Mama Shelia's House of Soul

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Soul Food Ingredients to Stock in Your Kitchen

Every Southern cooks knows what certain basic ingredients to stock up on for cooking. These components can be incorporated into a variety of dishes and won’t go bad in the pantry. Some ingredients worth mentioning include canola oil, self-rising flour, spicy Cajun seasoning, and more. Of course, “seasoned” Southern cooks already know this, but if you’re new to soul food, then continue reading to learn about which ingredients we’ve added to our list!

Canola Oil

“Because of the copious frying needs of the soul food kitchen, canola oil needs to be on hand at all times,” says The Spruce Eats. And we agree! Most canola oils can withstand high heat for deep frying, smoking, and other cooking needs. It also has a low saturated fat level, but we bet that’s the last thing you’re thinking about when eating a golden, fried chicken wing!

Cornmeal

Cornmeal

Cornmeal can be used as a multi-purpose ingredient. From cornbread and hush puppies to coating catfish and okra, it makes a tasty fixing. It comes in fine, medium, and coarse consistencies, depending on your preference. In addition, you can find cornmeal in yellow or white varieties.

Self-Rising Flour

A pantry staple to have in stock is self-rising flour. This type of flour is simply all-purpose flour with a little salt and baking powder. Although basic, self-rising flour gives soul food dishes that extra “wow” factor. You can add it into a peach cobbler crust or roll your chicken in it before frying for added crunch.

Cajun seasoning

Cajun seasoning

This spicy seasoning blend is essential for Southern cooking. With just the right amount of savory and spice, Cajun seasoning is perfect for meat rubs, toppings for mac n cheese and vegetables, and so many recipes. The Spruce Eats recommends Tony Chachere’s Original Creole Seasoning as a store bought option. Otherwise, feel free to blend your own spices for a custom flavor!

Conclusion

The soul food recipes at Mama Sheila’s House of Soul are made from fresh ingredients and consist of Southern flavors you know and love. We make our dishes from scratch so you can taste a bit of soul in every bite. Browse our menu here and order your favorite Southern cuisine from Mama Sheila’s!

*Pickup and Delivery Available*

Ways to Support Local Restaurants

Local small businesses such as restaurants need their communities support now more than ever. Under the current circumstances due to COVID-19, many businesses have suffered great changes in hopes to help flatten the curve.  As stay-at-home orders continue to be enforced, many have decided to order delivery or takeout from local restaurants, there are other ways that one could help support local small business during these unprecedented times, read along as we discuss some of them.

Delivery & Takeout

Many restaurants, like ours, offer outside dining for customers. This provides them with a dining experience while respecting state guidelines. It is understandable that some people can still feel uneasy eating in public spaces, but that should not stop someone from enjoying their favorite restaurants! Ordering delivery or takeout keeps your cravings happy while supporting local restaurants stay afloat in these trying times.

Social Media

A free, easy, and fun way to support local businesses is through social media. Give your favorite restaurants a follow. If they posted, sharing their post can do wonders for their exposure, and best of all, it does not cost anything! Social media platforms are very powerful, and word of mouth travels fast, so why not encourage friends and your followers to supports local spots that you love?     

Leave a Review

Reviews are priceless feedback and support for all businesses. Not only can a review brighten up someone’s day, but it is also another way of validating that a business is doing great and encourages others to pay a visit. Some of the most common platforms to leave a review are Google, Yelp, and Facebook. Take some time to leave you favorite restaurants a positive review!  

As a local restaurant in Minneapolis, MN, we are proud of the safety precautions we have taken to ensure the health, safety and comfort of our loyal customers and employees. We would like to thank those who continue to support us and show us love during these time. Our restaurant offers outside dining as well as delivery/take out options to best suit your needs. We invite you to visit our restaurant for a delicious soul food that will have you coming back for more. To learn more about our restaurant, visit our website.

How Restaurants Are Bringing Local Communities Together

As local communities have given support to small businesses during this difficult time, there are also restaurants that are giving back too. From donating food to local shelters to sourcing ingredients locally, restaurants are participating in different ways to bring the local community together. The appreciation and care shines through the food and commitment to serve those who need it. Explore some of the ways restaurants are supporting their communities!

