Chicken Parmesan my way!

Winner, winner chicken dinner!!! And this meal was definitely a winner! We enjoyed this take on Chicken Parmesan and I actually made it low carb by not using breadcrumbs and using grated Parmesan cheese instead. If you use a low carb marinara sauce and serve over zoodles you have a keto friendly version. Let’s get to cooking!

Ingredients:

  • Boneless skinless chicken breasts- butterflied (split in half) and pounded thin
  • Jar of marinara sauce
  • 2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese
  • 2-3 eggs beat in a shallow dish
  • Seasonings – I used season salt (Tony’s), garlic and onion powder, Italian seasoning and Italian dressing seasoning mix. I add seasoning to my raw chicken and the beaten eggs.
  • 1-2 cups of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil

Directions:

Butterfly (cut in half lengthwise) and pound out 3 chicken breasts fairly thin (you should end up with 6 thin breasts total. Season chicken and set aside. You will now set up your breading station. Beat 2-3 eggs in a shallow dish with seasoning. In another dish add 1-1/2 cups of grated Parmesan cheese. Take the seasoned chicken and put in egg mixture and then cheese immediately following. Add to pan with olive oil on medium heat. Pan fry chicken on both sides until golden brown (about 3-5 minutes)and then add to baking dish. Chicken will finish cooking in the oven. Top chicken with marinara sauce, then cheese and Italian seasoning. Bake in oven on 350 for 20-25 minutes. Top over pasta and serve with salad or veggie.

This meal was delicious. I did add mine to the broiler for about 2 minutes because I like my cheese a little brown lol. This will be an alternative to spaghetti or spaghetti Mac for my family. If you try it make sure to tag me on IG @severalpeoplesmama! It really makes me so happy when y’all do!

Love Ricki

Cheesy Chicken Burrito Skillet

Hey y’all! Yesterday I was challenging myself to come up with a meal using what I already had on hand. And I have plenty of chicken!!! In particular boneless skinless chicken breasts. I think I need to share a week’s worth of budget friendly chicken recipes lol. Anyways after checking my pantry and surfing the internet I came up with this recipe that can be made in one pan and in about 30 minutes! The kids enjoyed it and it’s something that can easily be added to a tortilla or on top of nachos.

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts (you can use boneless skinless thighs) cut in about 1 inch chunks
  • 1 can of black beans
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes (can also use rotel for a little spice)
  • 2 cups of water (or chicken broth)
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube (not needed if using chicken broth)
  • 1 cup of rice
  • 1 package of taco seasoning and 1/2 pack of ranch seasoning
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese (I use Mexican blend)
  • 2 tablespoons of oil

Directions:

Add oil of choice to pan or skillet and heat on medium high. Add chicken breasts and seasoning and cook til brown about 5-7 minutes. The chicken does not have to be cooked all the way thru as we will be cooking later. Remove chicken from pan and set aside. Set heat on medium and add rice. Sauté for about a minute and make sure not to burn. Add beans, diced tomatoes, water and bouillon cube or broth if using. Stir to combine and turn heat back to medium high until it begins boiling. Add chicken back in, set heat to low or simmer and cover. Let steam about 10-15 minutes until rice is cooked thru. Top with cheese and serve with your regular taco toppings.

As always tag me @severalpeoplesmama if you make this!

A lot more recipes to come because my teenagers had decided to change his diet and is no longer eating red meat or pork. I’m kinda proud BUT that means I need to get creative so follow along to see what I come up with by subscribing by email and making sure you’re following me on all my social media!

Love Ricki

Easy Weeknight Dinner Part 2 – Pesto Ranch Chicken Sheet Pan Dinner

Need another easy weeknight dinner? I got you!!! This is also a remix of a main dish featured in my Cook Yo Meals Dinner Inspiration Cookbook that I usually make in the crockpot or Instapot. But I have to honestly say I enjoy just as much this way to! So let’s get cooking!

