Before Jim and I started eating a gluten free diet one of our favorite dishes involved couscous, fennel, kalamata olives, chicken, sundried tomatoes, and pine nuts. I haven’t served it since we made the switch, because couscous is basically just tiny wheat noodles. It’s very high on the Glycemic Index, and, of course, has tons of gluten. The other day I modified the dish a bit, and came up with this Chicken and Fennel Quinoa. Jim and I both decided we actually like this version better!
Fennel is both delicious and healthy. It has a bit of a black licorice taste to it, but don’t let that scare you away! I love fennel, even though I hate the flavor of black licorice. Fennel brings a unique character to your recipes, that will leave people asking for more. It also brings lots of fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients to the table! One of its phytonutrient compounds, anethole, is both anti-inflammatory and it helps you fight off cancer! For more information on the health benefits of fennel, check out this article.
Before we get to the recipe for the Chicken and Fennel Quinoa I want to invite you to join with others who are making healthy changes. I’d love to walk alongside you in your journey towards wholeness and health! Jesus said, “I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full!” Freedom from food addictions is part of having a truly full life.
- 2 Cups White Quinoa (rinse it)
- 4 Cups Organic Chicken Broth (make sure it isn’t made with barley if you need it to be gluten free)
- 2 Tbsp Coconut Oil
- 1 Lb Chicken Tenders or Thinly Sliced Chicken Breasts
- Sea Salt and Lemon Pepper to Taste
- 1/2 Lemon
- 1 Small Purple Onion, Sliced
- 1 Bulb Fennel, Sliced
- 4 Cloves Chopped Garlic
- 1/2 Cup Pitted Kalamata Olives
- 2 Tbsp of the Liquid from the Olives
- 1/2 Cup Raw Pine Nuts
- 1 Cup Sun-Dried Tomatoes
- More Sea Salt and Lemon Pepper to Taste
- 1 Cup Feta Cheese (optional)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Place the quinoa and broth in a medium pot and bring it to a boil. Reduce the heat, so that it simmers, and cover it. Cook for about 15-20 minutes, or until the quinoa absorbs all of the liquid.
Melt the coconut oil in a large ceramic non-stick pan over medium heat. Season both sides of your chicken with sea salt and lemon pepper, then place it in the hot pan. Sprinkle the chicken with the juice of the lemon about half way through cooking it. Cook both sides, until the chicken is just cooked through. Try not to over cook, or under cook it! Set the chicken aside.
Place the onion and fennel into the same pan you used for the chicken. You may need to add a little more coconut oil. Cook the veggies over medium heat. until they’re soft and light brown. Add the garlic for the last 5 minutes of sautéing.
Mix together the quinoa, chicken, sautéed veggies, and the remaining ingredients in a large bowl. Place the mixture into a large baking dish, and bake for about 20 minutes. Enjoy!