Pumpkin Chia Breakfast Bowl
Fresh and Balanced

It’s hot hot hot here in the midwest and the last thing I want to be eating for breakfast is something warm!

Nope, not gonna do it.

I’ve been living on smoothies, popsicles and chia seed puddings for breakfasts recently. I’ve run through all the normal chia pudding combos, vanilla, maple, berry etc…and I was craving something different.

PUMPKIN! Pumpkin in summer? Why not?

Now before you roll your eyes and comment how the pumpkin spice latte keeps coming back earlier and earlier, let me stop you.

This isn’t your average pumpkin flavored dish! It’s complex and refreshing at the same time! It may sound like a fall recipe, but the fresh banana and shredded coconut both delight and confuse your taste buds :)!

It’s the perfect summer breakfast that I’ve been eating on repeat lately! Give it a try for yourself!! :)

Fresh and Balanced

Pumpkin Chia Breakfast Bowls

Makes 6 servings


  • 1/2 cup chia seeds

  • 4 cups coconut milk

  • 3 cups pumpkin purée

  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice

  • 2 teaspoons vanilla extract

  • 3 tablespoons pure maple syrup

  • 6 tablespoons coconut flakes

  • 6 tablespoons granola

  • 6 bananas


In a large bowl, add chia seeds, coconut milk, pumpkin, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and maple syrup. Whisk to combine. Evenly divide between meal prep containers. Store toppings on the side and slice bananas fresh before eating.

Caprese Pesto Salad
Fresh and Balanced Kat Marris

I love any recipe that can act as a two for one! This recipe fits that requirement in the most delicious way possible!

This recipe is both the perfect cookout or pitch in side dish AND a lovely meal prep lunch! WINNER!!!

Make the recipe as is and bring to your next cookout or BBQ for a show stopping side dish. Then save some leftover grilled chicken, ribs or whatever you have on hand and add it to the salad for a delicious lunch to take to work!!

The salty olives, mellow mozzarella and tangy tomatoes all work together so well on a bed of crisp zucchini noodles. The final addition of bright and herby pesto really takes it over the edge!

Have fun with the olives as well! I kept it simple with Kalamata, but feel free to go crazy at the olive bar and add green, black, stuffed or any other olive that catches your eye!!!


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Caprese Pesto Salad

Makes 6 servings


1 cup pitted kalamata olives

2 cups mozzarella pearls

3 cups cherry tomatoes, sliced in half

3 tablespoons homemade or store bought pesto

1/3 cup fresh basil, finely chopped

5-6 medium zucchini, spiralized

Salt and pepper to taste


In a large bowl, gently stir together olives, mozzarella, tomatoes and pesto. Add in zucchini noodles and gently toss to combine. Top with chopped basil.

Cashew Pesto
Cashew Pesto

Pesto is one of my favorite flavor profiles to tinker with. Not only does it go well with anything you toss, spread or serve it with, pesto is extremely forgiving! It seems that no matter what you throw in the food processor, as long as there is a bounty of fresh basil and garlic, it’s going to taste fab!!!

One of my go-to summer meals that I could eat over and over is a bowl of pesto pasta with fresh tomatoes and parsley, mozzarella cheese and glass of sangria! :)

This recipe uses cashews because of the silky texture they give the pesto! It’s important to soak them so they blend smoothly. If you haven’t tried a pesto made with cashews, you’re in for a treat! Pine nuts are typically the traditional choice, but walnuts, pecans, almonds and cashews all add interesting and varying flavors!

Pesto 2

This pesto is especially interesting as it’s dairy free! That’s right, no cheese! Tahini is the secret ingredient to this pesto, it adds the cheesy, salty flavor you would normally gather from Parmesan.

Spread this thick and rich pesto on bread, pizza, toss with pasta served hot or cold or even as an interesting component to a salad!

Give this recipe a try and let me know what you think! :)

Cashew Pesto

Makes 1 cup pesto


  • 1/4-1/3 cup fresh lemon juice (depending on taste preference)

  • 1/2 cup raw and unsalted cashews (soaked in hot water for 5 min then drained)

  • 1 cup fresh basil leaves

  • 1/3 cup fresh parsley leaves

  • 1/2 tablespoon maple syrup

  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

  • 2 tablespoons tahini

  • 2-3 cloves garlic, minced

  • Salt and pepper to taste


In a 4-cup food processor, add all the ingredients. Blend until pesto is thick. Add a little warm water, one tablespoon at a time until pesto is smooth.

Kathryn MarrisComment
Breakfast Heroes! Egg Muffins!


Egg Muffins -2.jpg

Mornings can be so crazy around here! Up early to workout, back home to clean up and out the door Brian goes to work! No time to make an old-fashioned sit-down breakfast!!

That’s when my meal prep egg muffins save the day! They are my breakfast heroes!

So easy to make on Sunday and they power us in the morning for the rest of the week! And very versatile! I can make several different versions all at the same time using the base recipe!

Some can have all veggies, some can add some extra cheese and quinoa, some can have ham, cheese and broccoli!  

You will love them. I promise. A quick heat up and viola! Your breakfast is literally in hand and ready to walk out the door with you!!

(makes 9 egg muffins)

6 eggs
1/4 cup nut milk (or regular milk), unsweetened 
1/4 cup Parmesan, grated
1/3 cup crumbles goat cheese
1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
1/3 cup mushrooms, chopped 
Salt and pepper to taste 
Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Fill a greased 12 count muffin tin with eggs mixture, fill each cup only half way. Place in a 375 degree oven for 15 min or until firm in the center. Cool slightly then remove from pan.


You can bacon, tomatoes, cheddar cheese, green onions or any other ingredient you have on hand in place of the goat cheese, green pepper, mushroom and Parmesan!