Pesto Chicken Caprese Salad

I am so happy to be getting back into the swing of things and picking back up creating recipes, shooting and writing blog posts and sharing them all with you. These past 3 months of student teaching have been crazy and I couldn't be happier to finally be a license/certified Elementary Teacher here in Minnesota! It is definitely time to celebrate and there is no better weekend to go out and enjoy friends, family and the summer weather than over Memorial Day weekend. 

I was trying to think of how I could get back on track with my healthy eating, while still keeping the recipe flavorful and filling and I knew that this Pesto Chicken Caprese Salad would be the perfect thing! Light, healthy and full of variety, this salad will have something everyone can enjoy & share! 

To make this recipe even better, it is super quick easy to throw together and can be done in a variety of ways, with or without meat, add veggies, etc. To simplify, you can use already made pesto sauce, but I have made my own! 

I can't wait for all of you to try this recipe out and bring to your Memorial Day get togethers this weekend...or just eat it all to yourself! Why not? :) 

Salad Ingredients: 

Shredded Romain Lettuce
2 chicken breasts (cubed)
Cherry Tomatoes
Shredded parmesan cheese
Mozzarella cheese
Salt & pepper (to taste) 

Dressing Ingredients: 

1 cup Basil leaves
3 Tbsp EVOO
Pine Nuts
1 garlic cloves (or minced garlic)
Juice of 1 lemon 


1. Cut chicken breasts into cubes and put onto wooden or metal skewers
2. Grill for 3-5 minutes on each side at 250 degrees
3. Shred romain lettuce and add to the large bowl along with the arugula
4. Cut cherry tomatoes into halves and add to the salad along with the mozzarella and add to the bowl
5.  Add cooked chicken to top of salad and shred parmesan cheese over
6. For the pesto, add pesto, pine nuts, lemon juice, garlic cloves and EVOO together in a food processor and blend until creamy. 
7. Add dressing to the salad to your liking. 
8. Enjoy! 

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


  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 


  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!! 

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. 


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

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


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.  


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 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


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


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! 

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

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


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!


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



¼ greek yogurt

½ avocado

Handful of cilantro (optional)

1 garlic clove

½ cup water

½ lime


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


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)