I'm a southern girl, so unsurprisingly I love grits. Yet, the traditional southern-style grits are not very healthy and full of cheese! So, what is a girl to do if she wants to eat healthy? Give up some of her favorite dishes? That's just not how we roll here at Happy Body Kitchen.
So, without further ado, I introduce our healthy southern-style grits.
I am so excited to share this recipe with you, because it is just so damn good! Daniel told me today, "Wow, you're recipes are getting so much better." I'm thinking in my head..."okay...how should I interpret this?" LOL. Then, he explains, "you are really getting to gourmet level with your dishes." Awww. How sweet, right? No need to dwell on the "so much better" part, I guess. Hehe.
So, if you are looking for a wonderful alternative to traditional unhealthy grits, give this recipe a shot. It's great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. If you want it to sound more gourmet, just call this "Cheesy Spinach Mushroom Polenta," and it automatically sounds super high class. 🙂
- 8 cups water
- 2 cups grits (can sub cornmeal, ground)
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes (optional)
- 1 tbsp non-dairy butter
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 jalapeno, chopped
- 2 tbsp arrowroot powder (can sub flour)
- 3/4 cups non-dairy milk, unsweetened
- 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 1/4 tsp sea salt, ground
- pinch cumin, ground
- 1/4 cup roasted canned tomatoes
- 1 tbsp non-dairy butter (i.e. Earth Balance)
- 3 cups mushrooms, chopped
- 1 tbsp soy sauce
- 3 cups spinach
- 1 tbsp oregano
- Prepare Grits: In a large pot, bring 8 cups water to a boil. Once boiling slowly add in grits ensuring that it blends well and doesn't form clumps or stick to the bottom of the pot. Once added, simmer on medium-low for 15-20 minutes, or until desired thickness is achieved.
- Prepare "Cheese" Sauce: While grits are cooking, heat up a medium-sized saucepan with butter over medium heat. Once butter starts to sizzle, add minced garlic and serrano pepper. Cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring frequently so that garlic doesn't burn. Add arrowroot powder 1 Tbsp at a time and stir/whisk until powder dissolves. Once you add the last tablespoon the mixture should be slightly thick.Now stir/whisk in non-dairy milk 1/4 cup at a time. It may still have clumps, but that's okay. Mix as well as you can (you will blend in a blender later). Add 1/4 cup diced tomatoes (no need to drain liquid if using canned tomatoes it will add to the flavor)! Cook for 1-2 more minutes. Transfer to high speed blender/food processor. Add nutritional yeast, salt, and cumin. Blend on high until creamy and smooth. Transfer to a bowl and mix in the rest of the diced tomatoes. Set aside.
- Prepare Spinach & Mushrooms: In a medium sized saucepan, melt the butter until sizzling on medium heat. Add mushrooms, soy sauce, and oregano, and let saute until golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Add spinach and cook until wilted. Set aside.
- Put it all Together: In the cooked grits, add the cheese sauce and spinach/mushroom mixture. Mix until well combined. Serve and enjoy!
- When cooking dishes that take over 30 minutes, I like to make big batches that can be used for the rest of the week. You can cut the recipe in half, if needed, but the total time will still be the same.