Sometimes I wonder if I could’ve handled living in the South. At least from a food standpoint because humidity, the SEC and bugs suck ass. (Oh, snap. Didn’t Gastro Gabe play football for an SEC school? Eh.) But, as far as food goes, well, I love succotash. Love fried green tomatoes. LOVE fried okra, collard greens, étouffée, bourbon, Southern rock … and of course Gone with the Wind is, without question, the best movie ever filmed. Little known fact, I was named after Vivian Leigh. Yep. So there’s that too. And I still believe in chivalry. Yes, yes, I do. I’m a little old fashioned that way. And now that I’ve discovered grits … OMG it’s like a whole new world has opened up. Literally.
To be completely honest, until very recently I really didn’t even know what a grit was, or is …
Are grits corn? Is it kinda like Cream of Wheat or more like porridge? What even is porridge?
I’d had grits a few times over the years but not until this last winter did I discover their versatility and utter deliciousness. And though I know they can be served just about any way under the sun my favorite rendition is pretty simple: lots of pepper and any kind of sauteed greens. Simple, like I said.
As for Gastro Gabe, he lived in the deep South for a few years (hence the SEC reference) so naturally, one would think he’d have an opinion, but in reality he never ate them. I know. It’s like HOW? Did he live under a rock or something? Oh right, he was in the military and played football there too … so maybe he was under a rock. Regardless, he loves them now … as for Gone with the Wind, he’s also never seen it. I mean it must have been one hell of a rock. Am I right?
Creamy Vegan Grits
PREP TIME: 15 minutes, plus an overnight soak | COOK TIME: 30 minutes
- 4 cups water
- 1 ½ cups stone ground grits
- 5-6 TBS melted vegan butter, I like Country Crock plant butter
- ½ cup vegan half and half, I like Silk half coconut milk half oat milk
- Vegan cheese, optional
Soak grits in water overnight or for at least 8 hours. When ready to cook, place on stovetop and bring to a soft boil. Cook for 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently. Meanwhile, combine plant butter with half and half and set aside. Grits are ready when the majority of water is absorbed. Remove from heat and fold in butter mixture until well distributed. Note, I don’t add salt because I think the butter itself is salty enough but you do you : )You can always stir in your favorite vegan cheese and or sprinkle some on top. Serve with whatever you like … some of our favorite additions:
- Sautéed portobellos
- Kale, collard greens, mustard greens and toasted pine nuts
- Chopped tomatoes and vegan sausage
- Shrimp and Creole seasoning
- Diced and roasted eggplant
DISCLAIMER: Our recipes are just that, ours. Some are modified versions of dishes we’ve had elsewhere or old-favorites that contained animal proteins, while others are a concentrated effort of trial and error. But all are intended to be altered by you and made to suit your tastes. So if you want more garlic or none at all, go for it. You do you ; )
What’s a mostly-plant based eater to do when visiting a world-famous cafe known for authentic Southern cooking?