I <3 Grits.

This post is dedicated to my love for grits.  I grew up eating them for breakfast, preferably with gobs of butter.  I took grits for granted my whole life until now, as they were readily available at any store.

Not in Northern California!  I looked in every grocery store in the area.  I found one brand of instant grits and gave it a try, but no matter what ratio of grits to water I used or how long I nuked them, they turned out horribly.

(Yes, I’m sure no self-respecting southerner would admit to microwaving their grits.  I grew up making the instant stuff in the microwave, and in the microwave it shall remain.)

Well, I got to missing my grits so much that I decided to order some online.

And by some, I mean twelve boxes with twelve packets each.  It was the best deal by far!  And I will definitely eat it all eventually.

My favorite way to eat grits is for breakfast, with salt, freshly ground black pepper and a bit of nutritional yeast.  Sometimes if I’m feeling indulgent I’ll add a pat of Earth Balance or a sprinkle of Bacos, or make the grits with soy milk instead of water, which makes them so creamy.  I’ve also eaten grits as a side dish with dinner.

Inspired by Stefan on Top Chef, who served gumbo on grits (which Emeril Lagasse said he had never seen before), I decided to take my grits to the next level.  By putting stuff on top of them.

I’m calling this Mexi-grits.  It’s just leftover filling from my cheesy bean and cheese enchiladas on grits.

This is leftover smoky tempeh crumbles over grits.  I ❤ grits.  If you haven’t ever tried them, do so!

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25 Comments »

  1. Caroline said

    I never tried grits until I moved to Alabama…then I became hooked! I haven’t had them in a while though, so thanks for the reminder!

  2. Vegetation said

    I have no idea what grits are! I don’t think we get them in Australia 😦 But you’re sure making me want to try some! (and haha, I love that you ordered 12 boxes of 12!!! So many!)

    • veganhomemade said

      From wikipedia “Grits is a Native American corn-based food common in the Southern United States, consisting of coarsely ground corn.”

      So, as Ricki guessed below, they’re kind of like cornmeal or polenta. I’d say the grains are finer than polenta, and grits are white.

      I’d be happy to share the wealth if anybody out there really wants to try them!

  3. Ricki said

    Never had grits (they’re not exactly common here in Canada!). Are they sort of like cornmeal? I’m going to have to try some out next time I’m in the States! Your variations look great.

  4. VeggieGirl said

    I’ve actually never tried grits before – looks good!!

  5. macie said

    Oh, grits are the best thing ever!!! Living in Alabama, I’d never even considered that other places might not have nummy instant grits (I make mine in the microwave, too). I went to a cooking demonstration at a local farmers market a few years ago that served a shrimp/okra dish on top of grits. It inspired me, and since then I’ve had grits with anything in them. One of my favorites is vegan chorizo — SO good!

    Yours look awesome! I’m hungry now 🙂

  6. Carrie said

    I’ve never tried grits. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen them in stores around here. Send one of your many packets my way! 🙂

  7. Grits in the microwave!!! Okay, okay…I’ve done it before too. Though I do prefer the slow-cooked yellow grits on the stovetop. I eat mine with nooch, tempeh bacon or bacon bits, and EB as well.

    I can’t believe they don’t have grits in Northern California!!! That’s awful! I know it’s a Southern thing, but I’d figure they’d be everywhere. Oh well…good thing you ordered a lot!

  8. Rachey said

    Like cornmeal but white, eh? So do grits taste the same as yellow cornmeal/polenta?

    • veganhomemade said

      Yeah, kind of, but I don’t think they taste as “corny” if that makes any sense…

  9. Mom said

    That looks like a year’s supply of instant grits, if you consume them at a rate of one package around every 2 1/2 days….

    Instant grits are good, but cooked grits are even better. (Apparently I’m going to have to send some to you in order for you to check that out.) You’re right…grits are creamier cooked with soy milk instead of water.

