MAINS

Lemon Thyme Chicken (Whole 30)

There has been a major shift happening in my household lately. My entire life I was all about eating and cooking with white meat chicken breasts. Not anymore, when cooked correctly, chicken thighs are so succulent and juicy and never dry. They are smaller in size and perfect for portion control as well. I found this recipe from the blog Kitchn and it is incredibly easy. One pan, 5 ingredients and so flavorful.  

I love this recipe, because the cooking and the cleanup is easy. Place the chicken thighs in the cast iron skillet skin side down and leave in place for 15 minutes to crisp and brown. Easy, right? After that, add some sliced lemon, thyme sprigs and throw in the oven to finish cooking for another 15 minutes! 

I can't say enough about this easy Whole 30 approved recipe. Its also easy to get creative with this dish and add additional herbs and spices. Enjoy immediately and at work throughout the week! 

 

Lemon Thyme Chicken Thighs

Serves 4

2 pounds chicken thighs, bone-in and skin-on (about 4 to 6 thighs)
Olive oil
Kosher salt
Black pepper
1 lemon, sliced thin
5 to 6 fresh thyme sprigs

Directions

Preheat your oven to 400° F. Drizzle the chicken thighs with olive oil and season them well with pinches of salt and pepper.

Place the thighs in a large, cold cast iron skillet, skin-side down. Place the skillet on a burner over medium heat. Let them cook, undisturbed, for 14 to 15 minutes.

When a lot of the fat has rendered out and the skin is crispy and brown, flip the thighs so the crispy skin is up. Dot the cast iron skillet with lemon slices and thyme sprigs and stick it in the hot oven. Let the thighs finish cooking in the oven for 13 to 15 minutes, until they reach an internal temperature of 165° F. If you're in doubt, leave them in for another few minutes.

Coconut Milk Meatballs (Whole 30)

Hello Motivation Mondays! We are back on after this extended quiet period while I've been busy with school and out of town traveling. But, don't worry, because this week's Motivation Monday recipe is back and with a bang!

Over a week ago, I decided to start the Whole 30 challenge for the second time and have been constantly searching for flavorful, creative and healthy meals to make. I then came across these Coconut Milk Meatballs from the blog I Heart Umami, and had been craving them for days! I have always loved all types of curry dishes and this recipe is the perfect combination of East and West cuisine.  Yesterday, I finally got around to making them and am still dreaming about the creamy, decadent, flavorful taste of these coconut curry meatballs. Like me, you guys will never look at meatballs the same way again. They are amaze-balls!!! :) 

This recipe is also easy to double and take the additional leftovers (if there's any) with you to work throughout the week and reheat. 

This kind of recipe makes the Whole 30 challenge a breeze. I can't wait for you all to try them and make sure to share some love and tag me on Instagram @oliviasobjectionsofobsession and follow me live on snapchat @oliviajoan21

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs ground chicken (50 % breast, 50% thigh) or turkey, lamb, veal
  • Lime juice
  • Cilantro for garnish

Meatball seasonings:

  • ¾ cup cilantro
  • 2 small shallots
  • ¾ cup diced carrots
  • ¼ cup basil leaves
  • ½ tbsp ginger
  • 1 tbsp fish sauce
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cumin powder
  • 2 tbsp coconut cream

Sauce:

  • 14 oz full-fat coconut milk 1 can
  • 1 tbsp red curry paste I use Thai Kitchen (sub green curry paste) 
  • 1 tsp fish sauce
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste no sugar added (sub 2-3 tsp of marinara sauce) 
  • ¼ tsp ground coriander powder (cilantro) 
  • ¼ tsp garam masala powder (combination of cloves, nutmeg, cinnamon, cumin, black pepper) 

Instructions

  1. Combine and blend the first 5 ingredients listed under "meatball seasonings" in a food processor until finely chopped. Add the rest of meatball seasonings and blend well.

  2. Pre-heat oven to 410/420 F. LIne a non-stick aluminum foil over a large sheet pan. Mix ground meat with the seasonings from Step 1. Mix well and form golf ball size meatballs (about 20 meatballs). Bake first side 20 minutes and flip side 15 minutes or until the meatballs are completely cooked through.

  3. While the meatballs are cooking, mix ingredients under “sauce”. Slow simmer over medium-low heat. Keep stirring the sauce until everything is combined and reduced to a thicker sauce (similar to tomato soup texture). Taste and see if more salt, tomato paste, or red curry paste is needed. * keep stirring the sauce to prevent it from burning in the bottom.

  4. Once the meatballs are cooked through and the sauce is thickened, add the meatballs back to the sauce. Simmer for another 3 minutes. Coat the sauce over meatballs. Drizzle with lime juice and garnish with cilantro leaves before serving.

