My goal for the summer is to spend the least amount of time possible in the kitchen and the perfect way to accomplish that is to cook meals that require me not standing around the stove! Sheet pan dinners are perfect for this!
Now this meal did require some prep but you can cut down by not marinating the chicken ahead of time or preparing during a weekly meal prep. Let’s cook!
1 1/2 to 2 pounds of chicken (I used boneless, skinless chicken tenders and thighs to cut down on cooking time. If you use larger pieces or skin cook for an extra 20-25 minutes or until chicken reaches internal temperature of 165 degrees)
1 cup Greek Vinaigrette (I used Ken’s)
2-3 tablespoons of oregano
2-3 tablespoons of garlic salt
2-3 tablespoons of all purpose seasoning (I used Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute but Italian seasoning can work here as well)
1/4 cup of olive oil
2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar
8-10 cloves of garlic minced
1/2 red onion finely chopped
1-2 cups zucchini sliced into coins
1-2 cups yellow squash sliced into coins
1-2 cups of yellow potatoes quartered
Place chicken in bowl and add 1/3 of olive oil, 1/3 cup of Greek vinaigrette, 1/3 of minced garlic, 1/3 garlic salt, 1/3 oregano, 1/3 all purpose seasoning & 1/3 red onion. Add juice of 1/2 lemon. Add all of red wine vinegar. Mix until chicken is coated and set aside to marinate for at least one hour. When ready to cook, pre heat oven to 400. As a shortcut I pre-cooked my potatoes only in the microwave for 3 minutes so they would be fork tender. In another bowl add potatoes and 1/3 of Greek vinaigrette, oil, seasonings, garlic and red onion. Mix to coat and add to sheet pan sprayed with oil. Repeat with zucchini and squash in same bowl and then add to sheet pan. Add juice of the other half of the lemon over veggies. Cook in oven for 45-50 minutes or chicken reaches internal temp of 165 then (you may want to check and turn the chicken and veggies about 20 minutes into baking). Set oven on broil and broil for 5-8 minutes. I garnished with crumbled feta cheese, kalamata olives, and banana pepper rings. Then dinner is done!!!
The flavors of this meal were amazing and we all enjoyed it. It was even better the next day as leftovers. We will definitely add this to the rotation. Make sure you check out my reels on Instagram to see how I made this!
Recently I was gifted some delicious sausage from a friend and I challenged myself to come up with a quick 30 minute meal using it. The sausage is Lord & Barrett Sausage Co. Creole Style Green Onion Smoked Sausage & I highly recommend because it was delicious and I’m personally not a big fan of smoked sausage. Let’s make the recipe!
Smoked Sausage (sliced)
1/2 medium onion chopped
1/2 cup of peppers chopped (I used a combo of red, yellow and orange mini sweet bell peppers but you can certainly just use a green bell pepper)
2-3 cloves of garlic minced
1 cup heavy whipping cream
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese
2 packages of fresh ravioli – I only used one but you definitely need mor because not a lot come in the package
Seasonings- I used Cajun seasoning, garlic & onion powder
1-2 tbsp of olive oil
1-2 tbsp of butter
Chopped fresh or dried Basil (optional)
Directions: Prepare water to boil for pasta according to package. Heat skillet on medium heat and add a tablespoon of oil and sauté sausages until crispy or cooked though which took me about 5-8 minutes. Remove sausage and drain oil excellent for about a teaspoon. Add butter and cook onions, garlic & peppers until soft. Make sure once water boils to add ravioli and cook til al dente. Reserve a cup of pasta water in case you need to thin your sauce out later. Season lightly & then add heavy whipping cream to onions and peppers mixture. Let cook until simmering and then add sausage, cooked ravioli and Parmesan cheese. Taste for more seasoning and add if needed. Top with more cheese and Basil.
This recipe is delicious, quick, doesn’t require a lot of ingredients and easy to make. Perfect to get you in and out of the kitchen during the summertime! I also made a video to show how I made this on Instagram. Follow me @severalpeoplesmama Let me know if this is something you or your family would enjoy!
