Sweet Potato Breakfast with Gingerbread Pecan Crisp

Why'd you have to go and make things so complicated?

I wasn't sure why that song had been looping through my head, endlessly, for days on end.

But now I think I know.

I spend so much time and energy thinking about and planning the look of my food photos - choosing and setting up the background, deciding on props, playing with and adjusting light(s), tethering to my laptop, adjusting my tripod, switching out lenses - ugh. The list of small details involved in getting a decent shot goes on and on and on...

Yesterday morning I said, 'Fuck it'.

If you scroll down to my previous post, you'll see I received a copy of Allison Day's gorgeous new cookbook, Whole Bowls. It's a truly lovely book and one of the recipes I'd bookmarked was the Sweet Potato Breakfast with Gingerbread Pecan Crisp. In my mind's eye, I knew that the bright orange of the sweet potato and citrus would be so luscious and vibrant, I should grab my camera and snap a quick shot.

So I did.

I chose a bowl from my prop closet, quickly assembled the dish and then photographed it in less than 5 minutes. Set up on the small green table, with no props, from the top of a stepladder, and using one small piece of white foam board to bounce a bit of like back in to the shadows, it's so...


And I'm so happy about that.

This was a great exercise for me to just let go, relax, and have a quick bit of fun before I sat down and ate the most delicious breakfast ever.

Click here to learn more about Allison and her blog, Yummy Beet, or here to check out her book, Whole Bowls : Complete Gluten-Free Vegetarian Meals to Power Your Day.

Cookbook Review : Whole Bowls : Yogurt Bowl with Cherry Pesto

Whole Bowls by Allison Day is a gluten-free, vegetarian cookbook

I know, I know.

It probably seems a wee bit odd for me to review a gluten-free, vegetarian cookbook, however, after a long winter of indulgent eating, Netflix and lounging, I felt the need to shake things up. 

When I received my copy of Whole Bowls, I went through and bookmarked 19 recipes that I'd be interested in making.


Dishes like the Sweet Potato Breakfast with Gingerbread Pecan Crisp, the Wine Country Salad with Wild Rice Grape Pilaf and Halloumi or Baked Polenta with Caramelized Onions, Mushrooms and Marinara had me drooling, not to mention the desserts - Anytime Peach Buckwheat Crisp, Roasted Pears with Whipped Goat Cheese and Maple Pine Nut Brittle or Mint Chocolate Straciatella Gelato.

I suddenly found myself thinking, 'Hmmm - gluten-free vegetarian eating doesn't sound half bad'.

Now, I'll be honest. I'd not heard of Allison or her blog Yummy Beet until Jan Scott of Family Bites contacted me about participating in a blog hop to celebrate the release of Whole Bowls, but once I cracked open my book, I became an instant fan. Allison doesn't only write beautiful recipes, but she's also an extremely talented food photographer. She shot and styled every photograph in her book! That's my kind of girl! I'm a sucker for great food photography, and I can't wait to work my way through the recipes I've bookmarked.

For the blog hop, I chose to make the Yogurt Bowl with Cherry Pesto and Hazelnut Oil-Toasted Oats (pictured above). I've been eating it for breakfast for the last three days and I have to say - it's fantastic. It takes so little time to assemble and is such a nutritious and satisfying way to start the day. Here, with Allison's permission, is the recipe - 

Yogurt Bowls with Cherry Pesto and Hazelnut Oil-Toasted Oats

For the Toasted Oats - 

1 Tbsp roasted hazelnut oil (I used sesame oil)

1/2 C large flake oats (not instant)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

1/4 tsp sea salt

- In a large skillet, warm oil over medium heat. Add oats, cinnamon and salt. Toast, stirring often for 3-5 minutes, until fragrant. Transfer to a small bowl.

For the Cherry Pesto -

1/2 C roasted hazelnuts (I used pecans because I love them and had them on hand)

1 Tbsp coconut or cane sugar (I used maple syrup)

1/2 tsp ground cinnamon

2 C frozen, defrosted cherries or fresh, pitted cherries

2 tsp lemon juice or Balsamic vinegar

- In a food processor, pulse the nuts, sugar and cinnamon until finely chopped. Add cherries and lemon juice, briefly blending until mostly smooth, leaving a little texture.

For the Yogurt - 

2 C plain Greek yogurt

1 Tbsp maple syrup

1 tsp vanilla

- In a medium bowl, mix all yogurt ingredients. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

- To serve - Dollop yogurt in bowls, swirl in pesto and sprinkle generously with oats. Serve.

A big thank you to Jan and Allison for including me in the #wholebowls blog hop and since you're here, why not take a moment to check out my other blog hop friends?

Aimée from Simple Bites made Quick Homemade Harissa

Charmian from The Messy Baker made Smoky Corn and Grilled Peach Salad

Jenny from The Brunette Baker made Anytime Peach Buckwheat Crisp

Heather from The Tasty Gardener made Radicchio with Beets, Sweets and Balsamic Dressing

Louisa from Living Lou made 3-Bean Garden Salad with Asparagus Coconut Dressing

Mardi from eat. live. travel. write. made Roasted Vegetable Bowl with Fried Egg and Goat Cheese

Mairlyn from made Banquet Bowls with Cauliflower Hazelnut Pilaf

Jan from Family Bites made Spring Smashed Chickpea Salad with Curry Mayo