Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Healthy Southern Dinner

Today was a beautiful day, so we decided to take advantage of the 60 degree weather by packing up the dog and the baby and heading up to Allaire State Park for a bike ride (Matt) / jog (me). When we got home, we were in the mood for something hearty, but not heavy, for dinner. After a quick scan of my weekly meals list, we decided on shrimp and grits!

This meal hit the spot. The grits were creamy and cheesy and the shrimp were juicy with just a little kick. I dug through my freezer for a veggie to have on the side, and came up with a bag of frozen collard greens we'd forgotten about. I figured it'd be a perfect complement to this healthified Southern meal, so I cooked them simply by boiling over medium heat with a little water, and finishing them with a bit of olive oil and apple cider vinegar.

The best part about this meal is that the whole thing was on the table in about a half hour. Can't beat that on a weeknight!

Healthy Shrimp and Grits

Serves 2

Ingredients - Grits
2 cups water
1/2 cup yellow grits (not quick grits)
1 oz. extra sharp cheddar cheese, cubed
1 tbsp. parmesan cheese
Splash of fat free milk
Sea salt and fresh cracked pepper to taste

Ingredients - Shrimp
6 ounces shrimp (I used 31/34 count)
Sea salt
Cajun seasoning (if you don't have Cajun seasoning, you can substitute garlic powder and cayenne pepper)
1 tsp. parsley
Cooking spray

In a small saucepan, bring the water for the grits to a boil. Once the water is boiling, slowly pour in the grits, stirring constantly to avoid lumps. Reduce the heat to low and let simmer for about 12 minutes, or until the grits have thickened. Add the cheddar cheese, parmesan cheese and a splash of milk; stir until the cheeses have melted. Add salt and pepper to taste.

While the grits are cooking, heat a skillet over medium heat and spray with nonfat cooking spray. While the pan is warming up, peel the shrimp and pat dry on a paper towel. Sprinkle with sea salt and season liberally with the Cajun seasoning. Add to the hot pan and cook about 2 minutes on each side, or until the shrimp are opaque and slightly pink. 

Pour the cooked grits into bowls and top with the cooked shrimp. Sprinkle with parsley and serve.

Note: I actually doubled the amount of shrimp for Matt's serving, since 3 ounces of protein doesn't cut it for someone his size. Feel free to adjust the amount of shrimp as needed!

Nutrition Facts** (One Serving): 293 calories; 6.75 grams fat; 25.5 grams protein; 33 grams carbs; 1 gram fiber

**I am not a registered nutritionist. Nutritional facts are based on my own calculations and may not be completely accurate.


  1. So excited for you......this is going to be an amazing blog and I can't wait to read every day!! Love you!

  2. i was just flipping through your recipes for some dinner inspiration... this reminded me of a new thing i tried recently that i thought you might be interested in. have you ever seen or had millet grits? it's basically just corsely ground millet. i bought it from shop rite and tried them out recently as the base for a sausage ragu thing i made. so delish! no real difference from regular corn grits or polenta, but much healthier. check them out!

    1. I've had millet, but never heard of millet grits! I will definitely check them out, thanks for the tip!

    2. personally i think regular millet is just 'eh'. i haven't experimented with it too much, but it just doesnt excite me. the grits on the other hand are a winner! I can't remember what it was near in shop rite, but it's Bob's Red Mill brand. That brand is scattered all over the new shop hard to find specific grains you're looking for!

    3. I was actually going to ask you the brand, but I figured it was Bob's Red Mill. :) And I think the same thing about the new ShopRite! I don't know why they have the grains all over the place!