My family's roots are based in the South with my California raised mother born in Alabama, and my dad's family from Georgia and the islands of South Carolina, still living on almost half the island that was given to my family after they were freed during the Civil War and which they lived on as slaves. We have our own family cemetery taking to the 1800s.
I may have grown up in New Jersey, but grits was a part of my family's lifestyle from breakfast of plain grits or grits with eggs and/or cheese to dinners with grits and fish/meat. Being a vegan, I was happy to find out that grits is something that I do not need to give up. Grits (using cornmeal than hominy grits are high in iron and fiber). There are many traditional ways to make grits from the addition of only water - to milk - to a combination of water and milk. As a vegan, I make my grits from water and sometimes an addition of Almond milk. I do not use the well known hominy grits or fast cooking grits which are overly processed; but, I use organic cornmeal to make my grits.
In a nutshell, grits are basically white cornmeal or hominy whereas others may know this southern delicacy as polenta (a meal indigenous to tables in Italy) where yellow cornmeal is used. I tend to use organic yellow cornmeal for my grits; consequently, depending on the region you are from, you may call my version polenta or still grits. Grits and Polenta are close cousins of each other, with many vegans using organic cornmeal to make grits rather than use the store brought hominy grits which goes through too much of processing.
Read more information on the difference between grits and polenta: click here
You say Polenta...I say Grits...let's just meet in the middle and enjoy this Southern-World Meal.
Vegan Southern Grits and Sauteed Smoky Mushrooms
4 cups water
1 cup organic cornmeal
3/4 tsp ground black pepper
1/2 cup Nutritional Yeast
Sauteed Mushroom Ingredients:
1 cap Portobello Mushroom (click here to learn more about portobellos)
3 -4 medium sundried tomatoes, chopped roughly
1/2 cup onions, sliced in 1/ inch to 1 inch strips
2 cloves of garlic, sliced thin
2 leaves of collard greens, rolled tight, and sliced into 1/2 inch to 1 inch thin strips
2 TBSP Extra Virgin Olive oil
2 tsp vegan liquid smoke
1 TBSP water
1.Place water in a pot and boil
2. Remove pot from stove and gradually add cornmeal to prevent from clumping. If cornmeal clumps, a trick is to use a potato masher to move out the clumps then stir with your wooden spoon. The clumps will turn smooth.
3. Lower heat to simmer. Return pot to the heat.
4. Add nutritional yeast, salt, and pepper, and stir with wooden spoon
5. Simmer for 25 to 35 minutes until grits become smooth and thick, but spoon still able to move around pot. Stir grits every few minutes as it simmers to keep it smooth and not chunky. Thickness of grits depends on your desired thickness.
6. Remove from heat and serve with sauteed mushrooms below
Sauteed Mushrooms Directions:
1. While grits are cooking, put olive oil in a pan and heat
2. Add mushrooms, onions, garlic, sundried tomatoes, and liquid smoke. Saute until the mushrooms start to become pliable.
3. Add 1 TBSP water and collards. Saute Collards with sauteed vegetables for 3 to 5 mins. Collards should not be overcooked, but just cooked.
4. remove from heat and serve on top of grits.
~ Sister Vegetarian. Copyright 2011.