It seems like there is a new “magic diet” every 5 minutes. A majority of these diets require you to cook elaborate meals with ingredients that are nearly impossible to pronounce or find. Yes, I have succombed to some and tried them. Did they work? Momentarily maybe. Did 95% of them include food that had taste and was delicious? Eh, no. Not to mention, they take more time than most would like. I’ve done my fair share of research on trying to find healthy,easy and of course budget friendly recipes all while including some deliciousness in my meals. Working a 9-5 job and trying to find energy to cook dinner afterwards seems nearly impossible on some days. That’s when things like ramen noodles and salads come into play. But let’s face it, I’m not in college anymore and I can’t live off of ramen.
I came across a great recipe for pesto chicken which checked off all the boxes I wanted: Healthy, easy and cheap! Score! You can pair this recipe with just about anything. I decided to match it with some mushrooms,zucchini and asparagus. Here’s how you do it:
You will need:
Prep time : 5 minutes
Cook time: 30-35 minutes
- Thawed boneless,skinless chicken breasts (about 4 pounds)
- 1/2 cup Pesto
- Mushrooms (whole or sliced)
- 1 Zucchini
- Bundle of asparagus
- Smart Balance Butter
First, place the chicken breasts into a bowl and toss with pesto until all chicken breasts are completely covered. Let the chicken marinate in pesto for about 5-10 minutes (I poke holes in the chicken with a fork so it absorbs the pesto for a better taste). While the chicken is marinating, pre-heat oven to 400 degrees F.
Next, place the chicken into a baking dish and put into oven for 25-30 minutes. At about 15 minutes, start the vegetables. Slice the zucchini however desired. If you are using whole mushrooms, slice the mushrooms as well. Cut off the bottom half of the asparagus. Place the zucchini and mushrooms into the same pan with a tsp of your smart balance butter. Turn pan on medium heat. Place the asparagus into a separate pan on medium heat with tsp of smart balance butter.
Salt and pepper to taste for both the zucchini and mushrooms as well as the asparagus. However, we are keeping this healthy, so make sure you don’t put too much salt in! I usually do just a pinch in each. Cook the vegetables for about 15 minutes or under desired tenderness.
At 30 minutes, check on the chicken. I usually cut a piece to make sure it is fully cooked. Once the chicken is fully cooked, all that’s left to do is serve it and enjoy!
This recipe is delicious and I quote my boyfriend “one of my new favorites!” You can dress it up a little bit if you’d like and add tomatoes or cheese. This is also paired well with pasta.