Non-Profit Organizations

Partnering with non-profit organizations allow for both the restaurant and charity to thrive. When the promotion starts, customers can come out to purchase a meal, which gives the restaurant sales. In return, some of the proceeds are donated to the organization. These organizations are able to give out free meals and groceries, all because of the partnerships with local restaurants!

Locally Sourced Ingredients

What other ways can restaurants be supportive? “Show your community that you care enough to support local growers and offer the freshest dishes,” according to Gather, “by offering a menu that features locally sourced ingredients.” Farmers and growers will be appreciative of a restaurant’s effort to purchase from them, while customers can experience the fresh flavors of local ingredients.

Shelters/Food Banks

An effective way to give back directly is by donating food to local shelters and food banks. Restaurants can donate food straight from the kitchen and deliver it to shelters nearby. Given the current state of the world, donated food is needed to feed affected individuals and families. Restaurants can also set up donation days and serve food safely to the local community.

Conclusion

Mama Sheila’s House of Soul proudly supports the local communities of South Minneapolis. We are devoted to serving the freshest Southern meals to our loyal customers and community members. Come to Mama Sheila’s for a delicious soul meal and exceptional customer service. Let us serve you today!

Buffet Style Meals vs. Plated Meals

The best part of celebrations are that they bring people together, though the food is definitely a close second. When deciding on the best way to feed a crowd, the two major factors that should be considered are how formal the event is and the budget. While the decision could simply come down to personal preference, it’s wise to consider what each option can offer, or cannot.

Buffet Style Pro’s

Great for groups of less than one hundred, buffets can also be very accommodating as they typically offer guests several protein and side dish options to choose from. This way guests can choose exactly what they do and don’t want to eat, allowing each guest to customize their meal based on their appetite and diet at that time. When planning an event where guests will mainly be standing rather than sitting, a buffet would definitely be the way to go. Last but certainly not least, buffet style meals tend to be much more cost friendly than plated meals do.

Buffet Style Con’s

A buffet may not be the right choice if you are working with a very large group and limited space. This is because a buffet line requires a decent amount of space, and larger groups may require multiple buffet lines. Another minor factor to consider is that guests will be wandering back and forth from their tables to the buffet line, increasing the chances of a spill or accident. Lastly, buffet style meals can make it difficult to accommodate specialized diets or food allergy concerns.

Plated Pro’s

Guests attending a formal event where the attire includes jackets, ties, and gowns won’t expect to carry their dishes back and forth to a buffet line and should be served plated meals. This option is best for very large groups or when working with a space that wouldn’t easily accommodate a buffet line. Plated meals also allow for all guests to eat at the same time which promotes table conversation while simplifying scheduled toasts or speeches.

Plated Con’s

The biggest drawback of plated meals is the cost. Not only does the food itself cost more, but plated service will require many servers, each of who should be appropriately paid and tipped. Another hassle and potential cost to consider is having to implement place cards or a seating chart so guests and servers know where to go. Lastly, a single plated meal may not be sufficient to satisfy the appetites of some guests.

Conclusion

While choosing the best way to feed your guests is important, just remember that as long as there is food, they will come. What may work for one group may not work for another so whether your event will have 20 guests or 200, the most important thing is making sure the food is a hit. Contact us for crowd pleasing soul food buffets that are perfect for every type of gathering!

Southern Comfort Food-On the Side

Could you imagine eating some crispy and delicious fried chicken on its own? Yeah, neither could we! From friend chicken to turkey and fish fry, a main dish does not taste as good on its own. It needs the complementing flavors of a few comforting side dishes. Southern food is rooted in deep flavors, and side dishes are a staple at every family dinner and cook out. We hope you are hungry because we will be listing a few popular side dishes that you must try next time you want to add some southern flare to your next dinner.

Collard Greens

A Southern meal just does not feel right without some savory and hearty collard greens. These leafy vegetables come from the same family as kale and cabbage, and in the South, they are usually cooked with pork to add that rich flavor we all love.  

