Ah. Summer meals. You can’t argue the fact that food just tastes better this time of year. With so many great fresh foods in season now, putting meals together should be easy-breezy. No need for takeout, or lots of ingredients when everything is at it’s perfect ripeness. And who wants to spend time slaving over dinner when you could be at the beach or out on the back deck enjoying a cocktail or lawn game instead?
I’m a big fan of shortcuts and being efficient in the kitchen, never more so than this time of year. The other night I didn’t even bother to cook my green beans before tossing them with some olive oil, sea salt and pepper- and then the next night I did the same with corn on the cob. They are so naturally sweet right now, you really don’t need to, promise. So when making some pesto chicken for dinner this week, I threw my veggies in there as well- shortcut. Love that. No need for a side dish or making a salad. 6 minutes of assembly time then coming back to a full pan of goodness when the timer beeps is my kind of summer dish, especially if you are blessed with some leftovers in the fridge. So enjoy that extra time you saved. You are welcome.
- Pesto Chicken + Veggie Bake
Makes approximately 6 servings
Notes: This is a great one-pan dish. If you don’t like pesto, use a tomato sauce. If you can’t do dairy, try using the Cashew Pesto Sauce from this recipe instead.
1 6 ounce jar of pesto or 1 cup homemade pesto
6 thin-cut organic chicken breasts
1 bunch asparagus or ½ pound green beans, ends trimmed
½ pint baby tomatoes, halved
sprinkle of parmesan cheese or mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 375°F. Spread a bit of pesto to cover the bottom of a baking dish. Rinse chicken, pat dry with a paper towel, and arrange the breast pieces close together in the pan, without overlapping them. Cover each with a thin layer of pesto. Add asparagus or green beans on top of the chicken, down the middle of the pan. Add the baby tomatoes around the border.
- Spread whatever leftover pesto you have across the top. Sprinkle cheese on top. Cover with foil and bake for 30-35 minutes. Check to make sure the chicken is done, then remove the foil and broil on high for 6 minutes or so, or until the cheese browns and bubbles on top.
- Love this recipe? You’d love the cookbook then too. And be sure to check out the seasonal meal plans (or the new easy DINNER ONLY plan)! Wanna know more about this real-food lifestyle made simple I always talk about? Be sure to check out this little podcast workshop I created for you, called: Simply Real FOOD: Real food, finally explained. Check it out here!