This Oil-Free Baked Chicken with Fennel and Mushrooms is the perfect spring dish to encourage your body to become a good fat burner. It’s a delicious, satisfying, easy to make one pan dish.
In the spring nature encourages our body to burn fat. We naturally desire less food, less fat and more green vegetables. The heavier, higher fat foods eaten in the winter to insulate our body are replaced with the low fat harvest of spring. When we follow the natural rhythm of the season by eating a lower fat diet, our body is forced to burn its own fat each spring and we lose weight naturally. Spring is nature’s weight-loss season. It’s interesting to note, the microbes on our foods make springtime shifts also, supporting our connection to the natural cycles as we eat seasonally.
In Ayurveda spring is the time for a fat-free and mucus-free diet.
I’m not against eating fat. We need healthy fats for energy and to support cell growth. Fats also help our body absorb certain nutrients and feed our brain. But eating less fat in the spring encourages your body to start burning the fat you stored during the winter. When you do this your body becomes a good fat burner for the rest of the year. Don’t miss this natural opportunity to reset.
There are many very important reasons to burn fat, it’s not just about losing weight. Dr. Suhas G. Kshirsagar a celebrated Ayurvedic physician says in his book The Hot Belly Diet…
“When your body uses fat as active fuel, you will experience increased energy, ability to focus, stable moods, better sleep, fewer cravings, and of course, effortless weight loss.”
Burning fat also releases toxins that get stored in your fat cells. Removing these toxins makes you healthier.
It is important to change your diet with the season. This very low fat protocol is something we do in the spring, not the rest of the year. When you are in tune with the flow of nature, cutting back on fats in the spring restores your fat burning ability making you a good fat burner all year long.
Spring is your window to eat less, reset fat burning, lose weight and thrive.
I created this Oil-Free Baked Chicken with Fennel and Mushroom to cut back on fat and give my body an opportunity to reset. It’s a simple dish, just a little chopping and then right into the oven.
Fennel is readily available in the markets right now. It has a crunchy texture and a mild flavor similar to licorice or anise. It’s very soothing on the digestive system. Since fennel contains 7 grams of dietary fiber, it acts like a small brush as it moves through the digestive system, clearing the colon of toxins.
I added mushrooms for the umami flavor we find so satisfying. Mushrooms are a year round vegetable. They also happen to be the only “vegetable” that contains vitamin D which is essential for proper bone growth and uptake of calcium in the body.
Shiitake mushrooms are a good source of selenium which is important for proper thyroid function. Half a cup of shiitake mushrooms provides up to 34% of the daily selenium required for women.
I use tarragon to season the chicken and vegetables. Its light licorice flavor perfumes the birds flesh and mingles with the juice from the vegetables. Thyme can be substituted but give tarragon a try you may really like it.
Enjoy the recipe. Since this is a light dish I like to serve it with oil-free roasted sweet potatoes. The good carbs added to the meal make it very satisfying.Print
A delicious, satisfying, easy to make one pan dish without any oil. Eating a low-fat diet in the spring makes you healthier by encouraging fat burning.
- 1 pound chicken breasts ( 2 – 8 ounce breasts)
- 1 teaspoon dried tarragon or 1 tablespoon fresh tarragon leaves
- Celtic sea salt and fresh pepper
- 1 cup leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced
- ½ cup shallots, thinly sliced
- 3 cups shiitake or portobello mushrooms, stems removed, sliced
- 3 cups fennel, sliced, save a few fronds for garnish (1 large fennel)
- 1 cup carrots, cut into half moons on the diagonal, (about 2 carrots)
- 2 sprigs fresh tarragon (optional)
- ½ cup water or stock
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley, chopped
- Heat oven to 400 F.
- Cut chicken in half horizontally so you have 4 thin chicken cutlets.
- Sprinkle chicken with salt and pepper and half the tarragon.
- Put all the vegetables in a medium baking dish.
- Sprinkle with salt, pepper and the rest of the tarragon.
- Add stock and tarragon sprigs if using, toss to combine.
- Place the chicken on top of the vegetables.
- Cover pan with foil.
- Bake 15 minutes, toss vegetables and turn the chicken cutlets over.
- Cook 10 minutes more or until chicken is done. To tell if it’s done, the chicken should feel firm. The flesh should look opaque, and a meat thermometer inserted sideways into the chicken should register 160 degrees F.
- Put chicken on a cutting board and slice each breast and keep separate.
- Add parsley to the vegetables and toss.
- Put a serving of vegetables onto each of 4 plates . Top the vegetables with one sliced chicken breast. Garnish with chopped fennel fronds.
- Pass remaining vegetables around.
There is a mistake in the nutrition information, it has omitted the Vitamin D. There are 10 IU of vitamin D in each serving
- Method: Baked
- Cuisine: Healthy, Paleo, Gluten Free, Diary Free, Oil Free