The theme of our new recipe, “Pesto Chicken with Two Types of Tomato and Asparagus,” is to pay homage to good taste and simple ingredients. It also stemmed from a desire to show it was possible to combine the timeless combination of fresh ingredients and the desire to create a nutritious and flavorful dish within the keto diet plan.
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What Are The Star Ingredients In The Pesto Chicken?
1. Basil Pesto
Let’s start with the star of this recipe, the basil pesto. Originating from the Liguria region of Italy, pesto is a vibrant blend of fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. The key ingredient in pesto, basil, is highly aromatic and packed with essential oils. It not only imparts a unique and refreshing flavor to the dish but also contains various antioxidants and nutrients like vitamin K, which is believed to have fat-burning properties.
Moving on to the chicken, this serves as the lean and protein-rich component of this dish, perfect for aiding weight loss. Chicken is low in calories and carbohydrates, making it an excellent choice for those following the keto diet. Additionally, chicken is a complete protein, meaning it provides all essential amino acids required for maintaining muscle mass while promoting a feeling of being full.
3. Sun Dried Tomato
Next, we have sun dried tomatoes, known for their concentrated flavor and chewy texture. These tomatoes are obtained by drying fresh tomatoes, typically in the sun, until most of their moisture is removed. Sun dried tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as dietary fiber. Despite being relatively high in carbs, compared to their raw cousins, their intense flavor means only small quantities are used in the recipe, ensuring they fit within the constraints of the keto diet.
4. Cherry Tomato
The sun-dried cousin, Cherry tomatoes, on the other hand, bring a burst of freshness and juiciness to this dish. Packed with vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, cherry tomatoes are known to support overall health and can be beneficial for weight management. Their natural sweetness provides a welcome contrast to the savory elements of the recipe.
Lastly, the inclusion of asparagus adds a delightful crunch and a range of health benefits. Asparagus is a low-calorie vegetable rich in fiber, essential vitamins, and minerals. It also contains asparagine, an amino acid that acts as a natural diuretic and can aid in reducing water weight. Asparagus is low in net carbohydrates, making it an excellent choice for a keto diet.
When combined, these ingredients create a dish that not only satisfies the taste buds but also offers essential nutrients while staying within the boundaries of a keto diet plan. Enjoy the flavors of this pesto chicken, enhanced by the bright and diverse profiles of both sun dried and cherry tomatoes, along with the added crunch and nutritional benefits of asparagus.
Pesto Chicken With 2 Types Of Tomato and Asparagus
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb. chicken thighs skinless, boneless
- ⅓ cup sun-dried tomato
- 1 lb. asparagus
- ¼ cup basil pesto
- 1 cup cherry tomatoes
- 1 pinch sea salt optional
- Preheat 2 tbsp olive oil in a large wok or skillet over a medium heat. Chop the sundried tomato into small pieces. When the oil is hot add the sliced 1 lb. chicken thighs and season with 1 pinch sea salt.2 tbsp olive oil, 1 lb. chicken thighs, 1 pinch sea salt
- Add half of the chopped 1/3 cup sun-dried tomato. Stir. Cook on medium heat for 5-10 minutes, turning the chicken a couple of times, until completely cooked through. Remove the chicken and sun dried tomatoes from the skillet. Use a slotted spoon or tongs as you want to keep the oil in the skillet.1/3 cup sun-dried tomato
- To the oil add the 1 lb. asparagus, the remaining sun dried tomatoes and cook on a medium heat for 5-10 minutes until the asparagus is cooked. Remove the asparagus to a serving plate.1 lb. asparagus
- Add the chicken back to the skillet, add the 1/4 cup basil pesto and stir. Ensure the chicken is coated in the pesto and fry over a low to medium heat until the chicken is completely reheated (1 – 2 minutes).1/4 cup basil pesto
- Remove from heat. Add halved 1 cup cherry tomatoes to the pesto and the chicken and mix well. Add chicken and tomatoes to the serving plate with asparagus.1 cup cherry tomatoes
- You can substitute chicken thighs with chicken breast.
- The recipe looks and tastes amazing when you use a mix of red and yellow cherry tomatoes.
Pesto Chicken FAQs
What are the star ingredients in the pesto chicken recipe?
The star ingredients in the pesto chicken recipe are basil pesto, chicken, sun-dried tomato, cherry tomato, and asparagus.
What is basil pesto?
Basil pesto is a vibrant blend of fresh basil leaves, pine nuts, garlic, Parmesan cheese, and olive oil. It originated from the Liguria region of Italy and adds a unique and refreshing flavor to the dish.
Why is chicken a good choice for the keto diet?
Chicken is a lean and protein-rich component of the dish, making it an excellent choice for those following the keto diet. It is low in calories and carbohydrates, and it provides all essential amino acids required for maintaining muscle mass while promoting a feeling of being full.
What are the health benefits of sun-dried tomatoes?
Sun-dried tomatoes are rich in vitamins A and C, as well as dietary fiber. They have a concentrated flavor and chewy texture. Despite being relatively high in carbs compared to their raw counterparts, they add intense flavor to the dish, and only small quantities are used in the recipe to fit within the constraints of the keto diet.
What are the nutritional benefits of asparagus?
Asparagus is a low-calorie vegetable that is rich in fiber, essential vitamins, and minerals. It contains asparagine, an amino acid that acts as a natural diuretic and can aid in reducing water weight. Asparagus is low in net carbohydrates, making it an excellent choice for the keto diet.