We are all looking for that simple recipe that wows, right? This lemon cherry balsamic reduction served over chicken looks beautiful, tastes amazing and … it is super easy!
We will get back to the kitchen in a minute but I thought that you might be interested in how I’ve been doing over the last six months or so.
My recent health journey:
In August 2016 I started to take kelp capsules because I thought that maybe adding a bit of iodine to my diet might perk me up a bit. I have struggled with lowish to debilitating energy ever since I had mono at the age of 22. In recent years, my energy hasn’t been terrible but neither have I had the kind of energy that I had before my encounter with mono.
Apparently, adding iodine to your diet if you are selenium deficient (and I must have been selenium deficient) can trigger latent Hashimoto’s thyroiditis and that is what happened to me. Over two months I began to feel increasingly unwell. I finally stopped taking the kelp and added selenium 200 mcg daily and then bounced back a bit. In the meantime, I had made an appointment to see my physician. In October of 2016, she ordered blood work, including thyroid peroxidase antibodies (at my request) and a TSH and tested for Lyme’s disease. She also sent me to a clinic to be tested for sleep apnea.
- The results came back: TPO > 1300 (normal <50)
- TSH 3.07 (0.1-5)
- moderate sleep apnea
- negative for Lyme disease
So … my taking iodine had pitched me into full blown Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. My doc then started me on natural desiccated thyroid 30 mg daily but I still didn’t feel well. In December I had more blood work done:
- TSH 1.07 (from 3.07)
- free T3 4.6 (3.5-6.5)
- free T4 14.5 (11-23)
My energy levels hadn’t improved much and my motivation had tanked.
Fast forward to January of 2017 when I saw my naturopath who switched me to Synthroid 25 mcg daily, adding in phosphatidylserine to enhance my mood. My motivation improved but my energy levels remained the same.
More blood work in February:
- free T4 17.7 (up from 14.5)
- free T3 3.6 (down from 4.6; should be in the upper quarter of the normal range)
- TSH 1.23
My naturopath then added Cytomel 2.5 mcg daily to my regimen as it looks like I am not converting T4 to the active T3. Reverse T3 is something that should also be tested but it isn’t available where I live. I may pay for this to be done if I don’t improve.
I also have an amoeba/parasite infestation of some kind so I’ve been put on black walnut drops twice a day.
Cross your fingers that these changes will result in increased energy. My naturopath is confident that I will be able to back off my thyroid meds as my system returns to normal. I am still pretty hard-core AIP with the addition of black pepper and the odd glass of white wine but not many other reintroductions. I credit the AIP with keeping me on a healthy path because I believe that, without this way of eating, I would have felt extremely unwell.
Back to this delicious lemon cherry balsamic reduction!
Make the lemon cherry balsamic reduction the day before your dinner if you know that on the day you will be short on time. The day of your dinner prep the chicken and pop it in the oven for 30-45 minutes. Make a coleslaw or green salad or saute some kale while the chicken cooks, top with the lemon cherry balsamic reduction and … voila. A gourmet dinner in less time than it takes to turn around.
Serves 2 tablespoons
Beautiful reduction great on salmon, tilapia and chicken.
5 minPrep Time
30 minCook Time
35 minTotal Time
2 to 2 1/2 cups frozen dark cherries*
juice of one lemon
2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
2 tablespoons honey (or more to taste)
1/8 teaspoon salt
4 chicken breast halves bone in**
3 tablespoons good quality olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon powdered ginger
4-6 ounces full fat coconut milk (this is a good one from amazon.com)
Thaw pitted dark cherries and add to a small saucepan with the rest of the sauce ingredients.
Simmer gently for approximately 30 minutes until the volume has been reduced by half.
While the cherries simmer, use a potato masher now and then to break up the cherries.
Cool to room temperature.
Coat the bottom of a skillet with a good quality olive oil (this one from amazon.com has a good reputation)
Place the chicken breasts in the skillet skin side up and sprinkle with the salt and ginger.
Pour the coconut milk over the chicken.
Place in a preheated 350 degree F oven for 30-45 minutes depending on the thickness of the chicken breasts.
*if you use fresh cherries they will need to be chopped first
** if you choose boneless chicken breasts reduce the baking time to 20-30 minutes
As seen on Phoenix Helix Recipe Roundtable #157