My move date to San Francisco is coming up hard and fast (yep, in case you missed it — I'm moving to San Francisco). The last few weeks have been a whirlwind and I've been overstretched between training folks at my current job, trying to find a place in San Francisco, interviewing property managers for the house, and packing a 3-bedroom house to fit into a studio. On top of that, my social calendar has been out of control, first with friends from out of town coming to visit and my bouncing around from one set of goodbye lunches and drinks to another. But thankfully, my last day at work was last Friday, and it's only now that I can finally breathe.
With so much going on, I've made it a priority to eat well. In contrast with my usual sedentary job in front of a computer, I'm on my feet all day. I spend the majority of the day racing from one room of the house to the other, shuffling heavy boxes between the car and the house, and general pacing nervously as I try to bring everything together. Meals have become bare-bone, utilitarian affairs: give me as much protein and complex carbohydrates to keep me going as long as I can between breakfast, lunch, and dinner.
There was one morning, however, that was the exception to my frantic planning and packing. Last Saturday, I let myself sleep in and woke up to fix myself my "dream" breakfast in bed meal — chia seed yogurt pudding with pistachios and fresh seasonal fruit like rhubarb and kumquats:
Oddly enough, despite my massive sweet tooth, I like my breakfasts on the lighter side. No thank you to waffles, pancakes, bacon, and eggs — yes please to yogurt and fruit. The breakfast bowl above has all the fixings of my dream breakfast: protein from the chia seeds, yogurt, and raw pistachios, refreshing tartness and sweetness from the kumquats, and finally, subtle sourness from the seasonal rhubarb. Not to mention the fact that, because I really wanted to treat myself, I roasted the rhubarb in champagne to give the fruit a little extra indulgent something, something. Because nothing says TREAT. YO. SELF. more than champagne at breakfast, right?
Well. Except maybe this breakfast... in bed:
And it was AWESOME. Really and truly...
I'm pretty sure that breakfast is going to be my last moment of calm until I finally get to San Francisco.
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Some baker's notes:
- Chia seeds are available online, or in the bulk sections of most organic/local supermarkets. Chia seeds can absorb up to 12 times their weight when soaked in liquid, and soaking chia seeds in a batch of yogurt overnight is what gives the pudding its thick, gel-like texture. Be sure to plan ahead and let the seeds soak overnight to get the thickest, creamiest pudding possible!
- You can make this recipe with a variety of yogurts, but I like to use unsweetened 'plain' yogurt. Keep in mind that you're going to be adding syrup from the champagne roasted rhubarb, which will add to the sweetness of the dish. If you need a little bit more sweetness, you can also drizzle in some honey over the pudding. I've also made this recipe with Greek yogurt, but found the result to be too thick — but some people are into that, so feel free to experiment!
- 1/4 cup plain yogurt
- 2 tablespoons chia seeds
- 3/4 cup whole milk
(makes around 1 cup of compote)
- 1 pound rhubarb, trimmed and sliced into 1-inch thick pieces
- 1/2 cup granulated sugar
- 1/4 cup champagne
- 1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla bean powder (or 1 vanilla bean)
- 1 cup plain yogurt
- 1 recipe champagne roasted rhubarb (from recipe above)
- 1/3 "generous" cup kumquats, sliced in halves
- 1/4 cup raw shelled pistachios, roughly chopped
- In a medium glass bowl, combine 1/4 cup plain yogurt and 2 tablespoons chia seeds, stirring with a spoon to combine. Continue to stir while slowly adding 3/4 cup whole milk. When the milk is fully incorporated, cover with plastic wrap and transfer to the fridge to refrigerate overnight.
- Center a rack in the oven and preheat to 350 (F).
- Place 1 pound chopped rhubarb in a glass 9 x 13-inch baking pan. In a small bowl, whisk together 1/2 cup granulated sugar, 1/4 cup champagne, and 1/2 teaspoon ground vanilla bean powder — don't worry if the sugar doesn't dissolve, you should end up with a thick, grainy syrup. Drizzle over the rhubarb and use a rubber spatula, tossing the fruit until all the rhubarb pieces are covered in syrup.
- Roast in the preheated oven until the rhubarb is very tender and the juices are syrupy, around 30 to 40 minutes. Let cool slightly on a wire rack for around 10 to 15 minutes before using in a yogurt bowl.
- While the rhubarb is cooling, prepare the yogurt pudding. Remove the pudding starter from the fridge, stirring a couple of times, before folding in 1 cup plain yogurt once or twice. Drizzle a spoonful or two of champagne syrup from the rhubarb over the pudding, then fold once more.
- Divide the pudding between 4 bowls, before dividing the roasted rhubarb and its syrup, 1/3 cup kumquat halves, and 1/4 cup chopped pistachios over the pudding. Serve immediately.