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Mushroom Chicken Pasta with creamy Pesto sauce and sun-dried tomatoes – delicious and easy (30 minutes from start to finish).  Perfect meal for the Summer!

Dried mushrooms have a more concentrated flavor than fresh. Always soak dried mushrooms in VERY hot water for 20 minutes or until soft. Use dried mushrooms and strained broth in soups, sautées, sauces or in any dish calling for fresh mushrooms.

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1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 lb chicken thighs, boneless, skinless, chopped
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, drained of most oil, chopped
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 oz mushrooms, sliced
3 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 cup pesto
1 cup milk
1/4 teaspoon salt, and more
8 ounces penne pasta (use gluten free for gluten free version)
fresh basil, chopped
1. Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat. Add chicken (chopped up) with sun-dried tomatoes (chopped into smaller bites) to the skillet, sprinkle with red pepper flakes. Saute for about 1 minute on medium heat.
2. Add sliced mushrooms (add another 1 tablespoon olive oil if needed) and saute for about 2 more minutes (or a little bit more), until chicken is cooked through and mushrooms are softened.
3. Add garlic, pesto, milk, and 1/4 teaspoon of salt. Bring to boil, immediately reduce to simmer and simmer, stirring until everything is well combined. Remove from heat. Taste, and add more salt, if needed.
4. Cook pasta according to package instructions. Drain. Add cooked pasta to the sauce, reheat.
5. Top with chopped fresh basil. 

​​The trend is to blend. Blending ground meat with finely chopped mushrooms can reduce calories, fat, saturated fat and sodium.

These sauteed oyster mushrooms are vegetarian, vegan, gluten-free and paleo-friendly.

2 tablespoons olive oil
1 pound oyster mushrooms
4 garlic cloves, minced
4 green onions, finely chopped
salt and pepper
Heat olive oil in a large skillet on medium heat until hot but not smoking. Immediately add mushrooms and garlic, and saute for 2-3 minutes, regularly stirring with spatula. After 2-3 minutes of sauteing, reduce heat a bit and sprinkle the mushrooms with a little bit of salt, stir to mix, cover with the lid and continue to cook the mushrooms for another 5-7 minutes, occasionally stirring, until they soften and release some juices. Having the lid on will allow mushrooms generate some moisture and not get burned. Mushrooms should be cooked for a total of 7-10 minutes.
If there is too much liquid in the pan, cook for 1-2 more minutes uncovered, on medium heat, to let extra moisture evaporate.
When mushrooms are completely cooked, add half of chopped green onions to the mushrooms, mix and season the mushrooms with salt and pepper.
When serving, top each serving with the remaining chopped green onions.