Still Loving Grits

by HEAB on September 2, 2010

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A savory and a sweet bowl to share with you…

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Southern style grits with a Middle Eastern twist.

For the bowl pictured above, I made 2 servings of Quaker grits cooked in water and salt with 1/2 TBSP butter stirred in after cooking and topped with 1 strip of bacon, pepper, and hummus.

Next up, we have chocolate protein custard grits…

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Recipe: Cook 2 servings grits with water and 1 whole egg (add egg towards end and continue stirring over low heat until egg is cooked through). Remove from heat and stir in 1 scoop protein powder of choice (I used Jay Robb’s chocolate rice). Finish off with toppings, mine being Naturally Nutty Trail Mix and White Chocolate Coconut peanut butter.

After this morning’s post, I can’t wait to get back home to Nashville and try some of your suggestions, especially for polenta. I’ve eaten polenta but never made it myself, and many thanks to reader Ellen for explaining the difference. Grits are ground hominy while polenta is made from whole corn.

Do you think all these bowls of grits will help me run as fast as Ryan Hall? ;)

What’s your favorite recipe for savory hot cereal?

{ 55 comments }

Michelle @ Give Me the Almond Butter September 2, 2010 at 1:56 pm

I have never tried grits! I guess they are really a southern thing.

lindsay September 2, 2010 at 2:02 pm

Oh how I love grits! I made them for my husband for the first time (he’s a new zealander) and he had no idea what they were. bacon,cheese, and shrimp grits are my favorite.

HEAB September 2, 2010 at 2:26 pm

Lindsay,
I think your favorite would be my favorite as well. :)

Mara @ What's For Dinner? September 2, 2010 at 2:07 pm

LOVE THE GRITS!!!Cheesy grits with shrimp are by far my fave.

Sarah R September 2, 2010 at 2:08 pm

I’ve never had grits. I guess it comes from growing up in the prairie vs. the south. I also haven’t branched out much with my hot cereals. I just love the chew of oats and steel cut oats. :S Guess I’m not too adventurous in that regard.

HEAB September 2, 2010 at 2:27 pm

Sarah,
I think it’s time to branch out. ;)

Beth @ Beth's Journey to Thin September 2, 2010 at 2:11 pm

Mmmmm those bowls both look awesome. i love grits but haven’t had them in ages.

This morning I tried Breakfast Quinoa for the first time which was really tasty and a nice change from the usual! http://bethsjourney.com/2010/09/02/breakfast-couscous-and-csa-day/

Heather (Heather's Dish) September 2, 2010 at 2:36 pm

garlic cheese and shrimp all the way baby :) i love grits soooo much!

Little Bookworm September 2, 2010 at 2:44 pm

I’ve never tried grits or savoury hot cereal. Whenever I eat hot cereal it tends to be porridge with fruit. Maybe I’ll get some ideas from other comments on this post? :)

StephORama September 2, 2010 at 2:44 pm

Mmmm. The hummus/bacon combo sounds intriguing. May have to try it with soy bacon sometime!

homecookedem September 2, 2010 at 2:49 pm

I LOVE GRITS!!!!! I ate them a lot during the first trimester… with cheese!! :) Andrew even made us some yummy shrimp and grits and he’s actually making it again for us this Saturday night when his parents come over. I am SO excited to get some grits in my BELLY! :)

Felicia September 2, 2010 at 2:58 pm

My favorite would definitely be oat bran with chia seeds to make it nice and thick, mixed with chives and a dash of salt, topped with an over-easy runny egg. yumm!
PS started a blog on my own, check it out :)

A Teenage Gourmet September 2, 2010 at 3:16 pm

Sunny Side Oats, with a fried egg. They won a contest on KERF. :)

HEAB September 3, 2010 at 9:03 am

Teenage Gourmet,
OK, I’ve tried searching both your site and Kath’s, and I can’t locate the recipe for Sunny Side Oats…would you mind sending me the link when you get a chance? Thanks! :)

Holly @ couchpotatoathlete September 2, 2010 at 4:02 pm

I’m not a savory hot cereal person — although yours looks great with the bacon chunks — not sure about that hummus blob though!

Kristin (Cook, Bake and Nibble) September 2, 2010 at 4:05 pm

You know, I have never tried grits. But now I want to try them!!

I really love quinoa as a hot cereal :)

xo
Kris

Liz @ Tip Top Shape September 2, 2010 at 5:05 pm

Oooh, these grits looks GOOD.

fartygirl September 2, 2010 at 5:13 pm

Grits are delicious. That scene in My Cousin Vinny always throws me. You know, “What is a GRIT?” How do you not know what grits are, Vincent? You have been missing out. :)

HEAB September 3, 2010 at 8:48 am

Fartygirl,
Haha – I haven’t seen Cousin Vinny in forever. So funny!

