banana bread oatmeal

there’s nothing better on a cold morning than something warm and filling that you can cozy up on the couch with. enter: banana bread oatmeal. (and coffee, naturally.)

i made this for the first time earlier this year when it was freezing cold, and now it's just starting to turn a little colder. yes, for those of you who are baffled - it does get cold in california (at least where i am.). and my darling fiancé loves to keep the apartment  lets just say i’m a layering professional at this point.

you’ll love this oatmeal - we make it at least 2-3x per week since it’s that good.


banana bread oatmeal | source: chef haley’s brain

ingredients | serves one

  • ½ cup rolled oats (also seen as old fashioned oats)
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 tsp brown sugar
  • pat of butter
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • handful of almonds (better yet, pecans)
  • chopped banana

*as you can tell, my measurements are pretty exact for this recipe… kidding. it’s very simple, but all based on preference, so start with a little and add more to your liking.


  1. mix together rolled oats and almond milk in a microwave safe bowl. 
  2. heat for 2 minutes in the microwave. stir, and heat again in the microwave for 30 more seconds. (timing may vary, but i heat in the microwave until it’s thick and there’s no liquid remaining.)
  3. throw in a tsp of brown sugar, pat of butter, pinch of salt, and pinch of cinnamon. stir well - it will get all melty, a little brown, and delicious-looking.
  4. next, throw in your almonds and chopped banana. 
  5. done!


so so easy and yummy, right? next time you wake up and you’re feeling the fall weather, spend your morning making this with a cup of hot coffee and a nice fleece blanket paired with a book (or a blog).

xoxo, #chefhaley

rustic breakfast pizza

i originally made this the first day of 2015. i specifically remember waking up and, for whatever reason, i didn’t really feel like following a recipe. so i winged it, and now we have this delicious breakfast pizza. 

i then nostalgically remembered that on the first day of 2014, i made the spiced apple crumb muffin recipe from gwyneth paltrow’s my father’s daughter, one of the first cookbooks i ever received.

it’s funny to see what can happen in a year or so.

bfast pizza

the great thing about this breakfast pizza is you can easily customize it to whatever you like or have on hand. vegetarian? great, replace the meat with corn and black beans! don’t have sausage at home? totally fine, use some bacon, ham, or chorizo. the beauty of this recipe was that well, it was kind of made up, and it ended up being something pretty awesome.


rustic breakfast pizza | source: #chefhaley’s brain 

ingredients | serves four to five

  • 1 premade pizza dough (i did store bought!)
  • ¼ cup cornmeal
  • 6oz spicy italian sausage
  • 1 bell pepper, diced
  • 1 russet potato, chopped
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 eggs
  • pico de gallo
  • avocado
  • ½ cup salsa
  • ½ cup shredded cheese
  • salt & pepper 


1. preheat your oven to 445 degrees.

2. sit out pizza dough for at least 30 minutes to rise to room temperature.

2. while your dough is out, dice up your 1 bell pepper and mince your 1 clove of garlic. set aside.

3. next, chop up your 1 russet potato. place the potato into cold water immediately. let soak for 5 minutes, then drain and lay out to dry thoroughly.

4. saute your spicy italian sausage in a pan for about 5-8 minutes, until cooked through. once cooked, set aside and leave fat in the pan.

5. now saute your bell pepper, garlic, and russet potato in that leftover sausage fat (sounds awful, but it is such an easy way to add flavor!) you can add 1 tbsp of olive oil if you need more fat in the pan. once browned, after about 10 minutes, set aside.

4. now that your pizza dough is room temperature, split into two sections and hand roll each section in cornmeal. roll or hand knead pizza doughs into even sizes.

5. place both pizza dough halves on a greased baking sheet.

6. top each pizza dough with ¼ cup salsa then with ¼ cup shredded cheese. next up, the sautéed bell peppers, garlic, and potatoes, then the sausage.

7. make little wells in each of the toppings on the pizzas and carefully crack an egg into each well. 

8. bake at 445 degrees for 12-15 minutes.

9. top with pico de gallo, avocado, and extra cheese and salsa. 

10. slice and serve! serves about 4-5. 


hope you enjoy it! 

xoxo, #chefhaley

homemade granola

as y'all know, i love me some breakfast. i love it in every way, shape, or form. but granola can be so sneaky! most store bought granolas have very little fiber and way too much sugar, but it tricks you into think it's a health food. so, i decided to make my own with things i had in my pantry and a little guidance from skinnytaste.


this granola recipe is adapted from skinnytaste’s new cookbook - a staple in my kitchen - and i simply changed it to fit our tastes and what we had on hand. edited down, it only has 2.5 g of sugar per serving!.


homemade granola | source: adapted from skinnytaste’s cookbook

ingredients | serves 11 (serving size is 1/3 cup)

  • ¼ cup quinoa
  • 1 ½ cup rolled oats
  • ¼ cup unsweetened shredded cocounut
  • ¼ cup flaxseeds
  • ¼ cup almonds
  • ¼ cup pecans
  • ¼ cup dried bing cherries
  • 1/8 cup real maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
  • kosher salt


  1. preheat your over to 325 F. line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. rinse your quinoa thoroughly under cold water in a fine mesh strainer. drain well and pat dry. (this may seem superfluous, but rinsing your quinoa is essential!)
  3. spread your quinoa, oats, and shredded coconut out on your lined rimmed baking sheet. toast in the oven, stirring once, until golden. mine took about 15 minutes. your kitchen will smell divine!
  4. while toasting, mix together your flaxseeds, almonds, pecans, and dried fruit in a bowl. 
  5. transfer your oat mixture to that same bowl and give it a good mix. leave your oven on in the meantime.
  6. in a small bowl, combine the maple syrup, coconut oil, vanilla, cinnamon, and a pinch of salt. pour this mixture over the oat mixture and stir to combine.
  7. spread your final mixture out on the same lined baking sheet as before. bake until golden brown, about 10 to 15 minutes.


