Chicken with Mushroom Cream Sauce

Wow, it has been a while! But then again, I told you that it would be. I have been busy trying to get my side business off the ground – so busy, in fact, that I am taking a little break from it to try to clear my head. It has been very great and very rewarding so far!

Luckily, throughout all the craziness, my Paleo lifestyle has remained intact. I always say that this is the easiest “diet” to stick to! It does have its moments, though. I went to my conference last month and did pretty well, except for lunch. I made the best choices that I could – the best choice probably would have been to bring something to have, but I decided not to go that far. It affected me a little bit, and before I was even over the effects of that, I made a couple of really poor choices at Red Robin when I was there for my teenager’s cast party for their production of Romeo and Juliet. I have just in the last 12 hours gotten over that, and that was two weeks ago! I should really know better – I have been an emotional wreck for these last three weeks (when you count the aftermath of the conference). I seriously think that if I ever stopped eating Paleo, the people around me would have something to say about it, simply because I am so crazy when I make the wrong choices.

My teenager seems to agree with me on that front. While she was doing the play, she had a hard time staying Paleo. She told me that she couldn’t wait until the play was over so that she could start eating better. She said that she felt less stressed and less emotional when she was eating Paleo, and she always seemed to be happy. Who would have thought that bread and grains, which are said to release serotonin when you eat them, could have such a negative effect on your mood?

She turned her grandparents on to Paleo when she stayed with them over the summer, and her grandmother went to Costco and bought me a huge supply of extra virgin, organic coconut oil. It has definitely been a change from the cheap stuff that I have been getting because it has a more coconut-y  aroma and flavor. It has taken some getting used to, but it is heavenly. I may have to get a membership to Costco to get some more, because I haven’t seen anything like that at Sam’s.

One of the reasons why I bring up the coconut oil is because it is a key element of this recipe. If you are using the cheap stuff, then you have nothing to worry about. Usually mushroom cream sauce is made with butter and heavy cream, and I have made it many, many times. My fiance loves the stuff. I thought I was out of luck until a lightbulb went off in my head this past week and I realized that I could use coconut oil and coconut milk. However, since I am using really good coconut oil, the mushroom cream sauce comes out tasting a little coconut-y. Not a problem for me, the coconut freak. But some people may be turned off by it. So keep that in mind.

Another thing to keep in mind: I do not know how long to tell you to cook the sauce. When cooking it, the oil and milk will start to meld, and then it will condense and get a little thicker. Beyond that point, the oil and the milk begin to separate again and it actually starts to look quite nasty. I have kind of figured out where that line is, but I can’t give you a set amount of time before that happens. I had to learn about that as I went.

Chicken with Mushroom Cream Sauce

4 or 6 chicken breasts

1/4 cup coconut oil

2 cups sliced fresh mushrooms

1/2 cup coconut milk

 

Melt the coconut oil over medium heat and then cook the chicken breasts in the oil until they are tender and there is no longer any pink. Make sure you turn them occasionally so that they will brown on both sides.

When the chicken is done cooking, take them out of the pan and add the mushrooms to the remaining oil. Cook and stir them for a few minutes (the longer you cook them, the more mushroom flavor your sauce will have). After the mushrooms are soft, stir in the coconut milk and boil, stirring to mix the brown bits off of the bottom of the skillet. Boil for about three minutes, until thickened. Spoon (or pour!) the sauce and mushrooms over the chicken and enjoy!

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Getting the Family Involved

Today is a proud day in our Paleo household. First of all, my fiance has been eating cleaner for a couple of weeks now. He has already talked about how much better he feels, and his blood sugar has stabilized. Second, my teenage daughter went with me to CrossFit on Friday and Saturday. She seems to really enjoy it, because when my fiance asked me when we were going back and I said Monday or Tuesday, she said, “Oh please, Monday!” But the greatest shocker to me came as we were leaving the gym on Friday and she said that she wanted to start my diet.

It took nine months, and I never thought it would happen, but it happened.

She has been rather disappointed about some of the items that she has found out that she will have to give up, but I am working with her to try to find substitutes for those things. After all, when your teenager tells you that she wants to eat healthier, you had better try hard to move heaven and earth to help her be successful! She eats barbecue sauce on everything, so that is probably the first thing I am going to try to figure out. She even tried a piece of sauteed onion with her dinner this evening!

With the teenager on board, and with our new focus on fitness and being healthy, I have also started taking steps to wean my younger daughter off of the constant cereal, granola bars, sandwiches, and chicken nuggets that she has been consuming. I already know that the hardest thing to deal with will be the cereal – I am hoping to get her to try some eggs later in the week. We found some frozen rotisserie chicken wings at Sam’s Club. They aren’t totally Paleo, but they are a gigantic step toward getting away from the breaded chicken nuggets that she has been eating. She had some for dinner this evening and she really liked them. She has been snacking on more fruit, and is eating more salads with her meals instead of the sides that she was eating before.

I am one proud mama right now. I really didn’t think that this day would come, but here it is, and I am loving every minute of it. I love sharing CrossFit with my daughter, and I am really going to enjoy teaching her how to eat healthier. I think that the experience has already brought us closer together, and I am very glad of that.