Ingredients:

  • 3-4 boneless skinless chicken breast butterflied in half (check my highlights on Instagram to see what I mean)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup of olive oil
  • 1 dry ranch seasoning packet
  • 1/4 – 1/2 cup prepared pesto
  • 1 package of petite gold or red potatoes
  • 2 – 3 cups of broccoli and cauliflower
  • Seasoning (I used garlic salt and powder, onion powder, lemon pepper and black pepper
  • 1/2 onion finely chopped
  • 1-2 cloves of garlic minced
  • Bacon bits (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Start by rinsing and drying your veggies and potatoes. Make sure you dry them! Especially the potatoes or they won’t crisp up in the oven. Add veggies to a bowl and add 2 – 3 tablespoons of olive oil, your seasonings and 1/3 of the ranch seasoning. You can also add some pesto but I just added bacon bits instead. Add a dash of the chopped onions and garlic. Mix together thoroughly and make sure the veggies are coated in the oil and seasoning and then spread on 1/3 of the sheet pan or a 9 x 13 glass dish. Repeat steps with potatoes in same bowl. I added pesto to the potatoes and left out the bacon bits this time. Add to the pan. Finally in same bowl add chicken and repeat steps to season. Add to sheet pan and place in oven for 25 minutes. Turn meat, potatoes and veggies so it can cook on all sides. Bake for an additional 25 to 30 minutes until chicken is tender and clear juices come out when pierced with a fork. You can turn on the broiler for about 5 minutes to give everything a crispier texture but I found everything was cooked perfectly and the potatoes were almost perfect!

I love this dish because I only dirtied a bowl and a sheet pan. And the veggies! Y’all if you never roasted your veggies in the oven you’re playing yourself! Even Lil Diva likes them and she’s my resident veggie hater.

If you try this please tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama and also highlights of both this recipe and the Goulash recipe are posted on my page to guide you in making a delicious dinner for you and/or your family!!!

Love Ricki

Easy weeknight dinner Part 1 – Shrimp & Sausage Goulash

Here is part 1 of a quick and easy weeknight dinner I made last week. Don’t be fooled by the name! I am sure this is not a traditional goulash but that’s what I was raised to call it so don’t come for me okay!!! Let’s cook!

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound of medium sized shrimp, cleaned, peeled and deveined
  • 1 pound of sausage of your choice, sliced into coins
  • 1 can of tomato paste
  • 3-4 cups of water
  • 1 chicken bouillon cube
  • 1-2 cups of frozen okra
  • 1/2 to 1 medium onion chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 1-2 tablespoons of butter optional
  • Creole seasoning of choice as well as onion & garlic powder and black pepper
  • 1-2 tablespoons of olive oil or oil of choice

Directions:

Start by sautéing onions in olive oil on medium high heat. Add sausage and minced garlic until sausage is fully cooked and onions are translucent. Add full can of tomato paste and mix in with sausage and onions. Add 1-2 cups of water and whisk til combined. Make sure you add water to the can if using, you want every bit of that tomato paste! With burner still on medium heat add an additional cup of water and the chicken bouillon cube. Season sauce. Add a little seasoning stir, let simmer for a minute or two and then taste to see if more is needed. Remember you are using creole seasoning sand you added a chicken bouillon cube so be mindful of the salt. Let simmer for 1-2 minutes and then add shrimp and frozen okra (you don’t have to thaw it out, it will cook quickly in the sauce). Let simmer covered on low for 10 minutes. Turn off heat, stir in butter if using and taste to see if anymore seasoning is needed. Enjoy over rice. You can also add chicken breast or thighs (boneless, skinless) just add prior to cooking onions & sausage.

Let me know if you try this and tag me on IG @severalpeoplesmama

Love Ricki

Make this and wings for the Super Bowl! Naked Chicken Fries (Tenders) in 2 Sauces

In my next cookbook I want to focus on foods that will be quick, easy, budget & kid friendly (Lil Diva approved)! This recipe is all of those things! And it’s Keto Friendly to boot!  I would make these along with wings for your next Super Bowl party, you can just double the recipe for the sauces and use it to dip your wings and the chicken fries. Let’s cook!