Wild Mushroom Stuffing

I know that Thanksgiving and the upcoming holidays have been on everyone's minds lately, especially my own, and that is why these next few weeks are all going to be focused around Thanksgiving! I am thinking about you all and that is why I went searching the internet to find the best and most delicious holiday recipes that you can make and share with your family and friends, or all to yourself...lets be honest! I found this recipe from one of my favorite sites, What's Gaby Cooking

The past couple of weeks, I have been testing out this new stuffing recipe, since I've never made any sort of stuffing before in my life. Not even boxed stuffing! So after trying this out a couple times, I am certain, that this Wild Mushroom Stuffing will be the best dish on your plate without a doubt! It is fresh, flavorful and down right delicious! It also gets better with time and as leftovers, as the bread soaks up all of the amazing flavors and juices! Also, I know not everyone LOVES mushrooms, so you can definitely leave them out & it will still be a winner!! 

I can't wait to cook this for my entire family and for every Thanksgiving holiday from here on out!  Make sure to share some love and tag me on Instagram @oliviasobjectsofobsession and follow me live on Snapchat @OliviaJoan21

Butternut Squash + Spinach Ricotta Lasagne

Its mid week and I am in need of a major pick me up or something to get excited about, and this latest recipe including three types of cheese, butternut squash and spinach is the perfect thing. I am so happy I found this recipe from the site, Julia's Album, and even more excited that it turned out this great! This recipe is vegetarian and the perfect thing for these upcoming cold winter days. It is creamy, decadent and flavorful. 

I typically don't eat much dairy, but lately I have been dreaming of everything with butternut squash and because I have been so busy with my last semester of graduate school, this recipe was the perfect choice, because it is actually quite easy to create and makes for the perfect leftover. The reason why this particular lasagna is easy to make, is that it uses already premade pureed butternut squash. Therefore, no need to worry about cutting, scraping and baking the butternut squash in the oven, just mix it together with the required amount of ricotta cheese and you're set! 

I do want to make a point, that when boiling your lasagna noodles, make sure that you add some olive oil to the boiling water, to ensure that the noodles don't stick together. This can happen very easily and typically the noodles will tear into small pieces, which you don't want for a lasagna dish! 

Secondly, I altered this recipe just slightly with the spinach, and instead of leaving the spinach leaves whole, I pureed the sautéed spinach leaves together with the ricotta to combine them together. This made a huge difference and really brought all of the flavors together well. 

This recipe is one you will want to try and when you do, make sure to tag me on Instagram or leave a comment below!! 

Ingredients: 

Butternut Squash Filling: 

  • 2 cups butternut squash puree (about half of squash)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1/2 cup milk (or more, if needed)
  • 1/4 + 1/8 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Spinach Filling: 

  • 1 cup cooked spinach (8 oz uncooked)
  • 1 cup ricotta cheese
  • 1 cup mozzarella cheese
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • pepper, to taste

Other Ingredients: 

  • 10 oz lasagna noodles, cooked (for gluten free, use Tinkyada brown rice lasagna noodles)
  • 1 and 1/2 cups mozzarella cheese (or more)
  • 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (on top)
  • Italian seasoning
  • Paprika
  • Basil

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 F.
  2. For this filling, you will need to have pre-cooked butternut squash puree. Using food processor, combine 2 cups of butternut squash puree with Ricotta cheese, milk, salt and nutmeg. Add more milk if needed (to make the butternut squash filling very creamy). Mix very well, taste and add more salt, if needed.
  3. Sauté the spinach leaves until wilted. Combine spinach, Ricotta cheese, mozzarella, garlic, salt and pepper. Mix, taste, and add more salt and pepper, if needed. (I pureed all of these ingredients together in a food processor). 
  4. Bring a very large pot of water to boil, and cook lasagna noodles according to package instructions. Add 1 Tbsp of olive oil to the water. Rinse in cold water, drain. Using knife, trim noodles to fit your baking dish (if necessary). 
  5. Prepare a baking dish - I used a casserole dish 11 inches x 8.5 inches x 3 inches deep. Grease the lasagna dish lightly with olive oil spray. Spread 1/3 of butternut squash filling on the bottom of the dish. Sprinkle lightly with mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked lasagna noodles without overlapping (I used 3 noodles).
  6. Spread half of spinach filling over the noodles. Top lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked noodles.
  7. Spread another layer (1/3) of butternut squash mixture, then sprinkle lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with cooked noodles.
  8. Spread the remaining half of spinach filling over the noodles. Top lightly with Mozzarella cheese. Top with the final layer of cooked noodles.
  9. Spread a generous amount of butternut squash filling (the remaining 1/3) over this final layer of noodles, sprinkle with grated Parmesan and remaining mozzarella cheese (about 1/2 cup of mozzarella). Generously sprinkle the cheese with Italian seasoning, paprika, basil. 
  10. Cover the baking dish with foil and bake for 30 min. Remove foil and bake additional 10 minutes.

