Broccoli Cheese & Rice Casserole with Chicken

Sorry this recipe is sooo late but it is definitely worth sharing! This is an old school casserole with leftover chicken added in to make it a complete meal. Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 cups of freshly cooked rice (you want it warm to melt the cheese)
  • 1 cup or more if desired chopped and cooked chicken (make sure your chicken is seasoned because we won’t be adding any additional)
  • 1 1/2 cups of cooked or steamed until tender broccoli. Can be frozen or fresh and you can chop or leave whole.
  • 1/2 a block of Processed cheese (Velveeta) chopped into cubes
  • 1 can of each soup – cream of mushroom, cream of chicken and cream of celery (DONT leave out the cream of celery, it doesn’t overpower and it makes the dish!)
  • 1 cup of shredded cheese of choice

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Combine all 3 soups in a bowl and mix thoroughly. Combine rice and broccoli and chicken in a separate bowl. Add soup mixture. Add processed cheese and mix well. Spread in a greased casserole dish and top with cheese. Bake for 25-30 minutes. Remove from oven and let casserole sit for 15-20 so it can set. Serve. You have proteins, carbs and veggies already in it so add a bread if desire and dinner is done! This makes great leftovers so make a big batch and eat for lunch as well!

I hope you try this! If so tag me on IG @severalpeoplesmama

Love Ricki

How to stretch food and get full

We are all at home whether by ourselves or with our family and the number one thing you will probably think about is what are we(I) gonna eat. And if you have kids, you will hear I’m hungry ALL DAY LONG! To combat being a short order cook, you need to make meals that will STRETCH! We want our family to be full while stretchier our budgets. So I’m here to help. With that dreaded C virus going around we may not be able to find ingredients (like meat) readily available so we have to be able to cook filling meals with little protein. Here’s a list of recipes or meal ideas that can keep you & yours full and content at least for a few days.

Pasta – Pasta is cheap and easy to make and very filling. You can add less protein or none at all and just pack it full of veggies (frozen or canned if you can’t find fresh).

Recipes with pasta:

Marry Me Chicken – Use less chicken and cut it up into cubes. Make the spinach lemon pasta and make it with penne or bow tie instead of orzo and add the chicken and sauce. Add mushrooms and spinach to “beef” it up.

Taco Pasta- Use Rotini pasta, ground beef (or not), cheese and beans & corn and a can of rotel or take the Mexican stuffed shells recipe and instead of stuffing individual shells take the filling and enchilada sauce and add to small shells. Top with cheese and serve.

Spaghetti- A big pot of spaghetti always works. Use ground beef or Italian sausage or even breakfast pork sausage (cheap and good) and sauce and pasta and you’re done. Also try spaghetti mac using macaroni pasta and Velveeta cheese and baked in the oven.

Shrimp Scampi- Use chicken instead if you don’t have shrimp and use spaghetti or fettuccine noodles to bulk it up. Add a can of peas or spinach or even zucchini.

Skillet pasta- make some bow tie pasta. Sauté some sausage, zucchini, tomatoes and whatever else and some half and half and Parmesan cheese, add pasta and mix.

Ramen- Yup that cheap stuff can be billed up by adding a bunch of stir fry veggies, less protein and a dash of soy sauce and seasonings.

Another staple that can stretch a meal and a budget is rice. The recipes below can be bulked up by adding more rice and less protein.

Cheesy Chicken Burrito Skillet– Cut the amount of chicken in half and add another can of beans, you can even use pinto instead of black beans.

Goulash– I usually serve this over rice so why not double the okra and sauce and cut back on the shrimp/chicken or just add sausage. Combine with rice and serve.

Fried Rice– add more veggies and leave out the meat. Make a huge batch and some crab wontons or egg rolls on the side.

Broccoli, rice and cheese casserole- I plan on sharing a recipe for my version soon. But you can easily add bacon bits or few chunks of chicken and go overboard on the broccoli and rice and have a full meal.

I love soups or chili anytime of the year & if your kids are hungry enough they will too.

Cream cheese chicken chili – cut the chicken in half and add more beans.

Baked potatoe soup– to lighten this up serve it in a cup with a huge salad of choice.

Taco soup- as you guessed cut the meat down by adding beans or omit the meat all together. Make a huge batch and serve over nachos and as the filling for burritos and chimichangas on two additional nights.

Chicken soup- cut the chicken add more veggies and noodles and bake some bread of biscuits or even cornbread. You can also add some grilled cheese sandwiches.

Another way to get someone full is add bread. Or make bread the main part of the meal.

This maybe more kid friendly because my body can’t take all those carbs but this will fill up your family. These are also great lunch options.

Taco or Cheeseburger ring-serve with your favorite taco or cheeseburger fixins’

Stuffed breads- I’ll be sharing a recipe soon for Bread stuffed pizza and we can use plain marinara sauce for a dip and serve with a salad.