    A local delicacy in the Charleston, SC area is shrimp (yuck) served on grits. I like your toppings much better!

    • veganhomemade said

      Hopefully it will be more than a year’s supply, so I don’t have to order this much again any time soon! I will accept your gift of cooked grits, and will probably eat them with dinner.

  10. Cyn said

    I love grits! I don’t think they have them here in SoCal either. I used to eat them all the time when I went to college in Ohio. (We made the instant kind too, but I was a college student! I have an excuse!) Grits with nutritional yeast and EB sounds amazing.

  11. Nicole said

    I like grits too! Yum. I wish I had some to make now!

  12. Mom said

    Thumbing through Southern Living this evening…there was a recipe for grits with whole kernel corn, and another recipe for grits with broccoli and cheese. Hooray for southern food!

    • veganhomemade said

      Oooooooh, grits with broccoli and cheese sounds amazing. Will keep that in mind…

  13. Sophie said

    wow, you do love grits!

    i see a vegan version of cheesy grits in the near future…

  14. Jeanette said

    I ❤ grits too!!!

    So good with just some quickly cooked veggies. And I just tried it with teese creamy cheddar cheese. Yummers!

  15. Jodye said

    I’ve never been a fan of grits, but this sure looks like something my boyfriend would devour!

  16. hmm..i’ve never in my life had grits before, can you believe it? i’ll have to give these a try! they look especially great with those smokey tempeh crumbles. oh my!

  17. Melisser said

    Wait.. I swear what I bought from Rainbow said grits?!

    • veganhomemade said

      Perhaps. I searched all over the east bay but didn’t look at Rainbow. I’m all set for quite a while now though!

  18. […] I professed my love for grits, my mom commented saying that she had just seen a recipe for Broccoli-Cheese Grits in Southern […]

  19. GritLover said

    Traditional Southern Grits were made from “Course Ground Hominy Dent White Corn”.

    In recent years grits have been made from medium ground corn of either Flint or Dent varieties, even in the south. Depending on how old you are and where your family purchased their Grits in the south, you probably have been eating “Polenta”.

    For those that don’t know what “Hominy” is, Hominy is the traditional method of treating either Dent or Flint Corn used by Native Americans involving alkaline soaking of the corn. When the grind of Hominy is fine it becomes Masa Harina used in Tamales and Corn Tortillas.

    Because of this trend to use regular medium/coarse ground corn to make Grits, you can typically find packages labeled with both Polenta and Grits these days.

    On a separate note, instant and quick grits should be avoided if you want to eat a healthy diet, vegan or otherwise. Like all refined flours, this particular concoction is made by stripping the healthy vitamin laden germ from the Corn so it won’t go rancid. Whole grain is always the way to go if you can, because the alternative is just empty calories without the fiber and nutrients.

    If you want to order authentic grits, ansonmills.com online offers their stone ground southern hominy grits and you might be able to find them at the berkeley bowl or andronicos if you don’t want to order them online. Their products aren’t cheap but they’re amazing! Try health food stores in the area and ask them to special order for you is another option. Also the west coast has “Bob’s Red Mill” in most stores including Whole Foods and they produce yellow corn “Polenta/Grits” coarse corn mill (Not Hominy) that are quite delicious. Golden Pheasant is also on the west coast and they’re quite delicious, but their products tend to be degermed so it’s good to steer towards Bob’s or Anson.

    Unfortunately most of the brands including Bob’s use “Flint” corn which does taste different than Dent. It’s one of the reason older southerners recognize polenta as tasting so differently. And of course another significant difference between grits and polenta amounts to technique including additions.

    So for the sake of simplicity, if you see “Stone Ground Polenta” you can make “Grits” from it.

    Hope that helps demystify Grits and Polenta!

    Cheers and happy eats!

  20. Tim said

    Too bad those Quaker grits are most likely genetically modified, pesticide-laden crap. It is such a shame what has happened to the sacred plant of Corn in this country.

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