Emily September 2, 2010 at 5:26 pm

I have such a hard time thinking of my oats as savory…I just love them sweetened and full of breakfast-lovin’. Maybe I would have a better time making steel-cut oats savory because of the nutty-rice flavor. Both dishes look fabulous, and you’re right, grits are really awesome :)

Rachael September 2, 2010 at 5:44 pm

I love the way you think – Southern staples fused with other cultures’ goodies…I haven’t tried grits with hummus, but methinks the combination might be stellar.
Grits with salsa and cilantro and a runny egg on top – my go-to breakfast when it’s cold outside, and I need a spicy, rib-hugging meal.

HEAB September 3, 2010 at 8:50 am

Rachael,
I love cilantro – need to try that combo. Hmm, now you’ve got me thinking of other herbs I could add…grits with eggs, basil, sun dried tomatoes, and pesto. Yum!

Beth September 2, 2010 at 5:48 pm

I don’t think I have ever tried grits, growing up in the Pacific North West we don’t really have grits. I must try them!!

Mary @ Bites and Bliss September 2, 2010 at 6:12 pm

I love savory oatmeal. :) My favorite so far has been grilled shrimp over oats with curry powder mixed in (tastes like cheese in oats for some reason! :D ) and then with okra, carrots, and steamed cabbage for the veggies. Kinda like a oaty gumbo lol :P

HEAB September 3, 2010 at 9:03 am

Mary,
I’ve never put curry in oats…adding that to my “to-try” list! :)

Meghan September 2, 2010 at 6:17 pm

I am a Yankee, so I have never had grits. I usually eat my oatmeal sweet, but you have definitely inspired me to branch out and try grits…the entire southern united states can’t be wrong

HEAB September 3, 2010 at 9:06 am

Meghan,
Well, we we’ve been wrong about some things before, but we’re pretty smart when it comes to tasty food…not always healthy, but definitely delicious! :)

MoniMeals September 2, 2010 at 6:26 pm

I am so sold on the chocolate protein custrad grits!!! Yummmmmmm. :) Great pic.

BroccoliHut September 2, 2010 at 7:37 pm

Ah, grits, how did I go the first 7 years of my life without you? (I moved to Alabama when I was 7).
I love grits or oatmeal with roasted red pepper hummus, broccoli, & cheddar cheese.

HEAB September 3, 2010 at 9:08 am

BroccoliHut,
Not sure how I went so long with no grit love either…what was I thinking?!? Oh well, grew up hating broccoli as well…I was a very confused girl back in the day! ;)

Pure2raw twins September 2, 2010 at 8:00 pm

I have never had grits…but it sure is popular here in NC.

We grew up with grilled corn right on the cob…I do not each much of corn, no real reason just something I have ever once and awhile. Although corn chips are one of my favs!

Emily September 2, 2010 at 8:25 pm

One of my favorite hot cereal bowls is polenta with a pat of butter and a soft boiled egg on top. Mmmm!!!

eatmovelove September 2, 2010 at 8:58 pm

They do sound like they would be good savory – with bacon, eggs…cheese? ;)

Do they taste similar to oatmeal?…the texture looks similar to Cream of Wheat or Oat Bran…

HEAB September 3, 2010 at 9:09 am

Eatmovelove,
The texture of grits is similar to cream of wheat, but the taste is really mild.

Erika @ Food, Fitness, And Fun September 2, 2010 at 9:11 pm

Wow – I’m suprised that I’m not the only one that uses Quaker grits…they are really good but the serving is realllllyyyy small. Your savory version looks so good! (Yet another great idea from HEAB!) :-D

HEAB September 3, 2010 at 9:09 am

Erika,
That’s why I always eat 2 servings at once…I don’t do small. ;)

Kristen @ Kristen, Sweetly September 2, 2010 at 11:02 pm

Mmm!! I can’t wait to try grits. A few months back, I thought I had gone for some in the grocery store, but I found out the weird way that “corn grits” and “corn meal” are not at all the same thing like I decided they could be. The polenta mush I made with it was alright, but not something I’ve ever craved again. I can’t wait to try out your versions, thanks!

HEAB September 3, 2010 at 9:11 am

Kristen,
Funny because I want to try corn mush myself. Was planning on buying some polenta when I get home as some people have left great recipes for it in the comments. However, you could easily sub grits instead as it sounds like the corn mush wasn’t your thing. :)

Marina September 3, 2010 at 3:39 am

I love savory oatmeal.
I usually eat it with tomato sauce and maybe tuna, or with ham,cheese and sunny side egg.
It’s also amazing to cook in some spinach, blend it, and then top it with an egg and cheese :)

HEAB September 3, 2010 at 9:12 am

Marina,
Done the spinach, egg, and cheese thing, but I’m loving the idea of ham, cheese, and egg. Sounds like one delicious bowl!