i love this granola and can eat it by itself it’s so good. that baked taste element takes it to a whole new level. i’ll serve it up with ½ cup plain greek yogurt for some added protein. kept in an airtight jar, it can last up to a month or longer!

try this version and let me know what you think!

xoxo, #chefhaley

chicken sausage, kale + potato frittata

mmmm this frittata is the best best best. i've recently become more of a savory breakfast person - i used to be an all sweet breakfast no exceptions kind of person - and this frittata has helped that transition immensely. it's super healthy, and light but filling and great heated up. we'll make it on sundays and eat it throughout the week til it's gone!


served with a side of fruit and a latte - it's the perfect way to start your day.

chicken sausage, kale + potato frittata

adapted from skinnytaste

ingredients | serves 8 

  • 3 large eggs
  • 3 large egg whites
  • 2 tbsp parmesan cheese
  • kosher salt
  • freshly cracked black pepper
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 6 oz sweet italian chicken sausage, casings removed
  • 1 small yellow onion, chopped
  • 12 oz (2 medium) yukon gold potatoes, diced
  • 1/4 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • 1 cup chopped kale, stems and ribs removed


  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Crack your eggs into a large bowl. Add egg whites, parmesan, a pinch of salt and pepper, and whisk until well blended.
  3. Heat a tsp of olive oil 10-inch nonstick oven-safe skillet over medium heat. I use my cast iron for this and it works wonderfully. 
  4. Add your sausage and onion, breaking up the meat with a wooden spoon and cooking through until the onions are golden. Transfer to a plate.
  5. Add the remaining tsp of olive oil to heat in your pan, then add your diced potatoes. Season with salt, pepper, garlic powder, and paprika. stir them frequently and cook until tender.
  6. Add the kale, mixing it in and letting it wilt.
  7. Combine your sausage and onion mixture with the kale and potatoes in the skillet, spreading it evenly within the pan. 
  8. Pour the egg mixture over the skillet. Reduce the heat to low and set your timer to 8 minutes.
  9. Once the 8 minutes is up, transfer the skillet to the oven and cook for another 10 minutes until the frittata is completely set.
  10. Cut into 8 pieces and serve!

I adore this recipe, and hope you do too. Pro tip - it's perfect to make on a week where you buy the ingredients to make my spaghetti squash recipe :) let me know what you think!

xoxo, #chefhaley

baked berry oatmeal

well you guys, i'm not going to beat around the bush on this one. this recipe is probably the easiest recipe on this website... AND it gets an A++++ from #chefhaley and her official taste tester. it's so ridiculously easy, healthy, and delicious - it's a complete no brainer when you're wanting something on the sweet side for breakfast. it's great for groups and brunches, too, because you can reheat it on the go! i truly can't say enough good things about it.


you can use any kind of fruit you'd like or you could switch the rolled oats for steel cut if that's your thing. either way, this is a recipe on my sweet breakfast rotation that is staying for a while.

baked berry oatmeal (adapted from here)

ingredients | serves 6

  • 1 cup rolled oats
  • 1/4 cup chopped pecans
  • 1/2 tsp baking powder
  • 1 tsp cinnamon
  • pinch of salt
  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup (you could also use honey)
  • 1 large egg
  • 2 tbsp unsalted melted butter, cooled
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract
  • 1 cup blueberries (or any other fruit)
  • 2-3 ripe bananas


  1. preheat your oven to 375 degrees. lightly grease an 8x8 square dish or 2-quart baking dish.
  2. combine rolled oats, half of the pecans, cinnamon, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl.
  3. combine maple syrup, almond milk, egg, melted butter, and vanilla in a medium bowl and whisk until incorporated.
  4. slice bananas and spread them in a single layer on the bottom of your baking dish. 
  5. top bananas with half of your berries.
  6. sprinkle dry ingredients, then pour your wet ingredients evenly on top.
  7. finish with the rest of the berries and the other half of the chopped pecans.
  8. bake for 35-45 minutes until golden brown on top. let cool for 10 minutes before serving!

can't wait for y'all to try this one! let me know what you think!

xoxo, #chefhaley

overnight blueberry + chia oatmeal

overnight chia oatmeal, you say? what does that even mean? at least the blueberries sound normal...


chia seeds are filled with two times more protein than most grains and five times more calcium than milk. they also carry healthy amounts of omega-3's, omega-6's, fiber, potassium, and even antioxidants. when you add just a single tablespoon to your overnight oatmeal, they absorb the liquid (thickening the oatmeal) but add zero weird taste! awesome, right?

i'll tell you what - to me, breakfast used to be an afterthought; something i skipped, or just mindlessly picked up a granola bar on the way out the door to say i ate. but these overnight oats are so delicious, easy, and healthy, it's hard to skip it. even on my most rushed mornings, when i know this is in the fridge, i take bites in between swipes of mascara or at the very least, throw it in my bag to eat when i get to work.

this is a recipe you are welcome to moderate where you'd like, but what i've done is take it down to the healthiest level - meaning minimal added sugars and carbs, and a great amount of protein per serving.

overnight blueberry +  chia oatmeal


  • 1/2 cup nonfat plain greek yogurt (you can also use flavored, but keep in mind it will have more added sugars)
  • 1/2 cup rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup blueberries (or fruit of your choice)
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds (you can find these at trader joe's/whole foods in a small bag near the flax seed)


  1. mix all ingredients together in an airtight container.
  2. refrigerate overnight (6-24) hours.
  3. enjoy hot or cold!

these are too easy not to try! let me know how you moderate them.

til next time,

xoxo, #chefhaley