Food The Bite:

Half Baked Harvest

Lately, California bowls seem to be popping up at many of our favorite eateries, and with good reason! Not only are they fresh, healthy and loaded with some of the season’s yummiest ingredients, they’re totally packed with flavor, too. What’s more, there’s no need to wait until you’re out to lunch to snag one — they’re actually super simple to make at home. Here, Tieghan Gerard of food blog Half-Baked Harvest (one of our favorites for hearty, creative eats and the swooniest presentation) shows us how it’s done. Check out her recipe below, along with a Q&A about her cooking likes and inspirations — her responses are as vibrant and down to earth as her site.

Half Baked Harvest

NAME: Tieghan Gerard

PROFESSION: Food stylist, photographer and recipe developer.

PHILOSOPHY ON FOOD? I love to eat seasonal and foods with tons of colors! So, fresh veggies and fruits. That said, I am never one to turn down cheese or chocolate. It’s all about balance! 🙂 

A LITTLE ABOUT THE RECIPE YOU’RE SHARING WITH US? These California Bowls are the ultimate healthy and delicious meal. They are simple to prepare and full of great flavors! Think: fresh roasted veggies, whole grains, a little cheese, some spicy sauce, toasted nuts and seeds, and of course, avocado! 

COOKING MAKES ME FEEL… Happy and in control!

Half Baked Harvest
Half Baked Harvest

BRIEFLY, HOW YOU CAME TO DO WHAT YOU DO: I have been cooking for awhile, but one day I just started my blog and never looked back. Literally, I have been working on it non-stop ever since that launch day of Half Baked Harvest

ESSENTIAL KITCHEN TOOL? Super-sharp knives and cutting boards!


QUIRKY FOOD HABITS? Tomato paste is one of my favorite foods. I eat like hummus!

BIGGEST SINGLE INFLUENCE ON YOUR COOKING STYLE? Oh gosh, I have no idea! Probably just everyday women. I try to create recipes for people who do not have all day to spend in the kitchen, but my goal is to give them something a little different, too!

SOUNDTRACK IN YOUR KITCHEN? This changes. Some days I am feeling country, some days it’s summer hits of the 2000s and some days it’s oldies! Depends on my mood. 

Half Baked Harvest

MIDNIGHT SNACK? Bowl of cereal, guacamole or avocado toast. 

BEST SOURCE FOR FOOD AND RECIPE INSPIRATION? My family! My brothers travel a lot so I am always getting ideas from them!

I CAN NEVER RESIST… Fresh fruit and veggies. Lame, but true. 

THE RECIPE OR MEAL YOU ARE KNOWN FOR? Killer breakfast food.

MOST SWOON-WORTHY RESTAURANT? I have no idea, I almost never go out to eat. Ugh. I need more of a life. Haha.


TRIED-AND- TRUE ENTERTAINING TIP? Prepare as much as you can in advance. The best tip you can ever use when entertaining. 

California Bowls

Half Baked Harvest



  • 4 red or yellow beets, quartered or halved
  • 1 bunch radishes
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt + pepper, to taste
  • 1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts or tenders (omit if vegan)
  • 1 1/2 cups cooked chickpeas, rinsed
  • 1/2 cup homemade pesto (or store bought)
  • 2-3 cups cooked barley and or quinoa
  • 8 ounces marinated artichokes, drained
  • 2 blood oranges, grapefruits and or kiwi, sliced
  • 1-2 avocados, sliced
  • 1-2 jalapenos, sliced + seeded if desired
  • 1/3 cup walnuts, toasted
  • 1/3 cup pumpkin seeds, toasted
  • 1/2 cup cotija cheese, crumbed
  • fresh microgreens, dill, parsley, cilantro + lemons, for serving

Cilantro Chili Sauce:

  • 2/3 cup almond butter*
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast or parmesan
  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 2 teaspoons low-sodium soy sauce or Bragg Liquid Aminos
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3/4 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • salt, to taste

The Prep

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.
  2. Peel the beets if desired (I prefer to leave the skin on my beets). Place the beets and radishes on a baking sheet and toss with the olive oil, salt and pepper. On a separate baking sheet add the chicken and toss with 1/4 cup of the pesto.
  3. Place both pans in the oven and roast for 15 minutes. After 15 minutes, give the veggies a toss and add the chickpeas to the pan with chicken.
  4. Toss the remaining 1/4 cup pesto with the chickpeas until the chickpeas are well coated.
  5. Return both pans to the oven and continue roasting for another 10 minutes or until the veggies are lightly charred, the chicken cooked through and the chickpeas warmed. Cooking times for the chicken will vary depending on it’s size.
  6. Allow the chicken to rest five minutes and slice.
  7. To assemble the bowls, divide the barley between bowls. Add the chickpeas and toss together with the barley.
  8. Add the chicken, beets + radishes and then add the citrus, avocado + jalapenos.
  9. Sprinkle walnuts, pumpkin seeds and cotija cheese. Serve with the Cilantro Chili Sauce (see below).

Cilantro Chili Sauce:

  1. Combine all ingredients in a high powdered blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth or creamy. If needed, add water to thin the sauce out. The sauce should be the consistency of hummus or just slightly thinner if desired.
  2. Taste and adjust the salt to your liking. The sauce can be stored for up to a week in the fridge.
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