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 Chicken breasts cut into thin strips
  • 1 to 1 1/2 cups of vegetable and canola oil
  • Seasoning of choice – I used dry ranch dressing mix, Tony’s creole seasoning and garlic and onion powder
  • 2 sticks of salted butter
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • Juice of 1 lemon, as well as zest
  • 2 teaspoons of cracked black pepper, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon of lemon pepper seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic salt
  • Grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

Pre-heat oven and 350 degrees and heat oil in skillet. I use an electric skillet that was under $20 bucks from Walmart and I only use it for frying. I love it because you can set the temperature so you know what you’re cooking at. Season the chicken. Don’t go heavy on the seasoning, if you just use salt and pepper that’s fine because you will be coating the chicken in sauce. Drop chicken in oil. Watch closely, the chicken is thin and cooks up quickly.

While cooking melt butter in microwave for about a minute. Separate butter in two bowls big enough for the chicken to sit in. Add minced garlic and garlic salt to one bowl and the lemon juice, zest, 1 tsp of black pepper and the lemon pepper seasoning to the other. Once chicken is done drain on paper towel for 1-2 minutes and then add to sauces. Mix chicken in sauces and let sit for 3-5 minutes.

Then add to a cookie sheet. Repeat til all chicken is coated in the sauce. Sprinkle garlic parmesan chicken with grated parmesan and the lemon pepper chicken with the other teaspoon of cracked black pepper. Bake in oven for 3-5 minutes, we just want to bake the sauce in the chicken really well.

Enjoy with ranch or blue cheese dressing and carrots & celery sticks.

You can have a simple Super Bowl or any type of party at home by making these and the Easy Cheesesteak Slider and you are set! Well I would add a little adult beverage and then I’m set lol! Let me know if you try this and make sure to tag me on IG @severalpeoplesmama or share in the Cook Yo Meals Facebook Group!

Love Ricki

 

Easy Cheesesteak Sliders

I have received so many DMs and messages on IG and Facebook about this recipe so I knew I had to get this blog post up STAT! It’s funny because this was really a spare of the moment thing that I decided to try. My Hunny took me and the kids to Dave and Buster’s a few weekends ago and Middle Diva ordered a Philly Cheesesteak sandwich. She kept saying how good it was and ate it all before I could get a bite *side eye*. So when I was in the grocery store this past weekend I saw beef shaved steak on sale and decided to make my own version as sliders using our fav Hawaiian Sweet Rolls. It was a hit! I’m sure this is on Pinterest already a hundred thousand times but that’s why I love cooking because you can always put your own spin on things! Here’s my version of Cheesesteak Sliders:

Ingredients:

  • 1 package of Beef Shaved Steak (the one I used was 14 oz and more than enough for 4 people)
  • 1 medium onion sliced
  • 1/2 green bell pepper sliced (feel free to use more if you like)
  • 3 tablespoons of butter (you will use 1 to cook the veggies and the other 2 to melt over your rolls)
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil
  • 1 package of Provolone cheese
  • To season my meat I used approximately 1/2 tsp to 1 tsp of Seasoning salt (Tony’s), onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, & about 1-2 tsp of Steak sauce (use sparingly because it could get salty real quick!)
  • 1 package of Hawaiian rolls (12 count)

Directions:

I first started by preheating my oven to 350 degrees. In a medium sized sauce pan I added the olive oil and a tablespoons butter and let it melt on medium low. I turned it up to medium high and then added the onions and peppers and sautéed them for about 2-3 minutes then I put the heat on low and let them simmer while I seasoned my beef.

I cooked the beef on my electric griddle but you can certainly turn up the heat to medium high on the same pan you cooked the veggies (I would remove the veggies and then add back in when closer to the beef being done.) I added the beef to a hot griddle and then added my steak sauce and then once the beef was almost cooked added the veggies. This goes fast because the beef is thin so be mindful of that. Turn the heat down if need be you don’t want to burn your meat!

I cut my package of Hawaiian rolls in half by slicing the lengthwise similar to if you were leveling a cake. I then added a light layer of mayonnaise (optional) and then my cooked meat and veggies, and topped off with the cheese and then the top half of the rolls. I melted the remaining 2 tablespoons of butter in the microwave and added a dash of garlic and onion powder. I then poured that over the top of the buns and put in the oven about 10-15 minutes so the cheese would melt. I removed from the oven and sliced the rolls and served with tater tots. This would be good with chips or fries and a side of fruit for dinner or serve this as part of your spread for Super Bowl Sunday!

