Cheesy garlic grits a recipe I came up with when I was trying to lose weight. I had a dish at a gathering that was delicious and asked for the recipe which was totally fattening. I lightened up the ingredients for a healthier version.
For this recipe I used quick cooking polenta grits. I like the coarser texture and quick cooking time. You can substitute white grits or cornmeal. Cooking time can be up to an hour depending on which is used and you may have to add more cooking liquid.
Yield 4 to 6 servings
• 1 C polenta corn grits
• 3 C vegetable stock or broth
• 3 cloves garlic finely chopped
• ½ teaspoon salt or to taste
• 1 C shredded cheddar (or other cheese)
• Chopped garden tomatoes
• Chopped herbs (I used basil and parsley)
• Black pepper to taste
1. Bring stock, garlic and salt to a boil
2. Add grits stirring constantly
3. Reduce heat to low (mixture will bubble!)
4. Continue whisking constantly for 5 minutes (or up to an hour if using long cooking type)
5. Remove mixture from heat
6. Whisk in ¾ of cheese until melted
7. Spoon into bowls
8.Top with remainder of shredded cheese, chopped tomatoes and herbs
Leftovers can be made into balls or put in a loaf pan to be sliced and fried. Mixture will firm up and is very versatile. To make a more decadent, full fat dish, sub half of the cooking liquid with milk, cream or half and half and add 4T (or more) butter while cooking. To make vegan, sub vegan cheese. For carnivores, sub chicken or beef broth for the stock, include the butter and top with crumbled bacon.
*Helpful hint: Soak the pan immediately after cooking.
Recipe and photo by Stephanie Bishop
Stephanie Bishop is an award-winning floral designer, sustainable wedding and events planner, gardener and author in Central Wisconsin. Follow her at Better Path Wisconsin, where she connects like-minded individuals about environmental, social and civil interests, and promotes green, healthy, sustainable living. View thousands of her food, floral and animal images on her Facebook page at Stephanie Bee and browse floral design ideas at Bishop Wedding & Floral Art. Read all of Stephanie’s MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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