 

Zucchini Bread

Today is going to be a good day, because I successfully made one of the best zucchini breads ever. Well, it was the only time I've made zucchini bread, but it turned out perfectly! I found the recipe from Domestically Blissful, and it couldn't be any easier to make. There's under 10 ingredients and most of those ingredients are all thrown together and combined into one bowl! Talk about an easy clean up!! 

First, the most time consuming thing you will have to do is grate the zucchinis. I only used two whole zucchini and that was more than enough for the required two cups for this recipe. Make sure that you are grating the zucchini and not spiraling or chopping it, because you want it to mix easily into the batter. 

Once you've finished grating the zucchini, mix the sour cream, sugar and three eggs in a bowl until creamy. You will slowly add in all of the remaining ingredients, starting with the zucchini first, then flour, etc. Make sure all of the ingredients are combined very well and then... you're done! What? That's it? Yes, like I said, this is one of the easiest recipes ever and incredible tasty too! 

Transfer your batter from your mixing bowl to a bread loaf pan, which has either been lined with parchment paper or well greased. Throw into the oven at 325 degree for an hour. I left my zucchini bread in the oven for slightly over an hour to make sure it was baked completely through. 

If you know me, I love trying new things and taking on new challenges, so I I couldn't believe how amazing this bread was after trying it, with all of that zucchini throughout it. This bread is chewy, moist, dense and incredibly flavorful. Oh and look and the beautiful toasted brown color to it! Its definitely a perfect item for Fall. 

Again, you know the drill, share some love on social media with me if you make it and don't forget to tag me @oliviasobjectsofobsession

Baked Sweet Potato + Almond Butter + Banana + Chia Seeds

I know what you're thinking, sweet potato with bananas and almond butter? Before you think any further, stop and give it a try!! I found this recipe from the amazing site Ambitious Kitchen and this recipe is seriously to die for. I would have never thought about combining these ingredients together, but the creaminess of the almond butter blends and melts perfectly into the hot sweet potato and the banana adds that perfect hint of sweetness while the chia seeds add the perfect crunch! 

I have had a crazy last couple of weeks and today was no exception, so I was looking for something incredible easy and healthy to eat and take on the go with me to school. This recipe was the perfect thing and is jam-packed with nutrients and with all its vitamins and fiber, the sweet potato keeps you feeling full for hours. To read more about the amazing health benefits of sweet potatoes read here

Side Note: sweet potatoes produce collagen which helps aid in maintaining the elasticity of the skin, giving you that youthful looking appearance. 

The best part about this recipe is that it is relatively inexpensive, quick and requires only four ingredients, which most likely are already within your pantry or kitchen! So don't waste anymore time, and give these baked sweet potatoes a try! 

Make sure to like us on Instagram @oliviasobjectsofobsession and Facebook, here. Also, share some love and tag myself and @ambitiouskitchen when posting a picture!! 

 

Butternut Squash & Quinoa Salad + Pumpkin Seeds

Theres no doubt that I've been on a pumpkin kick lately and this salad is just another item to add to the list. But, this salad gets even better as it is packed with incredible nutrients and super foods such as butternut squash, quinoa & pumpkin seeds, and it is gluten free & guilt free! Click to see the recipe details here or below

There are so many ways in which you can incorporate pumpkin seeds into dishes as well as butternut squash and quinoa. They are such versatile foods that can be used within a side dish or for this instance the main course. I have been eating this light and filling salad all week & its the perfect thing to tide over my hunger and keep me feeling full for hours. Lastly, since most of the items within this dish are savory, the hints of sweetness from the dried cranberries are the perfect thing to liven this salad up. 

I also am obsessed with how colorful this dish is and it will make the perfect item to bring to your upcoming Fall get togethers or a Thanksgiving side dish as well. This dish takes no longer than 30 minutes total and that is mainly due to the required time for the quinoa to cook. 