Corn Pudding

Corn pudding is a food staple in the South for its creamy texture and sweetness. Don’t mistake it for dessert, this side dish as described by Barefoot In The Kitchen, is like a cross between a savory custard and warm creamed corn. It complements turkey, chicken, and ham very well, but is just as delicious by itself. We promise that once you have a bite, you’ll very much want to eat the whole casserole!

Mac N Cheese

The best side dish to complement some friend chicken! Mac N Cheese is one of those comfort side dishes that everybody loves. If you ever make some, make sure that there is enough for seconds. There are many varieties to this dish, but no one quite makes it like the South. This irresistible cheesy pasta is so rich in flavor, that you’ll have to make it from scratch to taste it’s authentic flavors rather than opting for the boxed option.

Baked Beans

Baked beans are another southern staple. They are smoky and delicious and a crowd-pleaser! They pair great with a hot, juicy burger fresh off the grill as well as our favorite, some good old Southern fried chicken!

If a Southern meal is in the works do not forget about the sides! We cannot stress that enough. From corn pudding to collard greens and mac n cheese, these comfort foods are the highlight of every meal. Not only do they complement the main dish, but every bite is nostalgic. If you are local to the Minneapolis, MN area, visit Mama Sheila’s House of Soul for savory Southern dishes that you’ll love and remember.

A Sweet Soul Food Treat

Nothing compares to the sweet and tangy flavor of a peach cobbler pie! Made with items found in your kitchen pantry, this dessert is wholesome and delicious. With a couple of ripe, fresh peaches and a few dry ingredients, you can make your own peach cobbler from scratch. Below, we have listed the key components, as well as some simple cooking instructions, that you will need to get started. Give it a try and let us know how you like it!

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 cup unsalted butter
  • 1 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups sugar, divided
  • 1 tablespoon baking powder
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup milk
  • 4 cups fresh peach slices
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Ground cinnamon or nutmeg (optional)

Instructions:

  1. Melt butter in a 13- x 9-inch baking dish.
  2. Combine flour, 1 cup sugar, baking powder, and salt; add milk, stirring just until dry ingredients are moistened. Pour batter over butter (do not stir).
  3. Bring remaining 1 cup sugar, peach slices, and lemon juice to a boil over high heat, stirring constantly; pour over batter (do not stir). Sprinkle with cinnamon or nutmeg, if desired.
  4. Bake at 375° for 40 to 45 minutes or until golden brown. Serve cobbler warm or cool.

Recommendation:

Add a scoop of vanilla ice cream to compliment the spices and flavors of this sweet treat!

Conclusion

A simple take on a Southern classic, this recipe is perfect for beginners and everyone in between. Feel free to modify any the ingredients, like using canned peaches instead of fresh ones. If you would like to share your peach cobbler recipe or pictures with us, follow Mama Sheila’s House of Soul on social media. We can’t wait to see what you’ve cooked up!

An Easy Soul Food Recipe to Cook at Home

If you’re searching for a comforting southern dish to cook at home, we’ve got the meal just for you. A southern classic, also known as breakfast shrimp, we present shrimp and grits. Mandy Rivers from South Carolina states “this dish tastes great for brunch or dinner, and anytime company’s coming. It’s down-home comfort food at its finest.” This recipe only needs 15min. of prep time and 20min to cook, which is perfect for an easy family dinner. So keep reading to what you’ll need for tasty Southern shrimp and grits!

Ingredients

  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
  • 2 cups 2% milk
  • 1/3 cup butter, cubed
  • 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 3/4 cup uncooked old-fashioned grits
  • 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese

SHRIMP:

  • 8 thick-sliced bacon strips, chopped
  • 1-pound uncooked medium shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 teaspoon Cajun or blackened seasoning
  • 4 green onions, chopped

Cooking Instructions:

  1. In a large saucepan, bring the broth, milk, butter, salt and pepper to a boil. Slowly stir in grits. Reduce heat. Cover and cook for 12-14 minutes or until thickened, stirring occasionally. Stir in cheese until melted. Set aside and keep warm.
  2. In a large skillet, cook bacon over medium heat until crisp. Remove to paper towels with a slotted spoon; drain, reserving 4 teaspoons drippings. Saute the shrimp, garlic and seasoning in drippings until shrimp turn pink. Serve with grits and sprinkle with onions.

