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Pesto Chicken Bake

Add a burst of flavor to your chicken breast by using pesto sauce. This pesto adds healthy fats from the pine nuts and olive oil, which helps keep you feeling satisfied for longer. Recipe from Diabetes Create Your Plate Meal Prep Cookbook by Toby Amidor (photos by Ashley Lima)


6 (5-oz/150 g) thin sliced boneless skinless chicken breasts

1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) salt

1⁄4 tsp (1 mL) ground black pepper

6 tbsp (90 mL) Simple Pesto Sauce (page 264) or store-bought pesto sauce

4 oz (125 g) fresh mozzarella, cut into 6 slices

2 plum tomatoes, thinly sliced

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  • 13- by 9-inch (33 by 23 cm) glass baking dish coated with cooking spray
  • Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C)
  1. Sprinkle both sides of the chicken breasts with the salt and pepper.
  2. Place the chicken breasts in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Top each breast with 1 tbsp (15 mL) of the pesto sauce and spread it evenly using the back of a spoon. Top the pesto with one slice of mozzarella cheese and the tomato slices divided equally among the six breasts.
  3. Bake until the cheese has melted and an instant- read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the chicken registers 165°F (74°C), 25 minutes.
  4. TO STORE: In each of six containers, add one chicken breast. Cover and refrigerate for up to 4 days or freeze for up to 2 months.
  5. TO SERVE: If needed, thaw in the refrigerator overnight. To reheat, microwave uncovered on High for 1 minute. Allow 2 minutes for the heat to distribute before removing the container from the microwave. Serve warm.

Herbed Salmon with Asparagus

This gourmet one-pot meal is one of my go-to dishes. The flavors are simple and pleasantly satisfying. Makes 2 servings.


1 cup / 250ml Ready-to-use chicken broth

12 oz / 250ml skin-on salmon fillet, cut into 2 equal pieces

Virgin olive oil

8 oz / 250ml Asparagus spears, tough ends trimmed and spears halved

Coarse salt and freshly ground black pepper

3 tbsp / 250ml Butter

1 tbsp / 250ml Freshly squeezed lemon juice

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Using your fingers, carefully check the salmon fillet for tiny pin bones. Remove any bones with a tweezers or needle nose pliers.


  • Steam rack
  • 2 pieces of parchment paper, cut to fit salmon pieces
  1. Add broth to the inner pot and place the steam rack in the pot. Place 1 piece of salmon, skin side down, on each prepared piece of parchment paper and brush top with oil. Sprinkle with herbes de Provence. Arrange both pieces on steam rack, without overlapping. Arrange asparagus on top of salmon. Drizzle with a little oil and season with salt and pepper.
  2. Close and lock the lid and turn the steam release handle to Sealing. Set your Instant Pot to pressure cook on Low for 5 minutes.
  3. When the cooking time is done, press Cancel and turn the steam release handle to Venting. When the float valve drops down, remove the lid. The fish should be opaque and should flake easily when tested with a fork. (If more cooking time is needed, continue pressure cooking on Low for 1 minute.)
  4. Transfer salmon to serving plates and arrange asparagus on top of and around salmon. Cover with foil to keep warm.
  5. Set your Instant Pot to sauté on More. Cook, stirring often, for 3 minutes or until liquid is reduced to 1⁄4 cup (60 mL). Add butter and lemon juice; cook, stirring, until butter is melted. Drizzle sauce over fish and asparagus. Serve immediately.