Low Carb Shrimp & Grits (THM S)

Shrimp and grits is one of my favorite summertime throw-together meals. It comes together quickly, uses simple ingredients, and has all the scrumptiousness of something that takes all day to cook.

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For this meal, start with simmering the vegetable mixture. It takes a few minutes for the flavors to develop and reduce slightly.

Next, start crisping the bacon – trust me, you don’t want to skip it. That crispy bacon topping is EVER-Y-THANG.

Steam the cauli grits next.

And finish by sautéing the shrimp in the same pan where you cooked the bacon. The bacon drippings help get a nice, fried char on the shrimp.

Finish up the cauli grits, and you’re done!

Plate it by heaping a big pile of grits into a bowl, followed by the pepper and tomato mixture, then a few shrimp, and throw on some crispy bacon.

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The grits provide a creamy pillow for the veggies, then the shrimp and bacon provide a crispy, slightly smoky bite.

I make this often during the summer months because it’s easy and kids and adults alike will gulp it down.

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Shrimp and Grits (THM S)

  • Servings: 5
  • Time: 30 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2lbs jumbo shrimp, peeled and deveined with tails removed
  • 6 strips bacon, sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 medium red onion, diced
  • 1 large stalk celery, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 15oz can diced seasoned fire roasted tomatoes (the ones seasoned with garlic and onion)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • hot sauce to taste (optional)
  • 1 tsp gluten free Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 – 1 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning
  • salt and pepper
  • Creamy Cauli Grits

Directions

  1. Heat a medium sauce pan over medium-low heat with the onions, peppers, garlic, and celery. Sauté until tender, about 6 minutes.
  2. Add the bay leaf, Worcestershire, tomatoes, and hot sauce (if using). Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer for about 10-12 minutes. Mixture should be softened, and slightly thick.
  3. Begin the steaming the cauli rice.
  4. Crisp the bacon in a separate, large skillet. Remove to a paper towel once crisp.
  5. Toss the shrimp in a medium-sized bowl with about a teaspoon of Cajun seasoning.
  6. Fry the shrimp in the same pan where you cooked the bacon. Cook for about 1 minute on each side, depending on size and thickness. Remove to a plate.
  7. Finish the cauli grits and serve!

Creamy Cauli Grits (THM S)

Let me tell you about one of my new favorite sides – cauliflower grits!

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Cauliflower is a super food that can take on many roles – mashed cauliflower, roasted cauliflower, cauliflower steaks, and dairy free Alfredo sauce, just to name a few.

I’ve tried these grits a few times, but this recipe really hit it out of the park. They were creamy, flavorful, and a perfect breakfast or dinner pairing. This recipe actually went with my Southern-Style Shrimp and Grits, but I also ate the leftovers as a lovely breakfast side a few days later.

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The best part is that these come together in under 10 minutes, and all you need is a microwave and a food processor.

Start by roughly chopping a small head of raw cauliflower. Toss it all into your food processor, and pulse until it’s finely minced. [Do not rinse out the raw cauli bits after pulsing. It helps add texture to your grits, so leave ’em.

Place the minced cauliflower into a microwave-safe bowl and cover with heat-safe plastic wrap. No water, nothing added to the cauliflower – just cover it. Throw it into the microwave on high for 6-7 minutes. My microwave is aging, so it generally takes longer whereas newer microwaves will take less time to cook the cauliflower. It won’t be completely soft – it will still have an al dente “bite” to it, but that’s what you want!

Carefully peel back the plastic, then place the (hot!) cauliflower back into your food processor (with the raw bits), add the butter, nutritional yeast, cream cheese, cheddar cheese, a few shakes of hot sauce, and the cream/half and half. Pulse a few more times until the grits are creamy and all the ingredients are incorporated. Season liberally with salt and pepper, and serve right away.

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You won’t believe how easy it is to make these cauli grits. It’s one of those low-maintenance sides you can throw together in minutes while your main dish simmers.

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And can we talk about TASTY?! The texture alone was just dreamy. You hear cauli grits and think, “OK, just more cauliflower mush.” NOPE. They have texture and depth of flavor – you get a little heat from the hot pepper sauce and creaminess from the butter, cream cheese, and sharp cheddar – it’s the perfect balance.

Try these with your low carb breakfast or for dinner (Shrimp and Grits, HAY). They’re perfect any time!

This post contains affiliate links, which means I receive a commission off of purchases made using these links. If you’re interested in fitness, the Trim Healthy Mama lifestyle, or just living a more healthy life, please consider using one or more of the links below. The money made helps me feed my growing family and keeps this blog running with free recipes. Thank you!

