Thursday, November 8, 2012

Slimmed Down Shrimp and Grits

Tonight felt like a comfort food night. It's been very cold here in the city, work has been busy, and with Thanksgiving right around the corner I've been missing home like crazy. One of my favorite dishes that mama makes every time I go home is Shrimp and Grits. Classic. Southern.

Traditional Shrimp and Grits is loaded with butter, cheese, and oil. I'm sticking to a healthy diet and workout plan so I don't want to go off track, especially this close to the holidays where staying healthy inevitably becomes a challenge anyway. So I found this lightened version of my favorite Southern staple on Southern Living. Let me tell you, it turned out so much better than I expected! I may even like it better than mama's...but shh, don't tell!  Made with spinach, Parmesan, and olive oil instead of butter, bacon, and cheddar, it was light, flavorful, and filling. At only 235 calories a serving and 30 minutes prep and cook time, it really is a great alternative when you have fitness goals to achieve but need a little taste of that down home cooking.

Slimmed Down Shrimp and Grits
Makes 6 servings

Parmesan Grits
1/2 tsp salt
1 cup uncooked quick cook grits
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 tsp ground pepper

Creamy Shrimp Sauce
1 pound unpeeled, medium-size raw shrimp
1/4 tsp ground pepper
1/8 tsp salt
cooking spray
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp flour
1 1/4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup green onions, chopped
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/4 tsp salt
1/4 tsp hot sauce
2 cups firmly packed spinach

Parmesan Grits: Bring 1/2 tsp. salt and 4 cups water to a boil in a medium saucepan; gradually whisk in grits. Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, 8 minutes or until thickened. Whisk in cheese and pepper. Keep warm.

Creamy Shrimp Sauce: Peel shrimp; devein, if desired. Sprinkle shrimp with pepper and 1/8 tsp. salt. Cook in a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat 1 to 2 minutes on each side or just until shrimp turn pink. Remove from skillet. Reduce heat to medium. Add oil; heat 30 seconds. Whisk in flour; cook 30 seconds to 1 minute. Whisk in broth and next 5 ingredients; cook 2 to 3 minutes or until thickened. Stir in shrimp and spinach; cook 1 minute or until spinach is slightly wilted. Serve immediately over grits.

Paired with a glass of Sauvignon Blanc, I felt like I was back at my kitchen table with my parents and my brother. What's your favorite comfort food and why?

1 comment :

  1. I love this entry. Will you please post more like this? Good, healthy comfort food is hard to find! My comfort food probably has anything to do with potatoes. They can be a main ingredient or a side dish.
    We need to cook together very soon. I have an entire month off for Christmas break and you are a must see.


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