS a line of non-acai bowls that are also healthy and taste absolutely amazing. This is the section of the menu where the PB&J Quinoa Bowl resides.

A big PB&J Quinoa Bowl is the perfect healthy, filling breakfast to get your week started on the right foot.

When I was still working in a “real office” full time, a PB&J Quinoa Bowl from Backyard Bowls was one of my favorite breakfasts to pick up on my way to work and eat at my desk, especially if I had a long day ahead of me where I didn’t know what time I’d be able to get to any sort of lunch.

It’s chock full of protein, yet still tastes indulgent at the same time. And the quinoa, oh the quinoa. If you have never ventured into the world of quinoa served oatmeal-style for breakfast, I highly recommend you do so soon (you can try this Banana Peach Breakfast Quinoa with Cinnamon Sugar Pecans while you’re at it.) It is so tasty, super healthy, and full of protein. And yes, quinoa tastes just as good with sweet breakfast-y ingredients as it does with savory dinner-y ingredients.

So here’s the PB&J Quinoa Bowl scoop: First off, you literally cook it just as you would oatmeal. And instead of cooking it using water as the liquid, you’ll use good ol’ cashew milk. In fact, you could really use any sort of regular OR nut milk, I just used cashew because I was trying to really capture Backyard Bowls’ take on the whole thing and that’s what they use. But it’s totally up to you!

Overhead shot of the super-creamy and delicious PB&J Quinoa Bowl. The perfect healthy breakfast!

Once the quinoa is cooked (but while it’s still warm) you’ll stir in a little additional cashew (or other) milk along with your favorite peanut butter to make it extra creamy.

That’s it as far as cooking goes! The next bit, the toppings, is what really takes your PB&J Quinoa Bowl over the edge. First off, your favorite jelly is KEY. I’m quite the traditionalist and prefer to stick to strawberry jam, but feel free to use your own creative license here and use whatever your little heart desires.

Next, you’ll want to add some texture with nicely toasted slivered almonds. They add the perfect crunch to an otherwise texturally one-dimensional bowl. And are such a fun contrast to the peanut butter!

Finally, slice up some fresh banana and fan that out over top. Because what’s a breakfast bowl without a sliced banana topping?

Long story short, this PB&J Quinoa Bowl is a super easy and insanely delicious recipe that needs to make an appearance in your kitchen ASAP. It’s the perfect breakfast to really turn a week around and I guarantee you won’t be mad about it once your piping hot bowl is sitting in front of you on a Monday morning before heading to work.

PB&J Quinoa Bowl topped with strawberry jam, slivered almonds and fresh bananas. The perfect healthy breakfast!

Grab the recipe below and here’s to another productive week ahead! Xo

PB&J Quinoa Bowl
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
9 mins
Total Time
24 mins
 

Protein-packed quinoa gets a morning makeover when cooked with your favorite nut milk and swirled with peanut butter and jam, plus even more delicious toppings!

Course: Breakfast
Author: CaliGirl Cooking
Ingredients
  • 1 1/2 cups rinsed tricolor quinoa
  • 3 cups unsweetened cashew milk, divided
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 cup peanut butter, plus more for topping (if desired)
  • 2-4 tablespoons strawberry jelly
  • 1/2 cup slivered almonds, toasted
  • 2 bananas, sliced
Instructions
  1. Bring quinoa, 2 ½ cups of the cashew milk and honey to a boil in a medium saucepan, stirring occasionally. 

  2. Turn down the heat to a low simmer, cover and cook for 10 more minutes. 

  3. Turn off the heat and stir in additional ½ cup of cashew milk, salt and peanut butter. 

  4. Scoop quinoa into 2-4 bowls and top with strawberry jelly, almonds, banana and more peanut butter, if desired.

PB&J Quinoa Bowl | CaliGirlCooking.com