I can't wait for all of you to enjoy & when you do, because I know you won't be able to resist, share and spread some love with me on Instagram @oliviasobjectsofobsession or on my Facebook page, here

Ingredients: 

  1. 3 cups butternut squash, cubed
  2. 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  3. 2 cups water
  4. 1/3 cup dried cranberries
  5. 1 red onion (or whatever your preference) 
  6. 3 Tbsp roasted pumpkin seeds
  7. Salt and pepper
    Vinegarette Dressing: 
  8. 1/2 cup olive oil 
  9. 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar 
  10. 1 tsp honey
  11. 1 tsp dijon mustard
  12. 1 tsp minced garlic 

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees
  2. In a large bowl, place the cubed butternut squash. Season with olive oil and salt and pepper and place into the oven until soft. (20-25 minutes). 
  3. While squash is roasting, place the quinoa on the stovetop for 15 minutes to cook, until water has absorbed. Bring to a boil and then reduce down to a simmer. 
  4. Once squash and quinoa have finished cooking, let the quinoa and butternut squash cool completely and combine squash, quinoa, dried cranberries, red onion, pumpkin seeds and vinaigrette with salt and pepper. 
  5. Chill in fridge. 
  6. Enjoy! 

One Pot Mac & Cheese Chili

Its finally Fall, which means hearty bowls of warm soup are in order and this week for Motivation Monday we are creating a spin on mac & cheese and chili, two of everyone's favorite comfort foods combined together in this incredibly easy One Pot Mac & Cheese Chili from Damn Delicious. 

Also, with it being football season, this will be the hit of the party for game days. This super easy chili recipe combined with noodles and shredded cheese uses staple ingredients most commonly found in your pantry and will surely be a hit with everyone, young and old. With the variety of legumes added, this chili is a great source of folate and nearly has a full daily serving for adults in it. In addition to its nutritional benefits, it is also creamy, flavorful, hearty and filling. My mouth is watering just thinking about it and since its made it one pot, clean up is a breeze. 

What a great way to start your Monday and week! And when its done cooking, make sure to serve yourself while its still warm and portion the rest off into tupperware to reheat and eat throughout the rest of the week! 

I hope you all enjoy this recipe with your friends, family or just snuggled up on the couch alone & thank you to Damn Delicious for making this incredible meal. Make sure to share your pictures with me on Instagram when you make it!! 

Easy On-The-Go Salsa Chicken Bowls

I've finally returned home from my road trip around the Pacific North West & Canada and its time to get back into the swing of things. Its also the start of fall and that means school is back in session and my schedule is going to be jam-packed. Therefore, to get back on track with my healthy eating and to save on time, so I don't have to spend every day in the kitchen, I've decide to make these incredibly awesome and easy Salsa Chicken Bowls, for every day of the week! The best thing about this recipe is that you can make, bake and go! Cut up the ingredients, stick them into the oven for 20-25 minutes and add them to your tupperware to eat throughout the week. 

Meal prepping at the beginning of each week is one of the best things to do when you want to stay on track and eat healthy. When you meal prep, you won't have as much temptation to stray away and eat an unhealthy meal or go out to eat and with these Salsa Chicken Bowls, you'll be set for either all of your lunches and dinners for the week. All you need to do is place  3-4 chicken breasts onto a sheet pan along with sliced up bell peppers and one red onion. Season with extra virgin olive oil and salt and pepper and throw into the oven! 

While you are waiting for the chicken and veggies to cook, add some corn, either off the cob or canned corn, some drained and washed black beans, chopped up tomatoes and a wedge of lime to your tupperware. Lastly, pull the chicken and veggies out of the oven and add them equally to the tupperware and you are set for your meals throughout the week. 

These are so easy and incredibly flavorful, you won't want to wait to try them out! If you do, as always, I love to hear what you think and make sure to tag me on Instagram or Facebook! 

Ingredients: 

3-4 Chicken breasts
1 jar of salsa (depending on the size, maybe 2) 
1 can black beans
2-3 bell peppers
1 red onion

Handful of small heroism tomatoes
1 can of corn or 2 cobs
1 lime
Salt & pepper
Olive Oil

Directions: 

  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and bake for 20-25 minutes 
  2. Add chicken breasts to sheet pan. 
  3. Evenly distribute the jar of salsa on top of the chicken breasts 
  4. Slice up the bell peppers and red onion and season with s&p and EVOO
  5. Cut up the tomatoes and lime 
  6.  While the chicken and veggies are cooking, distribute the corn and black beans to each of the tupperware, along with the wedge of lime and tomatoes. 
  7. Remove the chicken and veggies, let rest for 5 minutes and add the rest of the ingredients to the tupperware. 
  8. Let cool before placing in the fridge. Will last for the next 4 days. 
     

Peach + Heirloom Tomato Panzanella

If you haven't already heard of panzanella, you won't ever want to forget about it once you do! It is one of those staple side dishes for all meals and its perfect to use with any ingredients. It is a beautiful mixture of fresh produce and made with homemade seasoned croutons, which makes it impossible to stop eating. Panzanellas, or at least this one, is filled with beautiful, bright colors, which is what we all should want in our lives when we eat and this Peach + Heirloom Tomato Panzanella makes me happy! 