Top your favorite casserole/dish with a bread- like a pot pie. You can make a chili and add a layer of cornbread on top and bake in the oven.

Or make a chicken soup filled with veggies and add biscuits (from the can is absolutely fine) in top.

These are just some ideas and hoped they get your creative juices flowing and have you thinking of your everyday meals in a different way. We may have to use our imagination to create meals but sometimes that leads to the favorites! I will be sharing a post later this week on snack ideas for our little snackers.

Let me know in the comments some other meals you can think of that are filling and make great leftovers!

Love Ricki

Fancy Beans

Sometimes we need a different side and these are it! This recipe is adapted from the blog Scissors and Spatulas. These beans are sweet and tangy and so good. They are perfect for the upcoming weather change to spring and summer with your favorite grilled meat and a side of BBQ sauce! Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 slices of bacon chopped
  • 1/2 small onion chopped
  • 1 clove of garlic minced
  • 1 can of pork and beans
  • 1 can of green beans
  • 1 can of light kidney beans
  • 1 can of butter beans
  • 1/2 to 1 cup of brown sugar (adjust your how sweet you want it)
  • 1/2 cup of white vinegar
  • 1-2 tablespoons of mustard
  • 1-2 tablespoons of BBQ sauce (optional)

Directions:

Cook chopped bacon pieces in non stick pot or spray pot with oil spray. Add onions and garlic and cook til translucent. Pour out excess fat leaving about 1 tablespoon. Add brown sugar, vinegar and mustard. Drain all cans of beans ECXEPT pork and beans. Add beans to liquid mixture. I also add garlic and onion powder and a little salt and pepper but it’s optional. Taste and add brown sugar or vinegar depending on how sweet and/or tangy you like them. Let beans simmer in liquid for 10-15 min. Add Bbq sauce if desired.

Hope you try this and tag me on IG @severalpeoplesmama if you do!

Love Ricki

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

Quick Crab Wontons

Last night I decided to share a video on how I made some quick crab wontons to go with our dinner. We had teriyaki chicken & fried rice and even though I could have made egg rolls this was a faster and easier alternative! Check out the video on my IGTV @severalpeoplesmama. Here is the recipe!

Ingredients:

  • One 8 ounce package of softened cream cheese
  • One package of flake stye imitation crab meat
  • One stalk of green onions chopped
  • Seasoning: I used garlic salt, onion powder and a dash of ranch
  • 1 package of wonton wrappers (you will find this near the salad section in your grocery store)
  • Vegetable or canola oil

Directions:

Heat oil on medium heat (about 350 if using an electric fryer). Mix cream cheese, crab meat, green onions, and seasonings with a fork breaking up the crab meat. Then spoon a quarter size in to the wonton wrapper. Dab water on your finger and run along each side of the wrapper. Fold wrapper in half til it forms a triangle. Pinch sides in (it will kind of look like a diaper lol). After making several drop in hot oil and cook til golden brown, this will not take long so don’t go anywhere! Repeat til finished and drain on paper towel.

These are delicious on their own or dipped in soy, duck or sweet and sour sauce. Lil Diva enjoyed helping make them because she said it was like origami!

As always tag me on IG if you make them!

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 Sheet Pan Chicken Fajitas

Hi y’all and Happy New Year!!! Today I wanted to share a quick and easy recipe that my family absolutely loved. It took no time to throw together so it’s perfect for weekends when you don’t want to spend a lot of time in the kitchen. You could also prep it ahead a time and cook it in the slow cooker for 3-4 hours on low while you’re at work during the week. Serve the fajita meat over nachos in a burrito or chimichanga or if you’re keto like me put it over a salad. Here’s the recipe:

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 boneless skinless chicken breasts or thighs
  • 2-3 tabs of olive oil (or oil of choice)
  • 1 red, green, yellow or orange peppers sliced (I used a combo of all three)
  • 1 whole onion sliced
  • Ranchaco seasoning (Coming soon!) but you can use a combination or taco and ranch seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon of garlic and onion powder
  • Juice of on lime (optional)
  • 1/4 cup of cilantro (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Clean chicken and slice in uniform pieces. Make sure you keep everything similar size so it cooks evenly.

Add chicken to sliced veggies. Pour oil and mix. Season chicken and veggies and mix thoroughly so seasoning is well coated on food. Spray sheet pan with oil or cover with foil. Spread chicken and veggies on sheet pan. Make sure it is one layer so don’t overcrowd your pan, use two if necessary.

Cook in oven for about 15-20 minutes then take out and turn meat over. Let cook for an additional 15-20 minutes. Remove from over and squeeze lime and cilantro over chicken and serve.

I hope you enjoy this recipe. I have started a new Facebook group which is all about food inspiration, meal planning and fun! If you’d like to join click the link here.

Love Ricki