Sunday, October 2, 2011

Vegan MoFo 2011: It's the Most Wonderful Vegan Time of the Year

Vegan MoFo 2011 has begun! Last year was great, and I'm so excited for this year's edition.

Since it's Sunday, I wanted to share one of my favorite lazy Sunday brunch dishes, Cheesy Spinach Grits. Grits are super easy to make, very comforting, you can do tons of things with them, and this dish is especially great because it can be made from your freezer/pantry.  This isn't really a recipe, more like a general guideline, since I make this when I'm a) sleepy or b) lazy, I never measure the ingredients.

Unfortunately, it's not very photogenic.

Cheesy Spinach Grits
by Christina Terriquez
If it's your first time making grits, follow the directions for serving sizes. I usually just eyeball it. I used white grits in these pictures, but yellow would also work, and might give more of a cheesy color.

You'll need:
white or yellow grits
fresh or frozen spinach
nutritional yeast
garlic powder

1. Make grits according to package directions. Once water is boiling, reduce heat to medium low so grits don't splatter on you or burn as they thicken.

2. Add chopped fresh or frozen spinach to taste (keep in mind that fresh spinach will wilt and cook down). I usually add about 1 cup fresh, half a cup frozen per person.

3. Add nutritional yeast and garlic powder to taste. I usually add around  1 1/2-3 tablespoons nutritional yeast per person and about 1 1/2-2 teaspoons garlic powder per person. Mix well and taste. Reseason if neccessary.


Optional additions:

Tempeh bacon or tempeh sausage

Red pepper flakes

Black pepper

Green onions

A pat of Earth Balance or a drizzle of olive oil

I haven't tried it yet, but I think this would also be a great side dish for dinner, baked like a casserole, maybe with a bit of gooey cheese like Daiya or FYH either on top, or mixed in and melty.


B.A.D. said...

I have yet to attempt grits. I have a course ground cornmeal, is it the same as grits or are they different somehow?

Grit/polenta mixes are not marketed here for some reason :/

Christina said...

Polenta is coarsely ground dried corn. When dried corn is ground more finely, it's called cornmeal.

Grits are made from corn that is treated with an alkalizing agent, like wood ash or, more commonly, food-grade lime, though a process called nixtamalization. Whole corn treated with lime is called hominy. Grits are coarsely ground hominy. Finely ground hominy is called masa harina. The nixtamalization process actually makes niacin more accessible for us, so it is nutritionally better.

I never had grits growing up, but when I lived in Tennessee, I ate them regularly, and now that I live with a good southern boy, I eat them often. They're great with just a little salt, pepper, and a pat of Earth Balance, or with some thinly sliced green onions, and make a nice substitute for mashed potatoes.

You might be able to find them in the bulk section? I sometimes have difficulty finding them, but most stores here in Texas will have at least one kind, though sometimes it's just the instant packages.