Easter Brunch has been a tradition I started for my family a few years ago. Because Easter is my favorite holiday I have a special dish I prepare usually only at this time of year: Shrimp and Grits. This dish is so good and so easy to make! If you’re invited to my house for brunch you better get there early or you WILL miss out! Here’s the recipe:
1 small to medium onion finely diced
1-2 peppers diced, you can use all one color or a combination I used green and red
1-2 tbsp of minced garlic (I used a paste found at Aldi)
4 slices of bacon diced
2 pounds fresh raw shrimp, peeled & deveined
1-2 tbsp of olive oil
2-3 tbsp of butter
2-3 tbsp of flour
1 cup chicken broth
2-3 tbsp tomato paste
Seasonings: Tony’s creole seasoning, pepper, cayenne (optional), garlic and onion powder, Italian seasoning & old bay
Directions: Season shrimp. Add bacon to sauté pan on medium heat. Cook bacon til crispy, remove from pan to paper towel. Reserve about 1-2 tbsp of bacon grease. Turn heat of to medium high and add seasoned shrimp. Cook about 1-2 minutes on each side until pink. Remove to paper towel with bacon. Add tbsp of olive oil and 1 tbsp of butter then onions and peppers. Sauté til soft. Add garlic and cook for and additional minute. Add another 2 tbsp of olive oil and then flour. Cook for 3-5 minutes, you do not want raw flour! After flour has been absorbed in the veggies, slowly whisk in chicken broth. A gravy should start forming. You can add more chicken broth or water depending on how thick you want your gravy. Stir tomato paste and cook for an additional 2-3 minutes and then add back in shrimp and bacon. Turn heat to medium low. Cook for an additional 2-3 minutes and I taste for seasoning. I add another tbsp of butter to make my gravy creamy and smooth. Serve over grits (see my reels on Instagram for how I make my grits). Enjoy!
This recipe goes fast and is best served immediately so make sure you have your grits ready. If you do create this recipe please be sure to tag me @severalpeoplesmama. I’d love to see it and share!
If you know anything about me and my family we are not big salmon eaters (we prefer trout) but since I have been intentionally shopping on a budget and salmon was on sale I decided to purchase it instead of our regular which is trout. I wanted to try a new recipe with it and went searching the internet and settled on making a stuffed salmon. A lot of the recipes I found included crab or shrimp in the stuffing and that’s something I didn’t want to make due to a shellfish allergy. Sometimes recipes have to be adapted to fit your family’s dietary needs. I decided to instead make a simple stuffing and make a sauce to include shrimp (you can add crab to it as well) to pour over top if you want to. And believe me you’ll want to. Let’s get cooking!
Ingredients for the Stuffed Salmon:
1 tsp olive oil
1 stick of butter cut in tsp slices
1 block of cream cheese
4–5 fresh garlic cloves, minced
1 handful of fresh spinach
1/2 juice of lemon and 1 whole lemon sliced
1-2 sun dried tomatoes chopped
Seasonings: I used Tony’s, ranch dry mix, garlic salt, onion powder, Trader Joe’s 21 seasoning salute
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Start by adding olive oil and a tsp of butter to a sauté pan on medium high heat. Add spinach, then a tsp of minced garlic and the sun dried tomatoes. Mushrooms would be great but I didn’t have any. Once spinach is wilted turn off heat and add mixture to a bowl with softened cream cheese. Mix and then add seasonings and lemon juice. Once mixed throughly set aside and prepare salmon. I like color on my food so I decided to cut a slit for the stuffing and then season my salmon and sear the top in a pan on medium heat with 1 tsp of olive oil first. Then I set on a sheet pan and added the stuffing to the salmon (if you have any stuffing left over just set aside for now). I added lemon juice, lemon slices and butter to the top and placed in the oven to bake for 20 minutes. While baking I made the sauce.
Ingredients for sauce:
1-2 tbsp of butter
1/3 cup of Mirepoix mix (onions, celery and green pepper)
1-2 cloves of garlic minced
2 tsp of Tony Cachere’s dry roux mix
1-2 cups of heavy whipping cream
Juice from half a lemon
Seasoning (I used what I used on the salmon)
Directions for Sauce:
Melt butter on medium heat in sauce pan and add mirepoix mix. Cook until softened and add garlic then dry roux mix. Mix thoroughly, add more butter if needed. Then mix in leftover stuffing. Season shrimp and add to pan. Once shrimp is cooked whisk in heavy whipping cream. Simmer for about 1-2 minutes and then reduce heat. Taste for seasoning and add if needed. Remove salmon and spoon sauce over top.
I served this over zucchini noodles for a low carb option but it would be great with a salad, pasta or whatever side you enjoy. Since this meal had a lot of steps I recorded a reels video to walk you thru. Just check my Instagram @severalpeoplesmama. Save and share the video and please tag me if you make it!
