Chicken with Feta and Kalamata Olives


This healthy meal comes together quickly for busy weeknights or a relaxed weekend dinner. Balanced with healthy protein, fats, and carbohydrates you’ll be getting many of the nutrients that your body needs this time of the year – and, all in one large pan for a quick and easy clean up too!


Here are some health benefits of consuming this whole-food meal.


Chicken thighs are a quality dietary source of complete protein containing all of the essential amino acids necessary for proper growth and maintenance of the body, with one 3.5 ounce serving supplying about 23 grams of protein (1). A bit higher in energy (calories) than white meat (chicken breast), chicken thighs also provide a bit more cholesterol to help with vitamin D and brain cell formation, metabolism, and cell membrane strength (2). Other benefits of consuming dark chicken meat, such as the thighs, rather than the white meat (breasts) is that dark meat contains higher levels of nutrients like iron, zinc, selenium, vitamin A, and B vitamins like B1, B2, B3, B6, B9, and B12 (1). These nutrients lend to better oxygenation of body tissues, increased immune health, improved brain function, and support energy production for overall support of body functions.


Jicama (Pachyrhizus erosus) is a crunchy root vegetable with a nutty flavor. Primarily a carbohydrate, this veggie is low in calories, high in fiber and water content, and contains many essential nutrients that the body needs each day. Vitamins like vitamin C and B9 (folate) and minerals like iron and potassium are found in jicama which can provide antioxidant protection and reduce the risk of chronic disease, aid protein metabolism, and the oxygenation of body tissues (3) (4). Jicama is high in inulin, a prebiotic fiber, that feeds the “good” bacteria in our gut and further helps to reduce our risk for chronic conditions like obesity, type 2 diabetes, and inflammatory bowel disease (5).


Kalamata olives (Olea europaea) are named after the city in Greece where they were first grown. These bitter dark-purple drupes are rich in healthy fats and antioxidants. Kalamata olives contain monounsaturated fatty acids like oleic acid which can help prevent heart disease (6). These little fruits are also a good source of micronutrients like iron and calcium for strong bones and improved heart function and contain vitamins like vitamin A and E for healthy vision and skin (7) (8). Once processed kalamata olives contain a potent antioxidant, hydroxytyrosol, which has anti-inflammatory, anti-tumor, antiviral, and antibacterial properties and can improve coronary artery disease (9).


Chicken with Feta and Kalamata Olives Recipe


Ingredients:


2 tbsp. avocado oil

4 chicken thighs

1 lb. potatoes, diced

1 small jicama, diced

1 ½ tsp. oregano, dried

1 ½ tsp. thyme, dried

7 ounces feta, crumbled

2/3 cup Kalamata olives, pitted

5 ½ ounces grape tomatoes, halved

1 tbsp. apple cider vinegar (ACV)

Sea salt and black pepper to taste

Fresh oregano to garnish


Instructions:


Heat the oil in a large pan over medium heat, add the spices and chicken thighs, cook for 10-15 minutes. Turn the chicken over, add the potatoes and jicama and cook for 10-15 minutes. Add the tomatoes, olives, feta, and ACV, cook for about 5 more minutes. Garnish with fresh oregano and serve. (Serves about 4)


Here’s another chicken and vegetable recipe.

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