Kimberly September 3, 2010 at 6:47 am

I LOVE grits and haven’t had them in forever!! I also love polenta! I used to eat it everyday with spaghetti sauce and soycheese–so good and creamy! I love creamy ;)

Alyssa September 3, 2010 at 8:40 am

Maybe after the HEABlet pops out you can cruise like the Hallster ;-) I wouldn’t try just yet!

HEAB September 3, 2010 at 9:14 am

Alyssa,
Haha – I couldn’t even keep up with him for 100 feet pre HEABlet! ;)

Sylvia September 3, 2010 at 9:39 am

Oh wow, now I definitely have to try me some grits;)

My favorite hot cereal combo is chai tea cooked oat bran with carob chips, frozen bananas, and frozen figs. Just the right amount of chai flavor and sweetness. YUM! =)

Lauren @ 40Apples September 3, 2010 at 9:54 am

Well, sadly, savory hot cereal is slightly new territory to me… but I’d love to either try a Mediterranean version (hummus, roasted pepper, chickpeas, tomatoes…) or a cheesy version – with broccoli maybe.
Ok now I really want to try this! STAT!

Namaste Gurl September 3, 2010 at 9:55 am

I’ve had polenta– many, many times– and I love it, but have not yet had these grits I’ve been hearing people rave about. I know their similar to polenta, but I’d like to try the real thing soon!

Are they whole grain and or have protein? Just curious :) Some of those corn grains are nutrient dense…

HEAB September 3, 2010 at 10:18 am

Namaste Gurl,
Yes, the grits are whole grain…not refined. You check out the nutritional info of the Quaker brand here: http://www.quakeroats.com/products/other-products/grits/instant-grits-plain.aspx.

Namaste Gurl September 3, 2010 at 9:56 am

I’m sorry, I meant to say *aren’t nutrient dense, instead of are* :)

Jamie September 3, 2010 at 10:09 am

I love to make savory cereals using homemade chicken stock instead of water. Adds so much flavor and is also more nourishing. Probably my favorite is teff mixed with some fresh rosemary and/or thyme with an over easy egg on top. Might have to have that for lunch now!

HEAB September 3, 2010 at 10:15 am

Jamie,
The chicken stock – that’s a great idea. Thanks! :)

Nick September 3, 2010 at 10:11 am

Those are some crazy interesting combo’s. I like the Southern style one, simply because it’s savory rather than sweet. My favorite hot breakfast is still, and I think always will be, my Spicy Hominy and Oats. It combines oats and whole hominy, rather than the ground up kind (grits). Lotsa grains, lotsa spice and lotsa flavor!

Emily September 3, 2010 at 10:02 pm

I have another question for you, Heather (hope you don’t mind!) Could you (or perhaps, did you?) blog about your use of protein powder? I’ve always thought that was something weight lifters ate to build extra muscle. What is the reason for adding it to your meals? Are you concerned that you aren’t getting enough protein without it? (And if so, why? Seems like nuts and beans and such have a lot of protein…?)

Thanks!

HEAB September 4, 2010 at 7:11 am

Emily,
Honestly, my body doesn’t need a lot of protein, and you can read about it here: http://heathereatsalmondbutter.com/2010/01/28/fat-is-our-friend/ and here: http://heathereatsalmondbutter.com/the-heab-diet/.

Every time I’ve tried eating high protein (usually 1 gram per 1 pound of body weight), I end up gaining fat, not muscle. So, I never worry about my intake as I know I get plenty since I eat meat, eggs, etc. The only reason I use protein powder is simply because I love the taste, especially in a warm bowl of hot cereal. For me, it’s a great way to sweeten and flavor the bowl. Plus, before I left my job (I used to work for an alternative MD), I stocked up on rice protein powder since I could get it at cost. Once my supply is gone, I have a feeling there will be a lot less protein powder in my life…although I might have to buy a small container to get in my protein ice-cream fix. :)

Leah Anderson September 16, 2010 at 6:18 pm

I just tried grits for the first time last weekend. Since it was my first time, I just added butter. Personally for me they didnt taste like anything? Im going to jazz them up a lot next time I eat them.

I have yet another question for ya :-) Im trying to jump off the low carb bandwagon Ive been on for a couple of months. Low carb science makes sense to me, but its not sustainable for my lifestyle…Everything I read & hear has convinced me that carbs are bad…I want to enjoy whole grains again without feeling guilty – Do you have any advice for me! Can grains be my friend again? Thanks so much!

HEAB September 17, 2010 at 7:22 am

Leah,

Yeah, grits are like any other hot cereal in that they are pretty bland on their own. However, there are many toppings and add-ins to doctor them up with. Experiment and enjoy.

As far as the grains go, listen to your body. How does it react when you eaet them? How do grains make you feel. I tried the no-oatmeal lifestyle, and I was unhappy. No thanks. I love oats and other grains, and my body seems to do fine with them. So, why not eat them? I recommend starting out with gluten free grains like brown rice, millet, polenta, etc. Note how feel after eating them. If you enjoy them and feel good, then go with it. :)

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