It’s the holiday season and in the south that means we make gumbo! Now I am not here to debate what is right or wrong when making gumbo. I know there are some gumbo snobs but I truly believe that how you make your gumbo is a personal preference. It’s however you & the people you love like it! My mother made gumbo routinely growing up but it was not considered authentic because it was not made of a roux even though we still loved it. Roux’s can be intimidating AF!!! Ask me how I know! A roux is when you mix an oil or butter with flour over heat until a certain color and consistency is achieved. A roux can be as light as peanut butter or as dark as chocolate! The tricky part is getting it to the color you desire and NOT burning it! This takes time and patience which I don’t always have. After burning my roux several times I almost gave up making a more authentic gumbo until I discovered you can purchase a already pre made roux or mix in your local grocery store!!! And even though now I can successfully make a roux it is not something I need to know how or want to take the time to do. There are many rouxs in the store to choose from. The ones I have tried it the Tony Cachere’s mix (this is the first one I tried and use often) and a pre made one in a jar made by Kary’s. I prefer the Tony’s because I like that I am actually cooking it but sometimes it’s not the easiest to find so I will use the Kary’s in a pinch. So now that we have discussed how I cheat when making gumbo, let’s make some!
2-3 pounds of chicken (I prefer a mix of boneless skinless chicken breasts and thighs with drumsticks. This allows me to have the flavor that dark meat brings without too much fat, but you can use whatever you prefer. Even a whole chicken will work)
2-3 cups of onions, green bell peppers and celery chopped (this is referred to as the holy trinity of Cajun/creole cooking. I use more onions and bell peppers than celery because that’s what my family prefers. You also can use a shortcut and purchase Mirepoix mix which can be found in your frozen vegetables section of the freezer)
1-2 containers of Tony’s Roux mix (depending on how much gumbo you’re making)
1-2 sticks of butter
1-2 pks of frozen okra
1-2 lbs of sausage sliced (the traditional sausage is Andouille, I used Zummos)
10-12 cups of water (you can use a combo of chicken broth but watch for the salt!)
3-4 pounds of peeled, deveined shrimp
3-4 pounds of crab (we used snow crab because that’s our preference but the traditional crab to use is blue crab. You can also just add crab meat)
Various seasoning- I used Tony’s seasoning salt, 2 chicken bouillon cubes, onion and garlic powder, old bay, & gumbo file’)
1 tbsp of oil (your choice)
I start my gumbo by heating my pot on medium high heat, adding the tablespoon of oil and the sausage. Again I’m trying to avoid having to skim fat off the top of my gumbo so that is why I use this method plus in my opinion it adds flavor. Once my sausage is cooked I remove to a paper towel and then drain all but about a teaspoon of fat. Turn stove to medium heat and then add your stick of butter and then your veggies. Cook veggies til softened. While veggies are cooking prepare Roux mix according to directions. I prepare mine in a separate bowl and then add to my veggies. This allows it to cook with my veggies for more flavor. You will need to make sure you cook your roux for about 5 minutes or so until no longer lumpy. I also taste mine to make sure there is no flour taste. It won’t taste like much but it should NOT taste like raw flour! Also make sure you DO NOT leave the pot while doing this! At this point you can add more roux depending on how thick you like your gumbo to end up. Once your roux and veggies have cooked enough add your water, chicken, sausage and seasonings (except gumbo file’) and bring to a boil on medium high heat. You will need to check back to stir occasionally so nothing is burnt at the bottom of your pot. Once boiling turn stove to medium heat and cook for about an hour or until chicken is tender. You can remove the chicken and bones and skin and shred and add back in. I usually shred it in the pot and remove any bones but most of the time the chicken will start falling apart on it’s own. Add your frozen okra and cook for an additional 5-7 minutes. At this point you can taste for any more seasoning and add if needed. You now have prepared chicken and sausage gumbo! But we love to add seafood! I add my crab and cook for 10-15 more minutes and then my shrimp for another 10 minutes. Once the shrimp are pink you are through and you have made an easy and delicious gumbo!
I serve my gumbo over rice with semi-homemade garlic bread. I shared a quick video on how I make Cheater gumbo and the garlic bread on Instagram so make sure you are following me @severalpeoplesmama and make sure you tag me if you try this. I also want to thank everyone that has followed me, reposted or shared my content & recipes and tried them! It is my hope that I have made feeding you and/or your family easier! I also pray that everyone is healthy and safe leading into this new year and you are blessed with your heart’s desires! Please look out for so much MORE coming from me in 2021! Happy New Year!!!