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Spotlight – Chef Michael Silverstein

Chef cooking with flames in pan

Introducing his 20-Minute Pesto Chicken & Broccoli
Keto, Low-carb, Sugar-free, Gluten-Free

My wife first found this recipe via Chef Michael’s TikTok. The algorithm must have known we have been looking for new delicious meals for dinner. In the video the dish looked absolutely amazing, so we had to try it. The color contrast, the differences in textures, almost like you could taste it in your mind without getting too visceral. Our iteration was truly fantastic! If you are like us and aren’t super strict about carbohydrates or following keto and gluten restrictions, you can add the dish to rice or pasta. Make sure and look at “The Pro Tips” in the recipe. There are additional suggestions from Chef Michael.

We elected to use bowtie noodles (primarily because it is a household favorite and the kids will eat it), our son (4), due to the green nature of the pesto only wanted butter noodles. Our daughter (6), who is an avid fan of broccoli, was excited to try something new, especially because it has her favorite vegetable. This recipe has easily made its way into our hearts and onto our regular meal rotation.

We’ve talked about the meal, now let’s talk about the man behind the creation. Chef Michael is primarily a chef (with keen intellect in the kitchen), TV Personality, Podcaster, Blogger, and Author based in Austin, Texas. He is known for his successes in losing over 80 pounds in one year due to his specialization in the Ketogenic diet. The key to his success was never severe restrictions where most people fail by subscribing to the theories of starvation, torture, or suffering. “Whether dieting or not, food should be vibrant and exciting.”

Chef Michael has been developing low-carb recipes that make people feel totally nourished and satisfied. This being a far cry from what most people think about when dieting. I know I have an understated lust for sugar, something I have always had. Like most things in life, everything in moderation. Chef Michael is working to educate the masses about bringing fun back to food, without sacrificing flavor. As food should be. Check out his newest cookbook for additional inspiration and delicious recipes!

Chef Michael’s social channels:

Pesto chicken tomato dinner by chef michael
Pesto Chicken and Broccoli
Image provided by Chef Michael

Here is the recipe generously provided from Chef Michael’s Website:

A one-pot meal done right! This recipe is designed to be quick and easy. In 20 minutes, you’ll have a yummy, simple meal that’s not only delicious, but healthy and filling as well. A dish the whole family will love…

Wanna switch it up? This pesto chicken goes GREAT served over pasta or low-carb noodles! It’s also a fantastic way to use up whatever vegetables you have in the fridge. Instead of broccoli and tomatoes, this goes really well with sliced asparagus, mushrooms, or any other veggies you may have.

*And don’t forget to read through the PRO TIPS for this recipe below!*

Macros per Serving

Calories: 615

Protein: 58 g

Fat: 34.4 g

Net Carbs: 12.7 g

INGREDIENTS:

Serves 4 people

  • 2lb – Chicken breast tenders – see PRO TIPS below
  • 1 tsp – Sea salt
  • ½ tsp – Cracked black pepper
  • 1 Tbsp – Garlic powder
  • 2 Tbsp – Avocado oil
  • 1 head (about 1 lb) – Broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 10 oz – Grape tomatoes
  • ½ cup – Chicken broth (or water + ¼ tsp salt)
  • Two 6.5 oz jars – Basil pesto (store-bought or homemade) – see PRO TIPS below
  • ¼ cup – Shredded parmesan

DIRECTIONS:

  1. Start by slicing the chicken tenders into roughly 1-inch pieces. Add the sliced chicken into a mixing bowl and add in the salt, black pepper, and garlic powder. Stir the chicken well until it’s coated in the spices.
  2. Warm up a large skillet over high heat. Once hot, add in the avocado oil and the seasoned chicken. Press the chicken into one even layer in the pan. Sear the chicken for 3 minutes, without stirring it, or until it gets a golden-brown crust. Flip the chicken over and repeat on the other side.
  3. Take the chicken out of the pan and set it aside on a plate to rest. Meanwhile, place the same pan back over high heat and add in the chicken broth. Stir and scrape the bottom of the pan to remove the fond. Then, add in the broccoli florets and tomatoes (or any other vegetable you like). Place the lid on the pot and let the vegetables steam for 2 minutes, or until the broccoli is just tender.
  4. Turn the heat off and stir in the chicken and the pesto, until everything is evenly coated. Top with the shredded parmesan, and serve family-style, right out of the pan.

PRO TIPS:

  • For convenience, I used store-bought pesto, but if you’re feeling “chefy”, make your own pesto! In fact, find my homemade pesto recipe on page 32 of my cookbook New Comfort Cooking!
  • When shopping for pesto, keep in mind that every single brand of pesto will taste completely different. So, I generally recommend buying good quality pesto from a brand you trust. For instance, Costco has a really nice pesto that I love! I also suggest looking for any pesto imported from Italy. However, I do not recommend you use the Aldi brand pesto, as I have personally tried it and it’s not very tasty.
  • Don’t like pesto? Try it with alfredo sauce instead! (Or you could even mix the two together into “pesto alfredo!)
  • For an even lower carb version, simply remove the tomatoes, and swap in any over your favorite low carb veggies
  • For a tasty upgrade, add fresh mozzarella and/or drizzle the top with balsamic reduction! YUM!
  • You can absolutely use boneless/skinless chicken thighs instead of the tenders (I just prefer the white meat in this recipe, but that is totally up to you!) But this recipe is also FANTASTIC with shrimp, or even salmon cut into cubes as well.
  • You can honestly use any vegetable you like in this dish, just keep in mind how long different vegetables will need to cook through. But if you don’t like broccoli or tomatoes, this recipe works great with asparagus (cut into 1-inch pieces), sliced mushrooms, sliced zucchini, or sliced French green beans.

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