If you make this recipe please share by tagging me on IG @severalpeoplesmama! I love to see y’all cook!

Also don’t forget to join our Cook Yo Meals community on Facebook! We are sharing meal plans, dinner inspiration and just learning new ways to get a meal on the table. If you’re interested click here.

Love Ricki

Money Saving White Queso

Hi y’all! I wanted to share a quick and easy alternative to the Velveeta and Rotel combo we always use when we want nachos! If you haven’t noticed a block of Velveeta is almost $8!!! I actually stopped buying the brand awhile ago and usual get the store generic brand but even that can get pricey. Enter White Queso which comes together easy and fast using only a few ingredients. You can also add whatever else you want to it to suit your tastes but I have included the basic recipe below. If you try this tag me on Instagram @severalpeoplesmama and let me know what you think!

White Queso

Ingredients:

  • One package of American white cheese (you can find this in the cheese section, but I wouldn’t suggest you get the individually wrapped slices)
  • One small can of green chiles
  • 1/2. Cup of Half and Half or Milk
  • 1-2 Teaspoons of diced tomatoes with green chilies (rotel) or diced tomatoes (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of taco seasoning (or add more to taste) You can also use salt to taste.

Directions:

Shred cheese or chop into little cubes. Spray pot and spoon you will be using to make the Queso, this will make for easier clean up. Add half and half or milk and warm. Add cheese a little at a time stirring in until melted. Add can of green chilies. Add diced tomatoes or rotel if using. I wouldn’t use too much as you want to keep this the milky white color. Add seasoning to taste.

And you’re done! Of course I’m extra so prior to adding the half and half I sauté a few chopped onions and a clove of minced garlic. I also add fresh chopped cilantro at the end. Feel free to add whatever flavors you want. The cheese used is not strong so it takes flavor really well!

Also a lot of you asked how I prepare my taco meat. It’s super easy and makes for a thicker consistency (similar to Taco Bell). I brown my ground beef then drain any grease. I think add a packet of taco seasoning (I use Aldi version) and half a pack of dry ranch dressing mix. I will add a tablespoon of so of water but I never add as much water as the package says. I will also add more taco seasoning/ranch seasoning to taste. It’s important you taste your food! You know #itsbetterwhenitsseasoned around here!!!

I hope you enjoy the recipe! And in the comments let me know what else quick and easy recipes you’d like me to make. I’ll also be adding the IGTV video as well (IG is making me trim it so I’m still editing ugh) My Cook Yo Meals FB group is coming soon and I look forward to all the fun we’re going to have over there!

Love Ricki

Cook with Me: Taco Ring

Hi Y’all! I recently filmed a Grocery Haul & Cook with Me on YouTube sharing the infamous Taco Ring Recipe. I figured I would also write it out for anyone that wants to try it! Hope you enjoy and don’t forget to like, comment and subscribe to this blog and my YouTube channel for more content on the single mama life on a budget!

Looking for more recipes like these? Check out my new cookbook available for purchase here: https://payhip.com/b/WN19

Love Ricki

Stuffed Chicken

Hey y’all this recipe is delicious but it is also special. A friend/co-worker shared this with me almost 10 years ago. She made it for our team at work and when I asked her how to make it she wrote out the recipe for me. Now you already know people don’t like to share their stuff sometimes but she did it with no problem and also gave me a cake recipe which I will be sharing with y’all in the future. But the real reason this recipe is so special is sadly my former coworker passed away in 2017. But she will live on in my heart and I think about her generosity every time I make it! I truly hope you make this and share with your friends and family because I know she would have wanted that.