If you are getting tired of the same old salad, this is the perfect way to spruce things up and it pairs perfectly with any meal. Whether you are making chicken, fish, tacos or burgers on the grill, it works perfectly! 

Lets talk about this panzanella though. Ripe peaches and plums pair perfectly with in season heirloom tomatoes with create a burst of flavor in your mouth. Topped off with creamy burrata cheese and seasoned homemade croutons this salad is so easy and can be thrown together within a matter of minutes! Chop up some fresh veggies or fruit, throw it together with whatever you have laying around and voila! Don't forget to go out and immediately buy the orange champagne vinaigrette to drizzle over the whole thing! You will be in love!! 

Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 15 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes

Ingredients: 

2-3 peaches/nectarines
2-3 plums
2-3 large heirloom tomatoes
Small Heirloom tomatoes
Bread
4-8 oz. burrata
Olive Oil
Orange Champagne Vinaigrette
Salt & pepper

Directions: 

  • Preheat oven to 350 degrees 
  • Pull pieces apart from the bread, season with olive oil and garlic seasoning and salt and pepper
  • Put bread pieces into the oven for 15-20 minutes 
  • Cut into large pieces the stone fruit and tomatoes and layer them into a large serving platter
  • Pull apart pieces of the burrata cheese and spread over tomatoes and fruit 
  • Add toasted croutons on top
  • Drizzle orange champagne vinaigrette and salt & pepper to taste 

Kale Greek Salad (V + GF)

Happy Motivation Monday week 13!! 

It seems that summer is the busiest months for everyone, including myself and its so hard to find the time to eat healthy and prepare meals for the upcoming week. Recently I feel as though my body has been craving something extra healthy and that is why this week for Motivation Monday I have decided on a vegan + gluten free kale greek salad. This salad has the combination of creamy and crunchy and hint of citrus and packed with super foods. I know traditional greek salads have feta within them, but I have chosen to leave that off because I am trying to limit my dairy intake. Diary tends to be a inflammatory food for most people and dishes can easily taste just as great without cheese!  

This week's Motivation Monday recipe is the perfect thing to take with you during the week for lunches at work or to carry with you if you don't have time to stop home, because unlike typical salads, kale is a much more of a thicker leaf and doesn't wilt as easily or get soggy.. For me, this salad is the perfect thing, because I work all day and have classes during the evening, so its easy to take with me for dinner during night class. 

Ingredients: 

1/2 red onion
Cherry tomatoes
Cucumber (optional) 
1/2 c. chick peas
Kalamata olives
Red bell pepper
Lemon
Olive Oil

Dressing: 
Hummus
1/2 lemon juiced
Garlic - minced
1 or 2 tbsp of water

Directions: 

1. Sauté in a skillet over medium heat the red bell pepper in 1 Tbsp of olive oil until slightly softened. 
2. Add the kale to a large bowl and add lemon juice and olive oil. Use hands to massage the kale to break down its texture and bitterness. 
3. Add the chick peas, cucumbers, olives, cherry tomatoes, and onions to the salad. 
4. For the dressing, combine the hummus, minced garlic, lemon juice and water together. Add salt and pepper for taste.  

 

Rainbow Spring Rolls

Hello Monday! Today is going to be a great day, because we are making Rainbow Spring Rolls. These spring rolls are colorful, sweet, fresh and the perfect thing to snack on at work or for lunch! These are one of my favorite things to make, because they are so versatile. You really can add any ingredients you want to your liking, its kinda like an "everything but the kitchen sink" type of meal. Also, if you need a boost of energy and something to subside your sweet craving, these are loaded with fresh veggies and sweet fruits! I like to fill them with some fruit, such as mango, pineapple or pomegranate for that perfect crunch, avocado, cucumber and red onion!

Get ready for a burst of flavor and the taste of summer in your mouth! Lastly, you can use any dipping sauce with these as well, such as a peanut sauce or plum sauce. 

DSC01992.jpg

Ingredients

Rice paper
cucumber
Red cabbage
Mango
Pomegranate seeds
Avocado
Cilantro
Red Onion
Romain lettuce
 

Directions

1. Cut all of the fruits and veggies into long thin strips about 5-6 cm long
2. Soak the rice paper in warm water until it becomes soft
3. Place rice paper on a cutting board or plate and layer the lettuce with the ingredients inside
4. Roll the rice paper within the ingredients inside like a burrito to ensure everything is tightly wrapped. 
5. Cut them in half and serve with dipping sauce

 

Blackened Fish Tacos + Avocado, Cilantro, Lime Sauce

Hi guys!! 

