Caramelized Pear and Pecan Zoats


If you happened to catch the big news a couple of weeks ago, you know we’re in the middle of a pretty exciting move! We officially said goodbye to our great little apartment in San Francisco nearly two weeks ago and have been settling into our new home here in Bend. Granted, we’re still sleeping on an air mattress, eating frozen pizza off of biodegradable dishware and assembling furniture without instructions but we have the essentials: wifi, coffee, heat and hot water. Oh and we also have zoats.

Zoats ma goats.

If you’ve not yet heard of zoats, let me introduce you to the hottest breakfast duo in town: shredded zucchini and oatmeal. They’re like the Brangelina of breakfast — only better because they’re actually gonna be married forever. At least in my oatmeal bowl.

Zucchini oatmeal sounds weird, right? I thought so too. But this creation, whoever first came up with it, might be as life changing as mashing avocado on toast or adding kale to a smoothie — neither of which I can imagine life without now.


One serving of these warm, fall-flavored caramelized pear and pecan zoats provides a whopping 17 grams of high-quality protein and 11 filling grams of fiber — a satisfying way to start your day. Besides protein, milk also provides 8 other essential nutrients like calcium and potassium which help with everything from muscle contractions to bone health.

Don’t let the look of these zoats fool you either. They’re as simple and quick as they are delicious which means you still have time for a nutritious breakfast on busy mornings! I whipped these up in 10 minutes with a simple hand grater, a small saucepan and a skillet. I even peeled the pears with a biodegradable knife — because that’s all we’ve got around here. One silver spoon, one ceramic bowl, one glass (you’re lookin’ at ’em) and a whole lot of disposable dishware.


I wouldn’t have expected it but these zoats are also great reheated, which means those of you who choose to snooze can still start your day off with a nutritious breakfast. Simply cook up a batch the night before, pop them in the microwave with an extra splash of milk for a minute or two in the morning and you’ll have a delicious, hearty breakfast that’ll keep you feeling full and focused until lunchtime.

Caramelized Pear and Pecan Zoats

Needless to say, reheated caramelized pear and pecan zoats have been our everything this week. The warm, fall flavors of this breakfast are the perfect complement the beautiful foliage and cool morning temperatures here in Bend — which is why our bowls and spoons will be the first items to be unboxed.

A special thanks to the National Milk Life Campaign for sponsoring this delicious recipe. For more nutritious recipes, head on over to or connect with them on social via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and Instagram.


The Single Decision That’s Changing Our Lives


I’ve wanted to be my own boss for as long as I can remember.  My plan, when I finished up graduate school three plus years ago, was to open a private practice and continue blogging on the side. Before I had the chance to make that happen though, I was offered a once-in-a-lifetime chance and accepted the rather big job of being the nutrition expert for the world’s largest nutrition app.

Working at MyFitnessPal has been nothing short of a dream come true — and with blogging, freelance writing and recipe projects sprinkled in, I even managed to build a pretty good side hustle that’s satisfied the creative foodie in me.

Things change though — family priorities, job dynamics, professional aspirations — and since becoming a mama nine months ago, I’ve given a lot of thought to how I spend my time, what I want to devote my energy to, what matters and what doesn’t. Ultimately I decided I wanted two things: to be able to spend more time with our little guy and to do more of what I love — blogging, writing, recipe development, food photography, consulting. I guess I realized life is just too short and babies grow up way too fast.

Luckily, my husband was on board. Phew! I thought it was going to be hard to convince him but, as it turns out, all it took was a bottle of rosé and a big bowl of this butternut squash carbonara. So, a few months ago we started putting together a plan to make this crazy dream of mine a reality.

But that’s not all.

We also bought a home! A beautiful new home.


Because that’s the logical thing to do when you decide to quit your full-time job and start your own business, no?

No, I suppose not. But as weird as it sounds, for us it made sense — for a lot of reasons. As much as we love San Francisco, city living with a baby has been wearing on us. The increase in crime, the busy streets, the cost of housing (and childcare!), the lack of parking, the trash trucks outside our apartment at 4AM every Monday — it’s left us wanting more space for Noah to run crawl around, more fresh air, more peace and quiet — easier living overall. Knowing I’d soon be able to work from anywhere and that the hubs could also work remotely, we threw some darts at the map and decided beautiful Bend, Oregon was where we wanted to be.

Crazy right?

In addition to wrapping things up at work, starting my own freelance business and buying a home, we’re moving in two weeks. Actually, less than two weeks. Even I’m still trying to process that one but our lease is up at the end of the month so I suppose it’s happening one way or another.

Needless to say our apartment is a hot mess and our heads about to explode but we couldn’t be more excited about what’s to come!

And there will be lots more to come.


Mini Carrot Cake Bran Muffins


Over the past two weeks I’ve probably eaten about 30 of these adorably, delicious mini carrot cake bran muffins. Recipe testing…. It’s a tough job but somebody has to do it around here!

As it turns out, little Noah, who’s now 9 months (!!!), is turning out to be quite a good little taste tester himself. He may not be able to give verbal critiques just yet but, let me tell you, his body language is spot on.

Admittedly, I got a little heavy handed with the molasses on the first batch. One taste and well, Noah looked me square in the face and did a full body shiver. If he had arm hair I’m pretty sure it also would have been standing straight up. I tried not to laugh about the fact that I just completely disgusted my own child but it was just too cute. Needless to say I went back to the mixing bowl to try again.


How was the second batch you want to know? That one got two enthusiastic arms up from my little pint-sized judge in the black Ikea high chair. I consider that a victory after round one’s hysterical disappointing results.

What I love about these muffins, besides that they are seriously delicious and now have the perfect balance of molasses, is how nutritious they are. Thanks to whole grains, like hearty oat bran soaked in milk, just four of these mini muffins provide 7 grams of quality protein and 6 grams of fiber. Add an 8-ounce glass of milk to wash them down and you’ve got a great breakfast or snack with a solid 15 grams of protein. With 9 essential nutrients in each 8-ounce glass, milk is a delicious, simple and wholesome way to give kids natural, high-quality protein, plus other important nutrients they need like calcium and potassium.


It’s important for kids (and their busy parents!) to get protein at every meal — especially breakfast, since it keeps us feeling satisfied. Having a glass of milk with breakfast does wonders for keeping the mid-morning hungries at bay and helps everyone stay focused, which is especially important this time of year as summer vacations come to an end, parents return to work and the kiddos head back to school.

Mornings feeling a little rushed these days? Silly question, I know. Throw a few of these little guys into a plastic baggie, pour some milk in spill-proof cup and you’ve got a nutritious breakfast to take on the go.

If you’re looking for a nutritious, make-ahead breakfast or snack that both kids and their busy parents will love, these mini carrot cake bran muffins are the way to go. I’m willing to bet your kids will also give them two enthusiastic arms up!


A special thanks to the National Milk Life Campaign for sponsoring this delicious recipe. For more nutritious recipes, head on over to or connect with them on social via FacebookTwitterPinterest and Instagram.