There seems to be a terrible cold going around here in Louisville. Hubby got it, and pretty much everyone in class today was sniffling, coughing, and sneezing. I haven’t gotten it yet, so fingers crossed. I decided to make something for dinner tonight that would be good for the immune system in hopes that it would help in preventing me getting this nasty lil’ cold that is making the rounds.
I knew it was a meat night, and I knew what veggies I wanted to help keep that cold away. I went on Pinterest for ideas and saw this pin:
A-ha! Oven roasted veggies. I didn’t look at the recipe that this pin goes to, because all I needed was the idea and I knew where I wanted to go from there! Oven roasted chicken breast with immune boosting veggies. The veggies I included are rutabaga, fennel bulb, red onion, and yellow peppers. I’ve talked about the health benefits of rutabaga in my post on rutabaga fries. The rutabaga, fennel bulb, and onions all have anti-viral, anti-bacterial, and anti-fungal properties. Not only that, but they also all contain vitamins and minerals that are essential for good immune health.
One of the veggies in this dish that is less well known is the fennel bulb. This magical bulb has SO many healthy benefits! It is a great source of vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and molybdenum as well as many unique phytonutrients such as flavonoids rutin, quercitin, and various kaempferol glycosides. One of the most fascinating phytonutrient compounds in fennel is anethole. The anethole in fennel reduces inflammation and helps prevent cancer.
Fennel provides a ton of health benefits. Here is a list of some of them.
- helps to facilitate digestion and prevents bad breath
- helps in the treatment of anemia
- fennel is a strong anti-flatulent (keeps the toots away! 🙂 )
- alleviates constipation
- helps prevent heart disease, artherosclerosis, and strokes.
- excellent in cancer prevention
- reduces blood pressure
- great for brain function
- antibacterial properties that can eliminate diarrhea caused by bacteria
- boosts the immune system
- regulates hormonal activity in the body and helps alleviate PMS symptoms
- protects the eyes and helps prevent eye disorders such as macular degeneration
- aids in recovery from respiratory disorders
- aids in eliminating toxic substances in the body by acting as a diuretic
That’s a long list! The fennel along with the other immune boosting foods in this dish make it perfect for when you are trying to avoid getting sick! And, yes, it’s also absolutely delicious, and it made for an excellent dinner on this chilly night!
ROASTED CHICKEN BREAST WITH IMMUNE BOOSTING VEGGIES
-1 onion, cut into wedges
-1 fennel bulb, trimmed, halved and cut into slices
-1 yellow pepper, cut into strips
-1 rutabaga, peeled, halved and cut into chunks
-3-4 organic chicken breast
-Seasoning mix: 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp. oregano, 1 tsp. rosemary, 1/2 tsp. sea salt
-2 Tbsp. olive oil
-1 lemon, cut into slices
-1 bunch fresh thyme sprigs
-1 cup water, or you can use homemade broth, chicken or vegetable.
1.) Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (218 degrees C).
2.) Spread onion, fennel, yellow pepper and rutabaga slices evenly in the bottom of a large pan, creating a bed. Arrange chicken pieces on top of vegetables.
3.) Sprinkle with seasoning mix, then drizzle with olive oil. Lay lemon slices on top of chicken pieces, and tuck in a few fresh thyme sprigs. Finally, pour water/broth into the pan.
4.) Roast chicken for 15 minutes at 425 degrees, remove from oven, baste with pan juices. Reduce temperature to 375 degrees, return chicken to oven. Roast chicken for about an hour more. Let rest 10 minutes before serving. Garnish with sprigs of fresh thyme.