Kitchen Tips:

  1. To quickly peel fresh garlic, gently crush the clove with the flat side of a large knife blade to loosen the peel. If you don’t have a large knife, you can crush the garlic with a small can.
  2. Make sure you clean the shrimp before you cook it. 

Conclusion

We hope you appreciated our soul food recipe for this month. If you have a comfort dish to share, Mama Sheila’s House of Soul would love to see your recipes. Visit our social media platforms to post your favorite recipes and let’s get cooking!

Soul Food for the Health Nut

For many, soul food is rightfully associated with family, tradition, and warm memories of home. While the deep and delicious flavors taste great, some of the quintessential soul food dishes like fried chicken, macaroni and cheese, and greens have reputations for being less-than-healthy. Fortunately, if you take away the traditional preparation with excess salt, fat, and sugar and you’re left with a relatively healthy diet. If you love soul food but want to lower your risk for heart disease, try implementing the following variations to your favorite soul food dishes.

Vegetables Are King

Vegetables are the cornerstone of any nutritious meal. When it comes to soul food there are numerous options like cabbage, collard greens, peas, beans, okra, sweet potatoes, and more to fill up on instead of more of the higher calorie choices. Cover your plate with veggies for incredible nutrition and to naturally lower the total calories in the meal.  

Skip the Deep Fryer

Instead of traditional batter, cover your fish in crushed nuts then bake it for a delectable crisp. As an alternative to deep-frying your chicken, marinate it in citrus to create incredible flavor. Pan-seared chicken with lemon and rosemary or orange and thyme can be just as flavorful as your typical fried chicken. 

Substitute a spicy okra and tomato stew instead of the standard fried okra side dish. You can also lighten up macaroni and cheese and get an almost undetectable boost by adding pureed butternut squash or cauliflower to the mix. 

Minimize the Meat

Ham hocks, chitlins, and chicken are ubiquitous in soul food recipes. For a healthier overall meal, incorporate substantially smaller meat portions. These small pieces of meat can go a long way in flavoring. You can also use these morsels to flavor greens or other foods traditionally made with a smoky flavor.

Fruit for Dessert

It may sound sacrilegious but if you really want to heighten the nutritious value of your soul food experience, skip the double-crusted cobblers and pies for dessert. Instead, try baked peaches or blueberries with maple syrup and cinnamon topped with oats and nuts. Add sliced strawberries or bananas for extra flavor.

Conclusion

Sometimes you may feel inclined to go full-bore and eat the fried chicken and slathered ham. That’s okay too! There’s no reason to completely abolish the foods you enjoy the most. The key is to employ moderation and balance to your choices so you can enhance your health. Soul food is made with love, but that doesn’t mean it has to be bad for your heart. Has this blog piqued your appetite? Visit Mama Sheila’s House of Soul for the best in soul food today!

3 Iconic Desserts from the South

The southern region of the country is well known for its rich culture and history, but its claim to fame may be the rich home-cooked foods that originated there. Classic southern baking typically calls for some type of fruit and the generous use of butter, sugar, and warm spices. These iconic southern desserts may not tie into your diet, but they are unquestionably comforting and delicious.

Sweet Potato Pie

Since the early colonial days, sweet potato pie has been a staple southern dessert. In some parts of the south, sweet potato pie is served during the holiday season in place of pumpkin pie due to their similarity in taste and texture. This might also be because the best tasting sweet potatoes grow in the late months of the year. To make this pie you will need sweet potatoes, butter, sugar, nutmeg, cinnamon, and a few other essential ingredients. Many southern bakers swear by using lard as a secret ingredient for creating the flakiest pie crusts.

