A terrific way to spice up Mother’s Day naturally

Mother’s Day is around the corner, and it’s time again to decide how we will share our appreciation.  Popular ideas include breakfast in bed, brunch or sharing a beautiful dinner in her honor.  Regardless of which meal we choose, it is important that it starts with great food. What we decide to serve needs to not just be delicious, but also good for you. Keeping Mom in good health begins with a healthy diet, which is a key component of overall wellness. Nothing can show Mom you care more than making her health a priority.

This year, we feature a dish that has cut back on all the salt, fat and sugar, but certainly not the flavor.  To do this, we utilize an early spring treat: fresh herbs.  Herbs are a great source of antioxidants and vitamins.  Historically, both fresh and dried herbs have been recognized for their curative properties.  Here, they are used to improve the nutritional value of the dish, while reducing unwanted and unhealthy calories.

Fresh herbs can be stored in an open or perforated plastic bag in the refrigerator and should be purchased close to the time of intended use. They can be treated like salad greens by washing before using with cool water, and shaking or spinning off the excess. If you use dried herbs instead, simply substitute them for the fresh ones at a ratio of 1 to 3, due to their more intense flavor. Whether you grow fresh herbs or buy them at a local market, incorporating them as a natural seasoning tool is a creative way to pull them into the spotlight.   Present this healthy and delicious Herbed Chicken with Roasted Fennel this Mothers day as the perfect way to say-we love you!

Herbed Chicken with Roasted Fennel

Yield: 4 servings

Ingredients

1 Large fennel bulb, sprigs reserved
1 Medium sweet onion, sliced with root end in tact
2 Tsp thyme, 2 Tsp basil, 2 Tsp oregano, chopped and mixed together in a small bowl
1 Tbsp olive oil
Four 5oz portions boneless, skinless chicken breast
1 Clove of garlic, minced
¼ Cup White wine
½ Cup vegetable or chicken stock
1 Cup Red bell pepper, roasted, cleaned and diced
2 T fennel sprigs

Directions

In a large shallow saucepan, heat 2 Tsp of olive oil and sauté the fennel and onion over med-high heat for approx. 5 to 7 minutes, until  browned but still crunchy.  Sprinkle 1 tsp of herbs over the vegetables, stir and heat for 1 additional minute.  Remove from pan and set side. Keep warm.

Season the chicken breasts with remaining herbs and heat 1 Tsp of oil in a sauté pan. Over medium heat, brown the breasts on both sides.  Top with half of the roasted peppers and cook for 10-12 minutes.  Remove breasts from pan and set aside with the other cooked vegetables.  Heat the garlic in pan for 30 seconds, until fragrant then add white wine to pan.  Reduce wine for 2 minutes and add the stock, scraping the bottom of the pan to release brown bits into the sauce.  Add remaining vegetables including peppers to the pan and cook for approximately one minute to meld flavors.  Remove from heat.

Place warm fennel and onion on a serving platter and arrange chicken breasts on top.  Pour the pan sauce equally over the 4 chicken breasts.  Garnish with the remaining peppers and the fennel fronds and serve.

Nutrition Facts:
Calories 330 per serving; Calories from Fat 110;
Total Fat 12g; Saturated Fat 2g; Trans Fat 0g;
Cholesterol 110mg; Sodium 280mg;
Total Carbohydrate 14g; Dietary Fiber 3g; Sugars 6g
Protein 39g

Photo credit: ScLeBre

 

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