Spicy Shrimp with Cauliflower Grits

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So, here's the deal. We love shrimp and grits in the South. A lot. Having gone to school in South Carolina really gave me an appreciation for this glorious dish, because, let's be honest, my turkey-and-cheese-only-loving father and my picky momma (you're picky, mom, sorry) were not going to introduce me to such delicacies. The best part about shrimp and grits? You can eat them any time of day. Breakfast, lunch, dinner, it doesn't matter! There are no rules and I like that about them.

Now when you generally think of grits, you think, heavy cream, milk, cheese, butter, more cheese...basically all of the dairy. I found this lighter/lower carb version, and it really does give the consistency of grits without all of that heavy stuff. The spiciness of the shrimp and the salty garlicky spinach* perfectly round out the dish for a guilt-free dinner...or lunch...or breakfast. I even had left over cauliflower grits to use for breakfast the next morning with eggs and zucchini. This will most definitely become a household staple.

*Side note, the original dish called for kale, but upon taking my kale out of the bag and beginning to wash it, I found that the inside was completely rotten. Ugh, so spinach saved the day, thankfully.

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SPICY SHRIMP WITH CAULIFLOWER GRITS

  • Prep Time: 20m
  •  
  • Cook Time: 30m
  •  
  • Total Time: 50m
  • Serves: 4

INGREDIENTS

MASHED CAULIFLOWER GRITS

  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 small head cauliflower, cut into small florets
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 15 oz can cannellini beans
  • 1 cup milk
  • 3 cups vegetable or chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar
  • 1/2 cup corn meal
  • 1 teaspoon salt

GARLIC SPINACH

  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 2 cloves, garlic
  • 5 large handfuls of spinach
  • Salt, to taste

SHRIMP

  • 1 pound raw shrimp, deveined and peeled
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • Garlic salt, chili powder, and cayenne pepper

INSTRUCTIONS

CAULIFLOWER MASH GRITS

  1. Heat oil in a stock pot. Add garlic and cauliflower and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until the garlic becomes fragrant.
  2. Add milk and two cups broth. Simmer for 10 minutes or until cauliflower becomes soft. Add cannellini beans and begin to mash (using your spoon or potato masher if your have one). If you prefer a smoother consistency like me, use an immersion blender to create a creamier texture.
  3. Add cornmeal. As it thickens, you can add part of the left 1 cup of broth, little by little, to thin it out. (This is really personal preference here as well as how large your head of cauliflower was.) Stir in cheese and salt. Add salt and pepper, to taste. Turn off heat, cover, and set aside.

SPINACH AND SHRIMP

  1. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium low heat. Add garlic and sauté for 1-2 minutes or until it becomes fragrant. Add spinach, stirring often. Cook the spinach down until just wilted, remove from pan into a small bowl, cover, and set aside.
  2. Using the same pan, turn the heat up to medium and add the oil. Have spices ready to go because the shrimp will cook fast. Pat the shrimp dry, add to skillet, and shake seasoning spices over, to preference. Cook for a few minutes, flip the shrimp, sprinkle the other side with seasoning, and add 2 tablespoons of water or broth. Cook for another few minutes. Scrape the bottom and toss shrimp to get a saucy coating. Remove from heat once the shrimp have cooked all of the way through.
  3. To plate, add cauliflower grits, then spinach, and finish with shrimp on top. Add your favorite hot sauce if you like it spicy and enjoy!

Source: Pinch of Yum