Peach Cobbler

A cobbler is a fruit based dish which is baked under a crust made of batter, biscuit, or dumpling. Cobbler in the south is typically made deep dish style and with peaches. This is probably because the south is famous for their juicy peaches, which thrive there during the humid summer months. Peach cobbler is relatively easy to make and is created using ripe peaches, sugar, butter, cinnamon, and other yummy ingredients. You won’t have to wait long to dive into this dessert because peach cobbler is meant to be eaten while it’s still warm.

Banana Pudding

Banana pudding is a sweet layered dessert that has been around since the late 1800’s. It typically consists of layers of sweet vanilla custard, cookies, and slices of fresh bananas. According to many southern cooks, a simple wooden spoon is essential in determining the perfect consistency for custards. Coat the spoon with the mixture and run your finger across the back of it. If you’re left with a clean trail and a very thin film underneath, then it’s ready to go. Finish it off with a dash of whipped cream or top it with fresh meringue for the ultimate experience.

Conclusion

Southern baking is a labor of love. Baking tends to be especially tough because of the precise process that must be followed for proper results. When you want authentic southern soul food and want it now, head over to Mama Sheila’s House of Soul. To learn more about the history of soul food see this article.

Common Myths About Soul Food

When it comes to soul food, there is nothing quite as delicious or unique that can compare. The different blend of ingredients and the care that has gone into every single recipe combined to create a dance of flavors in your mouth. Despite all of the amazing facts about soul food that could be listed endlessly, however, there are a few less flattering myths that have become a common perception about the traditional cuisine which deserve to be debunked. Keep reading if you want to find out common misconceptions about soul food that don’t deserve a second thought.

Soul Food is the same as Southern Food:

All too often, when people talk about soul food they frequently mix it up with traditional southern food, when the truth is they couldn’t be more different. Soul food is based on the classic dishes made hundreds of years ago, with recipes passed down through generations. Where standard southern food is more fried chicken, pies and cobblers among other dishes, soul food contains much more variety both in types of meat and the amount of vegetables used. Traditional soul food can feature anything from chicken to chitlins, oxtails and seasoned pork along with a variety of vegetables that often make up a bulk of the dish.

Chicken & Waffles Started in Harlem:

There is a very famous rumor that chicken and waffles, which has become a staple of the soul food variety, started in Harlem, NY back in the 1920’s. The rumor was that people leaving jazz clubs at 2AM would be hungry, but it was too late for dinner and too early for breakfast, they’d be unsure what to eat. However, while this is a very fun story and is true that the dish gained a lot of popularity in that area, chicken and waffles has actually been around since the 1700’s. Originally coming over to America through the tradition of German immigrants, it became a staple in what is now known as the Pennsylvania Deutsch community. Regardless of how the dish started, there is a fairly good chance we all equally appreciate just how amazing it is.

Chitlins Started as Unwanted Food/Leftovers:

Where chicken and waffles is one of the most notable soul food dishes around, chitlins is probably one of the less understood. While a majority of people that have grown up with the traditional food would have no confusion at all about the dish, those that may be just dipping their toes into the soul food dining world might need a bit of education. Chitlins are basically the intestines of a few different animals, seasoned in a specific way and served with traditional soul food sides. The consensus on this specific meal is that you either love it or you hate it, which is understandable. The notion that chitlins were made from leftover scraps, however is just not true. Originally starting in France and other parts of Europe, chitlins (or chitterlings according to Europeans) were actually a delicacy, only after the Emancipation in the United States did chitterlings lose their prestige and become relegated to a more obscure place on the soul food palette.

Soul Food is Unhealthy:

A lot of people correlate a classic plate of soul food with an unhealthy meal that will need to be worked off at the gym the next day, but that is not the case. When it comes to traditional soul food dishes, they can actually be surprisingly healthy. Originally, the more high calorie ingredients like sugar and buttermilk were less available, which means the meals would be prepared using simpler ingredients and flavors would mostly come from the meat. With a combination of spices, natural fats from the meat and the many vegetables, a plate of soul food is actually very healthy if done right.

Conclusion:

Soul food is truly one of a kind when it comes to both the flavor and the experience it offers. There is no other traditional food quite like it and now that these pesky myths have been put in their place, the team over at Mama Sheila’s House of Soul hope you will swing by our traditional restaurant for your next meal!

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