Mama Shelia's House of Soul

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Tag: Southern cuisine

Southern Holiday Comfort Food

Southern cuisine is known for its deliciously rich and diverse foods that keep your belly full and your heart and soul warm. Since the holidays are quickly approaching, below we have provided some excellent comfort food ideas for your next Southern holiday.


As the name preludes, corn bread is made from corn flour rather than wheat flour and is a delicious side dish that’s typically served warm and with butter. It has a sweet, crumbly texture and usually one piece is just not enough! This dish is often served at summer barbecues but is also a staple on the holiday dinner table in the South as well.

Sweet Potatoes

Sweet potatoes are commonly found on southern dinner tables during the holidays either mashed, in a pie with marshmallows on top, or just by themselves. Sweet potatoes are a deliciously sweet carbohydrate that go well with any meal and are easily found at all local markets.

Biscuits and Gravy

What many consider the perfect holiday dish on a cold day, biscuits and gravy is a soft textured biscuit topped with either sausage or red eye gravy. The gravy gets soaked in the biscuit and creates a balanced tasty meal that can be eaten again and again. Served hot, this is sure to be a hit alongside any holiday meal whether it’s breakfast or dinner.

Final Thoughts

Each of these Southern comfort foods have stood the test of time and can be very versatile when it comes to making multiple side dishes this holiday season. There are many variations of these dishes that you can experiment with based on your pallet. Head to Mama Sheila’s House of Soul in Minneapolis, MN for southern food that is sure to keep your belly full and heart warm this holiday season.

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.


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.


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.

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!


  • 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


  • 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. 


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.


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!

The History behind Soul Food Ingredients

As one of the most popular and illustrious cuisines of the South, recipes for soul food have been passed down through the centuries. From the cultural roots of the Deep South, soul food started with the story of many African American slaves relying on small food portions to survive. They had to come up with a creative way to make food last and taste good at the same time, which is where many soul food recipes originate. In this blog, we’re going to discuss a few key soul food ingredients and talk about each of their historical and cultural backgrounds!


During the early 1600s, slave traders took several crops native to Africa and made limited portions of food on the slave ships in order to keep the slaves alive. Once in the Americas, enslaved Africans grew these crops on the plantations as food sources to help keep their energy up during the long days of hard labor. Since there was so many types of rice crops being grown, it became a staple for many dishes, including jambalaya and Jollof (a popular traditional dish in many West African countries). Rice still continues to be a foundation for soul food dishes today!


Okra made its debut in the Americas around the 18th century, where its origins can be traced back to Ethiopia. Coming across the seas on trade ships, okra was used as a soup thickener, a substitute for coffee, and even as a material to make rope. This green and slimy vegetable is now used as an ingredient in African soups and stews like gumbo. Many people in the Deep South also serve it deep fried.


When slaves were brought over from Europe, they were tasked with the important job of preserving pork with fine salts. Curing the meat allowed the product to stay fresh during long trips overseas. If there was leftover meat, slave owners would give them the cheapest cuts of pork, such as the feet and intestines. To give these parts more flavor, the African people started adding seasonings like hot red peppers and vinegar. Today, Southern barbeque meals still use these flavorings as a base for sauces and rubs.


The cultural history of soul food comes from a generation of people who persisted over generations. What has now evolved into the soul food you know today, can better be appreciated with the ingredients and seasonings in each dish. To order an authentic soul food meal, visit Mama Sheila’s House of Soul. We serve up some of the best soul food in town, so come on by today!