Summer is officially in full swing here in Minnesota. Hot, humid weather, thunderstorms and beautifully sunny days for cookouts and dinner with friends outside, it doesn't get any better...and I have the perfect recipe that is so light, fresh and refreshing for a summer meal. Last night I made the most delicious Blackened Fish Tacos with a cabbage, mango slaw on top. Oh, but it doesn't stop there, these fish tacos are topped with a avocado, cilantro and lime sauce to give it that perfect bite and creaminess. I found the recipe from Host the Toast, so check it out for more details! 

So I had a few of my besties over last night for a girl's dinner date night and the fish tacos were a hit. I started off by marinading four pieces of Tilapia in cayenne pepper, cumin, paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder and salt and pepper. I then pan fried them in oil (your choice) for at least 4-5 minutes on each side. 

While those were cooking, I chopped up some red cabbage, green cabbage, jalepeño and mango to make the cabbage slaw and dressed it with the juice of one lime. Finally to make the sauce to go on top, I added avocado, cilantro, greek yogurt and lime and combined them in a food processor until it was really creamy. 

These tacos are literally the perfect combination of sweet, spicy, creamy and crunchy from the blackened fish. I am obsessed with them and you need to try them this summer! If you do, make sure to take a picture, post it and tag me on Instagram at Oliviasobjectsofobsession!

Ingredients:

Fish: 
tsp of cayenne pepper
1 tsp of paprika
1 tsp of garlic powder
1 tsp of onion powder
1 tsp of cumin
pinch of salt and pepper

Slaw: 

1/2 head of red cabbage
1/4 head of green cabbage
1/2 jalepeno
1 mango

Sauce: 

1 avocado
1 lime
handful of cilantro
1/2 cup of greek yogurt
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions: 

1. Marinade the fish
2. Cook fish for 4-5 minutes on each side in a frying pan (depending on how blackened you like)
3. Chop cabbage, jalepeno and mango and combine together with juice of one lime
4. For the sauce, add avocado, cilantro, lime and greek yogurt to food processor
5. Process for 1 minute or until no chunks
6. Layer all of the ingredients within a soft or hardshell taco! 

Enjoy!! 

 

Healthy Potato & Dill Salad

Hey guys!! Happy Motivation Monday & first official day of Summer!! For this week's recipe, I decided to make the perfect dish for summer cookouts, holidays, and picnics outdoors...it is a healthy potato and dill salad that I found from the blog Table for Two

When you think of summer and getting together with your family, don't you think of all the many amazing dishes everyone brings, and of course, there is always potato salad!! That's why this potato salad I've made today will be the perfect healthy alternative for your summer get togethers and you won't need to worry about all of the extra calories...and with the Fourth of July right around the corner, this is one of the easiest things to whip up! 

So the major difference in this potato salad, is that I used non-fat greek yogurt instead of sour cream. It tastes pretty much exactly the same, plus I've added two different types of mustard to give it a bit more flavor! Its actually amazing and I am obsessed with it! 

Look at how incredible this potato salad looks and the bits of green onion and dill spread throughout the salad gives it that extra punch of flavor! After a long weekend, this is the perfect dish to make, set aside and eat throughout the week and it will last for a solid 4-5 days! So don't waste any time and get into the kitchen to make this...or bring it to your Fourth of July celebrations! I am sure everyone will love it! 

Mexican Corn & Quinoa Salad

Happy Motivation Monday Week 7!!! I can't believe we are already on week 7. I have been having so much fun sharing so many healthy and amazing recipes with you all and this week's is amazing!! Its the perfect combination of sweet, creamy and spicy. Its a Mexican Corn & Quinoa Salad from my favorite website ever, What's Gaby Cooking

This is the most perfect Motivation Monday recipe, because it literally uses under ten ingredients and most of these ingredients you probably would already have in your kitchen! Also, this salad, not only is reminiscent of amazing Mexican corn on the cob, which is MY FAV, but it also substitutes avocado for the dressing, which makes it pretty much the hardest thing to stop eating! I can't wait to bring it to barbecues and parties this summer & so should you! 

Prep Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 30 Minutes


Ingredients: 

1 cup quinoa
3 cups of corn (3-4 ears)
1 jalapeño
2 green onions
1 lime, juiced
2 Tbps Cotija cheese
1/2 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese  
salt & pepper to taste

Directions: 

Add the quinoa & corn to a large mixing bowl. Chop up the green onions, jalapeño and cilantro and add that to the corn and quinoa. Then, remove the skins of the avocado, add to a food processor or blender along with the juice of the lime. Add water if needed. Then add pureed mixture to the large mixing bowl and toss until combined thoroughly. Top with Cotija and Monterey jack cheese as well as salt and pepper to taste! 