Ingredients:

  • Chicken- Note: I normally use Chicken breast but they weren’t on sale (I feed six ppl who all eat like adults) so this was my very first time trying it with chicken thighs and I’ll never go back to breasts! I prefer boneless skinless but the bone is fine just pull off the skin.
  • Chopped onions, bell peppers and mushrooms
  • Olive oil
  • Seasonings of your choice
  • Dry ranch dressing seasoning
  • Worcestershire Sauce
  • Shredded Italian cheese mix
  • Frozen spinach, cook it in the microwave and squeeze out excess water
  • 8 oz block of cream cheese

Directions:

  • Sauté your onions, bell peppers and mushrooms in olive oil or butter

  • While your veggies soften mix up your cream cheese and spinach. If you forgot to take out your cream cheese earlier like me then pop it in the microwave for about 30 seconds or so with the spinach and that will make it soft and easy to mix.

  • Now add the softened veggies and cheese to the spinach and cream cheese and mix together. Add the dry ranch seasoning. Season to taste with your spices of choice. I used garlic powder, Tony’s, black pepper and onion powder.

  • Set your oven to 350 degrees and in a large frying pan on about medium high heat place in about 2 tablespoons of olive oil or oil of your choice.
  • Set your mixture aside and wash your chicken. Now I know washing chicken can be controversial but it’s what I do. Do what you do and we won’t have any issues.
  • Cut a small slit in your chicken. It doesn’t have to be real deep and PLEASE don’t cut yourself. You just want to make a pocket to put the stuffing in. Season your chicken.

  • Stuff your chicken with the mixture and then set aside until you’ve stuffed each one. Don’t try to overstuff because you will have stuffing left over. Don’t worry, my family doesn’t let me waste food so we will use it!

  • Now I place each piece in the pan to sear and brown. This sears in the juices and also I don’t like light chicken. It is just not appetizing. Put some brown on that chicken so I know it’s real!!!
  • Also don’t worry about the stuffing coming out. Just use your tongs and stick it back in. Or leave it out. I wouldn’t but you are an adult so you make that decision.

  • After you have browned the chicken place it in the baking pan. Pour the leftover stuffing over the chicken. Told you we would use it! Bake for about an hour. You may need more time if you used breasts as those are bigger pieces. I encourage you to try the thighs though because they were so juicy and tender! Chicken is done at 165 degrees but if your seasoned like me you know to just cut it open in the biggest part to check lol.

And you’re done!!! I served this with roasted potatoes and a salad but I just had the salad because I am not eating carbs (sad face). This dish is Keto and Low Carb friendy for all my people trying to lose weight in the new year like me! No judgment! I hope you try this and make sure you share this post so my friend’s generosity can live on thru her recipe.

Love Ricki

Mexican Stuffed Shells

Enjoy this easy and quick meal any day of the week!

So when I first shared this recipe on my Instagram stories (@rickiloves) a few weeks back it was going down in my DMs! Finally I was able to make it again so I can share it with you all! Please let me know if you make it and I hope you enjoy!

You’ll need:

Ground meat (I used about 2lbs)

Taco seasoning

Ranch dressing seasoning (not pictured)

Salsa or Picante Sauce (It’s a TX thing!)

Enchilada Sauce

1 block of cream cheese

Jumbo Shells

Colby Jack or Mexican Blend Shredded Cheese

Fixins (toppings like sour cream, guacamole, etc)

Directions:

  • Cook ground meat in a skillet and season with taco and ranch dressing seasonings while you boil the jumbo shells
  • Add block of cream cheese and mix thoroughly
  • After Shells have finished cooking drain, rinse with cold water and let cool.
  • Pour salsa or picante sauce in the bottom of a pan (I used the pan I make lasagna in) until the bottom is complete covered
  • Take cooled shells and stuff with ground beef mixture and add to pan over the salsa.
  • After the pan is filled pour can of enchilada sauce over the shells. Top with cheese.
  • Bake covered with foil in oven set on 350 degrees for 15-20 mins then remove foil and bake for another 5-10 minutes until cheese is melted thru.

I topped mine with fresh cilantro and served it with fixins and charro beans!

This is an easy and quick recipe that is a different twist on Stuffed shells and my family loves it. I have included the link for the video I used for this recipe below because she gives great tips on how to freeze it. Give this meal a try and make two so you can freeze one for later because you WILL want to eat it again!

Love Ricki