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Beetroot, The Beautiful

Give your body the ultimate nitrate boost, with Pre-natal Dietician, Wendy Fedele's delicious Lemon-baked Chicken with Beetroot, Green Bean and Walnut Salad!

Beetroot, The Beautiful

While all vegetables warrant a place in your fertility diet, beetroots deserve a special mention for some pretty impressive nutrition stats.

Our resident Fertility and Pre-natal Dietician, Wendy Fedele, explains, “beetroot is one of the richest food sources of Nitrates, which are converted in your body to a compound called nitric oxide and play a role in improving blood and oxygen supply to your body. That’s why beetroot may theoretically assist with implantation, as we need a good blood supply to the uterus for the embryo to implant.”

Beetroot is also a great source of dietary fibre and packed with fertility supporting nutrients, such as Iron, Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Zinc, Selenium, and folate. Folate is a highly important Vitamin that helps reduce the risk of neural tube defects as the baby develops in pregnancy, plus folate is associated with improved fertility. Wendy adds, “100g of beetroot provides more than ¼ of your preconception folate needs!”

And if that wasn’t enough to convince you to eat more beets – they’re also loaded with antioxidants/polyphenols, which can help protect against oxidative stress and may therefore help protect the health of egg and sperm cells.

Need some inspiration to get more beetroot in your life? Try the flavour-packed lemon-baked chicken with beetroot, green bean, and walnut salad.

Lemon-baked Chicken with Beetroot, Green Bean and Walnut Salad

Serves 4

Ingredients:

Beetroot, green bean and walnut salad:

  • 1 bunch (~700g) beetroot, roots and leaves removed, scrubbed well
    (pre-packed cooked/ ready to eat beetroot is a good shortcut)
  • 200g green beans, ends removed
  • 150g baby spinach leaves, washed
  • 40g (~2 tablespoons) walnuts, crushed
  • 2 tablespoons Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 2 tablespoons good quality balsamic vinegar
  • ¼ cup mint leaves, chopped
  • 50g feta cheese

Lemon-baked chicken:

  • 4 skinless chicken breasts
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • 4 tablespoons lemon juice and lemon slices to serve
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon mixed Italian herbs
  • Salt and pepper

Instructions:

To make the salad:

  1. If using raw beetroot, place into a pot of boiling water and simmer for ~30 minutes or until softened. Drain and set aside to cool, then cut into wedges (if using pre-cooked simply cut into wedges and set aside.)
  2. Add beans to a small saucepan of boiling water and cook for ~5 minutes until slightly softened but still firm, set aside to cool.
  3. Make the dressing: Combine olive oil, vinegar, mustard and garlic, mix to combine and add salt to taste
  4. Add cooled beans, beetroot, spinach leaves and walnuts to a salad bowl, and drizzle with dressing. Toss to combine
  5. Crumble over feta, serve alongside the lemon-baked chicken

To make the lemon-baked chicken:

  1. Preheat your oven to 200 degrees Celsius
  2. Heat olive oil on a large pan, add chicken and cook for 2-3 minutes on each side, until just browned, then move your chicken onto a large oven-proof dish
  3. In a separate bowl, whisk together stock, lemon juice, garlic, honey, herbs and season with salt and pepper
  4. Pour sauce over the chicken and bake for ~20-30 minutes or until cooked through, spooning the sauce from the bottom of the dish over the chicken every 5 minutes or so
  5. Top with lemon slices and serve with the beetroot salad.