Creamy Cauli Grits (THM S)

  • Servings: 4-6
  • Time: 10 minutes
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


Credit: Erin Murray, My Fling with Food

Ingredients

  • 1 small head of cauliflower, roughly chopped
  • 1/3 c grated sharp cheddar cheese (bagged or fresh grated is fine)
  • 3 Tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 2oz cream cheese
  • 3 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2-3 Tbsp heavy cream or half and half
  • 8-10 dashes hot sauce
  • salt and pepper

Directions

  1. Add the raw cauliflower to a food processor and pulse until finely minced.
  2. Place into a microwave-safe bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and microwave on high for 7-8 minutes. (Newer microwaves start on the lower time. Don’t rinse the raw bits of cauliflower out of your food processor.)
  3. Carefully remove the plastic and place the hot cauliflower back into the food processor.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients and pulse to combine. Taste for seasoning, and adjust as needed. Serve immediately.

The Southern Holy Grail

I’m a Southern-girl through and through. I was raised on grits, and I know them well.

I never had shrimp and grits growing up, because really that’s a different part of the South. So, when I started cooking for myself I started experimenting with recipes I had never tried before.

Rachael Ray always had my back! Her show, “30 Minute Meals,” is one of the first I really took to on Food Network, and I still adore her. I have 6 of her cookbooks ^_^. When I saw her make 30-minute shrimp and grits, I had to try it. Needless to say, it’s now one of my summer staple meals.

However, since starting Trim Healthy Mama I haven’t been able to have “real” grits. Once I’m in maintenance mode, I can, but not while I’m still trying to shed excess weight.

I searched by brain trying to think of some way I could still have the meal I love without breaking any rules.

Then, it came to me – cauliflower. (My granddaddy would roll over in his grave if he knew I had replaced real grits with cauliflower, by the way.)

It was a leap, but I’m pretty sure I nailed it.

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Cajun-Style Shrimp and Parmesan (Faux) Grits (THM S)

  • 1 lb large shrimp, peeled, deveined, and tails removed
  • 1 bell pepper, chopped
  • 1 small red onion, chopped
  • 3-4 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2-3 roma tomatoes, diced
  • 1-1 1/2 cup vegetable broth 
  • 4-6 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
  • 2-3 Tsp butter
  • Hot sauce to taste
  • Old Bay seasoning

Saute pepper, onion, and celery on medium heat with butter. Once softened, add broth or beer, tomatoes, 1 tsp Old Bay, and hot sauce. Bring to a boil and reduce heat until liquid cooks off by about half. In a separate skillet, cook off the sliced bacon and remove onto paper towel to crisp. Toss shrimp into a bowl with a drizzle of EVOO and Old Bay seasoning, then throw them into the same skillet where you cooked the bacon. Cook about 2-3 minutes, stirring often, until opaque and firm. Turn off the heat on the veggies, and add the cooked shrimp.

Parmesan (Faux) Grits 

  • 1 head cauliflower
  • 1 cup of frozen cauli-rice
  • 8 oz cream cheese
  • 1/2 – 3/4 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1/2 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 1/2 tsp garlic powder
  • salt and pepper to taste

Trim fresh cauliflower and chop into large pieces. In batches, pulse the cauliflower in a food processor until finely chopped (but not, pureed – you want to pulse it 2-3 times to keep it large enough to where you won’t get a puree when it’s cooked. Once the cauliflower is all chopped, add it to a microwave-safe bowl, cover it with a damp towel (NOT Saran wrap, it holds too much moisture), and start it on regular power for 5 minutes. It depends on the power of your microwave (and mine is older, so it took all 10 minutes), but it will cook 8-10 minutes – no need to stir between cooks.

Once the cauliflower is cooked, add it right back into the food processor, reserving about 1/2 a cup of chopped cauliflower in your bowl. Add cream cheese, butter, salt, pepper, and garlic powder and pulse 1-2 times. Again, you don’t want a puree, so don’t go overboard with the pulse. Taste for seasoning, and add the cheese for one last pulse. Transfer the mixture back to the microwave bowl, with the frozen cauli-rice and reserved cauliflower. Stir to combine, check for seasoning again and adjust as needed.

To serve, make a grit-hole in the bottom of your bowl and pour over the veg-shrimp mixture. Top with crumbled bacon and hot sauce.

BEHOLD your bodacious shrimp and “grits!”