Vegetable Hummus Wrap

Hey guys! Happy Monday & week 6 of Motivation Monday recipes! For today's recipe I decided to make a light, healthy and easy Vegetable Hummus Wrap! This recipe is seriously the perfect thing for summer and for lunches throughout the week! You can prepare multiple wraps ahead of time and store them in your fridge to eat later in the week! Oh, and the best part, is that the options are endless! 

For this recipe, I kept it to only veggies, because I wanted something a little lighter and healthier and also left out putting on any cheese as well, so these wraps are vegan and dairy free! Also, for this recipe, you are definitely able to use store-bought hummus, but I wanted to make my own, so if you're feeling like making your own homemade hummus, here is what you'll need: chickpeas, lemon, garlic gloves, salt & pepper, olive oil and some paprika to taste. Add all of the ingredients to a food processor and blend until really creamy and smooth! 

Then its time to build your wrap! First spread your hummus onto the whole wheat tortilla and add whatever vegetables you like! I added, tomatoes, cucumbers, avocado, zucchini, alfalfa sprouts (optional) & arugula or spinach! 

After you've added everything, roll up your vegetable wrap and you're done & ready to eat! Its literally that simple! 

This is such a great summer recipe and I can't wait for you all to try it out! Follow me on Instagram to get more inspiration and ideas & don't forget to tag me if you post a picture of your masterpiece! 

Happy a fantastic Monday and rest of your week! 

Total Time: 20 minutes
Prep Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

1-2 medium zucchini, cut lengthwise
1 medium red bell pepper
3 persian cucumbers
1 medium tomato
4 whole wheat tortillas
2 oz of spinach or arugula
1/2 cup red onion thinly sliced (optional) 
 

Hummus
1 can of chickpeas
1 lemon - juice of the whole lemon
1/2 cup of EVOO
1 garlic clove
S&P
Paprika to taste

Watermelon Feta Arugula Salad

Happy Monday!! We are still going strong & are on our Motivation Monday Week 5 post & recipe!! I just returned home from New York and am definitely needing something light, healthy & filling to eat throughout the week! 

I'm pretty much obsessed with watermelon & usually eat is all summer long & this watermelon, feta & arugula salad is the most delicious thing you will ever make! I know the flavor combination may sound odd, but there is a perfect hint of sweet, and zesty and the feta goes perfectly with the arugula and watermelon. Oh and its extremely light and refreshing as well as low in calories...bonus!! 

So what you'll need is arugula, feta cheese, blueberries (optional), watermelon, honey, salt, an orange, a lime and fresh mint leaves. First whisk together the juice of the orange, lime, honey and salt. You can also add a little olive oil to the dressing if you want to tone down the sweetness and zest of the other ingredients. Then cut the watermelon into pieces and add to the arugula and blueberries. Finally, sprinkle the feta cheese all over the salad to your desired amount. 

After you have combined all of the dry ingredients, drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss thoroughly together. You will absolutely LOVE this salad. It is the perfect thing for a picnic, lunches or a BBQ. 

I can't wait for you to try it! Make sure to post a picture & tag me on Instagram or leave a comment below!  

 

Serves 2-3
 

Ingredients: 
1 orange
1 lime
2 Tbsp honey
1/4 cup feta
2 cups of watermelon
3 cups arugula
pinch of salt
1/4 cup of blueberries (optional) 
Handful of mint leaves

 

Tomato, Pesto, Burrata Flatbread

Who's ready for some pizza? You need to try the most amazing tomato, burrata & pesto pizza that I found on What's Gaby cooking!  Its kinda half flatbread, half pizza & I am pretty sure I could eat it every day for the rest of my life! Click here for the recipe & ingredients needed!

Don't get discouraged because this flatbread is homemade! Its the easiest thing ever, the whole wheat crust was purchased at Trader Joe's (duh) and then there are only 6 other ingredients needed: cherry tomatoes, burrata cheese, shallots, pine nuts, garlic cloves and basil leaves!  

Make SURE your dough is at room temperature before spreading it out. This way it won't snap back when trying to roll it out. After the dough is rolled thin, transfer for a baking sheet, which has been covered with some olive oil, so it won't stick, and bake in the oven at 350 for 8-10 minutes. 

While the crust in baking, slice the cherry tomatoes and chop the shallots and mix together with some olive oil. Then turn the oven to broil and throw the mixture into the oven to char for about 5-7 minutes! 

While the tomatoes are in the oven, throw together the garlic, pine nuts, olive oil, basil leaves and a little red wine vinaigrette in a food processor until smooth. Spread the pesto vinaigrette evenly on top of the crust along with the charred cherry tomatoes. Lastly, take your burrata and pull apart pieces with your fingers and lay them around the entire pizza. The warmth from the crust will melt the burrata cheese so nicely and beautifully, you won't be able to wait to dive it an try it! 

