I don't usually buy spice blends, since it seems like you are paying a lot of money for a mysterious mixture that is almost always dominated by cheap salt. So this one I didn't buy. When I attended the Charter School Conference in New Orleans this summer, as part of our welcome gift bag, was a bottle of Cajun Spice Blend. There was no brand name on the bottle-just a welcome to NOLA sticker. It's been sitting in my cupboard since June, waiting for inspiration to strike. For me, that inspiration comes when my back is up to the wall and my defenses are weak, typically after 6 PM, hungry wailing children, mournfully quiet husband, my internal grouch thermometer rising.
I armed myself with my Cajun spice blend and prepared for the battleground that is dinner on a weeknight. Hup two three four. Dinner was on the table in 20 minutes, looking spiffy, healthy and utterly delectably sweet and spicy from the Cajun spices and caramelized brown sugar. Another victory, troops. Make it for Monday night and you'l win the battle and the war. For another great grilled zucchini recipe with Cajun spices and parmesan, check out My Sister's Cucina.
Money Saving Tips: To make your own Cajun spice blend, just combine 4 teaspoons each salt and paprika, 3 teaspoons each garlic powder, onion powder and pepper, and 1 and 1/2 teaspoons each cayenne, thyme and oregano. If you've got vegetables from the garden and chicken in the freezer from a sale, this recipe will be dirt cheap.
Cajun Grilled Chicken and Vegetables
Estimated Cost $6.50
Notes: Serve with minute brown rice or couscous for a lightening fast complete meal.
1 lb. boneless, skinless chicken
1 zucchini, sliced lengthwise, about 1/4 inch thick
1 summer squash, sliced lengthwise, about 1/4 inch thick
1 red pepper, seeded, stemmed and cut into 4 large slices
3 tablespoons olive oil
1/3 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons Cajun spice blend
Preheat grill or broiler. Arrange chicken and vegetables on a large baking sheet. Brush with olive oil on both sides and sprinkle with brown sugar and Cajun Spice blend. Grill or broil chicken and vegetables about 4 minutes per side, or until done. Let rest for two minutes and serve.
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