Lemon Rosemary Chicken (AIP)
In my humble opinion, rosemary is an under-utilized herb. It has a recognizable kick of bitter and astringent that perhaps isn't for everyone. But it can be a game changer for recipes like soups, sauces, stews, roasts and stuffings, not just for flavour but also for your health!
Regular addition of rosemary leaves to your food allows your body to reap the benefits from the organic compounds and unique phytochemicals they hold. To name a few...
To remember this one, you might need to eat a little extra rosemary! One of the earliest documented uses of rosemary was as a cognitive stimulant, as was said to improve memory, increase intelligence and boost focus. Some of these claims are still being researched, however, studies have conclusively reported the increase in memory retention. It is also well linked to stimulating cognitive activity in those suffering from acute cognitive disorders, such as Alzheimer's or dementia. I like to look at this preventatively! I add rosemary where I can, knowing it might help me stay sharp over the long run.
Mood & Stress
This one makes me appreciate the time I spend in the kitchen actually cooking with this herb. Turns out all it takes is the smell of rosemary to improve the mood, clear the mind and relieve stress in those with chronic anxiety or stress hormone imbalances. If you're thinking, "Oh great! I'll just grab the essential oil!" Well, turns out that food is the best medicine (as per usual!) because the concentration of active components in the oil may not necessarily have the same positive effects on mood and stress. There's no way around it! Get in the kitchen and incorporate some rosemary! It might make you less grumpy about having to cook for the whole fam!
This is a big one for me and the reason I incorporate it into many of my dishes designed for the Autoimmune Protocol. The active compounds in rosemary are antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and anti-carcinogenic in nature. This trifecta supports the immune system and protects the body from damage. In those with autoimmune disease, this support is necessary for healing of the gut lining and regulating of immune attacks.
Rosemary becomes especially helpful for those with inflammatory digestive issues such as celiac disease, chron's and colitis, as it contains anti-inflammatory and stimulant effects on the digestive tract. For this reason, it may be used as a natural remedy for upset stomachs, constipation, bloating, and diarrhea.
Rosemary may actually stimulate the production of red blood cells and increase blood flow. This helps oxygenate the body, improving the metabolic activity of vital organs and stimulate the movement of nutrition to cells that need a little extra love!
Rosemary is a documented analgesic substance and has actually been used in salves for hundreds of years for it's ability to relieve pain topically. When we incorporate it into our diet, it takes these pain relieving compounds to harder to reach places such as the brain. For this reason, it can be powerful at relieving headaches and migraines.
I have mentioned it's anti-inflammatory power before but I think it deserves it's own category. Rosemary contains to powerful antioxidant & anti-inflammatory compounds called carnosol and carnosic acid that have been linked to reduced inflammation of muscles, blood vessels and joints. So if you've got an inflammatory condition like high blood pressure, gout, or arthritis, rosemary could be a powerful addition to your diet!
Ready to start cooking with Rosemary?!
Let's start by keeping it simple. Here is my GO-TO rosemary meal that will make the whole family think you're a culinary master, without you having to do a whole heck of a lot. Check it out!
Lemon Rosemary Chicken
time: 50 minutes
- 16 oz chicken breast (sliced in half)
- 2 tbsp rosemary (chopped)
- 2 lemons (divided, 1/2 sliced into rounds, 1/2 zested and juiced)
- 3 tbsp avocado oil (divided)
- 3 garlic cloves (minced)
- 1 tsp himalayan pink salt (or celtic sea salt)
- 2 sweet potatoes (cubed)
- 4 cups arugula
- Combine rosemary, lemon juice, lemon zest, half your avocado oil, garlic and pink salt in a bowl to make your marinade. Mix well. Add chicken breast halves and marinade to a zip lock bag and seal. Shake and set aside while you prep!
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees F.
- Heat remaining avocado oil over medium-high heat in a large cast iron skillet. Add sweet potatoes and cook until softening (about 5 minutes!) and remove from eat.
- Arrange chicken breast halves and lemon slices over the sweet potatoes in the cast iron skillet. Pour the remaining marinade from the ziploc bag over the sweet potatoes. Bake uncovered for about 40 minutes, or until chicken and potatoes are cooked through.
- Remove from oven and plate sweet potato and chicken over a bed of arugula.