Happy eating & your welcome for this amazing new recipe to try out!! Leave a message or comment for any new ideas or suggestions you may have! 

Southwestern Salad + Avocado Cilantro Lime Dressing

Happy Monday! Who’s ready to start their week off healthy and with one of the most delicious Southwestern Salads ever? For this second week of Motivation Mondays, I have decided to make this perfectly light and refreshing Southwestern salad with a homemade avocado cilantro lime dressing.

There are so many fresh ingredients in this salad, plus its finally corn on the cob season, which gives this salad the perfect sweetness & crunch!  

First, what you’ll need for the salad is romaine lettuce, cherry tomatoes, avocado, corn on the cob, Cotija Mexican cheese, one bell pepper, black beans and chicken (optional).  Make sure to thoroughly wash the black beans to remove any excess sodium, after taking them out of the can. For the dressing you’ll need plain greek yogurt, avocado, lime, garlic, cilantro and water.

Slice the cherry tomatoes, avocado and bell peppers and boil the corn on the cob for about 8-10 minutes. After you have cut off the corn from the cob, add all of the ingredients to the bed of lettuce and toss together. Finally, sprinkle some Cotija cheese on top to finish it off!

For the dressing, combine the garlic, cilantro (optional), avocado, water, half of lime, greek yogurt and salt into a food processor and process until smooth.

This salad is literally amazing and will be the PERFECT thing to start your week! If you decide to try it out, snap a photo and tag me on Instagram. Also please feel free to leave any comments, suggestions or ideas you would like to see for a Motivation Monday post!

Salad

5 cups of lettuce

1 cup of cherry tomatoes

½ avocado

1 bell pepper

2 corn on the cobs

¼ cup of Cotija cheese

1 can of black beans

 

Dressing:

¼ greek yogurt

½ avocado

Handful of cilantro (optional)

1 garlic clove

½ cup water

½ lime

salt

Chicken Quinoa Arugula Salad + Feta

Happy Monday!!

I hope you all had a fantastic weekend! I can’t believe how fast it went by. If you were anything like me, I tried to spend most of my day outside on Saturday, because the rest of the weekend was just dreary! Don’t get me wrong, I love a good Minnesota Spring rain and thunderstorm, but I am ready for more sun!!

So over the weekend, I decided I wanted to make something really healthy for the upcoming week ahead that stayed well for a couple days and was perfect for lunches! Meal prepping is SO important for me, otherwise I tend to resort to eating something that is quick & probably not the healthiest! So from now on, get ready for ‘Motivation Mondays!!’ I will be making healthy, quick & easy meals for your Monday mornings to bring to work or eat throughout the week!

For the very first week of Motivation Monday meals, I decided to create my own spin on a quinoa salad that I’m pretty much OBSESSED with!  Here’s what you need to do:

Salad: First take a cup of quinoa + two cups of water and bring it to a boil, then simmer for 10-15 minutes until the water is gone.

While the quinoa is boiling, take 2-3 chicken breasts, seasoned with salt & pepper, and broil/grill/bake, them in the for at least 15-20 minutes. I really like to get my chicken at Trader Joe’s or Whole Foods, because they have a great variety of free range, non-GMO chicken breasts!

In the meantime, while both the chicken and the quinoa are cooking, slice one red bell pepper, 3-4 Persian cucumbers (the little ones), 1 jalapeño, 1-2 cups of Arugula, some feta cheese and of course, some avocado to mix together. If you are looking for some amazing feta cheese, go to Trader Joe’s and get the Feta cheese that is still soaking in the brine! I am so obsessed with it!  After the quinoa and chicken have finished cooking, cut the chicken breasts into pieces and mix together all of the ingredients with the quinoa.

Dressing: The dressing is SO simple, all you need to do is get some EVOO & a lemon. Drizzle about a ½ cup of extra virgin olive oil over the quinoa salad and squeeze the half of a lemon over as well. I also like to zest some of the lemon peel to give the salad even more of a fresh citrusy flavor. And that’s it for the dressing, so easy!!

If you make this recipe, please tag me on Instagram and share with me OR feel free to leave a comment or suggestion of any alternative ways to make this salad with other ingredients! If you have suggestions or ideas for other Motivation Monday recipes you’d like to see me make, let me know!! I hope you enjoy this amazing Chicken Quinoa Salad!

Serves 5

Preparation: 5 minutes

Cooking time: 25 minutes

Total time: 30 minutes

Ingredients

1 cup quinoa

2-3 chicken breasts

¾ cup feta
3-4 Persian cucumbers

1 red bell pepper

1-2 cups Arugula

1 avocado

Handful of cilantro (optional)